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The Asexual-Sexual Q&A Thread

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sonofzeal
Hi i am an asexual and im in a relationship with a very sexual woman

i dont particularily mind having sex with her although i feel she puts it in far too high of importance (she can barely sit through a movie without doing something).

I am new to the site as i just saw it in the st catharines standard today.

anyways i was just wondering how to make this work because she always wants to do sexual stuff but i am often cut off by her if we are discussing something.

she said she was going to try to cut back and compromise with me a little however sure enough les than an hour later...

i was just looking for any advice on how we can make this work...

like i said i do not mind having sex with her but i feel we are wasting a lot of our together time with it

sorry this might not be the right place but its all i found

It's out! My article's out! Yaaaaaay! *dances, then runs off to read it* Heh, they didn't use much of me. Oh well, still a good article.

As for you - I understand how you feel you are wasting your time during sex, but that's not really the case. Even if it's not a bonding thing for you, it's a bonding thing for her, a release that she needs, and an enjoyable experience she doesn't want to be deprived of. I've been in relationships with sexual imbalances, on both sides, and it's rarely healthy for the relationship to shortchange the more sexual person. Most sexuals can't just turn off their arousal and their desire to do it "just one more time tonight". It really is a hunger, and for many of them, asking them to skip sex is like asking them to skip a meal - they can do it, but it's going to be a constant nagging urge until they get satisfied.

On the other hand, you're a part of the equation too. You have your own needs and tastes, and that needs to weigh into the situation too. There's many ways to handle it, but my suggestion is a give-and-take scenario, where you provide sex and she provides something else to you in return. Maybe if she wants sex from you that night, she'll first make one of your favorite dinners, or spend an hour playing Super Smash Bros with you, or watches your favorite show/movie with you. These things would help signal her desire, give you a chance to get in the right frame of mind, and provide for you some of what she's getting out of the sex.

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je_suis_napoleon
Not sure if this is the best place for this, but heck, I figure a sexual is probably the best person to ask this.

Hee, all I can think of is the Paul Mooney "Ask a Black Dude" segments on "Chappelle's Show." You all officially look like Paul Mooney in my mind's eye now.

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square peg

Can any sexuals tell me if I might just need to try sex, rather than be asexual? A friend said she used to think she wouldn't like it and would be a virgin forever, until she tried it, and that kissing and other things, if not skillful isn't always pleasurable even if you like the person. I don't really want to discuss it in detail with anyone I know, so can any sexuals here tell me if I sound like them before they tried sex? Does anything I've written rule out the possibility that I just haven't had latent sexual attraction 'triggered' by a good experience yet? Is it a normal sexual thing to not feel physically aroused by the sight of people's bodies until you've had sex, or was she probably talking about not wanting to have sex for some other reason?

-I get romantically attracted to men.

-I have kissed with tongues a boy I was fond of, but it didn't do anything for me and I felt uncomfortable afterwards. Seeing in his face etc. that he must be feeling something about our relationship and me that I couldn't access made me feel like there was suddenly a massive wedge between us, and I realised I would have to somehow make it look as if anything sexual we did came naturally and wasn't just copied from what I'd seen in movies.

-I've never felt sexually aroused by looking at or thinking about someone's body. I would recognise subtle signs of physical arousal if I felt them, as I have a fetish and my body works fine in that respect.

-I do imagine that having intercourse with a man would be sexually arousing because of the effective manual stimulation it must provide, and occasionally fantasise about this, but it's nowhere near as arousing as the fetish thoughts. Without these it doesn't become an especially pleasurable sensation in the first place.

-I also imagine being mentally detached from the other person and getting freaked out again if they showed signs of being attracted to my body or feeling things about me that I can't identify with. In addition I think it would be unpleasantly messy and 'intrusive' (meaning I don't particularly want someone there when I'm naked and orgasming, in the same way that I don't want them there when I'm using the bathroom).

What do you think? Please feel free to ask questions. It's quite important because if I'm wrong about being asexual I'm missing out on both sexual and romantic relationships for no reason, but if I'm wrong about needing to try it I'm going to end up hurting myself and someone else again and potentially ruining friendships. Not that I'm going to take anyone's advice blindly of course, but I think comparing my experience with that of sexuals is essential for figuring it out.

Thanks!

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sonofzeal
Can any sexuals tell me if I might just need to try sex, rather than be asexual? A friend said she used to think she wouldn't like it and would be a virgin forever, until she tried it, and that kissing and other things, if not skillful isn't always pleasurable even if you like the person. I don't really want to discuss it in detail with anyone I know, so can any sexuals here tell me if I sound like them before they tried sex? Does anything I've written rule out the possibility that I just haven't had latent sexual attraction 'triggered' by a good experience yet? Is it a normal sexual thing to not feel physically aroused by the sight of people's bodies until you've had sex, or was she probably talking about not wanting to have sex for some other reason?

-I get romantically attracted to men.

-I have kissed with tongues a boy I was fond of, but it didn't do anything for me and I felt uncomfortable afterwards. Seeing in his face etc. that he must be feeling something about our relationship and me that I couldn't access made me feel like there was suddenly a massive wedge between us, and I realised I would have to somehow make it look as if anything sexual we did came naturally and wasn't just copied from what I'd seen in movies.

-I've never felt sexually aroused by looking at or thinking about someone's body. I would recognise subtle signs of physical arousal if I felt them, as I have a fetish and my body works fine in that respect.

-I do imagine that having intercourse with a man would be sexually arousing because of the effective manual stimulation it must provide, and occasionally fantasise about this, but it's nowhere near as arousing as the fetish thoughts. Without these it doesn't become an especially pleasurable sensation in the first place.

-I also imagine being mentally detached from the other person and getting freaked out again if they showed signs of being attracted to my body or feeling things about me that I can't identify with. In addition I think it would be unpleasantly messy and 'intrusive' (meaning I don't particularly want someone there when I'm naked and orgasming, in the same way that I don't want them there when I'm using the bathroom).

What do you think? Please feel free to ask questions. It's quite important because if I'm wrong about being asexual I'm missing out on both sexual and romantic relationships for no reason, but if I'm wrong about needing to try it I'm going to end up hurting myself and someone else again and potentially ruining friendships. Not that I'm going to take anyone's advice blindly of course, but I think comparing my experience with that of sexuals is essential for figuring it out.

Thanks!

Hey there! It's true that a lot of people with little or no sexual experience have mixed feelings about it before they try it, but don't count yourself out entirely. Really, all the things you describe could go both ways. Romantic attachment to men doesn't actually mean anything about your sexuality, and a lot of sexuals don't enjoy kissing either, especially if the partner isn't particularly good at it. Being aroused at male nudity is also not a major indicator, as a lot of girls take serious time before they begin to associate that with good things - a better indicator might be whether you've ever been aroused by thoughts of things you associate with maleness, such as watching fully-clothed guys do heavy lifting, or dressed in "tough" uniforms like cops or firemen, or driving cars, or playing heavy metal... or just sitting there across from you after a deep and emotionally intimate conversation.

I should mention here that many people at AVEN identify as "Demisexual", myself included. Put simply, that means we only ever experience sexual attraction inside a deeply romantic relationship. I have a feeling that many people who've had "conversion" experiences fit into this category. They may have gone through life never feeling the casual sexual attractions that everyone else goes through, but those feelings still come in the right context. Personally, in 25 years I've felt sexual attraction for exactly three people, and I have a feeling that's a little less than average. The good news is you don't have to get sexual with the person to feel it - when the time is right, you will feel it if it's there. This sort of secondary sexual attraction has little or nothing to do with overt sexual stimuli. I do NOT suggest trying sex if you expect it to magically develop halfway through, as that's a recipe for disaster.

So yeah, there's no "test" to whether you're asexual, demisexual, or just hyposexual. In the end, you have to go with whatever label/self-image you find most comfortable. It's always possible you'll change in the future, but don't count on it... and don't deny yourself a potentially good experience either. Some asexuals and demisexuals can still have emotionally satisfying sexual relationships if there's enough romantic attraction to make up for the sexual attraction. You'll have to figure your own boundaries out yourself, just like everyone else.

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square peg

Hi, thanks for the help. :)

Being aroused at male nudity is also not a major indicator, as a lot of girls take serious time before they begin to associate that with good things - a better indicator might be whether you've ever been aroused by thoughts of things you associate with maleness, such as watching fully-clothed guys do heavy lifting, or dressed in "tough" uniforms like cops or firemen, or driving cars, or playing heavy metal... or just sitting there across from you after a deep and emotionally intimate conversation.

No, lol the uniform thing has always puzzled me. Just romantically 'aroused', from the last one.

I should mention here that many people at AVEN identify as "Demisexual", myself included. Put simply, that means we only ever experience sexual attraction inside a deeply romantic relationship. I have a feeling that many people who've had "conversion" experiences fit into this category. They may have gone through life never feeling the casual sexual attractions that everyone else goes through, but those feelings still come in the right context. Personally, in 25 years I've felt sexual attraction for exactly three people, and I have a feeling that's a little less than average. The good news is you don't have to get sexual with the person to feel it - when the time is right, you will feel it if it's there. This sort of secondary sexual attraction has little or nothing to do with overt sexual stimuli. I do NOT suggest trying sex if you expect it to magically develop halfway through, as that's a recipe for disaster.

Interesting. I don't recognise that in myself at the moment. I've not felt sexual attraction to the two people I've been both romantically attracted to and had the opportunity for something to happen with. The only way left for me to test it out is by doing what you say not to do, but I don't want to do that because I agree with you, if it fails it's a horrible situation. That's what happened with the kiss and was mildly traumatic. The only other thing I can think of is to try one night stands, which has its own drawbacks. Just in case that will trigger something.

So yeah, there's no "test" to whether you're asexual, demisexual, or just hyposexual. In the end, you have to go with whatever label/self-image you find most comfortable. It's always possible you'll change in the future, but don't count on it... and don't deny yourself a potentially good experience either. Some asexuals and demisexuals can still have emotionally satisfying sexual relationships if there's enough romantic attraction to make up for the sexual attraction. You'll have to figure your own boundaries out yourself, just like everyone else.

The ideal situation would be to find someone I like who feels the same, but statistically that seems unlikely. In the mean time, is it worth biting the bullet next time to find out for sure? I'll have to think about it.

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sonofzeal
The ideal situation would be to find someone I like who feels the same, but statistically that seems unlikely. In the mean time, is it worth biting the bullet next time to find out for sure? I'll have to think about it.

One of the major divisions between asexuals is "repulsed" versus "indifferent". If you're in the former category, it's going to be very hard to make things work, and you should be having deep conversations with your partner about what sorts of arrangements are acceptable. If you think you're "repulsed", you should definitely not try it unless you're thoroughly committed to going through with it.

Even if you're in the latter category, communication is important. If you go into it with the point of view of making your partner happy and maybe getting some nice manual stimulation out of it in the mean time, I don't really foresee any major problems, but both people need to know what's going on or there's a chance for feelings of inadequacy, confusion, and even betrayal. I'd advise telling your partner about your fetish, and letting them know that, apart from that, it's very difficult to get you going. That'll at least soften feelings of inadequacy he might have around this, and give you an opening for incorporating the things you find stimulating. Also let him know if you're willing to compromise and mess around a bit, even if you aren't getting all that much out of it.

In general, let him know where you're at (and be conservative here; he'll likely cling to any shred of hope you give him, and that might not be the best in the long run), but offer what you see as an acceptable compromise (ie "no intercourse, but handjobs once a week"). That'll get the ball rolling on communication, and help you see if this is something you two can work out. Just don't promise things you might not be able to deliver.

And even if you can't work out a good balance with this guy, you might be able to with the next. There's all types of people out there, and it's not as hard as it might seem to find one similar enough to you that you can make things work. Romance is never easy and always risky, but the reward is worth it. Best of luck!

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square peg

Thanks for all the advice. :)

I don't know if I'd be repulsed or not. I'm repulsed by watching other people kiss but I wasn't repulsed when I did it myself, just felt unpleasantly confused and alienated by it. I imagine some aspects of sex to be repulsive but I know many sexuals feel the same and still think it's worthwhile, so I don't know where I fall on that scale really. But you're right, whatever I do I'll have to be honest with the people involved next time; it's a risk but a necessary one.

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lotus123

This is my first post, and it is long – I am a sexual woman married to a man who I believe is asexual (we have been together for 14 years and haven’t had sex for about 9). I am responding to some of the questions posed here in order to help those that asked, but also to get a better handle on my own sexuality so I can figure out what to do. But that’s for another thread.

What's sexual attraction like? if you know you're attracted to someone because you get weak in the knees, how did you originally realize that that sensation was sexual attraction?

In my mind, sex and love have always been two separate things, that could be linked but not necessarily. I know this is not the case for lots of people. I have seen sex being compared to food on this site, and I think that, in my case, this is appropriate. But not in the sense of sustenance. I enjoy good food, just as I enjoy good sex. I have sexual needs just as I feel hungry, but I don’t have to feel hungry to eat and enjoy my food. I also don’t have to be in need of sex to feel sexual attraction. I feel sexual attraction in the same way that I might see a cream cake and think, “I want that”. Well-illustrated cookery books are like pornography to my palate (though pornography doesn’t actually have the same effect, curiously). When I feel sexually attracted to someone, I feel like I want to eat him (in the metaphorical sense).

How do you recognize someone is sexually attracted to you?

So it also follows that I feel sexual attraction from a man as a “desire to eat me”.

What is it that makes someone sexually attractive? Is it personality, looks, smarts or are they just overall a nice person? Is it something as simple as a look, touch or smile that just screams out "Hey there, I'm Fuckable."

Yep to the last bit. Or maybe it’s pheromones, but that doesn’t explain how you can be sexually attracted to someone on tv.

Is sexual attraction really as much of an influence over thoughts and actions as pop culture would have us believe, or are they just being sensationalistic? Can it really lead people to make the idiotic sorts of decisions you hear and read about (like jeapordising a career for a fling)?

I am a practical person, and I tend to think that most people generally are. I think people can and do do stupid things because of sexual attraction, but I would liken that to a sort of addiction. Most people will always weigh up the consequences of their actions and desires – back to the food metaphor: if I have that extra piece of cake, even though it’s yummy, I’m going to feel bloated and maybe even sick, so perhaps not such a good idea.

What was it like growing up as a sexual? I mean, how did you know when you were younger? When did you start "noticing" the opposite (or same) sex? Was it gradual or sudden?

Someone already mentioned the evolution from disliking members of the opposite sex to finding them good-looking and wanting them to pay attention to you. I think my first participatory experiences were more to do with finding out what sex was like, how it made me feel (not so much when it’s inexperienced), and to be honest, about gaining a certain technique. I think I really started to feel that “I want to eat him” sensation when I was around 17.

Was the attraction you felt when you were younger the same as you feel now? I remember some people being interested in dating as young as 8, were these just very early developers or just trying to act like "grownups"?

I guess I had my first “sexual experience” when I was nine. I had a “boyfriend” who wanted to touch me when I stayed at his house. He also wanted me to get in the bed with him when he stayed at my house. I felt that was wrong, so I guess I wasn’t at the same stage as him. But I did let him put his hand down the back of my shirt. It never went further than that. I don’t really know whether he was an early developer. Perhaps an important factor is that he had older brothers (17 and 19), and they shared a room in a crowded apartment. Perhaps he just wanted to see what it felt like. We did kiss, but not with tongues.

For the average sexual, do they generally have to be sexually attracted to someone before going out on a date with them?

According to my definition of sexual attraction, no. Going on a date with someone, to me, is about getting to know someone better with a view to starting a (hopefully, long-term) relationship. We do this with new friendships too. Sometimes though, it was an agreement to meet up again with someone with whom there was a mutual sexual attraction that could not be fulfilled the first time we met (say, you were out with friends and met this person at the bar but didn’t want to leave your friends), with a view to fulfilling it.

What determines sexualization of someone?

Availability. My friends’ partners are not available and cannot, therefore, be though of in a sexual way. Celebrities are so in the public eye that they are, especially actors who often present themselves as sexualized through their work.

Is there such thing as a 'thing'? Do people really feel significant more attraction to certain, small things (like hair colour) on people?

I personally believe that ‘things’ are a type of sexual fetish or else a stereotype (blonds are more fun, brunettes are more serious) or else linked to some primary urge (girls with big tits = fertility symbol; strong men = better hunter/protector).

What is the “emotional connection” that comes from sex? Why is it important? Is it just because lack of sex is considered a lack of affection?

I want to tie this in to the question of what changes when you lose your virginity. My experience of losing my virginity did not change me except in a kind of intellectual way (ok, so I’ve tried that and found out what it was like – like the fried octopus in the original question). Having sex with someone for whom I had very deep feelings did. There was an emotional connection, an understanding of that person. Sex is an abandonment – you expose yourself completely, you put yourself at the mercy of the other person, you give yourself up to that other person. To not have that in a loving relationship is like there being a barrier between you. Sex as a fulfilment of sexual attraction contains an element of risk, for the same reasons of exposure, which makes it more exciting, really. This also explains why the “morning after” is so awkward in a non-loving relationship, because you have bared your soul.

Does anyone know (first hand or second hand) what exactly it normally feels like for a girl when she is touched in an erogenous zone?

I can’t speak for anyone else, but when someone touches me in an erogenous zone, I get a tingly feeling, sort of like when you’re being tickled very lightly, and it makes me want to open up for more. But it can also make me contract if it’s not the time or the place or the person.

How does an orgasm feel? How does one know if he or she has experienced one?

Like someone else who responded, I also had to have several before identifying what it was. To me, it sort of starts out as a vague wibbly feeling, somewhere behind the clitoris but sort of in the centre of your body (depthwise), that seems to get stronger and to move higher. It sort of explodes somewhere round your stomach and sends shock waves all over the body, and it leaves you feeling exhausted yet invigorated at the same time. (I’ve heard that running a marathon is similar, but I’m not much of an exercise freak!)

Would many sexuals, and if so which kinds of people, feel embarrassed or ashamed about a friend or family member's asexual orientation or behaviour? The sexuals here are obviously not hostile to it themselves, but outside the safe confines of the Internet and this site, how comfortable would you be with others knowing that someone associated with you were asexual? Would or did you fear it becoming an isolating or labelling factor if anyone found out?

I am not comfortable with this at all. I think it’s mainly because I don’t want people to feel sorry for me or to judge my husband as “less than”. I love him and am proud of him. I do not think it would be an isolating factor as such. I think the fact itself is already isolating – we feel different, because we are.

Thankyou for asking these questions. Answering them has been very therapeutic.

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Unsure

Thanks, Lotus123. It was really good reading your answers. ^^

Now, I've got another (sort of) question.

I tend to think most people take sexuality as a "must be". As in they think someone might be gay or bi or whatever but never not have a sexuality of some sort. I also tend to feel that people see the world as a big jungle to hunt for partners or a shop full of meat. That's the general idea I get from people in my daily life. This being said, it would mean people are always on the hunt for a sexual partner. (And not only for sex per se but for relationships in general.) It sounds a little bizarre to think like that but it is the only thing I can think listening to what guys say here and there. And girls too. (Outside of AVEN I mean.)

What I'd like to know is how this "hunting" works. I mean, what are the signs sexual people use to check if they should move any further, if they could try something.

I will give you guys background to this question. I am not just wanting to know this out of the blue. It sounds silly to me but I learned AVEN is the right place to speak our minds and I really like reading you guys feedback. So... I am a very self conscience girl and I noticed men tend to give me too much attention. Not all men, but some kinds of men. (I actually tried to find a general rule to them and was able to fit them in two categories. oO) But I do not want them to! I checked everything I could: I do not use vulgar clothing nor do I say anything that could be taken sexually (or so I do believe). I want to know how this all work to sexual people so I can use it all on reverse. It's not like they ask me out or anything (so I could say no and move on with life) but just this little remarks that can be taken to both sides and stuff.

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lotus123

I tend to think most people take sexuality as a "must be". As in they think someone might be gay or bi or whatever but never not have a sexuality of some sort.

I think you are right, from my point of view. Do asexuals think this way? I bet they generally do. I think it’s just a question of “norms”. Most heterosexual people assume that others are heterosexual, unless they’re obviously effeminate men or “butch” women, but that is also misleading.

I also tend to feel that people see the world as a big jungle to hunt for partners or a shop full of meat. That's the general idea I get from people in my daily life. This being said, it would mean people are always on the hunt for a sexual partner. (And not only for sex per se but for relationships in general.) It sounds a little bizarre to think like that but it is the only thing I can think listening to what guys say here and there. And girls too. (Outside of AVEN I mean.)

Human beings are a social species, therefore we are programmed to seek out relationships (I include friendship here). I also think we are programmed to seek out preferential relationships (but I have no scientific source for this). When you say “people”, I am assuming you mean people your age, who, I am also assuming, are fairly young. I think that hormone levels in our twenties make sexual people think about sex alot. And there is social pressure – everybody’s doing it, type of thing. But I wouldn’t go as far as saying that the world is a jungle etc. I also think there’s a lot of identity searching involved in the need to create relationships.

What I'd like to know is how this "hunting" works. I mean, what are the signs sexual people use to check if they should move any further, if they could try something.

As far as I recall, there’s a lot of eye contact involved. Remember what I said about “baring your soul”. There is sort of a search for the soul through the “windows to it”. People will also move into other people’s personal space. If it isn’t going to happen, that person whose space has been invaded will reclaim it by moving away.

I noticed men tend to give me too much attention. Not all men, but some kinds of men. (I actually tried to find a general rule to them and was able to fit them in two categories. oO) But I do not want them to! I checked everything I could: I do not use vulgar clothing nor do I say anything that could be taken sexually (or so I do believe). I want to know how this all work to sexual people so I can use it all on reverse. It's not like they ask me out or anything (so I could say no and move on with life) but just this little remarks that can be taken to both sides and stuff.

The only thing I can think of is that maybe you have overtly sexual attributes (big bust, big bottom, pouty lips etc) – not your fault, I know, but having some myself, I know that they do attract certain men, and it’s very tiresome. Or perhaps, (this also from my own experience), you have a particular physical type that is generally fetishized (I do too, and I just wondered from your avatar). In these cases, the only thing to be done is to show you are not interested: don’t meet their eyes, move away, turn your back. On the other hand, if you are already acting in this way, it could be this that they find alluring – they’ve maybe got some sort of virgin fetish going on. In which case, maybe a forthright, “please don’t leer at me – it’s very unattractive” would dispel the illusion that you are the sort who is easily overpowered.

Hope this helps.

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Human beings are a social species, therefore we are programmed to seek out relationships (I include friendship here). I also think we are programmed to seek out preferential relationships (but I have no scientific source for this). When you say “people”, I am assuming you mean people your age, who, I am also assuming, are fairly young. I think that hormone levels in our twenties make sexual people think about sex alot. And there is social pressure – everybody’s doing it, type of thing. But I wouldn’t go as far as saying that the world is a jungle etc. I also think there’s a lot of identity searching involved in the need to create relationships.

Yes, I guess I used people when I should have said people around my age (I'm 23). Because that's the average age around school and such and therefor the kind of people I overhear conversations from. It does seem all they know to talk about is that.

People will also move into other people’s personal space. If it isn’t going to happen, that person whose space has been invaded will reclaim it by moving away.
Personal space... - Now, this is something I really do not know but it is an impression I got from TV. (Not only movies but new, documentaries, all this tiny bits of information.) - It seems to me that personal space is something very respect in other countries. It seems people tend to stay in a respectfull distance from each other. Here in Brazil people tend to get too close in all sort of situations. Even total strangers. Sometimes I feel I had my personal space invaded (even by old ladies at the supermarket) but it is something that I observe happening in a very normal (?) way all the time for everyone. Maybe moving away nevertheless is a better idea from now on.
The only thing I can think of is that maybe you have overtly sexual attributes (big bust, big bottom, pouty lips etc) – not your fault, I know, but having some myself, I know that they do attract certain men, and it’s very tiresome. Or perhaps, (this also from my own experience), you have a particular physical type that is generally fetishized (I do too, and I just wondered from your avatar). In these cases, the only thing to be done is to show you are not interested: don’t meet their eyes, move away, turn your back. On the other hand, if you are already acting in this way, it could be this that they find alluring – they’ve maybe got some sort of virgin fetish going on. In which case, maybe a forthright, “please don’t leer at me – it’s very unattractive” would dispel the illusion that you are the sort who is easily overpowered.

Hope this helps.

Ugh. I'm doomed. Coming to think of it, I'd have to be honest and say yes to most of your assumptions. (Big bottom, tiny waist, pouty lips...) And, assuming one of the two types of men who look at me consists of old-enough-to-be-my-father-stupid-humbert humbert-i think i am-hot-and-sexy kind of man, maybe fetish is the right word there. I should really just hide in the corner of my bedroom. (And I do feel like doing it from time to time.) I already try not to look at them more than I need, speak really coldly and briefly to them. So maybe you are probably right and they might find that alluring. Now, the issue is that it is a work enviroment. And they are never open enough to their intentions so I could be completely sure and - I don't know, indict them? (One of them is my boss).

Argh. Thanks for your answers.

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lotus123
Ugh. I'm doomed. Coming to think of it, I'd have to be honest and say yes to most of your assumptions. (Big bottom, tiny waist, pouty lips...) And, assuming one of the two types of men who look at me consists of old-enough-to-be-my-father-stupid-humbert humbert-i think i am-hot-and-sexy kind of man, maybe fetish is the right word there. I should really just hide in the corner of my bedroom. (And I do feel like doing it from time to time.) I already try not to look at them more than I need, speak really coldly and briefly to them. So maybe you are probably right and they might find that alluring. Now, the issue is that it is a work enviroment. And they are never open enough to their intentions so I could be completely sure and - I don't know, indict them? (One of them is my boss).

Oh dear, not an easy situation. I think I would just go with calling them on it. As I said, "please don't leer - it's most unattractive.", or "you're drooling down your shirt and it's quite off-putting". No smiles, no warmth. That ought to fix the category you describe, since they think they're so hot. Don't know about the other sort though.

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sexless sexual

Newbie -- just posted in the compromise-might-get-graphic thread, as well.

55 yr-old sexual (highly!) woman married to a 55 yr-old asexual man for 15 years, 13 of them sexless. Until today, his asexuality was not recognized, stated or imagined by either of us. It's not been easy. I'm here because now that it is in the open, we have to figure out what we're going to do from here.

Forgive me, I did not read all the posts (9 pages!) but I skimmed through. Probably the best way I can answer questions is to share what I know about sexuality in general, and what I've learned about my own.

In no particular order, here are my thoughts: (LONG - bail now if you wish!) (Warning - I use anatomically correct terms for the human body. If that offends you ...)

1. Do not go into a marriage thinking that your partner will "change." He/she will age, will grow, will surprise you and keep you guessing. But the basics of character and personality are immutable. Marrying someone who is ok except for this one little thing (he/she doesn't like sex) but that'll change once we are adapted to one another -- that is a recipe for tragedy. He/she won't change, you'll be disappointed, you'll try to change him/her and he/she will be angry/hurt ...

If there is any place where it is important to be yourself it is in a marriage. Otherwise, it will not be a happy one. If you can't be yourself with your beloved, and if he/she can't be him/herself with you, then you are putting massive hurdles in front of an already difficult marathon race.

2. Sex is not identical to love. They are undeniably intertwined for most people, and certainly in most societies, but they are two separate things. You can love someone without being sexually attracted, you can be sexually attracted to someone you don't even know -- it's possible to be sexually attracted to someone you hate. (I personally have not experienced it, but I am familiar with the phenomenon.)

So, when the asexuals ask us what is it like to fall in love, the answer is -- probably the same as it feels for you. For you, the sex part of a relationship built on love is low on the importance spectrum, for us it is higher. Exactly where on the spectrum is infinitely variable and unique to each individual.

3. How did early sexuality feel? Babies masturbate -- it's part of self exploration. But the ability to feel and act on sexual impulses happens later as a child grows. For most, it's around the same time as the physical changes of puberty start. For many boys, about the time their voice changes is when they realize that girls somehow lost all their cooties! Pre-teen girls may start fantasizing. This is not the pretend-to-be-Cinderella-princess kind of play a small girl has. Rather it's putting herself in the role of Cinderella at the point where she meets the Prince for the first time. The earlier self-exploration (I masturbated knowingly at the age of 8, for instance) comes together with this new awareness of the sexual thoughts, and the body develops the physical capacity to respond to those thoughts.

4. What is a sexual response? In extreme brief -- it's a swelling of the sex organs, the release of brain chemicals that signal the body to prepare for sex together with the (for us) pleasant fantasy and anticipation of building all this until ... well, we have sex.

But, as you can tell by the previous points and this last one, the sexual response is equal parts what you think and what your body feels. I, for example, am pre-orgasmic. I've never had an orgasm. I've come mighty close, but I've never gone over the edge. For a woman at least (if not for a man) orgasm is a learned behavior/skill. The more negative her early experience with sexual matters, the harder it is for her to release those negative thoughts and relax into orgasm. The confusing messages of a woman's role and the standards of beauty are so messed up in this country, most of us have at least one issue that hinders us. I'm working on all this.

In more detail? Well, it varies not only from person to person, but from gender to gender. But "in general" men tend to be stimulated by the visual, women by the emotional/sensual. In very broad and general terms -- Note I said VERY BROAD and general terms -- sexual men need to have sex to fall in love, and sexual women need to fall in love to have sex. To some degree or other. (This is getting to be less sharp a distinction as both men and women adapt to new sensitivities such as feminism, gay rights, etc.)

For me: When I hear a rich, smooth male voice, I feel chills up my spine. It just turns me on. I'm very oriented to audio cues. If the man is doing/saying something that I find interesting, I move closer, perhaps use eye contact to show initial interest. So far, probably not so much different from you -- or at least, so I imagine.

At some point, if we touch (I'm very tactile), or if he shows interest in his eyes, I feel a burst of heat -- think of a lightening bolt, but of heat rather than light -- low in my abdomen that shoots through to my vagina. The vagina and vulva tingle. My breath comes a shade faster. My heart beats a bit faster. During this phase, my brain is receiving all the stimuli -- his scent, the texture of his hair, that voice, how comfortable/safe he makes me feel -- and sifting to see if this matches what the brain knows I want/need. With my husband, the initial sexual response (as opposed to my initial interest) was when he played with my hand. He ran his fingers up and down mine, thumbed my palm, stroked the back of my hand. The hand is one of the body areas chock-full of more than their individual shares of nerve endings. It got my body's attention.

Then, the brain takes over. From there on in, the actual sexual response is not a thinking thing, but a neural-physical thing. Think of all the changes your body goes through when you are startled or frightened. You don't think about it, but your body does things to prepare you for either fight or flight. Blood is directed to the heart, so the heart can beat faster, sending blood to the muscles. Adrenaline is released, which deadens nerves and increases muscle strength and performance, so you will run faster, or fight with less pain (until it's all over, of course.) Sexual arousal is similar. The body does the things it needs to do to prepare for sex. Breath comes faster, blood pumps faster (yes, there is some adrenaline involved in sexual response) The knees may weaken, the hands shake. Blood is routed to the genitalia; a man starts an erection (not yet full), a woman's vagina begins to secrete moisture and the clitoris swells and is more sensitive.

5. If you're curious -- what made me fall in love with my husband was hearing him perform a song he wrote at a house party (musical.) Body had nothing to do with it. It was all intellect and emotion.

6. How do I feel about asexuals -- would I be embarrassed if our friends knew of my husband's orientation? There was a time when I didn't "get" homosexuality. I didn't think it was evil, or wicked or perverted; I just didn't get it. The mechanics escaped me. It never occurred to me to think one way or another -- one's sexuality is what one's sexuality is. At first I was very aware when my gay friends came out to me -- but quickly, sexuality simply became one aspect of an individual. I see individuals. I would feel no shame if Husband came out to friends. But I will leave that to him to determine. So yes, I will hide it for as long as he wants it hidden.

7. Somewhere here at AVEN, someone asked a question along these lines: Geesh, sexuals. What, you immediately jump to thoughts of jumping someone's bones at first sight? No. At least not I, and none of my friends or acquaintances. The arousal comes first. Then come the thoughts of sex. All sexuals have this arousal switch, and not every person we meet will flip it on. That's the "chemistry" that our society talks about as part of sex.

8. Does sex have to be penile/vaginal penetration? No. It can be oral, anal, manual. It can be done with sex toys. It can be touching freely, enjoying the feel of the beloved's body. It can be kissing. A short quick smack is not usually an invitation to sex, but a lingering kiss usually is, at least for me. When my husband gives me one of those, that heat I talked about flares -- every single time. I am one of those women with very sensitive breast nipples - just playing with them will send pleasurable feelings to my clitoris. Some women can orgasm from that alone. For most women, it includes a LOT of foreplay, which is what some of you have been talking about when you mention cuddling, spooning, hugging. And don't let the societal stereotypes fool you; lots of men desire just as much holding and cuddling as women.

9. Is sex the be all and end all of a relationship. Not for me. Not for most sexuals. Casual sex is just that - casual. Almost, if not entirely, purely physical. A relationship is built on so much more. I cannot envision a life without my husband -- his wit, his intelligence, his competence, his kindness, his talents, the life we have built together in the last 15 years are all necessary for my happiness.

It's just that, remember how important it is to be who you are? Well, I am highly sexual. Denying it hasn't worked. So, *shrug* we have to get creative.

Whew. Is anyone still reading?

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sexless sexual

Ugh. I'm doomed. Coming to think of it, I'd have to be honest and say yes to most of your assumptions. (Big bottom, tiny waist, pouty lips...) And, assuming one of the two types of men who look at me consists of old-enough-to-be-my-father-stupid-humbert humbert-i think i am-hot-and-sexy kind of man, maybe fetish is the right word there. I should really just hide in the corner of my bedroom. (And I do feel like doing it from time to time.) I already try not to look at them more than I need, speak really coldly and briefly to them. So maybe you are probably right and they might find that alluring. Now, the issue is that it is a work enviroment. And they are never open enough to their intentions so I could be completely sure and - I don't know, indict them? (One of them is my boss).

Unsure: What you describe above has nothing to do with sexuality -- yours or theirs -- and everything to do with inappropriate behavior for a work place.

Do you have an older relative/friend who can mentor you on how best to respond to this. Sexual harassment is a very tricky thing to handle. First you have to be sure that it is harassment, as opposed to simple misunderstanding. Second, you need to evaluate how much you want your job, what options you have, etc.

There is probably a way to address this, but you need a sounding board more familiar with your situation. I would advise against seeking informal advice from a co-worker. You don't want to be stuck with any course just because someone else at the office boxes you in.

Just one suppose: If your boss is one of the offenders, but there are others, you might be able to go to your boss and explain your discomfort with the behavior of your co-workers. Keep it professional, impersonal and merely ask him to help you resolve what is, after all, his problem to resolve.

I'm not advising that. I don't know enough of your situation. I'm just giving you an example.

Sticky, indeed!

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Elliott Ford

Stupid question that's already been asked a few times -

How the earth is sex a "need"?

i don't get it. How/why is it that you want those sensations with that person so much that you can't think of anything else? i've never not been able to think and do several things at once, even sexual sensations. i think of other (nonsexual) things at the same time.

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Olivier
Stupid question that's already been asked a few times -

How the earth is sex a "need"?

i don't get it. How/why is it that you want those sensations with that person so much that you can't think of anything else? i've never not been able to think and do several things at once, even sexual sensations. i think of other (nonsexual) things at the same time.

I don't think anyone thinks frustrated sexuals come to a standstill and are unable to function.

To me it's more like being hungry - when you're a little hungry you can do lots of other things and barely notice. When you are quite hungry you can still do other things but you are constantly aware that you are hungry, and when you're REALLY hungry, then it can be disruptive, especially if you're around yummy food but can't have any.

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Færy
Can any sexuals tell me if I might just need to try sex, rather than be asexual? A friend said she used to think she wouldn't like it and would be a virgin forever, until she tried it, and that kissing and other things, if not skillful isn't always pleasurable even if you like the person. I don't really want to discuss it in detail with anyone I know, so can any sexuals here tell me if I sound like them before they tried sex? Does anything I've written rule out the possibility that I just haven't had latent sexual attraction 'triggered' by a good experience yet? Is it a normal sexual thing to not feel physically aroused by the sight of people's bodies until you've had sex, or was she probably talking about not wanting to have sex for some other reason?

-I get romantically attracted to men.

-I have kissed with tongues a boy I was fond of, but it didn't do anything for me and I felt uncomfortable afterwards. Seeing in his face etc. that he must be feeling something about our relationship and me that I couldn't access made me feel like there was suddenly a massive wedge between us, and I realised I would have to somehow make it look as if anything sexual we did came naturally and wasn't just copied from what I'd seen in movies.

-I've never felt sexually aroused by looking at or thinking about someone's body. I would recognise subtle signs of physical arousal if I felt them, as I have a fetish and my body works fine in that respect.

-I do imagine that having intercourse with a man would be sexually arousing because of the effective manual stimulation it must provide, and occasionally fantasise about this, but it's nowhere near as arousing as the fetish thoughts. Without these it doesn't become an especially pleasurable sensation in the first place.

-I also imagine being mentally detached from the other person and getting freaked out again if they showed signs of being attracted to my body or feeling things about me that I can't identify with. In addition I think it would be unpleasantly messy and 'intrusive' (meaning I don't particularly want someone there when I'm naked and orgasming, in the same way that I don't want them there when I'm using the bathroom).

What do you think? Please feel free to ask questions. It's quite important because if I'm wrong about being asexual I'm missing out on both sexual and romantic relationships for no reason, but if I'm wrong about needing to try it I'm going to end up hurting myself and someone else again and potentially ruining friendships. Not that I'm going to take anyone's advice blindly of course, but I think comparing my experience with that of sexuals is essential for figuring it out.

Thanks!

I know people have already responded to you, but I wanted to help.

I am sexual.

I have felt the same things you're feeling.

I've been with my boyfriend for 18 months, but before I was with him, I wasn't very sexual at all. I didn't consider myself asexual, I just figured I was someone without much experience and I didn't have sex as a big priority.

I think you have to be careful of defining yourself or diagnosing yourself too soon.

It is possible that you are asexual, but I don't think you are.

I remember my best friend was very sexual, and she didn't understand why I didn't care about sex much.

Looking at a random guy's body has NEVER turned me on, no matter how attractive it is. A body might serve to make me attracted to a guy, but I'm not going to get horny from looking at somebody's naked body.

But I am definitely a sexual being.

Before I was with my boyfriend, I didn't care about sex. But after I became involved with him, I started feeling very sexually attracted to him along with the love I had for him. He turns me on.

And you want to know something?

I love kissing him, but I don't particularly like tongue kissing. It's not that strange; a lot of girls aren't that into tongue kissing. It doesn't mean there's something wrong with you or you don't like intimacy, it simply means it's not your thing. I love making out with him but tongue kissing always feels a little gross to me.

Another thing, is I often have trouble becoming turned on by fantasizing without thinking of my fetishes. That's what a fetish is for. When you're with someone else, you get turned on by the sense of touch. When you don't have that, it makes sense you can't simply get turned on by thinking of being touched. That's perfectly normal.

I am turned on by my boyfriend because of our closeness. Not simply the idea of sex.

Sex is very very personal. It makes sense that you wouldn't want some person to be there when you're naked and orgasming, however, sex is supposed to be intimate. When you're in a serious relationship and you're ready to do something as intimate as sex with them, you'll be okay with them being there because you'll be that close. If you're sexual, it makes sense that you won't necessarily be ready until a certain point.

I am still a virgin, and I don't think I am yet ready for sex.

However, i KNOW that someday I will be. And I am already able to share intimacy with my boyfriend, and get aroused because of him.

I think what you're feeling is perfectly normal for someone who has little experience. It sounds to me that you are sexual, but not sleazy or addicted to sex. That's a good thing.

I could be wrong, but you sound very similar to me.

No worries.

I would suggest going through a real relationship and giving intimacy a chance before labeling yourself asexual.

I hope I could help. Let me know if there's anything I missed or if there are any more questions. :)

Good luck finding who you are!

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sonofzeal
Stupid question that's already been asked a few times -

How the earth is sex a "need"?

i don't get it. How/why is it that you want those sensations with that person so much that you can't think of anything else? i've never not been able to think and do several things at once, even sexual sensations. i think of other (nonsexual) things at the same time.

I don't think anyone thinks frustrated sexuals come to a standstill and are unable to function.

To me it's more like being hungry - when you're little hungry you can do lots of other things a barely notice. When you are quite hungry you can still do other things but you are constantly aware that you are hungry, and when you're REALLY hungry, then it can be disruptive, especially if you're around yummy food but can't have any.

Food analogies to the rescue!

Yeah, it's rather like that. Without sexual release of some kind (which doesn't need to be sex!), it intrudes more and more into how I think and act, until it eventually starts seriously affecting my ability to sleep because of arousal waking me up. Not pleasant.

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Elliott Ford
Food analogies to the rescue!

Yeah, it's rather like that. Without sexual release of some kind (which doesn't need to be sex!), it intrudes more and more into how I think and act, until it eventually starts seriously affecting my ability to sleep because of arousal waking me up. Not pleasant.

Okay, that makes more sense. I've just never felt anything very much like that. (it doesn't help that i also don't actually experience hunger but i think i have a cognitive understanding of that one)

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Hope4thefuture
Well! I know for a fact that if I told people a little bit about myself I'd be lynched in the backyard. My Dad has passed on, so thankfully he'll never know -- he was a pure hedonist! Don't get me wrong, I loved the old guy, but it was true -- he'd be real disappointed in me, and I know it. I just can't tell any of my friends since they're just not really tolerant people, either -- they think everyone has to be exactly like them... I wish 20/20 had that show on, so maybe if stuff got in the news it would dawn on people to quit arranging marriages behind my back and let me just breathe.

If I were you I would make up a very elaborate story about a guy I'm dating so they would stop trying too hook you up. Then tell them you are taking it slow so you are not going to introduce him to anyone yet. Then when they really get anxious make up a really extreme break up story about how he cheated on you or something, then them tell them you're not going to be ready for another relationship for sometime because you really liked the person.......... Now I think about it it's not a good idea because you would be lying to everyone..... but it would definatly get them off your back for a while.

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AVENCakes
Stupid question that's already been asked a few times -

How the earth is sex a "need"?

i don't get it. How/why is it that you want those sensations with that person so much that you can't think of anything else? i've never not been able to think and do several things at once, even sexual sensations. i think of other (nonsexual) things at the same time.

It isn't a need in the "If you don't have sex for [period] of time, you'll DIE" sense, but it can seriously effect the quality of your life. It's more a need like something you love doing is a need. I don't really need to exercise, I've survived long periods of time without it, but I am so much happier when I do, and function better. If you paint or do something that you love doing and can't imagine going without, it's sort of like that. Yeah, if someone broke your paintbrushes and forbade you from getting new ones you'd be able to survive and function, but I doubt you'd be that happy about it.

So, yeah, it's not a need like air and water and food are and awhile back people objected to the food-analogies because they misrepresent it as being on that plain which can cause further confusion as I don't think "lack of sex" has ever been a cause of death, but they are needs.

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annwyl_cariad
Does anyone know (first hand or second hand) what exactly it normally feels like for a girl when she is touched in an erogenous zone?

I can’t speak for anyone else, but when someone touches me in an erogenous zone, I get a tingly feeling, sort of like when you’re being tickled very lightly, and it makes me want to open up for more. But it can also make me contract if it’s not the time or the place or the person.

How does an orgasm feel? How does one know if he or she has experienced one?

Like someone else who responded, I also had to have several before identifying what it was. To me, it sort of starts out as a vague wibbly feeling, somewhere behind the clitoris but sort of in the centre of your body (depthwise), that seems to get stronger and to move higher. It sort of explodes somewhere round your stomach and sends shock waves all over the body, and it leaves you feeling exhausted yet invigorated at the same time. (I’ve heard that running a marathon is similar, but I’m not much of an exercise freak!)

Here's a sort of question that I guess...this might be really hard to answer. But whenever I hear people describe what sexual arousal or an orgasm feels like, it does NOT seem pleasant at all to me. Like, I always hear the phrases "tingly sensation" and "shock waves" and to me that just sounds bizarre and uncomfortable. When I hear "tingly sensation" I think of what you get when your leg falls asleep, and when I hear "shock waves" I think of an epileptic seizure. Now, neither of those things are particularly pleasant. So I'm obviously understanding this wrong, yes? Lotus123 used the analogy of tickling, but I hate being tickled, so maybe I'm not understanding that either.

I asked my best friend, and she was only able to come up with "It's basically the best feeling ever...I really can't describe it. It's just...all over." Which is in no way helpful.

Does anyone have an alternate way of describing an orgasm? Lately I've been wondering if I should just try and have one just so I know, but honestly there are just so many other things I would rather do with my alone time, and since I've never even been mildly aroused (at least, I don't think I have been), I'm not sure if it would be worth the effort to try.

Thanks! Reading this thread has been really helpful for me to understand kind of where sexuals are coming from. And to help me realize that I'm absolutely, definitely not one, hahaha.

Ann

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sonofzeal
Does anyone have an alternate way of describing an orgasm? Lately I've been wondering if I should just try and have one just so I know, but honestly there are just so many other things I would rather do with my alone time, and since I've never even been mildly aroused (at least, I don't think I have been), I'm not sure if it would be worth the effort to try.

Mmm.... it's really hard to verbalize, and everyone experiences it slightly differently. I'll try to capture the essence of the feeling, rather than just describe the sensations.

Arousal - picture a warmth, starting from your genitals and radiating outward. You become increasingly aware of it the stronger it gets, and your mind slips away from other things to come back and focus on it and what's causing it. Other things seem to not matter as much. It's nothing like "leg fallen asleep", but there is an active component to it, a sense of presence and warmth that goes beyond just a rise in temperature.

Orgasm - light collecting in your stomach and genitals and then radiating outward through your body. Everything else disappears for a moment except you, the overwhelming feeling, and the cause. Not pleasure, exactly, more broad-spectrum, like emotional white-noise playing loud on all frequencies, like vision fading to white. You're only lost there for a moment, but the feeling keeps going for a while as your body fully tenses around your core, and then slowly relaxes as the feeling fades. You're left tired and breathing hard, but utterly relaxed physically and emotionally, and for a period of time stress and sadness and depression feel like a thing of the past. But, life is there waiting for you afterward, and the normal cares and concerns still have to be dealt with.

Listening to

, the sound at 2:54 and 4:54 reminds me of what I'm describing. The slow build, rising to a peak that isn't loud, or busy, or anything like that - it just is, and for a moment it takes over. The peak remains throughout the chorus, but the specialness of the first moment isn't really there, and eventually it relaxes back into the normal rhythm.

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annwyl_cariad
Listening to
, the sound at 2:54 and 4:54 reminds me of what I'm describing. The slow build, rising to a peak that isn't loud, or busy, or anything like that - it just is, and for a moment it takes over. The peak remains throughout the chorus, but the specialness of the first moment isn't really there, and eventually it relaxes back into the normal rhythm.

Oh. Wow. Okay. THANK YOU for putting it in terms of music. Music...now that I understand, haha. I just closed my eyes and listened to that, and even though I wasn't counting the time or anything, I could tell immediately when I'd reached those points you mentioned. It is sort of a whole-body feeling. And if that resembles what an orgasm feels like, then I can understand better why people would want to have them. Wow, okay, that makes sense now. Thank you! :)

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LimeTreeArbour

can most sexuals tell the difference between romantic and sexual attraction?

(as a confused asexual i couldnt so got more confused lol)

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Olivier
can most sexuals tell the difference between romantic and sexual attraction?

(as a confused asexual i couldnt so got more confused lol)

I think they (we) can, in the sense that sexuals understand being sexually attracted to people they have no romantic interest in. For most people that's experienced as eye candy that they don't have any interest in pursuing, and others want to follow through at least the stronger attractions with casual sex.

The difficulty seems to lie with the idea that romantic attraction can occur without sexual attraction. For most sexuals, the strength of desire to act on sexual attraction is sort of a multiple of physical attraction and romantic attraction. If one is close to zero, then the motivation for sex is likely to stay low, but if one is even medium while the other is high, then watch out :)

And I think that most sexuals have at least a subconscious understanding that that (or something like it, we're all different) is going on, and that's the cause of difficulties understanding asexuality - the thought that for an asexual the physical and romantic attractions can be there, and can still combine in the same powerful way, but it doesn't lead to sexual desire if the spark of sexual attraction (which is sort of overlooked as a given) isn't present.

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LimeTreeArbour

ok, thanks for responding

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Hallucigenia

I've experienced romantic attraction without sexual attraction on a couple of occasions, although it's not the norm for me. So I understand the double dissociation. Most sexuals' mileage may vary, though.

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LimeTreeArbour

can i ask a dumb question? it mightve been covered but i need to be clear

technically speaking; do men orgasm? is that what ejaculation is?

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Hallucigenia
can i ask a dumb question? it mightve been covered but i need to be clear

technically speaking; do men orgasm? is that what ejaculation is?

Yes. Yes, they do.

Ejaculation is usually part of the orgasm for men, but some men can learn to orgasm without ejaculating or to ejaculate without a noticeable orgasm.

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