Thursday, 13 March 2014

Attraction Does Not = Admiration

Hey, I wrote this incredibly brave and controversial post yesterday, and nobody wrote a comment. And it was a Wednesday. Everyone reads on a Wednesday.

Well, I shall pick out a theme from that post to go on about, and it is the difference between attracting men and inspiring their admiration or affection. One does not necessarily lead to the others.

I think this is the whole problem with teenage or twenty-something girls in immodest dress, particularly in the streets of Britain on weekends after dark, a sight which has to be seen to be believed.

(Incidentally, my new Temporary Pretend Polish Daughter has explained to me why none of my Pretend Sons will take me to "Espionage", an exciting-looking Edinburgh club. Apparently Espionage is THAT bad, with creepy older guys trying to pick up way younger women. Ew. Of course, perhaps their motivation is that they do not want to look like younger guys who have been picked up by a way older woman.)

Naturally Single women who do not want to be Single all your lives long want men to notice you, but there are better ways to be noticed than wearing startlingly immodest clothes or walking down the street on spikes. I can tell you from experience that having long fuzzy red hair is a big attention-getter although the shouts of "Hey, you need a haircut" suggest that having long fuzzy red hair excites as much mirth as it does admiration.

Personally I think there is a lot to be said for wearing an outfit all of the same colour, like red, or dressing exactly (EXACTLY) according to the fashion of 1947 (or 1952) every day, or just wearing pretty gloves wherever you go. But this line of thinking suggests I actually expect or wish strangers to approach you in public and try to strike up an acquaintance. It would be nice, though, if this happened at After-Mass Tea or Theology on Tap or the university library. (There's something so romantic yet respectable about a university library.)

Well, do chime in. How to excite male admiration, not just basic male attraction to female flesh, for your person? If you care, that is.

(I was going to post a photo of the stereotypical "Essex Girl", but I couldn't find one safe for little brothers.)


Stellamaris said...

Ummm...I dunno.
I've always tended to be admired by men I had absolutely no interest in whatsoever, and was therefore not in the least trying to impress. Perhaps being ignored turns them on?
Meanwhile, I read yesterday's post with great interest, but was too disheartened by that article in the Times to comment. Society really is going to hell in a hand basket.

Seraphic said...

Oh, I know. The Times trying to spin Dan Savage as some sort of Catholic preacher boggled my mind. Dan Savage definitely seems to think that not only is the human person controlled by his sexual impulses, quite apart from his reason, but the human person has to give into his or her "partner's" sexual quirks, too, however unhealthy, unhygienic, disloyal or just insane they may be.

Seraphic said...

Being ignored turns quite a lot of them on, actually. But what skirt were you wearing? Or are you a cute jeans and pink t-shirt kind of girl?

(I'm a tad obsessed with what exactly women looked like when they were hit on. When I asked my great pal Lily what she was wearing when her now-husband proposed, she said, "I KNEW you would ask that.")

Nzie said...

Last time I was ... "hit on"? was over the weekend, and I was in jeans and a shimmery shirt (after a day in a suit). I usually dress much cuter, I think, although I'm not in shape so... This weekend was one of those "creepy but funny later" sort of things, because this guy actually has more than a decade on my parents. I'm trying to decide if he found me interesting or wanted to "break" a religious girl... Maybe a combination of both. I'd never had a hotel room number handed to me on the back of a bar tab before. It was, however, an easy temptation to resist. :-)

Right now I'm so busy I'm not really putting myself out there. Once I'm settled into a job, I am going to join some clubs and be out in public more.

Seraphic said...

Nzie! Hotel room number on the back of a bar tab! Ah ha ha ha! Where were you, an airport?

That has never happened to me. Score one to you. ROFL!

Seraphic said...

Maybe it was the shimmery shirt! He loved your shimmery shirt! Did he say he loved your shimmery shirt?

If I am ever a widow and get bored, I'm getting a shimmery shirt.

Seraphic said...

Maybe it was the shimmery shirt! He loved your shimmery shirt! Did he say he loved your shimmery shirt?

If I am ever a widow and get bored, I'm getting a shimmery shirt.

Nzie said...

I have no idea! I personally like the shimmery shirt a lot, but I usually pair it with a skirt for a better look. It and the jeans didn't cost me more than $12 all together. I had sparkly stud earrings on too but that's it.

This was in the bar of a hotel where a bunch of teams from different law schools were staying for a competition. Unfortunately my team didn't move on to the next round, which led me to remark that the one good thing about it was that it would be easier to get to church the next morning. The conversation then went something like this:

Him: "You're going to confess all your sins?"
Me: "Well, no, actually I'm going to Mass to worship, but I do confess my sins."
Him: "But you're going to keep on sinning."
Me: "Yes; I'm a flawed human being."
Him: "What are your sins?"
Me: "That's under the seal of the confessional." (Yay! I'm not 22 anymore and not just going to tell people things they ask!)

Then he asked me what sin was, etc., before moving on to other topics (although here and there he complimented my intelligence & suggested repenting of sin was probably pointless). I think finding someone who was sincerely religious and not an idiot was intriguing (there are many people, but we're often invisible to folks in his position). At one point he gave me his card, and so I gave him mine (in the context of having similar interests in practice areas), although he did say, "So I can call you?" Oblivious that this was probably more personal than professional, I said, "Well, my ringer's almost always off, because I'm always in the library."

I'm singularly daft at picking up on things. This is why I need an NCB to just ask me out. I wasn't even entirely sure I'd been propositioned, despite being handed a hotel room number with the explanation that he'd "be up late." However, talking it over with my teammate as we went to the elevators, it became pretty obvious that it was a proposition (esp. as he'd kind of ignored her the whole time).

This was actually a countryman of yours, Auntie. And he is way too old for both of us.

But I do recommend shimmery shirts in general. :-)

Anonymous said...

I have gotten positive, appropriate attention when wearing a flouncy skirt (to the knee on my freakishly long thighs--a hard length to find in many stores!)that blossoms quite nicely away from the body. When i lightly skipped down the steps, he said it looked like waves (but you couldn't see the upper legs). When wearing a twirly skirt while swing dancing (again, appropriate length and not body contouring) that did not reveal the be-shorted upper legs. I have been told by a legally blind fellow and had confirmed by other men: hair. Hair is notoriously difficult for me, but having it clean, face flattering, and regularly refreshed helps I guess. But probably the biggest thing, which isn't even physical: confidence--but balanced. Don't be braggy or decline chivalry. I also thinking exuding joy: a lovely laugh, sparkle in your eye, or altered tone of voice. I also got admired for hobbies: a fellow who asked me out was taken by my seemingly unique penchant for playing Rock Band, appreciating football (American), and by another for the football thing, plus similarly reveling in meat, cheese, and craft beer or whiskey. It probably helped that I wear skirts, too. :P

Stellamaris said...

I just try to dress neatly. Skirts, almost always. A little eye makeup. Nothing special, really. I don't know what signals they think they are picking up on.
I actually try to treat all men, attractive and non-, equally, because I wouldn't want an attractive but jerky man to pick up on my interest and egotistically pat himself on the back. Also, since an apparent total lack of interest has worked with boring guys, I'm hoping it will someday work on an exciting guy.

PolishTraveler said...

I'm with proverbial girlfriend. Laugh, have fun, smile, joke around. Don't take yourself or whatever you are doing too seriously. I think that's what attracts most men to me although I admit I rarely ask them to confirm. But I've been given nicknames such as "Spark", and the one time I asked a very nice but ultimately non-committal NCB what had initially attracted him to me ("Was it me being Catholic? Because I'm sure you could find nicer, more Catholic girls out there) he laughed and said it was because I was fun and feisty and teased him the first time we met.

Also, apparently sparkly, glittery dresses work wonders on men. I shied away from sequins for years but have only now realized my delight in them. I guess it goes with the nickname!

Kate said...

I usually wear fairly modest skirts and kind of frumpy cardigans (I'm a librarian at a Men do like sparkly things and I've noticed that chandelier earrings get some attention from otherwise oblivious male friends of mine. My biggest icebreaker is my very big, very curly hair. I do have random people pull it to see if it springs back up (it does - don't touch it), but mostly I get a lot of very positive comments. It's pretty rare to see a girl without chemically straightened hair around here.

Today I played a bit of a technically-challenged damsel in distress and chatted up our IT guys - I'd like to think that they feel exceptionally chivalrous when fixing my smart phone for me.

c'est la vie said...

I've been told by a man that spiky bits of hair sticking up out of a high pony tail or updo are eye-catching. "They scream 'Cute!" were his exact words... lol..

Sheila said...

I've always assumed that to get a guy's attention, I couldn't be across a crowded room. I am just not that eye-catching. But across a table of people discussing something, I can shine in lots of ways. Having an opinion about something the man happens to consider interesting, being funny, being friendly to a shy guy, listening attentively to a guy who started a sentence he thought would be clever, but then people started to tune him out so he's feeling dumb ..... all of these things will win attention that is guaranteed to be of the right sort, since you're just being yourself.

Though men notice clothes sometimes, at least. When I asked my husband what he thought of my clothes when he first met, he remembered the enormous ankle-length circle skirt I used to wear, and my waist-length hair. "It was how my mother and sisters dressed, so it was homey to me." Pressed, he added that I didn't wear makeup or talk in a fakey high-pitched valley girl voice. He finds those two things extremely annoying. The only thing more annoying to him is a woman who pretends to be an idiot and just laughs at everything you say, because she thinks men find stupidity attractive. He rants about this often. I guess I dodged a bullet by being a big nerd!

I occasionally try dressing that way now, but he never notices. My conclusion is that clothes only matter for the first few impressions. At least for that particular guy.

RichieDynasty said...

Hi Auntie!
I don't think that you need to wear any article of clothing that has "micro" attached to it (micro skirt/shorts) to get any guys attention. I'm on the conservative side and I like wearing a nice clean shirt and a skirt or a pants that I can easily move around with. I'm 23 and I find it silly to see young ladies wearing less-er clothes by the day! I once went to a club and all I saw was guys grinding on girls who were wearing a bikini top and a high cut skirt. the guys were touching here and there and i was so mortified that I had to just get the hell out of that place! I think it also depends on what kind of men you would like to attract. I personally would like to attract guys who are respectful and God fearing. So I guess to be able to do that I have to wear proper clothes. :)