I once jokingly told my husband, “I could never withhold sex from you. Sometimes sex is what keeps me from hating you.” And because he gives as good as he gets, he replied, “Yep, ditto, except for the part about sometimes.” *wink*
He’s kind of a jerk, which is probably why I’m still hot for him after all these years.
Actually, we really like each other a lot, but the point is that living with another person who gets to have some say over your life is hard sometimes. No matter how much you like them, sometimes you have those moments when you think, “Maybe if we just bought a duplex and each lived in one unit…”
Yet after you come together with your spouse, those minor annoyances and complaints sort of fade away. It’s like hitting “reset” on your “grace for your spouse” switch. So, regular marital relations for the unitive purpose are a good thing. And can we all agree that we’re more likely to engage in relations if there is sexual attraction present? So it seems to me that maintaining/generating sexual attraction would be a perfectly acceptable thing for Christians to be concerned about.
To that end, I’ve been interested in learning about what truly attracts men and women to each other, which is why I originally asked Donal Graeme to write an essay on the Five Vectors of Female Attraction to Men on my old blog. In that essay, Donal connected some of his ideas to biblical concepts, but the main focus of the essay was attraction, not a Bible lesson.
On his site, Donal elaborated on the 5 Vectors, (referred to as LAMPS for short):
Looks: This includes physical attractiveness, such as facial symmetry and strong masculine features in a man’s face. It can also include healthy skin, healthy and good looking hair, and other external features. Youthfulness is featured here as well, but it is valued far less by women than men, probably because age doesn’t impact male fertility as much as it affects female fertility. In my opinion this tends to be the least important vector for women.
Athleticism: Here we have the overall physical attributes of a man. His strength, muscle tone, endurance, dexterity and general athletic ability. I tend to view this as being in the middle of the pack in terms of importance to most women.
Money: This attribute includes both the amount of resources that a man can call upon in the present, as well as what he might be able to make or create in the future. This doesn’t necessarily mean just money; real property and other assets can be included as well. I view this as the second weakest attribute in terms of importance.
Power: This is a short-hand for masculine power, or masculinity. Although in my view masculinity is power when it comes to attraction and relationships. As an attribute, Power includes a lot of Alpha traits which are commonly discussed on Game sites. Things such as confidence, assertiveness, self-mastery, a commanding presence and indomitability would fall here. It does not include the power one has from any position of authority; that falls under status. When a woman fitness tests a man, she is trying to assess his masculinity. Rubbing against his manhood, as it were (I always liked this analogy; I just wish I could remember who thought it up). If the man can’t stand up to a woman, then he clearly can’t stand up to other men, so his Power value will diminish in her eyes. Power is entirely personal to the man; it is based on his own unique characteristics and charisma. In my opinion this is the most important attribute when it comes to female attraction. If a man fails here, then ultimately attraction cannot be sustained.
Status: The social position of the man is what is meant by status and is principally based on where he is on the social ladder. It includes how well respected he is by those around him, whether they are above him or below him in station. Any authority that a man can exercise in the community based on his position would fall under here. Think Big Fish or Small Fish; the bigger the fish, the more attractive a man is. Fitness testing also falls under here to a degree as well, because a man who fails a test is probably low status and used to being bossed around. “Social Proof” or “Pre-Selection” doesn’t exactly fall under here. Rather, that idea serves as a short-cut or proxy for women to try and determine if the man has status or money or power. To sum Status up, it is based not on anything inherent to the man, but rather his general position in society. This is probably the second most important attribute.
I didn’t see anything objectionable in Donal’s ideas from a Christian point of view, so I was surprised to see this comment from Cane Caldo recently on another blog:
…sorry, but Donal’s LAMPS vector stuff ain’t scriptural. Nor is “generating attraction” in general.
He didn’t elaborate on why. I wouldn’t have thought twice about it, but I have a lot of respect for Mr. Caldo, so when he says something I don’t agree with, I generally stop and think about it again to reconsider if I’m on the wrong path with my thinking. But I’m not sure where in the Bible we are disallowed from considering and acting upon that which attracts the opposite sex (presuming we want to attract them for marital relations, not fornication).
There are no commands for us to pursue sexual attractiveness, but consider some of Solomon’s characteristics which awakened love and sexual desire in the woman in Song of Songs. She says:
Looks – Song 5:10-16
10 My beloved is radiant and ruddy,
outstanding among ten thousand.
11 His head is purest gold;
his hair is wavy
and black as a raven.
12 His eyes are like doves
by the water streams,
washed in milk,
mounted like jewels.
13 His cheeks are like beds of spice
His lips are like lilies
dripping with myrrh.
14 His arms are rods of gold
set with topaz.
His body is like polished ivory
decorated with lapis lazuli.
15 His legs are pillars of marble
set on bases of pure gold.
His appearance is like Lebanon,
choice as its cedars.
16 His mouth is sweetness itself;
he is altogether lovely.
This is my beloved, this is my friend,
daughters of Jerusalem.
Athleticism – song 2:8-9
The voice of my beloved!
Behold, he comes,
leaping over the mountains,
bounding over the hills.
9 My beloved is like a gazelle
or a young stag…
Money – Song 3:9-10
9 King Solomon made himself a carriage
from the wood of Lebanon.
10 He made its posts of silver,
its back of gold, its seat of purple;
its interior was inlaid with love
by the daughters of Jerusalem.
Power – Song 3:7-8
7 Behold, it is the carriage of Solomon!
Around it are sixty mighty men,
some of the mighty men of Israel,
8 all of them wearing swords
and expert in war,
each with his sword at his thigh,
against terror by night.
Status – Song 3:11
11 Go out, O daughters of Zion,
and look upon King Solomon,
with the crown with which his mother crowned him
on the day of his wedding,
on the day of the gladness of his heart.
So interestingly, the Bible confirms Donal’s thoughts on what sexually attracts a woman to a man. Notice that the aroused woman never praises Solomon because he:
- has good morals
- is charitable
- is kind
- likes children
- works hard
- has integrity
- is romantic and thoughtful
- helps with housework
- makes us feel emotionally safe at all times
- prays and reads his Bible every day
- is always a tender, gentle lover if married
- is chaste when single
However, just because the Bible describes a reality doesn’t mean it is something we are actually supposed to do. The Bible describes all kinds of things that people did that were sinful. So this is where I am uncertain.
Should Christians be concerned with generating sexual attraction?