darkpoetess

Demisexuals, how does secondary attraction work for you?

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darkpoetess

*Comments from all are welcome btw, not exclusive to dems.

 

When it comes to secondary attraction, I find even that to be different from sexuals in terms of what I've observed. Even though most sexuals will express specific things in their partner that attract them, they are also into certain body parts as well (I don't think that needs further explanation). 

 

That said, when I become attracted to someone I have developed that emotional/intellectual connection with, the sexual attraction is completely unique to that person. In other words, I don't have any standards of what I would be attracted to...like being into muscles or eye color etc. In each relationship I've had, the qualities that existed in the secondary attraction come from individual characteristics. I was once with someone who felt inadequate because I didn't tell him he was hot/sexy etc and I didn't know how to explain that I didn't feel that without him misunderstanding me. The things that attracted me to him were because they were his OWN characteristics. My mom used to say "You really don't have a physical type at ALL". And I was like, that's not even the half of it. Lol

 

So I'm just wondering for fellow demisexuals, do you experience those similar feelings or do you relate more to sexuals? I feel like I've talked to a number of demisexuals here where we discuss the lack of primary attraction, but I'd love to hear about the elements of secondary attraction that you experience. 

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gnostalgick

I don't have a type per se, but as I've only had a couple 'bad breakups' I do like things that remind me of most my exes.  It's like a buffet; I just keep adding things--both what I've had before and new things to try.  Hope that makes sense.

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Death Of Tass

Well, for me, the thing I tend to notice when I meet someone is their face. And I've found that I experience aesthetic attraction (I experience aesthetic attraction a lot, and it took me a while to seperate it from romantic attraction, which made me feel confused to say the least) differently than others. For example, there was this guy at my school. While everybody would automatically think "Oh, he has acne, gross, he should do something about it" and go no further, I would automatically think "He has a very aesthetically pleasing face in spite of his acne, I like his eyes". 

 

As for secondary attraction, I haven't really experienced it in a romantic/sexual way, but i have found that what does it for me is the way someone shares their thoughts with me, be it deep or meaningless, or someone's true laugh (the one they'd rather not show in public because they think it's rather loud/obnoxious)

 

I completely relate with finding someone's features beautiful just because they are their own. For example, if you showed a younger me a picture of my best friend, younger me would say she was ok looking. However, when I see a picture of my best friend now, after having gone through so much with her on my side, I'd say she's one of the most beautiful people in the world, because she's the person who covers her head with her hands from laughing so hard at a stupid joke I made she can't even breathe anymore and makes weird faces and tells stories to get me and our other friends to laugh at the same way.

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Gareki

Moved from Asexual Relationships to The Gray Area, Sex and Related Discussions

 

Gareki

Moderator for Asexual Relationships

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darkpoetess
7 hours ago, Life Of Tass said:

 

As for secondary attraction, I haven't really experienced it in a romantic/sexual way, but i have found that what does it for me is the way someone shares their thoughts with me, be it deep or meaningless, or someone's true laugh (the one they'd rather not show in public because they think it's rather loud/obnoxious)

 

 

The intellectual and emotional connection I have with someone is what I feel first and foremost. The secondary attraction includes the sexual attraction, but like I said, is unique to that person when physical characteristics are involved.

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Philip027

I'm demiromantic, but yeah, that's pretty much in line with how I am.  I also don't have a "type"; I love my partner's attributes because they're hers.  If we weren't together, I wouldn't take notice.

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darkpoetess
41 minutes ago, Philip027 said:

I'm demiromantic, but yeah, that's pretty much in line with how I am.  I also don't have a "type"; I love my partner's attributes because they're hers.  If we weren't together, I wouldn't take notice.

Thank you for your response. I'm glad to see others relating to this. 

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Solovei

While I do have an aesthetic type (though it doesn't necessarily, or even usually translate into physical attraction), I would often be watching something and I would regularly catch myself finding someone more physically beautiful the more I got to know and like them as a character. For a long time assumed it was like this for everyone, too. In real life... yes, I will often (usually) find someone more attractive (as opposed to beautiful which is a bit more objective) after I get to know/have feelings for them (because of other reasons).

I would also quote to friends Kant's idea that the appreciation of beauty is disinterested/doesn't (have to) produce a desire to possess the beautiful thing, when talking about beautiful people. Only now am I starting to understand why they seemed incapable of even grasping what I was saying. And to me that was such an obvious, natural thing. After all, *I* had always been this way...

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Ardoise

@Solovei, this makes so much sense.

You've articulated my own experiences almost exactly.

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darkpoetess
2 hours ago, Solovei said:

I would also quote to friends Kant's idea that the appreciation of beauty is disinterested/doesn't (have to) produce a desire to possess the beautiful thing, when talking about beautiful people. 

I used to find it difficult to express my understanding of what attractiveness or aesthetic appeal is. My sexual friends have said things like "How can you even recognize that someone is good looking or attractive yet say you're not attracted to them?" What I've realized is that my appreciation like you're saying, doesn't have to produce desire. I can appreciate a person on the outside the same way I can appreciate beautiful flowers and trees and animals or even manmade art and architecture. I think when explaining this it's also sometimes fair to point out that a heterosexual person can appreciate the aesthetic qualities of people of the same sex without feeling sexual desire for them.

 

In terms of relationships for me though, any aesthetic quality I become attracted to is purely unique to that person. 

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Zorc

Heh, never did have much of a physical 'type' myself either... 😄

As for how secondary attraction works for me personally, I like to describe it as kind of like being comfortable around somebody when trying to explain it. We don't have to be friends or particularly close, but if I share an emotional bond with you to the point you're someone I feel comfortable around... Sometimes it'll start to translate into sexual attraction. If I don't feel comfortable around you though, sexual attraction is impossible. Getting comfortable with people takes time and makes it impossible to have a 'true' one night stand (The kind with someone you just met), but that doesn't mean that I have to have a crush on someone or even a squish. I actually consider myself somewhat slutty given that even if my attraction isn't immediate, my reaction to it often is. I could also talk about how I've have had my attraction fluctuate with abuse cycles, but frankly I'd just rather not talk about my ex.

I know that I probably sound ridiculous, but yolo right?

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Solovei
14 hours ago, darkpoetess said:

I think when explaining this it's also sometimes fair to point out that a heterosexual person can appreciate the aesthetic qualities of people of the same sex without feeling sexual desire for them.

Pretty much. And yet, people who are perfectly capable of grasping this (and that's most people I think) seem unable to grasp what I was talking about.

I do feel like I'm from a wrong (and inherently inferior) planet sometimes, just because a nice body or beautiful face isn't necessarily all (or even primarily what) I need in order to be attracted to someone. It's getting really tiring, actually...😓

 

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darkpoetess
3 hours ago, Solovei said:

Pretty much. And yet, people who are perfectly capable of grasping this (and that's most people I think) seem unable to grasp what I was talking about.

I do feel like I'm from a wrong (and inherently inferior) planet sometimes, just because a nice body or beautiful face isn't necessarily all (or even primarily what) I need in order to be attracted to someone. It's getting really tiring, actually...😓

 

It felt tiring for me too until I found this place. I got tired of feeling like I was a prude or "conservative". I didn't know anything about the Ace community until I was 27 so I went most my life not unhappy with who I was, but very tired and fed up with things like oversexualization or pressure to like someone because he was good looking and interested in me. All I could tell people was that I needed to have a connection with someone first. Aesthetic appeal or traits that are supposed to be sexually attractive get zero response from me. I used to work with these ladies who would swoon over this regular customer who had a super deep voice. Every time he came I was like "oh crap" because I got tired of hearing about his voice and then I'd get annoyed with myself because they weren't doing anything inherently wrong by liking his voice. I would sometimes think how can people get turned on by something so meaningless and whether I was out with a male or female friend who would mention something sexy about some stranger and get a thrill out of it I'd be like "Omg stop!". There was a time that I'd just go along or not say anything. But when it became an irritant for me, I felt like going out less or would have to drink to not feel irritated by everyone's hormones. When I learned about this place and read into asexuality I also came to learn about asexual elitism and thought, have I been doing this without realizing it? Hard to say because I wasn't consciously engaging or promoting it. But it did help me realize that what other people feel has nothing to do with me and shouldn't irritate me unless it's offensive or something. And it didn't bother me anymore. Sorry I sort of went off on that tangent, but I thought perhaps when you said it's tiring it had to do with other people pressuring you or making you feel outcast. 

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darkpoetess
4 hours ago, Zorc said:

Heh, never did have much of a physical 'type' myself either... 😄

As for how secondary attraction works for me personally, I like to describe it as kind of like being comfortable around somebody when trying to explain it. We don't have to be friends or particularly close, but if I share an emotional bond with you to the point you're someone I feel comfortable around... Sometimes it'll start to translate into sexual attraction. If I don't feel comfortable around you though, sexual attraction is impossible. Getting comfortable with people takes time and makes it impossible to have a 'true' one night stand (The kind with someone you just met), but that doesn't mean that I have to have a crush on someone or even a squish. I actually consider myself somewhat slutty given that even if my attraction isn't immediate, my reaction to it often is. I could also talk about how I've have had my attraction fluctuate with abuse cycles, but frankly I'd just rather not talk about my ex.

I know that I probably sound ridiculous, but yolo right?

No that doesn't sound ridiculous. I have had experiences where I felt like I was bonding with someone and becoming close to them and then they either do something offensive or that upsets me to where I feel uncomfortable. When I lose that sense of comfort with someone it's a guaranteed "turn off". Any attraction I was starting to feel is officially dead. It's like my mind and body say "There's no future with this person, so attraction terminated" lol. I could possibly be friends with that person if things smooth over, but the possibility of a relationship just isn't there anymore. 

 

It's not to say I've never gotten upset with someone I'm in a relationship with, but that's more related to human imperfection or situational issues. The kind of discomfort I'm talking about is more fundamental where your instincts send up those red flags. I've never had a one night stand. Before I understood my orientation, I used to say I didn't believe in it, but honestly it would just be totally impossible. Understanding myself has really helped me to let go of judgment that was brought on by social pressures from others. I don't need to be friends with people who project sexual needs on me or make me uncomfortable.

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Marlow1

I am of the impression that in the early days of a relationship many sexual people project their ideas onto the other person and this is why they feel so strongly attracted 

 

https://veilofreality.com/is-it-love-or-is-it-projection/

 

It is impossible for me to project. I have Aphantasia (Please see my profile for more details) and although I might be able to tell you one or two characteristics that would be  nice for my partner to have there is no way for me to know what my ideal partner will be like until I meet her

 

This is why it took me to the age of 33 yrs, to meet her, and after this well over two years to actually become attracted to her. 

 

I had had to know her extremely well before I could feel the attraction and like others here have mentioned it is her uniqueness that makes her attractive to me.

 

What I will add though, and I think this is significant, my partner is strongly attracted to me. Very commited and so on. Other folk may have liked me in the past, I don't really know, but I do know that in the early days of my telationship with my partner she was exceedingly patience and commited, in a way that made me feel safe to grow with her. I have never experienced this with anybody else

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darkpoetess
3 minutes ago, Marlow1 said:

I am of the impression that in the early days of a relationship many sexual people project their ideas onto the other person and this is why they feel so strongly attracted 

 

https://veilofreality.com/is-it-love-or-is-it-projection/

 

It is impossible for me to project. I have Aphantasia and although I might be able to tell you one or two characteristics that would be  nice for my partner to have there is no way for me to know what my ideal partner will be like until I meet her

 

This is why it took me to the age of 33 yrs, to meet her, and after this well over two years to actually become attracted to her. 

 

I had had to know her extremely well before I could feel the attraction and like others here have mentioned it is her uniqueness that makes her attractive to me.

 

What I will add though, and I think this is significant, my partner is strongly attracted to me. Very commited and so on. Other folk may have liked me in the past, I don't really know, but I do know that in the early days of my telationship with my partner she was exceedingly patience and commited, in a way that made me feel safe to grow with her. I have never experienced this with anybody else

Yes people do project their ideas and wants onto others, and not just physical appearance, but in personality and mannerisms. I think what you have is very special and unique and I think ideally, it's what most people want even in the sexual world. I hope that one day I will mean that much to someone, as they would to me.

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Marlow1
On 30 July 2018 at 8:50 PM, darkpoetess said:

Yes people do project their ideas and wants onto others, and not just physical appearance, but in personality and mannerisms. I think what you have is very special and unique and I think ideally, it's what most people want even in the sexual world. I hope that one day I will mean that much to someone, as they would to me.

In the early days my brother, (not the one with Aphantasia) played a big role in our relationship developing. Much of what he did was not ethical but my partner and I did not know he was secretly 'matchmaking'

 

My brother was married to my partners best friend and he and his wife saw her far more often than I did. He would tell her lots of positive things about me and every positive comment I made about her he made sure she new. And then he would do the same thing with me. Making sure I new he had seen her and making a meal out of every time she asked about me and so on lol

 

My brother really liked my partner and he new she liked me but he also new what I was like and although we did not know about the Aphantasia back then he instinctively new that without reinforcement I would just forget my interactions with my sister-in-laws friend. He would point out every characteristic and interest that she had that might match mine. And he would say things like ' Don't blow your chance with this one' lol

 

I know that this is a cheating way of finding a partner and that it could have all turned horribly wrong but because my brother was doing all of his interfering, in our case it did pay off lol

 

Through the many conversations that I had with my brother and his wife about what a great catch my then platonic friend could be, I was able to create a 'concept' (for want of a better word, I clearly could not create a picture) of what my current partner was like

 

Through family get-togethers and the like, my then friend and I managed to start seeing a lot of each other. There was no pressure on either of us, because we both felt like we were in our natural environment we were able to just be ourselves and managed to experience many positive occasions together

 

She had know her friend and her family since she was five years old and I had obviously known my brother and my family since childhood, and so both of us felt very comfortable with the surroundings. And when we finally hit it off it just felt like we were progressing within our natural environment, so to speak

 

A lot of arranged marriages perhaps develop along the same lines. But as you know they do not always work out but surprisingly many do. And I can understand why that is so at least some of the time

 

I have known my partner for 29 years and we have been together for 27 years. And most of that time together has been very beautiful

 

Our problems started after I had the brain hemhorrage. I was in a really bad way and this meant my partner had to learn a lot of stuff to try to help me. We spent far more time together and my partner realised I did not remember massive chunks of our life together and sadly I also said many inappropriate things to her. Hurtful things that she could not fathom where they were coming from

 

Long story short, she eventually worked out that I had Aphantasia, and later we discovered I am Demisexual too. Finding out about these two things brought a lot of healing to our relationship. There are still a lot of things for us both to work through but we are most definitely a success story

 

Just realising that the things we were saying often had opposite meaning to the other was what created the bridge between us. I never meant to hurt my partner but now that I know that other people can visualise in their minds eyes and further understanding the minds of sexual folk, and in my partners case, visa versa. We are back very much appreciating each other, yep even more than before the brain hemhorrage, if that is possible

 

I really hope our story provides some inspiration. It is not easy being Demisexual, and obviously before I met my partner I had no idea I was Demisexual, Asexual would have fitted me more precisely at that time

 

And being a sexual partner, in either a Sexual or Demisexual relationship, can my partner says, be challenging

 

 But when we look back to the time when we was getting to know each other and the early courtship days both of us can now see, that at least in part our sexualities played a role in the actual attraction. My partner wanted somebody like me and I definitely needed somebody like her lol

 

I guess because of the many factors, including my brothers role in it all at the start, a lot of the things that happened for us could not be emulated. But I want folk to know that at least in our case the matchmaking and the family environment did play a big role. I suspect that many folk in the past came together in a similar way. For some of us old fashioned courtship can be the answer

 

You have mentioned that one day you would like to have a similar relationship. Please, please, please, know that this can happen. Just know it, please!

 

 

 

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darkpoetess

@Marlow1 it definitely sounds like you've had your ups and downs and that's completely normal in any relationship. I think what I've always tried to express to people is that it's important that when you do find that someone, that you're perfect for each other, regardless of whatever obstacles may come your way. You and your wife have been through very tough and beautiful times it sounds like. One of the reasons I describe myself as semi-asexual in addition to being demisexual is that I don't experience any attractions or responses to strangers no matter how fleeting and I know that a lot of demisexuals do though. Beyond recognizing what I would agree to be an attractive person would for me be the same as recognizing a beautiful painting and I think that was mentioned before....there isn't any attraction to aesthetics, so even if you didn't have aphantasia, it's possible you would feel the same way I do. I don't feel that I'm missing out on anything in that regard. Thank you for the words of encouragement. I look forward to sharing something that special with another person. :)

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Deus Ex Infinity

First of all, I'd need to be fascinated by the character/personality of my partner to fall in love basically. 

 

Then secondly, it's mostly either the voice, eyes or smile that would define my secondary atttaction. 

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Celyn

I haven't experience secondary sexual attraction to anybody outside of "my type" yet, but that's not to say I won't, or that I don't experience romantic and sensual attraction to people who aren't my type.

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Solovei
On 7/29/2018 at 5:00 PM, darkpoetess said:

I would sometimes think how can people get turned on by something so meaningless

That is it. To. A. Tee. I keep saying how love at first sight does not exist because you cannot "love" someone you don't know. And yet...

I have this friend who claims love at first sight is basically skipping the getting to know part, because the physical attraction plays that role instead, no need to waste time on superficialities such as personality and other such minor things. And no, this in not what he (thinks he's) saying but it is to a large degree what it boils down to. How he can't see that that's either projection (you see a beautiful ass and you think you see a beautiful person) or, even more sadly, a hard ass or a pair of full lips *is* in itself reason enough to "love" someone. And I may be defective and not quite as human as the rest of the population, but this makes me incredibly sad, to think that we have evolved into such a complicated species, with such fascinating brains and capacity and yet, we often base what is arguably one of the most important relationships in our lives, on something so utterly devoid of any meaning or usefulness...

I don't particularly mind people talking to me about it (though I find the idea of the amount of energy wasted on getting "turned on" by random body parts (here in Brazil, it must be around fivefold worse, what with women walking barely covered in anything other than lustful gazes ;) ) terrifying), it is just literally the least interesting thing to talk or even think about, some random stranger's ass or breasts. Not to mention that it reduces people (sadly, not just strangers on the street) to walking collections of genitalia.

On 7/30/2018 at 4:40 PM, Marlow1 said:

I have Aphantasia

Thanks for mentioning this. I went to read up on it and it's fascinating. Well, maybe not for the people who have it but I was fascinated.

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FictoCannibal.
5 hours ago, Solovei said:

That is it. To. A. Tee. I keep saying how love at first sight does not exist because you cannot "love" someone you don't know. And yet...

 

 Hah I've actually experienced love at first sight (once even without sight), it's extremely powerful and hits you like, I don't know, a truck or something 😛 However for many people love at first sight doesn't last long because as soon as you get to know the person and find they don't match your fantasies of them, the love fades. It certainly doesn't have to be sexual (mine wasn't) but it's still based on a fantasy of them as a knight in shining armour or whatever. Then it turns out they're just like everyone else and don't live up to your fantasies and your love fades.

 

What causes love at first sight (actual romantic love, not just physical/sexual desire like your friend is talking about) is that you've fallen in love with a FANTASY of a person, you've imagined suddenly all these amazing traits you think this person must have and obviously as you yourself made these traits up (so they're everything you're looking for in a partner) your body recognises them as 'perfect' and these strong emotions start happening for that person. Your mind has tricked your body into falling in love with all these imagined aspects of that person's personality and thoughts and mannerisms and their soul based only on having seen them across the street or heard their voice or touched their hand once or whatever. Then when they become 'real' and you actually get to know them, your body starts to realize it was all lies and the romantic attraction begins to fade.. that perfection only existed in your mind. (Unless they actually do meet all your expectations in which case I imagine the love would continue!!)

 

Edit: my phone makes some of my writing really tiny and some really big, I never know why Y_Y hopefully you can still read my comment lol

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Solovei
On 8/3/2018 at 6:25 PM, FictoVore. said:

 Hah I've actually experienced love at first sight (once even without sight), it's extremely powerful and hits you like, I don't know, a truck or something 😛 However for many people love at first sight doesn't last long because as soon as you get to know the person and find they don't match your fantasies of them, the love fades. It certainly doesn't have to be sexual (mine wasn't) but it's still based on a fantasy of them as a knight in shining armour or whatever. Then it turns out they're just like everyone else and don't live up to your fantasies and your love fades.

 

What causes love at first sight (actual romantic love, not just physical/sexual desire like your friend is talking about) is that you've fallen in love with a FANTASY of a person, you've imagined suddenly all these amazing traits you think this person must have and obviously as you yourself made these traits up (so they're everything you're looking for in a partner) your body recognises them as 'perfect' and these strong emotions start happening for that person. Your mind has tricked your body into falling in love with all these imagined aspects of that person's personality and thoughts and mannerisms and their soul based only on having seen them across the street or heard their voice or touched their hand once or whatever. Then when they become 'real' and you actually get to know them, your body starts to realize it was all lies and the romantic attraction begins to fade.. that perfection only existed in your mind. (Unless they actually do meet all your expectations in which case I imagine the love would continue!!)

 

Edit: my phone makes some of my writing really tiny and some really big, I never know why Y_Y hopefully you can still read my comment lol

Pretty much. It is a fantasy, a projection, as Pink Floyd sing, was it love, or was the idea of being in love, or rather, being in love with the idea of this person.

 

I keep telling this to my dad who claims it was love at first sight with my mum for him: people conveniently seem to forget all the times when they "fell in love at first sight" but it amounted to nothing... mysteriously, they don't seem to count those occasions of instant (but more fleeting) attraction as "love".

 

I'm not saying it can't feel like love (even though, with physical attraction not being the primary thing with me, I really don't get (other than purely theoretically) the idea of a purely physical attraction so strong, that you start projecting all you ever wished for onto that person; hell, I might have projected a couple of times, though invariably after getting to know the person a bit (even if just fora couple of hours) but I would and can never call it love. Then again, I think that compared to other people, I use the word love extremely sparingly. Even with people I've had romantic feelings for, I wouldn't call it love, because I reserve the word for something much stronger and deeper than this.

I might b the exception though...

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FictoCannibal.
5 minutes ago, Solovei said:

I keep telling this to my dad who claims it was love at first sight with my mum for him: people conveniently seem to forget all the times when they "fell in love at first sight" but it amounted to nothing... mysteriously, they don't seem to count those occasions of instant (but more fleeting) attraction as "love".

 They probably felt something very different when they felt moments of fleeting attraction compared to when they believe they fell in love at first sight with each other, because believe me it feels very different from just having a fling with someone or whatever. It's this actual deep feeling of, well, 'love'.. not just looking at someone and thinking "I want to bang them" or whatever, it's this incredible euphoric feeling that echoes through your whole being, it's extremely powerful. The word given that feeling which some people experience on first sight is still love (I don't mean seeing someone and wanting to bang them, I mean the actual feeling of love), even if it's based on something that isn't real or that won't last. It's still love!  

 

Regarding the rest, you seem to be thinking of a type of love that will last forever? Like, in your definition of 'true love' or whatever. Very few people experience that due to human biology (I have to get my kids to school so don't have time to explain it but there's heaps of evolutionary science behind this topic!!), but it's the limitations of English that's what happening here. We use the word 'love' to define multiple different feelings! If you're feeling romantic love for someone (and they for you as well), and that happened in an instant, you've still fallen in love at first sight...even if it's going to fade in a few years after you've got so sick of each other that you don't want to be in the same room anymore! That's a fleeting, fickle type of love, but there are definitely other types that are stronger and more enduring. You definitely know if you've fallen in love at first sight or just had a fleeting moment of attraction though, which is why your mum and dad only count the experience they had as 'love at first sight', they can tell the difference in how it felt..if that makes any sense at all?

 

im trying to cook breakfast while typing this on my phone so it's all over the place sorry!!

 

 

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Solovei

No, no, no, it's definitely not "true, everlasting love" that I'm talking about (though others have said pretty much the same thing). It's more... I don't know, maybe because if I'm anything, it's demisexual, for *me* to call something love, there must definitely be way more than just seeing someone and feeling... whatever it is people feel, strong attraction, fantasy, love... I might be instantly drawn to someone (emotionally, intellectually, physically) but I still wouldn't call it love. Love is something deeper and requires a more profound knowledge of the other person. But you are right, it's pretty much semantics and lack of enough words to describe a whole myriad of emotions. I just know that what I, for myself, call love, is a bit more than a lot of other people would use the word to describe. Doesn't invalidate either their idea of love or mine. (The Greeks had a good idea with the whole philia, eros and what have you thing).

 

(and the fact that a love has ended doesn't make it was any less truer while it lasted. Unless you *were* in love with the idea of the person and not who they were... in this case, in my own life, I would never call it love, because what I felt was for someone who never existed)

(Sorry, my brain is all over the place these days and so is my post ;))

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