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EveryZig

Graysexuality Thread

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There's one about Asexuality, so I figured I'd make one of these.

 

Recently the category vagueness of my sexuality has been bugging me, specifically whether to consider myself bi or not. Basically, I noticed that I was enjoying male/male porn as well as porn with female characters, but I don't know if that counts as being bi since aside from porn I haven't had sex, have no idea if I would like it, and only have a sort of vague curiosity about trying it. On one hand, I don't think I'd really fit into the category of straight, and I don't think I would really count as asexual, but on the other hand it seems like it would be kind of cheap to identify as bi when my attraction doesn't really give me an urge to seek out romance or sex with anyone. I know I could just say to hell with the categorization scheme, but sometimes it gets weird being unsure whether to think of myself as gay or not. On the other hand, worrying about this sometimes feels like complaining about nothing because I haven't to my knowledge experienced discrimination for any of this, since I'm generally so introverted it never comes up outside of this forum and I generally don't feel a need to bring it up.

 

Do any of you have thoughts on this, or your own graysexual experiences to discuss/vent/complain about?

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This is an interesting thread, so I'll contribute one of mine. 

 

I'm an autochorissexual, which is a type of asexuality but could be considered gray in many aspects. So I made a post on AVEN that basically points out how its characteristics look similar to that of allosexuality but in fact not quite really.9_9

 

Here's a link to it if you're curious enough to read my boring essay-ish post : http://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/142012-similarities-and-differences-between-allosexuals-and-autochorissexuals/?p=1061824945

 

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3 hours ago, EveryZig said:

I could just say to hell with the categorization scheme

 

Ditto! :yespapo:

 

3 hours ago, EveryZig said:

but sometimes it gets weird being unsure whether to think of myself as gay or not.

 

As we don't want to seek a partner actively, I prefer to think in terms of attraction to particular people rather than attraction to people of a certain gender in general. Each person whom we meet is too unique. The concept of a 'preferred gender to have sex with' is only useful to determine where one should look for a partner, e.g. what search option to specify at a dating site or to which night club to go :D

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Hm.. I'm heterosexual, but I'm gonna throw in my two cents.

For me, what defines me is whom I can actually see myself having sex with or want to have sex with when I'm out in RL. Whom I actually lust after. Which for me, is men/opposite sex. I don't have a lot of experience, and I don't watch a whole lot of porn. But even though I'm straight, I can still be turned on by watching different scenarios, female/female, male/male etc. But I don't actually see myself having sex with or wanting to have sex with a woman in RL or in my imagination, even though I can get turned on by watching one on TV/PC. 

Does this make sense? I'm bad at explaining things.... O.o

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What turns you on in porn or fantasies usually doesn't have to be and often aren't the things that'll turn you on in RL. They can be and are sometimes, specially if you have experience and a fulfilled sex life, but that's why we call em "Fantasies" and not "Reality". 

 

Weird analogy, but a lot of us like to fantasize about what we'd do in a Zombie Apocalypse and how we'd be one of the Survivors! (Or in my case: how to be the first who's infected and get's to hunt down everybody else! :rofl:). That doesn't mean that we actually crave to see our loved ones turn into mindless lumps of flesh that'd like to kill us (and lose the internet in the process ;D).

 

Same with porn. After all a cis male can't possible have lesbian sex themselves and a cis women couldn't have gay sex. People who are into incest would never ever consider to bone their real siblings etc. etc. The more removed the scenario is from reality, the easier it is to imagine whatever the fuck you want. After all it couldn't possibly happen. Now of course this isn't the case all the time. Your preferences in porn might very well align with you RL preferences, though there's a fair chance, that it's not 100%. 

 

I always found it weird how you'd naturally assume that no one actually want's to live in medieval Europe and give up all the comfort of flushable toilets and central heating, just because you like to go LARPing sometimes, while everybody usually equates your porn preferences with you real life ones. So it'd be perfectly possible that you could be asexual and still be turned on by (fictional) porn. It's fantasy. It doesn't mean that you actually want it in real life. It could, but it doesn't have to.

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17 hours ago, Kojote said:

I always found it weird how you'd naturally assume that no one actually want's to live in medieval Europe and give up all the comfort of flushable toilets and central heating, just because you like to go LARPing sometimes, while everybody usually equates your porn preferences with you real life ones. So it'd be perfectly possible that you could be asexual and still be turned on by (fictional) porn. It's fantasy. It doesn't mean that you actually want it in real life. It could, but it doesn't have to.

I knew that what people want in porn is different from what they want in real life in terms of specific tropes or fetishes, but I hadn't thought of that applying to sexual orientation.  Sexual orientation is generally thought of as a larger or more "defining" factor of someone's identity than (most) sexual fetishes, but that might just be because people assign more meaning to it. Would that make something like "attracted to women" essentially just a very broad, common and socially acceptable sexual fetish? Is sexuality just fetishes all the way down? Those aren't rhetorical questions; I really don't know the psychology to say one way or another.

 

In terms of real life sexual attraction, I do sometimes feel that someone looks hot/cute, but it isn't very intense compared to how I hear others describe it. I also feel like thinking about other people in a sexual way is kind of creepy when they aren't actively seeking sex, so I avoid those thoughts. As for whether I would enjoy actually having sex, I have no idea. On one hand physical stimulation is nice, but on the other I feel a little bit awkward about touching people (though maybe just because I don't do it much?). Also there's how on an emotional level I still associate having sex with being in some sort of close relationship, which is not something I am interested in.

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3 hours ago, EveryZig said:

Is sexuality just fetishes all the way down?

 

No. Because sexual orientation is, what you are mainly attracted to in real life in terms of the person/people. A sexual fetish, on the other hand does not encompass such things as "attracted to women". It is defined as sexual attraction to certain body parts or objects. F.exp. You could be heterosexual with a foot fetish. One is your orientation, one is your fetish. 

That being said, neither your fetishes, nor your sexual orientation have to necessarily align with the kinds of porn you watch.

But I get your last part. This confusion you described is a big part of being greysexual for me, too,... Specially this: 

 

Also there's how on an emotional level I still associate having sex with being in some sort of close relationship, which is not something I am interested in.

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Porn is like an instant soup, its meant to do the job quickly, its filled with artificial colours, everything about it is designed to appeal to a very large audience and mean to make you feel like you had an exceptional experience. Yes, you can be attracted to the actors, but  that is just one aspect of it. There is the whole way it's presented, acted, there is the storyboard, the music, the visual focus, the lights, the dialog etc. These do more than we may realise first.

For example, I'm a lesbian but I don't like most of the "lesbian" porn, because of the straight male gaze it's wrapped up in. I was wondering why, but its quite simple. Yes, there are two women in an intimate setting, but they were cast because straight men found them appealing, they were told what to do by straight men, the camera was in the hands of a het dude and this whole thing was done to sell the finished product to straight men.

In many ways the straight female gaze and the wlw one has a lot more in common. For women, the visual focus is on different things, the pace is different, different sounds, different touches, different angles are more appealing etc.

Maybe the way it is presented is a factor in your case as well?

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To be honest I tend to prefer drawn porn to videos or photos of actual people, so the artificial part definitely though probably not so much the "large audience" thing. (I guess with the food metaphors, that would be the equivalent of liking weird flavors of potato chips which don't even try not to be artificial but are delicious anyway? Which is a thing I also do...) Presentation does matter in the sense that art style and writing (when there is any) can matter as much as the specifics of what is depicted.

 

On 7/21/2016 at 5:44 AM, Kojote said:

A sexual fetish, on the other hand does not encompass such things as "attracted to women". It is defined as sexual attraction to certain body parts or objects. F.exp. You could be heterosexual with a foot fetish. One is your orientation, one is your fetish.

Don't "fetishes" (in a non-technical use at least) also apply to more broad things then specific body parts or objects (such as fat fetishes, hyper-muscular fetishes or furry fetishes), and also to behaviors (such tickling fetishes or spanking fetishes)? Is there a word for things like that if not "fetishes"?

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@EveryZig Sure. In a non-technical use it can really mean anything. But body types (and..... body states..) are included in the technical definition. Sexual behavior is usually not though, because it, by definition, is meant to arouse. Leather, feet, fat and other stuff isn't. Aka behavior is more broadly seen as preferences. The line's blurry though and the discussion about stuff like that is very much alive and well.... which is a weird thing to write *laughs* 

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I consider myself gray because I do have a libido, albeit a very low one. I rarely ever masturbate and when I do my arousal dies away before I even get to the "fun part" so I find it very boring and bothersome. As for sex my interest in it is purely curiosity, though I honestly don't care if I die without ever trying it out. If my partner requested it, I wouldn't mind giving it a try.

 

I tend to call myself simply asexual outside of AVEN though. I have more asexual qualities than sexual ones. 

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16 hours ago, Nai said:

I tend to call myself simply asexual outside of AVEN though. I have more asexual qualities than sexual ones. 

 

Yeah, asexual is simpler to explain to people. In reality, I think I'm more gray/demi. In the extremely unlikely event that I'm close enough to someone whom I trust 100% and we actually get to the point of considering having sex, it's possible that I could give it a try. I might even like it, I don't know. I'm pretty sure it wouldn't matter what gender the person is once it got to that point. I consider closeness and trust to be far more attractive than any physical quality.

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@EveryZig I think the easiest way to define a fetish is  "sexualising something that is not inherently sexual". Although it is not easy to define what counts as inherently sexual. Cultural conditioning also may have an effect on these preferences. For example boobs aren't sex organs, but in the western culture we treat them as such.    Some cultures absolutely do not. Its really interesting to study human culture of intimacy and how it changes though out history, and realise how many random things we are taking for granted.

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I'm demisexual. So it is like I'm a "normal" heterosexual when it comes to the boy I'm attracted to, but an asexual in all the other cases. 

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I'm an autochorissexual nonlibidinist fetishist. I don't know if there's anyone else in the world like this. 

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On 16/07/2016 at 8:58 AM, EveryZig said:

I noticed that I was enjoying male/male porn as well as porn with female characters, but I don't know if that counts as being bi since aside from porn I haven't had sex, have no idea if I would like it, and only have a sort of vague curiosity about trying it. On one hand, I don't think I'd really fit into the category of straight, and I don't think I would really count as asexual, but on the other hand it seems like it would be kind of cheap to identify as bi when my attraction doesn't really give me an urge to seek out romance or sex with anyone.

Way late reply but I super relate to this. Personally I identify with being Ace as I can't recall ever being sexually drawn to another person. Despite this, I seem to have a (varying) high sex-drive, and also get turned on by male/male (more often than any other kind) pornographic literature (novels/manga/videos).

It's kind of a taboo I think in the Asexual community to feel sexually driven in any sense, as there seems to be a sort of elitism in identifying as sex-averse as possible. I don't really know wether I should call myself Asexual really, but the only times I've engaged with people sexually it did absolutely nothing for me.

I can also daydream about sexual encounters, but again any time I have tried things out I have been very dissillusioned and not enjoyed it in the slightest. Dilemma much?

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2 hours ago, SamwiseLovesLife said:

I don't really know wether I should call myself Asexual really, but the only times I've engaged with people sexually it did absolutely nothing for me.

I can also daydream about sexual encounters, but again any time I have tried things out I have been very dissillusioned and not enjoyed it in the slightest. Dilemma much?

I relate to this 100%. Masturbation helps with the daydreams. As for lack of response... This is why I identify as a sex-neutral ace. I have had sex, and always assumed people were exaggerating about how great it was, especially when I was in high school since teenagers are wont to brag. But I just don't get anything out of it and I don't really get a desire to engage in sex.

 

2 hours ago, SamwiseLovesLife said:

It's kind of a taboo I think in the Asexual community to feel sexually driven in any sense, as there seems to be a sort of elitism in identifying as sex-averse as possible.

Interesting you should say so. I haven't been involved with the Asexual community much but I have noticed that if people specify anything it's to specify that they are sex averse or repulsed, almost never neutral or positive.

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On 01/08/2017 at 0:58 PM, Momo said:

I relate to this 100%. Masturbation helps with the daydreams. As for lack of response... This is why I identify as a sex-neutral ace. I have had sex, and always assumed people were exaggerating about how great it was, especially when I was in high school since teenagers are wont to brag. But I just don't get anything out of it and I don't really get a desire to engage in sex.

 

Interesting you should say so. I haven't been involved with the Asexual community much but I have noticed that if people specify anything it's to specify that they are sex averse or repulsed, almost never neutral or positive.

Totally agree. Yes I think I would also consider myself sex-neutral as (differently from repulsed/averce aces) I really couldn't give a toss about sexual conversations/images/etc. I mean they usually don't turn me on but hey, everybody's free to enjoy natural urges, what's gross about it? It's only when engaging in it that I find it unpleasant (with the exception of pornos, allot of sexual people I know find that shit offputting).

God, we should write a book THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF A SEX-NEUTRAL ACE

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1 minute ago, SamwiseLovesLife said:

God, we should write a book THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF A SEX-NEUTRAL ACE

True story, the reason I didn't actually realise I was aroace for 27 years was because it was all just so... neutral. It wasn't bad, it wasn't a big motivator. It merely was. But it's such a big part of life right, so of course people make a big deal about it. I should just do that!

 

Oh what a tangled web we weave for ourselves...

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On 03/08/2017 at 0:48 PM, Momo said:

True story, the reason I didn't actually realise I was aroace for 27 years was because it was all just so... neutral. It wasn't bad, it wasn't a big motivator. It merely was. But it's such a big part of life right, so of course people make a big deal about it.

^ Me for 20 years. Nice to know we suffered similarly **cries under my work desk**

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I thought I should put this somewhere and this is the graysexuality thread. Under my own steam I trawled the internet to figure out labels and dissected my past feelings and experiences. It has been 4 years since I felt (non-aesthetic) attraction to a person, it has probably also been about that long since I made any new friends - so no friend attractions to new people either. I started this exploration to try and label myself, to get some sort of personal definition. I baulked at using asexual because I have felt sexual attraction, but I can't really define it as it was mixed up so strongly with other attractions. And that was the whole key, someone out there had coined the word Apressexual: A person who only experiences a sexual attraction after another form of attraction is felt. The original attraction may or may not fade/be replaced by the new attraction.

I did toss around some other terms for awhile but they didn't really capture the link between the attractions that I feel. Apressexual seems to be the slightly more defined version of Quoisexual/WTFsexuals, I can know the difference between attractions but I can't divide them, it is just different and more. Still it doesn't fit me entirely. It happens rarely and sexual attraction does not always appear -  I guess like a demisexual is not sexually attracted to every single one of their good friends.

 

However in the months I have been using the blanket of graysexuality I think I will keep using it. Apressexual says more about the mechanics of my sexuality rather than the target of my attraction, but really I feel no one outside of this supportive, identity focused website needs to know any of that. I guess all people need to know if in fact they do need to know is that 99% of the time it will not be happening. I guess the whole thing would be HeteroApressexual, though I still feel that the most important part is the Aromantic one! Though now I think on it Hetero might not be so solid, though it is some form of Andro-attraction. 

 

I guess I am mostly annoyed that I had to do this all by myself, I thought there would be some help but it seems that mostly complicated situations are ignored, or maybe people just don't know if it doesn't interest of affect them. I never really came to this site for help on my sexuality because this was my escape from that search frustration, but now it is done. I can't be bothered to crawl through the sexuality labelling muck for at least another 10 years. 

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reading your story of introspection really speaks to me, @Apathetic Echidna

 

I may not be appressexual but, I feel you really. I guess it's 'cause I do feel sexual attraction but, defining my orientation and understanding what was what was really a work to pick it apart. it's such a relief to finally feel comfortable with an answer to the question - I was hesitant to go with grey because I felt pressured to "know for sure" and quoi/grey both seemed like "labels for people who are questioning" especially in the environment I was in. people weren't satisfied with a middle ground.

 

but, I'm satisfied with the middle grouond. it doesn't feel middle ground at all! it's where I belong, it is solid ground to me. I am greysexual and I am quoiromantic! and I'm proud of it! :D there are more precise labels I could use but, really those two speak to my experience much more fully, and on the appropriate level they need to. if more info matters, I'd be happy to talk about orientation in detail and touch on the mechanics of my attraction more than that. but most the time, it's just TMI. not that it's anything particularly private but, why does a stranger/peer/etc need to know it?

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10 hours ago, cute kitty Meow! Mewo! said:

but most the time, it's just TMI. not that it's anything particularly private but, why does a stranger/peer/etc need to know it?

It is a damn hard thing to do, sorting out a confusing orientation. And when do people really need to know something super specific? maybe if they want to date you it is good if they know the gender you are attracted to, but the asexual spectrum terms are less about the who and more about the how, plus the aro thing sort of squashes all of that anyway. Maybe on a survey or something it might come up but in that case I am fully happy to proclaim the greysexual label. I am starting to see greysexuality sort of like the physics of light, it has 2 different but simultaneous behaviours, the particle and the wave. Greysexuality can be a complete whole term and it can be an umbrella term, collecting and buffering the other less known terms. Yet we can all happily sit in the grey if we want to :cakeslice:

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