if nervousness suppresses sexual arousal, how can one be sure of sexual attraction?

So if A thinks he likes girl B, but is always nervous around her and never, err, shows any physical signs of sexual arousal because the sympathetic nervous system kicks in, which is normally activated in situations where sex should probably be the last thing on the mind, can he, from a philosophical/biological viewpoint, reasonably infer that he is indeed sexually attracted, because he would not be nervous otherwise?

On a side note, does the fight-or-flight response suggest a dichotomy, or even a really broad one differentiating between confronting and escaping the nervousness inducing predicament?

How would that apply to nervousness stemming from sexual attraction? Confronting the situation would entail, obviously nothing combative, but what then?

If you weren’t attracted, you wouldn’t be nervous.

Attraction - even sexual attraction - can’t be simplified into a boner. You know if you’re attracted to somebody. You don’t need wood to confirm it.

  1. I consider myself a normal male. I have been nervous around plenty of women, especially in my younger years. I can assure you that being nervous in that regard never resulted in suppression of an erection. There were occasions where I wished it would, but it never did.

  2. The physical signs of sexual attraction in males is not limited to the penis. The more obvious ones include elevated heart rate and dilated pupils. More subtle ones include increased sweating from the peripheries (most notable on the hands, but also occurs in the armpits) and changes in posture. Even more subtle are changes in hormonal levels. So even without an erection it is perfectly possible to objectively measure arousal.

  3. Sexual attraction is a mental state, not a physical one. The mental state usually initiates a series of physical responses, but even if a man were just a floating head he would still feel sexual attraction both philosophical and biologically.


Fight-or-flight refers to the hormonal systems preparing the body for the physical demands of confrontation, which entails either fleeing or fighting. It isn’t either or. If you have ever cornered a small animal like a cat or a raccoon, you will know that the normal reaction is to initially attack and then use the confusion that produces to allow escape. Alternatively if you have ever chased a pig or a deer, you will know that they will turn and stand at bay if you look like catching them.

It doesn’t really. Nervousness of this sort can result in increased adrenaline levels which can provoke a flight or fight response, abut that’s the limit of the commonality

Fear serves a lot more purpose than simply initiating the physical flight-or-fight response. It increases reaction speed, increases caution and boosts memory retention amongst other things. Basically it makes you give a shit and pay attention to your environment. That is beneficial in any high risk situation, whether it is your car skidding out of control, a bear attacking you or the hot babe hitting on you.


So if I think I’ve liked a girl but almost never get wood, and it’s not due to impotence because I draw wood in other situations, then what do I attribute the lack of wood to?

“I” used to simplify conveyance, not that it necessarily applies to me.

What’s the situation, though? You’re flirting and you don’t get hard? You’re making out and you don’t? You see her across the room for thirty seconds, and you don’t? You see her in a bar and you’ve already had five pints,and nothing’s popping up?

1 and 3 but not the other 2.

Sounds perfectly normal to me. Do you usually get “excited” when you’re just talking and flirting? The benefits and drawbacks of youth, I suppose.

Yes just not when interacting with someone whom I think I’m sexually attracted to. And I’m not asking about potential abnormality, just how I can reasonably infer I’m indeed sexually attracted.

Do you feel attracted to the person? If so, then you are. If no, then you’re not. Do you really need a boner to answer that question? Heavens, how would women ever decide if they’re attracted to someone?

What does it feel like besides nervousness?

Do they make you feel happy? When you are not with them, do you wish you were? Do you fantasize about doing things with them (both sexual and non-sexual)?