Tracy Moore at Jezebel thinks their readers should learn to embrace “intrigue” over sexual attraction in their potential lovers.
When I saw the title of the article, “How to Have Sex with Someone You Don’t Think Is Hot,” I thought, now here’s advice no one has needed, ever, in the free world. Why would Jezebel be advising women on survival sex? So I did what the editors there wanted me to do and clicked through to Tracy Moore’s report on a humorously proposed holiday: “Have Sex with an Ugly Person Day.”
Moore reports on Lance Manion’s suggested celebration on April 2 with her own, alternative holiday: “Have Sex With an Intriguing Person Day,” on April 3. Moore describes Manion himself “a non-photo-providing man with what I hope is a made-up last name,” and his made up holiday this way:
It’s exactly what it sounds like, where beautiful people stoop to entwine limbs with the least genetically blessed among us, all in the comical spirit of asking “What is beauty” and “Are we too fixated on the media and its obsession with physical attractiveness?” Excellent questions, Lance Manion. How do you purport to address them?
While embracing the same hot and folksy jumble of so-called “wisdom” around who’s hot and who’s not, Moore admits that no one can say who is beautiful (according to her profile, she was once sure Corey Haim would never find her attractive.) Moore is certain that Manion’s definition of “really ugly” is “superficial”: that beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes to the bone. Which cliché about beauty are we supposed to believe? The author doesn’t make this any easier by introducing a replacement in “intriguing,” which might be the new “good personality,” as in, “Sure, he’s ugly, but he’s quite intriguing.”
Again, from Moore:
And you can argue all day long about the benefits of banging a supermodel, but I don’t think anyone can deny that there are ugly people out there who are completely under appreciated and who would love the opportunity, for better or worse, to have sex with a gorgeous male or female.”
Sure, for the sake of argument, there are ugly people—by someone’s definition—who are under appreciated, again, by someone’s definition, and who would love to bang a gorgeous (again, subjective) male and/or female (uh, ditto). Why are supermodels now “opportunities” to be won, not people with the right to their own private sex lives? A supermodel might even be reading this article. Moore might have had her agreeing with her up to this point, when she tried to give her away like a prize. But besides that, she has proved exactly nothing about anything.
But again, for the sake of argument, let’s say that scientists know more than lovers about who is attractive, and that so called “mixed attractiveness” couples can be said to objectively exist. What are the implications for poor Manion?
But if, as we are told in most studies, most people pair off with their aesthetic equals, then Manion is wrong that there is some kind of injustice in ugly people getting laid by other ugly people, when in fact, that seems to be “How it Works.” Clearly, Manion just wants to fuck someone prettier than he is. While this is not a crime, we suggest he rethink hotness in his favor.
There’s so much to unpack here. There’s no reason to believe that because things just work that way, that they’re fair. Is it right that one percent of the people in the US own more than a third of all its wealth? No, but that is “How it Works,” at least for now. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to change things. But is there anything that could, or should, be changed to satisfy Manion? Is he entitled to fuck someone prettier than himself, as Moore claims, and is declaring a holiday with ribbons and mercy fucks the way to do it?
No, but not for the reasons you think. It turns out that those ugly people who wish like anything they could bang a supermodel are the ones who are great in bed, according to Moore, and beautiful people should be so lucky as to have such good sex. It’s not in the beauty of who you’re fucking, she says, it’s their talent in the sack. Doesn’t this perfectly match gender roles as we know them: that men are judged on their ability to do, and women on their ability to look good? Even in bed: it’s about men’s “performance.”
Moore claims intriguing people are good at sex, and that’s why you should stop seeking out attractive (to you) people, and start looking for the intriguing ones and have sex with them, instead. She evidently believes that: A) attractive people aren’t intriguing; B) people she finds intriguing are going to please her as lovers; and C) chemistry equates with technical skill. But believing that intriguing people are going to turn you on if you just give them a chance is just as false as believing that beauty makes someone hot in bed. And finally, pure talent at sex isn’t a sure indicator of sexual chemistry.
So I’m sorry, Tracy, but I don’t think you’ve hit on a scientific answer to the question of chemistry any more than poor Lance has. But I can tell you one thing, and it is that if there is anything we do know about sexual attraction, it’s that there is no telling what people will find hot. So keep experimenting.
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