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The Asexual-Sexual Q&A Thread

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He he, thanks Hallucigenia!

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Zeph

Ok, so how much does sexuality (in any context) affect you in day to day life?

Generally not a whole lot. It's more something that comes up in specific situations not normal everyday stuff for me. Probably not even daily is it something I pay attention to...more like weekly. Where's something noticiable...but probably quite a few times a day where maybe I notice how someone looks.

By this I'm referring to how often you're made aware, to yourself at least, that there's something of a sexual nature going on or being hinted at or something. This can include your own thoughts, but I'm also interested in stuff going on externally to you.

Does it ever bother you, like, "why am I thinking this? I'm supposed to be thinking about work/homework/mowing the lawn"? Is it like saying "don't think about that pink elephant"? Do you notice it, or is it just another of those background thoughts, on the same order as, "hmm. . .I should have said this" or "I need to remember to pay my credit card bill"?

More the background thought kind of thing...I think I've rarely in my life been caught up in thinking about sex.

Additionally, my friends' attention span was terrible and grades or work performance usually suffered. And this is considered to be a good thing?

Hmm...the only thing I can say about that is at the beggining stages of a relationship I seem to be quite caught up in the whole thing, and it becomes the most important thing in my life, and so other things take a backburner. It's a bit of an obsession...I think the good thing is finding someone.

How long do such emotions last before your significant other is just another person that you get warm fuzzies about sometimes?

I guess that would vary from couple to couple and from person to person...I would hope that the person you were with would make you feel warm and fuzzy all the time...but meh who knows.

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scamper

Ok, so how much does sexuality (in any context) affect you in day to day life?

I tend to pick up on other people's "sexual vibes" fairly strongly, so I guess the answer for me is "several times a day", even if it's not my own specific sexual thoughts. However, it doesn't affect me much - it's more a thing that I notice once in a while. It doesn't derail me from whatever activity or task I'm engaged in.

Does it ever bother you, like, "why am I thinking this? I'm supposed to be thinking about work/homework/mowing the lawn"? Is it like saying "don't think about that pink elephant"? Do you notice it, or is it just another of those background thoughts, on the same order as, "hmm. . .I should have said this" or "I need to remember to pay my credit card bill"?

In my case, it's more often a background thought than a foreground thought, but in either case, I never wonder why I'm thinking about it. I know why I'm thinking about it - because my sexuality's a big / important part of who I am.

Additionally, my friends' attention span was terrible and grades or work performance usually suffered. And this is considered to be a good thing?

I've never had grades/work performance actually suffer, but I've certainly been in the can't-think-about-anything-else zone of new love. It definitely affected my ability to think about other stuff but not my ability to get things done and function normally in life. The feeling of being so singularly focused on a really happy feeling is kind of pleasant, too.

How long do such emotions last before your significant other is just another person that you get warm fuzzies about sometimes?

This is a tough question to answer and probably depends very much on the relationship. I've been with my husband for a couple of years, and while we're no longer in the deliriously-in-love early stage anymore, I can't imagine him ever becoming "just another person" that I get warm fuzzies about. He's the ONLY person I get them about!

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Placebo

Thanks for your answers, guys!

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Niemand

So I have another question: How many strangers (or near strangers) do you feel sexually attracted to in a day? I know it's all relative, but I don't know how to classify it any further; just use your own definitions I guess. Sorry if the question doesn't make sense, and thanks for answering.

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Peppermintdrop

I have a question. It's strange for me to ask this since I don't normally talk about things like this, but I'm curious so I'll ask anyway. Do you feel it is possible for sexuals to masterbate and not think about sex/have lustful thoughts while doing so? I ask this because I believe that the only thing wrong with masterbation is the lust associated with it. Previously, I had thought "well, I know I'm perfectly capable of not having lustful thoughts, so everyone else should be too." However, now that I understand that I'm different from other people; I am wondering if it is impossible for them to not have lustful thoughts while doing that.

Well, that was embarrassing.

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Nightmare
I have a question. It's strange for me to ask this since I don't normally talk about things like this, but I'm curious so I'll ask anyway. Do you feel it is possible for sexuals to masterbate and not think about sex/have lustful thoughts while doing so? I ask this because I believe that the only thing wrong with masterbation is the lust associated with it. Previously, I had thought "well, I know I'm perfectly capable of not having lustful thoughts, so everyone else should be too." However, now that I understand that I'm different from other people; I am wondering if it is impossible for them to not have lustful thoughts while doing that.

Well, that was embarrassing.

Quite possible, but in that case it's either quite mundane or the topic is replaced with something of interest (you know geological formations in Australia, emotional passages in the Silmarillion, or whatever you like).

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Nightmare
So I have another question: How many strangers (or near strangers) do you feel sexually attracted to in a day? I know it's all relative, but I don't know how to classify it any further; just use your own definitions I guess. Sorry if the question doesn't make sense, and thanks for answering.

Usually none, occasionally a few at a certain point or for a short period. Strangers are boring.

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Hallucigenia
So I have another question: How many strangers (or near strangers) do you feel sexually attracted to in a day? I know it's all relative, but I don't know how to classify it any further; just use your own definitions I guess. Sorry if the question doesn't make sense, and thanks for answering.

I hardly ever feel sexually attracted to strangers or near-strangers; I think that part of sexual attraction is blown way out of proportion by some people. If I'm attracted strongly enough to someone to have sexual feelings for them, it generally means I've been watching / interacting with them for a while and getting a sense of how they work.

I've been strongly sexually attracted to people that weren't strangers, but not really friends or prospective friends either... but not often. That would be something I'd measure in times per year rather than times per day, and the number would be low.

What I do get towards strangers more often is a weird visual attraction where their looks really strike me in a certain way and I want to keep looking. There's nothing sexual about it (or, if there is, it's some kind of super repressed subconscious sexuality that I'm totally not aware of), but occasionally it can lead into desires for physical contact if I feed it in the wrong ways. I can't measure that in terms of times per day either, I'm afraid. Most days it doesn't noticeably happen, some days it happens once or twice, and occasionally I have a day where I see a whole lot of pretty strangers in rapid succession. (I've noticed some mood and environment sorts of things that make it more likely, but I'm not going to get into that here.)

I've heard reports on this site where a sexual asks an asexual "So who would you have sex with in this room?" and the asexual is totally shocked. I've never had a conversation like that, so I'm guessing wildly, but I don't think that sexuals who think in those terms are actually sexually attracted to that many people... I suspect that they're just horny and figure that sex with anyone who meets a certain visual standard would do.

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BunnyK.
I have a question. It's strange for me to ask this since I don't normally talk about things like this, but I'm curious so I'll ask anyway. Do you feel it is possible for sexuals to masterbate and not think about sex/have lustful thoughts while doing so? I ask this because I believe that the only thing wrong with masterbation is the lust associated with it. Previously, I had thought "well, I know I'm perfectly capable of not having lustful thoughts, so everyone else should be too." However, now that I understand that I'm different from other people; I am wondering if it is impossible for them to not have lustful thoughts while doing that.

I probably could masturbate without thinking about sex, but I don't really know what the point would be. The only time I really masturbate is when I can't have sex, so thinking about it while masturbating is kind of automatic, and makes it more pleasant in any case.

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scamper

In answer to the two new questions:

1. I pretty much totally agree with hallucinogenia's reply about being sexually attracted to strangers. This almost never happens to me, and the physical characteristics that I do notice on strangers I generally notice in a visual / aesthetic / non-sexual way. However, I have had the "who would you have sex with in this room" conversation with friends - but usually NOT because any of us would actually ever even consider having sex with a total stranger.

This is a tangent not related to the original question, but I'll try to be brief - the "who would you have sex with" types of conversations tend to be hypothetical and abstract. You're inventing reasons to choose one stranger over another as a potential partner - perhaps one is reading a book you find interesting and you're into bookish types, or another is doing something that you also do and it endears you to them, or perhaps a third is really beautiful or whatever.

For the most part, it's about discussing your personal likes and dislikes more than it is about the strangers in question (after all, you know nothing about them anyway). If you're a sexual person, having cheeky hypothetical discussions about sex is fun and natural, and doesn't always mean that you're literally interested in having sex with the people you're discussing.

2. I have totally masturbated without thinking of anything lusty or sexual. I find it kind of an odd thing to do because masturbation is pretty intensely linked with sexuality / sex in my mind - and I'm a sexual person so nothing about sex is distasteful or unappealing to me. However, it is certainly possible.

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Hallucigenia
This is a tangent not related to the original question, but I'll try to be brief - the "who would you have sex with" types of conversations tend to be hypothetical and abstract. You're inventing reasons to choose one stranger over another as a potential partner - perhaps one is reading a book you find interesting and you're into bookish types, or another is doing something that you also do and it endears you to them, or perhaps a third is really beautiful or whatever.

For the most part, it's about discussing your personal likes and dislikes more than it is about the strangers in question (after all, you know nothing about them anyway). If you're a sexual person, having cheeky hypothetical discussions about sex is fun and natural, and doesn't always mean that you're literally interested in having sex with the people you're discussing.

Oh, that makes a lot more sense to me now. Thanks. :)

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MaraKarina
So I have another question: How many strangers (or near strangers) do you feel sexually attracted to in a day? I know it's all relative, but I don't know how to classify it any further; just use your own definitions I guess. Sorry if the question doesn't make sense, and thanks for answering.

I feel attracted to 1 stranger every 1 - 3 years, by stranger meaning a person I meet and then get to know, strangers who I meet for 5 minutes are absolutely irrelevant

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Dixie

I don't know if this question has been asked already, but I don't want to lose the question in my head.

As a sexual person, when you get aroused does the sexual attraction come after, or does the attraction come first and then the arousal? Are they mutually exclusive? In other words, can you be aroused by someone but not want to have sex with them?

...Ok that was more like 3 instead of one....

Thanks, :cake:

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Hallucigenia
As a sexual person, when you get aroused does the sexual attraction come after, or does the attraction come first and then the arousal? Are they mutually exclusive? In other words, can you be aroused by someone but not want to have sex with them?

Interesting question.

If I'm attracted to someone, it doesn't always make me aroused, but it can if they do something sexy or if I think especially sexy thoughts about them or something. In that sense, the attraction comes first, then the arousal, although the second step doesn't happen all the time.

Arousal can happen to me without being triggered by attraction (just the ol' reproductive system checking to see if it's in working order, I guess), but usually if I get very aroused my brain will hunt around and pull out some person or idea that I'm already attracted to just so that it can make sense of the arousal and use thoughts to control it better. Sometimes it doesn't do that, and I just sit there being turned on for no explainable reason, and it's very confusing, which must be kinda like how aces with sex drives feel. :P

But if I'm aroused BY someone... yeah, that generally means I'm attracted to them. Though I must note that "wanting to have sex with them" is only a clumsy approximation of the actual feeling of attraction; in some senses, it's possible to be attracted to someone without really wanting to have sex with them, because you don't actually like them very much apart from the attraction, or because it would be totally inappropriate, or stuff like that.

EDIT: Actually, I'm not sure about that last paragraph. You see, it depends on what you mean by "aroused by" someone. If you're aroused by someone because they're that someone, then you're attracted to them. But, like, sometimes people, especially fictional people, can do stuff that's sexy and arouses you, but you're not actually aroused by the people, just by what they're doing, so you're not attracted to them. I'm not sure if that's what you mean or not.

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Dixie

Thanks, Hallu. A very helpful answer. :D

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Niemand

So I figured I'd use this thread to ask yet another question of sexuals rather than starting my own.

After I found out about asexuality, I assumed that sexuals cared more about being sexually attractive to the general population than asexuals. I figured that while its on my mind I should probably check with some sexuals to make sure that I'm not horribly wrong. So would you say that sexuals, in general, (definetly not always) care about their appearance/being sexually attractive more than asexuals? Or do you think caring about being sexually attractive is more of an age thing than a orientation thing?

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Nightmare
So I figured I'd use this thread to ask yet another question of sexuals rather than starting my own.

After I found out about asexuality, I assumed that sexuals cared more about being sexually attractive to the general population than asexuals. I figured that while its on my mind I should probably check with some sexuals to make sure that I'm not horribly wrong. So would you say that sexuals, in general, (definetly not always) care about their appearance/being sexually attractive more than asexuals? Or do you think caring about being sexually attractive is more of an age thing than a orientation thing?

Most of the people I know do, and I'm fairly sure the majority of them at least are sexual. As for me, I don't really care if people are or aren't attracted to me, sexually or otherwise. I just try to keep at least something of a low profile (hard when you're 6'3" with long hair and scary looking), while having an appearance that doesn't bother me personally.

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Hallucigenia

Mmm... well, I don't think I'm not a typical sexual in this regard. For what it's worth, I care about being sexually attractive to my boyfriend, or (when I don't have a boyfriend) anybody that I'm seriously attracted to. But the rest of the world - who gives a bleep?

Which is not to say that I totally slob out or something whenever I'm not in the presence of a hot guy. There are visual and hygenic standards that I try to adhere to just for the sake of courtesy and professionalism (though, like anyone, I slip up on occasion). But I try not to think about random people being attracted to me. If they are, it's their problem not mine, and if they're not, it's no skin off my nose since I wasn't attracted to them in the first place.

The only reason I guess that sexuals might care about random people being attracted to them is because of a mistaken notion that everybody's visual preferences are the same, and therefore that going out of your way to be attractive to a random person makes you more likely to be attractive to someone you actually care about being attractive to.

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Chiaroscuro
There are visual and hygenic standards that I try to adhere to just for the sake of courtesy and professionalism (though, like anyone, I slip up on occasion).

This is how I operate too. Keeping yourself presentable is about politeness... about not making people around you uncomfortable. Trying to be fashionable is less about politeness (or sexuality), then it is about social competition. Dressing provocatively is one way of competing, trying to the the sexiest person in the room. But you can compete in a totally non-sexual way.. for example an expensive Italian business suit to stand out among all the off-the-rack suits in your company, or a perfectly crafted Goth ensemble to stand out at your local Goth party.

-Chiaroscuro

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scamper
So I figured I'd use this thread to ask yet another question of sexuals rather than starting my own.

After I found out about asexuality, I assumed that sexuals cared more about being sexually attractive to the general population than asexuals. I figured that while its on my mind I should probably check with some sexuals to make sure that I'm not horribly wrong. So would you say that sexuals, in general, (definetly not always) care about their appearance/being sexually attractive more than asexuals? Or do you think caring about being sexually attractive is more of an age thing than a orientation thing?

Interesting question. I'm sexual, and while I don't care much about what the average person on the street thinks of my appearance, I do make an effort (like hallucigena mentioned) not to be a total slob in front of my partner. And I've definitely made the effort to look more "sexy" when going out in the past - but I really think this has more to do with making me feel good than attracting the attention of other people.

The curious thing that I discovered while reading another thread on AVEN is that asexuals seem to care a lot more than I figured they would (coming from a naive sexual perspective, I guess) about the attractiveness of potential partners. I always assumed that being concerned with a partner's looks had to do with being sexually interested in that person, but apparently that doesn't have to be the case.

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square peg

Sorry if this seems strange. There is a point behind my asking.

Before you'd ever had sex, did you have a physical desire for it? Not just a curiosity due to everyone saying it's great, or a social desire to fit in or prove yourself etc., but a desire that would have been there even if it wasn't mentioned? Or did you only begin to truly physically crave it once you'd tried it for yourself?

I imagine there will be some variation, but an idea of how obvious or not the answer to this would seem to the average sexual would be appreciated. :)

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BunnyK.
Before you'd ever had sex, did you have a physical desire for it? Not just a curiosity due to everyone saying it's great, or a social desire to fit in or prove yourself etc., but a desire that would have been there even if it wasn't mentioned? Or did you only begin to truly physically crave it once you'd tried it for yourself?

I answered a question really similar to this once before, but I can't find it anymore to link it.

The short answer: I felt a desire for sexual expression long before I ever had sex. I wanted to touch and kiss people, to experiment, etc. I didn't really crave *sex* for itself until quite a while after I started having it.

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Chiaroscuro

I felt my first desire to kiss and caress a "woman" (completely without understanding what it was), in third grade. Once I hit puberty, the urge became more concrete... less of a hazy, vague yearning.

-Chiaroscuro

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square peg

Thanks, both of you. :)

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agentkgb

Well this is embarrassing but I'm kind of wondering (this question probably could be answered by an asexual too) at what age people usually know what intercourse actually involves.

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Hallucigenia
Well this is embarrassing but I'm kind of wondering (this question probably could be answered by an asexual too) at what age people usually know what intercourse actually involves.

It depends what you mean by that.

I heard from a friend that penises could be put into vaginas when I was very little - maybe five. But I thought it was a joke. My parents explained to me a couple of years later that it wasn't a joke, and it was how babies were made. (The reason they explained it that early was because they wanted me to know where my baby brother had come from.)

I didn't realize that people (even married people) engaged in sex for fun until grade 4, when I started having sex education at school. After that, I started hearing details from all kinds of places. My parents gave me a book about puberty and what happens to your body, and I had some okay health classes that explained most of the basics of reproduction, and my reading and net-surfing skills got to the point where I could easily access fiction that had sexual scenes in it. So I eventually got a pretty good idea of what it was like, but it was a gradual process.

Actually, this is embarrassing, but I didn't realize that sex involved repetetive motion until I was 13. By that time I was already experiencing some pretty heavy sexual attraction, and I was like "Oh, that explains a lot."

There's some other stuff I didn't realize until even later, some quite recently, but I'm sure you don't want an exhaustive list. :P

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agentkgb
I heard from a friend that penises could be put into vaginas when I was very little - maybe five.

Yeah, the penetration part I guess was what I meant. I know I was slow figuring it out, I'm just wondering how slow. Reading your post I realize I was extremely slow. :oops: I guess it's a combination of not caring enough to try to find out and no natural inclination to do it, though it's not like I went to a very religious school or anything, I had the same access to information as anyone else would have.

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Hallucigenia

I didn't have a natural inclination to do it when I was five, either. :P It's more likely to just be random chance, I suspect.

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