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vogue

Can sexuals describe what 'sexual attraction' is to them?

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vogue

I'm not quite sure what I am (not adopting a label at this time..) but think having some helpful observation & thoughts about what 'sexual attraction' is to you... how you've experienced the feeling.. may help me out.

I think I have experienced it, but it's been on very rare occassions...

thanks in advance :)

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BlackRose

Sure, I'll give it a try. I am pretty sure I'm sexual, since sex is so important to me, and I may be somewhat aromantic. For me, feeling sexually aroused is a powerful urge of physical pleasure, pulling and drawing me in. I feel it all over my body but especially in my sex organs. When I'm sexually aroused *by another person*, it's usually because they're either naked, and I can see their genitals, or because they have a beautifully perfect curved face and body, or because they said something to me that makes me think of having sex with them. It feels like an intense desire to take them, to possess them, to use them for my pleasure. It's a strong urge that I need them, that I need my penis inside them, to be satisfied or happy. It feels like they are so cool and awesome and beautiful, and I just *want* and *need* them and can't help myself. I find it difficult sometimes to distinguish between being sexually aroused in general, with a person there to have sex with, and being sexually attracted to a person in particular.

Hope this makes some sense and feel free to ask anything else.

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vogue

Sure, I'll give it a try. I am pretty sure I'm sexual, since sex is so important to me, and I may be somewhat aromantic. For me, feeling sexually aroused is a powerful urge of physical pleasure, pulling and drawing me in. I feel it all over my body but especially in my sex organs. When I'm sexually aroused *by another person*, it's usually because they're either naked, and I can see their genitals, or because they have a beautifully perfect curved face and body, or because they said something to me that makes me think of having sex with them. It feels like an intense desire to take them, to possess them, to use them for my pleasure. It's a strong urge that I need them, that I need my penis inside them, to be satisfied or happy. It feels like they are so cool and awesome and beautiful, and I just *want* and *need* them and can't help myself. I find it difficult sometimes to distinguish between being sexually aroused in general, with a person there to have sex with, and being sexually attracted to a person in particular.

Hope this makes some sense and feel free to ask anything else.

Thanks, this does help a bit...:) good explanation of how you feel... I can relate to this part: "For me, feeling sexually aroused is a powerful urge of physical pleasure, pulling and drawing me in. " but the part about seeing someone naked makes you aroused... I don't think I've really felt that :/ I don't get turned on by seeing a guy's private parts... I CAN get turned on, however, by touching their muscles (I like if a guy works out for this reason lol... call me superficial if you want, it's just a personal turn-on)..or if they have a nice body/face... I've never really felt an urge to have SEX itself though. But I have felt physically attracted & aroused down there, I'd just desired to do other things besides sex. This is very likely related to a fear/phobia I've had of sex though... so it's a bit hard for me to distinguish. Thanks again. :)

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Acing-it too

This is very likely related to a fear/phobia I've had of sex though... so it's a bit hard for me to distinguish. Thanks again. :)

What if you were to explore this phobia/fear and for the time being forget about being asexual/sexual, and see where it takes you? If that is what is stopping you from being fully sexual, it will show up I'm sure, if you focus on exploring this. Just a thought...

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BlackRose

but the part about seeing someone naked makes you aroused... I don't think I've really felt that :/ I don't get turned on by seeing a guy's private parts... I CAN get turned on, however, by touching their muscles (I like if a guy works out for this reason lol... call me superficial if you want, it's just a personal turn-on)..or if they have a nice body/face...

Yeah, different people get turned on by different senses and different things. The way you feel when you touch a guy's muscles is probably really similar to the way I feel when a girl spreads her legs open, all magical and tingly and like there's something intriguing about that part of them that you just can't explain. I don't know why the folds and curves and colors and scents of a girl's private parts have such a powerful emotional effect on me, but they do.

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vogue

This is very likely related to a fear/phobia I've had of sex though... so it's a bit hard for me to distinguish. Thanks again. :)

What if you were to explore this phobia/fear and for the time being forget about being asexual/sexual, and see where it takes you? If that is what is stopping you from being fully sexual, it will show up I'm sure, if you focus on exploring this. Just a thought...

Thanks, but how can I explore this? I feel like something is really wrong with me.. I just completed this quiz/survey on this board for sexuals... (about sexuals' sex drive, need for sex in a relationship, etc.) and I feel like I can't relate to either asexuals or sexuals... I have no sex drive, to begin with. I don't masturbate. I don't think of anything when I do touch myself, and if I went years without sex, i'd be fine i think... (well, so far I am a virgin.. I'd be fine, physically, with it, but emotionally/psychologically, I feel a bit screwed up for it, due to the social consequences, hit to my self-esteem, etc..) Even though I'm a virgin *by choice* it's only partly by choice, because I have no desire to have sex... and I feel like something is wrong with me for that. Yes, it's partly due to a fear of sex but also partly due to having no sex drive.

I feel like soemthing is seriously wrong with me. I should probably talk with a counsellor, but I have no idea of even where to begin.. .it's so hard for me to talk about with people, especially counsellors... I've had a lot of bad luck with the psychiatrists I have seen (3 in total), who have dismissed me as being 'normal' without problems, and don't really appreciate how it's affecting me... it may be partly because I know the image I present and don't really want to break down & show my vulnerabilities... I don't know. :( I should say, however, that I haven't talked with any psych's about my sex issues... just OCD/anxiety issues, and how they affected my academics. It's VERY difficult for me to discuss sex.

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Acing-it too

I went years without sex, i'd be fine i think... (well, so far I am a virgin.. I'd be fine, physically, with it, but emotionally/psychologically, I feel a bit screwed up for it, due to the social consequences, hit to my self-esteem, etc..) Even though I'm a virgin *by choice* it's only partly by choice, because I have no desire to have sex... and I feel like something is wrong with me for that. Yes, it's partly due to a fear of sex but also partly due to having no sex drive.

I feel like soemthing is seriously wrong with me. I should probably talk with a counsellor, but I have no idea of even where to begin.. .it's so hard for me to talk about with people, especially counsellors... I've had a lot of bad luck with the psychiatrists I have seen (3 in total), who have dismissed me as being 'normal' without problems, and don't really appreciate how it's affecting me... it may be partly because I know the image I present and don't really want to break down & show my vulnerabilities... I don't know. :( I should say, however, that I haven't talked with any psych's about my sex issues... just OCD/anxiety issues, and how they affected my academics. It's VERY difficult for me to discuss sex.

All of the above sounds so familiar, although I possibly find it a bit easier to talk about sex to some people. I found it very difficult to talk to counsellors about this, or people I'm close to though. I didn't mean exploring your fear of sex by engaging in it. I have explored these feelings by exploring them internally.. by thinking about where this fear could come from and what 'fear of sex' means in all its forms.. how it fits in with what i am and who I am.. what sounds familiar etc... For me that was really helpful. I also think I'm further along the way of accepting all these conflicting and very difficult feelings, thoughts and parts of my personality maybe. For me that was the key to not being trouble by all of this anymore, at least not to the same extent. It still annoys me no end a lot of the time when people pigeon hole me or discriminate against me. My mind is 50% male 50% female I was able to discover through several tests and counselling and therefore i find it difficult to have male friends. Women are always very keen to pigeon hole me as male with a sex drive and 'they better be careful and not get too close to me', which causes me considerable pain and difficulty in finding friends. I believe though, that in time and with enough effort and work, but also trust and patience, I will get to a place where I'm happy and not attached to those feelings anymore.

I don't know if this is helpful at all.. it's an explanation of where I'm coming from and how I am working on those things...

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BrightColours

As a Pan-sexual i find it that whenever i meet someone or see some who i find pretty, cute, or beautiful (saved for my Asexual Wife and androgynous)

i have a want to see them nude and or sleep with them.

It doesnt matter the gender, if they are the body type and dressed to my liking i want them.

Kinda like a longing but more of just a want.

it usually starts in the head and then moves to my skin and then to my genitals.

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Pamcakes

Attraction? Some people conflate it with arousal, but they're different experiences for me.

Arousal is a general physical yearning that, if it goes on too long, makes me shaky, distracted, makes me grind my teeth and want to run or box or do anything energetic and aggressive just to have an outlet. Attraction is when I find myself hanging on someone's every word, when I want to be around them as much as possible, when in a group they're always the focus of my attention, when they seem utterly intellectually intriguing and because they seem so fascinating, interacting with them makes me feel awkward and unable to relax, uncomfortably aware of myself. Looks are nice, but I've been initially attracted to lots of guys who, objectively, were very average looking, just because the connection was made in another way, but once I am attracted to someone, I start to find them better looking, subjectively.

P.

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vogue

Thank you so much for the thoughtful and very insightful comments here!! This really is excellent and much appreciated. Pancakes I feel a bit better after reading your post, because I just recently met and became attracted to a man almost twice my age...(I'm 25, he's 42 I believe....) and (not to sound conceited)...but I am much better looking. I know my parents and friends wouldn't approve of us dating...but I think attraction is something you can't control and even though he's physically not exactly my 'type' per se, emotionally and mentally, we are a real fit...and there's insane energy between us at times which I can't help! Ie. Just passing a pen to him, and both of our fingers on it sparked something in me, right down my spine, a tingle,,.I looked at him and he blushed, so I know he felt it too. That's electrifying....that level of connection is hard to find. But we'll see what happens, it may not work out in the long-term for various reasons but in the short-term, I can't quite help it.

And the energy/need to work out thing is odd...I get bouts of energy everyday (I thought it was due to having a chemical imbalance, I have OCD as well...) and had to work out 7x/wk...but I think it may also be sexual pent up?? I get no sexual release (I'm still a virgin..) but I've never thought of that 'energy' as being sexual in nature. Now that I think of it, though, it could be repressed sexual energy as well...like I worked out at the gym earlier today and still feel super energized and need to run...and I do feel a bit of sexual tension. But possibly due to psychological issues (I may need counseling for..) I've never felt a real need to masturbate or feel sexual...it could be more complicated than I thought:(

A_man: thanks so much for your post as well. I feel like I can relate to a lot of what you wrote and I think I may also need counselling for this...due to depression and finding the root cause for my fear of sex. It could take a while- I'm glad you've progressed and don't let society's judgments influence you and your self-image. Be the person you are, not the person society tries to tell you to be!!! I need to learn that more myself.

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The Wolf

For me sexual attraction happens when I see someone I find sexually attractive, it feels like this electric jolt that shoots from somewhere mid-stomach to my genitals.

I become instantly distracted. If I was speaking I suddenly start talking in a monotone and d r a g g i n g...m y...w o r d s...r i g h t...o u t..

The whole thing lasts a few seconds. But if they're extra fine they'll stay in my fantasies for approximately 3 days.

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Pamcakes

I had a friend over for dinner, the other night.

I was talking to her and my boyfriend, while I was at the counter, chopping veggies, and the two of them were leaning against the other side, chatting to me over it. I made the mistake, at one point, of looking up and into my boyfriend's eyes, whereupon I trailed off mid-sentence. My girlfriend thought it was hilarious and teased me about it all evening. I was mortified, because I thought that only happens in movies.

P.

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Baroness Peron

Hmm, glad I found this thread, as I've been wondering the same thing myself. I never used to distinguish between sexual attraction and other types of attraction, since I sorta thought they were the same thing. I think after reading through a couple of your descriptions I can pretty much assert that sexual attraction is something I've never felt.

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somewhere_else

Hmm. I have something to consider & think about too, reading this thread. I'm really glad and grateful for the sexuals who have been willing to be very honest, specific, and so detailed about this because it really helps. And it's hard (for me it is, anyway) to ask or talk about this with friends or the people in my life; too embarrassing. Thank heaven for online anonymity which allows such discussion & takes away that embarrassment & dread! :D

I've considered myself a sexual because I can definitely feel sexual desire - or maybe I mean arousal? But I've been confused about those...'swoony'? feelings (the mental distraction people above have described, the physical rush/desire sensations in various areas of the body - that bodily 'pull' feeling or sometimes a 'weakness' feeling in the knees or somewhere. All this I describe as 'swoony feelings' (lol).

I've never felt them. Not yet, anyway.

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Pamcakes

I've considered myself a sexual because I can definitely feel sexual desire - or maybe I mean arousal? But I've been confused about those...'swoony'? feelings (the mental distraction people above have described, the physical rush/desire sensations in various areas of the body - that bodily 'pull' feeling or sometimes a 'weakness' feeling in the knees or somewhere. All this I describe as 'swoony feelings' (lol).

I've never felt them. Not yet, anyway.

Literal swoony feelings; the first time I kissed my boyfriend (after two days of non-stop tension buildup, spent lying on a couch in each others' arms and pretty much just staring at each other - looking back, it boggles me we didn't get bored), I got a rush of vertigo, sort of like the way your head goes light in the first moment a plane you're on pulls away from the ground, and it was sufficiently powerful and disorienting that, if I wasn't lying down, I firmly believe I might have fallen over. That said, that's never happened to me before with anyone else.

P.

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LouLou

I've always had this question in my mind...after reading some of this, I am definitely asexual, no question about it lol

I think that this is a cool topic :)

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somewhere_else

[...]the first time I kissed my boyfriend[...]I got a rush of vertigo, sort of like the way your head goes light in the first moment a plane you're on pulls away from the ground, and it was sufficiently powerful and disorienting that, if I wasn't lying down, I firmly believe I might have fallen over. That said, that's never happened to me before with anyone else.

P.

First note: Yeah, but it has happened to you. That's the main point/distinction that stands out, to me.

I know that this kind of reaction is the kind of stuff you read about in romance novels and such; and I know that it's a real phenomenon because people repeat similar feelings (IRL) over and over (hence how it GOT into romance novels)...but, in your opinion, could you state how universal, amongst sexuals (who experience sexual attraction), you think that these feelings are? Like...70%? 80%? 99%, or higher (of them, you think experience this)?

I know it will probably be hard to say--I'm just looking for your opinion. A wild stab of a guess based on vague impressions you get is fine. Or, shoot, if you've actually polled your friends and acquaintances, that's great, too. ;)

I guess what I'm wondering a bit is: Is it possible to experience sexual attraction - or what you feel is sexual attraction - in some other way?- or a way that does not include, by necessity, these types of sensations? In other words, are these type of feelings/sensations the *very definition of* the thing (more or less)?

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Pamcakes

I know that this kind of reaction is the kind of stuff you read about in romance novels and such; and I know that it's a real phenomenon because people repeat similar feelings (IRL) over and over (hence how it GOT into romance novels)...but, in your opinion, could you state how universal, amongst sexuals (who experience sexual attraction), you think that these feelings are? Like...70%? 80%? 99%, or higher (of them, you think experience this)?

I know it will probably be hard to say--I'm just looking for your opinion. A wild stab of a guess based on vague impressions you get is fine. Or, shoot, if you've actually polled your friends and acquaintances, that's great, too. ;)

Sorry, I have no idea. I've never really asked any of my friends, even conversationally, to describe what they feel when they fancy someone. It's just never come up.

P.

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Member 35376

Even though it happens that I do have sex now and then.. I am really having a hard time identifying "sexual attraction" in my life. When going through all my memories there really should be something like that but I can't seem to find it. This is pretty interesting. I am behaving like some trained animal. I know what "sexual arousal" is (though many other feelings are more powerful than that).. but I can't find "sexual attraction" anywhere. It does make sense though.. I have often had sex when others wanted it (99% of the cases). There seems to be no actual desire inside of me to have sex with someone. Yea.. no desire. At all.

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LucienObviously

I haven't been particularly sexually active, but for me, I guess sexual attraction is the need to be as close to the other person as possible. I'm sure their looks have something to do with it, but it's mostly sentimental. I'm sorry if that's a bad explanation.

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Palovana

I just stumbled upon this thread and...wow. I mean, WOW. I think I can quash any speculation that I may not be asexual. I have never, ever felt this way about anyone. I don't want to sound like a jerk but to me, feeling like that about someone else is just...weird. To me at least. I can't believe so many people feel like this! I can't say I feel like I'm missing out on something. I could never fathom that. I can understand liking how someone looks or their personality, and wanting to be around them, but to see them naked or to sleep with them? Weeeeeird!

Please don't take offense, I'm not trying to be mean or anything. I'm just...stunned...that that's what people mean when they say their sexually attracted to someone, and that the majority of the human population feels that way.

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Pamcakes

It's understandable to not be able to empathise with something you've never experienced, Antihero.

I didn't see anything offensive in your post, at all. :)

P.

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Tigermilk

Same here, Antihero, I'm experiencing that as well. A lot of my assumptions on what sexual attraction was supposed to be are turning up kind of false. I can't really empathise with almost any of the stuff written here. Heh, the most I feel drawn to do when looking at a really attractive person is to hug them or befriend them or just look at them more or something.

Thank you so much to everyone who's written about their experiences! :)

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vmg15

What both Antihero and Tigermilk said...

I was always under the impression that what I felt was sexual attraction (for women? if that makes sense (to elaborate, I've always hung out with guys. They would always talk about wanting to have sex with girls they found hot but I just assumed that was the male version of or at least male "talk" for my feelings, which are more wanting to get to know someone better or the like)). But after reading the wiki, and this, and some other things... Definitely not sexual attraction! Romantic and some aesthetic attraction, yes.

I had no idea it was normal for both men and women to have strong and almost uncontrollable sexual desires for people they don't even know. I always just thought horny or unfulfilled men did it (which has caused my feelings to be hurt a number of times, as I have no way to relate or even understand where they were coming from).

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Vermeulen

Man, this was helpful. I enjoy reading romantic fan fiction but I've never felt any desire to kiss or anything more extreme with anyone I've ever met.

Reading fan fiction I know that the relationships in the stories are idealized and written as a kind of wish fulfillment for the author and audience. The author has control over all aspects of the people in the relationship and the circumstances. So when I started being sad that this magical whatever it is that these people have I'll never have I was wondering to what extent what they were describing was made up.

Reading this allot of the experiences people have seems to at least fit into the realm of things I was jealous of the characters for.

I am who I am and I like being me. But I feel kind of sad that I will never have this quintessential human experience, that many people find so central in their lives.

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Wineblood

I had no idea it was normal for both men and women to have strong and almost uncontrollable sexual desires for people they don't even know.

That's my main hurdle in understanding it. When I was small, all the media I saw depicted women having birtually no "urges" so now that feels very weird when I see it in real life.

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MetalGoblin

I glanced over this thread, and it seems that I don't have a good understanding of what sexual attraction is. I've been thinking of myself as Gray-A, because I'm pretty sure that I have felt it, but I don't know if I still do. Some people have described it as a desire to be close with another person, but I don't know. I had feelings for somebody once and I wanted to be close with her, but I found the thought of having sex with her to be terrifying. Before this happened I was a typical sex obsessed teenager (though I don't think that I would have had sex if I had ever come across the opportunity), but when I actually developed romantic feelings for someone I no longer wanted sex. I'm sorry for going off topic.

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test account

Hmm.

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Pamcakes

I can't help thinking that people interpret 'sexual attraction' in different ways:

1. attraction to a person that is in some ways related to sexuality (which seems more romantic or aesthetic attraction to me)

2. attraction to the sexual act itself

I guess it's different for everyone. For me, it means feeling a tactile desire to stroke and give physical pleasure to someone I trust and respect, and to enjoy receiving the same back. Until I get to know a person and how they relate to me, I may feel sexually attracted to them based on their appearance or other traits. But it isn't a 'switch on/switch off' thing with me. It grows as I get to know the person more and find that they are what I want in a lover. I don't let initial arousal make the decision for me because that to me is only fantasy. I would hate to unfurl myself to a person who is physically attractive only to find that they are poison inside. I want to give love to my partner and I want it to be real.

This, actually. I couldn't have put it better.

P.

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Not-You

There's definitely a continuum, but if I actually want to have sex with a woman, it boils down to pretty much two things, for me:

1) I want to know (and find out) what she feels like, smells like, tastes like, and looks like (yes, I suppose I mean all of these things while naked), and

2) I want to make her toes curl.

There's only ever been one woman who I feel this way about.

Sorry if that's too graphic. There are women who I find attractive (Angelina Jolie just for example--she's beautiful but I don't think I want to have sex with her) whom I don't actually want to have sex with.

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