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Elanorgold's picture

Elanorgold

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Is there a Trigger Person in our Sexual Development?

Putting this in pop culture though it spans health and aging, relationships and social, but I thought we might end up getting pop culture answers... besides, perhaps it's part of pop culture...

 

Are we metamorphs? Do the parts of our brains responsible for the chemical responses of sexuality, turned on at a specific time, through specific experiences? ANd thus on a specific person? Basically a "trigger person"?

 

For me it would be Michael Hutchence. For a friend of mine it was Simon LeBon, and I heard a guy on the radio once saying his was while watching Kylie Minogue when he was like... 12 or 13. In the Thorn Birds, poor Meggie's is Catholic priest Father DeBrikesar (sp?). ANd in our teen hearthrobs thread many of us listed pop singers as the first to make our hearts thump.

 

Then these people then go on to influence our decisions and tastes and leanings forever after.

 

What do you think? Could this be so? And if so, who would yours be?

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chemgal's picture

chemgal

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Emotionally and mentally, sure.  Physical development?  I doubt it.  Few people develop when they wish too, and the physical and mental development can be far off from each other.

Elanorgold's picture

Elanorgold

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I don't mean anything about wishing it to, and I mean mental, yeah. Physical such as your final bra size, round hips and all, comes later. I don't mean that. However girls's cycles starting might be connected... those hormonal changes... Remember mental is largely physical goings on in the brain.

chemgal's picture

chemgal

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Elanor, I'm confused about the connection that you are suggesting.  Can you elaborate a bit more?

MistsOfSpring's picture

MistsOfSpring

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I think I kind of see where you're going with this.  It's like the first people who truly attract you or even arouse you create a blueprint in your mind and that blueprint influences who you find attractive in the future.  When similar people or situations come up in the future, the arousal memory is triggered and you respond in a similar way, even though it's an entirely new situation.

 

My first boyfriend teased and joked around a lot.  I've always been attracted to that kind of guy ever since.  I'm also triggered by the scent of Polo cologne because he wore a ton of it at the time.  I also still find any man who resembles him very attractive.  In pop culture, Pierce Brosnan is probably the most intense attraction I've ever felt, back in his Remington Steele days.  I was 12 or 13 when the show ended and to this day he is absolutely the sexiest man I've ever seen.  Two other notable men from that time period in my life are Top Eplin (he played Jake McKinnon on Another World and I always found he reminded me of that first boyfriend) and George Michael, specifically on the Faith album. To me he represented raw, untamed sexuality. 

 

I'm not sure how much any of the pop culture examples affected my choices later.  I think I was far more affected by my personal experiences, but since I started dating very early (12) I might just never have had the chance to have a famous "trigger person". 

Mendalla's picture

Mendalla

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Girl in my grade 6 class who was a year older than the rest of us (held back a year, I think) and quite well-developed even at that. Saw her in a tight top one day and, in spite of my fairly young age at that point, something clicked that I liked what I saw but was also embarrassed to be liking it. Then came my crush on Brooke Shields...

 

Mendalla

 

Elanorgold's picture

Elanorgold

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Mendalla, I thought of Brooke for you. Grade 6, that's iteresting. I had wondered about men's first crushes, cause it seems they might happen later, but my first school crush was also in grade 6, age 12, which co-incides with certain female developments.

 

Interesting Mists... It seems we may have more than one trigger person. For you it seems to be both Pierce Brosnan and your first boyfriend. I'm surprised how young that was. For me, my Michael Hutchence experience happened when I was 15. I liked John Taylor before that at 14, and got all squirelly and giggley about him, and loved to look at him, but didn't really feel that sexuality that Michael triggered. I hadn't been "turned on" before that moment while watching "I Need You Tonight". And I don't know if that was the first time I saw the video, it might not have been. It could be the horemonal time in my cycle was right for that moment to happen, or something "ripe" in the brain for it. Funnily enough, that feeling didn't translate to real life though, and real boys. Maybe it would have had I had time to develop it unhindered. Maybe that happens more like around 19... I don't know. The idea of sex was still so scarey in my mid teens.

 

Chemgal, I hope the above helps elaborate. I'm thinking neurologically, like that there might be a moment a neural connection in the brain is made, between seeing a handsome man, and feeling a response in yourself, beginning to understand why people go "hubba hubba!" Where before it was just a funny thing to say.

 

For example, and I'll admitt, men who resemble Michael Hutchence in any way, I find attractive. Thanks for the Daniel Taylor Mendalla ; )  I just got a cd by him the other day, a best of. I really like it, especially the Tudor songs.  I've noticed over the years, that I'm a sucker for that curly brown hair and gentle artistic demeanour, with a hint of rebel. Many of the boys I had crushes on in high school had Hutchence-like features.

 

A friend of mine often dated guys who looked like Simon LeBon, and all subconciously.

 

And I'm also thinking of an episode of Star Trek NG, where Captain Picard has to transport a gift to a dignitary, and the gift is a "metamorph", a female of a spiecies that is born from an egg as a adult, and the first male she sees is the only man she will ever love or be attracted to (an extreme example of this theory). She "morphs" onto him, chemically, neurologically and emotionaly. I think it might be an allegory of sorts, for what happens with us, though we're not that extreme, we can have more than one type we morph to.

 

So see guys, when you get a rebuffal, it might not be because you're not attractive or pleasant company, but that the woman has morphed onto a different model!

 

 

Mendalla's picture

Mendalla

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Elanorgold wrote:

Mendalla, I thought of Brooke for you. Grade 6, that's iteresting. I had wondered about men's first crushes, cause it seems they might happen later, but my first school crush was also in grade 6, age 12, which co-incides with certain female developments.

 

My first real crush was probably a bit later (as was Brooke). That moment in Grade 6 was really just the first time I became aware that there was something interesting about a girl in a tight sweater wink. The "trigger" as you call it.

 

First serious crush was Grade 8 (or maybe late Grade 7). Then she gave away to another one that pretty much took me through the first few years of high school. Of course, as a perpetual outsider (partly by choice, I must concede) nothing much happened relationship-wise until grad school when I met Mrs. M.

 

Mendalla

 

Kimmio's picture

Kimmio

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Are you talking about "crushes"? My first "real" crush was in grade 2 probably, on a boy two years older, my dad's collegue's son, Michael H. I asked a zillion questions about him, wouldn't stop talking about him when we got home from a neighbourhood party and my dad called me on it and teased me about it. He said, "I think you have a crush on him." I was so humiliated, and I cried. I don't know why. Noone ever said it was bad to have a crush, but somehow I was extremely embarassed and didn't bring it up again.

 

 My first TV crush I was about 6-- I liked the boy that was on Battlestar Galactica (or was it Buck Rogers?) the kid with a pageboy haircut and the fluffy space age dog type pet. Anyone remember?

 

Then my next young crush might have been on Scott Bao (Chachi on Happy Days)...lol. There were a few. My crushes started young I guess. I didn't have the maturity obviously to understand them. I'm not sure if that's what you're talking about.

Elanorgold's picture

Elanorgold

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Hmm wow! Grade 2! That's interesting. I had a crush on the boy accross the street who babysat me occasionally, when I was... gee, must have been younger than 12 because 12 year olds can be left alone... but then maybe I was 12... cause I remember Girls on Film by Duran was on Good Rockin Tonight and we were not allowed to see that, then the following year I got into Duran. He was 2 years older, a cute, smart, lanky, sci-fi boy with glasses, keen on Darth Vader and Monty Python, lol. Dad embarrassed the hell out of me one time at Pizza Hut, with both our families, plus one more, out for dinner, teasing me saying I had a crush on him. I could have died of humiliation. Mom was horrified at Dad, and another lady felt so sorry for me and was mad at him too.

 

I think I remember a Battlestar Gallactica boy... This one?

Mendalla's picture

Mendalla

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My Battlestar Galactica experience leaned more towards Maren Jensen as Athena but I know a lot of guys preferred her hot blonde romantic rival (they were both love interests of Lt. Starbuck) Cassiopeia but I forget the actress' name offhand. To be clear, we're talking old Battlestar Galactica here. Starbuck was a woman in the recent reimagining which changed the romantic and guy-crush landscape considerably.

 

As for Boxey and Muffit (yes, that's who she's talking about I think) I think that most of us guys wanted to see how far a robot daggit would fly when fired out of a Viper launch tube. devil

 

Mendalla

 

Elanorgold's picture

Elanorgold

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Mendalla, grade 8, that fits in with what I was thinking. The boys in grades 6 and 7 didn't seem to be game yet for girls' interest. Then finally come grade 8, things started to happen. So you had a crush on this girl for a few years eh? That's pretty neat. I generally had a new crush each year, til grade 11. But my crush of the year, each year, was pretty serious and lasted all year. The second one in grade 9 overlapped into grade 10, til the grade 10 one came along, and swept me away stronger than ever before. That one resembled Michael Hutchence. The grade 9 one resembled Michael Damian. Remember him? The singer?

Elanorgold's picture

Elanorgold

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And how old were you then with Battlestar Galactica Mendalla?

Mendalla's picture

Mendalla

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Elanorgold wrote:

And how old were you then with Battlestar Galactica Mendalla?

 

The original series ran in the 1978-79 season so I was 13-14. There was a sequel series of sorts in 1980 called Galactica 1980 but it featured a new cast and no memorable female characters (or memorable male characters for that matter, the whole thing was awful).

 

I should note that Jane Seymour was in the pilot and first couple episodes of Battlestar Galactica but was killed off at the end of a two parter (too big a star for their budget, I suspect). Her character was actually the boy's mother. Had she remained, she might have displaced Maren Jensen in my affections.

 

Mendalla

 

Kimmio's picture

Kimmio

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Gee, I didn't know it was that abnormal to like boys in grade 2! I asked my partner and he said his first crush on a girl was when he was 5.  I would say  I was age 6-7  when I recognized there was sometin' about them. I hadn't figured anything else out yet though. I had "where do babies come from" book given to me whan I was  9. Sex ed, for girls, at school started in grade 5, age 10. People at school were "dating" (they called it "going around with"--walking around after school holding hands) as young as grade 6. Not me. I wasn't  consciously "chasing boys" until much much later--highschool probably (didn't "catch" one until first year college--18--so for all my early interest, I was a late bloomer). I also had a friend who was always a little more mature than the other girls for her age. Maybe that influenced me somehow. I always thought I was pretty normal, because it wasn't really any different from the other girls. We all giggled about boys' antics, or pretended we couldn't stand the ones we liked.

Mendalla's picture

Mendalla

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I had a "girlfriend" in grade 1 or 2 but she was very much a friend. I don't really think of it as a crush and didn't have any feelings of attraction to her. There was another girl who probably qualifies from maybe grade 4ish but I forgot about her in my first response to the thread so she obviously hasn't stuck with me as indelibly. I certainly found her attractive in later years but didn't pursue anything.

 

On the whole "trigger person" idea, I'm not sure. I can certainly see characteristics common to those early interests that still get my interest today. Long, dark hair, for instance, or a fairly tall, slender figure. But did those early interests trigger or influence my tastes or were they just early symptoms of tastes that were shaped in some other way? And where do outliers (women who attract me even though they don't fit my usual tastes) fit in?

 

Mendalla

 

Kimmio's picture

Kimmio

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For me, tall dark and handsome--how typical! I always liked kind of tall and lanky though, not "pumped up"...and good cheekbones. I don't know why. I have no idea where my preference came from exactly (maybe "Chachi'?) I never really though about it. My partner's  dreamy to me though...and smart too!

Kimmio's picture

Kimmio

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Okay. I figured it out I think. Blame Happy Days!I was young but I loved that show.

Elanorgold's picture

Elanorgold

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Mendalla, Hmm, ok, grade 8 for Battelstar Galactica. Yeah, Jane Seymour is very lovely.

 

So Kim's figured hers out... that's good. I wonder if it's different for men than for women?

 

In the childhood games thread, I recalled a boy I took to the bathroom to kiss him on the ear, because I was telling him a "secret". That was pretty young, maybe grade 4 age 8/9. It was like a kids game. I don't remember what compelled me to do this, or why I chose this one boy. Maybe it was a sort of early crush... He was nice, smart, quiet, and a little chubby. He wasn't a friend of mine. Maybe I just choose him as an easy victim for boasting that I had kissed a boy... You occasionally see kids in the movies spending time together and playing at a kiss, or being special friends.

 

We had sex ed starting in grade 6 I think... We had to learn how our bodies worked, incase our parents didn't tell us. It was very brief and basic. They didn't get into contraception, or further detail til grade 8. That was when we learned about ovums and little swimmers and all that.

 

I remember my dad telling me in grade 5 that if I wasn't going to do well in Math and couldn't get a good career, I'd have to marry a rich man. And he asked me who the smartest kid in class was, and I told him. He teasingly said that boy would be a good choice then. So I thought I should have a crush on him, but it wasn't a real crush.

 

Aww that Happy Days vignette was cute. That's interesting, I can see the Chachi influence. I liked that show too, but didn't have any crushes in it. Just thought Fonzie was funny.

 

But by the time I was 12, I liked MacGuiver, and liked watching Will Riker, that show started in '87. As a younger kid I liked Bo Duke... gosh, how old was I then... I was still playing with Barbies. I just enjoyed watching him. And there was Michael J Fox too when I was 11 or 12. I liked him in Family Ties.

 

It's hard to pin down isn't it? It does seem that these tastes can be shaped in many ways, by many influences. Why we like who we like. Do we base our choices on personal experiences, by looking at our parents as models, or by timers going off in our brains...? I may have to consult a neurology book... But this is very interesting.

 

Why did I like Michael Hutchence so much? He doesn't have that effect on every woman, so I wonder, what was it that led to my reaction... WHen I saw that video, he eclipsed everything else. I didn't develop a fancy for MacGuiver-like men, or Riker-like men, or Damian-like men...

 

He's not the only type of man I like either though. I like my husband's type, of cource. And there were two in pop culture like him I had crushes on beforehand. Though there are definite parralells between all of them, in physique, interests and personality.

Kimmio's picture

Kimmio

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LOL! My partner has the same eyebrows as Chachi! I actually saw him in Disneyland when I was 11. I was crazy about Scott Baio (Chachi). Thinking back, what a cheezy guy he was! He was singing on stage in a blue sequined suit.I forgot about that! Not too different from girls and their Beiber crushes. Mine just started a wee bit younger I guess. I actually think it started out as a non-specific infatuation and evolved into a crush is more like it.

Beloved's picture

Beloved

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My first "crush" was when I was about 5.  I was "in love" with a boy in the neighbourhood who was 6.  He was going to school and I was not.  I remember watching him walk home with another girl and feeling strong feelings of jealousy.  I did not know what sex was, but I certainly experienced a physical attraction to boys.

 

From then on I always had crushes on some boy or other.  My first actual boyfriend was not until I was 14 or 15.

 

 

 

 

Mendalla's picture

Mendalla

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I can see where my early tastes ended up being reflected in my choice of partner to some extent. Dark, slender, intelligent. Can't say that I could see her in any of my early crushes beyond those very broad common traits, though. For one thing, there's no East Asians in that early roster, largely because I didn't know any in school (Kitchener was a very white community back then) and there weren't many female Asian celebs around when I was a kid. Rosalind Chao, who played Klinger's love interest/wife towards the end of MASH and in the spinoff AfterMASH, is the only one who comes to mind that I would have seen regularly in those formative years and I don't recall any interest in her at the time.

 

Mendalla

 

Elanorgold's picture

Elanorgold

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Neat Beloved, Interesting Mendalla, Cute Kim!

 

I remembered my first crush this morning, Peter Pan of cource! I was 8! I wrote "He is cute" in pen, then scribbled it out in pencil. I was ashamed of it at the time, and never told anyone till I was an adult. This mornign I went through my records and wrote up a list of all my early crushes:

 

age:

8         Peter Pan

9/10?  Bo Duke

12     MacGuyver

12     sci-fi boy across the street, dark hair, tall, smart

12     Michael J Fox

12   M. Hutchings (hmmm..), at school, dark hair, rebel, (grade 6)

12    Atreiyu from The Neverending Story

12/13  SH, tall dark and handsome, smart, (grade 7)

12/13  Will Riker

13       CS, smart, short haired blonde boy (grade 8)

13/14   John Taylor of Duran Duran

13/14   CS2, tall, v. handsome, wavy lt. brown hair, awesome folk dancer, (grade 8)

14   Michael Damian

14/15/16 Keanu Reeves

14/15/16 River Phoenix

14/15  RS, boy who looked like Michael Damian, (grade 9)

15       SS, boyfriend #1, tall, dark hair, geeky, sorta handsome, very smart, gay. (grade 9)

15       Trevor Steele, singer of The Escape Club, long brown hair

14/15/16/17 Michael Hutchence

15     SP, German 17 year old, stylish, brown hair with long bangs, tall

15/16  AB, boy who looked like Michael Hutchence, (grade 10)

16     JE, boyfriend #2, long brown hair, cute, smart, alternative (grade 10)

16    Clint Mansell, singer of Pop Will Eat Itself, very bad boy.

16    PS, boyfriend #3, tall, smart, bad boy, long blonde hair (grade 11)

 

I'd like to include pics of the boys in school, but it would take quite a while to scan and upload all those drawings!

 

See any patterns here?

Elanorgold's picture

Elanorgold

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Maybe it's all Keanu's fault... or River's! Looking at pics of my teen room a while ago, I was surprised how many pics of River there were. Maybe he was my trigger... I'm not sure which came first River or Keanu... there was Bill & Ted's, but I also drew River before he grew his hair long... Maybe it happens in stages... Michael was a major stage, and his name was similar to the name of my first crush at school.

 

Anybody else have crushes on cartoon characters?

Mendalla's picture

Mendalla

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I didn't put up pinups (mother probably wouldn't have allowed it anyhow). Not sure if Brooke did any pinup posters, but likely she did in her Calvin Klein modelling days. That said, I was more the type who would have had movie posters (Star Wars, Close of the 3rd Kind, the Trek movies, maybe some of the Bond movies, etc.) than pinups if I'd decorated my room with posters. As it was, I didn't. I had a huge mural of Saturn and its moons instead cool. Yep, instead of hot chicks, I had a cool planet.

 

As for cartoon characters, I can't think of any from the time. Not many attractive women in cartoons in those days, I guess.

 

Mendalla

 

Elanorgold's picture

Elanorgold

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Lol. Brooke was in a lot of fashion mags I remember. I bought Smash Hits and a couple other girlie mags like "Bop". As I got older, the pinups got less pin up oriented. I put up pictures from fashion magazines and art magazines, Spin and Rolling Stone. Had a poster from The Lost Boys movie, John Fluevog shoe store, and several pop/rock band posters, both bought and folded ones from magazines. Then there was art I'd done, and bits of fabric... a tapestry I got at a bazaar... My room got more and more arty as I got older, til 20. And we moved three times during my late teens so it was a constant ongoing project.

Kimmio's picture

Kimmio

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No. Can't say I had a crush on any cartoon characters. There wre cartoons I liked, Flintstones and Jetsons (I liked them because one day  I realized they were parallel families in past/future, which I think was intended...but that's a whole other unspecified thread) being my fav's...and Scooby Doo. But no crushes.

Elanorgold's picture

Elanorgold

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Ah well, just the way it worked out for me. 8 years old, in the theater with mom and dad, and I felt something I hadn't felt before, that  "He's cute!" feeling, where before, boys had only been kinda annoying. I guess I was a sort of Wendy-bird. Used to gaze at the stars and believe that Neverland was up there, and that I could go there with Peter. It sounds cute to me now, and precious. 

 

I actually met a girl once who's first crush was Astro Boy, a cartoon.

 

I liked Scooby Doo too.  I named a stuffed animal after Shaggy. Just recently got my son into it.

Baylacey's picture

Baylacey

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I remember singing Partridge family songs at recess and dreaming of David Cassidy with the other girls in grade six or seven, and dreaming about Donny Osmond as well.   Do you remember “I think I love you”.?... it brings back memories.  The Partridge family album is the first record I ever bought.  Years later when I saw Donny Osmond on stage it was like that childhood crush had never gone away.

 

The first “boyfriend” I recall (if you can call it that) was in fourth grade.  We held hands at recess.  Days later I saw him holding the hand of one of my classmates :(   

 

When my son was four years old I found him watching television at the babysitter’s house at pickup time.  I could barely remove him from the Baywatch program that was playing because “Summer” was running down the beach in her red bathing suit!

Elanorgold's picture

Elanorgold

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That's cute about Donny Osmond. I remember the teenage girl accross the street when I was a kid liked him. My best friend liked David Cassidy, even though he was of the prevous generation. Yes I remember that song : )

 

I too, even now, can remember that ga ga feeling when I look at those old pictures.

 

LOL, That's cute about Baywatch! It's interesting isn't it, these developments...

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