Human sexuality turns out to be complex due to all the elements that make up this important aspect of behavior and also of the reproduction process of the species. All living beings alike present characteristics of a sexual nature in a very particular way, however in the case of human beings and the psychological aspect has a greater relevance.

Of the various concepts that are handled within the subject of sexuality, one of the most important is that of sexual attraction. This is usually defined as a type of affinity that arises between two people, it can be identified as the meeting of several physical and psychological mechanisms that are usually far from one’s own conscious control . This means that it is an attraction that does not arise electively and is not governed by specific rules.

It is normal that some kind of affinity arises between people in a natural way. Beyond the term of the friendship, other physical factors also intervene, some people can adjust to the canons of beauty and other characteristics that people are strongly attracted to. Men present their own particular characteristics and women also present others, therefore the differences between the two groups define people’s choice on the sexual plane.

But it is not only about dealing with the physical issue, sexual attraction is also aroused by other elements more related to the emotional and affective part. By nature, human beings try to establish friendly or romantic relationships that provide them with satisfaction from the psychological point of view.

Sexuality is not just about finding potential partners to carry out the reproductive process. Humans have the ability to generate other types of relationships that have an erotic interest with people of the same or different gender. Sexuality is much more diverse in every way.

What is sexual attraction?

Sexual attraction is defined as a set of physical and emotional aspects that define which characteristics attract us sexually. In general terms, it is considered that each person develops a particular concept of what sexual attraction is. It is widely recognized that physical and psychological qualities show particularities that must be adjusted to what one person is looking for in another.

It is difficult to define unanimously what sexual attraction is for all people. This subject can be treated by referring to men and women, it is usually considered that men focus their sexual attention on the physical plane; while women feel greater sexual attraction from the psychological point of view .

However, each individual is different and develops a sexuality that cannot be compared to another. The identity and sexual orientation of people also intervenes, both concepts are relevant because they also help to describe the sexual characteristics that have developed and that define desires, feelings, sensations and physical satisfaction.

What are their characteristics?

The main characteristic of sexual attraction is that it cannot be modified and arises naturally. Some aspects from the environment and from previous experiences of people’s daily life can influence. However, each person to develop their own peculiarities of the type of sexual attraction that they can feel towards other people.

It is possible to think that sexual attraction throughout life may undergo certain changes, but this does not mean that it undergoes an absolute modification, rather it is a fluctuation. This arises involuntarily and depends on many factors , people’s personal tastes often have similarities that cannot change at will.

Another feature lies in the definition of physical features related to the face and body . Each person defines which aspects are most important to them. For example, some men may consider that the voluptuousness of the body of women attracts them more compared to others who are of legal age is in their texture.

Of the facial features they are usually very important and defining elements. Aspects such as symmetry and proportion are very relevant, however not all people can naturally present these traits. It also happens with those individuals who have a particular racial or ethnic origin, in each case very different characteristics are presented that can make them not the center of attention of some individuals.

On the psychological level, sexual attraction also plays an important role. Some people consider that since there is no affinity in opinions, tastes, motivations and intelligence ; it is more difficult to be sexually attracted to certain people. In this particular case, the possibility of creating emotional ties such as friendship also intervenes, this is the case of people who define themselves as pansexual who depend on this factor to find a partner.

Types of sexual attraction

The different types of sexual attraction are described below, each one of them has particularities that can be associated with other categories. They are as follows:

  • Physical attractiveness focuses its attention on criteria that define what is the type of beauty on which attention is focused consciously and unconsciously. Each person to conceptualize different canons of beauty that are also conditioned by the influence of society and culture. People will begin to make a selection of those individuals who have physical traits that have our acceptance.
  • Psychological attractiveness focus your attention on giving greater importance to criteria such as romanticism, friendship and also emotional connection. People may be unconsciously attracted to others when they meet these criteria. But it should also be mentioned that on the psychological level there is a morpho-psychological analysis of the face and the body related to sexual attractiveness.
  • Behavioral attractiveness express what are the attitudes or gestures that make certain people more attractive. Aspects such as the way of walking, laughing, looking, behaving and also other elements of body language; all are elements that are also associated with personality. Some of them may be a manifestation of a person with more charisma than others.
  • The personal image refers to how people take personal care to improve their physical attractiveness. The way of dressing, hairstyle, and makeup and personal hygiene are all elements that can intervene in sexual attraction. Some can be considered as more favorable compared to others, it always depends on what the personal tastes of the person doing the analysis are.

How do we know when there is sexual attraction?

Sexual attraction is something that arises automatically and instinctively. This means that it is a psychological and physical process that is independent of any other process. Some consider it to be a kind of energy that is felt throughout the body and also influences thought patterns.

The first sign of being attracted to another person is from what is perceived by the senses . The sense of sight defines what is the appearance and also the body language that attracts us to another individual. Subsequently, the sense of hearing will be in charge of providing us with information about the tone of voice.

In the next sense to be put into operation is that of smell, body odor has an important participation in this process because some body changes happen during this process. Some hormones can notably change body odor , this means that we are trained to detect these changes and be attracted to these individuals.

Now, from a psychological point of view, feeling sexual attraction for another person can be more complex. Some begin to unconsciously experience sexual thoughts , in which the need to have some type of sexual contact with another person becomes manifest. These can manifest themselves from lived dreams, they are also thoughts that arise unexpectedly at any time.

Sometimes feeling that the company is missed or the possibility of talking with a particular person can also be considered as another sign. Sexual attraction is also framed by the establishment of strong and close emotional ties. Agree on opinions, ideas or perspectives on various topics; they are also elements that must be taken into account.

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Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.

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