The unknown curse of beauty

While beautiful women are blessed in many ways, many of them suffer from a curse that virtually no one knows about: their lofty self-perceptions can reduce their libido and sexual pleasure. If that sounds farfetched, keep reading . . . it will make sense in a minute.

Everyone knows that sexual attraction can influence sexual pleasure, right? If you find someone very attractive, it is easier to get turned on, correct? And if your libido is raging and you are burning with passion, sex is likely to feel better, is it not? This nexus from sexual attraction to the perception of sexual pleasure seems so obvious that you may wonder why I bothered to discuss it. So why did I? Because I have something to say about this topic that isn't obvious: namely, that your perception of your beauty can influence your sexual pleasure. Specifically, if you think you're hot, you may have more difficulty finding a partner who is commensurately attractive and hot enough to put your libido in overdrive.

Not everyone lives in areas with sufficient population density to make it easy to find a "ten." For every person who looks like a supermodel, there are probably hundreds of people who are merely attractive, and thousands of people who are average or below in appearance. On the other hand, if your appearance is average, you could walk into a mall and likely find dozens of people in an hour or two who physically appeal to you. A supermodel may take a lifetime to find dozens of people he or she thinks has proportionate looks. In general, people are physically drawn to others who are as attractive as they are, or even more appealing. Of all the people I know who are very attractive, a grand total of one claims that appearance is irrelevant in choosing a partner. Appearance matters to most people, and there are far fewer hot tens than ordinary fives.

If you are a ten — and know it — you may be thrilled to sleep with another ten. You would probably be much less enthused about sleeping with someone who is a six. However, if you were a three, you'd probably relish the chance to sleep with a six. You would be much more turned on than the ten who might turn up her nose, thinking, "Ugh, a six. I deserve better than this." Since you would be more sexually aroused, you would be more likely to obtain sexual pleasure that is very gratifying.

The fact that a six might be a turnoff to a ten but a hottie to a three is intriguing to me because self-perception is what influences the degree of attraction, and hence arousal, and hence potential sexual pleasure. This isn't just nebulous speculation. Your perception of others influences your production of various neurotransmitters and hormones, some of which affect libido and sexual gratification. With the same stimulus — a six — the three may be hot to trot, but the ten lukewarm or even repulsed. It is interesting that this response is influenced by self-perception. If that ten lived in a world without mirrors or cameras that never discussed appearance, and hence didn't know she was a ten, she might find this better-than-average-looking six to be arousing. Consequently, self-perception influences attraction. Attraction influences libido, and libido influences sexual pleasure. While having a positive self-image is good, isn't it odd that one facet of this — your assessment of your appearance — may diminish your libido and hence sexual gratification if you think you're hot stuff? Just something to think about.

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“Most beautiful dumb girls think they are smart and get away with it, because other people, on the whole, aren't much smarter.”
— Louise Brooks
 
         
       
 
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