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define sexual attraction

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soba_noodles

can someone please give me a very detailed definition for sexual attraction? I know there are a lot of definitions floating out there, but being mostly ace, they don't make sense to me. however, I'm questioning if i'm demisexual because I feel something for someone i've known for a long time that may or may not be sexual attraction. i am very confused on the definition of sexual attraction because i've never felt it before; can y'all please help me out?

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MichaelTannock

I define the different types of attraction by what they lead you to desire.

So Sexual Attraction would lead to the desire to have sex with someone (This is different from arousal, which doesn't always lead to desiring sex).

But there's also 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).

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

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

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

And more.

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Sarah-Sylvia

We've had talks trying to explain sexual attraction and it can be hard to understand for asexuals or someone close. I don't know if a strict definition is enough. For demisexuals it takes more closeness to get to the attraction, or a little more feeling built up towards it.

Sexual attraction is like feeling the attractiveness to someone in a way that you feel like you want to take it to be sexual somehow (either sex or some sexuality). It's like wanting to quench a physical desire, like thirst, that'll feel really good with the sexual actions shared. For me it doesn't happen just by seeing someone, I'm first attracted in some other way, and if I'm close to them, it's easier to happen, with some affection or sensuality to feel it, for the most part. Some demisexuals might feel it when they see the one they love, like if they've connected in that way with them.

You just have to watch out for other attractions being seen as sexual. Some can  be aesthetically or romantically attracted to someone, and it not lead to desiring sex at all.
Sexual attraction has a natural pull to share in the physicality of it towards or along the sexual physical pleasure. Not sure if that's explained well enough, but it's what I can think of to say for now :P I'll see what you say about it.

good luck :)

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Serran

Sexual attraction for me went kinda like this...

 

Dated my wife for 6 months or so. Started cuddling and kissing with her. I started wanting to do more than that and we did more sexual things. These things were nice. We did more of them. Now we have a fairly regular sex life and I am quite happy with that, even initiating it sometimes. 

 

It wasn't really a big omg thing... more a feeling of huh, doing something more than just cuddling would be nice I think. And it naturally progressing... 

 

With other people things always stopped at the cuddling bit was nice, but I had no interest going further. 

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Sithgroundhog

I like how @Serran put it.

 

Basically just wanting to go further with someone. It's hard to pinpoint as a feeling because as I understand it, it's mostly desire/will/want/whatever to engage in an activity. You don't just look at a person and know, for most of us.

 

For me, sexual attraction is intrinsic (as in internal, not coming from anywhere but you) desire to engage in partnered sexual activity. So not masturbating when you see someone, not being physically aroused by or around that person, not wanting kids therefore, no. Being with a person and wanting to have sex with them (however one wants to have sex, no matter the forms). 

Generally this is accompanied by a continued desire to do so. So wanting to have sex with someone once but never again wouldn't be in the realm of "normal" sexuality.

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Dawning

Sexual attraction is the feeling that you would, in a general way, like to have sexual contact with a person; if what you're feeling is something other than that, it's not sexual attraction… with the possible exception being if you're autistic , in which case you could have a feeling and genuinely not know what it is… do you think that's possible?

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soba_noodles
2 minutes ago, Dawning said:

Sexual attraction is the feeling that you would, in a general way, like to have sexual contact with a person; if what you're feeling is something other than that, it's not sexual attraction… with the possible exception being if you're autistic , in which case you could have a feeling and genuinely not know what it is… do you think that's possible?

nope, i'm not autistic. like i genuinely want this person to give me oral if not penetrative sex (because that's risky and as a teen, i'm not mentally ready for anyway)

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Sarah-Sylvia
1 minute ago, soba_noodles said:

nope, i'm not autistic. like i genuinely want this person to give me oral if not penetrative sex (because that's risky and as a teen, i'm not mentally ready for anyway)

Did you mean 'dont' want?
If you want it with that person, then it'd likely be sexual attraction.

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soba_noodles
Just now, Sarah-Sylvia said:

Did you mean 'dont' want?
If you want it with that person, then it'd likely be sexual attraction.

then... i guess there's my answer

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Dawning

Yes, wanting a person to give you sex in some form is sexual attraction… Where is the confusion?

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soba_noodles
28 minutes ago, Dawning said:

Yes, wanting a person to give you sex in some form is sexual attraction… Where is the confusion?

ummm... i guess it takes someone to spell things out for me lol

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)
7 hours ago, soba_noodles said:

can someone please give me a very detailed definition for sexual attraction? I know there are a lot of definitions floating out there, but being mostly ace, they don't make sense to me. however, I'm questioning if i'm demisexual because I feel something for someone i've known for a long time that may or may not be sexual attraction. i am very confused on the definition of sexual attraction because i've never felt it before; can y'all please help me out?

Sexual attraction is a desire to connect on a sexual level with another person, for pleasure. It can be triggered by any number of things (like appearance, an emotional bond, arousal, alcohol even haha). But it makes you actively want to have sex with someone else as opposed to just masturbating. AVEN defines it the same way in the General FAQ here. :)

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)
6 hours ago, soba_noodles said:

nope, i'm not autistic. like i genuinely want this person to give me oral if not penetrative sex (because that's risky and as a teen, i'm not mentally ready for anyway)

Oh I just saw this, yes that's definitely sexual attraction then ^_^

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🚓💨💨

Isn't this like asking a Muslim to explain the taste of whiskey?

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lazypanda

I have a question rather than an answer. 

People say sexual attraction is "wanting sex with another person". 

What if I fantasize about wanting sex with someone, but when I have an opportunity to get that in real life, i am no longer interested (consistently, every single time) ? Does this count as sexual attraction ? Am I a gray asexual or just plain asexual ? Am I just a sexual who is scared of sex and lying to myself ? 

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Serran
3 minutes ago, lazypanda said:

I have a question rather than an answer. 

People say sexual attraction is "wanting sex with another person". 

What if I fantasize about wanting sex with someone, but when I have an opportunity to get that in real life, i am no longer interested (consistently, every single time) ? Does this count as sexual attraction ? Am I a gray asexual or just plain asexual ? Am I just a sexual who is scared of sex and lying to myself ? 

Fantasy vs reality can be tricky. Sometimes its fear blocking a true desire. Sometimes it's just a fantasy you would never in a million years act on. Like people who fantasize about extremely taboo things but they dont truly want it, it just is a thing the brain thinks of sometimes. So you would have to figure out if you it's a desire or a fantasy. 

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🚓💨💨
11 minutes ago, lazypanda said:

I have a question rather than an answer. 

People say sexual attraction is "wanting sex with another person". 

What if I fantasize about wanting sex with someone, but when I have an opportunity to get that in real life, i am no longer interested (consistently, every single time) ? Does this count as sexual attraction ? Am I a gray asexual or just plain asexual ? Am I just a sexual who is scared of sex and lying to myself ? 

 

You are you! You get to define yourself. Labels are descriptions that never perfectly fit. Just be you, use a label to help someone quickly understand, and anyone who is more interested tell them what defines you, not the label.

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lazypanda
3 minutes ago, Serran said:

Fantasy vs reality can be tricky. Sometimes its fear blocking a true desire. Sometimes it's just a fantasy you would never in a million years act on. Like people who fantasize about extremely taboo things but they dont truly want it, it just is a thing the brain thinks of sometimes. So you would have to figure out if you it's a desire or a fantasy. 

That's exactly what I can't quite figure out. Sometimes I think "sex is so stupid, why would I want to rub my icky parts with someone else's icky parts, it's so pointless" but sometimes i do fantasize about it. I'm also a hypochondriac, so a fear of STDs certainly makes me sex repulsed. My thoughts just contradict each other.

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Dawning
21 minutes ago, lazypanda said:

I have a question rather than an answer. 

People say sexual attraction is "wanting sex with another person". 

What if I fantasize about wanting sex with someone, but when I have an opportunity to get that in real life, i am no longer interested (consistently, every single time) ? Does this count as sexual attraction ? Am I a gray asexual or just plain asexual ? Am I just a sexual who is scared of sex and lying to myself ? 

Fear is a strong and distinctive emotion; if you were feeling fear, you'd know it. If you're not feeling fear, then being scared of sex is not the issue.

 

People fantasize about all kinds of things, including things that they would never want or do in real life, and about imaginary people, or ones that in real life that they're not interested in or might even be repelled by, since sometimes the idea of something being or scary or taboo in some way can be stimulating. What "counts" for determining whether or not you're feeling attraction is what you feel when you're in the presence of that person; if you have never felt attraction to someone that you were face-to-face with, that would mean that you're asexual.

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HikaruBG
6 hours ago, Dawning said:

What "counts" for determining whether or not you're feeling attraction is what you feel when you're in the presence of that person; if you have never felt attraction to someone that you were face-to-face with, that would mean that you're asexual.

I wouldn't say that their presence or being face-to-face with that person is even required.

It is possible for people to have (sexual) desire for someone they never met IRL. I'm talking from expierence where someone I used to talk to over the internet and we never seen each other, confessed to me after 3-4 months of talking to each other.
 

Spoiler

Which essentially forced me to come out and admit that I'm not only not interested in sexual relations with others (like ever) but also that the mere thought of engaging in sexual activity with others repulses me.

And it all started with me spilling the beans to him that I was a girl (context: at the time, I was playing around with recording short gameplay videos, in which videos I purposely didn't record my voice for obvious reasons).

 

Those were stuff that I never wanted to tell him or the Google+ group (Google+ was still active at the time) we were part of at the time.

 

*sigh* Sexual attraction works in very weird ways, I don't get it at all.

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MichaelTannock

@lazypanda In general, fantasies don't count, as they don't always reflect what you want in reality.

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Dawning
2 hours ago, HikaruBG said:

I wouldn't say that their presence or being face-to-face with that person is even required.

It is possible for people to have (sexual) desire for someone they never met IRL. I'm talking from expierence where someone I used to talk to over the internet and we never seen each other, confessed to me after 3-4 months of talking to each other.
 

  Reveal hidden contents

Which essentially forced me to come out and admit that I'm not only not interested in sexual relations with others (like ever) but also that the mere thought of engaging in sexual activity with others repulses me.

Andit all started with me spilling the beans to him that I was a girl (context: at the time, I was playing around with recording short gameplay videos, in which videos I purposely didn't record my voice for obvious reasons).

 

Those were stuff that I never wanted to tell him or the Google+ group (Google+ was still active at the time) we were part of at the time.

 

*sigh* Sexual attraction works in very weird ways, I don't get it at all.

That's just another version of fantasizing. When you never see someone, you imagine them to be any way you want, just like you do when you're totally inside your head. There are countless stories of people who thought they were so "attracted" to each other based on Internet exchanges, or before that phone calls from personal ads, only to have it die instantly the first time they actually saw each other; sex is a physical act, and if you don't feel attraction for someone's physical being, then you are not attracted to that actual person, just at most to an idea of them that their name was attached to.

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CBC

Desiring sex with someone. It's not a difficult concept.

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HikaruBG
1 hour ago, Dawning said:

That's just another version of fantasizing. When you never see someone, you imagine them to be any way you want, just like you do when you're totally inside your head. There are countless stories of people who thought they were so "attracted" to each other based on Internet exchanges, or before that phone calls from personal ads, only to have it die instantly the first time they actually saw each other; sex is a physical act, and if you don't feel attraction for someone's physical being, then you are not attracted to that actual person, just ar most to an idea of them that their name was attached to.

Eh, I'm kind of sceptical as he definitely wrote long confesion about his feelings towards me and said several times how he wanted to see me IRL (like he legitimately was contemplating offering his family to travel to Bulgaria). And the fact that he said that he was suffering from depression. (Also, this might be an irreverent info but I do think that I should point out that he was 1 year younger than me.)

Point is that, I have no idea if it was real thing for him or just fantasy. It could be 50/50 and perhaps I killed it completely by saying that I wasn't interested in sexual relationships.

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Dawning

The internet is full of liars, many of whom are perfectly willing to write at any length required to convince you. It doesn't cost anything to claim to want to see someone in real life; it's an easy and effective lie. Anyone can claim to be suffering from depression, and it doesn't mean that they are; even if it's true, depression isn't proof of love or attraction... some people use admissions of that sort to create a false sense of intimacy. But even if he was being honest about his feelings, that still doesn't mean that they were based on anything other than fantasy. Until someone meets and significantly interacts with you in person, there's no reason to believe that any claims of love or desire are anything other than deception… or at best, a pure fantasy.

 

With that said; yes, telling him that you weren't interested in sexual relationships probably caused him to lose interest. MOST men will lose interest in a woman who he can't even pretend is going to have hot monkey sex with him. If you're not willing to have sexual contact of any kind, your relationship options will at best be extremely limited, and may simply be zero. Best of luck to you!

 

 

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Sarah-Sylvia

In my experience, sexual desire and attraction from fantasizing sometimes can transfer over into real life, and that includes long-distance or internet relationships, but that doesn't mean it can, especially for someone who doesn't experience it physically. There's a disconnect. Sometimes it can be some feelings (like a fear), or it can just be that their sexuality is too lofty to fit how people actually are.

 

Personally I would still label it as sexual attraction, but I think the part about being able to feel it for someone physically is important in normal life, so I would still say someone is asexual unless they can actually make the transfer.

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HikaruBG

@Dawning

Um... No, this isn't how I see it. Not at all. And your comment seems kind of... idk.... harsh, especially at the end? I can't really find the proper word for it.

But I don't have the energy at this moment (as it's late night for me) to make a proper response, so I'm going to leave it at that. Besides, I don't want to derail the thread.

 

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Marlow1

I have Aphantasia which makes it difficult for me to become attracted. I am 64 years old and throughout my entire life I have only ever been sexually attracted to one person. The following article mentions this limited attraction to people we barely know, and my previous posts go into a lot of detail regarding this

 

https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/kwkway/what-its-like-to-instantly-forget-what-friends-and-lovers-looks-like

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