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Is your sexual attraction broader than romantic attraction? (besides ace-identified)

Discussion in 'Sexual Orientation' started by wanderinggirl, Apr 4, 2016.

  1. wanderinggirl

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    I'm only speaking for people who identify as sexual in some way, as that is my experience; though I'd love to hear input from ace-identified members).

    I don't know if my experience is common, but I feel like I can experience physical attraction to people for whom I'll never have romantic feelings, but never the other way around (for me, those are platonic). So like even when I've had an okay time physically I didn't always feel the same way romantically in past relationships.

    Talking with a bunch of other people who identify strongly as gay or hetero but who have had experiences outside of the gender they prefer, it seems to be a more common thing than I realized. Sure, many/most lesbians don't feel any attraction to men, and many gay men don't ever wish to sleep with a woman, but others might enjoy physical intimacy with a member of a gender other than the one they primarily are interested in romantically, while only pursuing romantic relationships with members of one gender.

    This makes me wonder, if we're defining sexuality by physical attraction alone, are we confusing the picture? Could some of us experience confusion because our physical attractions are broader than our emotional attractions?
     
  2. Invidia

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    Re: Is your sexual attraction broader than romantic attraction? (besides ace-identifi

    Who knows. ^^ My head's a bit fluffy at the moment and I don't trust it to chew the question properly, haha.

    But I think it's kind of the same for me, sort of... Like, I'm rarely romantically attracted to women, and I'm more attracted to men in basically every way, but sometimes I can find women very sexy. I don't know, really... I'm just along for the ride for now. ^^
     
  3. HerrinDesFeuers

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    Re: Is your sexual attraction broader than romantic attraction? (besides ace-identifi

    For me it's the other way round. I can imagine falling in love with and having deep romantic feelings for a person of any gender because for me personally gender doesn't really play a role. But since I'm not attracted to penises, I can't really imagine having sex with someone with a penis.
     
  4. Confuseddude

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    Re: Is your sexual attraction broader than romantic attraction? (besides ace-identifi

    mmmm interesting question. There are a few people round here that will be quick to tell you that there is no professional evidence to support the claim that there is a separation between romantic and physical attraction and that is true. On the flip side, there are a lot of people on these very forums who will tell you from first hand experience that there is. To a degree, I am one of those people. I do think that we should proceed with caution when discussing the subject but a lack of hard evidence is no reason to doubt something's existence. Once upon a time there was no hard evidence to support the claim that the earth is round.

    Personally, I find myself sexually attracted to both genders but romantically I am interested almost exclusively in females. In my own case, I would doubt that my interpretation of my own feelings is correct. I only started questioning my sexuality 18 months ago and I'm still questioning now. That means there's a lot of doubt swirling around in my mind and it may just be a case of being more accepting of my own homosexual side before same sex romantic interest can develop. That is why I advised proceeding with caution. I think separating sexual and romantic preferences could lead to more confusion than good for some people.

    If my theory regarding accepting my homosexual side before developing romantic interest is correct then I find it very interesting that some people find the separation between romantic and sexual attraction the other way round.
     
  5. wanderinggirl

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    Re: Is your sexual attraction broader than romantic attraction? (besides ace-identifi

    Separation of romantic and sexual attraction can be hard to prove or justify if they don't overlap at all. I didn't mean to fan the flames of the debate. I just wanted to point out that people who focus too much on who turns them on to the exclusion of romantic preferences, might be caught thinking in circles. There's this idea that all straight men never get turned on by other men, and that if they do that negates their exclusive romantic feelings toward women; and that if they do have any curiosity about other men, that they must be bisexual. But sexuality focuses so much on sex, which is of course an important component to many peoples' romantic lives, but is not the end-all-be-all of identity. For some people, it might be; for others, it might be just one aspect of who they choose to date.

    For example, I used to look at someone who was interested in me and ask: "Do I like this person? Well... could I see myself sleeping with them?" If the answer was "why not" then I'd assume I liked them. But then there are deeper feelings I can't help that are more visceral, which define my sexuality more than my "ability to sleep with them". It is interesting though that for some people, probably most, this isn't the case.
     
  6. HerrinDesFeuers

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    Re: Is your sexual attraction broader than romantic attraction? (besides ace-identifi

    I don't understand why some people claim that there isn't a separation between sexual and romantic attraction. Of course, there doesn't have to be a separation and there isn't one for everyone. But how else should I explain my ability to love men but not wanting to have sex with them?
     
    #6 HerrinDesFeuers, Apr 4, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2016