The appeal of the "exotic" look

… as regards sexual attraction.

Something I’ve wondered about often, and was reminded of while reading this thread.

Basically, I mean finding a person of a different ethnicity to be the aesthetic ideal. For white men or women, it may be black, Latino, Asian, etc. I see a lot of this. I have one friend who, IMO, automatically links dark skin, hair and eyes with hotness, while I see the women he’s referring to and sometimes think, “Damn!” and others, “Meh.” I know that attractiveness is subjective, but still, I wonder.

Does it work in reverse? Do Asians and Middle Easterners see a pale redhead and automatically drool? Or, because in Western countries, as the majority, whites are not seen as exotic?

I wonder this because I seem to get hit on a lot more by men who are black, Middle Eastern, or Latino a lot more than white guys. And I’m about as white as they come, really pale, freckly, and blue-eyed. But me, I like pale, freckly, blue or green-eyed people generally, although I do find a lot of Middle Eastern men (and women) attractive, but I think that has something to do with their eyes, not so much their tan.

(P.S. I know that exoticness and attraction has been covered in a couple of “Why are Asian girls/people of mixed ethnicity so hot?” threads, but I’m curious to know if it works in reverse, particularly in Western countries with white majorities. I guess it might just be a “why are so many Latino and Middle Eastern men hitting on me?” sort of question. But then, is it that a large percentage of those men are hitting on me, or that very few white men hit on me so it skews my perception? Either way, why? I dunno, carry on.)

I don’t know, but I’m a white male and I really seem to have a preference for non-white females. I can recognize beauty in white females too of course, but they rarely get my heart racing the way a sultry Latina woman can, or a sexy black lady, or an Asian nymph, or a Middle-Eastern goddess… excuse me, I’ll be in my room.

I find blue eyes very compelling but never thought of them as exotic; being raised in CA, lots of people have blue eyes. True, no one in my family ever did—we’re as Mexican as Mexicans in CA can be without having anybody actually born in Mexico since CA was Mexico. I do not look as hispanic as most of my family ( half a foot taller, lighter complexion, chemically treated hair) and I’m the only member to have ever married a blue-eyed person. I get hit on by all manner of men, not just a particular ethnic type.

Maybe you just desire things you don’t have, everything from breasts to accents could fall into this. In the same vain maybe people who pair up with people similar are narcissistic. Hmmm…?

I’m glad you put the word “exotic” in quotation marks, because for me they’re just “quotidian.”

Well, define exotic, but when I was in 7th grade I had a real tought time because I didn’t automatically like blonde guys. Who, for Spain, are rare, and who apparently all red-blooded Spanish teens had to drool over. Any TV show with a blond guy in it, automatically the blond is the one sold by mags as “the hunk” no matter what the rest of him looks like.

Mom insists in chalking this up to some kind of psychobabble about rejection of (ash blond) Dad, but pointing out that I did like Paul Newman manages to shut her up, thanks Og for smashin’.

Anecdotally, when my wrestling team went to Finland for a few weeks, the redheaded kid got all the action.

I don’t think exotic means different from the aesthetic ideal, necessarily. It’s what’s exotic to you. I live in middle-class America, so even though I am E. Indian white people & blue eyes arent’ exotic (though very nice). I find in myself a predilection for the Far East, on the contrary - Asian guys are very handsome to me.

Now that that occurs to me, I wonder about that. E. Indian guys tend to be swarthy, often have lots of body hair, and stocky. Asian guys are almost the opposite - usually slim and lithe, little body hair, light-skinned. That really does say “exotic” to me I guess!

Not exactly attraction, but I’ve had lots of Hispanic women compliment me on my daughter’s looks. She has very light blonde hair and blue/gray eyes.

Come to think of it, the kid in her class who has the most obvious crush on her is Hispanic, too.

I meant that, finding what is different from you to be the aesthetic ideal. Like my friend, a good Aryan if I’ve ever seen one, always sees the dark-skinned, dark-eyed types as hot, regardless of their facial features. To me, anyway. Some of them are really hot, but some are just kinda blah and I think it’s just the exoticness that he finds attractive, rather than their facial dimensions.

I was kinda wondering if it works in reverse in countries with a white majority. Whites aren’t exotic in the sense that they’re rare, but they are different from a non-white person. Does that make any sense?

Speaking from my own personal experience living in South America, where virtually everyone had brown or black hair and dark brown eyes, my fellow gringoes who had blue or green eyes were constantly and openly drooled over. And any guy over about 6’2" got whispers and pointing fingers as well.

I grew up among brown-haired Anglo types. So, I found blonde women (to some degree) ‘exotic’ and attractive, especially ones with straight hair. On the other hand, the Swedish-by-marriage sector of my family tended to reduce their exoticness. On the third hand, blonde women tended to be held up as the ideal, so during high school, there was always that media-driven status thing going on.

Much more exotic and attractive were South European women, Asian women (both South and East), and Black women, roughly in proportion to their rarity.

These days, I see a lot more Asian women than I do blondes, so blondes have risen on the exoticness list. I was on a subway train last week, thinking about this, and estimating the number of people in the car, and I came up with maybe four blond(e)s out of about thirty or forty people total.

I think a lot of it boils down to ‘different = intriguing’.

I’m interested in this, because “exoticness” doesn’t really appeal to me. I’ve nearly always been interested in people who looked a lot like I did—tall, fair skin, light eyes, dark hair. If by chance I was interested in someone who looked different, it wasn’t their looks that attracted me.

I was in Spain in 82, and Spanish men seemed to be pretty well attracted to American women, especially blondes and and redheads. The average man in the south of Spain, at least at that time, would have brown-to-black hair and a dark olive complexion.

I think a lot of the attraction for them was their perception of American women rather than any specific physical attraction. I believe that’s part of the attraction for the “exotic,” no matter who you are or who you find exotic.

Me too, I mean, I’m interested, too. I actively find myself turned off by guys that look similar to me. I mean, there’s been the occasional Indian or Arab but mostly it’s not appealing.

I find Indian and Asian girls exotic and attractive, although a good personality would be more important.
Going to school in Trinidad, I found quite a few good looking girls of mixed hertage.

I have dark hair & dark eyes; I married a blonde woman with green eyes. (opposites attract?) I still feel a strange point of pride that both my sons have blonde hair, but brown eyes. Deep down I can’t help but feel that as they grow, they are going to garner all the girls attentions that missed me as a youngster.

I grew up in a small town in the South and I wasn’t exposed to anyone that I would have called “exotic” until I went to my first year of college in only a slightly larger small town. While visiting a friend at another nearby college, I saw my first E. Indian male. He remains the handsomest man that I have ever encountered.

This was in about 1962 when social contact between whites and people of color was still limited. But he seemed at ease among white friends in the student center where I met him. His skin was flawless and medium-toned. Or maybe lighter. I don’t remember. I think he was dressed in white. I know that he wore a white turban. He had blue eyes. They were breath-taking. And he knew that and used that to his advantage. He was memorable.

Living in a small country with a population including healthy doses of everything from see-through white (Russians) to dark black (Ethiopians) and everything in between (including lots of East Asian foreign workers) the concept of “exotic looks” is, frankly, alien to me. Just give me a nice, open smile; bright, intelligent eyes; an interesting personality; and a good figure – and I’ll drool color-blindedly over her :slight_smile:

I could venture myriad guesses as to why, but I fall into the OP’s description of being inexorably attracted to exotic women. Nothing wrong with Caucasian wimmin, but I fall much harder for an Asian/Latino/Inuit/Scandinavian/Borg Collective woman.