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What is 'Sexual attraction'?

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Cimmerian

Pan's already hit on the definition I'd have posted. I do so like that we now agree on the definition. :P

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Ianjthorn

We can define it in lots of different ways. I never said it had anything to do with the definition of asexual, but because we tend to argue about it I wanted a place where we could share and not be shot down. There are a few that I feel has done exactly this, but I won't go around pointing fingers. In the end, sexually attraction is just a word and people apply it to different things. There is no right or wrong.

Also you who feel the question never stops coming, as new asexuals come, feeling confused about it and about why they aren't supposed to feel any of it if they're asexual, the question is going to come again. If they get a lot of different answers that somehow give them a picture of what the community think about the definition of asexuallity and so on, it might not be so hard for them.

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)

Oh, wow. Looks like you guys are at it again! Always gotta blow up a thread with your discussions (no lie, I love it).

I think that you're being far too dismissive of the definition of asexuality and the discussion on it, though. Like you, I've used thousands and thousands of words to try to describe asexuality and the definition, but to say that the discussion doesn't matter because only asexuals discuss it is far too dismissive of the point. The point being why we discuss it. Asexuality is a fairly new and misunderstood term. Really, many asexuals don't really know what it is, and most of us don't know how to explain it. However, if we're going to ever get recognition in the sexual community, we have to settle on a definition. If we want to discuss it outside of AVEN, we have to reach a concensus amongst ourselves. Otherwise, the media and sexuals won't take us seriously. They'll think that we're just making up a term or using an already created term and sticking a random definition on to be special snowflakes. Granted, I'll be the first to say that sexual attraction, like many feelings, isn't one that can be explained and understood by those that don't experience it. It's simply not something that you can understand if you haven't felt it yourself, as I've mentioned a thousand times as well.

I think that the three definitions of asexuality all go hand-in-hand.

1) lack of sexual attraction

2) lack of desire for partnered sex

3) lack of libido

I simply think that some definitions are more complex understandings than others. If you don't have a libido, you might not experience sexual attraction. If you don't experience sexual attraction, chances are that you might not desire partnered sex. Which is why I fully embrace the multiple definitions.

However, to say that the definition of asexuality isn't the lack of sexual attraction is simply dismissing the general definitions of sexualities. Homosexuality is sexual attraction to the same gender. Hetereoesexuality is sexual attraction to the opposite gender. Bisexuality is sexual attraction to two genders. Polysexuality is sexual attraction to more than two genders. Pansexuality is sexual attraction regardless of gender... You see the pattern. Therefore, would the logical conclusion not be that asexuality be sexual attraction to no gender? Granted some of these definitions in themselves may ary from person to person, but the pattern still remains that they all have to do who you are sexually attracted to. So I believe that asexuality should logically fit the pattern. This would allow for the definition to be more common sense as the broader spectrum of sexualities becomes more understood and easily accepted.

Pretty much the opposite to everything I have said in my posts in my thread :p I want to write a response, but don't have time right now. My response would be.. everything I have already said though lol.

Just this

I think that the three definitions of asexuality all go hand-in-hand.

1) lack of sexual attraction

2) lack of desire for partnered sex

3) lack of libido

1) Lack of sexual attraction? As already explained, ''sexual attraction'' really means nothing in the grand scheme of things, and many asexuals experience what could well be defined as ''sexual attraction'' (finding certain people attractive in a 'sexually arousing' way) but my opinion on that can be read in my other comments. Actually..

However, to say that the definition of asexuality isn't the lack of sexual attraction is simply dismissing the general definitions of sexualities. Homosexuality is sexual attraction to the same gender. Hetereoesexuality is sexual attraction to the opposite gender. Bisexuality is sexual attraction to two genders. Polysexuality is sexual attraction to more than two genders. Pansexuality is sexual attraction regardless of gender... You see the pattern. Therefore, would the logical conclusion not be that asexuality be sexual attraction to no gender? Granted some of these definitions in themselves may ary from person to person, but the pattern still remains that they all have to do who you are sexually attracted to. So I believe that asexuality should logically fit the pattern. This would allow for the definition to be more common sense as the broader spectrum of sexualities becomes more understood and easily accepted.

My answer:

I'd just like to separate asexuality and sexuality into: does not innately desire partnered sex/does innately desire partnered sex.. And ''sexual attraction'' is just the type of attraction some people get to certain people for various reasons, regardless of whether or not they desire partnered sex with those people. Many asexuals say they feel what they believe would be sexual attraction towards specific people, they just don't desire sex with anyone regardless of how attracted to them they are. And this attraction is often directed toward a specific gender over another, or two genders or whatever. It is also separate from ''romantic attraction'' although the two often go together.

So, a heteroasexual would experience all the same feelings and emotions towards people of the ''opposite'' (hate that term) gender as a heterosexual person does, minus any desire to actually have sex with those people. Some people don't experience that at all, so prefer to go with ''hetero-romantic'' ,,. I know my ''feelings'' towards certain people are a lot more than romantic, so I don't like defining my orientation purely by who I am romantically attracted to personally. I would be panasexual grey-romantic I guess, hah,

''Sexual attraction'' is just a type of attraction that defines some peoples feelings towards certain people, regardless of whether or not they desire partnered sex.

All I'm trying to do is agree that it's very annoying that ''sexual attraction'' is the official defining factor in all sexual orientations, because sexual attraction does not define sexuality, only the direction and type of feelings some people have for certain other people. It's really not really important in the grand scheme of things (when it comes to whether you are ace or not anyway) yet it's taken so seriously.. What is important, is whether or not someone has an innate desire to connect sexually with other people, this is what is important in defining sexuality or lack thereof.

2) yes, asexuals lack an innate desire to connect sexually with other people for their own sexual and/or emotional pleasure, this is correct.

3) lack of libido??? Jesus hah, do you have any idea how many sexual people have libido issues or completely lack libido and are still sexual? They still have that innate desire within them and it can make them extremely depressed, suicidal even, when their body won't react according to the innate desire within them for sexual intimacy. Asexuality has nothing to do with libido or lack thereof, nothing, and it is completely misleading (and quite offensive, as many, many asexuals have very healthy libidos) to say otherwise. Sure there are asexuals with no libido (nonlib) but lack of libido is in no way a defining factor for asexuality in any way.

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FaerieFate

3) lack of libido??? Jesus hah, do you have any idea how many sexual people have libido issues or completely lack libido and are still sexual? They still have that innate desire within them and it can make them extremely depressed, suicidal even, when their body won't react according to the innate desire within them for sexual intimacy. Asexuality has nothing to do with libido or lack thereof, nothing, and it is completely misleading (and quite offensive, as many, many asexuals have very healthy libidos) to say otherwise. Sure there are asexuals with no libido (nonlib) but lack of libido is in no way a defining factor for asexuality in any way.

Again, I did not know this. Huh, Learned two new things today. Though, on the grounds of being offensive, how? I have a very healthy libido. A very very active libido. Being one with no sexual attraction myself, I had simply thought that someone without a libido wouldn't desire sex. I honestly don't have enough experience with the sexual world to know that there are sexuals without a libido that are upset by this.

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Serran

You all know my opinion on the desire vs attraction thing (hint: I can basically copy Skull's quoting post)... so I won't join in here, as the OP didn't ask for that. :D

Sexual attraction is a varied thing. It depends on who you ask. Generally, if I ask people I know IRL, they'll say seeing someone hot and getting aroused. However, on AVEN that is often not sexual attraction, since it would mean pornography would count and so would fantasies. Other people say it is seeing someone across a room and wanting to bang them. Others say it is that feeling that pulls you towards sex when you feel that surge of "Man you're awesome" while talking/cuddling/just enjoying the other person's company and the emotional connection you have with them.

Personally ... I view it as attraction (I see attraction as simply attraction - can be based on looks, personality, whatever or a mix of whatever) with a sexual component. Meaning, that feeling of "Hey this person is cool..." but adding "Hey this person is cool AND arousing".

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)

3) lack of libido??? Jesus hah, do you have any idea how many sexual people have libido issues or completely lack libido and are still sexual? They still have that innate desire within them and it can make them extremely depressed, suicidal even, when their body won't react according to the innate desire within them for sexual intimacy. Asexuality has nothing to do with libido or lack thereof, nothing, and it is completely misleading (and quite offensive, as many, many asexuals have very healthy libidos) to say otherwise. Sure there are asexuals with no libido (nonlib) but lack of libido is in no way a defining factor for asexuality in any way.

Again, I did not know this. Huh, Learned two new things today. Though, on the grounds of being offensive, how? I have a very healthy libido. A very very active libido. Being one with no sexual attraction myself, I had simply thought that someone without a libido wouldn't desire sex. I honestly don't have enough experience with the sexual world to know that there are sexuals without a libido that are upset by this.

This is whats very frustrating, so many people who have no real knowledge of many aspects of sexuality trying to define asexuality.. how can one define asexuality if one has very little understanding of so many aspects of sexuality? Massive fail on AVEN's part, needs so much more education on sexuality so the people who come can better understand asexuality.

Offensive because it infers that asexuals just have a medical condition (low libido) that can be fixed (a low libido is a treatable condition in many people)

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m4rble

I've also heard there are a lot of straight women that feel aroused by seeing other women, yet have no desire to have sex with them. Some people might say they're actually bi, but they have no urge to have sex with women whatsoever, so this probably isn't a useful application of the term bi.

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FaerieFate

3) lack of libido??? Jesus hah, do you have any idea how many sexual people have libido issues or completely lack libido and are still sexual? They still have that innate desire within them and it can make them extremely depressed, suicidal even, when their body won't react according to the innate desire within them for sexual intimacy. Asexuality has nothing to do with libido or lack thereof, nothing, and it is completely misleading (and quite offensive, as many, many asexuals have very healthy libidos) to say otherwise. Sure there are asexuals with no libido (nonlib) but lack of libido is in no way a defining factor for asexuality in any way.

Again, I did not know this. Huh, Learned two new things today. Though, on the grounds of being offensive, how? I have a very healthy libido. A very very active libido. Being one with no sexual attraction myself, I had simply thought that someone without a libido wouldn't desire sex. I honestly don't have enough experience with the sexual world to know that there are sexuals without a libido that are upset by this.

This is whats very frustrating, so many people who have no real knowledge of many aspects of sexuality trying to define asexuality.. how can one define asexuality if one has very little understanding of so many aspects of sexuality? Massive fail on AVEN's part, needs so much more education on sexuality so the people who come can better understand asexuality.

Offensive because it infers that asexuals just have a medical condition (low libido) that can be fixed (a low libido is a treatable condition in many people)

You said it was offensive because many asexuals had healthy libidos, implying that it's offensive to the asexuals not the sexuals. I apologize, but I was seriously just confused on the matter. As far as libido goes, it was seriously just a misunderstanding on my part. Where I live, there is no sex-ed, so I know absolutely nothing of sex. At least most people have the benefit of learning on their own when they start feeling attractions. Though I still don't think that sexuals should be the ones defining asexuality. If heteroesexuals defined homosexuality, they'd all be locked up in mental institutions. If sexuals defined asexuality thus far, we'd all be diagnosed with hypoactive sexual disorder. The issue is that in many places people aren't being taught about sex at all, and that's rally what needs to be fixed so that asexuals can have a better understanding. This would benefit everyone, because asexuals would be able to learn sooner that they are different rather than have to deal with the sexualized society and wonder why they don't get it, think there's something wrong with them because they don't get it, or have others think there's something wrong with them because they just don't get it.

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Tarfeather

Well, this is what we keep telling you!! What the hell is "inherent" / "primary" desire for sex?! I couldn't tell you!

Who's "we"? If you mean sexuals, it's been pretty cleat that they do tend to agree with this definition (or at least, find it one heckuvalot less misleading than the "attraction" based one). Sexual long-timers on here - Skulls, LG, Geo (while he was still around) - all strongly lean(ed) towards that.

I also agree with it. But as far as definitions go, it doesn't add much clarity, as we still can't give you a definition of this "primary" / "inherent" desire that can be measured objectively (see Snow Cone's post below yours).

Erm. You said you couldn't tell me, but you just did, right there. That feeling of physically wanting/desiring partnered sex? That is the exact thing that makes sexuals sexual, and lacking it makes aces ace. It is the exact thing we "desirists" mean when we say inherent desire for partnered sex.

But whether you desire sex in the moment for one is hard to measure (for all I know, I could be asexual and just really like undressing my girlfriend), and for another it can change depending on circumstance. That's way too pragmatic and oversimplified to even approximate a complex part of someone's identity like their sexuality. You need lots of other hints and indicators to even get close.

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)

This is whats very frustrating, so many people who have no real knowledge of many aspects of sexuality trying to define asexuality.. how can one define asexuality if one has very little understanding of so many aspects of sexuality? Massive fail on AVEN's part, needs so much more education on sexuality so the people who come can better understand asexuality.

Offensive because it infers that asexuals just have a medical condition (low libido) that can be fixed (a low libido is a treatable condition in many people)

You said it was offensive because many asexuals had healthy libidos, implying that it's offensive to the asexuals not the sexuals. I apologize, but I was seriously just confused on the matter. As far as libido goes, it was seriously just a misunderstanding on my part. Where I live, there is no sex-ed, so I know absolutely nothing of sex. At least most people have the benefit of learning on their own when they start feeling attractions. Though I still don't think that sexuals should be the ones defining asexuality. If heteroesexuals defined homosexuality, they'd all be locked up in mental institutions. If sexuals defined asexuality thus far, we'd all be diagnosed with hypoactive sexual disorder. The issue is that in many places people aren't being taught about sex at all, and that's rally what needs to be fixed so that asexuals can have a better understanding. This would benefit everyone, because asexuals would be able to learn sooner that they are different rather than have to deal with the sexualized society and wonder why they don't get it, think there's something wrong with them because they don't get it, or have others think there's something wrong with them because they just don't get it.

You said it was offensive because many asexuals had healthy libidos, implying that it's offensive to the asexuals not the sexuals. I apologize, but I was seriously just confused on the matter. As far as libido goes, it was seriously just a misunderstanding on my part.

I *was* implying (well, I was saying outright) it was/is offensive to asexuals, because saying asexuality can be defined as having lacking libido 1) disregards all the asexuals *with* a libido (and you yourself say you have a libido so I don't know why you said that) and 2) makes it sound like asexuality is a medical disorder that can be treated.

Though I still don't think that sexuals should be the ones defining asexuality. If heteroesexuals defined homosexuality, they'd all be locked up in mental institutions. If sexuals defined asexuality thus far, we'd all be diagnosed with hypoactive sexual disorder.

I never said sexuals should define asexuality, where did you get the impression I said that? I said people on AVEN need a better understanding of sexuality before they go throwing definitions of asexuality around.

I am (grey) asexual, but I have experienced sexual attraction and I also know what it feels like to want to connect sexually with another person (they both feel different, though obviously for many people they are experienced simultaneously) and I have spent over two years here now in long, in-depth conversations with sexuals as well as asexuals, learning everything I can about sexuality and the sexual experience, as well as already having a vast knowledge about sexuality due to situations I have been involved in the past. I am an asexual, defining asexuality, based on full knowledge of sexuality. This in no way means I am saying sexual people should define asexuality, I am saying asexuality should only be defined based on a full understanding of sexuality, not defined based on total misunderstandings, offensive myths, and conclusions based on how sexuality is presented in the media, as is the norm for defining asexuality on AVEN currently.

The issue is that in many places people aren't being taught about sex at all, and that's rally what needs to be fixed so that asexuals can have a better understanding. This would benefit everyone, because asexuals would be able to learn sooner that they are different rather than have to deal with the sexualized society and wonder why they don't get it, think there's something wrong with them because they don't get it, or have others think there's something wrong with them because they just don't get it.

And yes I have been saying for ages now (said in this thread even) AVEN needs better education available about sexuality so people who come here can know whether they are asexual or just a regular sexual person who doesn't look at people get horny and want sex with them based on their appearance (which is what so many on AVEN believe defines sexuality, and if you don't experience that, you are asexual) ..and most places have shit sex-ed. I was told in sex ed at 14 that women can't orgasm and had to slide a condom onto a hammer handle in the woodworking room, that was literally the extent of sex ed in my class aside from some basic info about avoiding pregnancy and diseases (which was mainly 'don't have sex until you're married' lol) but I did my own reading about sex, constantly, learned everything I could from a very young age (I've always been fascinated by sex) and had the opportunity to ask hundreds of sexual people what it is that drives them and what makes them sexual, when I was trying to figure out what was different about my own sexuality in my late teen (at the time I was defining myself as a ''bisexual without the sexual part'')

So yeah I'm a (grey) asexual, but I do know what I'm talking about when it comes to sexuality. This also means, I am defining asexuality based on real experience and full knowledge of sexuality, not just based on ideas, impressions and interpretations I have made based on some vague idea that I can't fully comprehend (as is the case so often on AVEN when it comes to sexuality)

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newMasturbator

The meaning of life never comes up outside of philosophical discussions. There will also never be anything close to a consensus on what the meaning of life is. Does this render all discussion on the meaning of life irrelevant?

Interesting analogy.

My reply will be along the lines of what Ficto said here:

The ''meaning of life'' is relevant to literally every single human being on the planet, as we are all alive and many don't know ''why'' or what will happen when we die.

...but with a bit of a different slant. "What is the meaning of life/why are we here (and for what)" is a question nearly everyone will have asked themselves at least at some point of their lives, so even when no consensus can be reached, at least we can go the epistemic approach and compare our different answers. Finding out how another person answers the question for themselves is useful insofar as it helps me understand them better.

"What is sexual attraction" is completely different from that. I had never asked myself anything remotely like that before finding AVEN. And even after being more or less forced into endlessly and futilely debating it on here, the concept still has no applicability in my life, and doesn't have applicability in understanding others, either. I understood other orientations just fine before AVEN tried to make it all about "sexual attraction". The term still is just as unneccessary for me for understanding asexuality or any other orientation as it was on the day I first found AVEN. I've simply grown more vocal in those four years about being fed up with it.

"Meaning of life" is, while totally subjective (which by itself leads some folks, like Skulls, to consider discussing it pointless), at least a solid part of the human experience in general. "Sexual attraction" is some super-vague thing a few hundred folks on one specific website inexplicably obsess over, that has no applicability to life at large.

So, IMO, a better analogy might have been discussions about specific intricacies in fiction, say, e.g. how exactly the Heisenberg Compensator works in Star Trek transporters. Completely irrelevant to the vast majority of people, even to casual watchers of Trek, and even more so to everyone who doesn't even watch the show. Now, of course we can discuss and theorize about it, nonetheless. It can even be fun to do so. But we shouldn't pretend that discussion is in any way relevant or interesting for the overwhelming number of people, who will most likely just roll their eyes and go "OMG, supernerd alert"... and will have a dang good point in doing so. ;)

I don't agree. Sexual attraction is a real thing and it's apllicable to everyone, including asexuals (because sexual attraction is absent in most of them).

Sexual attraction means the feeling that you get aroused by a person's body (for example, getting an erection because you see a girl undress, from a hetero-guy point of view). If you have this feeling, you probably want to act on it (for instance, touching boobs) because it increases arousal more. Then comes sex to achieve orgasm.

I agree with your definition of asexuality, that is, an asexual is a person who does not desire partnered sex. But that is usually because they don't experience sexual attraction (not always! some people experience sexual attraction but don't desire real partnered sex, but I think that's quite rare).

I can speak for myself that I only desire partnered sex because I experience sexual attraction. If I didn't, I would just masturbate (if i had a normal libido).

I have a strange quirk in my sexuality. That is, I experience sexual attraction but PIV sex is unarousing to me. Which is like a chunk of asexuality in my sexuality, despite sexual attraction.

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Tarfeather

I don't agree. Sexual attraction is a real thing and it's apllicable to everyone, including asexuals (because sexual attraction is absent in most of them).

Sexual attraction means the feeling that you get aroused by a person's body (for example, getting an erection because you see a girl undress, from a hetero-guy point of view). If you have this feeling, you probably want to act on it (for instance, touching boobs) because it increases arousal more. Then comes sex to achieve orgasm.

I agree with your definition of asexuality, that is, an asexual is a person who does not desire partnered sex. But that is usually because they don't experience sexual attraction (not always! some people experience sexual attraction but don't desire real partnered sex, but I think that's quite rare).

I can speak for myself that I only desire partnered sex because I experience sexual attraction. If I didn't, I would just masturbate (if i had a normal libido).

I have a strange quirk in my sexuality. That is, I experience sexual attraction but PIV sex is unarousing to me. Which is like a chunk of asexuality in my sexuality, despite sexual attraction.

This perspective also fits with my own understanding of "sexual attraction" and asexuality. Thanks for sharing!

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Jade Cross

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Tarfeather

Im sticking with the coffee analogy that was mentioned previously.

Indeed, and I think it works pretty well. I mean, it's conceivable that someone likes the smell of coffee and *feels* like they want to have some coffee, but then when they actually have it, they realize they hate the actual taste of coffee.

Well, that made more sense before I typed it out, but I hope you get what I mean..

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Jade Cross

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Tarfeather

Didn't someone make a status update about coffee overdose recently? It's our fault. ._.

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Jade Cross

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newMasturbator

The problem with this kind of definition is again the "sexual attraction" element. I can find myself attracted to a man in a similar way to what many heterosexual women experience, yet

So a man turns you on, then why don't you want sex with him?

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Tarfeather

The problem with this kind of definition is again the "sexual attraction" element. I can find myself attracted to a man in a similar way to what many heterosexual women experience, yet

So a man turns you on, then why don't you want sex with him?

Uhm.. don't know what kind of answer you expect to that? How do you explain a lack of a causation?

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Snao Cone

Sexual attraction means the feeling that you get aroused by a person's body (for example, getting an erection because you see a girl undress, from a hetero-guy point of view). If you have this feeling, you probably want to act on it (for instance, touching boobs) because it increases arousal more. Then comes sex to achieve orgasm.

I agree with your definition of asexuality, that is, an asexual is a person who does not desire partnered sex. But that is usually because they don't experience sexual attraction (not always! some people experience sexual attraction but don't desire real partnered sex, but I think that's quite rare).

As one of the people who does experience sexual attraction (or attraction to sexualized characteristics) but no desire to act on them, I'm curious if that really is as rare as you think. Perhaps it's because people who are similar to me have more to discuss to clarify their a/sexuality that I get a sense they're more common among the asexual population, based on who is vocal more than a formal headcount.

It is a good point you make, and I can see it being a useful way to explain things to people who are unaware of or unclear on asexuality if they don't understand the "no innate desire for partnered sex" bit. But it might make it more confusing, so this is something that needs so be considered on a case-by-case basis.

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Snao Cone

The problem with this kind of definition is again the "sexual attraction" element. I can find myself attracted to a man in a similar way to what many heterosexual women experience, yet

So a man turns you on, then why don't you want sex with him?

Isn't there a difference between a man turning me on and me finding him attractive? A lot of asexuals on AVEN distinguish between aesthetic and sexual attraction, but my draw to a good-looking person is different from my appreciation of architecture so I hesitate to use the same words. The reasons I appreciate the beauty and charm of a person are the same reasons other people want to have sex with them. That's why it's hard to make that distinction sometimes.

"Attractive" doesn't mean "makes me want to approach them" either. Otherwise why would we describe celebrities and other people at a distance as being "attractive? It's a generalized quality.

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Tarfeather

"Attractive" doesn't mean "makes me want to approach them" either. Otherwise why would we describe celebrities and other people at a distance as being "attractive? It's a generalized quality.

Oh.. But I generally avoid attraction to female actors, because then I do get a wish to be able to get to know them, which I know will go unfulfilled. Male actors, though, yeah I do see the appeal in finding them attractive. <3

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Guest

Didn't someone make a status update about coffee overdose recently? It's our fault. ._.

While I don't usually give him much credit (as I consider most of his theories woefully outdated), let me paraphrase and modify a quote from Freud: Sometimes a cup of coffee is just a cup of coffee. :p

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Jade Cross

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newMasturbator

The problem with this kind of definition is again the "sexual attraction" element. I can find myself attracted to a man in a similar way to what many heterosexual women experience, yet

So a man turns you on, then why don't you want sex with him?

Isn't there a difference between a man turning me on and me finding him attractive? A lot of asexuals on AVEN distinguish between aesthetic and sexual attraction, but my draw to a good-looking person is different from my appreciation of architecture so I hesitate to use the same words. The reasons I appreciate the beauty and charm of a person are the same reasons other people want to have sex with them. That's why it's hard to make that distinction sometimes.

"Attractive" doesn't mean "makes me want to approach them" either. Otherwise why would we describe celebrities and other people at a distance as being "attractive? It's a generalized quality.

There are different kinds of attractions, sure. But sexual attraction implies you want sex with a person. Attraction - pull towards, attracted to Sexual - sexual acts.

So, basically, Sexual Attraction means a pull towards sexual acts with a person. So you're saying you experience a pull towards sex but then you don't want sex because the actual act is not satisfying/arousing to you. I can understand that, like I said actual PIV sex isn't very arousing to me even though I experience sexual attraction ( I do enjoy giving and receiving oral sex, for instance ).

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Snao Cone

"Attractive" doesn't mean "makes me want to approach them" either. Otherwise why would we describe celebrities and other people at a distance as being "attractive? It's a generalized quality.

Oh.. But I generally avoid attraction to female actors, because then I do get a wish to be able to get to know them, which I know will go unfulfilled. Male actors, though, yeah I do see the appeal in finding them attractive. <3

I find female actors attractive too, but because of heteronormative socialization (i.e. being told from the beginning that unless I'm gay I'm straight) it feels very different for me in how I appreciate their attractiveness. It sounds similar to your distinction between the sexes too.

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Snao Cone

The problem with this kind of definition is again the "sexual attraction" element. I can find myself attracted to a man in a similar way to what many heterosexual women experience, yet

So a man turns you on, then why don't you want sex with him?

Isn't there a difference between a man turning me on and me finding him attractive? A lot of asexuals on AVEN distinguish between aesthetic and sexual attraction, but my draw to a good-looking person is different from my appreciation of architecture so I hesitate to use the same words. The reasons I appreciate the beauty and charm of a person are the same reasons other people want to have sex with them. That's why it's hard to make that distinction sometimes.

"Attractive" doesn't mean "makes me want to approach them" either. Otherwise why would we describe celebrities and other people at a distance as being "attractive? It's a generalized quality.

There are different kinds of attractions, sure. But sexual attraction implies you want sex with a person. Attraction - pull towards, attracted to Sexual - sexual acts.

So, basically, Sexual Attraction means a pull towards sexual acts with a person. So you're saying you experience a pull towards sex but then you don't want sex because the actual act is not satisfying/arousing to you. I can understand that, like I said actual PIV sex isn't very arousing to me even though I experience sexual attraction ( I do enjoy giving and receiving oral sex, for instance ).

That definition of sexual attraction isn't clear or universal, is what I'm saying. Yours makes sense when you describe it, but it isn't understood that way by everyone. I'm inclined to use words like "sexy" or "hot" because it's how attractive features are understood to be defined. It's not reflective of my desires, per se.

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Skullery Maid

The problem with this kind of definition is again the "sexual attraction" element. I can find myself attracted to a man in a similar way to what many heterosexual women experience, yet

So a man turns you on, then why don't you want sex with him?

Isn't there a difference between a man turning me on and me finding him attractive? A lot of asexuals on AVEN distinguish between aesthetic and sexual attraction, but my draw to a good-looking person is different from my appreciation of architecture so I hesitate to use the same words. The reasons I appreciate the beauty and charm of a person are the same reasons other people want to have sex with them. That's why it's hard to make that distinction sometimes.

"Attractive" doesn't mean "makes me want to approach them" either. Otherwise why would we describe celebrities and other people at a distance as being "attractive? It's a generalized quality.

There are different kinds of attractions, sure. But sexual attraction implies you want sex with a person. Attraction - pull towards, attracted to Sexual - sexual acts.

So, basically, Sexual Attraction means a pull towards sexual acts with a person. So you're saying you experience a pull towards sex but then you don't want sex because the actual act is not satisfying/arousing to you. I can understand that, like I said actual PIV sex isn't very arousing to me even though I experience sexual attraction ( I do enjoy giving and receiving oral sex, for instance ).

It just doesn't mean this at all. Only asexuals think that being attracted to someone means you want to have sex with them. NO ONE off this site thinks that. Probably because everyone off this site has experienced attraction many times to people they have zero interest in or are totally grossed out by the thought of.

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Skullery Maid

The problem with this kind of definition is again the "sexual attraction" element. I can find myself attracted to a man in a similar way to what many heterosexual women experience, yet

So a man turns you on, then why don't you want sex with him?

Isn't there a difference between a man turning me on and me finding him attractive?

No, he wouldn't turn you on if you didn't find him attractive.

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Snao Cone

The problem with this kind of definition is again the "sexual attraction" element. I can find myself attracted to a man in a similar way to what many heterosexual women experience, yet

So a man turns you on, then why don't you want sex with him?

Isn't there a difference between a man turning me on and me finding him attractive?

No, he wouldn't turn you on if you didn't find him attractive.

I would think turning me on would mean "makes me want to have sex, preferably with that person." Like, turning me on to the idea of sex then and there or (nearby and soon). That very rarely applies to me (hence greyness).

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