Sexual Attraction: The Psychology of Allure

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    Abstract

    At the core of sexual attraction lies the experience of “allure”, namely, a sense of being helplessly drawn to the attractive person that involves a sexual fantasy of intimate contact. The sense of being helplessly drawn is much like a magnetic force that has its source in the other person. It is thus a distinct experience form that of sexual desire. Sexual desire is felt to have it's source in the desiring person. This also helps to explain the difference between physical attraction and sexual attraction. Many scholars use these two terms as if the refer to the same thing. But the idea of physical attraction refers simply to the experience of finding another person’s physical appearance to be aesthetically pleasing. We are are not necessarily attracted sexually to someone whose
    appearance we find just aesthetically pleasing. The allure we feel for a sexually attractive person is fundamentally entangled in the relationship we have to him or her. Consequently, the experience of allure differs according to whether it is allure felt for a stranger, a close cross-sex friend, a sexual friend (“friend with benefits”), or a romantic partner. To demonstrate the differences in these different sorts of allure, descriptions and examples of sexual attraction are garnered from many sources, including interviews, informal discussions, film, internet videos, song lyrics, erotic literature, and social psychological research.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationSanta Barbara
    PublisherPraeger
    Number of pages244
    ISBN (Print)9781440830013
    ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4408-3002-0
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2015

    Keywords

    • Sexual attraction
    • interpersonal relations
    • friendship
    • sex (psychology)

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