Imprinted for Life, Attractions

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe power of attraction, what attracts us to another person is personal and fundamental. There are all sorts of ‘professional’ studies about this, do a search on Google and you will find everything from pheromone studies to Plato’s original Affinity theories. In more recent times social scientist who have proposed first the ‘Law of Attraction’ where Like attracts Like based on Plato’s theory, even more recently the Opposites Attract theory and everything in-between. Of course, lest we forget there is the ‘you will like what I told you to like’ and the ‘I will like exactly what you told me not to like’ theories, generally though these apply only to teenagers. Finally, there is that oft told and all too often snickered about mother or father fixations, better known as the Oedipus Complex.

The truth is I don’t believe any of us know what heats us up, gets our blood to boil and our panties in a twist. Not a single one of us knows what causes us to follow with our eyes down the street that man or woman we find particularly appealing;  none of us I think knows why return time and again to the neighborhood coffee shop to drool over the uncommonly beautiful barista. It is unlikely any of us could point to the place in time when our desires were set down for us, when we became fixated on a certain type and this became ‘our type’ forever and ever, amen.

We all have a type; don’t lie all of us have one. Even if you didn’t always date your type, hell even if you didn’t marry your ‘type’, you have one, I have one we all have one. That particular type of human we find we want to wrap ourselves around, that type of face that draws us, that type of body that excites us, that tone of voice that beckons us, yes even the personality that calls to our inner desires and needs. Put all of what we want into one single package and we are done, we are right there heart throbbing and knees weak. But first, we see with our eyes what somewhere in our mind we have defined as our ‘type’.

I have a type; I suspect I even know the genesis of my type. My type runs counter to social norms and has my entire life. My type has gotten me into trouble back in the 1970’s when following my personal choices wasn’t as accepted as it is interracialtoday. In retrospect, considering my relationship history I believe it is important that we understand what it is we want, that we own our desires and our choices. I think it is vital we never settle for just who wants us but for whom we want and what we want.

Do our desires change? I think they do, change is inevitable. I think as we mature our understanding of what makes us happy and what we need from relationships changes. I also think we grow less reluctant to ask for what we need. What perhaps doesn’t change is our ability to easily verbalize our needs, desires and boundaries. We are the amalgamation of all that has come before; we are our history without pretty packaging and brilliant ribbons for the unwrapping. For some of us and I certainly fall into this category, fear is a constant companion when attempting to ask for what we need or want.

I said I had a type and that I suspected I knew how mine was imprinted; I was quite young when I met Winston. Living in Germany I attended an Army base school part of the week but was not an Army Brat, this made me different from the other students and subject to bullying. I was also younger and smaller than other children in my class, another source of great amusement for my classmates and one they took great advantage of at every opportunity. I hated that school, I hated them and I hated the teachers for not protecting me. I spent a great deal of time alone during recess, book in hand finding dark corners so none of those little bastards could hurt me. Sometimes I would climb a tree, which is where Winston found me one day.

Winston was a year older, a grade ahead tall and gangly. His father was a Sargent in the Army and Winston already was a leader in his class and on the playground, much like his father. He had a brilliant smile, tight curly hair shaved close to his head and his skin was like chocolate milk. The day I met him he climbed the tree I was in and asked why I was up there alone all the time. When I told him, he frowned and climbed back down and wandered away. From that day until we moved back to the US, Winston became my protector. I ate lunch with him and his cadre of friends, if I wanted to read I did it in full sight of others and no one bothered me, ever. I was invited to birthday parties and other childhood functions. Winston never told me what he did, I guess it was a boy thing but from that day on, he became my ‘type’.images

So what is my type? Need you ask?

Tall

Milk Chocolate Skin

Strong

Take Charge

A protector

Okay, let’s just say it shall we. I like Black Men better than I like White Men. I fundamentally find Black Men more attractive. This isn’t to say I have never found a White Man attractive; it is simply that I find Black Men more attractive, physically that is my ‘Type’. Did Winston imprint me when I was eight years old? I suspect he did, I suspect his kindness in light of all the bullying had a profound effect on my psych, but it is unlikely this is the only reason.

I was raped at eleven by White Boys, they did grave harm to me. My first real boyfriend, the first person who showed me real kindness after that rape was Black at fourteen. I was a runaway, most of the horror stories from the streets during my time there was by those of my own race. By the time I got off the streets, I was imprinted with fear of men of my own race.

I say all this for a reason, I like men, I did not become Lesbian it is not something you become you either are or not Gay. On the other hand, what you find attractive, what your ‘type’ is within the context of your sexual orientation, this is an entirely different issue. Though my ‘type’ is certainly not always socially acceptable it is nonetheless mine, my choice in partners is mine alone. Were it not for the landmark 1967 anti-miscegenation case of Loving vs. State of Virginia, my choice would still be illegal. My question then, how is my ‘type’ different than sexual orientation of others and why are we still discussing their Civil / Marriage Rights. Doesn’t it make sense that all members of society should have the same rights?

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I am just curious about this mind you but your thoughts are most welcome.

Comments

  1. I think and hope I’m colour blind. I have always been attracted to what’s under the skin and in the noggin. Ugly comes from the inside.

    Funny you should mention the imprint. I dated this guy for years , because I was basically was attracted to his smile and laugh. I could never understand why until I went to a primary school reunion and caught up with a guy I was really good friends with when at school. Bang…there was that friggin smile and laugh.

    • Yep, imprints happen I think when we are very young. I love what is inside, always. It is why I have dated and married beyond what I am ‘attracted’ too. But if you ask me what gets my motor running, well that is an entirely different story.

  2. Val, thank you for being so honest about your assaults and how they impact your life. I know that’s not easy to do but also recognize the many people it helps by doing so. My type has changed after my own abusive circumstances but ultimately it is the heart that I fall in love with.

    • Christy, they are part of me, part of who I am. I recognize that who I am is in part based on history, we can’t escape it even if we can heal the hurts.

      I also fall in love with the heart, but I don’t think we can ever escape that first spark of, ‘Dang, he looks good’. ❤

  3. This is a wonderful posting Val
    wow I am a stranger around here
    lately but that doesn’t mean that
    I have stopped thinking about you
    my lovely dear friend 🙂

    Have a delightful Tuesday Val and
    I will be calling in on you again soon
    my sweet friend 🙂

    Andro xxx

  4. Way back then it was unusual (almost shocking!) to see mixed race couples, but today it is common and we think nothing of it. Today it is getting more acceptable for same sex couple/marriages but there are still those who hate just as they did in the past. I try to focus on those who do support love. I can see why you chose your type.

    • Thank you, for seeing and thank you for thinking it is common. I think living in Texas, the fish eye stare is still common, though people try to look away, look anywhere.

      I think love is the thing. We love where we love.

  5. Amen. Why can’t we all live the lives we chose and everyone mind their own business?
    More peace and less looking down noses at your neighbors. ❤

  6. The story of the Lovings is special … even more so considering the era! Meanwhile, cheers to you for see all people as people.

    • I have always loved their story, in part because they were so unassuming and yet they changed the face of marriage in very fundamental ways.

      I suppose Frank, in some ways that is what I do. But in other ways, very specific ways I don’t do I. Ah well, to each very much our own. 😉

  7. As well a post written from the heart and interesting as well. I read somewhere that each of us give off a scent which would not be recognized by most but is a powerful motivator to those with receptors sensitive to that particular smell. But I think its more than that. Obviously a number of circumstances have come together to engineer your receptors to the ideal partner. You made an interesting point that receptors change over time.

    • Receptors, yes they change as we mature and are fine tuned. But core attractions Ian, I think they don’t really change. What attracted me at 8, at 14, at 18 and at 25 remain my core. Though I am more mature in what keeps me attracted.

      Thank you for reading.

  8. I agree that as “type” is legal, so too should be any union, regardless of sexual orientation or gender. And we’re getting there…slowly but surely. I believe society will continue to evolve in a more equal direction.

    The first girl I ever kissed was black, actually. And I was only 6. I didn’t care about color then, and I don’t now.

  9. The Loving’s story is one of my favorite historical stories, as you know. This section of your story is really powerful. It is interesting that my story is similar but with the “colors” reversed, and the first kind man to me being my white husband. It just goes to show us all that love is love and has no boundaries. As always, you touch my heart, Val dear.

    • I was thinking of you my friend when I wrote this. I was thinking of your book. I knew you, along with some others would understand what I said and would here me.

      Thank you.

  10. Every time you mention the assaults on your person and psyche, I can’t help feeling so sad. I totally get the reasons for your choices; as you say, we all get our “imprint” for many reasons. Live and let live. To me, the most important thing we, as humans, can do, is appreciate the positives in those we meet and those we choose to gather in to our family and circle of friends. It’s very simple, really.

  11. “Okay, let’s just say it shall we. I like Black Men better than I like White Men.”

    Uh Oh. ~♥~ ʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ ~♥~

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