Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Crushes in blazers

Amber links to a post about "the tendency of young women to eroticize their interactions with older men who they are drawn to." While I still don't see the appeal of the older man, I have to disagree here. I don't think it makes sense that people would go out of their way to "eroticize" encounters that they would in some state of nature find free of eros. So I'm going to take the contrarian position, and argue that crushes are deemed "intellectual" by the crusher when the crushee is someone who'd be inappropriate to pursue. It's far more respectable to admit to "admiration" than to a sexual desire for someone 30 years older and married.

In other words, it's not that crushes themselves are different when they form on appropriate candidates than on bad-idea ones. But human beings have this superpower called self-control. If you know the person is for whatever reason a no-go, you create a reason for why what you feel to be a crush like any other is actually about something other than sex. Problem is, all crushes begin as about something other than sex. One person finds another interesting, then very interesting, then the thought occurs, aha, a crush!

How could anyone believe that crushes on inappropriate people are in fact intellectual endeavors, akin to spending an evening by the fireplace reading Hegel? "Intellectual" is just the defense mechanism created for this one variant of the inappropriate crush, that of the student on the professor. For other poorly-chosen crushes (poor wording; crushes are not chosen) other methods of overanalysis-into-oblivion are necessary.

So to conclude, not everything that is fundamentally about sex must lead to anything physical. But that does not mean that there is on the one hand sexual attraction and on the other a sort of mystical "admiration" that only seems like it's sexual attraction. Which isn't to say that true, non-sexual admiration does not exist. It does, but it feels like admiration, not like a crush.


Withywindle said...

I think you would enjoy Rebecca Goldstein's The Mind-Body Problem, if you haven't read it already. It covers some of these issues.

Amber said...

I was going to reply in these comments, but my response got over-long, so it's got its own post.


Anonymous said...

"While I still don't see the appeal of the older man..."

And you still think you can refer to yourself a Francophile?