Nick: I’m starting to notice a cycle I go through when I haven’t hooked up with someone new for a while.
Maybe “cycle” is wrong. It’s more like a ticker that just counts upward.
In any event, mundane activities get more difficult if there are attractive people around. It gets harder not to ogle, and I have to concentrate more to hold a conversation with someone I’m attracted to.
Josh: Have you tried trying to sublimate the effort not to ogle into some sort of flirting? Or are these situations in which that’s not really appropriate?
Nick: Well, as a rule it wouldn’t be appropriate for most of my social interactions.
Josh: does social include professional?
It mostly includes professional.
Josh: (thought so. here it’s often used to mean what happens in one’s ‘free time’)
Nick: Ah, I see. I wouldn’t use it that way with some jobs I’ve held, but this one does require a great deal of professional social interaction.
Josh: Makes sense.
Can you sublimate it into some sort of ‘deniable flirting’, by which I really just mean being friendly to people, making/holding eye-contact, and smiling.
Nick: Sure, and I do, and it helps a bit, I think. I’m not sure.
It’s not something I’d really recognized before, mostly because this particular anxiety is one that has been there most of my life.
Josh: I certainly find it does. Especially with students.
Nick: I’ve only recently noticed when it dipped.
Fortunately, I rarely find people that much younger than me particularly attractive.
And academic-professional interactions tend to happen rather differently from how I imagine those of IT professionals with clients.
Josh: Do you find people more attractive when you’ve not hooked up with someone for a while?
Nick: I don’t think so, but I find their attractiveness harder to ignore.
Josh: More something else, then? More strongly desired? More like you want to fuck them?
Nick: The latter, certainly. Or, it’s more imperative that I fuck them.
The part of my brain that I’m always tamping down in order not to drool on certain people gets harder to tamp down.
My ability not to overtly ogle people gets compromised, and it’s more effort to control my eyes and head.
And there’s an anxiety buildup. Which doesn’t reduce the anxiety around approaching people, so it’s just more anxiety about the whole process.
Maybe the anxiety of not-approach needs to exceed the anxiety of approach.
Or, you know, maybe I’m a human being with free will making excuses. probably one of those.
Josh: I guess I’m wondering if the desire to ogle is merely that, or if it’s an expression of a desire to fuck either that person in particular or someone in general.
Nick: Probably all of those.
There’s always a desire to ogle and a desire to fuck attractive people, but the desire to fuck someone in general is the variable part.
Although it’s “someone new”, really, not “someone in general”.
Josh: Mhm. I know that feeling.
Nick: I wonder if that’s socialization, or a hormonal cue, or something else.
Or a combination.
Josh: My assumption on these matters is that it’s a combination of approximately 95% socialization and 5% hormonal cue.
That might be overplaying the hormonal cue slightly.
Nick: Perhaps. Or the socialization governs how the hormonal cue expresses.
Josh: Or how we respond to it, which is more or less the same thing.