The creators of the Multiamory podcast want to spread awareness of relationship topics that are often only talked about from a monogamous perspective. Episode 206 focuses on the mysteries – and the science – of attraction.
This podcast is not about “straight” or “gay” attraction. It focuses on the discomfort and anger that often arise when other people question someone’s attraction (“What does she see in him?” or “I don’t see what the attraction is between those two”) or when they question their own attraction when it’s clear that the attraction results in repeated patterns of unhealthy relationships. People may wish they weren’t attracted to a certain type; they know this type is not good for them, yet the attraction is not something they can control.
People may feel pressured to let go of certain attractions to fit into what society considers ‘normal’ but again, there’s the underlying question of whether it’s even possible or desirable to change one’s preferences. Social programming is influential, and people who experience attractions out of the socially accepted norms, are often uncomfortable admitting their attraction, which can even result in self-loathing.
This begs the question: is attraction a case of nature or nurture? and what can people do to accept the attraction they feel, so that they are true to themselves?
Co-host Emily Matlack says, “You can’t get down to this black and white, this digital on or off switch when it comes to figuring out who you’re attracted to. However, it’s not something where you’re just so completely set, and there’s no changing it, and you are just the way you are, and there’s no plasticity or fluidity around it. It kind of lives in this in-between area.”
Co-host Jase Lindgren encourages people to examine some of the prevailing myths and assumptions that we have about attraction, such as that when women are ovulating, they prefer a more masculine “he man” type of man and when they’re not, they want more of a more responsible “provider” type. Ben Jones of Glasgow University in Scotland conducted a study of over 500 women that disproved this myth: study participants were no more likely to prefer masculine faced men when ovulating than at other times of the month. Another recent study by Julia Jünger of the University of Göttingen in Germany showed that when fertile, women rate male bodies as more attractive. But the change in attractiveness is general across all male body types: both feminine and masculine male bodies are more attractive to a woman in the fertile phase of her cycle.
To add to the mystery of attraction, we consider a myriad of factors such as “opposites attract,” hormonal fluctuations and even the validity of the “golden ratio” of symmetry in faces and body shapes (the primal attraction that subconsciously indicates fertility), and many more.
Attraction, then, is a complex and largely unconscious phenomenon that cannot be boxed in to any rules or assumptions. This podcast explores studies about attraction (both hetero- and gay-oriented studies), dispels common myths, and encourages people to openly look at why they are attracted to others.
The podcast encourages listeners to learn to see people through a different lens – consciously choosing to see what’s lovable/attractive about others, especially those they’re not immediately attracted to.
Ultimately, says Jase, “By broadening your palette and broadening the ways that you look at people and the ways that you’re attracted to people pays off for you.”
Listen to the podcast here: https://www.multiamory.com/podcast/206-attraction-perceptions-amp-misconceptions