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Great Thief Yatagarasu

Sexual Attraction

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Caspian

I know I'm joining this discussion late-- but it seems that although sexual attraction may or may not be indicated by sexual arousal, arousal is at least a sort of gauge that can be used-- that is, if something happens "down there," this might be a sign that I'm experiencing sexual attraction.

However, is it possible to experience sexual attraction without experiencing sexual arousal? Is arousal a necessary prerequisite for sexual attraction?

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Woodleaf

I know I'm joining this discussion late-- but it seems that although sexual attraction may or may not be indicated by sexual arousal, arousal is at least a sort of gauge that can be used-- that is, if something happens "down there," this might be a sign that I'm experiencing sexual attraction.

However, is it possible to experience sexual attraction without experiencing sexual arousal? Is arousal a necessary prerequisite for sexual attraction?

I feel like arousal is only useful for those who experience it in relation to attraction. I experience what I consider sexual attraction without arousal, so I would say that it is only sometimes connected.

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Olivier

OK, so I'm way late on this discussion, but I completely get, and agree with, what SkulleryMaid has been posting.

Desire to have sex =/= sexual attraction, in my book (and, I must say, I'm not sure in AVEN's book, either - what's being presented here are the "AVEN" take on this is not one that I really recognise).

Desire to have sex depends on so many factors, and sexual attraction is just one of them. Whether it's socially appropriate (are you or the other person already spoken for, are you their boss or employee or teacher), whether the other person is someone you'd want to spend time with (or just hot, but with an unappealing personality), are you too tired or busy or shy to the point that even if they asked you, and you find them incredibly hot, you'd say "no" anyway. If I see a sexually attractive stranger walking down the street, my desire to actually have sex with her is zero in pretty much every case. But to say that I'm not sexually attracted to strangers would be completely wrong. I dunno, maybe you just have to feel it to understand it.

And desire to have sex can spring from other factors without sexual attraction factoring into it at all. When my wife wanted to get pregnant, she had a huge desire for sex, 24/7 for a few days a month. Still wasn't sexually attracted to me, but between her pregnancy-fuelled desire and my attraction-fuelled desire we fucked like bunnies. Even outside all that, she still desires sex with me because she wants to make sure I'm not going crazy with frustration. No sexual attraction, just looking out for someone she loves.

So yeah, I rambled, but I rally just wanted to say to SkulleryMaid that I get what you're saying, and thought you did a pretty good job of explaining at that - probably better than I've managed.

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Kisa needs a coffee

I'm a grey and I experienced it a long time ago so...I'll do what I can.

Sexual attraction is like...a roller coaster. There's this bit of adrenaline that surges through your whole body and...yea.

I suck at explaining

*hides*

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skullery

So yeah, I rambled, but I rally just wanted to say to SkulleryMaid that I get what you're saying, and thought you did a pretty good job of explaining at that - probably better than I've managed.

Thank you. :wub:

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OtherWise

Here's my idea of what sexual attraction might feel like from the point of view of an asexual person. This could be interesting or possibly laugable to a sexual member of this forum...

I imagine it would be like how I idolise or 'fangirl' people sometimes (that is, getting slightly excited by them and being interested in them), combined with finding somebody aesthetically good looking like you would with a work of art, combined with a desire to have sex right now.

Is this even close to what it's actually like? With nothing to compare it to I have honestly no idea.

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OtherWise

So then if sexual attraction isn't connected to an immediate desire to have sex, is it something that comes and goes like lust? I mean, I know people find their loved ones 'attractive' no matter how horny they are, but could sexual attraction become 'aesthetic appeal' when the urgency of lust isn't involved?

Or is it something that's always there but is connected to a separate kind of lust that tells the body 'I want to have sex with this person, but not necessarily right now'?

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skullery

I think the term "lusty" is awesome, hilarious, and pretty accurate. :redface:

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Naosuu

Ok, so this topic was really informative. Like other aces, to know when you're feeling sexual attraction without a point of reference is.... for a lack of better words, pretty difficult and makes the definition very lacking. I want to say thank you to Birdwing and SkulleryMaid for being so very articulate. The fact that you've attempted to explain sexual attraction in great detail is a feat in of itself!

(Incoming a wall of text... possibly very repetitive.... I'm so sorry.... I just want to understand!)

So from my understanding, sexual attraction is an ever-present lust one can feel at any time, depending on the day, mood and person/people involved. It isn't urgent like conventional lust, but more like "I could have sex with this person... just not right now (possibly never)." It gets a lot more colorful, like wanting to know how the person in question might look naked, how their skin would feel, etc. Sexual attraction happens on a very intuitive/instinctive level: it can be triggered by personality (loves football, understanding, kind...), certain habits (good hygiene, keeps stuff clean...), bodily characteristics (a nice smile, pretty eyes, hand shapes...).

When one feels sexual attraction, it is often accompanied by sexual desire (I need to have sexual stimulation with another person). However, sexual DRIVE and sexual DESIRE are separate. Sexual desire is basically sex drive directed towards other people/things. Some aces have a sex drive - they feel the physical urge for sexual stimulation, but don't necessarily want/see the necessity of partnered sex. It is like an itch or a chore to take care of.

For most sexuals, sexual attraction, romantic attraction and sexual desire (sexual DRIVE with a direction) all happen simultaneously at some level. With the bar scenario, sexual attraction (I could have sex with this person) and sexual desire (I want to have sex and I want to do it with this particular person) is kicked up. Let's assume this one-night stand turns into a relationship, so then romantic attraction can kick in and you become intellectually/emotionally invested in the other person.

So if my understanding is fairly accurate, then I can see why sexual and romantic attraction gets blurred quite often. I've noticed that when I start developing a crush (being romantically attracted to someone), I start to notice little things about them: their face structure, the way they carry themselves, the sound of their voice, what their hands look like, sense of humor, etc. This is exactly how sexual attraction can be triggered, but this hasn't happened to me. Hence why I identify somewhere on the Asexual scale.

(ACTUAL QUESTION)

@SkulleryMaid - From one of your posts, I find it really interesting that you say a lot of sexual attraction is learned behaviour. From my impression you're thinking in context of an adolescent learning about their sexuality/sexual urges/sexualness. I don't mean to be controversial, but how do you think this applies to aces in general? (from straight up Aromantic-Asexual to the demi/semisexuals and gray-As) Could it very well be that some people (aces or not!) simply have not "learned" the behaviour?

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Vampyremage

(ACTUAL QUESTION)

@SkulleryMaid - From one of your posts, I find it really interesting that you say a lot of sexual attraction is learned behaviour. From my impression you're thinking in context of an adolescent learning about their sexuality/sexual urges/sexualness. I don't mean to be controversial, but how do you think this applies to aces in general? (from straight up Aromantic-Asexual to the demi/semisexuals and gray-As) Could it very well be that some people (aces or not!) simply have not "learned" the behaviour?

I know this question wasn't directed at me but I wanted to through in my opinion on the question after all. It is, I think, a rather interesting question to consider, although ultimately I think I would be forced to say that, at least in most cases, it would not be a case of simply not learning about sexuality.

While there are plenty of repulsed asexuals out there and plenty of asexuals who remained relatively ignorant of sex and sexuality into a fairly late age, there are also many who are indifferent to sex and are downright sex-posative. There are also many who have not been ignorant about sex and sexuality for many years, being immersed in it from a young age. If nothing else, most would have been around their peers and teenagers in general have a tendency to be rather open about sexuality and sexual urges among their fellow peers. Behavior has to be learned from somewhere and peers are one of the primary places such behavior would normally be learned.

While I am sure there are exceptions (there always are) I think it relatively safe to say that most asexuals have been immersed in sexual culture sufficiently to take their cues of learning from the people around them. In western culture at least, sex is everywhere you look and although it is admittedly often skewed in the media, it is skewed in the opposite direction than that which might lead a person to becoming asexual.

To bring my own personal example into the mix, I have been aware of sex and sexuality from a young age, possibly younger than most. I grew up in a very sex-positive household and my father made sure that I was well educated on the matter. Even now I consider myself to be very sex-positive despite being asexual. As someone who has always been interested in watching and learning from other people, I paid attention to how people interacted and had a fairly good understanding of social cues including sexual cues. Admittedly I wasn't all that good at applying them to myself, but I was good at noticing them in others.

For years I believed that I was sexual because I knew I was romantic and did experience a certain form of attraction, though I was to later find out that was aesthetic rather than sexual. I had a good enough understanding of sexuality that no one ever questioned whether or not I was sexual nor did I question it about myself, at first. I believed I was simply a low-libido sexual who was driven more by my mind than my lust. Still, I recognized even before coming to the realization that I was asexual that there were certain things about the way in which I related to sex which was different than how everyone around me seemed to relate to it. It simply wasn't a big deal to me and while I didn't understand why it was a big deal to anyone else, I was socially adept and intelligent enough to realize that it was.

My point is that I understood sexuality from an observers perspective and could recognize, pinpoint it and make commentary on it. However, that abstract understanding never translated into my being able to apply many of the things that I learned about others. There was something inside of me that, no matter how much I might have wanted otherwise or might have tried to make otherwise, simply wasn't sexual. Behaviors might be able to be learned but I don't think that attraction can be. Furthermore, I think that, while many behaviors can be learned from observation and interaction with the world around us, there are certain behaviors that can only truly be learned when the motivating force behind such behaviors are all ready inside of us. While I might have been able to learn a great deal about sexuality from watching and observing, there were things that did then and probably always will baffle me because the reasons behind those behaviors are routed in feelings that I simply do not possess and without possessing those innate feelings, I feel as if it is impossible for me to truly comprehend everything behind those behaviors.

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skullery

(ACTUAL QUESTION)

@SkulleryMaid - From one of your posts, I find it really interesting that you say a lot of sexual attraction is learned behaviour. From my impression you're thinking in context of an adolescent learning about their sexuality/sexual urges/sexualness. I don't mean to be controversial, but how do you think this applies to aces in general? (from straight up Aromantic-Asexual to the demi/semisexuals and gray-As) Could it very well be that some people (aces or not!) simply have not "learned" the behaviour?

First, I want to agree with everyone that, if you're romantic, it must be extremely hard to navigate your attraction, or lack of attraction, since romance is generally considered (in hollywood, if not elsewhere) to be the after effect of attraction. So I can see how, if you experience romantic feelings, you would simply assume that you had also experienced attraction. I am in now way advocating that anyone do anything they don't want to do, and should never feel pressured into behaviors that make them feel uncomfortable. DISCLAIMER DONE!

Vampyremage, if I remember correctly, you once said that you personally wouldn't feel comfortable calling yourself asexual without having tried sex. And essentially, what I'm saying is that makes tons of sense.

So I like to tell stories about my own life, and the life of my friends. This weekend one of our friends came over and camped out all Sunday. She worked as a dominatrix for years. She just recently got in a new relationship (non-dominatrix related), so we were doing a lot of sex talking. :) We got on the topic of BDSM, and I said that, in my experience, I have never successfully seen BDSM incorporated in a way that doesn't seem artificial, or like they're just putting on a show. My friend said that, after years of dominatrixing, all she can say is that, yeah, it is artificial and putting on a show. There's no way around that. But for some people, over time and positive BDSM experiences, their brains have been routed in a way that they get sexual pleasure out of it despite it being fairly showy. Most of our brains aren't wired that way, so when we see a BDSM scene or play party, it feels very awkward to us. The likelihood is, no matter how much I practice, BDSM is always going to feel a little awkward to me, because I'm just not set up to enjoy it in that way. Which isn't to say that I don't enjoy it on some levels, but it doesn't sweep me off my feet, it doesn't transport me to another world... it doesn't do for me what regular ol' vanilla sex does.

And that's pretty much how I feel about sexuality as a whole. When you're 16 and you start feeling these crazy romantic feelings that make you want to be close to someone, and make you blush when they're around, you're experiencing attraction. Maybe it's romantic attraction (if you're in the 1% of aces), but most likely it is sexual attraction. Say you go out with the object of your affections (for ease, let's say boy and girl). You go out with said girl, and you hook up. It feels good. Eventually you break up, meet someone else, feel all weird and attracted, and you have sex with them too. It also feels good. After doing this over a period of time, your brain will make better, more accurate connections, so that when you see a girl you're attracted to, instead of just feeling this weird, unfocused "mmmm", it becomes a clear sexual sensation.

What I'm saying is that, for sexuals, when you just start on your sexual journey, attraction isn't clear. It doesn't become clear until you teach your brain how to process those feelings. Until you have a fair amount of sex (because at first its going to be hella awkward and confusing), your brain doesn't know what sex feels like. That probably sounds counterintuitive, but its not. We're born with a strong instinct to have sex, to experiment, to push thru the awkward and get to the awesome. That drive isn't knowledge, however. It's just what our species needs so that we don't give up before acquiring that knowledge. :)

Now, my guess is that romantic asexuals probably experience almost indistinguishable feelings from romantic sexuals during their initial sexual awakening. Personally, I don't know how you would know the difference without trying. It seems to me... and this is 100% conjecture on my part... that the significant difference between a young sexual and a young asexual is that the asexual just doesn't have that drive to experiment, that drive to push thru the awkward and reach the awesome.

I'm curious about other people's experiences and whether this theory more or less fits. At least this seems to:

My point is that I understood sexuality from an observers perspective and could recognize, pinpoint it and make commentary on it. However, that abstract understanding never translated into my being able to apply many of the things that I learned about others. There was something inside of me that, no matter how much I might have wanted otherwise or might have tried to make otherwise, simply wasn't sexual.

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Vampyremage

Vampyremage, if I remember correctly, you once said that you personally wouldn't feel comfortable calling yourself asexual without having tried sex. And essentially, what I'm saying is that makes tons of sense.

What I'm saying is that, for sexuals, when you just start on your sexual journey, attraction isn't clear. It doesn't become clear until you teach your brain how to process those feelings. Until you have a fair amount of sex (because at first its going to be hella awkward and confusing), your brain doesn't know what sex feels like. That probably sounds counterintuitive, but its not. We're born with a strong instinct to have sex, to experiment, to push thru the awkward and get to the awesome. That drive isn't knowledge, however. It's just what our species needs so that we don't give up before acquiring that knowledge. :)

Now, my guess is that romantic asexuals probably experience almost indistinguishable feelings from romantic sexuals during their initial sexual awakening. Personally, I don't know how you would know the difference without trying. It seems to me... and this is 100% conjecture on my part... that the significant difference between a young sexual and a young asexual is that the asexual just doesn't have that drive to experiment, that drive to push thru the awkward and reach the awesome.

I'm curious about other people's experiences and whether this theory more or less fits. At least this seems to:

I think you're whole post makes a lot of sense SkulleryMaid. I did say I wouldn't feel comfortable calling myself asexual without having tried sex and I stand by that. I am quite open to the possibility that when/if I have the opportunity to experience sex with a female (which isn't to say that I'm going to go out seeking a female to have casual sex with of course) the experience might be so different from the experiences I've had with having sex with a male that I might no longer be able to call myself asexual. I don't know how else I'd know for certain until I actually have tangible experience to say that this is how I reacted to the experience. The more I read and the more I understand about sexuality, the more I think it goes beyond simple sexual attraction vs. lack of sexual attraction. In the meantime, of course, since I currently don't experience sexual attraction or a drive towards sex with anyone, male female or otherwise, I consider myself asexual. But who knows if that will change when/if I have the opportunity to have sex with a female?

I think the idea of early feelings of attraction, romantic vs. sexual, being very similar resonates as largely true. When I think of my youth and the ways in which my friends talked about guys, it wasn't too different from the ways I thought about it. Girls got crushes on guys and spoke about how hot so and so was or such and such a celebrity. In those pre-teen and early teen years, there wasn't really any talk of actual sex that I can recall, or if there was it was very minimal. It was all about crushes, kissing and fantasizing being such and such a person's girlfriend. While I never quite understood what it meant for a person to be "hot" until later, the rest of the experience wasn't so different than my own experiences growing up. My crushes weren't quite so frequent or intense, but they were different by degree rather than kind I think.

I don't think the differences really began to emerge until I was a little bit older. It feels almost as if everyone else developed beyond the whole romantic crush stage into sexual crush and I just got left behind at the romantic crush stage. Which isn't to suggest that I believe this to be a bad thing, because I don't, but it does feel as if its almost a more innocent sort of attraction.

For some of us, there is a sort of drive to try sex and experiment with sex, but I don't think its the same sort of biological drive. For myself, it was more of an intellectual drive than an actual innate thing that my body was telling me I had to do. I grew up in a very sex positive environment and always believed that sex was this wonderful thing and that sexuality was something to be embraced and explored. So when my boyfriend at the time suggested we have sex, after we had probably been together for 6 months or so, I thought it was a swell idea. I was nervous, sure, but I didn't feel strong repulsion and the fact that he was also a virgin helped my nerves quite a bit.

When sex with him wasn't mind-blowing I didn't consider that to be a big deal because I knew I should expect my first time and perhaps my first couple dozen times not to be too great. I pursued it from a very practical and intellectual perspective. As the relationship progressed and we had sex fairly regularly, if not as regularly as he might have desired, things never really got to be much better so I thought, naturally, that meant we needed to spice things up and experiment. After all, I had read about the need to switch things up a bit, so we experimented with toys, different positions and other things that were, in theory, supposed to make things more exciting and fun for the both of us but that didn't make much difference either. Eventually the relationship ended.

After that point I had sex with 4 other people at various times, each of which I was in a long term relationship with except 1 which turned out to be a short term relationship. Some were better than others, but no matter how "good" the sex supposedly was (I was told by a couple partners I was good though I have no real way to gauge that so for all I know they could have just been sparing my feelings) I just never got that mind blowing experience. The physical sensations were often nice and sometimes I'd orgasm, but I never got what the big deal was. Sure sex could be fun, but it was much more fun just going solo with my vibrator and reserving partner time for kissing and cuddling.

My point is that, while I never had that biological urge to experiment sexually until things got better, I did have a sort of intellectual drive to do so. Despite my best efforts however (and after 7 years of being sexually active with 5 different partners I think its safe to say I gave it a fair shot), I just never quite got to the point of thinking sex was awesome or even seeing much point to it in my personal life. I know that not all asexuals are like me in that fashion, but I'm fairly certain that at least some of them are.

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skullery

My point is that, while I never had that biological urge to experiment sexually until things got better, I did have a sort of intellectual drive to do so. Despite my best efforts however (and after 7 years of being sexually active with 5 different partners I think its safe to say I gave it a fair shot), I just never quite got to the point of thinking sex was awesome or even seeing much point to it in my personal life. I know that not all asexuals are like me in that fashion, but I'm fairly certain that at least some of them are.

I definitely identify strongly with this. Having come of age, so to speak, in the queer community, there is a lot of pressure to try everything. I haven't actually tried everything, but I've tried a lot of stuff... and I have no way of better defining the difference except to say that I can feel it between something being fine and something being mindblowing. I'm extremely sex positive as well, and nothing felt horrible or upsetting... but a lot of it was strictly mechanical. Personally, i feel completely comfortable saying at this point in time that, for instance, being tied up does nothing for me. It doesn't upset me at all, but I have fallen asleep on a couple occasions out of sheer boredom. :lol: I imagine that for at least some asexuals, that's how they feel about all sex.

I really like your description of how your friends moved past romantic crushes into sexual crushes, while you were left behind still feeling only romantic crushes.

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Vampyremage

I'm extremely sex positive as well, and nothing felt horrible or upsetting... but a lot of it was strictly mechanical. Personally, i feel completely comfortable saying at this point in time that, for instance, being tied up does nothing for me. It doesn't upset me at all, but I have fallen asleep on a couple occasions out of sheer boredom. :lol: I imagine that for at least some asexuals, that's how they feel about all sex.

This is such a wonderful way of putting it and that's exactly how I view a lot of sex. If its short enough and rare enough I can get some enjoyment out of it, occasionally even a fair bit of enjoyment out of it. But mostly I just get bored really easily by it and if I've never fallen asleep during sex (my wouldn't that be embarrassing haha) sometimes that has to do more with the fact that having sex isn't really phsyically comfortable enough to fall asleep in the middle of rather than an innate excitement relating to it.

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Naosuu

SkulleryMaid, a lot of what you're saying is making a lot of sense to me ^^ I had an intense Q&A session with one of my friends (let's call him K) and K was sort of implying what you were saying ("learning" the sexual behaviour and getting past the awkward phase to get to the really awesome part). Of course at the time I still didn't understand what was sexual attraction, so I understood what he was saying at a superficial level. He might think that I have to work through the awkward.

At the same time, I had the same experiences are Vampyremage - I understood what feelings my classmates were going through, but it was only fairly recently that I learned my feelings never became sexual. It was such a shock when I realized I was still on the romantic crush stage and everyone moved onto the sexual crush stage (I really like that metaphor btw). Like Vampyremage, I don't see this as a bad thing at all; just different.

I've had my fair share of intense crushes on both sexes, had some crush-induced shyness, but I've never had that biological "push" to get past the awkward (whether this is because of the shyness is debatable). However, generally I felt they were very innocent in nature; acknowledging how awesome the other person is and how their eyes sparkle when they talk about something they care about made me like them all the more. If I ever did feel a "push" (more like a pull actually), it was an emotional push: to learn how they worked, to learn what scared them and to learn what made them tick.

I feel like I could take a shot at a relationship :lol: I was pretty insecure since this was, for a lack of better words, alien territory. Now that I have a better understanding, I think I'm well equipped enough to try it out!

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sadegirl

Say I meet someone at a bar. I'm not going to have any physical responses (no action downstairs, for instance). If a girl is really attractive to me and we're having a flirty chat, I definitely blush, get kinda warm all over, and definitely act a fool (tripping over words, etc).

The weird thing is, I get like that when anyone shows an interest in me. It could be the creepy old man at the grocery store hitting on me, and I get nervous and react the way you've described, and desperately wish he would leave me alone, while blushing, stuttering, etc. I am DEFINITELY not attracted to these nasty creepers. It's just what I do when I'm embarrasses/nervous/self-conscious. How do you know the difference? If my reaction to all men, creepy or attractive, is exactly the same as everyone else's reaction to attractive guys (or reverse the gender in your case).

OMG!!! Wow! Me too! I thought I was the only one. Any male attention gives me a type of energy burst. It was strange, but this 60 year old man was courting me, and he called me and I was blushing. He could be my grandfather, and my friend thought I liked him :blink: :blink: It just goes how sexuals interpret these things, as I am sure I was not attracted to him.

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Data

So this is how it go for me (aromantic). I never felt interested in anybody. I didn't feel anything to anybody, once before playing bottle some gay was excited about french kissing, so I had tried it, the girl had run away, and I had no idea why because it didn't make me feel anything. Any time girls had tried to flirt with me I didn't feel anything, they can be funny sometimes but I got bored pretty fast by it anyway it doesn't stimulate me at all. I don't enjoy attention. I couldn't really find the idea of having sex with somebody for whom I felt nothing to be appealing.

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confused24/7

Ok, I dont want to sound cliche but sexual attraction is like lightning. It can happen anytime and with any person who is appealing to you. I've been attracted to strangers, acquaintances, and guys who were just friends. It is very physical, not mental. So, its hard to control who you're attracted to even though, the relationship might be solely platonic or nonexistent. When it happens, my heart starts to race and my body starts to rev up like a car. Think about all the excitement and anticipation before a car race. The two drivers are looking at each other not sure what's gonna happen, but ready for whatever may come. The engines are getting started and there's this fired up energy. I dont know if this helps, but this is how sexual attraction feels to me at least.

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kochouran

I've had my fair share of intense crushes on both sexes, had some crush-induced shyness, but I've never had that biological "push" to get past the awkward (whether this is because of the shyness is debatable). However, generally I felt they were very innocent in nature; acknowledging how awesome the other person is and how their eyes sparkle when they talk about something they care about made me like them all the more. If I ever did feel a "push" (more like a pull actually), it was an emotional push: to learn how they worked, to learn what scared them and to learn what made them tick.

That's how it is with me. When I think about someone I have a crush on, I focus on how much fun we'd have together and the conversations we'd share. If I was drawn to their physical appearance, it'd be more about looking than touching.

Even when I'm initiating sex, I'm not being controlled by a biological pull. It's more like that intellectual drive vampyremage mentioned. I'm usually thinking, "I'm bored and he's probably horny so let's have sex" or "Well, I suppose this is the point where we're supposed to move towards having sex". I am able to get lost in the moment (which is why I call myself grey), but I can quit at any point and not feel the frustrations sexuals often talk about.

I wonder if it could be said that asexuals remain in a sort of passive state when aroused (in that things left up to them will never go to the sexual stage and that sex is more something one does instead of something one needs) whereas sexuals end up being stimulated to an active state where they seek to relieve arousal (or resist it). Just random speculating.

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Kinwish

In my own humble opinion, I would say understanding sexual attraction as Asexuals is probably on a similar page as sexual people trying to comprehend Asexuality. It must be something you have to experience for yourself to really know how sexual attraction feels or for sexual people to feel no sexual attraction to either sex. <_<

Anyways (TMI warning),

I think there is a form of physical attraction, where people can fantasize or masturbate about someone and still not actually want sex with them if they were theoretically given the chance. It used to happen to me every now and then, but many people seem to have some sort of attraction to others in this way. I don't know. :unsure:

I just want to offer my opinion on this as well. I think that it should be easier to understand a lack of sexual attraction to someone who is sexual than it is for an asexual to understand the experience of sexual attraction. I really doubt that sexual people are attracted to every person they come across in that sort of way, but correct me if I'm wrong about that. Someone would only need to think of that and apply it to everyone as opposed to just one person. Another example would be prepubescence. Children aren't sexually attracted to anyone, and everyone is a child at some point. Just reminiscence about childhood innocence, and I think that ought to be close.

On another note (you can stop reading now, if you like, as I'm thinking out loud), I don't know about girls, but I know boys can get arousal as infants, so would we consider that sexual? (Is this what Freud looked at when theorizing? Haha!)

I just don't really believe that asexuality is nearly as incomprehensible to a sexual person as one might be led to believe. They've more likely experienced the lack of it than asexuals have experienced its presence. Again, I ask that anyone correct me on this.

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skullery

In my own humble opinion, I would say understanding sexual attraction as Asexuals is probably on a similar page as sexual people trying to comprehend Asexuality. It must be something you have to experience for yourself to really know how sexual attraction feels or for sexual people to feel no sexual attraction to either sex. <_<

Anyways (TMI warning),

I think there is a form of physical attraction, where people can fantasize or masturbate about someone and still not actually want sex with them if they were theoretically given the chance. It used to happen to me every now and then, but many people seem to have some sort of attraction to others in this way. I don't know. :unsure:

I just want to offer my opinion on this as well. I think that it should be easier to understand a lack of sexual attraction to someone who is sexual than it is for an asexual to understand the experience of sexual attraction. I really doubt that sexual people are attracted to every person they come across in that sort of way, but correct me if I'm wrong about that. Someone would only need to think of that and apply it to everyone as opposed to just one person. Another example would be prepubescence. Children aren't sexually attracted to anyone, and everyone is a child at some point. Just reminiscence about childhood innocence, and I think that ought to be close.

On another note (you can stop reading now, if you like, as I'm thinking out loud), I don't know about girls, but I know boys can get arousal as infants, so would we consider that sexual? (Is this what Freud looked at when theorizing? Haha!)

I just don't really believe that asexuality is nearly as incomprehensible to a sexual person as one might be led to believe. They've more likely experienced the lack of it than asexuals have experienced its presence. Again, I ask that anyone correct me on this.

Totally agreed. There's some individual variance, of course. Some of us have spent more time thinking about/analyzing sexuality, so are more tuned in to feelings of sexual attraction and the lack thereof. Being gay, I had a similar adolescence as many asexuals, where I just wasn't feeling what everyone else seemed to be feeling. My understanding is that's not all that unusual for straight kids either, depending on whether they are late bloomers, or shy, or simply don't like/fit in with those around them.

I think there's a small portion of society who never has examined their own sexuality, because it came so easily and fit with mainstream expectations, and those people may have a harder time understanding asexuality.

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Bluszcz

For me: acute attention to a person, higher than usual level of interest in what they are saying. Feelings of physical and mental agitation - a certain thrill of excitement - and a tendency to be hyper self-aware in their company, often leading to a little shyness or nervousness manifesting, which is enhanced by proximity. Heightened awareness of any accidental touch, however small - fingers brushing during conversation can derail my train of thought, for example. A desire to smell them; a powerful impulse (though quite controllable) to put my nose against their skin and just breathe in their scent.

P.

If I'm being honest, then this is the things that's closest to what I personally feel when I'm attracted to someone. I won't be able to stop thinking about how good looking they are, my heart pounds and I go a bit silly and giddy. I only really have a desire to touch them if it's someone I have a proper crush on (or hell, just someone I like - I hug my friends all the time), and if I try to think about kissing them or having sex with them (note the word "try" - I have to make myself do it), it feels weird and I can't do it. And when I do try and have sexy thoughts about them, the wording is "I COULD sleep with this person", and then I can't ever picture it. It's like, I want to look at them and maybe smell them (I seriously see what you mean about smells, actually, but I don't think I actively look for smells - they kind of creep up on me and blow my brains out), MAYBE hug them, but kiss them or have sex with them? No. So I DO have some kind of attraction, but I don't really think it's sexual attraction, if you see what I mean. Or is it? That's the thing. I've not even felt that kind of attraction in a while, though - I used to get it quite regularly during high school, but it's basically vanished now.

I know exactly what you mean. I experience this as well--sometimes extremely intensely--but it never turns into a desire for sex.

What exactly can I call this, though? I mean, I class myself as demisexual because I have this kind of intense attraction to people, even if it isn't quite sexual - because I feel like it COULD turn sexual if things were to evolve between me and the person I'm attracted to (which I wouldn't allow to happen unless I loved them, just saying). So, physical attraction? Does that make sense?

I think it's just called "attraction." It doesn't have to end in sexual attraction to be very, very potent. It just means you really, really inherently like this person! And I'm saying that from experience as a 40 something sexual. Pamcakes description is my experience to a tee. I LOVE smelling someone I'm attracted to. This is really my main fantasy many times. To just simply inhale behind their ear.... mmmm..

So much this methinks.

I still haven't really figured out yet what sexual attraction actually feels like. I think as someone who didn't experienced the sexual act, being in a relationship, a "first kiss" and all that jazz, it's rather quite confusing. Especially when the person you seem to be attracted to you've never met before and just have seen 1-2 pictures of them. So, I dunno. :unsure:

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