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Defining asexuality - a better definition?

  

566 members have voted

  1. 1. Please select your orientation;

    • asexual
      1255
    • grey-asexual
      183
    • demisexual
      72
    • heterosexual
      20
    • homosexual
      9
    • bisexual
      7
    • pansexual
      7
    • other
      24
    • rather not say
      18
  2. 2. Which of these would you prefer as a definition of asexuality/an asexual person?

    • a person who does not experience sexual attraction (current AVEN definition)
      777
    • a person who does not feel a desire for partnered sex (with emphasis on the "partnered")
      110
    • a person who does not feel a desire for partnered sex and/or little or no sexual attraction
      183
    • a person who experiences little or no sexual attraction and/or little or no desire for partnered sex (again an emphasis on the "partnered")
      373
    • another definition (please post below)
      27
    • a person who is not intrinsically attracted to any gender sexually
      125
  3. 3. do you think most non-asexuals understand you when you explain asexuality?

    • mostly
      172
    • to some extent
      578
    • not really
      463
    • not at all
      90
    • not sure
      292


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Geo

OK, I've thought a lot about the definitions that are being suggested and this is what I have come up with (this is my own opinion of course - let me know what you think - though please be nice, I'm not trying to define it for you, this is just what asexuality seems like to me). I've realised that the original AVEN definition is pretty accurate, but could perhaps do with a specific addition;

Asexuals are people who are not intrinsically attracted to other people sexually.

I think this definition is a little more precise than "people who are not sexually attracted to any person" because it asserts that asexuality is built-in. This definition states the orientation aspect of asexuality while simultaneously telling people that this is not a state of mind, a medical condition or a behaviour. This lines up with what you could call the definitions of other sexualities;

Heterosexuals are people who are intrinsically attracted to members of the opposite gender sexually.

Bisexuals are people who are intrinsically attracted to members of both genders sexually.

Homosexuals are people who are intrinsically attracted to members of the same gender sexually.

The problem is I have no idea what this "attracted to other people sexually" means. Please explain what it means to be attracted to someone sexually.

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Xavy

The current aven definition of asexuality is simple direct and works well alongside definitions of heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality. I see no need to change it.

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Naosuu

Do nonlibidoists (who are sexual) still feel sexual attraction?

This could be an important point, because if this is not the case there will be many asexuals who have no sex drive who simply do not know if they are asexual with no libido or heterosexual with no libido, because in both cases, no sexual attraction would be present - they only way of discovering if this lack of attraction is intrinsic would be to increase that person's libido.

Then again, this is not to say we should make nonlibidoist asexuals increase their libido to find out - if these people are happy with their lack of libido and truly believe they are asexual, then they should be able to feel as much a part of the community as asexuals with sex drives. It is totally possible to be a nonlibidoist and asexual.

However, if nonlibidoists do not feel sexual attraction, how can nonlibidoist asexuals (who have always had no sex drive) know if they are not intrinsically attracted to other people sexually?

That's not really an issue. If someone can be turned-on by looking at something, that's sexual attraction. However, people try to rationalize it isn't by saying they're not "attracted to the actor(s)/thing/fetish" or "don't want to do it with someone else". The reality is getting turned-on by something is completely normal and someone can still be asexual.

The question becomes: do you want to share sexual intimacy because it's an innate need? If you don't, do you feel something is truly missing in your life? I think asking yourself how important sexual intimacy is in your life, whether it is casual encounters or in your relationship, can give you a lot of information.

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Geo

As I understand it, sexual attraction is being turned on by someone and wanting to have sex with them.

I think most asexuals actually know what it means to be sexually attracted to someone - it's plastered about in our media everywhere. What we don't understand is what it feels like.

If you are turned on by other people and want to have sex with them, that's sexual attraction and you're sexual.

If you aren't, you're most probably asexual.

What if you are not turned on by other people but still want sex all the time?

What if you are turned on by sexual acts themselves and not by the people performing them, and thus feel a need to partake in those acts?

What if you take an average every day sexual person and strand them on a remote island with no people for them to be attracted to. Can they no longer be turned on and want to have sex?

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Onmyouji

I'm not sure I see the benefit of adding "intrinsically" to the attraction definition. With desire, there's a clear distinction between intrinsic desire and extrinsic desire (which has been articulated in this and many other threads so I won't reiterate it), but I have no idea what "extrinsic attraction" is supposed to be. It would make sense if the "attraction" used in the official definition is meant to include desire--which it probably is since the FAQ defines attraction as a desire--but that feels like a pretty big leap for people to have to make the first time they see the definition.

More generally, I think the definition is probably accurate but very unclear. It is not an attraction-based definition. It is a definition that uses the word "attraction" and then defines that word in terms of desire. Thus, it seems like the definition already includes both attraction and desire, but it does it in a very obtuse way. Regardless of what the correct solution is, this is definitely something that could be improved.

If I'm reading this thread correctly, the opinions being expressed seem to depend on individual orientations:

People who experience neither attraction nor desire and consider themselves asexual - They have no problem with the current definition, and don't really understand why others feel the need to change it.

People who experience either attraction or desire but not both - They feel the distinction between attraction and desire is very important, and thus think the definition needs to at least be clarified, since right now it's really not clear if it's referring to one, the other or both.

So I think we need to ask some far more unambiguous questions. Maybe something like this:

1) If someone experiences sexual attraction and/or arousal, but no intrinsic desire for partnered sex, should they identify as sexual, asexual, gray-asexual or are they all potentially valid?

2) Does the current AVEN front-page definition of asexuality clearly reflect your answer for #1?

3) If someone does not experience sexual attraction and/or arousal, but they do have an intrinsic desire for partnered sex, should they identify as sexual, asexual, gray-asexual or are they all potentially valid?

4) Does the current AVEN front-page definition of asexuality clearly reflect your answer for #3?

5) If someone experiences sexual attraction and/or arousal, and an intrinsic desire for partnered sex, should they identify as sexual, asexual, gray-asexual or are they all potentially valid?

6) Does the current AVEN front-page definition of asexuality clearly reflect your answer for #5?

7) If someone does not experience sexual attraction and/or arousal or any intrinsic desire for partnered sex, should they identify as sexual, asexual, gray-asexual or are they all potentially valid?

8) Does the current AVEN front-page definition of asexuality clearly reflect your answer for #7?

Brief aside: I know referring to certain labels being valid or invalid for certain people sounds really bad, but we're talking about definitions here. If everything is valid under our definitions, then our definitions are utterly meaningless, and we're all just special snowflakes. As an extreme example, I would hope that most of us can agree on "asexual nymphomaniac" being a contradiction in terms.

My thoughts:
1) I think all three are potentially valid depending on the individual. Not quite sure.
2) No. It's far too easy to interpret the definition as saying they are sexual.
3) I would think this means "sexual" with little or no libido, but I feel like someone's going to tell me that's an overly restrictive answer.
4) Obviously not. It's far too easy to interpret the definition as saying they are asexual.
5) I can't imagine anything other than "sexual" being appropriate in this case.
6) Yes.
7) I can't imagine anything other than "asexual" being appropriate in this case.

8) Yes.

The asymmetry between my answers for 1 and 3 kind of bothers me, but that's definitely how I feel when I look at these questions. What do you think?

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warrigan

because how is a desire-based definition ANY better than an attraction-based one? no, seriously, how? yes, the attraction-based one is ambiguous, but so is a desire-based one! what is "sexual desire"? arousal? arousal doesn't have to be linked to desire. just because something arouses me doesn't mean i want sex from it/with it/because of it. and there are people who identify as sexual despite having a very low (or nonexistent) sex drive. if you're talking about a "desire for partnered sex," then we again run into ambiguous territory. we've already run into ambiguous territory in this thread (with fictional characters)! if i desired sex with my (nonexistent) partner to make them happy, would i still be able to consider myself asexual? if you say that the desire has to be really strong for it to "count," then what about sexuals who don't feel a strong need for sex? are you going to insist that they are asexual despite what they say? if you say that your desire has to be internally motivated, then you again run into the issue of asexuals who don't consider any gender in a sexual light but still enjoy having sex. i just really, REALLY don't see how changing the definition will solve anything, because a desire-based definition is really not much clearer at all, and it just seems to exclude more people.

basically, i can't get behind a desire-based definition. i really like the term "sexual attraction," because i think that it stresses that orientation is mental rather than physical. and actually, i like that the definition is more ambiguous, because then everyone gets to decide for themselves what it is that makes them identify as asexual.

I really, honestly don't see the "problem".

Desire for partnered sex = the internally motivated longing to have your genitals be stimulated by another person in order to achieve pleasure/release (regardless of all other factors).

You feel that = sexual.

You don't = asexual.

You very rarely/only under very special circumstances feel it = gray area.

How is that ambiguous in any way at all? It could not be simpler, clearer, and more concise. (And it clearly is mental, and not physical... I don't get where that part of your criticism even comes from.) Quite unlike that fuzzy "attraction" thingy. (What does "consider in a sexual light" even mean?)

okay, except that already in this thread we have had someone asking whether _____ counts as desire for partnered sex. so it isn't as cut and dry as you say it is. and there are asexuals who desire sexual relationships who call themselves cupiosexual, so again...not so simple.

in terms of my "criticism," i was only pointing out that i feel there are connotations to the word "desire" that are physical. saying that someone "desires" someone else sexually definitely suggests a physical and mental interest, whereas saying that someone is "attracted" to someone suggests mostly a mental interest. to me, at least.

and if you're actually wondering about my definition (and not just being snide to discredit my viewpoint), i'm sure you've heard people say, "i don't think of my friend 'in that way.'" well, i don't think of anyone "in that way," and if you have a problem with my definition, that's fine. i disagree with your definition, but if that's the definition you like, that's fine.

OK, I've thought a lot about the definitions that are being suggested and this is what I have come up with (this is my own opinion of course - let me know what you think - though please be nice, I'm not trying to define it for you, this is just what asexuality seems like to me). I've realised that the original AVEN definition is pretty accurate, but could perhaps do with a specific addition;

Asexuals are people who are not intrinsically attracted to other people sexually.

I think this definition is a little more precise than "people who are not sexually attracted to any person" because it asserts that asexuality is built-in. This definition states the orientation aspect of asexuality while simultaneously telling people that this is not a state of mind, a medical condition or a behaviour. This lines up with what you could call the definitions of other sexualities;

Heterosexuals are people who are intrinsically attracted to members of the opposite gender sexually.

Bisexuals are people who are intrinsically attracted to members of both genders sexually.

Homosexuals are people who are intrinsically attracted to members of the same gender sexually.

etc. etc.

This definition also allows for asexuals both with sex drives and without - for being asexual is about who you are intrinsically attracted to sexually - not personal choice, not sex drive, but intrinsic attraction. An asexual can still desire sex just like someone could desire chocolate cake, but if it is not an intrinsic desire, they are still asexual.

It doesn't matter if;

  • you have no libido
  • you have a high libido
  • you have sex
  • you don't have sex
  • you desire sex (this is the non-intrinsic "desiring sex" bit that some have mentioned)
  • you are a prostitute
  • you are a monk

​If you are not intrinsically attracted to other people sexually, you are asexual.

i like this phrasing!

Now bear with me, this bit could get controversial, but I'm just throwing this out there;

In my opinion, people who have no sex drive and are unhappy about it should seek medical attention.

People who have no sex drive and are fine with it should be happy and stay just as they are.

But this is where things get difficult.

Do nonlibidoists (who are sexual) still feel sexual attraction?

This could be an important point, because if this is not the case there will be many asexuals who have no sex drive who simply do not know if they are asexual with no libido or heterosexual with no libido, because in both cases, no sexual attraction would be present - they only way of discovering if this lack of attraction is intrinsic would be to increase that person's libido.

Then again, this is not to say we should make nonlibidoist asexuals increase their libido to find out - if these people are happy with their lack of libido and truly believe they are asexual, then they should be able to feel as much a part of the community as asexuals with sex drives. It is totally possible to be a nonlibidoist and asexual.

However, if nonlibidoists do not feel sexual attraction, how can nonlibidoist asexuals (who have always had no sex drive) know if they are not intrinsically attracted to other people sexually?

Please do correct me if I'm wrong - I don't profess to be an expert on nonlibidoism! :)

If you ask me, nonlibidoism is having no sex drive, irrespective of orientation, whereas asexuality is not being intrinsically attracted to anyone sexually, irrespective of libido.

for me, libido and orientation are two distinct things; one is physical and the other is mental. so even if the physical isn't "working," so to speak, the mental component can still happen.

one of the things i like about your new definition is that "sexual" and "attraction" are split up. i think people see the words "sexual attraction" and think libido, or finding something arousing; they focus on the "sexual" and ignore the "attraction." i like this definition that states that there is no attraction (which to me is very much mental) and specifies that the type of attraction (not) being felt is sexual (rather than romantic, aesthetic, sensual, etc.). so i feel that your new definition allows for things like nonlibidoist sexuals, who don't feel the physical component, but do feel the mental component of their orientation.

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Naosuu

As I understand it, sexual attraction is being turned on by someone and wanting to have sex with them.

If you are turned on by other people and want to have sex with them, that's sexual attraction and you're sexual.

[/font]

Except sexual attraction ≠ attraction and wanting to have sex with them. It can happen almost simultaneously, however there are cases where someone will get turned-on by something their brain doesn't like. Like looking at a picture of an attractive man and realizing that it's the picture of your grandfather when he was young. The initial reaction is your body's involuntary reaction; your brain then goes, "ew, no."

On the flipside, your brain can totally go, "cna i haz now plz" and your body can be slow on the uptake.

I think most asexuals actually know what it means to be sexually attracted to someone - it's plastered about in our media everywhere. What we don't understand is what it feels like.

I'm pretty sure the media also has a bad habit of sensationalizing and romanticizing everything it touches. Sexual attraction isn't as obvious as some guy's jaw hitting the ground or the dumb fumbling and dropping of things when the pretty lady passes by. Hell, I read some fan feedback about some shows and some people write about the "oozing sexual spark between the characters" and how they should just "get it on already". On my end, I see a very dysfunctional relationship and how they should just talk about it or something.

Anyway, point being is "sexual attraction" in media portrayal is usually very exaggerated and played up. If we can even pick it up at all.

[snip because OMGTAGS]

Tumblr is not the best place to bring in references because... well, tumblr. But since you mention it...

Here's the thing about our definition - the moment you admit you feel sexual attraction, you lose your asexual membership card. You're shoved into the gray area of grays and demis and you're no longer "really" asexual. Some people, in the midst of rationalizing their thoughts, feelings and/or behaviours into what is "acceptably" asexual (i.e. not finding something/someone "sexually attractive" and wanting to have sex with them.) become very, very attached to the label. At first glance, cupiosexual sounds like an attempt to maintain one's asexual label. Given we function with a certain terminology and, maybe they mean something else, but as I understand it asexuals who want to experience sexual intimacy with someone else is a paradox.

I've brought this up before but I'll reiterate it here: if someone says an asexual doesn't get turned on BUT they can want to experience and share sexual intimacy, what on earth is the real difference between an asexual and a sexual? Why even bother at all if, someone fits into this label, for visibility and education if it doesn't have any real world consequence? What kind of obstacles, trials and tribulations do such "mixed couples" go through? The answer is: probably arguing over frequency.

Which brings us to Onmyouji's feelings:

[snipped and slightly edited to make it easier to read]

Q: If someone experiences sexual attraction and/or arousal, but no intrinsic desire for partnered sex, should they identify as sexual, asexual, gray-asexual or are they all potentially valid?

A: I think all three are potentially valid depending on the individual. Not quite sure.

Q: If someone does not experience sexual attraction and/or arousal, but they do have an intrinsic desire for partnered sex, should they identify as sexual, asexual, gray-asexual or are they all potentially valid?

A: I would think this means "sexual" with little or no libido, but I feel like someone's going to tell me that's an overly restrictive answer.

This want to experience sexual intimacy with another person is ultimately the deal breaker to most people. Asexuals share the common experience of "tuning" out, being uninterested or finding the whole thing annoying and they'd rather tend to their plants or pick their nose. This common experience is not congruent with experiences to share or want sexual intimacy in a relationship or in of itself.

Which is why I think it's unwise to hinge one's sexuality on whether or not your body will react to the right things at the right time. While these reactions can guide someone, it only really helps if you're trying to act out something you really need: sharing sexual intimacy with another person.

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Vampyremage

A desire for sex might be placed in a similar context as a desire for love. For the romantics among us, we aren't going to die if you don't have a romantic partner. However, there may very well come a point where if we don't have that romantic attachment for a certain period of time, it can lead to psychological stress and depression. I think, for most sexuals, a lack of sex for a certain period of time is of a similar nature.

Ahhhhh! So - "desire" as a kind of impulse that drives you to want sex? Well, if you define "desire" like that, then I don't think I do experience it. I only had one sexual relationship in my life, that was out of curiosity about what sex was like (and a long time before I knew asexuality existed), 18 years ago, and I don't care if I never have sex in my life again.

I find it very interesting to see the difficulties in this thread where we are trying to use words from everyday speech in a technical sense (I studied Philosophy at Uni. :) )

I think that's a very good way of putting how I'm using the word desire :) Also, the imprecise and sometimes clumsy nature of human language is half the struggle we're seeing here.

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warrigan

As I understand it, sexual attraction is being turned on by someone and wanting to have sex with them.

If you are turned on by other people and want to have sex with them, that's sexual attraction and you're sexual.

[/font]

Except sexual attraction ≠ attraction and wanting to have sex with them. It can happen almost simultaneously, however there are cases where someone will get turned-on by something their brain doesn't like. Like looking at a picture of an attractive man and realizing that it's the picture of your grandfather when he was young. The initial reaction is your body's involuntary reaction; your brain then goes, "ew, no."

On the flipside, your brain can totally go, "cna i haz now plz" and your body can be slow on the uptake.

I think most asexuals actually know what it means to be sexually attracted to someone - it's plastered about in our media everywhere. What we don't understand is what it feels like.

I'm pretty sure the media also has a bad habit of sensationalizing and romanticizing everything it touches. Sexual attraction isn't as obvious as some guy's jaw hitting the ground or the dumb fumbling and dropping of things when the pretty lady passes by. Hell, I read some fan feedback about some shows and some people write about the "oozing sexual spark between the characters" and how they should just "get it on already". On my end, I see a very dysfunctional relationship and how they should just talk about it or something.

Anyway, point being is "sexual attraction" in media portrayal is usually very exaggerated and played up. If we can even pick it up at all.

[snip because OMGTAGS]

Tumblr is not the best place to bring in references because... well, tumblr. But since you mention it...

Here's the thing about our definition - the moment you admit you feel sexual attraction, you lose your asexual membership card. You're shoved into the gray area of grays and demis and you're no longer "really" asexual. Some people, in the midst of rationalizing their thoughts, feelings and/or behaviours into what is "acceptably" asexual (i.e. not finding something/someone "sexually attractive" and wanting to have sex with them.) become very, very attached to the label. At first glance, cupiosexual sounds like an attempt to maintain one's asexual label. Given we function with a certain terminology and, maybe they mean something else, but as I understand it asexuals who want to experience sexual intimacy with someone else is a paradox.

I've brought this up before but I'll reiterate it here: if someone says an asexual doesn't get turned on BUT they can want to experience and share sexual intimacy, what on earth is the real difference between an asexual and a sexual? Why even bother at all if, someone fits into this label, for visibility and education if it doesn't have any real world consequence? What kind of obstacles, trials and tribulations do such "mixed couples" go through? The answer is: probably arguing over frequency.

yeah, i wasn't sure about including the tumblr reference (as you say, "because...well, tumblr"), but i did want to provide a source to show that i'm not just making it up.

i take your point about cupiosexuality being a sexual identity, but i don't necessarily agree with it. i'm not cupiosexual, but i imagine their thought process is something like this: "i do eventually want to have sex with someone, because i like the idea, but i don't really care about who it is. i don't really think about any gender in sexual terms, but i want to have sex because it intrigues me/it sounds like fun/it'd take care of my libido/i enjoy having sex/i want children with my partner." at that point, they could call themselves sexual, but i imagine they would feel a large part missing- namely, that part that we aces feel when people say, "oh, he's so sexy!", "oh, i would totally have sex with her!". then they find asexuality and identify with it not because they also dislike kissing or because they hate sex, but because they also don't relate to sexuals' attitudes.

i think that also kind of addresses your last question. i will add that just as having and enjoying sex with a beard doesn't make a homosexual person less homosexual, neither does enjoying sex with a partner make an asexual less asexual.

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littlepersonparadox

I define asexuality has having little or no sexual attraction and/or innate desire for partnered sex. While it goes against the grain of the standard AVEN definition, it is more in line with some of the other definitions out there and also more encompassing as the experiences both sexuals and asexuals have and how they relate to their own orientations. Sexual orientation has nothing to do with libido or sex drive, per say, but rather the direction that libido takes. If a libido manifests as an interest in going solo, so to speak, and no interest in ever involving another person then quite likely that individual is asexual. If there is some degree of desire to involve another person in the satisfaction of one's libido, then quite likely one is not asexual.

I like this because it defenetly covers all bounds. There are ace's with libido and it isn't aimed at anything. Besides its best covered as a spectrum much like the ones sexuals experience.

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Turning

I have been a bit caught up in this topic in other threads to the point of confusion over something that was initially simple to me. I've thought about it realistically and voted for the current definition. It is 100% accurate and simple to understand as long as you don't try to over analyze all the possible meanings of sexual attraction. Sexual attraction is used to define heteor, homo, bisexual and it has never been confusing what they mean.

As for changing the definition so asexual actually means something different so it includes gray, demi, and semi is unnecessary and confusing and false. Trying to make asexual have multiple meanings is going to make visibility and education way harder. Like if I say I'm asexual and someone is like ' what kind?' 'Do you experience little or no sexual attraction?' how about sexual desire which seems to be a different thing by your definition?' 'Is it just partnered sex your not interested in but you enjoy all other partnered sexual activities?'. If a definition doesn't work to define and only creates more questions it isn't better IMO.

Someone here said the definition doesn't include all asexuals.....Though we are discouraged from telling anyone or answering the question if they are asexual or not the concept is clear and the definition answers that. Aven is very inclusive of everyone anyway so I don't see why its an issue.

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Turning

Put it this way;

By saying that an asexual person is "a person who is not intrinsically attracted to people sexually", we are not defining it for ourselves - we are defining it for other, non-asexual people to understand.

It is difficult for us ourselves to define asexuality using terms like "sexual attraction" and "desire" because these are terms used to describe sexual sexualities (strange phrase).

It's like saying "when gay men have sex they're procreating". It just doesn't make sense.

The definition I suggested is aimed at non-asexuals. It screams to non-asexuals that asexuality is about an inbuilt lack of sexual attraction to anyone, rather than a low sex drive or something medical. If someone comes across this definition and they're sexual, they'll most likely think "that's not me - I feel an intrinsic attraction to other people sexually". If a person does not understand what this sexual attraction is, then they're welcome to come and investigate asexuality further.

This definition is, in my opinion, important for people who google "asexuality" and find AVEN because that's what they might define their low sex drive or aversion to sex as - "Oh, I've lost all interest in sex - I've googled it and asexuals don't feel sexual attraction to other people - I must be asexual".

If we put "intrinsic" or "inbuilt" into the definition, that person would think "Oh, they are born that way - I can't be asexual" and realise that they are not asexual. Do you see how we can define asexuality better to non-asexuals and educate simultaneously?

The point is, saying that "an asexual person is a person who is not sexually attracted to anyone" allows for people who have low sex drives or sexual aversion or medical disorders to identify as asexual. Saying that asexuality is intrinsic will stop this because people who google us will realise that this is not the case with them and will understand that asexuality is intrinsic.

This I could understand but with sexuality being fluid (I'm told this, I don't know for myself) adding intrinsic may be to presumptuous? I don't think it is proven it is intrinsic in any case. But I think it is kind of presumed sexual orientation is intrinsic anyway,

Creating an understanding that asexuality is an sexual orientation( not a condition or product of something else), in line with all the others, would be very useful. Having it stated clearly on the front page(not in the definition itself).

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WhenSummersGone

I don't think I'd agree with your new definitions because you can be asexual and still have a desire for partnered sex. At least, I'm pretty sure it's not just me who feels like that? To me, being asexual means that I don't get sexually attracted to other people; I have never in my life experienced sexual attraction. HOWEVER -- that doesn't mean I don't want to feel that sexual attraction, because I definitely do have a high libido and sometimes I just want to have sex with someone. So the desire for partnered sex is there, it's just something I don't act on because I've never met anyone that actually interests me enough to have sex with.

I guess it might sound a bit contradictory, but that's just my two cents :)

I am not calling you not asexual, however for those who prefer a purely desire based definition, some might argue that this does, in fact, make you not asexual. However, for those of us who feel a definition that includes both attraction and desire is an ideal one, there would be no change in whether or not you are asexual.

I think it is important to have both. Just a desire based definition doesn't seem enough. Don't most sexuals direct their libido/desire towards males or females (sexual attraction)? Without sexual attraction it implies sexuals desire sex with anyone.

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WhenSummersGone

OK, I've thought a lot about the definitions that are being suggested and this is what I have come up with (this is my own opinion of course - let me know what you think - though please be nice, I'm not trying to define it for you, this is just what asexuality seems like to me). I've realised that the original AVEN definition is pretty accurate, but could perhaps do with a specific addition;

Asexuals are people who are not intrinsically attracted to other people sexually.

I think this definition is a little more precise than "people who are not sexually attracted to any person" because it asserts that asexuality is built-in. This definition states the orientation aspect of asexuality while simultaneously telling people that this is not a state of mind, a medical condition or a behaviour. This lines up with what you could call the definitions of other sexualities;

Heterosexuals are people who are intrinsically attracted to members of the opposite gender sexually.

Bisexuals are people who are intrinsically attracted to members of both genders sexually.

Homosexuals are people who are intrinsically attracted to members of the same gender sexually.

The problem is I have no idea what this "attracted to other people sexually" means. Please explain what it means to be attracted to someone sexually.

You look at a hot guy and get turned on or you look at a hot girl and get turned. In other words which sex/gender would you like to have sex with? That seems like sexual attraction to me.

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Vampyremage

I have been a bit caught up in this topic in other threads to the point of confusion over something that was initially simple to me. I've thought about it realistically and voted for the current definition. It is 100% accurate and simple to understand as long as you don't try to over analyze all the possible meanings of sexual attraction. Sexual attraction is used to define heteor, homo, bisexual and it has never been confusing what they mean.

The problem with this statement is that you must analyze the meaning of the term sexual attraction in order for the current definition to make sense. Myself and others have both stated that one of the problems with the current definition is what the term sexual attraction does and does not mean. If the precise definition isn't clear then we may as well throw out the definition of what is asexuality because we start to go around in circles. What is asexuality? Its a lack of sexual attraction. What is sexual attraction? Its that thing that asexuals don't experience.

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Vampyremage

OK, I've thought a lot about the definitions that are being suggested and this is what I have come up with (this is my own opinion of course - let me know what you think - though please be nice, I'm not trying to define it for you, this is just what asexuality seems like to me). I've realised that the original AVEN definition is pretty accurate, but could perhaps do with a specific addition;

Asexuals are people who are not intrinsically attracted to other people sexually.

I think this definition is a little more precise than "people who are not sexually attracted to any person" because it asserts that asexuality is built-in. This definition states the orientation aspect of asexuality while simultaneously telling people that this is not a state of mind, a medical condition or a behaviour. This lines up with what you could call the definitions of other sexualities;

Heterosexuals are people who are intrinsically attracted to members of the opposite gender sexually.

Bisexuals are people who are intrinsically attracted to members of both genders sexually.

Homosexuals are people who are intrinsically attracted to members of the same gender sexually.

The problem is I have no idea what this "attracted to other people sexually" means. Please explain what it means to be attracted to someone sexually.

You look at a hot guy and get turned on or you look at a hot girl and get turned. In other words which sex/gender would you like to have sex with? That seems like sexual attraction to me.

Often but not always the case. When it comes to asexuals, looking at a hot guy or girl may result in sexual arousal without an accompanying desire to actually have sex with someone attractive of that sex/gender. Rather, the scenario may be you look at a hot person of preferred sex/gender and you want to fantasize and masturbate about said person. Thus, sexual attraction can exist without sexual desire.

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WhenSummersGone

OK, I've thought a lot about the definitions that are being suggested and this is what I have come up with (this is my own opinion of course - let me know what you think - though please be nice, I'm not trying to define it for you, this is just what asexuality seems like to me). I've realised that the original AVEN definition is pretty accurate, but could perhaps do with a specific addition;

Asexuals are people who are not intrinsically attracted to other people sexually.

I think this definition is a little more precise than "people who are not sexually attracted to any person" because it asserts that asexuality is built-in. This definition states the orientation aspect of asexuality while simultaneously telling people that this is not a state of mind, a medical condition or a behaviour. This lines up with what you could call the definitions of other sexualities;

Heterosexuals are people who are intrinsically attracted to members of the opposite gender sexually.

Bisexuals are people who are intrinsically attracted to members of both genders sexually.

Homosexuals are people who are intrinsically attracted to members of the same gender sexually.

The problem is I have no idea what this "attracted to other people sexually" means. Please explain what it means to be attracted to someone sexually.
You look at a hot guy and get turned on or you look at a hot girl and get turned. In other words which sex/gender would you like to have sex with? That seems like sexual attraction to me.

Often but not always the case. When it comes to asexuals, looking at a hot guy or girl may result in sexual arousal without an accompanying desire to actually have sex with someone attractive of that sex/gender. Rather, the scenario may be you look at a hot person of preferred sex/gender and you want to fantasize and masturbate about said person. Thus, sexual attraction can exist without sexual desire.

Then I think both should be the definition because every asexual person is different. But without sexual attraction it sounds like sexuals would take any guy or girl home to have sex with lol.

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Geo

OK, I've thought a lot about the definitions that are being suggested and this is what I have come up with (this is my own opinion of course - let me know what you think - though please be nice, I'm not trying to define it for you, this is just what asexuality seems like to me). I've realised that the original AVEN definition is pretty accurate, but could perhaps do with a specific addition;

Asexuals are people who are not intrinsically attracted to other people sexually.

I think this definition is a little more precise than "people who are not sexually attracted to any person" because it asserts that asexuality is built-in. This definition states the orientation aspect of asexuality while simultaneously telling people that this is not a state of mind, a medical condition or a behaviour. This lines up with what you could call the definitions of other sexualities;

Heterosexuals are people who are intrinsically attracted to members of the opposite gender sexually.

Bisexuals are people who are intrinsically attracted to members of both genders sexually.

Homosexuals are people who are intrinsically attracted to members of the same gender sexually.

The problem is I have no idea what this "attracted to other people sexually" means. Please explain what it means to be attracted to someone sexually.

You look at a hot guy and get turned on or you look at a hot girl and get turned. In other words which sex/gender would you like to have sex with? That seems like sexual attraction to me.

It almost never works like that.

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Turning

I have been a bit caught up in this topic in other threads to the point of confusion over something that was initially simple to me. I've thought about it realistically and voted for the current definition. It is 100% accurate and simple to understand as long as you don't try to over analyze all the possible meanings of sexual attraction. Sexual attraction is used to define heteor, homo, bisexual and it has never been confusing what they mean.

The problem with this statement is that you must analyze the meaning of the term sexual attraction in order for the current definition to make sense. Myself and others have both stated that one of the problems with the current definition is what the term sexual attraction does and does not mean. If the precise definition isn't clear then we may as well throw out the definition of what is asexuality because we start to go around in circles. What is asexuality? Its a lack of sexual attraction. What is sexual attraction? Its that thing that asexuals don't experience.

Sexual attraction is attraction on the basis of sexual desire. By all definitions including Avens. What is unclear really?

If we must redefine asexual then we must redefine all sexual orientations. Because maybe someone who desires sex with the opposite sex (aka is sexually attracted to) may fantasize about the same sex but are not actually sexually attracted to them irl.

This distinction is already made when saying a heterosexual person is a person who is sexually attracted to the opposite sex. Same for asexual. Whatever you think of when/if you masturbate doesn't define your sexual orientation. It never has. Sexual attraction is the basis of sexual orientation.

Edit: Sorry this is actually more in response to another post you made

"Often but not always the case. When it comes to asexuals, looking at a hot guy or girl may result in sexual arousal without an accompanying desire to actually have sex with someone attractive of that sex/gender. Rather, the scenario may be you look at a hot person of preferred sex/gender and you want to fantasize and masturbate about said person. Thus, sexual attraction can exist without sexual desire."

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WhenSummersGone

OK, I've thought a lot about the definitions that are being suggested and this is what I have come up with (this is my own opinion of course - let me know what you think - though please be nice, I'm not trying to define it for you, this is just what asexuality seems like to me). I've realised that the original AVEN definition is pretty accurate, but could perhaps do with a specific addition;

Asexuals are people who are not intrinsically attracted to other people sexually.

I think this definition is a little more precise than "people who are not sexually attracted to any person" because it asserts that asexuality is built-in. This definition states the orientation aspect of asexuality while simultaneously telling people that this is not a state of mind, a medical condition or a behaviour. This lines up with what you could call the definitions of other sexualities;

Heterosexuals are people who are intrinsically attracted to members of the opposite gender sexually.

Bisexuals are people who are intrinsically attracted to members of both genders sexually.

Homosexuals are people who are intrinsically attracted to members of the same gender sexually.

The problem is I have no idea what this "attracted to other people sexually" means. Please explain what it means to be attracted to someone sexually.
You look at a hot guy and get turned on or you look at a hot girl and get turned. In other words which sex/gender would you like to have sex with? That seems like sexual attraction to me.

It almost never works like that.

Based on what I see in this world every sexual gets more interested in having sex with one gender over another. Sexual desire is sexual desire but that doesn't explain who you want to sleep with. Most straight girls want sex with guys and most straight guys want sex with girls. Are you saying your desire for sex is more important than who you want to sleep with? Or would most sexuals sleep with anyone?

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Vampyremage

OK, I've thought a lot about the definitions that are being suggested and this is what I have come up with (this is my own opinion of course - let me know what you think - though please be nice, I'm not trying to define it for you, this is just what asexuality seems like to me). I've realised that the original AVEN definition is pretty accurate, but could perhaps do with a specific addition;

Asexuals are people who are not intrinsically attracted to other people sexually.

I think this definition is a little more precise than "people who are not sexually attracted to any person" because it asserts that asexuality is built-in. This definition states the orientation aspect of asexuality while simultaneously telling people that this is not a state of mind, a medical condition or a behaviour. This lines up with what you could call the definitions of other sexualities;

Heterosexuals are people who are intrinsically attracted to members of the opposite gender sexually.

Bisexuals are people who are intrinsically attracted to members of both genders sexually.

Homosexuals are people who are intrinsically attracted to members of the same gender sexually.

The problem is I have no idea what this "attracted to other people sexually" means. Please explain what it means to be attracted to someone sexually.
You look at a hot guy and get turned on or you look at a hot girl and get turned. In other words which sex/gender would you like to have sex with? That seems like sexual attraction to me.

Often but not always the case. When it comes to asexuals, looking at a hot guy or girl may result in sexual arousal without an accompanying desire to actually have sex with someone attractive of that sex/gender. Rather, the scenario may be you look at a hot person of preferred sex/gender and you want to fantasize and masturbate about said person. Thus, sexual attraction can exist without sexual desire.

Then I think both should be the definition because every asexual person is different. But without sexual attraction it sounds like sexuals would take any guy or girl home to have sex with lol.

But it is also possible to have directed sexual desire without sexual attraction. Myself, I'm grey demisexual who has never experienced sexual attraction. On the occasions when I feel sexual desire, it is definitely directed towards my husband. However, there is no fantasy nor any spark of attraction. Due largely, I believe, to our strong emotional bond, if I am feeling sexual desire for something other than masturbation it is going to be directed towards him. I can't even imagine it being directed elsewhere. However, when I transitioned from asexual to grey demisexual, I didn't magically start feeling sexual attraction. When I don't feel any sexual desire, I don't feel any more sexual attraction than when I do feel sexual desire.

I don't think my situation is necessarily the norm, however I do feel confident in saying that some minority of sexual individuals likely do have similar experiences to mind. Once again I bring Lady Girl and her story up because she has been quite frank about the fact that she feels no sexual attraction but she does feel directed sexual desire and she is sexual.

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Vampyremage

I have been a bit caught up in this topic in other threads to the point of confusion over something that was initially simple to me. I've thought about it realistically and voted for the current definition. It is 100% accurate and simple to understand as long as you don't try to over analyze all the possible meanings of sexual attraction. Sexual attraction is used to define heteor, homo, bisexual and it has never been confusing what they mean.

The problem with this statement is that you must analyze the meaning of the term sexual attraction in order for the current definition to make sense. Myself and others have both stated that one of the problems with the current definition is what the term sexual attraction does and does not mean. If the precise definition isn't clear then we may as well throw out the definition of what is asexuality because we start to go around in circles. What is asexuality? Its a lack of sexual attraction. What is sexual attraction? Its that thing that asexuals don't experience.

Sexual attraction is attraction on the basis of sexual desire. By all definitions including Avens. What is unclear really?

If we must redefine asexual then we must redefine all sexual orientations. Because maybe someone who desires sex with the opposite sex (aka is sexually attracted to) may fantasize about the same sex but are not actually sexually attracted to them irl.

This distinction is already made when saying a heterosexual person is a person who is sexually attracted to the opposite sex. Same for asexual. Whatever you think of when/if you masturbate doesn't define your sexual orientation. It never has. Sexual attraction is the basis of sexual orientation.

Once again I reiterate the fact that in speaking of other orientations, sexual desire is the direct implication of the direction of attraction. Thus, it is usually not baldly stated because it is almost always directly assumed and in the cases of other orientations, this is almost always an accurate assumption. With asexualtity, however, that divide is more important. To a greater number of asexual individuals that divide matters because experiencing sexual attraction in an asexual does not (almost always) automatically lead to that innate desire for partnered sex.

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WhenSummersGone

OK, I've thought a lot about the definitions that are being suggested and this is what I have come up with (this is my own opinion of course - let me know what you think - though please be nice, I'm not trying to define it for you, this is just what asexuality seems like to me). I've realised that the original AVEN definition is pretty accurate, but could perhaps do with a specific addition;

Asexuals are people who are not intrinsically attracted to other people sexually.

I think this definition is a little more precise than "people who are not sexually attracted to any person" because it asserts that asexuality is built-in. This definition states the orientation aspect of asexuality while simultaneously telling people that this is not a state of mind, a medical condition or a behaviour. This lines up with what you could call the definitions of other sexualities;

Heterosexuals are people who are intrinsically attracted to members of the opposite gender sexually.

Bisexuals are people who are intrinsically attracted to members of both genders sexually.

Homosexuals are people who are intrinsically attracted to members of the same gender sexually.

The problem is I have no idea what this "attracted to other people sexually" means. Please explain what it means to be attracted to someone sexually.
You look at a hot guy and get turned on or you look at a hot girl and get turned. In other words which sex/gender would you like to have sex with? That seems like sexual attraction to me.

Often but not always the case. When it comes to asexuals, looking at a hot guy or girl may result in sexual arousal without an accompanying desire to actually have sex with someone attractive of that sex/gender. Rather, the scenario may be you look at a hot person of preferred sex/gender and you want to fantasize and masturbate about said person. Thus, sexual attraction can exist without sexual desire.
Then I think both should be the definition because every asexual person is different. But without sexual attraction it sounds like sexuals would take any guy or girl home to have sex with lol.

But it is also possible to have directed sexual desire without sexual attraction. Myself, I'm grey demisexual who has never experienced sexual attraction. On the occasions when I feel sexual desire, it is definitely directed towards my husband. However, there is no fantasy nor any spark of attraction. Due largely, I believe, to our strong emotional bond, if I am feeling sexual desire for something other than masturbation it is going to be directed towards him. I can't even imagine it being directed elsewhere. However, when I transitioned from asexual to grey demisexual, I didn't magically start feeling sexual attraction. When I don't feel any sexual desire, I don't feel any more sexual attraction than when I do feel sexual desire.

I don't think my situation is necessarily the norm, however I do feel confident in saying that some minority of sexual individuals likely do have similar experiences to mind. Once again I bring Lady Girl and her story up because she has been quite frank about the fact that she feels no sexual attraction but she does feel directed sexual desire and she is sexual.

I'm not saying sexual desire doesn't exist, but I feel if you get turned on by someone and you want to have sex with them then you are also sexually attracted to them. That's just how I personally feel.

Growing up I didn't understand why seeing a shirtless guy would cause sexual feelings. To me if someone wants to "get it on" with someone then they are experiencing sexual attraction.

I just feel the definition should be both which would please everyone.

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Vampyremage

OK, I've thought a lot about the definitions that are being suggested and this is what I have come up with (this is my own opinion of course - let me know what you think - though please be nice, I'm not trying to define it for you, this is just what asexuality seems like to me). I've realised that the original AVEN definition is pretty accurate, but could perhaps do with a specific addition;

Asexuals are people who are not intrinsically attracted to other people sexually.

I think this definition is a little more precise than "people who are not sexually attracted to any person" because it asserts that asexuality is built-in. This definition states the orientation aspect of asexuality while simultaneously telling people that this is not a state of mind, a medical condition or a behaviour. This lines up with what you could call the definitions of other sexualities;

Heterosexuals are people who are intrinsically attracted to members of the opposite gender sexually.Bisexuals are people who are intrinsically attracted to members of both genders sexually.Homosexuals are people who are intrinsically attracted to members of the same gender sexually.

The problem is I have no idea what this "attracted to other people sexually" means. Please explain what it means to be attracted to someone sexually.

You look at a hot guy and get turned on or you look at a hot girl and get turned. In other words which sex/gender would you like to have sex with? That seems like sexual attraction to me.

Often but not always the case. When it comes to asexuals, looking at a hot guy or girl may result in sexual arousal without an accompanying desire to actually have sex with someone attractive of that sex/gender. Rather, the scenario may be you look at a hot person of preferred sex/gender and you want to fantasize and masturbate about said person. Thus, sexual attraction can exist without sexual desire.
Then I think both should be the definition because every asexual person is different. But without sexual attraction it sounds like sexuals would take any guy or girl home to have sex with lol.

But it is also possible to have directed sexual desire without sexual attraction. Myself, I'm grey demisexual who has never experienced sexual attraction. On the occasions when I feel sexual desire, it is definitely directed towards my husband. However, there is no fantasy nor any spark of attraction. Due largely, I believe, to our strong emotional bond, if I am feeling sexual desire for something other than masturbation it is going to be directed towards him. I can't even imagine it being directed elsewhere. However, when I transitioned from asexual to grey demisexual, I didn't magically start feeling sexual attraction. When I don't feel any sexual desire, I don't feel any more sexual attraction than when I do feel sexual desire.

I don't think my situation is necessarily the norm, however I do feel confident in saying that some minority of sexual individuals likely do have similar experiences to mind. Once again I bring Lady Girl and her story up because she has been quite frank about the fact that she feels no sexual attraction but she does feel directed sexual desire and she is sexual.

I'm not saying sexual desire doesn't exist, but I feel if you get turned on by someone and you want to have sex with them then you are also sexually attracted to them. That's just how I personally feel.

Growing up I didn't understand why seeing a shirtless guy would cause sexual feelings. To me if someone wants to "get it on" with someone then they are experiencing sexual attraction.

I just feel the definition should be both which would please everyone.

While a desire based definition is one which makes the most sense to me on a personal level, I am in full support of a definition that encompasses both desire a and attraction.

As I see the divide between sexual attraction and directed sexual desire is that I believe sexual attraction to exist in a relatively stable form regardless of one's present state of sexual desire. That is to say, X person is sexually attractive whether or not one presently feels a desire for sex. For me, outside of those times when I desire sex with my husband I never think about how sexually attractive he is. Perhaps I am misunderstanding sexual attraction, but this is how I perceive the difference. I also never have sexual fantasies even when masturbating or horny which also may contribute to my idea of sexual attraction.

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Turning

I have been a bit caught up in this topic in other threads to the point of confusion over something that was initially simple to me. I've thought about it realistically and voted for the current definition. It is 100% accurate and simple to understand as long as you don't try to over analyze all the possible meanings of sexual attraction. Sexual attraction is used to define heteor, homo, bisexual and it has never been confusing what they mean.

The problem with this statement is that you must analyze the meaning of the term sexual attraction in order for the current definition to make sense. Myself and others have both stated that one of the problems with the current definition is what the term sexual attraction does and does not mean. If the precise definition isn't clear then we may as well throw out the definition of what is asexuality because we start to go around in circles. What is asexuality? Its a lack of sexual attraction. What is sexual attraction? Its that thing that asexuals don't experience.

Sexual attraction is attraction on the basis of sexual desire. By all definitions including Avens. What is unclear really?

If we must redefine asexual then we must redefine all sexual orientations. Because maybe someone who desires sex with the opposite sex (aka is sexually attracted to) may fantasize about the same sex but are not actually sexually attracted to them irl.

This distinction is already made when saying a heterosexual person is a person who is sexually attracted to the opposite sex. Same for asexual. Whatever you think of when/if you masturbate doesn't define your sexual orientation. It never has. Sexual attraction is the basis of sexual orientation.

Once again I reiterate the fact that in speaking of other orientations, sexual desire is the direct implication of the direction of attraction. Thus, it is usually not baldly stated because it is almost always directly assumed and in the cases of other orientations, this is almost always an accurate assumption. With asexualtity, however, that divide is more important. To a greater number of asexual individuals that divide matters because experiencing sexual attraction in an asexual does not (almost always) automatically lead to that innate desire for partnered sex.

If an asexual or anyone else is sexually attracted to someone it means exactly the same thing.

If someone looks at a person and is sexually aroused but has desire to be with them it is just sexual arousal.

So again, sexual attraction is attraction on the basis of sexual desire. Not arousal/fantasizing/masturbation.

This applies to all sexual orientation as I explained above.

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WhenSummersGone

I also believe sexual attraction can cause sexual desire, they can be closely linked when it is directed. I personally only count it as sexual attraction when there is desire that follows. Sexual desire for partnered sex in general happens alone though.

So I'm in favor of both definitions.

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Vampyremage

If it can only be considered sexual attraction if sexual desire follows, then what do you consider a pattern of sexual arousal and sexual fantasy based upon an individual seeing individuals with desirable physical traits? That is to say, lets assume someone finds attractive curvy blond women. When they see an attractive curvy blond woman, it consistently leads to sexual arousal. When they fantasize, they fantasize to images of curvy blond women and perhaps use porn with curvy blond women as an aid to masturbation. However, no actual desire for partnered sex ever follows. Is this an example of sexual attraction and, if not, what is it?

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WhenSummersGone

If it can only be considered sexual attraction if sexual desire follows, then what do you consider a pattern of sexual arousal and sexual fantasy based upon an individual seeing individuals with desirable physical traits? That is to say, lets assume someone finds attractive curvy blond women. When they see an attractive curvy blond woman, it consistently leads to sexual arousal. When they fantasize, they fantasize to images of curvy blond women and perhaps use porn with curvy blond women as an aid to masturbation. However, no actual desire for partnered sex ever follows. Is this an example of sexual attraction and, if not, what is it?

It just sounds more like libido to me if there is no want. I watch lesbian porn but I don't want to sleep with those girls I see.

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