Io credo, disse la Marchesa, riguardando alla facilità, con cui gli uomini si scordano di quegli oggetti, que presenti anno più degli altri nella mente, che anco nell’Amore si serbi questa proporzione de’ quadrati delle distanze de’ luoghi, o piuttosto de’ tempi. Così dopo otto giorni di assenza, l’Amore è divenuto sessanta quattro volte minor di quel che fosse nel primo giorno.
Francesco Algarotti, Il newtonianismo per le dame, ovvero dialoghi sopra la luce, i colori, e l’attrazione, 9th ed., Naples, 1739, pp. 244
Loneliness is not the same as the lack of a strong sexual-romantic bond, but the two are close. For everyone, the category of persons who might meet this need is very specific and usually small. For me, the category was large enough but disastrously out of reach: handsome young men with a touch of vulnerability about them.
Vulnerability is easy to find, but the young and handsome seemed ruled out for me at sixty-six and beyond because of the ageism of gay men. I was pretty sure of this because I myself felt it so strongly. Albert Gilman and I were young together and passionate together and so were able to love one another—in changing ways, to be sure-over many years; but then I thought of making a new beginning, the idea of doing so with someone my own age was distasteful. And so I had to suppose that young gay men felt that way about me. I was categorically eliminated as an object of attraction to anyone for whom I felt an attraction.
Roger Brown, Against My Better Judgment: An Intimate Memoir of an Eminent Gay Psychologist, New York, 1996, pp. 2-3
[W]e know what kinds of physical and psychological features make someone attractive to others. It’s often the case that someone is attracted to someone else because of some such specific feature (e.g., smooth skin) without realizing the cause of the attraction. Then you could see courtship, dating, and the development of a long-term relationship forming—all because one member of the couple had smooth skin when they first met and this feature was attractive enough to spark the courtship process. When asked years later about how the relationship began, the smooth skin when they first met may well be the kind of detail that gets lost in the retelling.
Glenn Geher & Scott Barry Kaufman, Mating Intelligence Unleashed: The Role of the Mind in Sex, Dating, and Love, Oxford, 2013, p. 125
It is certainly an unfortunate state of affairs that gay men tend to be feminine, tend to be less attracted to femininity, but tend to be stuck with each other. There are similar ironies in straight relationships. The designer of the universe has a perverse sense of humor.
Michael Bailey, The Man Who Would Be Queen: The Science of Gender-Bending and Transsexualism, Washington, 2003, p. 81
[A] man’s attractiveness in short-term mating contexts is just as important to women as a woman’s attractiveness is to men when men evaluate long-term mates.
Steven Gangestad and Jeffry Simpson, ‘The Evolution of Human Mating: Trade-Offs and Strategic Pluralism’, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, vol. 23, no. 4 (August, 2000), p. 581