Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Finding The Ideal Woman, Photographs And Emotions

Ian S, the onetruecoolguy published this post recently that I find extremely interesting. It's about the qualities that he looks for in his ideal woman and how these has changed in the last four years. I was going to leave a comment but realised that it would be about as long as a post, then I thought I might as well write a post anyway.

Ian's post contains his list of five key areas and each one is split into specific points. I won't give the details as I'm sure you'll just click on the link if you're interested. But I find it thought provoking and a bit too logical for my liking. That's the bit I wanted to write about. I know Ian's work is some kind of business analyst thing, something way too technical and complicated for me, but I wonder where there emotion and feelings come into play, if at all, in his hunt for Miss Ideal.

You see it's like this. I was recently asked how I judge a great photograph. I'm no great photographer but I've been attempting to take decent pictures since I was about sixteen. Over the years I've read books and magazines, studied photographs and photographers and spent quite some time peering through viewfinders of the optical and the digital type. I've had masterclasses with Dominic Sansoni and tried to pick up tips about how to take the perfect picture. Oh yes, the theory's all there, even if the practical application is like a young Sri Lankan girl making it big in the US; M.I.A.

I can look at a photograph and judge it on a technical basis. I'm quite comfortable with that. I can spend a few seconds thinking about how the lensman has used the depth of field, how the choice of shutter speed has helped to give a sense of movement to the image, how the rule of thirds has been thrown out of the window to give the picture impact. I can look at the straightness of the horizon, the choice of ISO speed, the lighting conditions and the way the photgrapher clenched his right arse cheek at the point he's pressed the shutter release.

Dom taught me that trick by the way. If you clench the right cheek it somehow adds colour and impact to a photograph, clenching the left one however can add camera shake and ruin a picture totally. If you see him sitting in the garden at Barefoot have a look at his bum and you can often see him practicing this as he's sitting chatting to someone.

But back to the judging photos thing. I usually disregard all that logical and theoretical stuff and ignore my brian totally, something I'm pretty damn good at. Instead I focus on my stomach, something I'm good at too. Specifically I focus on the feeling in my stomach. A great photograph makes me feel excited, not in that "oh my God Soixante Neuf I loved that post and how you described oral sex" way, I mean in that "oooh I feel like I'm just about to go on stage" way. I get a feeling at the top of my stomach and it negates all the logical and very right brain bits.

When I get that feeling I know it's a good photograph, I know that the technical things may, or may not, be there, but they're irrelevant. Like one of those poncey art experts who advise fledgling art collectors to just buy what things they like, I know I like the picture, even if it's photographic equivalent of a dodgy Nike T shirt bought from one of those stalls opposite the Mitsubishi showroom near Odel.

That's the thing about women and Ian's post. For me, looking at a photograph, listening to a song, loving Colombo or finding a partner isn't about the thing or woman, fitting into a nice neat set of ticked boxes or matching all the requirements on the "shopping list"

No, it's just about how I feel when I encounter these things. It's all about gut feeling far more than logic and objectivity.

When I'm casually sitting in a garden minding my own business and dreaming about drums and rice and curry and I get confronted by one of those females things, women, I believe they're called, I'm going to leave the "shopping" list in my pocket. I'll peer at the girl, obviously at certain parts of her body first, then I'll just let my gut feeling take control.

Logic, objectivity and the ticking of boxes can take a hike.

As long as she likes a drummer!


Anonymous said...

I ve heard you're a great cheek clencher.

I think lists are pretty good.. most girls have them.. I didnt realise boys did.. (though by all accounts ian might be a bit of a girl).. no offence ladies.

I heard once that women usually have a list of say ten... they meet the guy who best fits the list.. and as they get to know him.. the list falls away...

But men apparently dont have a list.. more a word.. boobs, butt, legs.. but as they get to know the anatomy of their choice, then a list appears ...

thus we work in opposite ways.

i think lists are good.. they focus your attention.. but the feeling in the stomach is always the tipping point.

Soixante Neuf said...


Great stuff, as usual. I feel I should condense that in some way, because I say it everytime, but I mean it. GSAU???

I'd go with the gut feeling. Shopping lists are useless. Maybe it's because I'm usually attracted to the most unusual kind of people-the kind that can't be summed up in a few sentences on a check list. If I could find one word to describe my perfect woman or man it would be "different". That extra something that hooks me in and leaves me aching for more. Vague, yes, but I like it that way.

It's also weird how looks mean absolutely fuck-all to me. So I can't really put anything about physical appearance on my imaginary list because it simply doesn't matter. Obviously if someone looked like Mr. Bean I'd think twice (although I adore Rowan Atkinson and want him as a pet), but on average, I prefer people who AREN'T conventionally good looking. Haha, I realise how odd that sounds. But again, it's a face that's interesting that would attract me, as opposed to a Brad Pitt lookalike.

Ok. Rambling. This post was fun :)

Till next time, have fun bum-clenching and what not.


Darwin said...

I refuse, absolutely refuse to have shopping lists. I go with gut-feeling. So surprisingly enough, I actually agree with you on this!

I have a slightly alternative take on this though (and this is where you say that I focus on negatives too much!). I tend to have a negative shopping list. So there are certain qualities/characteristics in a guy that can be a deal-breaker for me (such as an excessively religious guy or someone with bad BO or teeth). Beyond that I go with gut-feeling. Fair enough?

Times Eye said...


Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Anon - 'tis true about my cheek clenching abilities. You may well be right about men and women working in opposite ways, but hopefully towards the same goal!

6 - I reckon your thing about going for someone who is different is, ironically, what most people would say. Funny isn't it? I can't imagine anyone saying they'd be attracted to someone who was "average", but we all have different definitions of different. I think this may be a post in its own right.

For me, looks matter, but they're not the be all and end all.

Darwin - Yes, fair enough. I too have things that are deal breakers. Dodgy feet being one of them. Or two of them.

Times Eye - Thanks!

Ian Selvarajah said...

R - I actually agree with you! A couple of things I should probably clarify: the detail level items are just details; for instance, I wouldn't not date a girl because she wouldn't jump out of an airplane! :)

The higher level items are pretty generic though, and different people might display those characteristics in different ways. The first anonymous comment summed it up well: "i think lists are good.. they focus your attention.. but the feeling in the stomach is always the tipping point"

I always try to remember the following Sigmund Freud quote that I read in Malcolm Gladwell's "Blink" (great book, btw):

"When making a decision of minor importance, I have always found it advantageous to consider all the pros and cons. In vital matters, however, such as the choice of a mate or profession, the decision should come from the unconscious, from somewhere within ourselves. In the important decisions of personal life, we should be governed, I think, by the deep inner needs of our nature."

So while my list is more of a general guide, I'm well prepared to let my gut feeling make the final assessment! :)

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Thanks for the explanation Ian. A lot of what I said has come from ideas I have gleaned and developed from reading that book too, it really did have a big impact upon me.

The more I try to feel and harness my gut feeling the more I realise that it's frequently correct anyway.

Anonymous said...

In Par with Ian, I fell for my girl just because she jumped off an air plane with me! I was on her back! (Meaning she is the trained one! and separated by few layers of thick clothing ). Yes it was my first time and I clenched every thing I had. But it was a thrill that left you wanting more, both! the girl and the jumping off air planes. (Now I can jump without being strapped to her)
Photographs and clenching, ISO DOF what are those, put the camera in 5 shots per second mode and fire away hoping one sticks. And clenching those cheeks, I mostly use to suppress one of those farts you write about and almost always fails with a long embarrassing, child with a flute like sound, I call those Chinese songs, (the farts).
Thank you for making me laugh in this gloomy (not ;) ) market stuff.

Bea said...

I had a list and my ex pretty much ticked all of the boxes, and then I bumped into an old friend who ticked none of the boxes but who made me feel a bit shaky with longing...six years later we are still together. For me it's gut feeling all the way

Java Jones said...


Eppie said...

Your gut is blind to probability and statistics. So decisions that involve complex scenarios and mathematics are ones are that will require you to forgo your gut often, and trust your higher brain.

However, when it comes to matters of the heart or sizing up a person, your gut is often very accurate in assessing them.