Garion

Understanding Aesthetic Attraction vs Sexual Attraction

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Garion

In the quest to see if I'm near-asexual or far from it, I just learned about the idea of aesthetic attraction. (Typed "can't stop staring at soemone" into the search engine and a thread from this forum came up.) So that said, I'm trying to get a better idea as to what differentiates aesthetic attraction from sexual attraction.

 

So there are times I'll see someone and have an urge to keep looking at them because no matter how long I look, there's still something I can't figure out about them. Kind of like looking at a painting that intrigues you without ever finding out what about it intrigues you. It's nice if the person is in a picture since that way I don't feel like a creep. I have noticed preferences in regards to who will spark my interest, though I don't feel like sharing them at this time. This isn't limited to people and to give an example of inanimate objects causing the same interest, certain styles of shoes (such as toe shoes) can make we want to ogle even if there's nothing else of interest to me from the person wearing them.

Thinking back, I can see some development in these interests dating back to middle school. (I'm currently 22.) So they are long-held in both cases.

 

Now for the thing making me wonder about the line between the aesthetic and sexual. With both groups, the people and the inanimate I'll notice boners and both were equally valid when I used to self-pleasure. And given I've never heard of shoe-sexual or any other like of that kind, I have legitimate wonder as to whether or not I should discount the physical reaction or if it's sexual attraction.

 

Thanks for any replies.

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OptimisticPessimist

Welcome :cake::cake::cake:

 

Aesthetic Attraction is when you feel attracted to someone based on their looks,  or can appreciate the way someone looks, but you may not want to do anything romantic or sexual with them.

 

Sexual attraction, you do want to do sexual things with another person. 

 

Personally for me, i can appreciate someone's looks, think their cute etc but that's it. 

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Xenobot

A sexual interest in objects, such as shoes, is classified as a fetish. Which is totally fine by the way! If you look up “shoe fetish” online you’ll find lots of stuff related to that.

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Garion

@OptimisticPessimist, so if I'm right the basic is "they look nice" vs "they look nice and I'd like to have sex." I guess what I'm wondering is where physical arousal to the sight of someone lands overall or if it's even indicative between aesthetic and sexual.

 

@Xenobot, well at least now I've narrowed down my sexuality to somewhere between asexual and "everythingsexual." :P I will admit I've always thought of fetishes as add one to sexualities as opposed to stand alone. (Please correct me if I'm misreading you.) I'll have to look on my own later on (late here) but do you know any good non-graphic starting points to look into fetishes? 

 

 

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Xenobot

@Garion Non-graphic... hmmm. I found this video about the science behind fetishism for you:

 

 

There’s also this thread here on the forum: 

 

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Taylor Lilith

I don't really know the difference seeing as it turns out I have never been sexually attracted to another human being in my life. 

 

When I look at another person, I don't want to see them in any less clothes, touch them, or partake in any sexual action with them.  After acknowledging I'm asexual, I haven't even felt the slightest wiggle even amongst the same people. Evidently that was forced too. 

 

Once an awful middle schooler even shoved my hand into another students backside. I apologized but the person gave an edgewise approving look whereas I got nothing out of it. I could tell this was probably what an attractive backside felt like but didn't feel the corresponding desire. 

 

I never got aroused in high school when a young woman in a miniskirt was trashcanned while wearing no underwear. I had no desire to take part in any action, or even approach her. I could tell she was attractive though.

 

I even know and can comprehend what supple means, and what a healthy, attractive woman feels like under my hands without the corresponding desire I was causing in my partner.  ie I know what attractive feels like as well, without sexual attraction. 

 

Evidently THAT is what qualifies for aesthetic attraction. I can understand, fully comprehend, and admire attractive people but get no sexual feelings towards the person. IE I know what a "sexy" backside looks (and unfortunately feels) like but can't comprehend what "sexy" means. 

 

I have a libido, however, and am very much capable of intercourse. I just really really don't want to. I am, in fact, going to try to sleep now, sickened by my body betraying me and  getting a rise to people I was never sexually attracted to. ( why body, why?!)

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Garion

@Xenobot Well I finally got around to watching the video. Thanks for it as it's decently intriguing.

 

And a general question I'd have is whether it's common for asexuals with aesthetic attractions to be physically aroused by said attractions but not want to have sex with said attractions or if physical arousal with some correlation to a specific aesthetic attraction would signify it's a sexual attraction.

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Xenobot

No problem. By the way, something seems not to be working when you try to tag someone. A properly working tag will be highlighted like this: @Garion not this @Garion. When you type in the person’s username there should be a hovering popup that shows you suggested names. Make sure you click (or touch if on mobile) their name from the list in order to activate the tag. That will ensure that they get notified.

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Garion

@Xenobot thanks for that tip.

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Pessimistic Protagonist

Yeah, I feel aesthetic attraction and can develop really strong crushes on people based on looks but there is no sexual intent there. I am still open to having a sexual realtionship even though I never saw sex as a need or even really desire it that much. Like sure, I'd like to know how it feels to have sexual attraction and to have sex and feel the same way my partner does but I've come to the realization that it will probably never happen that way. I still find my partner really attractive, I just don't feel the need to have sex with them and am unable to even fantasize about that. It took me a long time to realize the difference between sexual and aesthetic attraction (it's even harder when you factor in romantic desire) but for me sexual attraction would probably require two things - arrousal and the mental desire. I can feel arrousal from being close to someone that I like but it doesn't mean that I want to have sex with them since mentally the desire is not there. There's only a handful of times where I've experienced both at once and the best way I can describe it is that you feel a pull towards that person and have a desire to be intimate with them 

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