I voted “Straight female, the face and body are about equal” because there’s no “Straight female, the face is much more important than the body” choice. For me a great smile and an intelligent sparkle in the eyes are much, much more important than what the body looks like. Once the face wins me over I might check out the body, but I give a funny, smart guy a lot of leeway in that area.
None of these really worked for me. My answer would be “Straight female: I’m not attracted to traditionally handsome guys, but I do have preferred facial types which I can’t really articulate. Ditto body types. In a nutshell, a guy whom I’m attracted to is automatically good-looking to me.”
My husband says “Straight male: Beauty lives from here to here.” indicating the area between waist and upper thigh
^What she said. Classically handsome isn’t necessary, but if the eyes and the smile aren’t doing it for me, nothing below the neck is going to make up for that. Well, not for more than a night or two, anyway.
For me, though, intelligence, humor, and so on show in the face; often, they are what makes the face. Once I get to know someone and realize how smart and funny they are, they become so much more attractive to me. Someone else might look at their face and think, meh, while I’m looking at it and thinking, wow, this guy’s gorgeous because I see not the features but what’s behind them.
I wonder about that sometimes – i.e., whether there is any truth to the idea that persons thought to look intelligent actually are intelligent. I benefit from that sometimes; I am often told by persons I know in meatspace that I look smart. But I know that, for instance, my friend Jennifer has a brain the size of Wisconsin, even though she looks like a stereotypical blonde bimbo. No one ever thinks she is smart just looking at her, but it’s clear she’s brilliant as soon as she opens her mouth. Likewise my friend Susan. Her gorgeous face & righteous rack would not seem to belong to the extremel competent professional she is.
Anyway … the reason I left out humor, intellect, character, and so forth is that I was trying to segregate things one notices at first glance from things that only apparent on actually knowing a person. I think I’m on record as judging Natalie Portman as being hellaciously beautiful, but I’ve no idea if I’d find her sexy in person as I know virtually nothing of her personality. But I can know things about her face and body, and the remarkable quality of the former makes up – more than makes up – for the nice-but-less-than-spectactular quality of the latter.
I don’t mean that I look at a man I don’t know and immediately see intelligence in his face. I mean that a plain or even homely face will look much more attractive to me once I talk to someone and realize that they are intelligent and have a sense of humor and are kind. I am rarely attracted to anyone just by how they look. I can recognize when someone is conventionally handsome, or when women are beautiful, but that doesn’t mean I’m attracted to them. I do understand that men are more visual than women and can be immediately attracted to someone based on how they look, but that rarely happens to me. I can appreciate it, but I am generally not attracted to it.
An example of someone I find attractive is Colin Firth. Now, I realize many women agree that he is attractive, but there are times when I don’t always find his face handsome, such as in The English Patient, and I couldn’t tell you much about what his body looks like because I haven’t paid much attention to it. There is something about his face, something perhaps indefinable, that makes my heart flutter. It’s not his features so much as what’s behind them, and what I’ve heard him say in interviews only confirms that he is intelligent, thoughtful, and sensitive, which are all qualities I look for in a man. His face reflects that, which is why I am attracted to him.
He does have those lovely brown eyes, though . . .
By the way, you mentioned Natalie Portman. She is, from all accounts, very intelligent; do you think that might be part of what you find attractive about her without realizing it?