When is judging a person by their physical traits a justified part of sexual attraction, and when is it shallow and wrong?
I recently started talking to a new guy who I met online. It started off good, and for the first few days we chatted almost constantly. And we’re still talking, although not daily and the conversations are not as long. I found it easy to carry on a conversation with him, but how much of this is actual chemistry and how much is wishful thinking?
We share some mutual interests, but also have some different. We have quite different backgrounds (not in a bad way). It seems that we’re a decent match to be friends at least, if not more.
I’m attracted enough to him in most ways. I’ve only seen a few pictures and we haven’t met in person yet (a necessary thing before I’d make any commitments). He’s not necessarily my perfect “ideal,” but I’m not expecting an Adonis, and I can definitely see myself being with him. However, there’s one thing that really bothered me in his pictures – his teeth!
I spent more years in braces, and more time in dentist chairs, than I care to remember. My teeth aren’t perfect, but they’re better than average. I don’t blame anyone for having health problems (including dental problems). I expect a minimum of dental hygiene to be practiced, which most people do. I’d certainly be friends with anyone regardless of the condition of their teeth.
I’m really not picky when it comes to physical traits. I don’t rule out people because of their height or weight, their skin or hair color, or even what parts they have (I’ve been attracted to basically all flavors of men and women at some point). I wouldn’t turn someone away for being transgender, or having a disability or impairment, or almost any physical trait. In fact, these things can be turn-ons.
I’m certainly not attracted to every person, and I will not pretend I’m attracted to someone I’m not, and won’t sleep with or date them. But I judge people on an individual basis. Often, my sexual attractions don’t involve anything more than instinct and a general feeling about a person’s total appearance (and personality of course). Often it’s hard to describe or predict. I could write down all the things I find sexy, and I could find a person who meets all those criteria but I’m still repulsed by… and likewise, I could list all my turn-offs, and find someone who possesses them all but I’m still mysteriously drawn to.
Also, when people have physical differences… if it is wrong to judge them and turn them down for it… is it also wrong to actually be turned on by them? Is it weird or inappropriate to have fetishes that involve these things… like being turned on by casts, crutches, wheelchairs? Guys who are blind, or deaf, or have scars, or missing limbs, or are little people? People whose genitals don’t match their minds? People who have something that is seen by most as a problem or illness or injury? When is it healthy, and when does it cross a line? Is it any different than finding, say, red hair, or tattoos, or a moustache sexy? Or bondage, or roleplay, or foot fetishes, or piss play? Or anything?
But the idea of kissing a mouth with yucky teeth is just …. yucky. And I love to kiss. So, could I be in a relationship with someone who I don’t love the idea of kissing? Could I get over it? Maybe my initial reaction to the photos was not correct, and his teeth really aren’t that bad. I’d judge in person, and take other things into consideration, before I completely wrote someone off. But is my aversion justified? Is it worth taking more time to pursue a possible relationship? Or is it just as wrong to lead someone on when I am so doubtful as to its long term potential?
Teeth or not teeth… that is the question.