the-t-rixx

Does this count as sexual attraction?

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the-t-rixx

Hi, I'm (probably?) gray-ace and I'm new to AVEN. I've started calling myself gray-ace rather than asexual, because I think I'm starting to experience some aspects of sexual attraction. Problem is, I'm not sure what counts as sexual attraction. To help, I've been referring to this list: http://www.asexualityarchive.com/maybe-im-not-really-asexual-because-i-have-no-idea-what-sexual-attraction-is-so-how-do-i-know-if-im-feeling-it-or-not/

Out of all the items on this list, there are two that I relate to (the "pull" feeling, though it isn't very strong, and the stomach feeling, though it doesn't feel "good/warm").

Here are some reasons why it might be sexual attraction

- I used to have a crush on someone and felt it most strongly towards them

- I just started college, which forced me into a new group of people and more face-to-face interaction, as opposed to being isolated like I was in high school, which could explain why I never felt it before

- Maybe I'm subconsciously in denial or supressing myself

However, there are many things that make me doubt that whatever I'm feeling isn't sexual attraction:

- The rest of the items on the list seem pretty unrelatable to me

- I usually feel it towards people who I don't find visually appealing

- I usually don't feel it towards people who I find visually appealing

- Even though I find women aesthetically attractive and rarely feel that way about men, I usually feel it towards men, not women

- I have no desire to interact with the people I feel it towards, and I don't even feel compelled to talk to them

- It doesn't feel good. In fact, I find it unpleasant.

- It's ambivalent, mixed with feelings of disgust and wanting to get away from that person

- I'm 18 and I've only started experiencing it now, and I feel like 18 is pretty late for sexual attraction to start

- Some non-ace people describe sexual attraction as some powerful, exciting, irrestistable thing and I don't relate to that

- Sometimes, I feel depressed afterwards

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AspieAlly613

Here's my advice which is not universal and not the only opinion out there.

 

Also, I'm including it in a spoiler because it could be TMI for some people

 

Spoiler

Does anything about this person make you want to masturbate or increase your desire to masturbate?  If so, it's probably sexual attraction.

 

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the-t-rixx
2 minutes ago, AspieAlly613 said:

Here's my advice which is not universal and not the only opinion out there.

 

Also, I'm including it in a spoiler because it could be TMI for some people

 

  Hide contents

Does anything about this person make you want to masturbate or increase your desire to masturbate?  If so, it's probably sexual attraction.

 

No, it doesn't

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Anthracite_Impreza

Do you actually have any desire for sexual intimacy with anyone? Ultimately that is all it boils down to and is much easier to figure out.

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TheAP

If that feeling doesn't lead you to want to have sex with the people, I'd say you could be asexual.

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the-t-rixx
4 hours ago, Anthracite_Impreza said:

Do you actually have any desire for sexual intimacy with anyone? Ultimately that is all it boils down to and is much easier to figure out.

I don't. I can't see myself ever being sexually active. But I know that what I feel is probably some type of attraction, and it's not romantic, so I don't know what else it could possibly be besides sexual attraction. People rarely talk about this stuff IRL, so it's hard for me to compare.

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Fluffy Femme Guy

sketchcomic___types_of_attraction_by_sec

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Anthracite_Impreza

@the-t-rixx What he posted ^

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Nowhere Girl
7 hours ago, the-t-rixx said:

I don't. I can't see myself ever being sexually active. But I know that what I feel is probably some type of attraction, and it's not romantic, so I don't know what else it could possibly be besides sexual attraction. People rarely talk about this stuff IRL, so it's hard for me to compare.

Experience is complex and often can't be put into neat boxes with labels and a tied ribbon. I am able to feel something which feels like more than esthetic attraction, it definitely has a sexual component. However, I never actually desire sex with anyone. I feel genuinely unable to desire sex, I feel that my sex aversion completely prevents me from having such feelings. (And just to make it clear: I don't regret it in any way. On the contrary: I'm sex-averse to such an extent that the very idea of not being sex-averse, of being able to have sex feels violating.) If I exprience some kind of potential sexual attraction, my sex aversion is always much stronger. I am too not sure how this should be decribed. The consensus on this forum seems to be that "sexual attraction" is more than just "finding someone sexy", that it's inherently linked to a desire to have sex. Under this kind of understanding what I experience isn't sexual attraction. I'm not sure... I have already discussed the issue "is sexual attraction without sexual desire possible?" a few times. But perhaps the answer is very simple: all labels we can put on our experiences are only an approximation, OUR EXPERIENCE IS NEVER IDENTICAL TO THE EXPERIENCE OF ANYONE ELSE. Perhaps I should just trust my feelings, my power over words and call it whatever I prefer. To be honest, it doesn't even really matter that much to me. A self-identification as "sex-averse" and "sexually unavailable" feels more important to me than an identification as "(effectively) asexual". But still I am a very "assailable" asexual and I hate all the Unassailable Asexual ideals, I hate the idea that an orientation can never change, that a non-inborn orientation cannot be genuine, that a person who has ever felt sexual attraction can never identify as asexual. To me if someone has felt sexual attraction maybe a few times, perhaps without even acting on it, and hasn't felt it for 15 or so years, it would make perfect sense for them to say "practically speaking, I'm asexual".

(And there is always another solution. Don't care about labels and instead keep saying:

Not all people desire sex.

Nobody should have unwanted sex.

Therefore, it's time society accepted not desiring sex and not having sex as a valid experience.

This would benefit everyone and not just "100% asexuals".)

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Fluffy Femme Guy
7 hours ago, Nowhere Girl said:

I should just trust my feelings

Agreed. Do not deny your experiences.

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Tarvaa
On 11/6/2018 at 6:39 AM, the-t-rixx said:

- I usually feel it towards people who I don't find visually appealing

- I usually don't feel it towards people who I find visually appealing

- Even though I find women aesthetically attractive and rarely feel that way about men, I usually feel it towards men, not women

- I have no desire to interact with the people I feel it towards, and I don't even feel compelled to talk to them

- It doesn't feel good. In fact, I find it unpleasant.

- It's ambivalent, mixed with feelings of disgust and wanting to get away from that person

These actually sound far more like fear or discomfort rather than anything like sexual attraction. The only attraction bit that seems quite clear is your aesthetic attraction to women, the other aspects sound like repulsions instead. Body reactions are really nuanced, so a list like that doesn't do them justice whatsoever, especially when you get an actual sense of attraction to someone, but nervousness about approaching them, and discomfort, because you don't want your friends to notice your interest in them, all at the same time, the positive attraction feeling is often the only one that lingers.

I hope this actually didn't make things even more confusing for you, and I apologise in advance if it did.

Edited by Tarvaa
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