Maybe I’m Not Really Asexual Because I Have No Idea What Sexual Attraction Is So How Do I Know If I’m Feeling It Or Not

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This is a very common thought amongst aces.  If asexuality is described as a lack of sexual attraction, and you don’t know what sexual attraction is, how can you be sure you’re not feeling it?  Maybe you’re feeling it right now, you just don’t know that’s what it is.  (Or is that just heartburn…?)

Most people who’ve felt it describe it as being a distinct feeling, and that you’ll know it when you feel it.  This includes some gray-aces and demis, who’ve sat on both sides of the table.  However, “You’ll know it when you feel it” isn’t a great description, and probably doesn’t help much.

Here are some of the ways people who’ve felt it have described sexual attraction:

  • A strong desire to have sex with them.
  • A strong sense that you want them.
  • A electric spark or a lightning bolt.
  • A strong desire to be physically close.
  • A strong desire to do things involving genitals with them.
  • A need to touch them.
  • Everything they do makes you think of sex.
  • A strong pull towards them.
  • Arousal at the thought/sight of them.
  • A feeling that your rational mind is being overridden by downstairs.
  • A funny/good/warm sensation in the stomach.
  • Like there’s actually a magnet attracting you to them.
  • You want them inside you or want to be inside them.
  • Feeling hungry for them.
  • Can’t look away and don’t want to be away.
  • They become the only thing that matters.
  • Various “roar”, “wow”, “phwoar”, “aah-oooh-gah” noises happening in their heads and/or crotch.

Certainly, some of these can describe something else, like love or a strong friendship.  But in many cases, people describe it as something strong, distinct, and sexual in nature, and that combination might be helpful in distinguishing it from more run-of-the-mill feelings..  For instance, a cute puppy might make you want to touch them and create a warm/good feeling of happiness in your stomach, but you probably don’t want to have sex with the cute puppy.

It’s also noteworthy that many of these descriptions get a lot of “me too”s from people who had initially described sexual attraction differently.  That indicates that there is some sort of recognition of a common underlying force at work.  In other words, sexual attraction doesn’t feel like one of these, it sort of feels like all of these swirled together, in a way that’s impossible to accurately put into words.

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13 thoughts on “Maybe I’m Not Really Asexual Because I Have No Idea What Sexual Attraction Is So How Do I Know If I’m Feeling It Or Not

  1. Great series.

    For me, it’s more practical than the above list.
    •It can be fun
    •It can be entertaining
    •It’s good exercise
    •Genital stimulation can feel good
    •It’s a time when I feel especially close and connected to my partner
    •I know it helps solidify my partner’s connection to me (but it’s not essential and has no bearing on how much I like or appreciate that person)
    •The thought of sex with my partner excites me (This sounds like the original list, “Arousal at the thought/sight of them”, but their answer lacks qualification so we’ll never know. For me, it is excitement/prospect to experience the previous items on /my/ list.)

    Unfortunately, telling my partner this has ruined every relationship, hurting their self esteem and leaving them feeling unwanted. I know that’s not my fault that they have personal issues with self worth, and I didn’t mean for this to come off so bleak.
    Some of the items on the list by allosexuals do resonate with me, but I enjoy sex. For me it is about the base motivations /behind/ the actions. I realized my desires had nothing to do with physical attraction to my partner, or any other stimulant (ex: “sapiosexual”). I liked them for other reasons not tied to sex (I was romantically attracted to them and the endorphins from sex were just a bonus).

  2. I don’t want to be, but I guess I’m asexual. I’ll miss out on a core, exciting human emotion (if that’s what it is) in my only life ever, never feeling it and struggling through relationships. Oh wait, I guess I should give the typical teenage answer: yay, I’m different!

    I honestly love the fact that these websites are bringing asexuals information and bringing them together though – it feels less lonely.

  3. I wish this list had been around when I was first looking into being ace – I searched so hard for something like this! XD Even now, quite comfortable in my asexuality, every conformation that sexual attraction is a thing that exists and is alien to my experiences is very welcome, so this is great ^_^

  4. What if I have no distinction between attractiveness and unattractiveness, I literally find anyone and everyone perfect, In school a lot of people will call others ugly or fat and I don’t really see that, I think they are just as attractive as anyone else. I have friends who say I just dont have standards, but even when I see an “attractive person” they look just as attractive as the kid wjo sits next to me in math? This may not even be a thing, but can I get some help?

  5. @Jack Colt I get what you mean if no ones attractive everyone is, i have the same thing though i also have trouble distinguishing people in general. i feel like that would be a thing though i don’t know what it is and it doesn’t seem like any problem at all to me.

    • Hmmm, to me that sounds like it’s quoi-romantic (finding it impossible or really difficult to differentiate romantic attraction from platonic/aesthetic/other forms of attraction.

      Idk if this is correct though, I only recently started thinking about this stuff so it might not be the term you’re looking for

  6. As I read the list of things, I found myself continuously repeating, not just inside my head, “What the f**k?”…yeah, I think that I’m pretty asexual…

  7. I don’t know if anyone is even going to see this. I’ve felt all of those things towards someone. but when it’s gets down to actually following through and doing the thing. it makes me scared and uncomfortable. I don’t know if that means I’m just not ready or if I’m asexual help me fuckin please

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