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I have observed that many of my straight male friends express real discomfort when asked to appraise the appearance of another male. In some cases this is mild homophobia, but I think in a lot of cases it's just security.
I find that I often compare myself to other women always trying to see how I measure up in terms of attractiveness. I'm not someone who is horribly concerned with looks, merely someone who is very insecure about her own appearance.
As I was watching the Olympics this morning I found myself making a mental shopping list of what I wanted my body to look like. So far I have determined that I want the stomach of a woman on the German beach volleyball team, the butt of a one of the Polish indoor volleyball players, the calves of an American gymnast. It's not sexual it's just I recognize life would probably be a bit nicer if I had one or more of these features.
As with everything there is a good chance that I am wrong about this. But maybe women are more comfortable talking about how hot another woman is because on some level they are comparing themselves to her.