Sexual Attraction: The Psychology of Allure

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How and why does sexual attraction happen? This book is an exploration of the universal yet highly individualized experience of being sexually attracted to another person.

Incorporating interviews, research findings, and excerpts from romantic and erotic literature, lyrics, and film, Sexual Attraction: The Psychology of Allure explores a subject that is central to the human experience and highly relevant not only in personal, intimate interactions but also other relationships as well. Although the causes and effects of sexual attraction have been studied, sexual attraction itself-how we experience others in terms of their sexual attractiveness-remains a neglected, rarely researched topic.

Scholar James Giles presents jargon-free information that is accessible and fascinating to the general reader as well as highly useful and informative to students and researchers in social psychology, sexology, sex and marital therapy, and relationship counseling. The book explores subjects such as how sexual attraction is fundamentally different from other forms of interpersonal attraction and how at the heart of sexual attraction lies the experience of allure-something that makes one feel helplessly drawn towards an intimate physical joining with the sexually attractive person. The allure of strangers, cross-sex friends, sexual friends ("friends with benefits"), and romantic partners are all addressed, revealing the often subtle heterosexual attraction that typically exists between males and females in all their relationships, including between those who are ostensibly "just friends."

  • Identifies the numerous elements that surround and affect sexual attraction, including bodily features, relationships, and social factors, and examines each to illuminate the individualized experience of attraction that takes place in each case
  • Pinpoints the triggers for sexual attraction and identifies how men and women, though equally compelled, often express their attraction differently
  • Explains how males and females typically give attention to the various objects of attraction in distinctly different ways, allowing readers to better understand the complexities of heterosexual interaction
  • Reveals the relationships between sexual attraction, opposite-sex friendship, and romantic attraction, showing how these can blend together in various ways
  • Enables readers to understand the basis for sexual experiences and the role it plays in his or her life-a topic that is of great significance for many individuals, yet not a subject that is often or readily discussed

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