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vogue

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

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Duka

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.

I made an account because I wanted to let you know this is kind of how I feel.

I've always Identified as a homosexual but whenever I develop romantic feelings for guys, I do not want to have sex with them. I enjoy the idea of sex but when it comes down to it, I do not want to follow through with it.

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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.

I made an account because I wanted to let you know this is kind of how I feel.

I've always Identified as a homosexual but whenever I develop romantic feelings for guys, I do not want to have sex with them. I enjoy the idea of sex but when it comes down to it, I do not want to follow through with it.

I'm glad to see that I am not alone. Anyway, welcome to AVEN. :cake:

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theo_tatertot

I have a related question, and after glancing over this thread, my question has only sort-of been answered. This has probably already been addressed elsewhere, but I'm just going to put it in this thread anyway - HOW OFTEN do you experience sexual attraction? What I mean is, how many people have you been sexually attracted to?

Also, I was talking to some friends about sexuality/asexuality awhile ago. I'm not sure if these are exactly the words they used, but I think this is pretty close. They all said that they could tell if they would want to have sex and/or a sexual relationship with a person almost immediately after first meeting him/her. Is this sexual attraction, or...?

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Not-You

What I mean is, how many people have you been sexually attracted to?

Oh man! That is an Ace question if I've ever seen one :P(no offense, please!!!) . I'm gonna guess hundreds; there's no way to keep track.

They could tell if they would want to have sex and/or a sexual relationship with a person almost immediately after first meeting him/her. Is this sexual attraction, or...?

Sure. Think about your avatar. I see those tots and now I WANT TOTS RIGHT NOW. But, I'm not actually going to go out of my way to go find some.

There's a difference between being sexually attracted to a person and actively making it your goal to have sex with him/her. I see a pretty woman and I think (sometimes) she's hot. Sometimes I see a woman and think "I wonder what having sex with her would be like?" Once, I met a woman and thought both of those things. A while later, I thought "I am actually going to make it my goal to have sex with her." I married that woman.

Sexuals are as varied as Aces, keep in mind. Some of us "get around," and some of us don't. But I would say that most of us find hundreds of people sexually attractive.

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Olivier

I have a related question, and after glancing over this thread, my question has only sort-of been answered. This has probably already been addressed elsewhere, but I'm just going to put it in this thread anyway - HOW OFTEN do you experience sexual attraction? What I mean is, how many people have you been sexually attracted to?

Also, I was talking to some friends about sexuality/asexuality awhile ago. I'm not sure if these are exactly the words they used, but I think this is pretty close. They all said that they could tell if they would want to have sex and/or a sexual relationship with a person almost immediately after first meeting him/her. Is this sexual attraction, or...?

I've used this analogy before, and I'm sure I've explained it better (I'm short for time right now), but I think it's quite like your sense of smell. It's on 24/7, and you smell everyone you meet. But really, you only ever notice that if there's something striking about the way they smell, otherwise you don't even pay it a second thought. Same with sexual attraction. On some level, you're aware of the sexual attractiveness of everyone you encounter, but it doesn't really intrude on your thoughts unless it's really quite intense.

As for how often that happens... For me, pretty much every time I see my wife, and I may find about one in twenty strangers (of the right gender, of the right age range, etc) somewhat sexy, ranging from a very mild "that's nice" (common) to a complete "wow" (rare, rare, rare).

But that's just being aware of sexual attractiveness; desire to act on that in any way is another thing entirely.

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theo_tatertot

Thanks for your responses. I guess I'm not 100% sure what I identify as, and information like this really helps. Also, I'm in college, so it's especially nice to talk about stuff like this here to get a more varied perspective :)

Not-Trapped: no offense taken, haha :D But at the same time, the more I realize this:

Sexuals are as varied as Aces, keep in mind.

the more I think that maybe things aren't as clear as I often think they are.

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Tanwen

Not-Trapped: no offense taken, haha :D But at the same time, the more I realize this:

Sexuals are as varied as Aces, keep in mind.

the more I think that maybe things aren't as clear as I often think they are.

That's so true for many things in life...very little (if anything) is 'black or white', there's a myriad shades of grey in between.

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theo_tatertot

Very true...and maybe I should clarify that I was referring to my own sexuality/experience in particular

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Rivan Vox

I'd love a chance to explain my own view.

Recently, I went to GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) and GLYSN (Gay and Lesbian Youth Services Network) summit.

I met a few people there that I was attracted to instantly.

The first was a transgirl who was the picture of adorable (and I sincerely still cannot tell that she was trans) and I just wanted to stare at her. I never worked up the courage to talk to her because I was just overwhelmed by the cute, because of her voice. I've very susceptible to voices.

The second and third are two of my new friends. One reminded me very strongly of an ex-girlfriend, and she had an amazing chest and was nice. I would have to, you know, cuddle, kiss, fondle, etc. her.

The other.. well, I'm morally attracted, by and far. She's a good person. I'd like to have a deep relationship with her, with maybe some kissing and cuddles ^_^

My sexuality is, currently, Marshmallow for this reason. Because I have no interest in sex and don't experience sexual attraction, but I do appreciate the soft parts of a person's body (lips, chest, etc).

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theo_tatertot

Thanks for you input - your experience is something I don't hear much about, even on AVEN.

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HMTQ - Madge

It's really interesting to read over all the responses in this thread. ^_^ I was wondering though, do the "swoon-y" feelings count as sexual attraction? I always thought that was romantic attraction, based on my experiences. I have definitely experienced that before, but never ever had the urge to have sex with the person I was swooning over, hence my assumption it was only romantic attraction. If someone could clear this up for me I'd really appreciate it. :lol:

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Rivan Vox

It's really interesting to read over all the responses in this thread. ^_^ I was wondering though, do the "swoon-y" feelings count as sexual attraction? I always thought that was romantic attraction, based on my experiences. I have definitely experienced that before, but never ever had the urge to have sex with the person I was swooning over, hence my assumption it was only romantic attraction. If someone could clear this up for me I'd really appreciate it. :lol:

Swooning is pretty much the paragon of romantic attraction :D

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cbc

What I mean is, how many people have you been sexually attracted to?

Oh man! That is an Ace question if I've ever seen one :P(no offense, please!!!) . I'm gonna guess hundreds; there's no way to keep track.

hrmm, well i think that just blew my mind. :P

i'd say i've found hundreds of people of both genders pleasing to the eye somehow... and maybe several dozen (?? :unsure: no idea really...) i've found myself somehow drawn to, knowing nothing about them other than what i can tell by their noticeable mannerisms and the way they look, dress, possibly speak, etc. it's certainly a type of attraction, sometimes fairly strong, but it somehow just seems to be aesthetic, and usually makes me think things like "i'd really like to have a great conversation with this person"; sometimes it has made me wonder if i could share some sort of romantic connection with them. i think a few times when i was younger, i may have had some romantic ideal of what sex was supposed to be and thought "i wonder what it'd be like to have sex with them"... but it was all about the idea of being very close and feeling loved, not because it had anything to do with what was in my pants.

heh, i'm not even sure if 'demisexual' is accurate for me anymore. i'm emotionally, romantically and intellectually attracted to my fiancé, and sex can be fun sometimes, but i guess i still have no idea what the hell sexual attraction is. oh well. :P

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theo_tatertot

CBC.Radio.Girl: That is pretty much how I feel about people/attraction. When you put it the way you do it doesn't sound strange at all, but I start to think I'm weird when I talk to/listen to other people. I'm glad you're happily engaged, and stories like that give me hope that I'll be able to find good relationships without knowing or expressing a certain type of attraction :)

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Not-You

What I mean is, how many people have you been sexually attracted to?

Oh man! That is an Ace question if I've ever seen one :P(no offense, please!!!) . I'm gonna guess hundreds; there's no way to keep track.

hrmm, well i think that just blew my mind. :P

i'd say i've found hundreds of people of both genders pleasing to the eye somehow... and maybe several dozen (?? :unsure: no idea really...) i've found myself somehow drawn to, knowing nothing about them other than what i can tell by their noticeable mannerisms and the way they look, dress, possibly speak, etc. it's certainly a type of attraction, sometimes fairly strong, but it somehow just seems to be aesthetic, and usually makes me think things like "i'd really like to have a great conversation with this person"; sometimes it has made me wonder if i could share some sort of romantic connection with them. i think a few times when i was younger, i may have had some romantic ideal of what sex was supposed to be and thought "i wonder what it'd be like to have sex with them"... but it was all about the idea of being very close and feeling loved, not because it had anything to do with what was in my pants.

heh, i'm not even sure if 'demisexual' is accurate for me anymore. i'm emotionally, romantically and intellectually attracted to my fiancé, and sex can be fun sometimes, but i guess i still have no idea what the hell sexual attraction is. oh well. :P

I guess there's just this continuum of sexual attraction, which is what I was trying to get at near the end of my quoted post (and Olivier said basically the same thing). There haven't been hundreds of women I'd WANT to have sex with. Maybe like 3-5 (which requires more than just looks for sure), and only ONE whom I actually made it my goal. Everybody else is on the eye-catching end, or maybe creeping up into the "I wonder what she looks like naked" zone. I'm having a hard time putting it into words.

Do I want to have sex with every beautiful woman I see? Absolutely not.

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Pamcakes

There have been lots of people I've found attractive, but so far only one person I've been powerfully attracted to.

P.

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iknimaya

For me, sexual attraction is an intense feeling I get in the pit of my stomach that I want to be close and I guess 'connect' with another person. I don't get sexual attraction with just anyone, but someone I have a lot of romantic feelings for. I want to please and show how much I appreciate them and just generally make them feel good. When I'm being touched (doesn't have to be sexual, but definately intimate) I feel like nothing else exists but the other person and what they are doing to make me feel good, and vice versa when I am touching them.

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Petra_Lorre

This is a fascinating question and one I've never really thought about before. I suppose there are phases of sexual attraction for me. 1. I've just met someone - or maybe not met, but made eye contact with him. Eye contact is critically important. I feel like my temperature just went up 10 degrees, my heart races, I'm breathing erratically, and I have the disconcerting feeling that I've been staring at him for 10 minutes (though it was probably closer to 3 seconds), then I have to look away. 2. I've spent some time with him in some casual situations and find myself thinking about him (read: fantasizing and replaying our every conversation) constantly. When we're together I'm acutely aware of his exact location relative to me. If he touches me it feels like an electric shock and my skin burns for minutes after he removes his hand. I stand too close to him and can't follow anything he says because I'm not able to focus - I just keep staring at his mouth. At this point I'm not really thinking about sex - just the agony of not being able to kiss him. 3. We're finally on a date or in some tacitly acknowledged intimate situation. Numbers 1 & 2 are on an endless loop until we finally kiss. I get lightheaded and have an immediate physiological response in all erogenous zones - burning, sensitivity, tightening, and, um, dampness in the southerly region (sorry if that was too TMI).

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Arlynn

The answers from sexual people definitely help me confirm that I am asexual. I've never experienced these things and I am almost 35 years old. I guess I am also definitely hetero-romantic. I'm married to a man and had several short dating relationships with other men before and only have / had desires for hugging and cuddling. I've tried sex out of curiosity with my husband who I guess also fits the definition of asexual (he also prefers hugging and cuddling and doesn't initiate anything more), and liked the close physical contact but didn't find it exciting in anyway.

Because of this, for the longest time I thought I was a heterosexual who preferred other things to sex. Until I recently got curious about myself, I thought asexual meant you never fell in love or had any kind of romantic feelings for anyone, so I didn't realize that was what I was.

I always thought movies made sex look so exciting and exaggerated just to make the story more interesting. I never understood why people seemed to be so into sex and wanting to have sex and talking about sex. Now I'm realizing (at 35!) that people around me have been experiencing something totally different than I do.

This has really clarified my orientation for me.

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MadRat

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.

"desire to take them, to possess them, to use them for my pleasure"

It sounds to me terrible, I´m sorry. Like to take a thing and use it. It makes me a little bit sure that I´m and always be happy without sex. I´ve never felt a need to have sex with someone I just saw, but I didn´t know.

I can only fell in platonic love and that drives me mad, I can´t get this godly man from my head and from my heart, I burn, I want to be close to him (even if I know I can´t), to watch him, to protect him, to help him, to make him happy when he is sad...but I don´t want to possess him, because I feel I don´t deserve him. And I dream about sex with him, but I want only to dream. Nothing more.

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test account

Hmm.

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Guest

What I mean is, how many people have you been sexually attracted to?

Oh man! That is an Ace question if I've ever seen one :P(no offense, please!!!) . I'm gonna guess hundreds; there's no way to keep track.

Wow! That's a lot more than I would ever have suspected. Makes me wonder why anyone would use the "haven't found the right person yet--keep looking" excuse when the average sexual finds attractive people on a regular basis. I've met maybe...3 real-life people that I thought were strikingly attractive, and that was only in an aesthetic sense.

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Not-You

What I mean is, how many people have you been sexually attracted to?

Oh man! That is an Ace question if I've ever seen one :P(no offense, please!!!) . I'm gonna guess hundreds; there's no way to keep track.

Wow! That's a lot more than I would ever have suspected. Makes me wonder why anyone would use the "haven't found the right person yet--keep looking" excuse when the average sexual finds attractive people on a regular basis. I've met maybe...3 real-life people that I thought were strikingly attractive, and that was only in an aesthetic sense.

I've said it before here. There's a difference between, for me at least, being sexually attracted to a person and actually wanting to have sex with a person. I haven't wanted to have sex with hundreds of people. Only a few. If I was pickier, I suppose I might fall into the "you haven't found the right person" category of sexuals.

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Olivier

I've said it before here. There's a difference between, for me at least, being sexually attracted to a person and actually wanting to have sex with a person. I haven't wanted to have sex with hundreds of people. Only a few. If I was pickier, I suppose I might fall into the "you haven't found the right person" category of sexuals.

Me too, on both counts:

Number of people I've found very sexually attractive - hundreds, maybe thousands - I'm 44, so even seeing one stunning (in a sexually attractive way) woman a week since puberty would make about 1500.

Number of people I've fanstasised about - probably a few hundred. Doesn't happen even for most people I find sexually attractive, but if they're attractive enough, and I'm horny enough, it happens sometimes.

Number of people I've desired sex with - about a dozen. People who I actually knew, and with whom a sexual relationship would not have been a disaster for other reasons.

Number of people I've had sex with - depending on how you count it, either three or five, including one who I wasn't sexually attracted to very much at all (she was keen - I was indifferent and didn't feel like dealing with the drama of rejecting her).

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BlackRose

What I mean is, how many people have you been sexually attracted to?

Oh man! That is an Ace question if I've ever seen one :P(no offense, please!!!) . I'm gonna guess hundreds; there's no way to keep track.

Wow! That's a lot more than I would ever have suspected. Makes me wonder why anyone would use the "haven't found the right person yet--keep looking" excuse when the average sexual finds attractive people on a regular basis. I've met maybe...3 real-life people that I thought were strikingly attractive, and that was only in an aesthetic sense.

Thousands for me as well. Someone doesn't have to be strikingly aesthetically attractive to be sexually attractive. They're different kinds of attraction.

As far as people saying they haven't found the right person, though, finding the right person requires getting to know people and seeing if your personalities match, which takes time, and the other person has to be available and interested in you. Of all the people you see who you're attracted to, you won't even get a chance to talk to most of them, and many of the rest won't be available or won't feel the same way about you, or you just won't click.

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Manticone

Well, I honestly think this thread has - in my mind - solidified my asexuality status.

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foxwithwings13

I see the swoony feeling as more of a romantic attraction. So is things such as asthetic attraction- to me that type of attraction is completely different from sexual attraction. To me sexual attraction is when genitals "get ready"- (trying not to sound too graphic) and there is just an overwhelming urge to have sex. that to me is sexual attraction and it usually happens when i am physically close to a male or when I am talking about sex with that person. I generally dont find the person i am sexually attracted to asethetically attractive

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BlackRose

To me sexual attraction is when genitals "get ready"- (trying not to sound too graphic) and there is just an overwhelming urge to have sex.

I think of that more as arousal, which is related to sexual attraction to me, but not quite the same. There are asexuals who experience arousal but not attraction, though for me it's sometimes difficult to tell the difference because they're closely linked: attraction usually causes arousal.

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Deremna

I have never really pondered what sexual attraction means to me versus other forms of attraction. This is an interesting thread, indeed.

I guess, to me, the whole swooning thing is completely romantic. At that moment, when I am all googly eyed, butterflies in my stomach, and want to giggle like a schoolgirl, the last thing I am thinking about is sex. I often tell my boyfriend that's what I miss most about the very beginning of our relationship. I think I miss the sexual bits but what I am realizing I really miss are those butterflies. I am beginning to think that once the sex actually happens, that's when the butterflies start to fly off. Occasionally, they'll pop back up but then once any sort of sexual contact starts to happen, *poof*, they are gone again. I used to really love making out but now it just seems like it's supposed to be sexual so I am put off by it. (that and I have the nose of a bloodhound so any sort of 'off' odor be it mouth or body totally kills any hope of sexual attraction) I would be completely content in a relationship where there is swooning and kissing and no sex at all. Look, if I happen to get randy (on very rare occasions) I can take care of it myself. Just saying.

My body has told me when there is sexual attraction through obvious means, but I guess I don't really notice what triggers it. I do have a strong reaction to music, however. I have rather sexual reactions to music videos a lot. They affect me in a different way than porn does. Porn just grosses me out where it's almost like the music seeps into my soul. Also, there's no harm in the 'sexual attraction' because I can't actually have sex with the music, now can I? I have read that listening to music you enjoy releases the same endorphins that sex does so that is probably the reason I react the way I do. I don’t have trouble at all finding people physically attractive and responding to it but what I thought was sexual attraction, I don’t think is anymore.. It’s like.. Even if I fantasize about someone, the fantasy is so outrageously unrealistic that it would be impossible. My head is stuck in the clouds most of the time, reveling in stories of magic and supernatural so that’s where my fantasies run off to. In real life, the most I would want to do with any of the people I am physically/mentally attracted to is hug or nibble on a little. Heh.

I apologize if any of this made little sense. I am in a very bad place this morning so my thoughts aren’t as coherent as I would like them to be.

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MadeOfStars

I guess, to me, the whole swooning thing is completely romantic. At that moment, when I am all googly eyed, butterflies in my stomach, and want to giggle like a schoolgirl, the last thing I am thinking about is sex. I often tell my boyfriend that's what I miss most about the very beginning of our relationship. I think I miss the sexual bits but what I am realizing I really miss are those butterflies. I am beginning to think that once the sex actually happens, that's when the butterflies start to fly off. Occasionally, they'll pop back up but then once any sort of sexual contact starts to happen, *poof*, they are gone again. I used to really love making out but now it just seems like it's supposed to be sexual so I am put off by it. (that and I have the nose of a bloodhound so any sort of 'off' odor be it mouth or body totally kills any hope of sexual attraction) I would be completely content in a relationship where there is swooning and kissing and no sex at all. Look, if I happen to get randy (on very rare occasions) I can take care of it myself. Just saying.

My body has told me when there is sexual attraction through obvious means, but I guess I don't really notice what triggers it. I do have a strong reaction to music, however. I have rather sexual reactions to music videos a lot. They affect me in a different way than porn does. Porn just grosses me out where it's almost like the music seeps into my soul. Also, there's no harm in the 'sexual attraction' because I can't actually have sex with the music, now can I? I have read that listening to music you enjoy releases the same endorphins that sex does so that is probably the reason I react the way I do. I don’t have trouble at all finding people physically attractive and responding to it but what I thought was sexual attraction, I don’t think is anymore.. It’s like.. Even if I fantasize about someone, the fantasy is so outrageously unrealistic that it would be impossible. My head is stuck in the clouds most of the time, reveling in stories of magic and supernatural so that’s where my fantasies run off to. In real life, the most I would want to do with any of the people I am physically/mentally attracted to is hug or nibble on a little. Heh.

I identify with a lot of this. All my sexual interest is in my head. When it becomes real, it's the opposite of enjoyable (not to say I haven't had pleasure from any of it, but there's a huge tradeoff of discomfort/sensory overload up to that point). I would be 100% happy having a nonsexual romantic relationship, never do anything sexual with another person again, and take care of any urges on my own (pretty much my current situation). My fantasies are often, well, fantasy-like — taking place in worlds with magic, etc. or based on fictional worlds from movies or video games. And when I listen to certain music, I feel... not aroused physically but mentally. There is a physical component but it's more like a slight heartache. When I am attracted to a person, it's more the idea of them than actually them. I feel attracted to celebrities or fictional characters, but if they appeared in front of me I wouldn't actually want to do anything with them, at least not sexually. I've been told this is still sexual attraction (just attraction I don't act on), but I'm still not sure.

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