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Guest member25959

What is 'Sexual attraction'?

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Tiffa

Wow, this is an interesting thread. It's funny how we're all so different, and I wonder what it's like to be each one of you. People experience things so differently.

When I saw the aforementioned picture my instinct was that she was hot. (I'm not a model person either but she's close to my type, hehe.) However I now recognize that I had to sit and think over whether I would want to touch her or do anything sexual with her. I felt attraction, but it was a small amount. I might would kiss her/makeout but no sex please. I consider myself gray-A, by the way.

As far as what exactly "attraction" is, I like alot of what's already been said here. To me it is kind of magical, it's a gift. I don't think someone who is completely asexual can really understand it if I'm just going to be honest. Not that I'm not totally for trying to explain it as best as we can though of course, it's very interesting. It is a jolt of excitement, from a special feeling. Those are my thoughts, I kind of treasure those feelings since they are a little bit rare for me.

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Moggie

This is somewhat of an issue some people on AVEN are talking about right now. I am sexual, feel I experience very little sexual attraction to anybody, yet I know I want to be physically intimate with my husband. I really don't know how to answer the question...sorry.

No worries Lady Girl, I appreciate your reply :cake:

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Charon

I seem to have had a different reaction when I saw "THE" picture.

The question was BE WARNED..A RUDI PICTURE FOLLOWS

My immediate Response "That's not a Rude picture"

My mind taking in the picture - certainly didn't fixate on the bed linen.

I was more focused on the semantics of the question and its relation to the picture.

It did stun me a little when I read the categories and couldn't find myself there yet it sort of reinforces what I have seen myself do with many things.

I do notice what I deem beautiful women but I think that only happens when my brain is in neutral and there is nothing else its fixated on.

I think my emotional responses play second fiddle to logic or rationality whereas most other people seem to act on emotional responses and rationalize them afterward.

Even the Asexual response indicates finding something enjoyable "The Bed Linen" within the Picture I seemed to be more interested in the relation of the picture to the question, something more abstract.

EDIT: Just took the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and I think I hit a home Run and scored a "INTJ" Wow that really made alot of sense to me - Its also one of the Rarest of the 16 types in the test.

I really associated with the comment "INTJs apply (often ruthlessly) the criterion "Does it work?" to everything from their own research efforts to the prevailing social norms. This in turn produces an unusual independence of mind, freeing the INTJ from the constraints of authority, convention, or sentiment for its own sake ... INTJs are known as the "Systems Builders" of the types, perhaps in part because they possess the unusual trait combination of imagination and reliability. Whatever system an INTJ happens to be working on is for them the equivalent of a moral cause to an INFJ; both perfectionism and disregard for authority may come into play ... Personal relationships, particularly romantic ones, can be the INTJ's Achilles heel ... This happens in part because many INTJs do not readily grasp the social rituals ... Perhaps the most fundamental problem, however, is that INTJs really want people to make sense.

I think I just found me. So my Asexuality is simply a manifestation of incompatibility. Now to find another INTJ is there a INTJ/Asexual/Asperger dating site out there. This could take awhile.

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NuavKaffe

To me sexual attraction feels like...

  • it's easy for me to indulge myself looking that body.
  • I fantasise with touching that person, either just being very near, or warming that body, hugging, rubbing... any way. Sometimes they pop out of nowhere when I feel like it, but they are more vivid and likely when I'm already physically near that person. Doesn't work via text chat.

EDIT: It's like... if I ever got so drunk to not know what I am doing, I might as well crawl towards them and start rubbing myself. Not liking alcohol, it's never so bad. If I can focus on another thing, those feelings may as well shutdown.

Was that TMI?

Edited by NuavKaffe

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Jillianimal

Doesn't anybody else think this topic would be more useful in the Asexual Q&A forum rather than the one for people who know they experience this?

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Lady Girl

I don't know Jilll...maybe! I still think its weird that the concept barely applies to me. How I turned out to be sexual in nature, but don't experience this magical ambiguous phenomenon called sexual attraction I'll never know. When I asked my asexual husband what he thought about it he said well you do know if you think someone is good looking to you. I said yeah, but I don't think about having sex with them, I might think about going to Europe with them. He laughed.

It certainly seems like something like this should be there if that's what the definition is based on.

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LazyShade

What's the difference between arousal, sexual attraction and libido? I'm sorry if this is obvious, I just can't find clear distinctions between them. The AVEN page says a lot of asexuals experience arousal, which made me bring up the subject. The Wikipedia page says (in it's first sentence) that Asexuality can also be a lack of interest in sex, which would be lack of sexual desire. So Asexuality is a lack of sexual attraction or sexual desire then? Help me out please! :)

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IvoryKate

What's the difference between arousal, sexual attraction and libido? I'm sorry if this is obvious, I just can't find clear distinctions between them. The AVEN page says a lot of asexuals experience arousal, which made me bring up the subject. The Wikipedia page says (in it's first sentence) that Asexuality can also be a lack of interest in sex, which would be lack of sexual desire. So Asexuality is a lack of sexual attraction or sexual desire then? Help me out please! :)

I would define arousal as a physiological response of the body, sexual attraction as desiring to have sex with someone, and libido as sexual desires in general, like the "need" for sex. Anybody else have better definitions?

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Jillianimal

What's the difference between arousal, sexual attraction and libido? I'm sorry if this is obvious, I just can't find clear distinctions between them. The AVEN page says a lot of asexuals experience arousal, which made me bring up the subject. The Wikipedia page says (in it's first sentence) that Asexuality can also be a lack of interest in sex, which would be lack of sexual desire. So Asexuality is a lack of sexual attraction or sexual desire then? Help me out please! :)

I would define arousal as a physiological response of the body, sexual attraction as desiring to have sex with someone, and libido as sexual desires in general, like the "need" for sex. Anybody else have better definitions?

Out of curiosity, did you read the first post of this topic? At all?

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Moggie

I would define arousal as a physiological response of the body, sexual attraction as desiring to have sex with someone, and libido as sexual desires in general, like the "need" for sex. Anybody else have better definitions?

Thanks IvoryKate! I like the way you defined the three in a way that is easy for me to understand :cake:

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crucis

...libido as sexual desires in general, like the "need" for sex.

To be honest, this does not go with the terminology used on AVEN. From what I understand of it, libido is a physiological urge / drive for sexual release that can exist without sexual attraction or the desire for sexual contact with another person. This is why we have asexuals who engage in masturbation...

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Fitzsimmons ♡

...libido as sexual desires in general, like the "need" for sex.

To be honest, this does not go with the terminology used on AVEN. From what I understand of it, libido is a physiological urge / drive for sexual release that can exist without sexual attraction or the desire for sexual contact with another person. This is why we have asexuals who engage in masturbation...

That's how I understood IvoryKate's post. I can't say if this is what they meant, but it's how i did read it.

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crucis

...libido as sexual desires in general, like the "need" for sex.

To be honest, this does not go with the terminology used on AVEN. From what I understand of it, libido is a physiological urge / drive for sexual release that can exist without sexual attraction or the desire for sexual contact with another person. This is why we have asexuals who engage in masturbation...

That's how I understood IvoryKate's post. I can't say if this is what they meant, but it's how i did read it.

I dunno.. i saw 'need for sex', which didn't seem very accurate since libido (as used by this community, at least) doesn't necessarily equate to a desire for sexual contact. Maybe I read too much into it :unsure:.

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IvoryKate

...libido as sexual desires in general, like the "need" for sex.

To be honest, this does not go with the terminology used on AVEN. From what I understand of it, libido is a physiological urge / drive for sexual release that can exist without sexual attraction or the desire for sexual contact with another person. This is why we have asexuals who engage in masturbation...

That's how I understood IvoryKate's post. I can't say if this is what they meant, but it's how i did read it.

Thanks for clarifying, guys! That is how I meant it. I was trying to write short, simple definitions and in doing so, failed to communicate what I meant. Whoops! Sorry!

Yes, Jill, I did read the first post. :)

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Moggie

To be honest, this does not go with the terminology used on AVEN. From what I understand of it, libido is a physiological urge / drive for sexual release that can exist without sexual attraction or the desire for sexual contact with another person. This is why we have asexuals who engage in masturbation...

Thank you for your explanation of the definition of libido. I want to verify that I am processing this information accurately: arousal and libido are both physiological. The former a response to stimuli and the latter an urge [for sexual release]. Am I understanding correctly?

Out of curiosity, what type of response is sexual attraction? Psychological? Or is it also physiological? It's not important for me to know this, just curious ;)

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crucis

Thank you for your explanation of the definition of libido. I want to verify that I am processing this information accurately: arousal and libido are both physiological. The former a response to stimuli and the latter an urge [for sexual release]. Am I understanding correctly?

Out of curiosity, what type of response is sexual attraction? Psychological? Or is it also physiological? It's not important for me to know this, just curious ;)

That understanding of libido and arousal sounds great to me! Stimuli coming in many potential forms, many of which asexuals probably wouldnt consciously relate to even if it did cause arousal..

Yup, sexual attraction is psychological, although it cannot be willed into existence or removed. Id imagine that most sexual people would be able to merge all three (arousal, libido, sexual attraction) so that the whole is both physiological and psychological.

Thanks for clarifying, guys! That is how I meant it. I was trying to write short, simple definitions and in doing so, failed to communicate what I meant. Whoops! Sorry!

No worries at all! We are all still figuring things out really, definitions may still change ^_^.

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metalgirl2045
So, what is sexual attraction, you ask?

Quick summary:

•Sexual attraction is a feeling that is experienced that causes a desire for sexual contact with another person.

•Sexual attraction and sexual desire are not equal.

Nope, sorry, I disagree.

Those definitions simply don't work.

The above pictured faux-blond is easy on the eyes. I find her to be sexually attractive.

But I have no desire to have sex with her. None.

Agreed with this. I can see someone I consider attractive, and think I'd like to get to know them better and consider it likely I might be start to desire sex with them when I've got more used to the idea of being attracted to them. Atttaction has to be very, very intense for me to actually want to have sex with a stranger, this does not happen often.

I used to be demi, but my orientation has changed and I now consider myself pretty normal sexual. I would consider this not feeling a desire to have sex with strangers a perfectly normal sexual thing. When I was demi, I couldn't look at a stranger and get any attraction to them at all, now I can, but it doesn't arouse me or make me want to immediately have sex with them.

There are oddities in the way my attachment to people works, but that's a whole other matter (and a thread I might start when bored enough) and not what I would consider part of my orientation, but I mention it as a caveat that it's possible I'm not a useful control sample sexual person :)

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Lady Girl
So, what is sexual attraction, you ask?

Quick summary:

•Sexual attraction is a feeling that is experienced that causes a desire for sexual contact with another person.

•Sexual attraction and sexual desire are not equal.

Nope, sorry, I disagree.

Those definitions simply don't work.

The above pictured faux-blond is easy on the eyes. I find her to be sexually attractive.

But I have no desire to have sex with her. None.

Agreed with this. I can see someone I consider attractive, and think I'd like to get to know them better and consider it likely I might be start to desire sex with them when I've got more used to the idea of being attracted to them. Atttaction has to be very, very intense for me to actually want to have sex with a stranger, this does not happen often.

I used to be demi, but my orientation has changed and I now consider myself pretty normal sexual. I would consider this not feeling a desire to have sex with strangers a perfectly normal sexual thing. When I was demi, I couldn't look at a stranger and get any attraction to them at all, now I can, but it doesn't arouse me or make me want to immediately have sex with them.

There are oddities in the way my attachment to people works, but that's a whole other matter (and a thread I might start when bored enough) and not what I would consider part of my orientation, but I mention it as a caveat that it's possible I'm not a useful control sample sexual person :)

I wonder how many sexuals actually would be useful control samples to make that work out.

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Skullery Maid

Attaction has to be very, very intense for me to actually want to have sex with a stranger, this does not happen often.

I would consider this not feeling a desire to have sex with strangers a perfectly normal sexual thing.

These should be quotes of the week. Or the month. Either way, :cake:

It just blows my mind that the sexuals can all agree, but the asexuals feel like it's appropriate to continue to tell us we're wrong.

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The Bearded One

I'm trying to decide if I ever experienced sexual attraction.

I experience hunger as an urge to eat. Sometimes I eat when I'm hungary, sometimes I don't. Sometimes I eat when I'm not hungary.

I experience thirst as an urge to drink. Sometimes I drink when I'm thirsty, sometimes I don't. Sometimes I drink when I'm not thirsty.

Is sexual attraction similar? Would I experience sexual attraction as an urge to have sex? Is it something I could choose to act on, or not? Could I choose to have sex, and enjoy the activity, without sexual attraction?

Does anyone experience an urge to make friends, or to get to know someone?

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Vampyremage

I'm trying to decide if I ever experienced sexual attraction.

I experience hunger as an urge to eat. Sometimes I eat when I'm hungary, sometimes I don't. Sometimes I eat when I'm not hungary.

I experience thirst as an urge to drink. Sometimes I drink when I'm thirsty, sometimes I don't. Sometimes I drink when I'm not thirsty.

Is sexual attraction similar? Would I experience sexual attraction as an urge to have sex? Is it something I could choose to act on, or not? Could I choose to have sex, and enjoy the activity, without sexual attraction?

Does anyone experience an urge to make friends, or to get to know someone?

This is the very confusion that has caused many of us to attach a statement regarding a lack of inclination towards partnered sexual relations with others in defining what it is to be asexual. What is sexual attraction if it isn't, precisely, the desire to have sex with another person? I think that's a very difficult question to answer, especially if one has only experienced none or mild sexual attraction.

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Sally

What is sexual attraction if it isn't, precisely, the desire to have sex with another person?

This just occurred to me; why it didn't before I don't know.

What "my" sexuals (the two I've had relationships with) and other sexuals have indicated has been that a certain person is someone they would want to have sex with, if they wanted to at the time. Meaning they didn't necessarily want to have sex with that person right then, but that person was someone who would be a very good candidate for the job when the time came. :lol:

I have no idea how to get that into a short phrase, other than "sexually attracted to".

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miqui

I experience hunger as a physical thing that makes me uncomfortable. That would be kind of like arousal, I guess. To take away the discomfort I want to eat, kind of like libido I guess. Sexual attraction to people is like thinking, "I'm hungry and I would really like to go to this great restaurant with my partner and eat a nice plate of linguini al pesto, fresh bread and white wine." or "I feel like going out for pizza!" It's much less basic. It's mixing emotional and social desires with physical ones and wanting to indulge them at once. I could just go to a room by myself and eat plain rice every time I am hungry and survive and the hunger would go away. But I develop craving for foods with richer tastes, like a palate, and want to indulge them even though it's no longer strictly necessary or instinctual. It's a want. And I want to share foods and share the experience of eating with other people too, just because I find it enjoyable.

For me at least. I don't experience sexual attraction to strangers. There are a lot of different aspects of sexual attraction.

There's just plain enjoying see them feel pleasure, because you like them. Sometimes it's just emotional enjoyment, sometimes because of mirror neurons and empathy you get turned on seeing them get turned on, sometimes both. There is a feeling of wanting to share sexual arousal and release as a form of bonding and complicity. For people who have been sexually repressed and shamed for being sexual, or feel guilty, complicity can be an important way to feel less alone and ashamed of our libido, because sexual shame is often against any arousal at all, not just attraction. Related, it might be a way to express toward someone elses body the kind of acceptance you would want to feel of yours, but haven't - so, living vicariously. There is feeling affectionate towards people's bodies and wanting to express it - the same as when wanting to cuddle them when they like to be cuddled, caress them and watch how it lights them up, give them a massage, give them a kiss, smile at them. If sexuality is part of who they are and how they feel, then you can want to indulge that just as much as indulging their desire to be cuddled and smiled at, because it's part of the affection you feel and it's part of how you feel reassured about the value to them of your own affectionate desires - so, mutual validation. If sex is a mutual affinity, there is sharing a mutual affinity - like going to a film together, a favourite restaurant, listening to a song. There's curiosity. For some of us sexual contact feels very vulnerable emotionally and physically, for me physically climaxing and building to a release makes me feel very vulnerable emotionally and physically, and afterwards I feel physically weak and vulnerable too, and clingy, like I need to be protected, so I will cling to my partner and have a moment of searching for them, needing their approval, needing to feel their presence, that makes the cuddling after a climax different and more intense than at other times. I *like* that vulnerable feeling. So there's making yourself very vulnerable with someone as a way of establishing mutual trust. It's like wanting to close your eyes and fall backwards into someone's arms, because you want to have faith that someone will catch you. There's wanting to feel accepted, wanting to feel desired and flattered, wanting to feel beautiful. There's wanting to feel like your attraction to them is valuable to them and makes them feel desired and beautiful and flattered.

There isn't any *one* cause of sexual attraction or type of sexual attraction. It's a mosaic of things. Some of us feel some of them and not others. There are a lot of different motivations for sexual attraction for me, the above is just a list off the top of my head.

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Lady Girl

What is sexual attraction if it isn't, precisely, the desire to have sex with another person?

This just occurred to me; why it didn't before I don't know.

What "my" sexuals (the two I've had relationships with) and other sexuals have indicated has been that a certain person is someone they would want to have sex with, if they wanted to at the time. Meaning they didn't necessarily want to have sex with that person right then, but that person was someone who would be a very good candidate for the job when the time came. :lol:

I have no idea how to get that into a short phrase, other than "sexually attracted to".

For me right now there's only one 'certain' person. I don't have 'sudden' sexual attraction for people...it would be more aesthetic to begin with possibly. I desire sex with my husband, I think he is good looking and quite nice...but me wanting sex is the driver for me to have it with him. Loving him seals the deal so to speak.

My understanding is that many asexuals feel this lack of interest in sexuality/sex, and it used to be a very common way to describe asexuality. A lack of desire is no more a behavior than a lack of attraction. I just wonder why being turned on or not being turned on has become the criteria for being asexual (that is, experiencing sexual attraction aka someone turning you on). If those asexuals who went through the motions ultimately decided they weren't going to do the sex anymore how is it they never experienced sexual attraction? What got them there in the first place? Aesthetic attraction plus desire for a relationship? I guess that would work.

The basic difference between he and I seems to be in the desire for sex. There is a notable awkwardness (or hesitancy perhaps) about it. Sometimes it's more noticable, sometimes less.

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Unsure?

This is awesome. Thank you!!

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Skullery Maid

What is sexual attraction if it isn't, precisely, the desire to have sex with another person?

This just occurred to me; why it didn't before I don't know.

What "my" sexuals (the two I've had relationships with) and other sexuals have indicated has been that a certain person is someone they would want to have sex with, if they wanted to at the time. Meaning they didn't necessarily want to have sex with that person right then, but that person was someone who would be a very good candidate for the job when the time came. :lol:

I have no idea how to get that into a short phrase, other than "sexually attracted to".

I agree with this... which is why I have a hard time seeing the difference between demisexuality and actual sexuality, since for most sexual people, sexual attraction is a feeling of potentiality of future desire.

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Vampyremage

I've always seen demisexuality as the extreme end if the spectrum regarding needing those prior feelings to experience sexual attraction and/or desire. So, much like grey-a its more a degree thing than a different type all together thing.

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Lady Girl

This is sort of how I experience sexual attraction...I have definitely found some people more aesthetically attractive than others and also felt a kind of chemistry along the lines of 'wow, I get along really well with this person, they are extra fun and smart'. But 'mmmmmm, I want to have sex with them', no. I feel that I'm sexual because I want and like to have sex. I'm married, so my husband is the one I want to have sex with because I love him (as I have mentioned before).

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Maroshka H'ghar

So recently I found out about asexuality and I am a Gray-A,but my whole life I've been living in the dark thinking that I was just picky. Since I am able to fit myself into being a Gray-A I've found out that there are actual differences between sexuals and me. I was wondering (if anyone knows) how do sexuals feel when they are attracted to someone, is it instantly? do you usually see people who you think are attractive, maybe you won't act upon it but it happens? how often?

I'm just very curious because I never bothered on notice the difference.

:)

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wanderingscribe

I've no idea, but if it's anything like what I went through the last time I thought I was attracted to someone, I'll never understand why they welcome and even encourage such feelings. I much prefer being able to sleep and concentrate.

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