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difference between romantic and sexual attraction

Discussion in 'Sexual Orientation' started by Shishi, Jul 12, 2020.

  1. Shishi

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    hello,
    i have a question (obviously XD)
    i am a girl, and i like girls, i don't feel attracted to men.
    now my question is,
    when i see a girl i can think like: oh that girl is hot! is that a sexual or romantic attraction?
    this question came to my mind when is saw a video talking about being asexual.
    i don't really understand when a felling becomes sexual.
    the problem is taht i've never had sex with someone, so i don't know if i like it or not (if you know what i mean).
    in order to know if i'm a lesbian or asexual, do i need to already have had sex at least once in my life?
    when i think of being in a relationship, i don't think/ can't really imagine having sex. BUT i think that maybe it's beacause i'm just too young/just not ready for it?
    that was long bruh.
    sorry that i wrote a whole text XD
    but i would be really happy to have a reply taht jsut explains when a feeling becomes sexual.
    i don't know if that was clear but i hope that you understand what i mean.
    thank you for taking the time to read this.
     
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  2. Nic2552

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    I think you should explore your sexuality, You are the only one who can say what your sexuality is and there’s no rush. When you find someone hot is more of an attraction , romantic is when you build a bond and you start having feelings for them.
     
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  3. BiGemini87

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    It's a physical attraction, but physical isn't automatically sexual in nature. The two are often confused, which is understandable, as they are linked very strongly. But if what you're experiencing is just a quick moment of "oh, I like the look of her" and not some sort of stirring further south, then it hasn't yet reached sexual levels. Emotional, as Nic2552 said, is when you have actual feelings for someone in any capacity--be it feeling romantic love or platonic, a strong kinship or liking of their company.

    This is something you'll work through in time, whether you're ace or if it's merely your lack of experience. The important thing is to be patient with yourself and take all the time you need; there's no rush. :slight_smile:
     
  4. LostInDaydreams

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    I agree with what’s been said above, but just wanted to add that sexual attraction isn’t always instant for everyone. For me, I don’t usually feel sexual attraction unless I know somebody a bit.

    As said above, this is probably something that will become clear with time.
     
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  5. Chip

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    There's zero credible evidence to support the idea of discordant romantic and sexual attraction. What has been in the past ~5-10 years described as 'romantic attraction' has had a different phrase associated with it for hundreds of years: emotionally intimate friendship. If there's no desire to have sex or sexual attraction or interest, what you're feeling is an interest in connecting with the person emotionally. That's friendship. Pretty much end of story.

    To answer your specific questions: Most of your confusion comes from your age. People in their early teens very often don't have a clear picture of what sexual arousal feels like (though some do). This is a combination of hormonal development, life experience, and, quite simply, physical and emotional development. So I wouldn't stress about it.

    Generally, speaking, when you start having sexual feelings for someone, you'll know it. It won't be ambiguous. :slight_smile:
     
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  6. mellissa

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    I don't know how old you are, so it is hard to say. Anyways, people feel sexual attractions at different times. Romantic feelings are those of wanting to be with a person and feeling connected to them on an emotional and psychological level.

    Sexual attraction is admiring a person's body and wanting to have a physical connection with their body.

    I think.
     
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  7. TheJack

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    Romantic Attraction: You want to spend every waking moment with that person.
    Sexual Attraction: You want to spend 5-60 minutes with that person and if you're lucky, they'll spend the night.
     
  8. Chip

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    That's not really an accurate description.
     
  9. TheJack

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    I was just joking. To be honest, I don't even know if romantic attraction is separate from sexual. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't.
     
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  10. Chip

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    There's nothing credible to support discordant separation of romantic and sexual orientation. However, what people describe as "romantic orientation" is indistinguishable from what people describe as "emotionally intimate friendship": A closeness with the person and a sense of connection and vulnerability and trust, but zero interest in any sort of sexual activity.
     
  11. EmilyWrite

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    I can't label you and I advise you not to worry about it, but it sounds like you could be asexual and homoromantic. This sounds very similar to my attraction pattern, only I like guys and girls romantically without liking anybody sexually.
     
  12. Chip

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    Asexuality is rare, and certainly not a label I'd stick someone of the OP's age with.

    Additionally, there is, as I said above, no credible evidence to support discordant sexual and romantic orientations. Generally speaking, when an adult says that they "like people romantically" they're saying they like having emotionally intimate friendships, which has nothing to do with sexual orientation.

    Finally, quite commonly, adults people who have no sexual interest in anyone have a history of trauma (not necessarily physical or sexual, often more subtle trauma in the form of problems with the parent-child bond in the family of origin) that's getting in the way of their being able to understand and express sexual feelings. The difference between this and asexuality is that asexuality, like hetero and homosexuality, is hardwired and unchangeable, whille a lack of interest in sex brought about by the family-of-origin issues is both far more common and is also solvable.

    Many at EC (and other places) have written about being in this particular boat of inadvertently labeling themeselves in such a way that they miss out on a lot of experiences they could otherwise have. It's for these reasons that I think it's really important to discuss these differences, so that people don't have to make those mistakes.