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Sanity Panda

Love without sexual attraction

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Sanity Panda

Would this just be friendship?

Sexual attraction is part of love surely. I've distinction made about sexual attraction and love, but why is that distinction made. If we could seperate sexual attraction from love, what else can we seperate from the common idea of love and for it still be to be love.

No aesthetic attraction, no sexual attraction, no physical attraction... Can it still be considered as love?

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BunnyK.
Would this just be friendship?

Sexual attraction is part of love surely. I've distinction made about sexual attraction and love, but why is that distinction made. If we could seperate sexual attraction from love, what else can we seperate from the common idea of love and for it still be to be love.

No aesthetic attraction, no sexual attraction, no physical attraction... Can it still be considered as love?

Well, yeah.

I'm not attracted physically in any way to my parents, sisters and brothers, cousins, uncles, grandparents, etc. I would say I still love one of my ex-boyfriends, just not in a romantic way anymore - but I know I'd go to the mat for him if I had to. Of course, I still think he's attractive, I just don't have the desire to act on it anymore, so maybe that's not the same thing. But family love, at least, isn't based on attraction at all.

The only time that sexual attraction and love HAVE to be linked for me is in a romantic relationship.

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Sanity Panda
But family love, at least, isn't based on attraction at all.

The only time that sexual attraction and love HAVE to be linked for me is in a romantic relationship.

Makes sense. It's sort of weird. What is holding up the family love?

I was under the impression that love is all about attraction in some way.

If we lose the emotional attraction part. I wouldn't think there is love...

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mumbleberry

.

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ghosts

Cross-posting this from Apositive...

Mayhaps everyone experiences "romantic attraction" differently. I feel like calling myself "aromantic" means I'd be denying my feelings, yet "romantic" doesn't quite seem to fit either. I mean... I don't know. I guess I feel like romantic vs. aromantic is another way of setting up a clear dividing line between 2 different types of relationships, which doesn't seem to work for me right now. Maybe romantic attraction is really a combination of different kinds of attractions and emotions and hormonal things going on in people.

There seems to be a lot of sentiments that "If you have to ask, you haven't felt it." & while that may be true in some cases, I have to imagine that people experience something like "romantic attraction" differently. I mean, romance is such a vague word, & it means so many different things for people, from chocolates & flowers & candlelit dinners, to butterflies in the stomach & sexual desire, to wanting to be in a monogamous relationship & getting married. But does it mean that for all of us? Is there really only one kind of attraction, with certain kinds of experiences & leading to certain kinds of desires, that can be categorized as "romantic attraction" in all people? I hope I'm explaining myself well enough here...

Maybe if you experience something that you think should be called "romantic attraction", this is one of those instances in which you should use that word to best fit your own experiences. In my own situation, I'm a little nervous of using it because I'm trying to think of my relationships in different ways so I don't want to use a sort of binary way of thinking about my feelings, even though I certainly get different feelings about different people. Maybe I'll end up finding that "romantic attraction" is a good word to use for how I feel at some point, but I don't know.

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Jill Bug

I don't know. Is it assumed that all aesthetic attraction is sexual? If so, why?

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Haunter
For romantic asexuals, love is just as real as it is to sexuals. You don't feel the stomach-clenching butterflies and dream constantly about your friends. The only difference with asexuals is that sex doesnt even cross our minds, or our dreams. Romantic asexuals will often want to kiss, cuddle, care intensely for and are practically head over heals with the person that they love. They will find them aesthetically and physically attractive, just not in a sexual way.

I can speak from experience. I'm completely asexual and uninterested in sex, however, I have been in love for nearly four years now. Albeit, it's unrequited (which I'm sure a lot of sexuals can relate to) and thus very painful, but I can tell you now that the way I feel for them is NOTHING like how I feel for friends and family. It's much more arresting, intense...almost exhilarating except for the realisation that they arent interested which feels like taking a hard kick to the stomach. And all the time whilst feeling this way, I'm not interested in having sex with them one bit.

If thats not love then I don't know what is!

Pretty much the same story here. :( Love to me is wanting to do everything except sex to make your adored one happy... including giving your life for her... without thinking it over. I don't really think I could feel that for a friend. Of course asexual love includes aesthetic attraction among other things, but I don't think aesthetics has too much to do with sex. In my opinion, genitals, the act itself and the afterwards general image are disgusting.

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PrairieGhost

This is a question my boyfriend has asked me more than once, and it's not an easy one to explain. I can't really put it into words, but even without sexual attraction as a factor, the love I feel for my boyfriend is immensely different from the love I feel for my father, felt for my brother, or would feel for a friend. I feel connected and complete having Civa in my life, and I love him deeply. I do have sex with him, for his sake, because I know that it is a crucial part of the relationship for him, but I just don't feel that necessity the way he does. That doesn't mean I don't love him as deeply and romantically as he does me--it just means that the way I'm wired means that I feel compelled to express my love differently.

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evanescence
This is a question my boyfriend has asked me more than once, and it's not an easy one to explain. I can't really put it into words, but even without sexual attraction as a factor, the love I feel for my boyfriend is immensely different from the love I feel for my father, felt for my brother, or would feel for a friend. I feel connected and complete having Civa in my life, and I love him deeply. I do have sex with him, for his sake, because I know that it is a crucial part of the relationship for him, but I just don't feel that necessity the way he does. That doesn't mean I don't love him as deeply and romantically as he does me--it just means that the way I'm wired means that I feel compelled to express my love differently.

Very well put. I once fell in love with a guy (who in retrospect I believe was asexual or close to it -- a shame it didn't work out!) with whom I had a brief (3-month) but very intense relationship that left me severely depressed for a year and a half after it ended. So I'm living proof that intense romantic, aesthetic and physical attraction is definitely possible without sexual attraction. The notion that "without sex it's just friendship" is misguided, IMO. Maybe SOME people feel this way, but many don't.

Freelance

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solaris32

You can love a lifetime partner or whatever you want to call them without sexual attraction. I believe this and this is the ideal relationship for a lifetime partner or whatever.

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Jazmin
Would this just be friendship?

Sexual attraction is part of love surely. I've distinction made about sexual attraction and love, but why is that distinction made. If we could seperate sexual attraction from love, what else can we seperate from the common idea of love and for it still be to be love.

No aesthetic attraction, no sexual attraction, no physical attraction... Can it still be considered as love?

For romantic asexuals, love is just as real as it is to sexuals. You don't feel the stomach-clenching butterflies and dream constantly about your friends. The only difference with asexuals is that sex doesnt even cross our minds, or our dreams. Romantic asexuals will often want to kiss, cuddle, care intensely for and are practically head over heals with the person that they love. They will find them aesthetically and physically attractive, just not in a sexual way.

I can speak from experience. I'm completely asexual and uninterested in sex, however, I have been in love for nearly four years now. Albeit, it's unrequited (which I'm sure a lot of sexuals can relate to) and thus very painful, but I can tell you now that the way I feel for them is NOTHING like how I feel for friends and family. It's much more arresting, intense...almost exhilarating except for the realisation that they arent interested which feels like taking a hard kick to the stomach. And all the time whilst feeling this way, I'm not interested in having sex with them one bit.

If thats not love then I don't know what is!

You've captured perfectly in words how I feel, Midge.

For me (as a romantic asexual) there's TWO types of love that I feel - and they are distinctly different to one another. Firstly there is the love I feel for my family, parents, and friends. Then there is that 'romantic-type' of love - aesthetic and physical attractions do exist, but I don't ever think to myself "I'd really want to have sex with this person".

However, just because the desire to have sex with them is not there, it doesn't mean my love for them is somehow equivalent to the type of love I would have for my parents. NO. It is completely different - because the feelings I get are completely different. When a romantic asexual person falls in love (or even just crushes on someone), they still get butterflies, like being around the person a lot, and so on - I don't see how this is any different to what a sexual person would feel - EXCEPT for the part about wanting to have sex. That would be the only difference.

But I'd still call it love. ^_^

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bbctv

i was once in love with someone and i was not attracted to her sexually, though i did have a desire to be physically affectionate. i thought she was pretty, but i didn't love her for being pretty. it felt a lot different than friendship, and when we ended up parting ways it SURE hit me harder than any other goodbye i've ever had.

i don't think absolute answers are possible to questions regarding feelings - everyone is different. but i like hearing what life is like for other people.

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Jazmin
i was once in love with someone and i was not attracted to her sexually, though i did have a desire to be physically affectionate. i thought she was pretty, but i didn't love her for being pretty.

I also feel a desire for physical affection such as hugs when I like someone. And it's like what you said - even if I find the other person good-looking, that's not the reason I love them. I just love them - their whole person, their personality, and being around them. However, I find that the more I like someone, the more aesthetically pleasing they seem to appear to me. The opposite applies also - the more I dislike someone, the more aestheticalling displeasing they will appear.

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XdarkmusicianX

True love between Asexuals is still love, a deep emotional connection between partners. Sex isn't love, and love isn't sex. Love doesn't require sex. While Asexuals may prefer to form relationships, that doesn't mean that they all completely give up on love. There are actually Asexual couples out there that love each other and get married and live completely normal, happy, fulfilled lives - just without sex.

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AVENCakes
Would this just be friendship?

Sexual attraction is part of love surely. I've distinction made about sexual attraction and love, but why is that distinction made. If we could seperate sexual attraction from love, what else can we seperate from the common idea of love and for it still be to be love.

No aesthetic attraction, no sexual attraction, no physical attraction... Can it still be considered as love?

I didn't realize that love and attraction were synonymous. I guess magnets are desperately in love with each other.

Love has nothing to do with attraction. Attraction can be the catalyst of a relationship that grows love- but you can love someone without being attracted to them. It's part of why the internet is dangerous. You can be in love with a person you've never met, only to find out they were lying to you the whole time. Not that they can't lie to you in person, it's just easier with text and smiley faces.

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ThePieMaker
Would this just be friendship?

Sexual attraction is part of love surely. I've distinction made about sexual attraction and love, but why is that distinction made. If we could seperate sexual attraction from love, what else can we seperate from the common idea of love and for it still be to be love.

No aesthetic attraction, no sexual attraction, no physical attraction... Can it still be considered as love?

If that's true, then I don't think I'll ever love, which is really depressing.

That's why I'm inclined to believe it's not true. As an asexual, I don't need the physical part to love. I look for deep emotional connections. Hell, I don't even need to think someone is "hot" to completely adore them. My equivalency of sex is like a really great conversation with someone I am crazy about that leaves me with this amazing feeling afterwards and I can't say anything but "wow."

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Sanity Panda

Perhaps I'm using attraction in the broadest sense but it doesn't make sense to know somebody but not be attracted to them in some manner, else there would be no connection at all. But I get your point :D

Now I'm just thinking why I created this thread in the first place. Perhaps it's due to the fact that I believe emotional attraction/connection to be part of love, but that'd mean that sexual attraction is also a part of love. I was just curious what this love could be made up of, if asexuals had the ability to remove the sexual attraction and still define it is as love.

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Brit_in_Canada

Poets describe love as a 'drug'. I think there may be science in that. When somebody is being sensual toward me I experience sensations ranging from relaxation to exhilaration, similar to that which I might experience on a windy day in a forest when the trees are thrashing all about me. It is very ethereal, but I experience no desire for sexual intimacy.

I suspect that 'love' produces opiates of some description in the brain and it is possible to experience an emotional/sensual bond with someone without experiencing any urge to become sexually intimate. This is my pet theory.

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DavidG

I generally think of it as being the same difference as the one between a lover and a friend-with-benefits for sexuals, if that helps. :)

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jcortese

I don't know. Friendship sounds like a very cool word for the feeling I have for my closest nonsexual relationships. These people are treasures to me, even if we aren't fucking. I have other people who are definitely "friends," but these people are more like soulmates, the sorts of people whose sentences you can finish, and who you can envision yourself having a worthwhile, fruitful, wonderful several decades of interaction with, people who you miss like hell when you haven't seen them for a while, etc. Sex may not be part of the picture, but I can see myself retiring to a nice villa or a duplex someplace with them around. Like what Katharine Hepburn said about men and women who swear they love one another and want to spend the rest of the lives together: "They should buy houses next door and visit every once in a while."

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noah-x

Pure love is far from sex... like BunnyK said... i love my family without any sexual atraction... nevertheless... i've never loved anyone outside my family.

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Jonathon T

hell yes. the women ive been in love with i feel very differently towards than my friends. its not based in thought. its when im near her i feel lighter and i get nervous and all the same 'romantic' feelings that ive heard described, just not sexually attracted, even when sexually aroused. i have no doubt that asexual love can go far far beyond friendship

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Jonathon T
Poets describe love as a 'drug'. I think there may be science in that. When somebody is being sensual toward me I experience sensations ranging from relaxation to exhilaration, similar to that which I might experience on a windy day in a forest when the trees are thrashing all about me. It is very ethereal, but I experience no desire for sexual intimacy.

I suspect that 'love' produces opiates of some description in the brain and it is possible to experience an emotional/sensual bond with someone without experiencing any urge to become sexually intimate. This is my pet theory.

im going slightly off topic here but i love the topic this post brings up.

sensuality is something great that ive found most people in the world are missing out on. especially the sexual! it seems stupid but being asexual actually makes you a better lover :) i can agree with all of this quote, but i feel the need to mention that i dont believe you can control who you fall in love with. whether you can live with them or not is the tricky part.

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Tool1989

Well I think a relationship is just like a friendship only that in a relatinoship you are closer and more intimate to just one person. Like you have an emotional bond and feel like you can talk about anything to anyone. If you are a romantic asexual, then maybe you will want cuddles with that one special person. Maybe holding hands or just not doing anything can be a relationship. There is no clear cut way to define a relationship. You have to define it for yourself and for the guy/girl you are with.

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jr1

love and lust get confused as one in the same

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JustJudy

I can not understand how there is anything loving about the sex act. I think if someone truly loved me they would NEVER consider sticking that thing in me. I used to have sex a lot and it had nothing to do with love. I have sat and lay and only cuddled with a man and it had everything to do with love.

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