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Sexuals - Initial Attraction Thoughts?

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butterflydreams

I only know Skulls as a person on a forum, but I know we're different in really core ways. What exactly is she experiencing? How does it manifest? What does it feel like? I don't have a clue. Call it whatever you want. Sexual attraction, desire, flambulstorp...all I know is that she's got it, and I don't. That's easy for me to understand. A hell of a lot easier than 'what is attraction?' :)

Yup yup, same as with Teagz and his "is choosing a partner romantic attraction"... I dunno, but it's sure as hell a lot different than what happens to me :D

Ok, so we're going to have you fill out this form and someone should get back to you in 4-6 weeks about whether or not you're the partner we're looking for. Please also make sure to fill out this psychological evaluation sheet as it helps us make a determination about whether romantic pursuit will work.

You mean that's not how you do it? :lol:

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Cimmerian

This has been very interesting to read. I've just been reading this thread and nodding. :P Thanks to those of you I've spammed with likes for saying just about anything that I would have. (I tried to stop pressing the button so often around page 8... xD) It's fun to find agreement with people you typically disagree with on most other topics. :lol:

I'm an ex "attraction-ist" who went more to the desire-based definition (the "no innate desire" version that Pan mentioned) because no one could define sexual attraction in any regularly consistent and understandable way, and I was extremely confused as to what "sexual attraction" as supposed to be when I first ended up on this site.

And as far as I'm concerned Pluto is a planet, because yes it ruins the best mnemonics without it. xD

Hm, looks like I missed the fluffy pillow quote, but yes who doesn't like them? :D

Eh. Having sex causing you to desire it, is desiring it.


Um... am I stupid or is that not how it works for basically everyone?

Also, sex requires practice. The general drive may be innate but the mechanics of it... at least the mechanics of the real fun stuff... aren't. I've learned and explored new stuff with everyone I've been with. I had a girlfriend who "taught" me how to orgasm... one night she was just like "OK this is ridiculous you should be having more fun than this."

Okay, that made me laugh-- but what a great girlfriend. :lol:

*bad 40s mobster voice imitation* "Ehhh, people annoy you, you annoy them back, right?"

But I do get what you're saying. I don't think my sarcasm is my best trait, by a far cry... I just have to choose between that and angrily flipping my shit when stuff annoys me too much, and go by what I consider the lesser of two evils.

(And you would probably be shocked how much sarcasm I edit out of posts before ever clicking reply. A lot of times, you're already seeing the filtered version. :redface: )

I completely agree with the bold. And I certainly have to do the same kind of editing if I'm in PPS or Hot Box and happened to read anything after the OP. :ph34r:


Depends on what you mean by "desire". If you replace "desire" with "would like/would enjoy", I'd say they could be asexual.

That's exactly the difference we "desirists" mean when we call the differentiation thing innate desire, or urge (comparable to German Verlangen - the word used in AVEN.de's definition of asexuality - and not just to the far weaker German Wunsch).

I certainly agree, and have always said, that the question of enjoyment of sex has no impact on a person's asexuality. Some aces enjoy partnered sex, others don't. But no ace innately desires sex, even when they can obviously choose to have it.... they'll never feel internally driven to have partnered sex, and can do indefinitely without it, with no adverse effect on them whatsoever.

This is a great blurb of the desire definition. The innate desire vs. desire/want used to be exactly why I was concerned about a desire-based definition but the little word "innate" is my favorite.

Yup yup, same as with Teagz and his "is choosing a partner romantic attraction"... I dunno, but it's sure as hell a lot different than what happens to me :D

Ok, so we're going to have you fill out this form and someone should get back to you in 4-6 weeks about whether or not you're the partner we're looking for. Please also make sure to fill out this psychological evaluation sheet as it helps us make a determination about whether romantic pursuit will work.

You mean that's not how you do it? :lol:

You mean other people don't do that? :P It always seemed logical to me.

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humantoafault

I have no idea how the whole picking a partner thing is supposed to work. Haha.

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Guest

I have no idea how the whole picking a partner thing is supposed to work. Haha.

It's a "how" question. The answer to "how" questions is always "With a machiiiiiiine." ;)

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Ricecream-man

I have no idea how the whole picking a partner thing is supposed to work. Haha.

It's a "how" question. The answer to "how" questions is always "With a machiiiiiiine." ;)

If you asked some of my aunts and uncle's they'd give a pretty solid checklist on arranged marriages. Makes me nervous to go back to my mother country sometime.

Aaaaand full tangent!

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humantoafault

I just figure that if it's meant to happen it will. I'm not going to go looking for a relationship. Maybe when I'm older I'll change my mind or something.

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Autumn Season

I have no idea how the whole picking a partner thing is supposed to work. Haha.

It depends on what you want from a partner.

Do you want a husband in order to start a family? Then if somebody asks you to be with him and he seems reliable, take him.

Do you want a fairy tale heart fluttering story (not promising a happy end)? Then confess to the one you have a crush on.

Do you want a bff with benefits? Then accept the one you trust most.

And so on.

In any case you can actively search for people - for example on dating sites or on social events - in order to increase the chance of finding somebody suitable. However somebody told me that the more people you meet the pickier you get, so depending on what you want, this might be a bad idea after all.

... And the way I am "picking" a partner: I don't get to choose. It either feels right or it doesn't. xD And I am a fairy tale type. :blush:

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Tarfeather

... And the way I am "picking" a partner: I don't get to choose. It either feels right or it doesn't. xD And I am a fairy tale type. :blush:

Yup yup. I can't imagine picking a partner for any reason other than that. Oh, also, I've never used dating sites or actively went out looking for people, and I still have extremely high standards. Blame my girlfriend, there's just nobody else out there who's as perfect as she is. :P

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Guest

Yup yup. I can't imagine picking a partner for any reason other than that.

Heh. Well, the only thing that "it feels right" can make me to do anymore is to even feel motivated to bring out the checklist and interview the person in question about compatibilities and dealbreakers. :D

If they don't pass that interview with flying colors, they're not an acceptable applicant for the "partner" position, no matter how I emotionally/aesthetically feel about them. No checklist pass means no crossing of the friendzone border. 8)

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Float On

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humantoafault

lol Don't think I could be so bold either.

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Tarfeather

I just figure it's as easy as just pointing a finger at someone random and declaring "You! Date me!" and then seeing where it goes.

Ironically I'm not brave enough to actually do that xD

I confess that I have a running list of AVENites who I expect could turn out to be a compatible partner lol aren't I awkward

That wouldn't have worked, but it sounds cool.

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Float On

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Ricecream-man

I just figure it's as easy as just pointing a finger at someone random and declaring "You! Date me!" and then seeing where it goes.

Ironically I'm not brave enough to actually do that xD

I confess that I have a running list of AVENites who I expect could turn out to be a compatible partner lol aren't I awkward

That wouldn't have worked, but it sounds cool.

:P the point is, that's just about as far as I can manage to understand the desire to date someone lol.

altho also, like, some people "seem datable" to me, in an analytic way. lol. not like, they are attractive xP just that, well I know how I intereact with humans - and I know which humans I would resent if I had to spend a long time with; which (most) humans I would find exhausting if one-on-one with longer than an hour or two, altho prolonged by games and movies; and which humans I suspect I might not get worn out by their presence (there are just a handful of people who have ever been like this for me.)

I'm pretty sure he was referring to your method of asking someone out.

I'm in agreement about people on AVEN who look like they could be fun partners. There have been a few people who I've thought would be fun to try dating if they were local.

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Float On

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Guest
I'm in agreement about people on AVEN who look like they could be fun partners. There have been a few people who I've thought would be fun to try dating if they were local.

I bet a lot more people do this than let on. I mean, not me of course that'd be crazy but ummmm other people. (winks at mysticus)

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Guest
I'm in agreement about people on AVEN who look like they could be fun partners. There have been a few people who I've thought would be fun to try dating if they were local.

I bet a lot more people do this than let on. I mean, not me of course that'd be crazy but ummmm other people. (winks at mysticus)

Huh what? *whistles innocently* :lol:

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Float On

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Ricecream-man

I'm in agreement about people on AVEN who look like they could be fun partners. There have been a few people who I've thought would be fun to try dating if they were local.

I bet a lot more people do this than let on. I mean, not me of course that'd be crazy but ummmm other people. (winks at mysticus)

Huh what? *whistles innocently* :lol:

Oooooh, did I just learn something about the Mysterious Mysticus or am I reading too much into things?

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Star Inkbright

Thank you all for this thread. :) :cake:

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Cimmerian

Yup yup. I can't imagine picking a partner for any reason other than that.

Heh. Well, the only thing that "it feels right" can make me to do anymore is to even feel motivated to bring out the checklist and interview the person in question about compatibilities and dealbreakers. :D

If they don't pass that interview with flying colors, they're not an acceptable applicant for the "partner" position, no matter how I emotionally/aesthetically feel about them. No checklist pass means no crossing of the friendzone border. 8)

"You shall not pass!" :lol: I have a few stable items on my checklist but everything else is either malleable or more of a range because I end up running into people who would fall a bit outside older checklist items that I'd enjoy dating.

I just figure it's as easy as just pointing a finger at someone random and declaring "You! Date me!" and then seeing where it goes.

Ironically I'm not brave enough to actually do that xD

I confess that I have a running list of AVENites who I expect could turn out to be a compatible partner lol aren't I awkward

xD I know how you feel. I wish I could do bold things like that. I am bold in other way but not at all when it comes to asking someone else out, sadly. ^^; It's the one aspect of shyness/reserve that I really don't like in myself.

And I confess I have a list like that too, but not one of them is local somehow. But I have seen one or two of them pair up; I've been here too long. :rolleyes: Think we can shove everyone into a 2 hour radius?

I mean I'd totally go on a date with anyone just for fun. but well, it'd be awkward if they wanted me to take it seriously lol :P but really, I actually (too late of course lol) decided that on principal, if anyone asks me out I will say yes and give em a chance

but I wouldn't be so open on AVEN because... long distance isn't really something I'm interested in, the reason why I'd be up for a relationship is because of huggles and financial codependence. those aren't so available in a long distance relationship. I'd be super awkward to start dating, over a forum xD it'd work if fine for an ex tho :unsure:

and, I am afraid of my libido. I don't feel that I am sexual, but I am afraid that I am repressed. I wouldn't want to date an asexual or anyone really, until I find out which I am.

Yeah, long distance really isn't that fun unless one or both of you can travel fairly often, in my opinion. (It doesn't hurt that I know people who have been married after doing that.) I rather like traveling, so I wouldn't mind doing that kind of LD dating once I'm a bit more stable, but it's not too realistic at the moment.

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Guest

Oooooh, did I just learn something about the Mysterious Mysticus or am I reading too much into things?

That depends on what you think you've learned. *cloak waving mysteriously in the wind* :lol:

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Autumn Season

Think we can shove everyone into a 2 hour radius?

Oh oh, and then everyone would have a pillow fight! It would be awesome! Actually I'm starting to think that AVEN-country wouldn't be such a bad idea after all. xD

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Float On

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Kai99

Very interesting discussion. I have to admit, I thought of sexual attraction as seeing someone you find attractive and having a physical sensation for them base off appearance. I have a question for sexuals than. Is it something that only some sexuals get, that others don't? Do you have any physical reaction to someone you found attractive, or do you just look and think about how attractive that person is? Also, what about seeing someone naked in an sexy pose. Do you get a physical reaction from that and if so, is that sexual attraction?

Anyways, as far as the defining differences between an asexual who enjoys sex and a sexual, here are my two cents. Hopefully I can explain it properly, but in my opinion, what differentiates a asexual from a sexual is the disconnect that asexuals have with sex. For sexuals, sex is more than just physical pleasure, even to those who do only have sex for the pleasure of it. It is also connected to a person's feelings of worth. I have notice, through reading here and other forums where people discuss what it is like living in a sexless marriage or a person describing what it is like being unable to get laid, that many of them start to think they aren't attractive enough or there is just something about them that just isn't good enough. Not having sex can cause a person to have serious self esteem issues, like what TarFeather describe when he couldn't get laid in high school. Even a person who just have sex for the pleasure of it, if they weren't able to find a person welling to have sex with him/herself, they would probably be affected by it emotionally. An asexual who happens to enjoy sex, would not feel that way, because of that disconnection from sex. Yes, sex is enjoyable, but it would not matter if that person never had sex again. It would not have the same impact like it would for a sexual.

Sex just means so much more when it comes to sexuals. It is considered a great way, some say the best way, to show your love for another person. Being desired sexually by your loved one or someone you like is essential. Sex can make or break a relationship, and a sign that a relationship is not doing well is for the couple to stop having sex with one another. It is also tide to a person's self worth. Reading about how horrible it is to be in a sexless marriage is a feeling not something asexuals can relate to. Sex isn't tide to our emotional well being nor is it seen as a form of intense intimacy. To us, it is simply an action that people do with one another. That action that some asexuals can find pleasurable, some find it boring, and others find it downright disgusting.

Growing up as an asexual who do have a little libido, sex was never in my mind. I remember being in middle school and high school never really caring about being in a relationship. I have had several crushes on people, but that sexual desire was never there. I have never wanted or even imagine myself having sex with my crushes. I did not think of sex as part of a relationship. I remember asking out loud to my friend in high school in the 10th or 11th grade about what happens the next day when you do make it official, and what makes being friends and being in a relationship so different. Now I did know of sex, but I never sat there and thought about sex and what it would mean for my life. Sex means nothing to me, and that is the main difference of an asexual and a sexual. Sexuals have a connection to sex that naturally makes them value it, while asexuals don't.

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booksoversex

I have read through a lot of this thread, and it's interesting.

I think I might agree with "no sexual attraction" being a confusing term. Since I have been confused (and still is) about whether I am asexual or just an indifferent sexual (who don't mind having sex but don't want it/desire either, something which people here seem to attribute to the asexual spectrum), I have asked some of my friends what they mean by sexy. One of them answered it was when you felt sexual attraction to someone. Well, that's just maddingly unhelpful. So I asked what people meant by sexual attraction. That friend was confused and like "that's just something you feel" and couldn't explain it, but other friends tried. A couple of them said they would see someone, find them good-looking/attractive and then almost instantaneously imagine them in a sexual situation, or imagining them without clothes. This seems to be how many aces think ALL sexuals are, but only a couple of them confirmed they did this quite regularly. For the others, it was more of a process. They saw someone, and found them attractive and/or charming, felt chemistry with them - I also experience this, and I think many people who wonder if they're ace do. Then they were curious about the person and wanted to be close to them to get to know them better (basically iniating conversations and staying close to them at parties in case you got a chance to engage in conversation and/or flirting). Then, their answeres differed. One of them said that at this point, she would start pondering how it would be to sleep with the other person. Sometimes it could be almost a strong, physical sensation that she couldn't explain ("I really want to try sleeping with this person"), but often it was more of a thought: "I wonder how this person would be in bed?" Or, "Since we're getting so well along, maybe we would get along well in bed too?" She also said she often pictured them naked/in bed with her at this point, but that she wasn't aroused in any way, it was more that she was curious and that picture made her want to find out how it would be IRL. The other girl said she would more be curious about the other person, and often also wonder if they would be good in bed, but she didn't imagine the other person naked with her and rarely felt like following through with this. She did, however, say that she would have sexual fantasies/daydreams that ended with her and the person she had her eye on in bed together, or build scenarios in her head that could lead to sex (thinking what she could wear, say, do etc. to make the other person begin thinking about getting down to it), but this required a pre-established interest or a crush on someone.

So, these are different sexual people with different perspectives on what sexual attraction is, or how they relate to sex in their everyday lives. I think quite a few people on here who call themselves asexual would, for instance, identify with the last girl mentioned. Some would maybe also call her demisexual (which to me seems absurd, she doesn't require any emotional bond, only a crush/interest). I would say she's sexual, just maybe less than some of the others I mentioned.

These are the things that confuse people. If you say "I am asexual, because I don't go around thinking about sex," a rather big portion of sexuals would say they didn't, either, unless it "popped up" as an option/came up in a conversation, or they were in a situation where thinking about it was natural (such as when watching sexually explicit material or seeing someone they were attracted to with little clothes on, for instance on the beach) and many of them would also say that they only thought briefly about it in that situation too. If you say "I am asexual, because I don't crave/desire sex", many of them would say: What does that mean? I can go weeks without sex, my libido in "hibernation", no problem, but when I am in a situation where sex is natural, I'll want it, and preferrably have it. If you say "I am asexual, because I don't feel sexual attraction", many of them would again ask what that meant. It would require a rather long discussion to figure out what is actually different between you. I am still not sure I am asexual, but I did not relate to my friends saying they begun imagining people in sexual situations or daydreaming/fantasizing about having sex with certain people. The closest I come to that is if I've already had sex with someone, and I think about that and what it felt like, but even then I'd say it's not a fantasy, more of a memory. Of course, I cannot be sure. Maybe it is a "fantasy", or maybe a memory and a fantasy is the same (except a fantasy can also be fictional).

When it comes to craving sex: I have friends who do crave sex on a regular basis, or they feel lonely/sad, restless, annoyed etc. - but I honestly believe much of this is psychological. They feel like this because they THINK they should have regular sex. Some of them, sure, are sexually frustrated or plainly want sex, but for many of them there are many reasons they think they should have sex. I have also thought I SHOULD have sex because it's been so long and I have thought one should have sex at least this and this often (luckily I've abandoned this ridicolous mindset now), is that any different? Maybe, in that I am aware this is psychological, and if you take that away I have no physical want or need for sex. But quite a few sexuals feel this way too. I also have friends who occasionally have casual sex, but who mostly go sexless in between relationships, and thus can go without sex for, say, one and a half years without it seemingly bothering them much (although sometimes it does cause them distress, especially if they do want/crave sex but they only want it within a relationship, so they don't have the sex they want to have because they're not dating someone). I myself occasionally have (or at least used to have) casual sex, mostly because I felt like I ought to have sex with a certain frequency, but also because I connected with someone and thought "well, why not" if I figured they were interested (even if I never thought of them in a seuxal way). I have also had sex in the relationships I've been in as an adult. Is this different? Maybe. Maybe not. I have noticed that I seem to have a preference for masturbation and don't ever really want/crave partnered sex, while some of my friends seem to have a preference for partnered sex and not really want to masturbate, it's just an "emergency solution" when they can't have partnered sex. In addition, they seem to masturbate mostly when their partner is not available while thinking about their partner, while I masturbate equally much if I am in or outside a relationship and don't think about my partner while doing it. Does this mean I am asexual and they're not? Or does it mean we're all sexual, just in different ways?

I think all of us who came here, did so because we felt there was something different with us. Because we were indifferent to sex, we were repulsed by sex, or we never had a sexual feeling in our lives. Which ones are asexual, and who are simply sexuals with low libido or the like? It is impossible to say. I agree that the definition should be clear. I am reading "Understanding Asexuality" by Anthony Boegart now, and even though there's much to be said about that book, I agree strongly with one of his main points: We need a standard definition. It is not, for instance, possible to study asexuality if one does not have a definition. Simply saying "people define themselves" doesn't hold, although it is not politically correct to say so (it is what I feel, though). If I only ever fell in love with men, if I wanted to have sex with men and slept with men regularly, if I when imagining a long-term relationship I imagined it with a man, I would not be lesbian even though I defined myself that way, stating that I had just not found the right woman yet but insisting that all the men were just entertainment while waiting.

I think a lot of people are just searching for an explanation/a label, and it's a relief to find one. It is still hard to determine, though, whether everyone who feels they have found the right label, that the pieces are coming together and making sense, are actually asexual or if there is another reason behind their confusion or lack of desire for sex. The question is: Does it matter? Do we need labels at all? Humans are organized beings in that we like to find explanations for things and label them, so I would say that's why we "need" labels sexuality wise, while in reality sexuality seems to be rather fluid and thus not really labelable (is that a word? Sorry, English is not my native language).

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Telecaster68

So to go way back to the OP - what's going through my head when it comes to sexual attraction:

For me, it's like there's a set of ascending thresholds.

c. 10 times a day, completely in passing: 'Oh, she's attractive'. Fleeting thought, based purely on visuals, on the level of passing someone in the street. Not to be confused with aesthetic attraction though - it can be as much about their style, how they dress, what they seem to be doing. Maybe if we got talking, there'd be a connection. Maybe it crosses my mind she'd look great naked. And then my attention is taken by something else and I forget all about it.

Then, of those...

c once a week, with some kind of social engagement. 'I'd really like spend more time with her, and we'd probably have a connection and maybe that would lead to something sexual'. Maybe I'm thinking of her sexually, even fantasising about her. But that's as far as it goes - either she's clearly not into me, or anything more just isn't appropriate in the situation.

If it does go further

c. every six months, or three months, that kind of time period. 'Wow, we've really got a connection, there's a real pull towards each other, can't get enough of each other, I really want to have sex with her'.

That's not to say it takes six months (though it might). All those things could happen in an afternoon with a single person. But that's the frequency they crop up. In other words, I see maybe 10 women a day who I'd consider sex with; but only one every six months who (everything else being equal) where it would all pan out. And all of that is fine, to me, it's just how life is. It's no more distracting or frustrating or morality-laden than anything else.

This first and second degree sexual attraction makes no sense to me, regardless of the model. Sure, there's an instinctive part to sexual attraction, and a more conscious element, round interpreting behaviour, dress, social context etc. Yes, you can salami slice all this stuff up, but in terms of how sexual attraction is experienced, it's utterly pointless - it's like trying to describe the experience of wanting ice cream by saying our bodies have evolved to crave sugar, and ice cream ads make eating it seem enticing, and some people's desire for ice-cream is instinctive and therefore first degree, and some people's desire is second degree, and you're only a true ice-cream lover if you're overwhelmed by both at once.

Not very useful in understanding what it feels like to want an ice cream. The experience of wanting and then eating ice-cream mixes the instinctive and conscious together inextricably, and that's part of the joy of ice cream.

Also - I completely second Books' points about labels, especially this insistence that people are whatever they want to call themselves. There was a thread recently in which there was discussion of people defining themselves as virgins even though they've had sex. AVEN rules say they can do that, according to a mod...

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humantoafault

I have read through a lot of this thread, and it's interesting.

I think I might agree with "no sexual attraction" being a confusing term. Since I have been confused (and still is) about whether I am asexual or just an indifferent sexual (who don't mind having sex but don't want it/desire either, something which people here seem to attribute to the asexual spectrum), I have asked some of my friends what they mean by sexy. One of them answered it was when you felt sexual attraction to someone. Well, that's just maddingly unhelpful. So I asked what people meant by sexual attraction. That friend was confused and like "that's just something you feel" and couldn't explain it, but other friends tried. A couple of them said they would see someone, find them good-looking/attractive and then almost instantaneously imagine them in a sexual situation, or imagining them without clothes. This seems to be how many aces think ALL sexuals are, but only a couple of them confirmed they did this quite regularly. For the others, it was more of a process. They saw someone, and found them attractive and/or charming, felt chemistry with them - I also experience this, and I think many people who wonder if they're ace do. Then they were curious about the person and wanted to be close to them to get to know them better (basically iniating conversations and staying close to them at parties in case you got a chance to engage in conversation and/or flirting). Then, their answeres differed. One of them said that at this point, she would start pondering how it would be to sleep with the other person. Sometimes it could be almost a strong, physical sensation that she couldn't explain ("I really want to try sleeping with this person"), but often it was more of a thought: "I wonder how this person would be in bed?" Or, "Since we're getting so well along, maybe we would get along well in bed too?" She also said she often pictured them naked/in bed with her at this point, but that she wasn't aroused in any way, it was more that she was curious and that picture made her want to find out how it would be IRL. The other girl said she would more be curious about the other person, and often also wonder if they would be good in bed, but she didn't imagine the other person naked with her and rarely felt like following through with this. She did, however, say that she would have sexual fantasies/daydreams that ended with her and the person she had her eye on in bed together, or build scenarios in her head that could lead to sex (thinking what she could wear, say, do etc. to make the other person begin thinking about getting down to it), but this required a pre-established interest or a crush on someone.

So, these are different sexual people with different perspectives on what sexual attraction is, or how they relate to sex in their everyday lives. I think quite a few people on here who call themselves asexual would, for instance, identify with the last girl mentioned. Some would maybe also call her demisexual (which to me seems absurd, she doesn't require any emotional bond, only a crush/interest). I would say she's sexual, just maybe less than some of the others I mentioned.

These are the things that confuse people. If you say "I am asexual, because I don't go around thinking about sex," a rather big portion of sexuals would say they didn't, either, unless it "popped up" as an option/came up in a conversation, or they were in a situation where thinking about it was natural (such as when watching sexually explicit material or seeing someone they were attracted to with little clothes on, for instance on the beach) and many of them would also say that they only thought briefly about it in that situation too. If you say "I am asexual, because I don't crave/desire sex", many of them would say: What does that mean? I can go weeks without sex, my libido in "hibernation", no problem, but when I am in a situation where sex is natural, I'll want it, and preferrably have it. If you say "I am asexual, because I don't feel sexual attraction", many of them would again ask what that meant. It would require a rather long discussion to figure out what is actually different between you. I am still not sure I am asexual, but I did not relate to my friends saying they begun imagining people in sexual situations or daydreaming/fantasizing about having sex with certain people. The closest I come to that is if I've already had sex with someone, and I think about that and what it felt like, but even then I'd say it's not a fantasy, more of a memory. Of course, I cannot be sure. Maybe it is a "fantasy", or maybe a memory and a fantasy is the same (except a fantasy can also be fictional).

When it comes to craving sex: I have friends who do crave sex on a regular basis, or they feel lonely/sad, restless, annoyed etc. - but I honestly believe much of this is psychological. They feel like this because they THINK they should have regular sex. Some of them, sure, are sexually frustrated or plainly want sex, but for many of them there are many reasons they think they should have sex. I have also thought I SHOULD have sex because it's been so long and I have thought one should have sex at least this and this often (luckily I've abandoned this ridicolous mindset now), is that any different? Maybe, in that I am aware this is psychological, and if you take that away I have no physical want or need for sex. But quite a few sexuals feel this way too. I also have friends who occasionally have casual sex, but who mostly go sexless in between relationships, and thus can go without sex for, say, one and a half years without it seemingly bothering them much (although sometimes it does cause them distress, especially if they do want/crave sex but they only want it within a relationship, so they don't have the sex they want to have because they're not dating someone). I myself occasionally have (or at least used to have) casual sex, mostly because I felt like I ought to have sex with a certain frequency, but also because I connected with someone and thought "well, why not" if I figured they were interested (even if I never thought of them in a seuxal way). I have also had sex in the relationships I've been in as an adult. Is this different? Maybe. Maybe not. I have noticed that I seem to have a preference for masturbation and don't ever really want/crave partnered sex, while some of my friends seem to have a preference for partnered sex and not really want to masturbate, it's just an "emergency solution" when they can't have partnered sex. In addition, they seem to masturbate mostly when their partner is not available while thinking about their partner, while I masturbate equally much if I am in or outside a relationship and don't think about my partner while doing it. Does this mean I am asexual and they're not? Or does it mean we're all sexual, just in different ways?

I think all of us who came here, did so because we felt there was something different with us. Because we were indifferent to sex, we were repulsed by sex, or we never had a sexual feeling in our lives. Which ones are asexual, and who are simply sexuals with low libido or the like? It is impossible to say. I agree that the definition should be clear. I am reading "Understanding Asexuality" by Anthony Boegart now, and even though there's much to be said about that book, I agree strongly with one of his main points: We need a standard definition. It is not, for instance, possible to study asexuality if one does not have a definition. Simply saying "people define themselves" doesn't hold, although it is not politically correct to say so (it is what I feel, though). If I only ever fell in love with men, if I wanted to have sex with men and slept with men regularly, if I when imagining a long-term relationship I imagined it with a man, I would not be lesbian even though I defined myself that way, stating that I had just not found the right woman yet but insisting that all the men were just entertainment while waiting.

I think a lot of people are just searching for an explanation/a label, and it's a relief to find one. It is still hard to determine, though, whether everyone who feels they have found the right label, that the pieces are coming together and making sense, are actually asexual or if there is another reason behind their confusion or lack of desire for sex. The question is: Does it matter? Do we need labels at all? Humans are organized beings in that we like to find explanations for things and label them, so I would say that's why we "need" labels sexuality wise, while in reality sexuality seems to be rather fluid and thus not really labelable (is that a word? Sorry, English is not my native language).

Yeah, and I think some of the labels that are often quoted as "being on the spectrum" are actually the different ways sexuals might experience things.

Like, the term "recipsexual". This is one I've seen others say that falls into the gray area, but I think it falls onto the sexual side. I don't think it's an orientation either, but it does describe something people experience. For me, it sounds like what I may experience. I can't imagine sleeping with a stranger or anyone I'm not committed to, I don't get why people would even want to cheat on their partner, at all. I seem to be less sexual and less romantic than probably a good deal of people, but I still seem to fall on the sexual and romantic sides.

Unless we want to say that only highly sexual sexuals are actually sexual and most or a large portion of people are gray-a...

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Tarfeather

Yeah, and I think some of the labels that are often quoted as "being on the spectrum" are actually the different ways sexuals might experience things.

Like, the term "recipsexual". This is one I've seen others say that falls into the gray area, but I think it falls onto the sexual side. I don't think it's an orientation either, but it does describe something people experience. For me, it sounds like what I may experience. I can't imagine sleeping with a stranger or anyone I'm not committed to, I don't get why people would even want to cheat on their partner, at all. I seem to be less sexual and less romantic than probably a good deal of people, but I still seem to fall on the sexual and romantic sides.

Unless we want to say that only highly sexual sexuals are actually sexual and most or a large portion of people are gray-a...

As I understand asexuality as (let's just roll with Mysticus' definition) the complete absence of directed sexual desire, I don't consider gray-a's to be asexual in general. It's obviously a related phenomenon and has a place on this site (just as much as I have a place on this site despite being sexual), but it's just not really asexuality in itself, and calling it "asexuality spectrum" irks me a bit for that reason.

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