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Lady Girl

Short Sexual Attraction Essay

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< retired >

In the animal shelter where I volunteer, about 95% of the cats are 'spotsual' - strongly attracted to the red dot emitted by a laser pointer. Spotsual attraction in a cat is easy to observe : the cat's attention is drawn to the dot and the cat chases the dot around its pen. An 'aspotsual' cat not only does not actively pursue the dot, it doesn't even pay attention to it.

The situation in humans regarding sexual attraction is much the same, IMO. Sexual humans attend to sexual targets in their environment, and they (often) actively pursue them. Asexual humans not only do not actively pursue targets for their sexuality, they often do not even pay much attention to them (or if they do, it is not for sexual reasons).

One complication here : the typical sexual human has mental capabilities exceeding that of the average cat (how much is open to debate :) ) . A human sexual's attention may be drawn to a sexual target and s/he may desire it, but s/he may choose not to pursue it. Is the average spotsual cat capable of overriding its urgent desire for the red dot in this manner? I doubt it.

Hope this helps! :)

P.S. Look! Look! Over there! There goes the red dot ... !!! :lol:

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Lady Girl

That's a really good comparison! Are the cats strongly attracted to the red dot or are they simply attracted to it and actually have a strong desire to catch it when moving? They do seem compelled to chase it.

I have a cat that showed an initial interest, but after he figured out it was something he couldn't actually catch he then lost interest. After that, he would glance at it, but never chase it.

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I like to talk about desire rather than attraction because if there is arousal, people equate it with sexual attraction. For example, I could be sharing fantasies fwith someone and it would have me arouse even if it is a platonic attraction (no hug, kissing or aesthetics involved). It is not a sexual attraction because I do not want to have sex with the person, I simply want to carry on discussing to keep on being aroused. Arousal is not desire, it's not attraction, it's just a state of being.

An asexual can have sex, I think many people know that. Since they can be aroused, if they can maintain their arousal, they can have normal sexual relations. Much easier said than done, put possible. I think that is what was referred to as 'learning out' of asexuality.It's not really learning out asexuality, it's learning how to have full sexual relations, which once learnt can possibly be desired by the asexual. I think that's why lots of people refer to asexuality in terms of lack of sexual attraction instead of desire.

Personaly, sorry to be contradictory, I still see attraction and desire as very closely related even if some people see them as quite different because I find it so much more easy to keep an arousal up for much time while alone than with a partner because of my lack of sexual attraction.

Yes! Another post I can very much relate to (with the addendum that I find arousal a very unpleasant experience, so I try to avoid, not prolong it, especially during contact with people as it's both shameful and distracting to experience arousal while being with someone). It's the very reason why I find the equation "experience arousal in contact with a person = sexual attraction to said person" to be completely inadequate for describing my own experience.

@ ChooseYourBattles... very nice analogy too. Then again, I'm crazy for cats, so it was a given I'd like it. :)

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Beachwalker

There's also this I like.

The lack of sexual attraction is a model of the asexual identity...not the model. Asexuality can actually be defined in three ways...in terms of preference, desire, or attraction. A descriptive view of asexuality seems preferable over a prescriptive view wouldn't you say?

The AVEN definition should be a guidepost, not something set in stone.

I agree very much that a descriptive view is better than a prescriptive view. Personally I also prefer the definition based on desire rather than attraction, because 1) it's hard to say what's "sexual attraction"; and 2) it's lack of sexual desire that makes asexuals relate to people in a different way from sexuals.

When I first came to AVEN, the "sexual attraction" thing confused me quite a bit. It's easily conflated with romantic or aesthetic attraction. Even today, I'm not 100% sure if I ever experienced sexual attraction or not (but I'm inclined to say no). But if we use the definition "does not experience an inherent desire for partnered sex", then I'm pretty sure I'm asexual, because I can live happily without sex for the rest of my life.

Different people have different experiences. Aven should be welcome to all the asexual experiences and supportive of the people who share them. There's room for everyone. I think.

Too right. Who decides what asexuality is? The mystical writers of the AVEN wiki? Or the membership?

Well apparently there are already two Aven definitions the first 'official' one being the lack of sexual attraction defintion. And the 2nd unofficial defintion being 'an asexual is anyone who chooses to call themselves asexual', both are Aven sanctioned. Numerous other definitions also exist. Personally I still prefer the lack of desire definition because it is the most inclusive that also has a shared understanding and gives asexuality some meaning.

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Lucinda
I'm asexual = there's simply nobody I consider sexually attractive.
Even married/coupled friends can be in a pub and say that they think a girl is sexy and alike; it doesn't mean they will pursue an affair with her, just that they would consider her a potential sexual partner.

They are not looking for a potential sex partner, so why do you think they are even considering other people as potential sex partners? Unless they are speaking strictly in the realm of fantasy only .... but isn't it more likely that they are saying that gal is sexy in her own right regardless??

A group of gals get ready to go out on a night on the town. They tell each other that they look hot and fine and fierce. Are they actually telling each other that they want to have sex with each other?

Because some asexuals have sex. I remember Pif saying he was a celibate asexual. But I think this is an unnecesary extra label because I think most people would consider this the usual default of asexuals anyway unless there were other reasons present.
No no no no sorry it's my bad, I was distracted. I think PiF had a point specifying. There's no default option imo.

Why wouldn't there be a usual default? You said you are asexual because you find nobody sexually attractive and, unlike your friends, consider no one to be a potential sex partner. What makes you think you will end up having sex unless there were other reasons present?

Additionally, if someone (anyone!) likes and enjoys sex with their partner and would do it again, isn't their SO not only a potential sex partner but a good sex partner? By your very own definition, isn't that sexual attraction?

Lucinda

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Empty Chairs & Tables

Additionally, if someone (anyone!) likes and enjoys sex with their partner and would do it again, isn't their SO not only a potential sex partner but a good sex partner? By your very own definition, isn't that sexual attraction?

Lucinda

My SO is my sexual partner, but that does not mean I find my SO sexually attractive or actively desire sex with them. I am not attracted to their sexuality, and, honestly, if they were the exact same person they are except for being asexual and not wanting to engage in anything sexual, nothing on my end would change. If I were sexually attracted to my SO, and my SO stopped wanting to engage in sexual activity, I would imagine that I would be disappointed and upset that that part of our relationship was no longer viable. I enjoy having sex with my SO, but if it were to end, cuddling and other forms of affection would be enough for me. (I also do not have a libido to speak of.)

(I realize Lucinda was referring back to another post, so this is not necessarily directed at them, but rather a general response to this thread.)

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Lady Girl

All the people I know IRL, all of them, consider they experienced sexual attraction when they see someone they would call sexually attractive, which means that that person is someone they'd consider having sex with.

I'm asexual = there's simply nobody I consider sexually attractive.

If calling someone sexually attractive means that that person is someone you'd consider having sex with, and being asexual = there's simply nobody you consider sexually attractive, why wouldn't you simply say you don't consider having sex with anyone?

I think Arche did ask this question earlier though, and again, I think the best resolution would be to include both concepts, officially. But that doesn't seem possible.

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< retired >
Are the cats strongly attracted to the red dot or are they simply attracted to it and actually have a strong desire to catch it when moving?

It's notoriously problematic to try to infer what an animal experiences from observations of its behavior, so I won't go there.

Spotsuality is so widespread among cats that whenever I encounter an aspotsual cat, I wonder what's 'wrong' with it. I wonder if mental health professionals / therapists are equally perplexed when they encounter a person who self-labels as 'asexual'. Maybe I should be more tolerant of variations in spotsual preference among cats? :)

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Lucinda

A spotsual cat seems to enjoy the chase rather than the catch. :) Therefore, wouldn't we say the cat has chase desire? Is the spotsual cat actually attracted to the dotuality or the movementality? Turn off the laser pen and place a fully charged electronic mouse in the vicinity and we'll see just how dotual that cat is!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

I crack myself up ... so do you CYB. :)

Lucinda

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< retired >

In my experience, spotsuality is universal among kittens and adolescent cats; I've only observed aspotsuality among adult cats. What's going on here? Are some adult cats jaded by a youth squandered chasing - but never catching - the damn red dot? Have they just become too lazy to get off the pillow? Is it arthritis? Who knows? :)

Whoops - this thread has been hijacked by cat people. We better give it back. :)

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Lady Girl

In my experience, spotsuality is universal among kittens and adolescent cats; I've only observed aspotsuality among adult cats. What's going on here? Are some adult cats jaded by a youth squandered chasing - but never catching - the damn red dot? Have they just become too lazy to get off the pillow? Is it arthritis? Who knows? :)

Whoops - this thread has been hijacked by cat people. We better give it back. :)

I love it! :lol:

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CallaLily

...

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lucysnowe

Well, for me, I like the idea of having a relationship or kissing someone I love, but when it comes to the real thing ... nothing. I met up with someone I've been in love with for some time and I felt nothing at all towards him. All those delicious fantasies are really derived from novels. Maybe I've matured and look for something higher and more realistic in love, but my heart's ability to beat wildly seems to have decreased with time. Come to think the beating of my heart wasn't even sexual. It's the same feeling I get when listening to really good music or reading Keats. It was like an ideal really. I'm almost ashamed to admit it, but poetry gets me even higher than handsome men.

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carrottopgirl399

I really like your point, but I have a question for you. If you say that someone who can experience sexual attraction and not want a sexual relationship, wouldn't that be kind of mistaken for being celibacy by many people? Many asexuals say, having sexual attraction but not wanting a sexual relationship = celibacy. I think a person who does experience sexual attraction but does not want a relationship is asexual in a different definition.

No that is not the same thing at all. The clear lack of desire to engage in sexual relations is indeed the exact opposite of celibacy. A celibate person may have a strong desire for a sexual relationship, and that is indeed what makes them celibate...they are struggling against the urge to engage in sex. An asexual person has no such struggle. If anything, it is a struggle for an asexual to engage in sexual relations.

Not wanting sex is not going to be mistaken for celibacy. Not having sex when you want it is celibacy.

I like how this is worded. It is a struggle for me to engage in sexual relations.

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