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LBMango

Difference between sensual and sexual attraction

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I think I'm unclear on the difference between sensual and sexual attraction... I may be conflating them, and I may be only experiencing one of them, I'm not sure. 


I think that the easiest for me is to list a bunch of desired activities and specify which it is...

  • kissing
  • cuddling
  • other "sexy touching"
  • various "kinky" activities, like bondage, etc
  • massage (I mean, I'll TAKE a massage from anyone, and professionals are different, but I only actively WANT one, or WANT to give one to certain people...)

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@LBMango I'm one of the people who finds "sensual attraction" a useful concept, so I might be able to clear things up -- possibly. I could go into some personal examples of my own, for instance, but I'm wary of getting told "well to me that sounds like sexual attraction though." So I'll try a different route first. 

 

It could be, for all I know, that some people do completely and unambiguously sort all the people they encounter between the categories of "sexy" and "would never feel like making physical contact with at all," with absolutely no in between ... but if so, it's not universal. There's definitely a number of people -- and I don't know how common this is exactly, just that I know that it's not just me -- who are sometimes physically attracted to people they don't exactly find "sexy" per se. 

 

There's an element to this that's especially subjective, as well, considering that what different people consider to be "sexual touch" vs. "nonsexual touch" varies by a lot. In this post about intimacy scales, for example, the three different people differ a lot on how they categorize each thing. I don't think there necessarily needs to be a "right answer" to something like that. Especially since each thing -- like "kissing" -- can be done in a lot of different ways. So with all that in mind, I don't think "sensual attraction" can be pinned down as an impulse toward any one specific type of activity, if that makes sense.

 

It's more that, if someone's distinguishing between that and sexual attraction, I assume it's because there's some physical attraction of theirs they want to be understood as nonsexual (or not-necessarily-sexual). People's reasons for that vary, but in any case... Presumably, you can understand not wanting to accidentally communicate "I think they're sexy" about someone you don't think is sexy. It's just awkward to send the wrong signals about that kind of thing.

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On 1/22/2020 at 8:36 PM, Coyote said:

It could be, for all I know, that some people do completely and unambiguously sort all the people they encounter between the categories of "sexy" and "would never feel like making physical contact with at all,"

Aside from hugging (platonic or familial), that’s me.  I classify all other physical affection as sexual or romantic.  I have no concept of sensual.  

 

On 1/22/2020 at 8:36 PM, Coyote said:

Especially since each thing -- like "kissing" -- can be done in a lot of different ways.

Right, to me, certain types are sexual and others are romantic and once it crosses that line I’m like, nope, not doing that with anyone. 

 

@LBMango as for your other examples, I consider cuddling romantic, sexy touching and kinky activities sexual, and I only want professional massages.  And I’ll add hand-holding: romantic. 

 

So yeah, I can’t tell you how to perceive it, but I can easily tell you how I do, and answer any further questions.  

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