Sexual attraction

The Flirtation (1904), by Eugene de Blaas

Sexual attraction is attraction on the basis of sexual desire or the quality of arousing such interest.[1][2] Sexual attractiveness or sex appeal is an individual's ability to attract the sexual or erotic interests of other people, and is a factor in sexual selection or mate choice. The attraction can be to the physical or other qualities or traits of a person, or to such qualities in the context where they appear. The attraction may be to a person's aesthetics or movements or to their voice or smell, besides other factors. The attraction may be enhanced by a person's adornments, clothing, perfume or style. It can be influenced by individual genetic, psychological, or cultural factors, or to other, more amorphous qualities. Sexual attraction is also a response to another person that depends on a combination of the person possessing the traits and on the criteria of the person who is attracted.

Though attempts have been made to devise objective criteria of sexual attractiveness and measure it as one of several bodily forms of capital asset (see erotic capital), a person's sexual attractiveness is to a large extent a subjective measure dependent on another person's interest, perception, and sexual orientation. For example, a gay or lesbian person would typically find a person of the same sex to be more attractive than one of the other sex. A bisexual person would find either sex to be attractive. Asexuality refers to those who do not experience sexual attraction for either sex, though they may have romantic attraction (homoromantic, biromantic or heteroromantic) or a non-directed libido.[3] Interpersonal attraction includes factors such as physical or psychological similarity, familiarity or possessing a preponderance of common or familiar features, similarity, complementarity, reciprocal liking, and reinforcement.[4]

The ability of a person's physical and other qualities to create a sexual interest in others is the basis of their use in advertising, film, and other visual media, as well as in modeling and other occupations.

In evolutionary terms, the ovulatory shift hypothesis posits that female humans exhibit different sexual behaviours and desires at points in their menstrual cycle, as a means to ensure that they attract a high quality mate to copulate with during their most fertile time. Hormone levels throughout the menstrual cycle affect a woman's overt behaviours, influencing the way a woman presents herself to others during stages of her menstrual cycle, in attempt to attract high quality mates the closer the woman is to ovulation.[5]

Social and biological factors

Human sexuality has many aspects. In biology, sexuality describes the reproductive mechanism and the basic biological drive that exists in all sexually reproducing species and can encompass sexual intercourse and sexual contact in all its forms. There are also emotional and physical aspects of sexuality. These relate to the bond between individuals, which may be expressed through profound feelings or emotions. Sociologically, it can cover the cultural, political, and legal aspects; philosophically, it can span the moral, ethical, theological, spiritual, and religious aspects.

Which aspects of a person's sexuality attract another is influenced by cultural factors; it has varied over time as well as personal factors. Influencing factors may be determined more locally among sub-cultures, across sexual fields, or simply by the preferences of the individual. These preferences come about as a result of a complex variety of genetic, psychological, and cultural factors.

A person's physical appearance has a critical impact on their sexual attractiveness. This involves the impact one's appearance has on the senses, especially in the beginning of a relationship:

As with other animals, pheromones may have an impact, though less significantly in the case of humans. Theoretically, the "wrong" pheromone may cause someone to be disliked, even when they would otherwise appear attractive. Frequently, a pleasant-smelling perfume is used to encourage the member of the opposite sex to more deeply inhale the air surrounding its wearer,[citation needed] increasing the probability that the individual's pheromones will be inhaled. The importance of pheromones in human relationships is probably limited and is widely disputed,[unreliable source?][6] although it appears to have some scientific basis.[7]

Many people exhibit high levels of sexual fetishism and are sexually stimulated by other stimuli not normally associated with sexual arousal. The degree to which such fetishism exists or has existed in different cultures is controversial.

Pheromones have been determined to play a role in sexual attraction between people. They influence gonadal hormone secretion, for example, follicle maturation in the ovaries in females and testosterone and sperm production in males.[8]

Other Languages
العربية: انجذاب جنسي
беларуская: Сексапільнасць
dansk: Sexappeal
Deutsch: Sexappeal
eesti: Seksapiil
Esperanto: Seksallogo
فارسی: کشش جنسی
한국어: 성적 매력
हिन्दी: यौन आकर्षण
Bahasa Indonesia: Daya tarik seksual
Nederlands: Sexappeal
日本語: 色気
português: Atração sexual
Simple English: Sexual attraction
slovenčina: Sexappeal
українська: Сексапільність
Tiếng Việt: Hấp dẫn tình dục
中文: 性感