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Robin.

I know I'm aromantic, but I don't know if I am asexual

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Basically, I came here directly from AVEN because I'm a little bit conflicted

I am aromantic, that's for sure and it will probably not change for a very long while

I identified as asexual for a while, but now I believe that I may be sexually attracted to men and non-binary people

So, are there some aromantic allosexuals around here that could maybe share their experiences? I think that would help

 

Edit:More people responded to this than I thought and I'm so grateful. You guys really helped me shed a light on my experiences, also on sexual attraction as a concept, as well as just giving me lots to think about in general. As for the misogyny thing(which was kinda weird on my part, but I'm not known for having the most coherent thoughts) I guess that I just had to deal with terfs a little bit too much these days and their words might have gotten to me to some degree.

Well, for now at least, my sexual and queerplatonic attractions are kinda mixed, I'm sure that I'm attracted to men and non-binary people and I will try to explore this in the future(hopefully when we're not quarantined), but for now I will completely drop a sexuality label, better not complicate things for now, I'm sure that all of this, along with ways to understand and treat my relationships will come with time.

Again, thank you so much for sharing your experiences with me, it helped A LOT

Edited by Robin.
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Sure. What sort of information are you looking for?

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20 minutes ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

Sure. What sort of information are you looking for?

Stuff like, how can you make the difference between sexual attraction and just the need to cuddle or aesthetic attraction.

My biggest logical problem in this is: Am I just sex positive or indifferent(asexual) and would not mind having sex with men(especially queer men, straight men scare me) and non-binary people bc that is another form of human connection that I would enjoy, or am I actually attracted to men and non-binary people? If I am why not women, is it gender dysphoria, internalized misogyny? I mean, women are crazy beautiful, but more in an artistic way, like smth I want to enjoy from afar, while men and non-binary people are beautiful in a way in which I would actually like to have contact with. Women are for me like"OMG my goddess <3" and others like"pls hug me". Maybe I just want platonic human connection, but I had platonic cuddles and they're not the same, or I just like the idea but not the act, but I really don't think so. Or maybe I'm just a little bit too into kink and I would really enjoy that, but again, why not women too? And on one side, I'm scared, I've seen how allo aros are treated by allo aces and other queers and it's scary. I've been dehumanized a whole lot, but I don't know if I can take THAT level of demonization.

My identity is a rollercoaster again and I think I'm just scared of being alone and I want to have a frame of reference on how to treat my relationships.

Sorry for the ramble, but the bottom line. How did you knew? How did you accepted that?

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10 minutes ago, Robin. said:

Stuff like, how can you make the difference between sexual attraction and just the need to cuddle or aesthetic attraction.

Well, they're just... Different, in that cuddling and sex are different activities. Sexual attraction, to me, is just that- Sexual attraction. If I can't look at someone and think "Yeah, I'd like to have sex with this person", I don't consider myself sexually attracted to them. Can you think of specific individuals, or alternatively a general type of person, with whom you'd actively want to have sex? Not just as in "yeah maybe I'd do it if they asked", but as in "yes, sex with this person is something I want to do". If you can't, you probably don't experience sexual attraction.

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1 hour ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

Well, they're just... Different, in that cuddling and sex are different activities. Sexual attraction, to me, is just that- Sexual attraction. If I can't look at someone and think "Yeah, I'd like to have sex with this person", I don't consider myself sexually attracted to them. Can you think of specific individuals, or alternatively a general type of person, with whom you'd actively want to have sex? Not just as in "yeah maybe I'd do it if they asked", but as in "yes, sex with this person is something I want to do". If you can't, you probably don't experience sexual attraction.

That's actually helpful, thank you

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1 hour ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

Not just as in "yeah maybe I'd do it if they asked", but as in "yes, sex with this person is something I want to do"

This is basically how i think about it as well.

@Robin.

What i would ask is this, would you consider asking that hypothetical person to have sex. If you would go out of your way to initiate that I would say you are likely to be allo aro.

As for why not women, I doubt that is anything to do with internalised mysogyny. maybe it is and i am being an idiot but i would say it is far more likely that you just are attracted to different genders in different ways and that is completely valid.

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Rats. I love this question, but you've already gotten great advice. Well I'm going to share my two cents anyway. :)

I like to think of sexual attraction as a visceral feeling accompanied by the thought "I want to have sex with you" without any qualifiers like connection, or experimentation, or societal expectations, or whatever sex-favorable aces feel (who are valid, I just don't know and don't think I should guess). [I'm a no-attraction ace, but I read erotica and theories so that's where my definition comes from.]

Words are tools to help you understand yourself and communicate your wants/needs/limits to others. Sexual attraction is a wibbly-wobbly word without a set definition. It's your choice what definition helps you. Only you can find the line between sex-favorable and sexual attraction for youself. While I'm a big advocate for using the labels you feel fit you - remember that you don't have to pick labels if it's too messy/unclear/stressful. Instead you could tell a potential partner about your feelings around wanting sex and possibly being ace and maybe picking a label in the future and maybe not. 

7 hours ago, Robin. said:

 If I am why not women, is it gender dysphoria, internalized misogyny?

Having different types of attraction to different genders just happens. It isn't necessarily caused by anything. 

Then it *could* be caused by something, and this is a question I ask myself. But have come to the conclusion it is unknowable. 

Edited by CharCharChar
made it clear why I brought up reading erotica

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1 hour ago, CharCharChar said:

I like to think of sexual attraction as a visceral feeling accompanied by the thought "I want to have sex with you" without any qualifiers like connection, or experimentation, or societal expectations, or whatever sex-favorable aces feel (who are valid, I just don't know and don't think I should guess). [I'm a no-attraction ace, but I read erotica and theories so that's where my definition comes from.]

Um... I mean this in the gentlest way possible, but I'm not sure someone who doesn't experience sexual attraction should be trying to describe it to someone who's wondering if they experience it or not..? I absolutely agree with everything you said about labels being tools for your own expression, etc., as a certified allosexual myself I can say that the experiences depicted in erotica are very rarely, if ever, akin to what I experience, and I don't consider sexual attraction a "visceral" feeling either.
The allosexual aromantic experience in particular is very different from the norm, and pretty much never depicted in erotica (yes, this includes "just a hookup" style erotica- it's not something most people think about, but the inherent amatonormativity in a lot of those stories stands out to us like a lighthouse) nor discussions from kink groups, etc. The allosexual aromantic experience is definitely a unique, and lonely, experience, and unless you're familiar with that particular experience it's probably best to leave describing it to those of us who do. Again, no offense intended and I know you didn't mean any harm, but... Yeah. We're not erotica characters. Not by a long shot.

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Disclaimer: I've had this disagreement before where others feel "the out group should not speak on behalf of the in group," which I agree with, however I feel I am not "speaking on behalf of" others, but rather summarizing what I've learned and adding on from my own experience. I accept this is likely going to be an agree to disagree situation :)

@Jot-Aro Kujo

I didn't mean to imply that erotica is truth. I feel erotica (moreso for demi/allo and ace/allo soft erotica) gives a glimpse into the author's experience of sexual attraction, even though the work itself is not true to reality. There have occasionally been descriptions of thoughts and feelings in erotica that stood out to me as what I don't experience, and that line up with theories of sexual attraction I've read elsewhere and conversations I've had with allosexual friends. All of which informs my perception of what sexual attraction is.

I wasn't speaking specifically to the allosexual aromantic experience. I should have been clearer that I don't think all allosexuals experience sexual attraction the same way. Some have described a visceral feeling like electricity, and some such as yourself do not. 

I feel an ace perspective on what sexual attraction is is useful to this conversation. I had to cobble together a concept of sexual attraction to define myself against. The original poster may also have to do this.  

I feel your POV as one allosexual is incredibly valuable, but incomplete. Someone who is questioning benefits from knowing alternate definitions I've learned (such as visceral) as well as my ace POV on when thinking "I want to have sex with this person" has secondary influences and isn't sexual attraction. 

I genuinely appreciate that you believe I didn't intend harm. While I don't believe discussing the definition of sexual attraction should be left to those who experience it, I see how I should have been clearer that 1) it's a definition I'm choosing, not one I would prescribe to everyone 2) allosexuals tend to describe 0-1 elements of my defintion

((Wanted to add how grateful I am that so far Arocalypse has had very respectful disagreements, and as someone who loves to dissect ideas and is sometimes surprised I've upset someone, I greatly appreciate being calmly disagreed with - especially when I learn I should phrase something more carefully in the future and not upset people. I strongly dislike upsetting people :P ))

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21 hours ago, Robin. said:

If I am why not women, is it gender dysphoria, internalized misogyny?

I don't think so. We don't chose who attracts us or not. So not being attracted to women is not mysogyny, that's just how attraction works for you.

Now, I can't really help you to know what sexual attraction is. But if the perspective of a sex-indifferent asexual can help you to determine if you are an asexual who isn't sex-repulsed or an allosexual, I can say this. In theory, I am not repulsed by the idea of having sex.  In theory, I woulld be open to tru someday. However, I am not like @Jot-Aro Kujo : I don't look at someone and think I want to have sex with that person. It never happens to me. For me, it's just a general idea, you see? An experience I would do for curiosity if I have enough trust in someone, to know what sex is like. But that's not provoked by someone in particular. I'm not even sure that I would want it if some day I have the possibility to try. Like, I don't know, parachuting or climbing a mountain. Sounds like a fun thing to try, but maybe when the situation comes to me, I won't find the idea fun anymore.

That's why I consider myself asexual, but not repulsed by sec. Hope this helps.

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i agree that you have to be able to look at a specific person and want to have sex with them (or some sexual activity, making out or whatever).  and as @CharCharChar suggested, for me at least, that's pretty much as soon as i see them, i don't have to know them or whatever.  important note: that's not necessarily to say you would in actuality have sex with a stranger, or even ever with anyone--just that you find them attractive.  and if there's a gender you're not attracted to, in my case women, and it sounds like yours, @Robin., the idea of sex with them will surely repulse you.  even if they offered me exactly what i want, i wouldn't want it with them.  i have a hard time believing people who claim to be heterosexual but express a favourable or neutral attitude toward sex with someone of their gender...but what's it to me, right.  and to your other point, considering how many people are not sexually/romantically attracted to their own gender, i hardly think they're all just dealing with internalized misogyny/misandry.  those things mean you don't believe men and women should get the same rights, opportunities, and respect.  as for the other types of attraction brought up: aesthetic is just thinking someone looks nice, the same way a flower does.  like the way i think 'wow, she's so lovely' is quite different from the way i think 'damn, he's so hot'.  'she has a great figure; i'd like to get her in my dresses' (as a model--i design them) vs. 'he has a nice body; i'd like to get his clothes off'. 😆 as for non-sexual physical activity like cuddling, particularly as you said that the same thing in a platonic context is "not the same," i can't speak to that except to say that some people call that sensual attraction.  i don't get it at all, to me it's either platonic, romantic, or could be either depending on context, and that decides whether or not i'd want to do it.  just as i'd like to go out for a friendly dinner but not a romantic dinner.  then there's queerplatonic attraction, the object of which is often called a 'squish,' which i do have--to me it's almost like platonic infatuation, as opposed to the 'regular' platonic attraction/love one would have for a friend.  oh, and i don't understand the "need to cuddle"--you know that 5 love languages thing, well when i took it with platonic love in mind, physical touch was last; i hug my friends but other than that it's like, whatever.  but that could easily just be an individual thing.  (quality time was first, btw.)  well, i hope some of that helped.

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