I feel very idiosyncratic about this. I find people attractive if I find them interesting/appealing in other ways...and everyone else, no matter how aesthetically pretty they might be, leaves me cold. Which leaves me with an odd hierarchy where my lovers (and a few other people I'd really like to have as lovers) are the most attractive people on the planet, and among the most beautiful.(1)
Even with movie stars, who have the faces and bodies we're supposed to desire, I am only attracted to people like Patrick Stewart, Whoopi Goldberg, Emma Thompson, and Hugh Grant -- people who somehow manage to project personalities that make me want to meet and get to know them. Antonio Banderas is pretty, but leaves me cold. Nice to look at, but so's a sunset. The sunset is much more impressive.
(1) Footnote: The odd roll of flab or sagging breasts or thin hair (or whatever else they angst about) really does only serve to make them more attractive to me, and I know it's a cliche but it's true -- it marks them as even more individual. That is Kevin's roll of flab, not just any roll of flab, and I love it on him. :-) The few times when a lover has decided to work out and get buff it's been kind of fun watching their body change shape and fun playing with the muscles, but it didn't make them any more attractive in the long run.
1:00 p.m. Update.
Feeling a little stressed, and I find that I come to the computer and check e-mail to calm down, and so I thought that maybe I'd vent a little here and that might make me feel better. I don't know if I've mentioned here that I'm considering applying to the Ph.D. in Creative Writing here at U of Utah. It's an excellent program, with a strong academic/analytical component, which is a lot of what interests me, and in many ways seems like it would be really appropriate. I had asked one of the professors to take a look at "Minal in Winter" and give me an idea whether it would be an appropriate piece to submit as part of my application. Well, I got her response today -- she very kindly wrote me a long page of comments, many positive, but overall I definitely got the sense that she wasn't sure this was the program for me, and was I sure I wanted to do a Ph.D. at all? It's making me feel a bit wobbly.
I'll probably be fine after I've had a chance to assimilate it a little -- any criticism of my writing hits me hard, especially when it's on-target (the things she specifically pointed to as problems were problems that I know I have and want to work on). I guess I'm worried because I can't think of a better way to work on them than to join a Ph.D. program, but now I'm fretting that maybe I'm not ready for that yet (or maybe never will be).
I know I can publish. That's no longer my main concern. Best Women's Erotica took "Chantal" yesterday. I'm even fairly confident that I will eventually be able to publish in other genres -- I've started doing that a little with my poetry. But will I ever be able to write the way I want to write? My standards seem to get higher every year...
Okay, I'm going to go back to my student conferences now and deal with other people's anxiety. It'll be good for me.