• Abel Alarco
    Are we neglecting men from qualities they have and that we think are exclusive for women? Lately I've been thinking about how uncommon is for people to call men beautiful, gorgeous, or attractive. We have a problem admitting and recognizing the attractiveness and beauty of men.

    You may say, as many people do, that this is false, that we usually recognize the beauty of men, we do it on magazines and media and we do it with our specially attractive friends. There's two problems there. First problem, a quite obvious one, we accept and embrace the beauty of women on everyday basis, this is not the case with men. We tell to every kind of women that they are attractive, is part of our common practice. We don't tell every kind of men that they are attractive, we just tell it to the ones that fit into our archetypes of masculine beauty. This is also a great part of our flirting culture. When a woman is attracted to a man we expect her to send indirect signs of attraction, but we don't necessarily expect her to recognize and tell the guy she's interested in that he's attractive. This is not what we except from men when they flirt. We expect men to recognize the beauty of women. This is one the most cliche things that we can think of, a man launching a one liner to a woman telling her that she's gorgeous. And even though this seems painfully predictable and unoriginal, it happens all the time. Second problem, we think that men are attractive when they are masculine. We don't usually tell men that they are attractive when they have qualities associated with femininity. We are not willing to take as attractive the fact that a man is delicate, refined, cute, sensitive, gentle, tender, etc.

    We surely can agree that it is important for the psychological health of a person to feel attractive, accepted and wanted. So, are we damaging men by promoting a culture that neglects to recognize their beauty? I also want to make another question. Do some men feel the need to take the identity of a woman because we are not able to recognize the qualities of a woman on a man? This, obviously, doesn't try to explain why gender dysphoria happens, that's and extremely complex topic. I want to know if it is plausible to think some men wouldn't feel so much discomfort with their gender identity if traditionally defined feminine qualities were not neglected to men.
  • Bitter Crank
    Lately I've been thinking about how uncommon is for people to call men beautiful, gorgeous, or attractive.Abel Alarco

    Among gay men these terms (beautiful, gorgeous, hunk, etc.) are common. But you are speaking of straight men and women interacting. I am guessing that your observations are spot on.

    In communications designed and distributed by mass media, and then consumed and at least somewhat imitated by masses of people, it certainly seems like there is, and has been for quite a long time, a narrowing of male and female stereotypes. There are just a few types of women and fewer types of men who are project as the "averaged ideal".

    I don't suspect any sort of conspiracy by the media -- their output is just not all that imaginative and they are always concerned about appealing to the largest number of people -- that's why we call them "mass media". The media project what they perceive the public perceives as the most common definition of "gorgeous", "beautiful", "handsome", and so on.

    If you can find pictures of men who were considered "handsome" in the late 1800s and early 1900s, (described in books or newspapers as handsome or beautiful) they are quite often rather unlike the conventional contemporary stereotype. Early movie idols do not look like the current crop of most popular male actors.

    Douglas Fairbanks (1883-1939) was a very popular / famous man about Hollywood in the (relatively) early days of Hollywood.

    I think his son, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. who died in 2000, is closer to current definitions of handsome, beautiful, etc. than his father was. Nothing wrong with either one of them, just that "style" definitions change.

    You can see the same thing in women -- maybe more so, because women's clothing and hair style change more dramatically than they do for men. Like, silent movie star Mary Pickford (1918)

  • Abel Alarco
    @Bitter Crank
    Your comments are awesome and really helpful. Media plays a great role when it comes to our general representation of social standards and practices and I think we could talk loosely about the dangerous distortions of male and female attractivenes that it causes. But now I'm not worried about the dangers of our archetypes of beauty, I'm worried about our concrete social interactions and the unjustified inequality between genders when it comes to flirting and all its uses within social negotiations and relations. I think that within our practices, we just don't recognize men to often as beautiful. We think that men don't need to feel attractive, they just happen to be in some cases. We also ridiculize those men who show a need to feel beautiful while we think this is a totally valid feeling and belief for a woman. Some people may say that this is no more whining about a meaningless thing, but thinking that that is so is to, again, avoid recognizing beauty and the recognition of beauty as parts of what allows a person to have a healthy psychology and a healthy construction of his identity.
    At least from my experience, I have found that women are educated within a culture that sees recognizing male beauty as something ridiculous. Women who are not quite independently minded or are attached to common practices clearly show discomfort if you ask them if they find you attractive. This does not happen when you interact with gay men. Actually, my experience interacting with gay men has been radically more fulfilling than my interactions with straight women. Eventhough I am not gay, when I interact with gay men I found myself inside a totally different and more liberated social space. Gay men tell me without problem that they find me attractive and that they would be willing to engage in romance or sexual relations with me, and that just feels amazing. I feel more vitalized, I feel happier, I feel better about myself and I am more willing to treat other people as sexy, valuable and beautiful beings. Meanwhile, my interactions with women are often frustrating. When someone, specially your romantic or sexual partners, seems to ignore the fact that you are a sexual being who wants to be found attractive, you just end up feeling like garbage. And, after a long time experiencing this you start to ask yourself if the lack of compliments is caused by you being unatractice, undesirable, ugly, you even start to question if your attitude is unpleasant, your whole identity starts to crumble as something that seems to be wrong and that could never be valuable or desirable.
  • Bitter Crank

    There are a number of features of gay culture that heterosexuals would do well to imitate -- one is the openness about who, what, and how one finds somebody attractive, and saying so. Also, clarity about what kind of sex one likes -- and asking for that kind (it's usually not unusual). Of course there are other parts of gay culture...

    "Well... why don't straight men play around like gay men?" "Because straight women don't let them." (interchange at a health conference)

    in the movie "Isadora" about Isadora Duncan, the famous dancer, she is rehearsing with a Russian dancer; he speaks no English, she no Russian. Each asks their interpreter how to say something to the other... He learns to say "let's make love like tigers" she learns to say "You have beautiful thighs" -- then they fall into bed and do make love like tigers, beautiful thighs and all.

    She's an example of the way one wishes people could interact -- expressing ideas about beauty openly. Another example, she calls one of her piano accompanists "a toad". He's not very attractive. None the less, she falls in love with him (or falls in lust) and says, "Oh, my beautiful toad" -- something to that effect.

    It isn't all sex; Vanessa Redgrave plays the part of Isadora Duncan -- loved the performance. Zvonimir Crnko is the one with the beautiful thighs (I think).
  • Ram
    No, heterosexuals should not imitate the culture of practicing homosexuals.

    Men and women are not valued for the same things, that is why differents traits are praised in the two.
  • Ötzi
    I am not sexist but what I observe is this:
    -Women are judged by their beauty
    -Men are judged by their actions

    This pattern has been deeply carved by evolution through partner selection. Bear in mind, however, that all males possess some female characteristics and all females possess some male characteristics. These characteristics just do not receive too much attention, because they have much less competitive/evolutionary advantage.
  • Bitter Crank
    No, heterosexuals should not imitate the culture of practicing homosexuals.Ram

    Ram, homosexuals are not practicing: We're good at it.

    With reference to the Trinity, your thread you messed up on by not explicating your opinion...

    You are a son; you may be brother; you could even be a father. That doesn't make you three different people. God the father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit are three separate manifestations of 1 god -- God manifested to man. Like you could be father, son, and brother, but you can't be three different people.

    Actually, gay people don't want all you heterosexuals imitating us. You all go do your straight breeding thing, and make more good looking, sexy homosexual guys. That is what you are here for. You are free insofar as you obey. Now get busy.

    Too doctrinaire for you?
  • bensbyk325
    Hi, I'm conducting some research looking into Men’s Perceptions of Male Victims of Female Rape and thought this is a good forum to approach.

    If you have 10 mins and are willing to help a Good Cause then please do this anonymous online survey.

  • Dan84

    The answer lies to a much earlier and simpler time.

    There are, according to some, I believe Plato??

    Two kinds of beauty- that of opinion and that of knowledge.

    I believe that you only need to look at the sculpture of the Greeks to recognise the aesthetic beauty of man. In a very real sense the potential for development of the Male body leads to perhaps an even greater source of the beauty of opinion than can be found in women.

    Great question chap.

    And as if this matters but for as far as my experience and understanding of sexuality goes I’m a heterosexual by choice but could certainly be aroused by homoerotisism. I made my choice in infant school. An art book had a collection of rennaisance ‘Male nude study’ and it certainly ‘aroused my interest’ but I found the allure of the female form and especially female facial features more alluring.

    Really great question chap
  • Dan84

    Is there no way to be more involved? I’d be fascinated. I’m currently a student in my first year but hope to progress to at least MA and god willing PHD.
  • TWI
    One big difference between gay and straightl pre sex, pregnancy looms on the horizon when preparing for heterosexual sex, this has formed the behaviour between men and women, they have evolved to ensure survival of infants and this has resulted in complex pre sex rituals unlike gay sex which doesn't involve these complications.

    Why is homosexuality so prevalent in humans? My theory is that because of female necessity to be exclusive to one male, homosexuality has become an alternative, quite common for straight males to enjoy sex with males while remaining intrinsically heterosexual.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    Straight men couldn’t get it up for another man. You’re talking about bisexual men.
  • TWI
    Well yes, but it's not as clear cut as homosexual, bisexual and heterosexual. There's lots of men who claim that their sexual feelings for women are completely different to their ones for men. They claim that homosexual urges are totally mechanical whereas with women it involves feelings of affection and being emotionally attached.

    Now that openness about sex is becoming more prevalent more and more men are saying they consider themselves basically heterosexual with a capacity for sex with men without any affectionate or emotional feelings.

    Three classifications of sexuality, I say many shades of grey.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    Very well. I just recalled a time when a man forced a kiss on me, and I swear my penis actually retracted into my abdomen. And I don’t think this man was considered unattractive by others. So, there are strictly heterosexual men. I’m repelled by gay sex. However, I do admire the gay community for their general openness.
  • All sight

    That's just a gay erection... opposite.
  • TWI
    It appears that many of these heterosexual men with capacity for sex with men also feel repelled by kissing men, or any show of affection.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    strange. I don’t get it.
  • TWI
    Ha ha, though females do get 'inside out' erections.
  • TWI
    Sex doesn't necessarily always involve emotion.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    Yeah, but it involves arousal, which isn’t possible for the strictly heterosexual.
  • Tzeentch
    How could not calling men beautiful possibly damage them?

    Surely, if affirmation is required in order not to be damaged, the one that's doing the damaging is oneself.

    We surely can agree that it is important for the psychological health of a person to feel attractive, accepted and wanted.Abel Alarco

    Yes, and such feelings can only come from within oneself.

    Relying on the affirmation of others does not constitute psychological health. It is delaying the inevitable conclusion that one is in fact not psychologically healthy.
  • TWI
    Maybe but we're not talking about strictly heterosexual. There are many men who considered themselves strictly heterosexual but found they had a capacity for homosexuality when in men only unusual circumstances such as jail for example. How many so called strictly heterosexual men unknowingly have this capacity?
  • TWI
    Bottom? line is what's important is love for each other, not the sexual kind, the kind of love that says you are concerned for the wellbeing of others.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    Of course! We should all agree to that.
  • Terrapin Station
    I'm not attracted to men, so I don't see any as beautiful in that regard. I would expect that people attracted to men often find them beautiful, though.
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