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Old 01-11-2010, 01:28 PM   #1
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Default Attraction = physical, mental, emotional...

This weekend, my sweetie and I were talking about attraction.

On Friday night we had gone out to a local queer event and both of us had dressed up. If you were to see us together, I think most would immediately identify us as a butch-femme couple in the stereotypical appearance – I am feminine and she is more masculine. However she does not identify as butch. She is quite passionate about NOT labeling herself.

Again, I know not all of us fit or appear in the f/m roles…but I am speaking more broadly.

So she said to me the next day “You looked so pretty last night”. And of course it felt wonderful to hear that. I said thank you…she smiled and said “I looked pretty too” We kind of laughed about it and then I said, “Well, yes, however that is not the word I would have used to describe what I thought.” She said with her eyebrow cocked, “…are you thinking of a masculine word?” (which is kind of triggering for her) And I said, “Well, I was thinking more like cute, adorable, sexy…” She liked those

So we started talking about what attracted us to each other. We met sort of online (through LJ-thanks Lips!) and exchanged some emails and read each others LJ before meeting. When I first saw her waiting outside the restaurant, I thought she was really cute, but honestly was just trying to make new friends since moving to PDX. She asked if I would be attracted to her if she appeared more feminine…and I said, probably not. Not that I would not think she was an attractive person, but I am traditionally more attracted to female bodied/identifying but not feminine appearing women. She, on the other hand, has dated all over the map…and is one of the only people I truly know who does not base her attraction in any way by their appearance. At least this is how she sees it.

One time I told her many of the things I loved about her (not appearance based) and the added bonus was that she was very cute. She said her added bonus (of me) was that I was hygienically correct

So I got to thinking. Would I have been attracted to her if she was more feminine appearing? At one time, she had really long died blonde hair. She has always dressed in mostly men’s clothes (at least the past 10-15 years or so) and had short hair for the last 7 or 8. But her hair varies, sometimes shorter/longer. How much of my interest initially, was solely based in her more masculine appearance? I got to know her and liked so much more, obviously… but if she looked more feminine would I have even thought about dating her? And missed out on knowing and loving her? Am I shallow for having some of my initial attracted based on her appearance? I struggle so much with not wanting to take part in the f/m stereotype…but am I doing just that?

I’d love to hear your ideas, thoughts, experiences…
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Old 01-11-2010, 01:36 PM   #2
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Thank you for bringing this subject up. I will be back when I have a bit of time to share my thoughts as well...
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Old 01-11-2010, 01:57 PM   #3
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Hey you *s*

I totally get what you're saying here and I don't believe it's shallow at all to know what we like and trying to act with that in mind. Physical attraction is a natural part of over-all attractions and I don't think we have a lot of choice what makes out heart go boom.

I'm attracted to female/feminine cues/markers in many different forms and incarnations, but yeah there has to be some outward fem/ factor to heighten my attraction to the next level.

Good thread...

Metro
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Old 01-11-2010, 02:12 PM   #4
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Hey, JennyBoo --

As you know, I am also partnered to a masculine appearing female who abjectly refuses to identify in any way. She also wears mens clothing and has close cropped hair. She gets called Sir a lot at stores, etc.

When I met her, she had shoulder length hair, and did for several years until one day, I got sick of her fussing with it all the time (shoving it out of the way and being pissed about it) and I took her to get her hair cut, telling her just to "Trust me". She did, and was pretty shocked at first, but then after that, she took control of her own hair and it started getting shorter and shorter.

I was attracted to her because of who she was, not how she looked, in that prior to her, I had always dated very masculine butches or Trans Men. Nearly 11 years later, I guess something worked.

I hope she'll come in and talk about this a little bit, because I don't want to tell her story, but I am pretty sure that if I said to her "You look pretty" she would get a bad face. I think she struggles with being feminized, or feeling feminized, and yet she is very much female ID'd.

"The heart wants what it wants"

xoxo
June
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Old 01-11-2010, 02:12 PM   #5
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I agree with Metropolis, I don't think we have a real choice in what trips our trigger. Physical attraction is what normally draws us together in real time. I'm certain there are those who really don't care what someone looks like, but I think those are really few and far between. We know what we are each interested in or a certain way we expect our potential partner to look. Wonder how many of us have "fallen" in love online or over the phone and met someone and ummm this is not what I expected but still had feelings for the person, even though they didn't look like you thought or would have liked for them to look. I know I have.

I like a feminine femme, who doesn't mind getting her fingernails dirty from time to time. However that is not what I seem to attract most of the time. Great thread by the way
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Old 01-11-2010, 02:37 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Metropolis View Post
Hey you *s*

I totally get what you're saying here and I don't believe it's shallow at all to know what we like and trying to act with that in mind. Physical attraction is a natural part of over-all attractions and I don't think we have a lot of choice what makes out heart go boom.

I'm attracted to female/feminine cues/markers in many different forms and incarnations, but yeah there has to be some outward fem/ factor to heighten my attraction to the next level.

Good thread...

Metro
Thanks Met. I love the "heart go boom"

So, I am curious...what do you see as the fem/factor for you?


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I agree with Metropolis, I don't think we have a real choice in what trips our trigger. Physical attraction is what normally draws us together in real time. I'm certain there are those who really don't care what someone looks like, but I think those are really few and far between. We know what we are each interested in or a certain way we expect our potential partner to look. Wonder how many of us have "fallen" in love online or over the phone and met someone and ummm this is not what I expected but still had feelings for the person, even though they didn't look like you thought or would have liked for them to look. I know I have.

I like a feminine femme, who doesn't mind getting her fingernails dirty from time to time. However that is not what I seem to attract most of the time. Great thread by the way
Thanks for the feedback!

I'm curious to hear more about this...:However that is not what I seem to attract most of the time."

Do you tend to attract less feminine women? Do you think it is energy driven?
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Old 01-11-2010, 02:57 PM   #7
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[B][COLOR="RoyalBlue"]
Thanks for the feedback!

I'm curious to hear more about this...:However that is not what I seem to attract most of the time."

Do you tend to attract less feminine women? Do you think it is energy driven?
Oh no they are seemingly more high femme, frilly lacey types. Which I love also but the ones I've been with seem to be afraid of getting their fingernails dirty or God forbid broken. LOL I think a woman can be just a sexy and feminine in a pair of jeans and boots with horse crap on them as she can be in fishnets and high heels. And I'd actually be more attracted to a femme if I saw her in jeans and boots for the first time I saw a pic of her than in fishnets and high heels. urrr ummm I think I would

I don't know if it is energy driven or what drives it but it drives me crazy LOL

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Old 01-11-2010, 03:00 PM   #8
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"The heart wants what it wants"

xoxo
June
Loved this June! I can't tell ya everything I want but I can sure feel it when it appears
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:10 PM   #9
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I tend to believe that the eyes tell us what to love .. but the heart tells us who to love. (If that makes sense).

Coming from someone who has had relationships "all over the map" to exclusively b/f relationships, and is currently in a long term relationship with someone who does not identify as butch (or femme for that matter) - I think it really all comes down to how a person flips that switch for you.

She would often ask me what attracted me to Her, since She knew I was primarily attracted to butches - but She was someone I could not resist. She pulled on my heartstrings, and I fell in love. She made it go boom. Something I had no control over.

I never really factored in physical appearance as a pre-requisite - HOWEVER - there have been very few instances in my life where I have dated femmes. (It really depended on how strongly I felt about them).

Sometimes, you think you know what you want - but your heart knows best.

I don't think it's shallow if you know what attracts you. But I do also have a tendency to believe in keeping an open mind and listening from "within". But, that's just me.

Love, to me, is just that unconditional.
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:13 PM   #10
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Hey, JennyBoo --

As you know, I am also partnered to a masculine appearing female who abjectly refuses to identify in any way. She also wears mens clothing and has close cropped hair. She gets called Sir a lot at stores, etc.

When I met her, she had shoulder length hair, and did for several years until one day, I got sick of her fussing with it all the time (shoving it out of the way and being pissed about it) and I took her to get her hair cut, telling her just to "Trust me". She did, and was pretty shocked at first, but then after that, she took control of her own hair and it started getting shorter and shorter.

I was attracted to her because of who she was, not how she looked, in that prior to her, I had always dated very masculine butches or Trans Men. Nearly 11 years later, I guess something worked.

I hope she'll come in and talk about this a little bit, because I don't want to tell her story, but I am pretty sure that if I said to her "You look pretty" she would get a bad face. I think she struggles with being feminized, or feeling feminized, and yet she is very much female ID'd.

"The heart wants what it wants"

xoxo
June
Oh yes, they are very similar in this way.

"I think she struggles with being feminized, or feeling feminized, and yet she is very much female ID'd."

Ren gets upset when people attach anything masculine to her, yet very much appears more masculine. It's a struggle for her. I sometimes forget that I can walk through the world and appear as your average straight woman, when she (and kat...and others) don't have the same experience or luxury (sort of???)...

I remember you telling me that story (and also the photo on the fridge) about her hair...and it's weird because I almost didn't realize it was her! It is interesting to me how much identity (or non) attachment there is to hair style or length...
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:21 PM   #11
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"The heart wants what it wants"xoxo
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I agree that this applies to long-term attraction, but initial attraction?

Nope, definitely not the heart.

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Old 01-11-2010, 03:46 PM   #12
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Thanks Met. I love the "heart go boom"

So, I am curious...what do you see as the fem/factor for you?
Ok that's hard (lol). But since we're just talking appearance for me it's as simple as the traditional feminine characteristics. Not necessarily clothes... it's more a natural thing, the hips... defined brows... fuller lips... eyes... maybe hair.

Sometimes all of the above but even one can often be powerful enough to paint the whole picture.

I'd say other than that, clothes or styles aren't as important as I do have a very eclectic taste in that area so I'm attracted to many different personal styles from tough to soft or retro to geeky etc.

Hope that answers your question *s*

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Old 01-11-2010, 03:59 PM   #13
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It's the total package for me, not just any one or two things about a femme that attracts me to her.
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Old 01-11-2010, 04:43 PM   #14
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Good thread. I think that physical appearance is important, and those that say it shouldn't be confuse me. I have had a friend tell me I am shallow for only preferring a certain physical type and not being open-minded about people who don't fit that type. Shallow? I can't help who does it for me, and some physical types just don't no matter what. That includes cisgendered men, which I think most of us on this site can relate to.

My type is femmes. Feminine in appearance, but also in how she carries herself in the world. Graceful, elegant, but also a strength in her femininity. Curvy, can fill out a dress beautifully, but wear pants and be just as sexy. A girl that just oozes femininity from every pore of her body, no matter what she wears or how much or little make-up is applied. I generally don't find super heavy make up to be all that flattering for a girl, for it hides her beauty. Hair in a feminine style, long enough to thread my fingers through. Full lips. Things like that turn me on.

That said, a girl who looks like that can open her mouth and totally ruin it for me. I have had it happen and it is a bit jarring, but it is a lot more than looks that draws me in. A girl who is mature and intelligent and strong in herself, who is gentle and kind and genuinely cares about others and not just in words but deeds as well, who respects herself as well as others, THAT turns me on tremendously. I don't generally find it attractive when a girl puts herself down all the time or goes around putting others down. That really disturbs me. A powerful intellect makes me crazy in a good way. I want someone I can talk to and share ideas with. Even if we disagree, we can learn from each other and respect each other's point of view. I don't expect to be with someone who is perfect in these ways all the time. Everyone is human and so am I. She doesn't have to have it all together all the time. I sure don't. But someone who takes care of herself and refuses to be a door mat gets my respect and admiration.

So yeah, its a lot more than physical. But physical matters, it really does. Nothing wrong with that, it just is what it is. I don't think you are shallow at all, Miss Sassy. Your attraction to masculinity in women is just part of who you are, and that, just like every other part of who you are, should be respected by others.
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Old 01-11-2010, 04:51 PM   #15
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Very interesting. I've thought about this very thing myself in relation to my husband..and my past relationships. Initially, my eye (and other parts) gravitate toward the traditional masculine appearence. What's wierd is..I dont really go crazy over someone who appears TOO masculine. There has to be that hint of softness...in thier hands, thier face..thier voice..thier eyes.
I too wonder..if my husband had been more feminine "looking" if I would have initially picked him out as someone I wanted to date. These days, I'm much more flexiable about it. I used to only date butches who were pretty masculine. Now when I see butches who are less masculine appearing..it's thier energy I gravitate towards.(if I were single and gravitating!!!)

Another question that plaques me..

Am I the only femme that thinks..even if my partner is female ID'd..that.

I'm the girl
and
you are the boy?

And what does that mean?
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Old 01-11-2010, 04:52 PM   #16
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SON ya about had me foaming at the mouth there for a little bit....panting panting LOL

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Originally Posted by atomiczombie View Post
Good thread. I think that physical appearance is important, and those that say it shouldn't be confuse me. I have had a friend tell me I am shallow for only preferring a certain physical type and not being open-minded about people who don't fit that type. Shallow? I can't help who does it for me, and some physical types just don't no matter what. That includes cisgendered men, which I think most of us on this site can relate to.

My type is femmes. Feminine in appearance, but also in how she carries herself in the world. Graceful, elegant, but also a strength in her femininity. Curvy, can fill out a dress beautifully, but wear pants and be just as sexy. A girl that just oozes femininity from every pore of her body, no matter what she wears or how much or little make-up is applied. I generally don't find super heavy make up to be all that flattering for a girl, for it hides her beauty. Hair in a feminine style, long enough to thread my fingers through. Full lips. Things like that turn me on.

That said, a girl who looks like that can open her mouth and totally ruin it for me. I have had it happen and it is a bit jarring, but it is a lot more than looks that draws me in. A girl who is mature and intelligent and strong in herself, who is gentle and kind and genuinely cares about others and not just in words but deeds as well, who respects herself as well as others, THAT turns me on tremendously. I don't generally find it attractive when a girl puts herself down all the time or goes around putting others down. That really disturbs me. A powerful intellect makes me crazy in a good way. I want someone I can talk to and share ideas with. Even if we disagree, we can learn from each other and respect each other's point of view. I don't expect to be with someone who is perfect in these ways all the time. Everyone is human and so am I. She doesn't have to have it all together all the time. I sure don't. But someone who takes care of herself and refuses to be a door mat gets my respect and admiration.

So yeah, its a lot more than physical. But physical matters, it really does. Nothing wrong with that, it just is what it is. I don't think you are shallow at all, Miss Sassy. Your attraction to masculinity in women is just part of who you are, and that, just like every other part of who you are, should be respected by others.
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Old 01-11-2010, 05:53 PM   #17
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Thank you for bringing this subject up. I will be back when I have a bit of time to share my thoughts as well...
I look forward to it!
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Old 01-11-2010, 06:14 PM   #18
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I'm as shallow as tiny trickling creek. I admit it. Own it. Honestly, I probably won't change because if someone can't catch my interest through my eyes, then that's it. End game.

However, what is physically attractive to me is not what floats the boats of others, and I'm thankful for that. Diversity is a beautiful thing!

I have to have someone who counterbalances my femininity. I know what Irish was saying about me=girl, you=boy. I get that, even if many feel it's heteronormative. For me, it's my reality.

I'm secure enough in my insecurity to admit that I feel "less" femme when I am with someone who doesn't balance me....complement me. It's far beyond simply what or who I find attractive; it's tied in with my self-image and how I present myself.
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Old 01-11-2010, 06:20 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Blade View Post
Oh no they are seemingly more high femme, frilly lacey types. Which I love also but the ones I've been with seem to be afraid of getting their fingernails dirty or God forbid broken. LOL I think a woman can be just a sexy and feminine in a pair of jeans and boots with horse crap on them as she can be in fishnets and high heels. And I'd actually be more attracted to a femme if I saw her in jeans and boots for the first time I saw a pic of her than in fishnets and high heels. urrr ummm I think I would

I don't know if it is energy driven or what drives it but it drives me crazy LOL

Thanks for providing more detail! It sounds like it is about how she carries herself, maybe her energy. I have the same kinds of feelings...just on the more masculine side

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Originally Posted by NJFemmie View Post
I tend to believe that the eyes tell us what to love .. but the heart tells us who to love. (If that makes sense).

Coming from someone who has had relationships "all over the map" to exclusively b/f relationships, and is currently in a long term relationship with someone who does not identify as butch (or femme for that matter) - I think it really all comes down to how a person flips that switch for you.

She would often ask me what attracted me to Her, since She knew I was primarily attracted to butches - but She was someone I could not resist. She pulled on my heartstrings, and I fell in love. She made it go boom. Something I had no control over.

I never really factored in physical appearance as a pre-requisite - HOWEVER - there have been very few instances in my life where I have dated femmes. (It really depended on how strongly I felt about them).

Sometimes, you think you know what you want - but your heart knows best.

I don't think it's shallow if you know what attracts you. But I do also have a tendency to believe in keeping an open mind and listening from "within". But, that's just me.

Love, to me, is just that unconditional.
Thanks for sharing! I definitely agree...in terms of your heart pulling you in a certain direction. But if you meet someone for the first time and on the initial appearance, the person is not your traditional "type" (if you have one), do you think you might still have some kind of initial attraction? If it is really about the person inside, how would you know from a 15 min conversation? I guess maybe I have not experienced that so I don't know? Curiosity
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Originally Posted by Words View Post
I agree that this applies to long-term attraction, but initial attraction?

Nope, definitely not the heart.

Words
See, I think this is part of what I am trying to figure out...

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Originally Posted by Metropolis View Post
Ok that's hard (lol). But since we're just talking appearance for me it's as simple as the traditional feminine characteristics. Not necessarily clothes... it's more a natural thing, the hips... defined brows... fuller lips... eyes... maybe hair.

Sometimes all of the above but even one can often be powerful enough to paint the whole picture.

I'd say other than that, clothes or styles aren't as important as I do have a very eclectic taste in that area so I'm attracted to many different personal styles from tough to soft or retro to geeky etc.

Hope that answers your question *s*

Metro
Thanks Met, yes...it is helpful
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Old 01-11-2010, 06:33 PM   #20
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Attraction, to me has to be on all levels, but let’s be honest, initial attraction is almost exclusively physical. This may seem shallow, but it is a reality. For me though, physical attraction is not enough to keep me interested. I need more than a pretty face, otherwise I get bored quickly.

As far as physical attraction, a few years back I came to the realization that I am not willing to compromise. A femme complements my butch, the yin and the yang, etc… I need this dichotomy to be happy in the long run.

Mental attraction is to me the most important, let’s face it, if you can’t keep my mind interested I don’t care how beautiful you are, eventually it will get old for me. I need to be mentally stimulated; I need a complex individual who keeps me on my toes.

Emotional attraction I think develops with the relationship, once and if one is established.

I have more to say but Mercury being retrograde has limited my ability to be articulate…
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