mreid

[aces only] Do you feel like your body is not part of your identity? (poll)

Do you see your body as part of your identity?  

126 members have voted

  1. 1. Are you on any psychiatric medication?

    • Yes
      19
    • No
      107
  2. 2. Do you feel that your physical body doesn't match how you see yourself psychologically and/or are you non-cis?

    • Yes
      55
    • No
      71
  3. 3. You experience your dreams mostly...

    • In the 3rd person (but my body is the same as my waking one)
      18
    • In the 3rd person (but my body is different from my waking one/ partially different)
      8
    • In the 1st person (but my body is different/ partially different)
      21
    • In the 1st person (but I can't see my body/ don't know if it's different of not)
      59
    • In the 1st person (but my body is the same as my waking one)
      20
  4. 4. Your sexual fantasies are...

    • In the 1st person
      16
    • In the 3rd person and I participate in them
      8
    • In the 3rd person but I don't participate in them
      31
    • I don't have sexual fantasies / N/a
      71
  5. 5. Do you have low self-esteem / body image issues?

    • Yes
      24
    • Moderately so
      62
    • No/ very few
      40
  6. 6. Do you have BDD and/or MPD?

    • Yes to BDD
      7
    • Yes to MPD
      1
    • Yes to both
      0
    • No to both
      118
  7. 7. Which of the following are accurate?

    • I self-harm
      15
    • I have a drug addiction
      0
    • My looks changed a lot over the years and/or I was an ugly duckling
      30
    • None
      74
    • Have trouble picturing myself/ parts of myself in my mind/ aphantasia-like symptoms
      23
  8. 8. Are you prone to dissociation and/ or depersonalization?

    • Yes to both
      31
    • Yes to dissociation
      13
    • Yes to depersonalization
      6
    • No to both
      76
  9. 9. Do you feel like you inhabit your body rather than see it as part of you? (from @Moon Spirit's thread)

    • Yes
      60
    • No
      66
  10. 10. Do you have depression?

    • Yes
      55
    • No
      71


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mreid

IMPORTANT: I am not implying that asexuality is a disease, or that asexuals are broken. I know it can feel that way with these questions, but what I am going for is all the signs that someone might feel disconnected and/or detached from their bodies. I am not implying that people who feel dissatisfied with their bodies are necessarily using asexuality as a way of escaping their insecurities (probably some are though). It might be also that that dissatisfaction has showed them how much of society is based on appearance and looks lost their meaning to them. It could be that that detachment or some traumatic experience has opened their eyes to certain things, being able to see things from an outside perspective. It could also be just insecurity. In other cases a sense of depersonalization could be a side effect of medication, so that can't be excluded. I am not jumping to any conclusions here, just testing out stuff.

 

 

Might make one for non-aces once the dust settles over there.

 

Talking with sexuals I have been told that if they don't feel like their bodies are desired then they feel like a part of who they are is not being loved. I disagreed in that I didn't see my body as part of myself. I wondered how other asexuals felt about that.

 

I was inspired by this thread

 

 

I replied yes to @Moon Spirit ☽ 's thread. As for myself I was everywhere on the looks spectrum throughout my life (average, ugly, pretty), had acne throughout my teens (it has disappeared without permanent scarring), had some extra weight around my thighs and butt which got me attention (it's all gone now, it was food intolerances), had self-esteem issues, identify as non-binary-ish, I am not autistic, in my dreams I alternate between 1st and 3rd person (although I dream mostly in the 3rd person) and I am mostly in my body although I have appeared in different male and female bodies. Never been on psychiatric medication nor had diagnosed depression. I also have this weird thing that I have trouble picturing myself in my mind, kind of like aphantasia but only with myself.

 

So my looks have changed quite a bit over the years, I experienced being treat differently by people according to how I looked, saw people get preferential treatment and others not, etc... looks kind of lost their meaning to me over the years. I take care of my appearance but mostly for practical reasons and as part of taking care of my health. I dress simply and in a discrete tomboy-ish way, don't wear much makeup, try to blend in, etc.

 

---------

EDIT: Take a look at this one too, it's part of this one:

 

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TheAP

1. Yes

2. No

3. In the 1st person, and I usually don't take much notice of my body, but I think it's the same. (BTW, you left out an option for dreaming in the 1st person with a body that's the same.)

4. When I've had what could be called sexual fantasies, they usually didn't involve me.

5. I've sometimes had low self-esteem.

6. No

7. None

8. No

9. No 

10. No

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iff

1) no

2) I'm non-binary

3) first person but can't see body

4) I  guess third person

5) moderately so but it is completely unrelated to asexuality and don't want to go into it here

6 - 10) no and none as applies

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MichaelTannock

1. No

2. No

3. In the 1st person (but my body is the same as my waking one)

4. I don't have sexual fantasies / N/a

5. No/ very few

6. No to both

7. None

8. No to both

9. Yes

10. Yes

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Silk Bones

1. No.

2. Yes.

3. In 3rd person. My body is different from my physical one.

4. In 3rd person. I do not participate.

5. No/Very few.

6. No to both.

7. None.

8. No to both.

9. Yes.

10. Yes.

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member1246
On 10/10/2018 at 12:36 PM, mreid said:

Talking with sexuals I have been told that if they don't feel like their bodies are desired then they feel like a part of who they are is not being loved.

I won't vote in your poll since I'm not your target demographic (obvs I will if you make one for non-aces), but I just wanted to say that I'm a sexual person who doesn't need to feel like my body itself is desired. Although, I suppose it depends on how you mean that. Do I want a partner to desire sex with me based on our emotional connection? Yes. Do I have any particular feelings on needing them to find my body sexually appealing? Not really.

 

My body is tied to my identity and self-worth in certain ways, but not the typical ones. And at the same time, I feel very detached from it. I definitely don't care about being attractive. I've struggled with fairly severe anorexia and bulimia for a couple decades now, and it has nothing to do with wanting to look good or fit or fashionable. It's about wanting to be invisible, it's about shame and sensory issues and fear and comorbid OCD and depression and anxiety and... a lot of things. If anything, historically I've wanted to be physically unappealing. I do find myself being ok with my current partner appreciating my body, but that's pretty new for me. And it doesn't affect my eating disorder really, doesn't make it any easier to want to live in a healthy body vs. a visibly ill one. I only really feel comfortable in my skin when I look unwell (I'm currently just slightly underweight, but I've been everything from severely emaciated to mildly overweight). I used to say that I wished it was possible to be a mind without a body; just intellect and thought and emotion, no physical entity. Of course this is impossible, but I struggle so much to live inside my own skin that I wish it wasn't.

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Salmiakki

1. No, not now. But I’ve tried multiple different medications

2. Yes

3. In 1st person I guess… I often see dreams where I’m not involved in any way, just kind of watching it. When I’m involved it’s first person, and I never see myself

4. In 1st person, usually. Sometimes it’s in 3rd person, like I’m watching myself have sex. I don’t look like myself though. I know it’s me, but I make myself taller, skinnier, sexier, more attractive, more feminine/girlier… to look like I “meet his standards”. It makes me feel like it would actually be believable that he wants me. I don’t like the way I look, and don’t think he would either/don’t feel comfortable imagining myself as myself. I’m telling this cause I suppose it matters to you in some way, possibly

5. Yes, definitely

6. No

7. I self-harm, yes, sometimes… and maybe some mild aphantasia or something. And I guess my looks have changed but I'm 18, it's part of growing up

8. Yes, to both, nothing too major though I think

9. Yes

10. Yes

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Duke Memphis

In just about all of my dreams, I'm pretty much the same. In one dream I had, though, I had six toes on one foot. I spent about half of that dream trying to figure out how I got that toe or if I never noticed it before.

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All the little Lights

I remember an interesting thing: In my dreams I am often a different person, with another personality. Often with the body I have when I'm awake, but with different feelings I guess, and especially different experiences.

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MichaelTannock

@mreid I feel I should explain why I voted no to all but the last two.
I don't have any insecurities about my body or imagine having a different one because I don't feel attached to it.

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little fish

I don't hate my body, it's like I just never think about it. I forget what I look like 95% of the time until I look in the mirror. Especially my face and features I can't see from my point of view. I don't think about my looks, I wear makeup so that I'm not caught off guard if I look in a reflection, because I've been conditioned people that there's is a certain level of acceptable appearance. Maintain that standard and I will fit in, avoid getting ignored and told I look sleepy.

 

Plus I can't really tell what emotion my face is showing, I'm just a mess. I'd rather people know me online than in real life. It's scary how much my friends and family assume based on my appearance and facial expression when I'm feeling something entirely different inside.

 

I started looking in the mirrior when I was about 8. I was shocked that I looked like that. Not in a bad/good way, more of a 'oh I have my own body'.

 

My identity is very vague and complicated.I don't associate my clothes/appearance with it. For me it's my 1. art 2. hobbies - the fact that I like fish 3. values and beliefs such as being very systematic and clean. (So all the things that don't come natural to most people hah)

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Reindeer Dani

@little fish "It's scary how much my friends and family assume based on my appearance and facial expression when I'm feeling something entirely different inside."

 

I know what that's like. I also have trouble expressing emotion in my face. I used to be hit for smiling, so I developed an indifferent mask to wear at all times. Doesn't help when you work in customer service and you're constantly told to "smile". I CAN experience emotion, but I prefer to keep most of it on the inside. I'm introverted anyways...

 

My body doesn't feel like a part of my identity, but that's because I greatly dislike my body. I've rejected it, in a way. It's just there. I know that I'll never be happy with it, but it is what it is. 

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Jade Cross

1) Prescribed, never took them

 

2) I often feel disconnected with my body but I suspect that has to do with years of disliking it (in a large part for being picjed on because of it) rather than identifying as anything.

 

3) I experience dreams in 1st person. I dont feel self concious in it which could be because I feel as if maybe its a different body.

 

4) Considering that Im not aiming to have sex, I dont think theres a thing as a sexual fantasy for me. The idea of engaging in sex produces disgust.

 

5) All my life

 

6) Nothing diagnosed so I would have to say no.

 

7) I used to self harm. 

 

8 ) If you mean that I see life as a movie and Im just trapped for the ride then yes

 

9) Similar to the previous question, I feel like this bofy is a prison.

 

10) I was diagnosed with it

 

 

 

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Philip027

1. Are you on any psychiatric medication?
No

 

2. Do you feel that your physical body doesn't match how you see yourself psychologically and/or are you non-cis?

Yes

 

3. You experience your dreams mostly...

1st person, same body

 

4. Your sexual fantasies are...

Don't have em

 

5. Do you have low self-esteem / body image issues?

Low self-esteem, yes

Body image, not really.  If someone takes issue with how I look, I'm more of the "too fucking bad for you" crowd

 

6. Do you have BDD and/or MPD?

No

 

7. Which of the following are accurate?

None of those

 

8. Are you prone to dissociation and/ or depersonalization?

No

 

9. Do you feel like you inhabit your body rather than see it as part of you?

Yes

 

10. Do you have depression?

Yes

 

On an amusing note, this reminds me of an interaction with someone over the internet (I was about 17 years old) when I was asked what the color of my eyes were.  I honestly didn't know, and had to go look in a mirror.  The other person was flabbergasted.

 

Doesn't matter if it's my own or someone else's appearance; that's an indication of how much attention I pay to it.

 

Quote

Talking with sexuals I have been told that if they don't feel like their bodies are desired then they feel like a part of who they are is not being loved. I disagreed in that I didn't see my body as part of myself. I wondered how other asexuals felt about that. 

I pretty much agree.  The aspects of my physical body seem rather superficial to me, but it nevertheless is heavily tied into sense of self for most others, it seems

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Serran
9 minutes ago, Philip027 said:

 

 

I pretty much agree.  The aspects of my physical body seem rather superficial to me, but it nevertheless is heavily tied into sense of self for most others, it seems

The conversation was more "not being desired / attractive sexually, as an expression of a strong romantic / emotional connection, can feel like a rejection to sexuals". Not so much "if my partner doesnt find my body hot like Jessica Alba's flat abs". To be clear. So rejection of preferred physical expressions of affection, which to an ace would be like saying no hugs/cuddles/kisses etc. Which I know you dont need physical interaction, so doesnt change your opinion, but want to clarify. 😛

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Philip027
11 minutes ago, Serran said:

The conversation was more "not being desired / attractive sexually, as an expression of a strong romantic / emotional connection, can feel like a rejection to sexuals". Not so much "if my partner doesnt find my body hot like Jessica Alba's flat abs". To be clear. So rejection of preferred physical expressions of affection, which to an ace would be like saying no hugs/cuddles/kisses etc. Which I know you dont need physical interaction, so doesnt change your opinion, but want to clarify. 😛

Yeah, I know.  I guess I didn't word that really the best way; by "aspects" of my body I was also including others' opinions/desires regarding it.

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Serran
4 minutes ago, Philip027 said:

Yeah, I know.  I guess I didn't word that really the best way; by "aspects" of my body I was also including others' opinions/desires regarding it.

I know you dont mind not even getting the platonic affections much. LDR perfect candidate ! Though I am happy you got married finally so you and your wife can be together IRL (hopefully soon permanently?)

 

I just wanted to clarify cause the statement / questions sound a lot like "I want to be really hot" and that wasnt the context. 

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Philip027

Yeah, I'm flying back to Montreal once more this January, and this time it's hopefully going to be on a more permanent basis.

 

My mom is making the matter simple by turning into a total witch, thereby resulting in me not even wanting to stay in Hawaii or even maintain a connection with her anymore.

 

But lalalala offtopic

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WynegardeMagifur

1) Yes for severe anxiety and depression

2) Yes, sometimes

3) In the 1st person (but my body is different/ partially different)

4) I don't have sexual fantasies 

5) No/very few

6) No to both

7) None

8. No

9) No

10) Yes

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WynegardeMagifur

My interpretation is while I am dreaming, my body, for the most part, is not my own. Some dreams I could look at my reflection depicting of a male warrior and in another or the same dream, later on, I see a woman or say a dragon looking back at. My dreams are very elaborate whether they be sequences of dreams or one single dream with ever changing scenarios. When I dream I never really see my own body. Hope this helps ^-^

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little fish
8 hours ago, mreid said:

I relate to this. Do you have trouble seeing your face in your mind, like it's blurred or out of focus, or you can only remember it vaguely? This only happens with my face, not other people's.

Yes I don't know how to picture my own face, but I have a hard time picturing other people's faces as well. I can't recall them. I have a great memory for hobbies but people I struggle with. I often mistake someone for someone else, forget names, faces, confuse two people who look similar.

 

7 hours ago, Dani-Chan said:

@little fish "It's scary how much my friends and family assume based on my appearance and facial expression when I'm feeling something entirely different inside."

 

I know what that's like. I also have trouble expressing emotion in my face. I used to be hit for smiling, so I developed an indifferent mask to wear at all times. Doesn't help when you work in customer service and you're constantly told to "smile". I CAN experience emotion, but I prefer to keep most of it on the inside. I'm introverted anyways...

 

My body doesn't feel like a part of my identity, but that's because I greatly dislike my body. I've rejected it, in a way. It's just there. I know that I'll never be happy with it, but it is what it is. 

I'm the opposite, I developed a constantly smiling and happy mask after being told I don't smile enough around people. But now I've realised I need to tone it down. It doesn't reflect on what I feel because I'm mostly anxious or tired during conversations. Also have a habit of licking my gums if I'm feeling anxious, which I never noticed until someone made fun of me for it. I hate the fact that they can see so many small details in me and I can't in them.

 

Also the opposite, I like my own body. I just don't remember what I look like which can lead to me thinking I look terrible occasionally. (Imagine a vauge person with their features warped to look worse as time goes on) Looking mirror is a reminder that I'm okay and I don't need to worry.

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Alejandrogynous

1) No

2) Yes*

3) In the 1st person (but I can't see my body/ don't know if it's different or not)

4) In the 3rd person but I don't participate in them

5) No/very few 

6) No to both 

7) None

8. No to both

9) No, it's part of me

10) No to both 

 

*I never know how to answer questions like this. It depends on the day I guess, whether I think I might be trans or full of shit. Regardless, very little of my dysphoria (if it even is that) has to do with my body. My body is just my body, and I feel connected to it because it's mine. It's not a gender thing. 

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Philip027
6 hours ago, Alejandrogynous said:

*I never know how to answer questions like this. It depends on the day I guess, whether I think I might be trans or full of shit. Regardless, very little of my dysphoria (if it even is that) has to do with my body. My body is just my body, and I feel connected to it because it's mine. It's not a gender thing. 

In fairness, this was the toughest question for me to answer too, and it was for a similar reason.  With me, probably has a lot to do with being somewhere in the "agender" realm of things, which might be where you are too.

 

My partner and I had a discussion on the gender dysphoria subject, and one of the conclusions I reached is that in order to experience dysphoria, there must also be a certain set of conditions where it is possible to experience gender euphoria (often occurring as simply as when someone "genders" you correctly).  It's a yin and yang sort of thing; you can't really experience one without being able to experience the other.  I have never really experienced gender dysphoria, at least nothing to the level of how most other people who do have described it.  Which is nice, but it also means I don't experience gender euphoria, either.  I basically don't give a rat's ass what I'm called.

 

I guess this is one of the main things that leaves me confused, because it seems to me that cis people in general are a lot less prone to dysphoria (and therefore euphoria) of this kind.  However, I have always supported the claim that dysphoria is not a requirement for being trans, either.

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Tunes

1) No.

2) No. Definitely cis-female.

3) "In the 1st person (but I can't see my body/ don't know if it's different of not)". But honestly, my dreams vary drastically. Most of the time, I'm me (or I assume I am, although my family, friends, and life history change, so who knows really). Sometimes I'm not me (or, since I am a multiple I'll clarify, not any of my headmates, either). Usually if I'm not me, I'll switch perspectives. By this, I mean my dreams are like watching movies, except in first person. I can have a first-person view of what's going on with this character, then randomly switch over to a first person view of that other character over there. It's not really representative of how I see myself. More like living out a story. Which is terrible during nightmares because my mind will just switch to whichever character has it worst at the time. o.o 

4) In the first person, though it's really all feelings and not much in the way of images or even consistent, well, anything. So I'm not sure how much this one has to do with my body image either... More that my imagination doesn't put much effort into sexual things, I guess...

5) No.

6) Yes. But just so you know, it's now called DID (dissociative identity disorder), as it is actually not a personality disorder at all, but a dissociative disorder. The old term, MPD, has some negative connotations associated with it and can be offensive to some people. However, the term "multiple" is used for those cases where people still have multiple parts but are not dysfunctional enough to count as having a disorder (which is, more specifically, where I fall on the spectrum). Also, DID isn't inherently related to self-image. Often parts who are not the host (and sometimes the host, but that depends a lot on how hosts work in that specific system and if the host tends to change) will view themselves differently than the body, but this is most often caused by stereotypes in society and the part's desire to differentiate itself rather than an actual issue relating to self-image. Not to say self-image isn't connected at all, but not necessarily in the same ways as could be interpreted by an outside viewer. I'm mentioning this because I feel like I should just in case you aren't familiar (as I imagine you aren't, just because you are still using the old acronym from before the condition was understood, so your information might also be outdated), but I don't want to write an entire article if you are, so let me know if you want more information on how that does/doesn't overlap for your study. 

7) None.

8) Yes to both, as I have DID. 
9) No. Absolutely not. In fact, I'm so concerned that the spirit might be stuck to the body after death, that I insist on being cremated and some ashes scattered so that my soul (if such a thing persists after death) will be able to roam free. I feel like we are inherently attached to our bodies whether we like it or not. Oddly enough, I don't *believe* this is the case (I'm not even sure how much I believe in ghosts at all, actually), but the feeling is strong enough that I'd rather be safe than sorry. ^^u

10) Yes, and I'm also one of those rare cases where antidepressants don't affect me. Yay! 😒

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Fluffy Femme Guy

1. No meds
2. No, but I wouldn't consider it a problem (it's not a giant mismatch)
3. First person without any body usually, the times I do have a body it's the same
4. All three of the fantasy options
5. I sometimes have self-esteem problems, but I don't have body image issues
6. No to both
7. My looks have changed a lot
8. Depersonalization
9. Inhabit
10. Yes

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gaogao

Answering in text as some of my answers don't fit the poll.

 

  1. Are you on any psychiatric medication?
    Yes
  2. Do you feel that your physical body doesn't match how you see yourself psychologically and/or are you non-cis? 
    No
  3. You experience your dreams mostly...
    There was no option for this, but in many of my dreams I don't exist as a specific person. I'm just like.. a third person camera watching characters - some of whom I can control and some of whom I can't. I don't know what my body is like, because I don't have a body in most of my dreams.
  4.  Your sexual fantasies are...
    In the 3rd person but I don't participate? I guess? Because I don't have a body?
  5. Do you have low self-esteem / body image issues?
    I used to, but not anymore really.
  6. Do you have BDD and/or MPD?
    No to both
  7. Which of the following are accurate?
    I have self harmed in the past
    I have never used drugs
    My looks changed a lot over the years
    I have never had trouble picturing myself /etc. I'm a very visually imaginative person.
  8. Are you prone to dissociation and/ or depersonalization?
    No, though it has happened before in traumatic situations.
  9. Do you feel like you inhabit your body rather than see it as part of you?
    I don't understand this question... I think it's both? I inhabit my body but my body informs and is integral to my identity.
  10.  Do you have depression?
    Yes
  11. Do you feel like a part of who you are is being rejected if a partner doesn't feel attracted to your body?
    No. As long as my partner is attracted to something about me (i.e. my sparkling personality?) I don't care which part it is. IMO just because they don't specifically find my body attractive doesn't mean they are rejecting my body as part of who I am. 

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Marlow1

@mreid I am not going to be taking part in your poll because I am Demisexual and am not sure which poll to do because of this, and I dont want to skew your figures. But I just want to say that I have been following your posts lately and reading your polls and I want you to know that I really do admire your insight, you really are asking the right questions, that will, I think lead to very interesting results. With your last poll about Alpha-males and this one, I really do think you are on to something 

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Alejandrogynous
On 10/11/2018 at 4:31 PM, Philip027 said:

My partner and I had a discussion on the gender dysphoria subject, and one of the conclusions I reached is that in order to experience dysphoria, there must also be a certain set of conditions where it is possible to experience gender euphoria (often occurring as simply as when someone "genders" you correctly).  It's a yin and yang sort of thing; you can't really experience one without being able to experience the other.  I have never really experienced gender dysphoria, at least nothing to the level of how most other people who do have described it.  Which is nice, but it also means I don't experience gender euphoria, either.  I basically don't give a rat's ass what I'm called.

 

Oh yeah, I definitely get gender euphoria. Every now and then I'll get called sir by someone from behind, it's the best feeling - at least until they panic apologize and ruin it, haha. I'd feel like I experience euphoria much more acutely than dysphoria, but that might just be because dysphoria is low-key there all the time so I don't notice it as much. But yeah. It still doesn't have anything to do with my physical body, so I feel like that has to be clarified on a poll like this. I feel very connected to my body, my asexuality has nothing to do with that. I care about looks (not in a shallow way, just as part of us as people), I find people attractive and I like to look nice. I haven't 'transcended the physical' or whatever the OP is aiming for here.

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TheAP

Sometimes I dream that I'm either reading an imaginary book or imagining a story in my head. In that case, I don't think I interact with the people in the story, just read or imagine it. There aren't really recurring protagonists, but the themes are usually things I'm interested in. 

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Alejandrogynous
7 minutes ago, mreid said:

Do you all feel the same way as gaogao and Salmiakki, in that you are a kind of spectator, or like someone watching a movie? If so, do you usually interact with it? If not, are there any recurrent protagonists or any pattern in regards to those protagonists?

No, I participate in my dreams. Sometimes there's a dream-foggy disconnect to the situation but it's more as if I were standing in a room with whatever's going on and just not reacting, than observing from a separate space. I'm still present. 

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