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crazy ace

Could someone explain the difference between primary sexual attraction and romantic attraction?

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crazy ace

The both seem to be at least partly physical, but I don't really fully understand what primary sexual attraction is. Sorry if this is a stupid question.

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Aebt-Ætheling

Welcome to AVEN 🍰!

39 minutes ago, crazy ace said:

I don't really fully understand what primary sexual attraction is

Sexual attraction is the desire to have sex with someone.

Romantic attraction... that is a bit harder to define. Theoretically it would be the desire to romance someone, but then one must define romance and that is where it gets bogged down. 

40 minutes ago, crazy ace said:

Sorry if this is a stupid question.

It is not a stupid question at all, curiosity is encouraged!

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uhtred

I can only describe it for me (as asexual male).  There are some people for whom my attraction is primarily sexual. These are generally people I don't know well but who match the physical and obvious personality type that I'm attracted to.  I a fantasy sense, I picture wanting to have sex with them. 

 

Then there are people, generally only people I know well, when I enjoy their company, enjoy seeing them happy. I am likely also sexually attracted to them, but idle fantasies about them don't tend to be specifically sexual. 

 

 

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3Xi3X

An official definition of romance states:

 

ro·mance

/rōˈmans,ˈrōˌmans/

noun

1. 

a feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love.

"in search of romance"

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SithGirl

Never heard of "primary sexual attraction" so I'm guessing here. It sounds like it would either mean sexual attraction that is the original attraction, strongest, or otherwise the focus; or that it's sexual attraction that did not stem from something else. Not really sure if this second part is a thing, but it made me think of the debate about sexual attraction being "the desire to have sex" and there technically being many reasons why one would "desire" sex without feeling attraction but that's getting into murky waters. 

 

Sexual attraction in general (so, no "primary") is the attraction to or desire to engage in sexual activity with another person or persons. So looking at someone and wanting to f*** them essentially, though it can be over time and might just be a "I wouldn't mind getting into bed with them" as opposed to "I want to get into bed with them." 

 

Romantic attraction is the attraction/desire to engage in romance or romantic activities with another person. It's related to wanting long term partnership but isn't the only outlet for that (QPRs are a thing). It's hard to define because "romantic", like "love", is different from person to person and has many varieties. Basically, it's the way you feel towards a romantic partner rather than a family member or friend. For me, I experience romantic attraction as wanting to spend time with them, share my interests, learn their interests, and engage in fun activities together. It's similar enough to how I act with friends that I give off the wrong signals sometimes, but it's different in my head.

 

One can know they're experiencing romantic attraction but not sexual attraction when there's no desire to take any sensual activity into sexual territory. Maybe you like holding hands but not holding their... thing. Or kissing is okay, but heavy petting during it is too much. Cuddling is comfortable, but rolling around in the sack is not. (There's also a gradient of what people would consider sexual or too far so... *shrug*). And yep, this is tied closely to sensual attraction, rather than romantic attraction which is close to platonic attraction. Sensual attraction being wanting to hold someone's hand at all, generally seen as romantic but not necessarily. 

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Serran

I don't really experience either, since primary tends to be defined as a more instant appearance based thing. My sexual attraction comes from being close to the person (as in emotionally bonded). 

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Kimchi Peanut

Never heard of primary sexual attraction 

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RoseGoesToYale
21 minutes ago, disGraceful said:

Never heard of primary sexual attraction 

It's explained in this model. It differentiates primary and secondary attraction by what information on a person is readily available vs a bond formed over time. So primary sexual attraction would be more immediate or quickly-formed attraction based on physique, smell, clothing, behavior, first impressions, etc. As with every model, it has a few... flaws...

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Kimchi Peanut
2 minutes ago, RoseGoesToYale said:

It's explained in this model. It differentiates primary and secondary attraction by what information on a person is readily available vs a bond formed over time. So primary sexual attraction would be more immediate or quickly-formed attraction based on physique, smell, clothing, behavior, first impressions, etc. As with every model, it has a few... flaws...

I see... in that case, though I am sexual, I have never experienced such attraction.

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brehasolo

The real question for me is what the hell is the difference between an ace romance and a strong friendship, but I guess this isn't the thread for that lol

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Anthracite_Impreza
20 minutes ago, brehasolo said:

The real question for me is what the hell is the difference between an ace romance and a strong friendship, but I guess this isn't the thread for that lol

You really can't see how romance is different to friendship without sex? There's far more to romance than just sex, anyone can tell you that.

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brehasolo
2 minutes ago, Anthracite_Impreza said:

You really can't see how romance is different to friendship without sex? There's far more to romance than just sex, anyone can tell you that.

Well, there's kissing.

 

But you can hug, cuddle and hold hands with a close friend. Can you not? Maybe only where I'm from lol.

What do I know... I'm aro as hell.

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Anthracite_Impreza
3 minutes ago, brehasolo said:

Well, there's kissing.

 

But you can hug, cuddle and hold hands with a close friend. Can you not? Maybe only where I'm from lol.

What do I know... I'm aro as hell.

There's an entire emotional dimension that's different to friendship (note I do not say better), one I didn't know about until I met my beau. Granted, you can have physical contact with friends/family, but it tends to be more intense romantically, longer and generally more intimate. Also, you don't tend to be quite as "soppy" with friends, or randomly feel the need to hold them regardless of where you are.

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Telecaster68
21 hours ago, sithgirlix said:

Sexual attraction in general (so, no "primary") is the attraction to or desire to engage in sexual activity with another person or persons. So looking at someone and wanting to f*** them essentially

No. 

 

Most sexual people don't want to fuck people on sight. Sexual attraction is about so much more than that, mostly to do with having a connection, which means talking to them. 

 

On sight, at most, it's more like "I wouldn't *not* have sex with that person". 

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CBC

I have literally never looked at a person in my life (er, unless I already have a relationship with them) and thought immediately about having sex with them, sooooo...

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MichaelTannock

I've moved this thread from 'Questions about Asexuality' to 'Romantic and Aromantic Orientations'.
 
Michael Tannock,
Open Mic moderator and Questions about Asexuality Co-moderator.

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SithGirl
7 hours ago, Telecaster68 said:

No. 

 

Most sexual people don't want to fuck people on sight. Sexual attraction is about so much more than that, mostly to do with having a connection, which means talking to them. 

 

On sight, at most, it's more like "I wouldn't *not* have sex with that person". 

I did also say 

 

On 7/19/2019 at 8:27 AM, sithgirlix said:

might just be a "I wouldn't mind getting into bed with them" as opposed to "I want to get into bed with them." 

so I did want to clarify how extreme I was being.

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Telecaster68

But mine and CBC's point is that it's almost never the first one, and you really didn't say that. 

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SithGirl

Okay. Guess it's just confusing when sexuals describe their feelings as "wanting to get to know them more, like talking with them" when it's the same for every other kind of attraction. 

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Telecaster68
2 minutes ago, sithgirlix said:

Okay. Guess it's just confusing when sexuals describe their feelings as "wanting to get to know them more, like talking with them" when it's the same for every other kind of attraction. 

Yep. This is in fact a problem with the whole split attraction model - it confuses everyone by presenting attraction as being sliced up into discrete types, when it's pretty obvious it just doesn't work like that.

 

The only differences between sexuals and asexuals in the end are that sexuals sometimes want to have sex with some people for their own benefit, and they view coupley relationships as incomplete if they don't include sex. 

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