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TrippleL

Can anyone relate to this (Ace or Gray-A)?

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AnnaAce

I wish I had known about this years and years ago, this would have been really helpful! I had the impression that it was all or nothing. Also, has anyone else found themselves in a relationship with someone who is not sensual because they feel as though if the person were more sensual it would lead to sex, which is not what we want? Looking back I feel as though I have done this all the while looking at relationships where the partners appear more sensual toward each other with envy. Gah, I’m learning so much! 

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TrippleL
25 minutes ago, Basrive said:

Thanks for cross posting this! I stopped browsing the grey part of the forums since the experiences only half-fit. You are my new hero.

 

I can be crazy sensual, but the pressure of performing any “acts” just destroys my mood. You can leave the jeans on, thanks.

Make that 11 🙂

 

Great to hear you can relate! I think we’re caught in the middle between ace and gray-a, but don’t disagree with either label.

 

I personally relate to asexual, as I meet both of the most common definitions. But I am probably as far away from a touch-averse sex-repulsed asexual as you can get within the ace spectrum. But I personally still don’t relate to gray. Again, wouldn’t judge anyone who relates to my feelings and identifies as gray (or something else) 🙂

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TrippleL
15 minutes ago, AmIAce said:

Also, has anyone else found themselves in a relationship with someone who is not sensual because they feel as though if the person were more sensual it would lead to sex, which is not what we want?

Yes. Being hypersensual and avoiding sensual people sounds familiar!

 

17 minutes ago, AmIAce said:

Gah, I’m learning so much!

That neatly sums up my experiences on AVEN 🙂

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Iam9man
On 4/9/2019 at 8:31 PM, TrippleL said:

Make that 11 🙂

 

Great to hear you can relate! I think we’re caught in the middle between ace and gray-a, but don’t disagree with either label.

 

I personally relate to asexual, as I meet both of the most common definitions. But I am probably as far away from a touch-averse sex-repulsed asexual as you can get within the ace spectrum. But I personally still don’t relate to gray. Again, wouldn’t judge anyone who relates to my feelings and identifies as gray (or something else) 🙂

I think you can make it 12. I originally thought I was grey, but after much introspection I realised I’m definitely asexual. I’d noticed my experiences are different to many other asexuals. Based on this thread I’d say I’m a hypersensual asexual.

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TrippleL
10 hours ago, Ace9 said:

I think you can make it 12. I originally thought I was grey, but after much introspection I realised I’m definitely asexual. I’d noticed my experiences are different to many other asexuals. Based on this thread I’d say I’m a hypersensual asexual.

Thanks for your post. Still a minority but growing 🙂

 

Looks like we’re sticking with hypersensual to describe our experiences! 🙂

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nosceteipsum

Huh, I've been lurking on this site for years, but until reading this post I'd never come across any description of asexuality/grey-a/demisexual which I felt I could really relate to. I've always been attracted to women, but if there's a sexual component to that attraction it takes a backseat to aesthetic attraction or a feeling of personal connection (possibly demisexual?). Similarly, I definitely feel aesthetic and sensual arousal, and I do enjoy intercourse, but have never taken part in it out of a desire to satiate a personal need for sex. If anything, the pleasure I derive from intercourse is a function of how my partner finds it pleasurable. Of course, this has led to some awkward situations when a partner has asked what I enjoy in bed, to which my honest, but naive-sounding reply has been "I like whatever you like." Accordingly, I hardly ever initiate beyond making out and foreplay. I've previously thought I might just be an allosexual with super low sex-drive, but now I would probably call myself a gray-ace.

Edited by nosceteipsum
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Kattenia

I also have been lurking for a couple of years, and just registered earlier today with the intent to continue lurking, then I came across this post. While I am sex-positive and 100% sex-averse, I am hypersensual and very touch-oriented in all of my interactions. Touch-oriented to the extent that when I go too long without adequate physical contact I lose all sense of empathy/ability to empathize. I have been struggling with this since middle school, at which time it seemed (in my experience) to be universally decided that any physical contact of any kind was directly indicative of sexual desire. Since I am also poly-sensual somewhat bellusexual, it has been really difficult to find a happy medium in any of my interpersonal relationships, and communicate this when needed. Thank you for the words, and the end to feeling so alone when others are like "that's not a real thing...".

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Skycaptain

@Kattenia, welcome to AVEN 🎂 🎂 

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TrippleL

Thanks for your posts @nosceteipsum & @Kattenia, it’s great to see this thread is helping others as much as it helped me! 🙂

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a_subtle_reality

A very relatable thread - I'm perhaps not quite as hypersensual as some who've posted here, and not averse to sex, but the descriptions here mostly track with my experience.

 

This is a large part of why I didn't cotton on to the applicability of the asexual label the first few times I came across it. I figured "well, that sounds close, but I quite like sensuality and I dont not like sex, I'm just... not really interested". So I categorised that as 'unenthusiastic heterosexual' and went on with life. It was only recently that I looked more closely into it and found how well the definition fits, and how far descriptions of sexual attraction were from my experience.

 

 

On 4/19/2019 at 10:48 AM, nosceteipsum said:

Of course, this has led to some awkward situations when a partner has asked what I enjoy in bed, to which my honest, but naive-sounding reply has been "I like whatever you like."

This. Clearly communicating the difference between "I don't want to do anything, particularly, but I am having fun / this is nice", and "I'm not getting anything out of this / I want to not do anything"... that can feel a bit awkward in those situations. Particularly when the other person is skeptical that there is a difference. One of those "good communication is important" things, I think. 

Edited by a_subtle_reality
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Iam9man
3 hours ago, a_subtle_reality said:

Clearly communicating the difference between "I don't want to do anything, particularly, but I am having fun / this is nice", and "I'm not getting anything out of this / I want to not do anything"... that can feel a bit awkward in those situations. 

So relate to this!

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CelesteAdAstra

I'm a bit like you guys! I really enjoy fantasies that include making out and foreplay. (I suppose I would like these things in real life too, although I never got that close to anyone to try, but I know for sure that I wouldn't go further). This always made me doubt my sexuality a bit - even though for me, these fantasies are just about the emotional connection that I feel during them and how nice it would feel to be embraced, not about the sexual part. I even love to imagine something that I call "a de-sexualized version of sex", which is basically like a love-making-scene you would see in a non-explicit movie. It's not about any sexual pleasure and there are no genitals involved, it's purely about the romantic connection between both people, and the sensual parts. In my mind, I can completely forget that something like genitalia even exists 🤣 These fantasies don't arouse me one bit, they only make me feel very in love. Plus there's nothing more beautiful I can imagine than to make my partner feel good with kissed and caresses.

Maybe, just maybe, I wouldn't even mind to please my partner if he desired it - everything for him and not so much for me, I guess 😂

I'm still considering if this puts me rather in the grey area of asexuality, but since I don't ever feel attracted to any person in the "desiring partnered genital stimulation"-way, I'll stay with plain old asexual for now.

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Mx.Cerulean

Hi,

I relate to this thread so much! 

I love kissing, making out, neck kisses, caressing, and groping, those things always feel amazing and incredibly romantic. However whenever I've gone beyond those activities and into actual sex or below the waist in general it stopped feeling nearly as good and just became disappointing. When I had sex in the past and it moved from foreplay to genitals I always thought "the foreplay was better than this, I wish we could go back." Yet I still partook and even sought out sex because I thought it was all or nothing, I thought that in order to partake in making out and caressing I also had to have sex, it's so wonderful to know that's not the case! 

I've played with the idea that I was asexual before but dropped it because of how much I craved sensual activities, it's really nice to know that asexuality can encompass my experiences. (: 

- River 

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Bloc
1 hour ago, Mx.Cerulean said:

Hi,

I relate to this thread so much! 

I love kissing, making out, neck kisses, caressing, and groping, those things always feel amazing and incredibly romantic. However whenever I've gone beyond those activities and into actual sex or below the waist in general it stopped feeling nearly as good and just became disappointing. When I had sex in the past and it moved from foreplay to genitals I always thought "the foreplay was better than this, I wish we could go back." Yet I still partook and even sought out sex because I thought it was all or nothing, I thought that in order to partake in making out and caressing I also had to have sex, it's so wonderful to know that's not the case! 

I've played with the idea that I was asexual before but dropped it because of how much I craved sensual activities, it's really nice to know that asexuality can encompass my experiences. (: 

- River 

I feel so understood by this. I always told my partners to stop when they were going for my genitalia, because just the idea of them touching there makes me dysphoric and feels wrong on such a fundamental level. For me it is still sex even with no genitalia involved, although some of my partners see it differently. But my sexuality is weird anyway. (Spoiler for details)

Spoiler

The best orgasms I get from caressing/biting my neck and breast.

 

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Iam9man
2 hours ago, Mx.Cerulean said:

However whenever I've gone beyond those activities and into actual sex or below the waist in general it stopped feeling nearly as good and just became disappointing. When I had sex in the past and it moved from foreplay to genitals I always thought "the foreplay was better than this, I wish we could go back." Yet I still partook and even sought out sex because I thought it was all or nothing, I thought that in order to partake in making out and caressing I also had to have sex, it's so wonderful to know that's not the case! 

This sounds almost exactly like my experience! I think someone commented earlier on that those of us who relate to this thread seem to do so 100%, which is interesting. I identify as just Asexual, but when describing myself on AVEN I sometimes add sex-indifferent and hypersensual; the latter thanks to this thread 😊

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Iam9man
On 5/26/2019 at 5:14 PM, CelesteAdAstra said:

I even love to imagine something that I call "a de-sexualized version of sex", which is basically like a love-making-scene you would see in a non-explicit movie. It's not about any sexual pleasure and there are no genitals involved, it's purely about the romantic connection between both people, and the sensual parts.

This genuinely sounds nice!

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Fluffy Femme Guy
On 5/26/2019 at 11:14 AM, CelesteAdAstra said:

these fantasies are just about the emotional connection that I feel during them and how nice it would feel to be embraced, not about the sexual part

I'm in a QPR with a poly girl, and can confirm that kind of embrace is wonderful. I've only gone so far as hug and cuddles, but I know would be fine with 'more' as long as it didn't involve genitals, and I know I enjoy kissing from my brief attempts at dating back in my highschool days.

I get the feeling there's a lot I'd enjoy or be fine with, just no 'genital stuff' please.

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CelesteAdAstra
2 minutes ago, Fluffy Femme Guy said:

I get the feeling there's a lot I'd enjoy or be fine with, just no 'genital stuff' please.

That's it. That's my feelings in a nutshell. It was kind of hard for me at first to differentiate sensual from sexual attraction and I doubted myself a lot because these two are usually seen as two sides of the same coin. But once you get it, it's really quite self-evident that physical closeness can be enjoyed without leading to sex, and one can exist without the other.

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Iam9man
10 hours ago, CelesteAdAstra said:

That's it. That's my feelings in a nutshell. It was kind of hard for me at first to differentiate sensual from sexual attraction and I doubted myself a lot because these two are usually seen as two sides of the same coin. But once you get it, it's really quite self-evident that physical closeness can be enjoyed without leading to sex, and one can exist without the other.

Working this out was what allowed me to finally be happy identifying as asexual, not gray-a (or heterosexual).

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Mason88
On 4/18/2019 at 8:18 PM, nosceteipsum said:

Huh, I've been lurking on this site for years, but until reading this post I'd never come across any description of asexuality/grey-a/demisexual which I felt I could really relate to. I've always been attracted to women, but if there's a sexual component to that attraction it takes a backseat to aesthetic attraction or a feeling of personal connection (possibly demisexual?). Similarly, I definitely feel aesthetic and sensual arousal, and I do enjoy intercourse, but have never taken part in it out of a desire to satiate a personal need for sex. If anything, the pleasure I derive from intercourse is a function of how my partner finds it pleasurable. Of course, this has led to some awkward situations when a partner has asked what I enjoy in bed, to which my honest, but naive-sounding reply has been "I like whatever you like." Accordingly, I hardly ever initiate beyond making out and foreplay. I've previously thought I might just be an allosexual with super low sex-drive, but now I would probably call myself a gray-ace.

I have never related to something as much as this statement. Up until this week I was part of the greatly misinformed public about what asexuality is. A friend, who has a wife and a baby, told me he identified as asexual and it completely upset my understanding of asexuality. I started researching what it meant and it's changed my world. I've always thought there was something wrong with me because "Men only want sex" and "Men think about sex every 11 seconds" and this was never me. I've been married for many years, and my wife has been worried about if I truly loved her because I'm very rarely interested in any sort of sexual activity (the confusion of intimacy has to be sexual). I really am thinking that I might identify as gray-asexual and I think this could greatly help my relationship, because this will allow her to understand that it's about me, and not my feelings towards her. Thank you to all of you who are willing to put your personal experiences and feelings out there so someone who is brand new to this understanding can relate and discover something about themselves that we might have otherwise never realized.

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Iam9man
16 minutes ago, Vander28 said:

I have never related to something as much as this statement. Up until this week I was part of the greatly misinformed public about what asexuality is. A friend, who has a wife and a baby, told me he identified as asexual and it completely upset my understanding of asexuality. I started researching what it meant and it's changed my world. I've always thought there was something wrong with me because "Men only want sex" and "Men think about sex every 11 seconds" and this was never me. I've been married for many years, and my wife has been worried about if I truly loved her because I'm very rarely interested in any sort of sexual activity (the confusion of intimacy has to be sexual). I really am thinking that I might identify as gray-asexual and I think this could greatly help my relationship, because this will allow her to understand that it's about me, and not my feelings towards her. Thank you to all of you who are willing to put your personal experiences and feelings out there so someone who is brand new to this understanding can relate and discover something about themselves that we might have otherwise never realized.

This is literally my favourite thread on AVEN!

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dehjahvoo
On 4/9/2019 at 7:16 AM, TrippleL said:

When I first found AVEN I read all the FAQs and determined there and then I was asexual. I then joined the forum and read all the FAQs there and determined I was definitely asexual (and biromantic)

 

I then started reading posts on the forum and quickly realised my experiences were quite different to other people’s.

 

I kept checking back to the FAQs and was like “yes, definitely still meet the definition(s)”

 

Early on I got into a debate about whether my experiences were asexual. I kept things in the third person and hypothetical, but people basically said I’m not asexual. Great. Check definition: yep, definitely asexual.

 

Just as I was feeling low I received a PM very similar to your message and it made my day 🙂 It was from someone who’s been on AVEN longer than I had and had only met 1 other person who felt exactly the same (so we’re definitely in the minority)

 

After a few weeks I decided to start this thread, partially to get a sense check, but also to let other people who feel like this know that they’re not alone 🙂

I think I'm in this cycle currently. Just crawled out of the woodwork and discovered AVEN after wondering what's wrong with me for a while. I still don't know where/how I fit. Reading a lot of threads, seeing similarities, differences, and winding up sometimes more confused the deeper I dig. But then I go back to basics and at the core, asexuality feels right. Like the right that's been missing this whole time I thought I was broken. 

 

This thread in particular stands out to me. I see a lot of myself in the stories and experiences shared in here. Still differences, but it gives me a ray of hope that maybe I do fit somewhere. 

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SkeletonCat
On 4/8/2019 at 8:54 PM, AnnaAce said:

I can relate to a lot of what you’ve written, but I am just now finding out what it is called so I haven’t had time to give myself a label. For a long time I’ve struggled with the idea that something is wrong with me. I find guys aesthetically attractive, I feel a certain way about them, I have had sex but I have never really enjoyed it the way i think it is supposed to be enjoyed. I don’t need it nor do I want it. However, I do enjoy hugging, kissing, cuddling. I also enjoy orgasms but really only with myself, and even so not very often. I think for a long time I have mixed up sensual desire with sexual desire. I just want to be close to someone and enjoy touch, smell, etc. but not be bound to have sex. Most of the time when my husband and I have sex I’m just waiting for it to be over. I don’t mind giving oral also, I think more for the power I have doing it than the desire to do so, but don’t enjoy receiving it at all. So asexual with sensual desires maybe? I don’t know, still learning 

This is me, too! My exact feelings - I'm so glad to find other people who experience things the same way I do. 😊

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ModestFox

Whoa, some of this sounds like me so much... not entirely, but answers as "I like whatever you like"... I think I now have a couple things that I could name as my favourite (presumably, because I never tried), but other than that, I'm unsure. There were times when I was asked directly and I just didn't know. I would simply enjoy being close to that person whatever we did, as long as either of us didn't mind it.
The pressure ruining the mood and not waning it to lead anywhere, too. I wouldn't mind being a little more provocative, though. I assume things that would be seen as teasing would be exactly what I'd like to do sometimes... as if my partner and I were pretending it would lead somewhere but it didn't... but so far I haven't seen anyone here feeling that way, it's kind of weird ^ ^'

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Iam9man
6 minutes ago, ModestFox said:

as if my partner and I were pretending it would lead somewhere but it didn't... but so far I haven't seen anyone here feeling that way, it's kind of weird ^ ^'

So relate to this!

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CelesteAdAstra
8 hours ago, ModestFox said:

as if my partner and I were pretending it would lead somewhere but it didn't... but so far I haven't seen anyone here feeling that way, it's kind of weird ^ ^'

I'll quote the same thing as @Iam9man and say that I can relate to it just as much! I have felt this too, but weirdly only to people I was not in love with but considered attractive instead. A desire to do something that is absolutely not sexual, maybe not even sensual, but teasing and still considered... hmm... "sexy" I would say? Something like dancing tango maybe 😂

 

With someone I am in love with, I would be willing to do anything that makes me feel closer to them as long as it didn't involve genitalia. Just like what you have written here:

 

9 hours ago, ModestFox said:

I would simply enjoy being close to that person whatever we did, as long as either of us didn't mind it.

If I could actually have sex with someone I love, blank out the sexual part and concentrate on the other sensual or emotional parts, I am not so sure yet. I'll have to try to see if it works.

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a_subtle_reality
On 7/12/2019 at 9:13 PM, ModestFox said:

as if my partner and I were pretending it would lead somewhere but it didn't... but so far I haven't seen anyone here feeling that way, it's kind of weird ^ ^'

 

On 7/13/2019 at 6:16 AM, CelesteAdAstra said:

 I'll quote the same thing as @Iam9man and say that I can relate to it just as much! I have felt this too, but weirdly only to people I was not in love with but considered attractive instead. A desire to do something that is absolutely not sexual, maybe not even sensual, but teasing and still considered... hmm... "sexy" I would say? Something like dancing tango maybe 😂

Perhaps the right word here might be "playful"? The sort of back-and-forth interaction that doesn't actually have the intent or expectation of "going somewhere"... I can relate to that.

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Iam9man

Whilst I don’t use any labels beyond “asexual” I’m becoming confident explaining that I’m also hypersensual when asked, without the fear of invalidation 👍

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CelesteAdAstra

I think that a hypersensual label can be a valuable tool to describe a person, because it shows that we have our own little corner within asexuality and that this doesn't invalidate our identity as aces.

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Iam9man
On 8/24/2019 at 7:11 AM, Iam9man said:

Whilst I don’t use any labels beyond “asexual” I’m becoming confident explaining that I’m also hypersensual when asked, without the fear of invalidation 👍

Update: I’ve ultimately settled for “sex-favourable” for all the same reasons I identified as “hypersensual”, although I still use the latter occasionally when chatting on AVEN. When I come out in real life I only use “asexual” 👍

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