Nowhere Girl

Is it possible to experience sexual attraction without wanting to have sex?

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Nowhere Girl

I have already encountered this issue on the forum, but it was never discussed in detail. This time I again felt an impulse to bring up this topic by reading Queenie's text on the Asexual Agenda. The text was written in response to Talia's text, which seems to have been perceived as threatening by some sex-averse aces (including myself - I wrote a comment and Talia acknowledged that sex-averse people may feel uncomfortable with her assertions, however it was Queenie who felt compelled to write a whole text in response). It also discusses different ways of defining asexuality, including the official "not experiencing sexual attraction" and "not wanting to have sex".

Myself, I experience this forum as generally safe and friendly. I haven't noticed any outright hostility to defining asexuality as "not wanting to have sex" and to treating it as a hard limit. On the contrary: there are a lot of discussions which "erode" the official definition in different ways: from questions about "what is sexual attraction and how can I be sure whether I experience it?" to proposals of defining asexuality in terms of "not experiencing sexual desire", "not experiencing intrinsic desire to share one's sexuality with another person" (which I, personally, perceive as more friendly towards sex-averse aces and also "easier", in way - I have felt many times that the concept of "sexual attraction" is very theoretic to me compared to the certainty of not wanting to have sex"). A lot of times I've also seen claims - both by asexual and allosexual users - that "sexual attraction" is not "finding someone hot", it is intrinsically tied to a desire to have sex with that "someone".

This is exactly what I wonder about and I wanted to start a discussion - both highly theoretic and personal statements allowed :) - about whether sexual attraction can exist without sexual desire. Is it sexual attraction if one feels more than esthetic attraction, something definitely tied to arousal - but still explicitly wouldn't want to actually have sex with the person who is the object of their attraction?

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flesh-pocket
11 minutes ago, Nowhere Girl said:

not experiencing intrinsic desire to share one's sexuality with another person

this has been my experience so far... though i have looked at people and found them "hot" before. how to tell if you're actually asexual if you don't want to seek other people for experience? i don't know. 

 

i tried to drum up some discussion on here about this topic a year or so ago, but i didn't find any real answers.

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MollyDMA

Personally, I am sex-averse. Asexuality, from my understanding, is all about desire, or the need, to have sex. There are asexuals who can and do enjoy having sex. Finding one's image attractive, or sexy, is very different from wanting to have sex with them. I can find people attractive or even sexy, but the idea of having or wanting to have sex with them is completely out of the question. Whenever I say that someone is good looking or attractive, is more of a aesthetic thing. Kinda like a work of art in a museum. 

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Salmiakki

I don't think finding someone hot means anything. I have always found people hot without having any desire to have sex with them, I think it's kinda like how sexual people can find people from the gender(s) they're not attracted to hot. 

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Nowhere Girl
3 minutes ago, Salmiakki said:

I don't think finding someone hot means anything. I have always found people hot without having any desire to have sex with them, I think it's kinda like how sexual people can find people from the gender(s) they're not attracted to hot. 

Woof from the musical "Hair": "I wouldn't throw Mick Jagger out of my bed... but no, I'm not a homosexual". ;)

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Philip027

Is it possible to experience sexual attraction without wanting to have sex?

Yes

 

Is it sexual attraction if one feels more than esthetic attraction, something definitely tied to arousal - but still explicitly wouldn't want to actually have sex with the person who is the object of their attraction?

Yes

 

Also, the whole Schrodinger's cat thing is stupid anyway.  Nothing is "both alive and dead" just because you don't know which it is; that's not how life and death work.

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Telecaster68
45 minutes ago, Philip027 said:

Also, the whole Schrodinger's cat thing is stupid anyway. 

As Schrodinger himself pointed out. He actually invented the analogy to demonstrate how incomprehensible quantum theory was.

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Deus Ex Infinity
Quote

Is it possible to experience sexual attraction without wanting to have sex?

I don't really think so to be honest.  Even if you don't want to actually act on it, it will give you suitable thoughts that might inspire you to go for it sometime.

 

 

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Philip027
1 hour ago, Telecaster68 said:

As Schrodinger himself pointed out. He actually invented the analogy to demonstrate how incomprehensible quantum theory was.

Thing is, you have all these people nowadays treating it like the guy had a point, so that kinda backfired

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Telecaster68
9 minutes ago, Philip027 said:

Thing is, you have all these people nowadays treating it like the guy had a point, so that kinda backfired

Yup. Pissed him off too. 

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banoffeepie

 

Isn't that basically Autochorissexual ?

 

I haven't thought about it in great depth yet but my gut feeling is definitely yes!   .. keeping in mind that for some people there's a great difference between wanting to have sex with someone and wanting to have intercourse with someone.

Within the community of akoisexuals / lithsexuals there must be plenty of people who practice different levels of sexual activity/ intimacy, and I guess in many cases they are basically not having sex at all, even if they are happy that their partner is.

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Fluffy Femme Guy
3 hours ago, MollyDMA said:

I can find people attractive or even sexy, but the idea of having or wanting to have sex with them is completely out of the question.

This. Aesthetic attraction is the norm for me though.

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The Dryad

It kind of begs the question, "what is sexual attraction", or even better "what is experiencing sexual attraction", if you ask me, acknowledging that someone portrays a sexual innuendo is different then actively being sexual attracted to someone. Personally, I hate the word "sexy", it grosses me out, I'm more likely to find someone beautiful rather than "hot"- I just think terminology like that is degrading. And because I find people beautiful, just like I view sculptures and artwork beautiful, doesn't mean I want to have sex with them,ew.

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Nowhere Girl
6 minutes ago, The Dryad said:

It kind of begs the question, "what is sexual attraction", or even better "what is experiencing sexual attraction"

Which is, basically, what I mean - at least in such a specific case.

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The Dryad
1 minute ago, Nowhere Girl said:

Which is, basically, what I mean - at least in such a specific case.

Isn't sexual attraction the hormonal, physical preparation the body does when you see someone you're physically/romantically/etc. attracted to, so that you experience arousal...which leads to sex....or at the least sexual attraction...right?

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Nowhere Girl
1 hour ago, The Dryad said:

Isn't sexual attraction the hormonal, physical preparation the body does when you see someone you're physically/romantically/etc. attracted to, so that you experience arousal...which leads to sex....or at the least sexual attraction...right?

I don't know. I never wonder about the hormonal side, I care much more about the psychological, mental aspect. All I know is that I never actually desire sex with anyone.

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FictoCannibal.

This has actually been discussed hundreds of times on these forums before, and usually divulges into fist-fight level debates :P I have naturally been in the center of many such debates (having probably written enough on the matter now to fill 10 books, that's not an exaggeration lol) but have been avoiding the topic for the past year or so because in the long run, it doesn't get one anywhere. There will always be someone a few days or weeks or months later asking the exact same thing, and the debate starts all over again.

 

'Short' answer though?

 

There are hundreds of people on these forums who are able to find others 'hot' and 'sexy'. Many of them were reluctant to ID at asexual at first because they worried about the backlash they may get for being able to experience what seems to be 'sexual attraction' while having absolutely no desire to connect sexually with others no matter how attractive they found them. It even got to the point a few years back where some 'sex loving asexuals' where going around slamming the aces who can find people attractive, saying they discredit asexuality due to their attraction but hey you can love sex all you want and still be ace, it's about what you feel when you look at people not what you want to do to them (according to these 'sex loving aces').

 

The thing is though, for some sexual people, sexual attraction has nothing to do with finding other people 'hot' or 'sexy' ...they may be drawn to have sex with someone for entirely different reasons (ie emotional compatibility as one thing). I've met sexuals who don't even judge anyone on physical appearance and don't even see the point in that - for them it has nothing to do with looks.. yet they still desire sex with certain other people for other reasons.

 

So obviously, being 'sexual' isn't actually about having the ability to find others hot or sexy.. it's about your capacity to innately desire sex with certain others regardless of whether you find them hot or sexy. 

 

An asexual is someone who does not desire to connect sexually with other people, regardless of their capacity for being able to find others attractive in a 'sexual seeming' way. 

 

That's like a thousand pages of debate summed up in a few paragraphs. Now I need to get out of bed and feed my kids, lol.

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Telecaster68

I'm sexual and I have no idea what 'attraction' means when it's bandied round on AVEN. No-one does, really. 

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TheAppallingPhantom

I think people have different ways of conceptualizing asexuality, and that's not bad. If someone finds it more helpful to think of their asexuality as not wanting sex, that's fine. I would consider a person a valid asexual if they experienced some kind of sexual attraction but didn't feel the desire to act on it.

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jay williams

I have erotic feelings, but I don't have desires for a sex act.

To put it in a more vulgar vernacular: Just because I get hard from seeing or thinking about some person, this does not mean I desire, or even think about wanting to stick my dick into anybody. I can only speak for me, and I can readily say that I NEVER want PIV, nor PIA, nor PIM (where P stands for penis and V, A and M stand for vagina, anus and mouth).

 

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