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gray-a girl

I don't understand sexual attraction?

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gray-a girl

I read a previously archived thread (wish I could have commented on it and I'm kind of annoyed that I can't) here it is: 

It talked about how many women misidentify as asexual because the are mistaking responsive desire for asexuality, and also talked about people misidentifying as asexual because they only feel like having sex once they are romantically involved with someone. And that these two variations are quite common among women.

What I don't understand is, what is sexual attraction? Specifically, what are people referring to when they say "I have chemistry with him". Also, why do people look at photos of people on popular dating sites, and immediately decide that they are or are not attracted to the person? Often based solely on that? Why would how a person looks even matter, if they need to be cuddled first before being attracted to them? If many women only experience a desire to have sex with someone because of responsive desire, then why does any woman want to have sex with anyone in the first place? Before a woman knows that she will get turned on by responsive desire, why does she bother dating? There must be some kind of initial...something... that makes a person want to date another person? Before I found kink, I didn't feel a need to date at all. So I am trying to imagine how vanilla people, the reasons they want to date someone and find them sexually attractive. If it's not arousal, I don't know what it is.

And why do people choose one person over another? I remember being asked as a kid who I was attracted to. How is that even possible to answer that if you've never been "cuddled" or whatever by that person? According to the above thread? So confusing. If what is above is true, I'd expect most women wouldn't bother to try dating in the first place. But that doesn't happen.

As for me, I'm trying to think of a time when I was turned on just by touching. Usually doesn't happen... except for the few times (since I'm technically gray a) when the person aroused me in general. But, that hasn't happened in awhile and that usually doesn't happen. I don't understand how touching or candlelight dinners would make someone want to have sex. Just the other I was trying to date, the guy seemed like an awesome person....he starts feeling me up... and I'm like... ok....so apparently thats supposed to get women in the mood? Why?

Yeah, I don't understand sexual attraction. None of it makes sense to me. It seems, from what I have observed of other people, that a person can just look at someone and know if they are sexually attracted to them. Some people need to know them as a person (which I don't understand how that creates sexual attraction either), but most seem to be able to look at them. I've observed this, with people, irl. Other women. So I know people do it. So, I don't understand what they are feeling that makes them want to date that person.

The only thing I can think of is that, these women (in the article mentioned in that thread) are only feeling responsive desire after the relationship gets boring? But why would they bother dating the person in the first place if they have no sexual interest in them?

This is so confusing. It's making me think there is this unknown something that is making people want to date other specific people.

 

 

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gray-a girl

This article explains responsive desire better: https://lifehacker.com/the-difference-between-spontaneous-and-responsive-desir-1828754371

Hmm, but, it still doesn't explain what sexual attraction is. I still don't understand why women who have "responsive desire" would ever bother with dating, and why they would choose one person over another. (Which is often, from what I told, based on sexual attraction).

Hmm, doing a bit more reading, and it seems it has more to do with a desire to have sex than actual sexual attraction?

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appleseedy

mmhmm, one question that always puzzled me as this

 

Why does someone break up with someone because their being treated like shit and then a few weeks later get back together with them only to repeat this cycle over and over again?

 

I have just discovered Asexuality and now i think i know the answer, sexual attraction. Its as if their senses are hijacked and they are powerless to resist the advances of whoever.

 

i googled sexual attraction "Sexual attraction is different for everyone. Some people describe it as a knot in their stomach and other people describe it as a cloudy feeling in their head. It's normal to feel sexual attraction toward other people, and it's also normal to have never felt sexual attraction toward anyone. Only you can decide whether or not you are experiencing sexual attraction." i found this and i was amazed, i have never felt anything like this and it sort of explained to me why others do what they do. 

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gray-a girl
11 minutes ago, appleseedy said:

mmhmm, one question that always puzzled me as this

 

Why does someone break up with someone because their being treated like shit and then a few weeks later get back together with them only to repeat this cycle over and over again?

 

I have just discovered Asexuality and now i think i know the answer, sexual attraction. Its as if their senses are hijacked and they are powerless to resist the advances of whoever.

 

i googled sexual attraction "Sexual attraction is different for everyone. Some people describe it as a knot in their stomach and other people describe it as a cloudy feeling in their head. It's normal to feel sexual attraction toward other people, and it's also normal to have never felt sexual attraction toward anyone. Only you can decide whether or not you are experiencing sexual attraction." i found this and i was amazed, i have never felt anything like this and it sort of explained to me why others do what they do. 

That is a very hazy definition as to what sexual attraction is... can you link the source?

 

Also I think another reason people who are abused get back with their abuser might be that they've fallen in love with them? Though it begs the question, why don't they fall out of love if they are getting beaten? And also they get brainwashed to think that nobody else will want them so thats the only choice they get.

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banana monkey
14 minutes ago, gray-a girl said:

Hmm, doing a bit more reading, and it seems it has more to do with a desire to have sex than actual sexual attraction?

but sexual attraction is the desire to have sex. (with a specific person). so I dont see the difference here. Maybe I dont understand your point. 

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Memento1
6 minutes ago, appleseedy said:

Why does someone break up with someone because their being treated like shit and then a few weeks later get back together with them only to repeat this cycle over and over again?

 

I have just discovered Asexuality and now i think i know the answer, sexual attraction. Its as if their senses are hijacked and they are powerless to resist the advances of whoever.

People don't stay in abusive relationships because of sexual attraction.  I appreciate that the two things don't make a lot of sense.  They're not linked, though.  The same people who stay in abusive relationships often grew up in abusive families, and will stay in abusive friendships.

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gray-a girl
Just now, banana monkey said:

but sexual attraction is the desire to have sex. (with a specific person). so I dont see the difference here. Maybe I dont understand your point. 

I have always defined sexual attraction as arousal of the other person. I am thinking... maybe being aroused by another person doesn't necessarily put you in the mood to have sex? Actually I'm pretty confused, so I'm just trying to figure it out.

It just doesn't make sense to me that women with responsive desire would ever want to date anyone. If desire is the same as sexual attraction why do so many women feel "attracted" to a guy? I can only conclude that sexual attraction is something else?

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appleseedy

very hazy agreed. I was also just talking to a heterosexual pal to find out how he described it. Seems its different for everyone really and trying to pin it down might not make sense. Anyway he told me he feels silly, like a child, he felt ...hazy :P. Seems like something chemical is happening and i'm sure you could look up some medical journal to really give you too much info. 

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banana monkey
8 minutes ago, gray-a girl said:

I have always defined sexual attraction as arousal of the other person. I am thinking... maybe being aroused by another person doesn't necessarily put you in the mood to have sex? Actually I'm pretty confused, so I'm just trying to figure it out.

It just doesn't make sense to me that women with responsive desire would ever want to date anyone. If desire is the same as sexual attraction why do so many women feel "attracted" to a guy? I can only conclude that sexual attraction is something else?

yeah- Although there is a debate about the definition on aven i think thats why aven  uses the desire to have sex definition. ( the one I used above) - I mean there are many asexuals on aven who are aroused by something/someone but never think about having sex with them. Arousal is a physical biological response which you cant control. It think Its one of the reasons why some asexuals masturbate. ie someone may masturbate because they are aroused but dont (and never have) wanted to act on that arousal with another person and although they experience arousal are happy to let it go rather than have a desire to have sex with anyone.  Arousal does not necessarily mean a desire to have sex. 

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MichaelTannock

@gray-a girl I define Sexual Attraction as leading to the desire to have sex with someone (This is different from arousal, which doesn't always lead to desiring sex).

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appleseedy
5 minutes ago, Memento1 said:

People don't stay in abusive relationships because of sexual attraction.  I appreciate that the two things don't make a lot of sense.  They're not linked, though.  The same people who stay in abusive relationships often grew up in abusive families, and will stay in abusive friendships.

yeah i get that, i was thinking more about why they go back once out

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gray-a girl

I am reading on a reddit form that there is some sort of magnetic electricity feeling. I think I felt that once, or twice? But it was accompanied by arousal if I remember right.

But yeah, that hazy feeling... not sure what that feels like.

I think the desire to have sex definition has its own set of problems. There are many reasons why a person might desire to, and enjoy having, sex, that have nothing to do with the actual person themselves. One thing is for sure, whatever sexual attraction is, it is felt for a person. Usually a specific person. One that is deemed "sexually attractive". If the desire to do sexual activity is not because of a person, then I would think it is not sexual attraction. 

I guess I am also thinking that sexual attraction is different from sexual desire? It seems they are not necessarily the same thing. Hence, "responsive desire" refers to the desire to have sex and actually do it. Whereas, i guess, sexual attraction would be a magnetic feeling you feel for someone, but don't necessarily want to have sex with them in that moment. Thats what seems to make sense...

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MichaelTannock

@gray-a girl when I say that I define Sexual Attraction as leading to the desire to have sex with someone, I'm defining it as an attraction to have sex with someone, not merely defining it as the desire to have sex.

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banana monkey
6 minutes ago, gray-a girl said:

I

I think the desire to have sex definition has its own set of problems. There are many reasons why a person might desire to, and enjoy having, sex, that have nothing to do with the actual person themselves. One thing is for sure, whatever sexual attraction is, it is felt for a person. Usually a specific person. One that is deemed "sexually attractive". If the desire to do sexual activity is not because of a person, then I would think it is not sexual attraction. 

yeah thats why the defintion is widely debated on Aven but it all comes down to the definition of desire. When using this definition it ( desire) is generally deemed not to mean the same thing as "want". so there are many reasons why a person may want to have sex (to please partner, to have children etc) but this is not generally deemed to mean the same as desiring it. I think desiring it means something innate but I dont fully understand because I am asexual. 

 

and yeah, I do tend to have the same hesitations as you in that I dont understand what sexual women mean if they say they "fancy" someone or someone is "hot" or "fit". 

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gray-a girl
1 minute ago, MichaelTannock said:

@gray-a girl when I say that I define Sexual Attraction as leading to the desire to have sex with someone, I'm defining it as an attraction to have sex with someone, not merely defining it as the desire to have sex.

Yes but what I mean is, what if doing it with a person has nothing to do with the person themselves? That they are just a convenient way to get off, but it has nothing to do with the person themselves?

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gray-a girl
6 minutes ago, banana monkey said:

yeah thats why the defintion is widely debated on Aven but it all comes down to the definition of desire. When using this definition it ( desire) is generally deemed not to mean the same thing as "want". so there are many reasons why a person may want to have sex (to please partner, to have children etc) but this is not generally deemed to mean the same as desiring it. I think desiring it means something innate but I dont fully understand because I am asexual. 

I still find that definition problematic. If a person has no hands, and a libido.... they want to masterbate but they can't.... so they have their partner do it for them.... in that case, the other person isn't necessarily the reason they are doing sexual stuff. They may not be sexually attracted to the other person. The other person (their partner) just happens to be the only way they can masterbate. 

Under your definition, of desiring to have sex with someone, that would not make them asexual. But if an asexual person who was happy masterbating by themselves, then lost their hands.... and desired for their partner to do it for them...they would not be asexual anymore according to your definition. Because they would desire that their partner did it for them.

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MichaelTannock
1 minute ago, gray-a girl said:

Yes but what I mean is, what if doing it with a person has nothing to do with the person themselves? That they are just a convenient way to get off, but it has nothing to do with the person themselves?

Then you're not Sexually Attracted to them.

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appleseedy

personally i think sexual desire, sex drive or libido are different to sexual attraction. reading these posts make me smile wryly. We should probably be asking people who aren't asexual

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banana monkey
2 minutes ago, gray-a girl said:

I still find that definition problematic. If a person has no hands, and a libido.... they want to masterbate but they can't.... so they have their partner do it for them.... in that case, the other person isn't necessarily the reason they are doing sexual stuff. They may not be sexually attracted to the other person. The other person (their partner) just happens to be the only way they can masterbate.

 

1 minute ago, MichaelTannock said:

Then you're not Sexually Attracted to them.

This is what my initial reaction would be but I have to remember I am asexual (so have never been sexually attracted to anyone) and I think the majority of the world may disagree with me. I'm going to leave the thread for a while as I dont want to start a definition debate here. 

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gray-a girl
Just now, banana monkey said:

 

This is what my initial reaction would be but I have to remember I am asexual (so have never been sexually attracted to anyone) and I think the majority of the world may disagree with me. I'm going to leave the thread for a while as I dont want to start a definition debate here. 

It's kind of like blind people arguing what the color blue looks like. Or what the definition of blue is. Maybe we just aren't going to be able to nail this down.

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gray-a girl
22 minutes ago, MichaelTannock said:

@gray-a girl I define Sexual Attraction as leading to the desire to have sex with someone (This is different from arousal, which doesn't always lead to desiring sex).

Then that also makes no sense with what I have read. That would mean that the 30% of women who have "responsive desire" are only sexually attracted to a person if they are getting touched, cuddled, or kissed.

Yet, they got with them for some reason? Why bother being with them in the first place if you aren't sexually attracted to them (for non-ace people). Also why would they say "I am sexually attracted to that person"? If they don't want to have sex with them until they are cuddled or kissed? And they have no sexual attraction until then?

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Anthracite_Impreza

I'm not sexual, but I get crushes and aesthetic attraction fairly often, and they have nothing to do with the actual desiring of romance of even contact. Attraction is attraction, it's just a little nudge of "this one is a possibility, just sayin'". From what I understand, it's similar for sexuals. Sexuals know they want sex, the attraction they feel is just a little nudge towards someone. That attraction may well disappear if that being is a knob or incompatible in some way, and just cos they feel attraction it doesn't mean they're ready for sex. Trust and closeness are usually very important, for obvious reasons.

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MichaelTannock
1 minute ago, gray-a girl said:

Then that also makes no sense with what I have read. That would mean that the 30% of women who have "responsive desire" are only sexually attracted to a person if they are getting touched, cuddled, or kissed.

Yet, they got with them for some reason? Why bother being with them in the first place if you aren't sexually attracted to them (for non-ace people).

Because they are romantically attracted to them.

There are other types of attraction besides Sexual Attraction.

There's Romantic Attraction, which I define as leading to the desire to have a romantic relationship (I still don't know what that is, I'm Aromantic).

There's Sensual Attraction, which I define as leading to the desire to have intimate non-sexual physical contact with someone, like cuddling.

There's Aesthetic Attraction, which I define as leading to the desire to appreciate someone's aesthetic beauty (you can't take your eyes off them).

There's Platonic Attraction, which I define as leading to the desire to have a close friendship with someone.

And more.

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gray-a girl

I don't think I understand crushes either. I think I had one once... but that was, basically me getting aroused by the person. But, I don't understand non-arousal crushes, or what they are.

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gray-a girl
3 minutes ago, MichaelTannock said:

Because they are romantically attracted to them.

There are other types of attraction besides Sexual Attraction.

There's Romantic Attraction, which I define as leading to the desire to have a romantic relationship (I still don't know what that is, I'm Aromantic).

There's Sensual Attraction, which I define as leading to the desire to have intimate non-sexual physical contact with someone, like cuddling.

There's Aesthetic Attraction, which I define as leading to the desire to appreciate someone's aesthetic beauty (you can't take your eyes off them).

There's Platonic Attraction, which I define as leading to the desire to have a close friendship with someone.

And more.

Except, non-ace people will actually say, that they are sexually attracted to the person. Almost all of sexuals will say that they feel sexual attraction. Yet, are 30% of them lying? If they only want to have sex because of "responsive desire"?

Sexual attraction has to be something else, otherwise 30% of female sexuals are lying when they say they experience sexual attraction for someone.

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MichaelTannock
Just now, gray-a girl said:

Except, non-ace people will actually say, that they are sexually attracted to the person. Almost all of sexuals will say that they feel sexual attraction. Yet, are 30% of them lying? If they only want to have sex because of "responsive desire"?

No, they're not lying. Because one type of attraction can trigger another.

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Serran
1 minute ago, gray-a girl said:

Then that also makes no sense with what I have read. That would mean that the 30% of women who have "responsive desire" are only sexually attracted to a person if they are getting touched, cuddled, or kissed.

Yet, they got with them for some reason? Why bother being with them in the first place if you aren't sexually attracted to them (for non-ace people). Also why would they say "I am sexually attracted to that person"? If they don't want to have sex with them until they are cuddled or kissed?

Ok first off....

 

Wanting to date is based on romantic attraction. Not sexual. Lots of aces want to date without sex. Lots of sexuals want to date and won't know if they're sexually into the person yet.

 

And when you have responsive desire you dont know you will be sexually into them until in the moment but then you know it can happen with that person if you're in the moment so then you're sexually attracted to them. 

 

You sound like you dont understand romantic feelings so assume all are sexual ... 

 

I dated my wife for 6 or so months before responsive desire kicked in and I began having any sexual interest in her. I had heavy romantic interest in her before and after. I am sexually attracted to her because I know responsive desire will kick in once we are in the moment, which doesn't happen with anyone else. 

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gray-a girl
1 minute ago, Serran said:

Ok first off....

 

Wanting to date is based on romantic attraction. Not sexual. Lots of aces want to date without sex. Lots of sexuals want to date and won't know if they're sexually into the person yet.

 

And when you have responsive desire you dont know you will be sexually into them until in the moment but then you know it can happen with that person if you're in the moment so then you're sexually attracted to them. 

 

You sound like you dont understand romantic feelings so assume all are sexual ... 

 

I dated my wife for 6 or so months before responsive desire kicked in and I began having any sexual interest in her. I had heavy romantic interest in her before and after. I am sexually attracted to her because I know responsive desire will kick in once we are in the moment, which doesn't happen with anyone else. 

Well, I could call myself aromantic, except i have fallen in love with someone after getting to know them for a couple of years. And I want to fall in love again. I was told thats incompatible with aromanticism. Most aromantics don't seem to want to date or be in a relationship.

Maybe I don't understand romantic attraction, though. Romantic attraction is what makes people want to  kiss other people? I always thought that was sexual reasons, and got confused as to why aces like to kiss other people on the lips.

I don't think I experience responsive desire, either. Well, not if it's vanilla. I'm kinky. But, the kink I am into isn't about the person, but what the person can do.  But candlelight dinners, skin on skin touching.... kissing me on the neck... I don't think that really puts me in the mood. I'm not particularly interested in vanilla sex either. If theres no bondage, no Dominance/submission, etc then I'm pretty indifferent to sex.

One thing I have often noticed with guys... if I'm laying on them, or near them... and we are dating... I always notice that their heart beats really fast. I wonder what that is about...

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MichaelTannock
1 minute ago, gray-a girl said:

Well, I could call myself aromantic, except i have fallen in love with someone after getting to know them for a couple of years. And I want to fall in love again. I was told thats incompatible with aromanticism. Most aromantics don't seem to want to date or be in a relationship.

You could be Demiromantic.

 

1 minute ago, gray-a girl said:

Maybe I don't understand romantic attraction, though. Romantic attraction is what makes people want to  kiss other people? I always thought that was sexual reasons, and got confused as to why aces like to kiss other people on the lips.

That would be Sensual Attraction, which is neither.

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Sarah-Sylvia

Yeah, romantic attraction can lead to wanting to kiss someone, but the main desire isn't to kiss or touch them, it's to express love or affection and be emotionally close to them. The kiss can be just a means of doing that (or expressing it)
Maybe easy to mistake it for sensual attraction, for some.

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