Q: Hi, Mr. Avila I just wanted to ask a question regarding attraction, specifically on social media and how it ties in with relationships. Is it normal for a male in a long term relationship to be lurking and searching up the women he finds attractive on social media? Does it have to do with male biology to seek attractive women? Is it something normal? I know it is normal to find other women attractive, but it just seems a little odd to me that you can have a gf you love, but still want to peep other women on social media?
A: It is perfectly normal for someone with a girlfriend to still find others attractive. Just because a person is with someone they love doesn't mean that the parts of their brain that process attraction toward others suddenly turns off. This is true for women just as much as men. However, depending on the type of relationship you have with your girlfriend, this may mean that you need to express better control over these urges. If your girlfriend would be hurt if she found out that you were "lurking" other women on social media, then this is something you should probably stop doing. No healthy relationship can last when someone is keeping secrets or continually doing something that the other partner would find hurtful.
If you find that this behavior is difficult to stop, then you have to ask yourself why this is the case. Is this something you do that makes you feel good or excited in a way that you find difficult to give up? Does this activity give you a sense of power, along with sexual excitement? There can be many reasons why a behavior become addictive and difficult to quit, even if you know it's the wrong thing to be doing. If this is the case, then you may want to speak to a counselor to figure out exactly why you're doing this. Again, it's not wrong to still find yourself attracted to other people, but it's up to you to make sure that this doesn't hurt your girlfriend or make you do things that you know are harmful to your relationship.
Q: Is it gay if I can't watch porn if the male actor is an old fat guy? The male must be somewhat attractive in order for me to be arouse.
A: People are usually attracted to certain body types. Some are attracted to people who are young and athletic, while others are attracted to people who are older and overweight. It really just comes down to personal preference. Regardless, if a man is attracted to other men, then he is experiencing a homosexual attraction. This doesn't necessarily mean he will identify as "gay;" that has to do with a whole host of factors, such as whether he's primarily attracted to men and whether he wants to identify with the larger gay community. There are many straight people who will occasionally find someone of the same gender attractive, but still identify as straight because they are primarily attracted to those of the opposite gender and only wish to have sexual and romantic relationships with those of the opposite gender.
Answers provided by Dr. Ross Avilla
Dr. Ross Avilla has been teaching Human Sexuality since 2013 and has a PhD in psychology from UC Davis. Dr. Avilla is not a clinician and all information and advice offered on this website is for educational purposes only.