Sexual Sorting

Andrew Sullivan —  Feb 18 2012 @ 9:03pm

Pascal Bruckner contemplates it:

Seduction, like grace in Calvinism, is a sorting machine. In the most common learning experience in the world, I learn that I am not always desired by those I desire, loved by those I love, and that I enter this universe as a potential reject.  … To desire is first of all to exclude, to measure faces and bodies by the standards of the code of stereotyped beauty. An individual’s talent then consists entirely in discovering a way to circumvent the laws of this selection, to find, as the French say, a shoe that fits his foot.

It is a miracle that in the end even the least favored are able to find someone and to penetrate the immense wall that bars their access to others. More intriguing than the classical attraction to beauty is the incomprehensible attraction to ordinary creatures. That unattractive, even very ugly men or women arouse intense feelings, mad transports of passion—that is the real miracle.