The burden of being hot

Your level of hotness, much like the attractiveness of artwork, is completely subjective to the viewer.  Some guys like lots of make-up and fashion on a woman, others prefer a more natural look, and some want the geekiest of geek girls.  And there are some women who, not being so painfully hot as to make them unapproachable (think Halle Berry or Angelina Jolie), appeal to a great deal of the general population as being very attractive.

I’ve always considered myself attractive, but not in the traditionally flawless magazine model way.  In fact, it may have been the perfectly airbrushed magazine images that taught me early on that I wasn’t always going to be the most physically attractive girl in a room.  And so I felt it was beneficial at that time to make myself very interesting and to use my words and actions in a way that was appealing to people.  This way I had not just one but two things going for me – a boon in the competitive sport of attracting a mate.  (And very helpful for someone like myself who likes to talk to strangers.)

Photo by the amazingly talented Michelle Donner
Photo by the amazingly talented Michelle Donner

I am now going to admit something that most people know but few say out loud: hot people get offered things… all kinds of things. This is clearly a double-edged sword. Sometimes it feels sweet and other times creepy.  Being hot involves power, and it brings with it a certain sense of responsibility.  First and foremost, you have to be responsible to yourself and weigh the costs and benefits of each of these offers – even if the offer is only a beer.  By accepting a beer from any given person, you are agreeing to sit with that person and talk to them throughout the course of drinking that beer.  If you do not, you are kind of a bitch.  (Not kind of – you’re a bitch.)  If you do not wish to keep that person company for 30-45 minutes, do not accept the beer.  That is the deal.  Say “no” politely.  Also, you have to know when the offer of several or many beers is a ploy to get you drunk.  That is an offer you should probably not accept.  One beer is usually my limit – two if those are the only two beers I’ve had.  Then there are offers of trips by men who barely know you.  You have to understand that most of these offers come with strings attached, so do not accept this offer unless you are already attracted to the person (and know them well enough to trust them).  Otherwise, you will and you must say “No, thank you.”

But, let’s move on to something positive: attention.  Who doesn’t love attention?  Hot people get a lot of attention, and it’s very flattering.  People tell them that we’re hot, beautiful, sexy, exquisite (one of the favorite compliments I’ve ever gotten), elegant, etc.  This is great for the self esteem, especially when spoken by someone who you find intelligent and/or attractive.  (You will also get this from awful people who make your skin crawl, but more on that later.)  So, now that you’ve got someone lovely flirting you up, you can a) flirt back, b) say “Thank you”, c) ignore or d) any number of other responses.

Clearly you will have more people flirting with you than you can go out with.  So, then you have to weigh your options:  do I flirt back and really work this flirting thing as long as I can or do I let him know right up front that it’s not going to go anywhere?  The benefit of flirting is that it makes me feel good, but the disadvantage is that I might then hurt this guy’s feelings when he inevitably finds out that I’m not interested in taking it to the next level.  So, what if I tell him right up front that I’m not interested and then continue to flirt with him?  I’ve done my due diligence, right?  Wrong!  One thing about guys is that they are persistent, and they think very optimistically when it comes to their chance of success with woman – despite the obstacles.  So, by continuing to flirt, you’re saying, “Yes, there is a chance.”  Or at least that’s what he hears.

This game is all about feelings… your feelings, his feelings, everybody’s feelings.  Every decision you make to accept or decline attention, beers, dinner or trips affects the other person’s feelings and their perception of you as a person.  It’s not always easy to get so much attention.  In fact some women purposely take steps to avoid attention – staying home, gaining weight, wearing unattractive clothing, being a bitch to everyone.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  You do not have to conform to anyone’s definition of hot to “get things” and sometimes I’m not sure if I’m getting things because I am attractive or because I am interesting, but I imagine it is a combination of both.  For instance, I was in London many years ago in the basement bar of a hostel hanging out with a girl who fancied herself a feminist.  I could write a whole blog (and probably will) about what I feel a feminist is and how my definition differs by orders of magnitude from what the self-proclaimed feminists are like that I meet.  Anyway, we sidled up to two young bucks and began chatting them up.  My “feminist” friend immediately started asking her guy to buy her drinks, something I found decidedly un-feminist.  I focused on getting to know the guy I was talking to, and after about 20 minutes, he asked me if he could buy me a drink.  Note the difference.

Along with attention you do like, you will get attention and offers that you don’t want from bad people, sad people, people you do not like or simply people who you are not at all compatible with.  You must learn how to politely accept a compliment and/or decline an offer in a gentle way.  It is hard to say “no” all the time, but as someone who is considered hot, you will say “no” a lot.  You have to.  I went on about 100 first dates in 3 years, and I had to tell about 90% of those people “No, I do not want to go out with you again” even though about 75% of them wanted to go out with me again.  You will likely have more relationships than other people, so you will have to break up with people more often than others.  It is hard.  You will do it wrong a whole bunch of times and avoid doing it because of how hard it is.  But that is your burden.

Don’t underestimate the burden of being hot and the power you hold by being attractive (even if you do not consider yourself attractive in the traditional way).  Be responsible with your interactions and don’t assume just because a guy appears confident that you cannot hurt him.  Don’t let men fool you – they are very sensitive, and they need you to look out for their feelings.

Also, keep in mind that your looks will fade.  Be smart and interesting.  I would be insulting myself if I did not think that many of the beers bought for me over the years were due to my exceptional ability to connect with people.  Good conversation skills will last a lifetime.

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