There is something to be said about checking out the opposite sex. There he is, tall, brown hair, gorgeous blue eyes, dimples, broad chest, tight muscles, strong enough to throw you across his shoulder and carry you into the bedroom, but not so large that he’d crush you if he were on top. Whoops wait that’s not the man I’ve been dating for the past year and a half.
What is it about those hunky men that make it so damn difficult to focus on the main guy? For example, you could be in a relationship for over a year, and still be beaming when that beef from kickboxing class comes walking in the room. It doesn’t help that you’ve seen his chiseled pecks while he was demonstrating the jab punch.
But the real mystery here is why you are also finding yourself staring at members of the same sex when you think of yourself as being as straight as can be. There are many reasons why people from our sex-centered generation have succumbed to checking everyone out, not just of the opposite sex.
The people watcher:
Some people are just people watchers. It‘s as simple as that; some people just can‘t help but stare.
“I am a people watcher, it’s just what I do. If I could put myself in an invisible box in the middle of the street at Farmer’s every Thursday and just stare at people all night long … I probably would!” said Melissa Dale (this is a fake name to protect her identity), an animal science junior.
Some people are just simply amused or entertained by observing other people.
“Sometimes I will look at a woman just because how ridiculous the clothes she is wearing looks or what ridiculous shoes she is wearing,” said Matt Davies (also a fake name), an electrical engineering senior.
When it comes down to it, some men and women will watch others just for pure entertainment.
To pick up pointers:
Both men and women agree that they look at the same sex, but not for stimulation necessarily.
“I think about how I could use what she does to make myself look better,” Dale said.
If a girl walks in and she has shorts that hit at a certain spot that don’t flatter her less than skinny thighs, I automatically do a mental FYI to myself. And if I see a man walk in that is wearing his hair a certain way that makes me just want to wring it up, I make sure to leave a little hint for my boyfriend next to his comb.
And women aren’t alone in this viewing for tips extravaganza, men as well look at other men for tips on how to dress, act, speak, etc. When asked, Davies said he does a double take on men if, “(he likes) the T-shirt or sweater they are wearing.”
We don’t just check out members of the opposite sex, we also check out the same sex, only with much different goals in mind.
The threat factor:
One of the most common reasons why men and women alike say they are checking out the same sex is to see how much of a threat they are.
Aerospace engineering junior Kyle Whiteley said that he checks out other men, “not to check out for looks, but for personality and presence to see if they are a threat.”
This is a true occurrence for most people on a daily basis, especially testosterone-driven men. But I cannot think of a day that has past when I haven’t walked past at least one girl that I thought would be a serious threat. It isn’t just how they sexually appeal to them necessarily, although if I can imagine her naked I am sure he does too, it is more a threat on my confidence; if she’s wearing the perfect dress that fit her perfectly trim and tight body leaving me feeling wobbly, 20 pounds over weight and hideously unconfident.
We are humans, and by definition we should be able to look at a piece of art and appreciate it, whether that is a vase, or an ass that is just too perfect to ignore.
“When I see a cute boy on the street I find it fun to take a closer look … I guess I just appreciate good looks,” Dale said.
I tend to checkout members of both sexes simply in appreciation for how they look. I have even been able to honestly say that if I was a lesbian I would hookup with Alex, the blonde bartender from “The O.C.” because she is just that gorgeous, while at the same time can look at a boy at the gym and tell my boyfriend that his arms are really quite nice to look at.
There is no reason why we shouldn’t be able to look at others and just appreciate them for their perfect sense of style, crazy creativity or even for their outrageous amount of confidence. Some are just looking for “something unique and different to the eye,” as Whiteley put it.
We can’t help but appreciate something that is beautiful, nor can we force our minds not to picture them in whatever scene our mind wants to.
When it comes down to it, the art of checking out other people, no matter what the sex, has become a refined skill. Whether the goal is just to people watch, pick up on tips, check out the competition or just for simple appreciation, the reality is none are short of sex appeal, and in all honesty it‘s just too fun.