I guess I am somewhat of a late bloomer. I only discovered I was gay around age 12 or 13. Prior to that, I assumed I was heterosexual (although in hindsight, I might have been bi).
Anyways, starting at that age, in any event, I have been pretty consistent though. In my thoughts, my feelings, my preferences.
I remember when I was in the 8th grade, this upperclassman came in to tell us about his experiences in high school. I was the early 80’s, and it was still technically summer, I think. So he was wearing short shorts, naturally. And I noticed what nice legs he had. Apparently though, I was a little too obvious in this. And the kids teased me non-stop about it for the rest of the year (kids can be so cruel, as they say).
But what does being attracted to men’s legs indicate? It is fairly common for hetero men to be attracted to women’s legs, I know. But men’s legs rarely (though I wouldn’t say never) enter the equation.
I was actually talking to a doctor about this very subject. And he said it means whatever I think it means. And I told him it may represent vulnerability to me. I don’t know why I even say that. It could also be a kind of a phallic symbolism, I don’t know.
Also, I once was looking thru a medical text book, as I was waiting to talk to a nurse in her consultation room. This was about 30 years ago or so. And actually there is a name for almost every attraction, including attraction to legs. I forget the word. But there apparently is one. Does anyone else know what I am talking about?
And finally, I know there are other gays on the SDMB. Do anyone of you experience the same attraction? And what are your thoughts on what I just said?
Thank you in advance for your helpful and civil replies:).
You used heterosexual women and their relative lack of expressed attraction to mens legs to characterize your attraction to mens legs as a homosexual man as some sort of stand-out thing that means something more than any other focus of attraction using cultural ideals as the standards. It means that you are attracted to the legs of your preferred gender. Period. Gay men and hetero men, while both are attracted to men, have different attractions, behaviors, norms, etc. Gay men might be gay but they are still men. Their libidos and sex drives are no different that their hetero cointerpoints, its just the focus of that attraction is other men, not women. I am very attracted to a woman’s butt. Why does that have to “say something” beyond simply being attracted to that particular feature of my preferred gender?
One thing i struggle to understand are people that are attracted to various forms of disability, these are referred to as “devotees”. The two most common types of devotees are those attracted to amputees and those attracted to those with spinal cord injury and/or very specific aspect of that type of disability.
It’s personally relevant to me as i am a T-12 paraplegic who has extremely atrophied legs and uses a wheelchair. I am personally revolted by this malaise. And i steadfastly see it as a malaise and the more experience and knowledge i gain on the issue, the more certain i am that this a sickness and absolutely not anything like an attraction to aspects of a person like the color of their hair or their glasses or whatever. Its because unlike any other attraction, attraction to amputees or quad/parapleics is dependent on being attracted to what has been LOST, not what they POSSESS. Its also something that they cant change or alter in any way. Unlike other sources of attraction, they cant change hair color, wear wigs or extensions or wear contacts or gain/lose weight or wear shoe lifts even or work out and alter body mass. Its attraction to helplessness and loss. And i have even spoken with devotees who suffer from intense guilt at the reality of their attractions. One girl i had lenghty correspondence with online actually broke down and sobbed because she was so guilty over what she described as “being attracted to another person’s greatest trauma and loss”. That was her own characterization of her attraction to disability.
THAT is an example of an attraction “saying something” beyond just the simple fact that its an attraction to an aspect of your preferred gender. Its also a mental illness. Specifically body integration identity disorder, of which devotees are the mildest form.
I like a man with strong legs. It’s not the first thing I’ll notice about him, but it will become a source of enjoyment if we get . . . ahem . . . close.
Somewhere I read that there exists the option of calf implants for men with naturally skinny legs. In order for such a thing to have been developed, it stands to reason that a large enough pool of people who think good legs are important must exist. In fact, a pool large enough that skinny legged men think their mating chances will be improved by the implants.
I think that (typical of many Dopers) you’re over-thinking things. It’s a preference, not a portent or omen or sign of something. I’ve heard men and women of all sexual orientations express attraction to or appreciation for legs, butts, boobs/pecs, forearms, wrists, hands, knees, necks, abs, calves, waists, ears, eyes, lips, noses, and eyebrows.
You’ll hear a lot of male leg talk from both genders if you frequent forums that discuss cycling or tennis.
I think you’re drawing an arbitrary distinction because you dislike the kink. As the saying goes, if you can think of something, there’s porn of it on the internet. You could define most of them as different from all others for reason X providing that you search for a reason. BDSM is different from all the others because it consists in wanting to do bad things to your partner (pain, humiliation, subservience, etc…). “Furries” are different because they’re attracted to “people” who don’t exist. Shoes fetichists are different because they’re attracted to items, not people. Foot fetichists are different because they’re attracted to a body part. People who fantazise about being babies whose nappy needs to be changed…err…well, you can probably think of something. I conjured these differences on the top of my head while writing the post. If I actively hated a specific kink and took a significant time thinking of reasons why this hate is justified, I’m sure I could think a bunch of reasons.
Thing is, people are attracted to/aroused by really a lot of weird, and often extremely specific, stuff for generally undiscernable reasons. And the 99% of people who aren’t into this specific thing generally have negative reactions to it, going from “weirdo” to “disgusting”. Given that you’re the object of this particular attraction, it’s not terribly surprising that you’d have a very strong negative reaction to it, but your arguments don’t convince me that I should consider this particular weird kink as utterly different from other weird kinks. For instance some people are only interested in having sex with people from a specific race, and it’s not terribly uncommon to have people from this race express their displeasure at the idea of being “fetichized” in this way. They too can perceive it as unhealthy, and they too could argue that this attraction is to something they can’t change. I don’t think it’s much different.
I’m not familiar with “people in wheelchair” fantasies, but I regularly come across amputee porn. I had always assumed that it was, as you said, an attraction to helplessness, since I typically encounter it in conjunction with BDSM imagery (amputed women along with bound/chained women, for instance). Not any kind of helplessness but again, people can be extremely specific with their kinks. But in fact, reading your post and as a result taking time thinking about it, I now think that it’s not necessarily just that. And maybe not even primarily that, depending on the person. They could also be attracted by the appearance of an amputed person. Or, more likely, that’s a mix of everything, and they would have difficulties themselves defining the reason why they’re attracted to this. They probably just are. It’s not like people (including myself) understand the reasons why they have this or that kink. They just have it and I don’t think we have much control or understanding about what we’re aroused by. To take the most common example : add a bit of flesh at chest level, remove a bit at groin level, and suddenly heterosexual men and lesbians are totally into a person they previously had no sexual interest in. Does this make any sense? Can anybody explain why they need breasts and a lack of cock to be attracted to someone?
Plenty of people are ashamed by their sexual kinks. And you can construct a reason why you should be ashamed by them pretty easily if you give it a try. Regardless of how unhealthy you think this kink is, I could easily argue that BDSM is vastly worst (and I am into BDSM). There are very valid reasons to say so. And despite it having become one of the most common kinks there is, there are plenty of people totally ashamed of being aroused by it, and desperately trying to understand why what they too perceive as a mental illness and/or as a disgusting and/or morally repulsive sexual interest arouses them. It’s not like only the kink that bothers you can be perceived as unhealthy.
Yes, Sean Connery had great legs in James Bond movies where he was wearing shorts (he was once an artist’s model, I think). I agree with you. Shapely and attractive is just that, in either gender. I don’t think you need to analyse what you like. I like the colour pink, I don’t think it means anything in particular.
Odd that there is not a word for a specific attraction to legs. I figured there would be, but after a quick search, I couldn’t find one. Even on lists of hundreds of different partialisms and paraphilias, there was nothing listed for legs. Feet, armpits, diapers, trees, vomit, mucus, animals… all there. No listing for legs though. Strange.
Some folks seem to be trying to make legophilia happen.
Let me add that, when I just now googled hashtag legophilia, nine images popped up of leggy women showing off their legs. And then some images popped up of, uh, well, legos. And then an image of a leggy woman. And then an image of a lego…
I have a hard time understanding (on a visceral level) attraction to portions of the male body, but then, that’s just because I’m a straight man. But intellectually, I know that just like I’m attracted to female bodies, others are attracted to the male body: We’re just wired differently in that regard. And given that, among those who prefer female bodies, there’s a variety of preferences for different parts, why shouldn’t that also be true of those who are attracted to male bodies?
To put it another way: Nobody’s ever surprised when a straight man is attracted to women’s legs. So why should anyone be surprised when a gay man is attracted to men’s legs?
Maybe I am overthinking it, but this is something that I’ve thought about before. I’ve not done any deep look or anything, but I have noticed a lot more gay men who seem to feel the same pressure of making their bodies look attractive as women do. And while straight women definitely still are visually attracted to men, it does seem that straight men put a higher focus on that. So I wonder if that also applies to gay men.
In other words, perhaps the same thing that leads to a straight man finding legs attractive on woman would lead to a gay man finding legs attractive on a man. And that this same thing isn’t as common in women.
Maybe I’m totally wrong, but one thing where it seems to work is the foot fetish community. I’ve noticed all sexes and orientations being into women’s feet, but primarily gay men are into men’s feet. Women with foot fetishes all seem to be into women’s feet, even if they otherwise identify as straight. So it sure seems like it’s the same thing that gives a guy a foot fetish is transferred to men gay men, but that a different thing gives women a foot fetish.
Replace feet with legs, and it might explain what you’re talking about. Though, of course, this is all subject to societal pressures. It’s possible that I’m completely wrong. But I always found it interesting to think about.
In other words, maybe gay men are more likely to be into male legs because men in general are more likely to be interested in legs. Or maybe women are just as often into legs, but don’t talk about it.
Nicely-shaped torsos are nice, of course, and Hollywood has gotten everyone to expect shapely arms, obvious abs and just enough pecs; but the average man doesn’t look like that without a lot of effort, and in most cases even with a lot of effort.
A (female) friend of mine remarked to me, a few years ago, that legs are the part of the average man’s body that is usually nicely shaped. Even if a guy is overweight, there’s a good chance his legs will be slim[mer] and somewhat shapely. And cellulite is very rare on a guy. And (on average) men still have nice legs into their 40s and 50s.
In that sense, she remarked, the trend over the last 20 years for guys to wear shorts down to the knee is just silly. They (we) should be showing them off.
(I’m quoting her, but as a gay man I was nodding enthusiastically. I enjoy seeing men’s legs more than their buttocks.)
Ehh. This is exactly the response i always get. Every single time. Its just amother kink. I really dont care at all to convince someone to see things my way. If you see being attracted to atrophied, paralyzed legs as being no more unhealthy than being attracted to black men, then we are never going to see eye to eye on this. And thats ok. I had a Skype interaction with a devotee a long time ago that was um, illuminating for me. We had “met” online on fb and got to talking. After lots of chatting we decided to talk “face to face” via Skype. Wellbto make a lomlng story short, this girl asked me to point my camera down to exclusively focus on my tootpick atrophied bare legs (i was in nothing but boxer briefs and socks at the time). That really weirded me out. It wasnt the blatant objectification on its own but that plus the focus on my atrophied legs on their own, not even as a part of a greater whole. She just say me as paralyzed skinny legs. Period. Not attractive atrophied legs as padrt of a greater whole body that was a source of attraction but just the legs. I felt like i could have sawn my legs off and given them to her and she would have been just as happy, if not moreso. Believe what you want about this. I believe a degree of mental illness is involved. And so does the medical profession, as BIID is recognized as a ln actually disorder.
And bdsm is a kink that both partners share and have control over to what extent they wish to take this sexuual role playing fantasy. They choose it. Its not one sided and its not comparable. The only one. always/usually making a fully free choice in the matter of devotee/disabilty relationships is the devotee. While the appearance of fully free and clear choice is present on the disabled side, it often is a relationship the disabled person enters into due to a lack of any other options. And i need to stop here because it can be tempting to continue to disappear down this bottomless rabbithole. But i have never once changed the mind of someone who believed there was no difference, no mental issues/illness at play with devotees and it was just another sexual kink. Is feederism just another healthy kink too? Idk, ill just share my experiences, my pov and let others make up their own minds.
Yes, but I think there’s a distinction between finding people’s bodies—or parts of them—aesthetically appealing vs. finding them sexually attractive.
This makes sense to me: that homosexual men are attracted to men, not women, but the way they’re attracted to them is more like the way heterosexual men are attracted to women than like the way heterosexual women are attracted to men. (To the extent that it’s possible to generalize such things at all.)
FWIW it was around age 12 or 13 that I (a heterosexual male) first started having sexual feelings (toward girls) and noticing girls’ legs.
Women from other cultures tend to focus more on other body parts. The Basque Team in Scotland got into a big discussion with the locals over the Bilbao Firefighters calendar: the locals said April was “ugly”, we said he had a perfectly normal face (not ugly, just normal!) and legs to… ok, we’re Basque, we can’t say “to kill for”. But to maim a few people for, definitely.