I found the woman who I was meant to spend my life with: well, the one I was meant to spend my life with in an parallel universe where I’m a lesbian or, at the very least, bisexual. Actually, ever since I first saw Azmarie Livingston on America’s Next Top Model, I kinda wished that my sexuality was a choice: I would totally choose to be a lesbian for this chick. It’s not some desire to sleep with her, by the way, although I do think she’s absolutely stunning. It’s actually a desire to be with her. Generally, I have always found the female form, and faces, more aesthetically pleasing. However, although I can admire truly gorgeous or beautiful women, I never feel any form of sexual attraction to them. Now that being said, I honestly don’t on-sight feel any sexual attraction to men, either. However, it’s not like I’m asexual and I NEVER feel sexual attraction, either. I know, I know – I’m a weirdo – I’ve always felt like either I’m a complete freak, or like everyone else is lying: how could you, by looking at someone alone, get all hot and bothered??
I’ve since learned that I’m not actually a complete freak AND that they weren’t lying, either. You see, there’s actually a term for people like me. Being a Netflix junkie, I go through movies, TV shows, and documentaries like they’re candy. I came across one called (A)sexual a few weeks ago, which had me doing some random googling to find the various asexuality support websites (like AVEN) and information websites they had brought up in the documentary. It actually led me to a quiz you can take on whether or not you’re asexual (link to this quiz and more at the end of this article). I wasn’t. However, at the end of that quiz, there was a quiz you could take for a variety of other sexuality classicfications. Now, if you’re like I was, you thought that sexuality was all about WHO you were attracted to: the opposite sex (heterosexual), the same sex (homosexual), either sex (bisexual), everybody (pansexual), or nobody (asexual). But apparently, sexuality can also be about HOW you are attracted to people.
I had no idea that there was such a large variety of sexuality categories. Fascinated, my google-research became rather in-depth, with several tabs open, so that I could google new terms I found while reading up on another newly-learned term. And I must say, at the end of it all, my mind was absolutely blown. The finite way in which I looked at sexuality, attraction, and romance is no more. If you’re anything like me and you don’t really relate to the majority when it comes to either sex and attraction, but yet you just don’t fit into any of the commonly known alternatives, you may actually fall into one of these categories. This means that today, you may find out that you aren’t some weirdo with hang-ups that cause you to be different. Maybe you don’t need that therapy after all: maybe it’s just who you are. Read on, and learn about the wonderful world of alternative sexuality.
Now, first of all, because this will probably come up again and again, let’s cover a few of the basics. There is a difference between sexual attraction, sexual desire, and sexual urges (the following definitions are all taken from asexualeducation.tumblr.com). Sexual Attraction is a (relatively unconscious) reaction to seeing and/or interacting with a person in which you would want to engage in sexual activities with them, Sexual Desire is used in the context of wanting to engage in sexual activities for reasons that are, mostly, not directly related to arousal, and Sexual Urge/Arousal has more to do with you body’s own reaction/biological response. Sexual urge/arousal is generally a physiological response and is something more like a need to engage in sexual activities rather than a want to engage in sexual activities. Can be brought on by a physical stimulus or the thought of sexual scenarios.
Now, sexual attraction can also be divided into two further categories.
- Primary Sexual Attraction is the first impression sexual attraction. You can have it for anyone, and is most usually due to appearance (but can be because of other reasons, such as personality).
- Secondary Sexual Attraction is an attraction that develops after an emotional bond has been established. (Demisexuals experience this.)
Notice none of this has had anything to do with the classifications we typically list off as the only definitions of sexuality? And in case you’re thinking “come on, man, this is all just a lot of fluff over nothing”, put some of these differences into context. For example, take the primary versus secondary sexual attractions. Think about that sexy coworker or peer at school, or the eye candy that has your mouth watering, and whom you relish the time to think naughty thoughts about. Think about the word ‘sexy’ even. We use that word to describe a person who is physically attractive in such a way that people want to have sex with them. That’s all totally primary sexual attraction.
Now think about that guy/girl that you never really noticed, or looked at and saw someone…average…at best. Maybe they hit on you, or tried flirting with you, and you would politely decline while thinking, “ummmmm, no. Never ever, not even in your wildest dreams!”. But then you get into some situation where you end up talking and sharing and bonding with them. It might happen intensely over one night, or just slowly over the course of time. Suddenly, and you’re not sure how or when this happened to you…part of you can’t even BELIEVE it HAS happened to you… but suddenly, what you once found homely you’re finding different – in a terribly sexy way, and everything they do makes you want to kiss them. You don’t even know how you didn’t see before just how attractive they were, right? Yeah, well that’s that secondary attraction.
Now that we’ve covered some of the basic terminology, let’s get right down to the nitty-gritty: what is Classic Ruby’s new and improved definition of her sexuality, exactly? Well, I’ve told you about my sexual orientation before, and for those of you who have missed it, I’m straight. Dead straight. Which is why earlier in this post I said I wished I could choose to have a different sexual orientation so I could date Azmarie….but we’ll get back to the Azmarie situation later. ANYWAY, so being straight or gay or bi doesn’t have anything to do with what I’m about to talk to you about, so I’m still straight (lucky for my boyfriend lol). You see, where I fall is somewhere in the gray area between asexual and sexual. Let’s see if I can explain this right. Asexual people have no desire or interest in sexual activity or relations with others. That’s not me. Regular (average) sexuality involves the ability to be sexually attracted to someone based on physical appearance, and/or can be sexually attracted to and desire sexual activity with someone after a relatively short period of time. That’s not me either. Where I fall is squarely in the Demisexual category. And for those of y’all who, like me until recently, have never heard this term:
Someone who does not experience sexual attraction until a strong emotional connection is formed with the individual (The emotional connection is not inherently romantic).
If you look even deeper into the defining characteristics of demisexuals, you’ll find that, while it may be confused or mistaken as some form of lifestyle, being demisexual has nothing to do with morality, or choice. A demisexual is not choosing admirably to only value characteristics that are deeper than surface, or to make some moral or conscientious choice to hold off on sexual activity until a real relationship is formed. In fact, one’s level or amount of sexual activity has absolutely nothing to do with it.
Ok. I know that one just confused you. So let me illustrate the concept.
Let’s say a prostitute is looking for her next john. She’s already slept with 4 men tonight, and has given out several blow jobs. Do you think she was sexually attracted to every man she’s had some form of sexual congress with that night? I’m going to guess that the high likelihood is, she was probably attracted to none of them. Apply this concept to porn stars. She’s getting paid the big bucks to look like she’s having the time of her life, and the craziest, most fulfilling orgasm she’s ever had. Do you think she finds every man she’s made a movie with attractive? No. Of course not…but yet, she sleeps with em anyway, right? The point is, people engage in sexual activity without being into it whatsoever for a variety of reasons, and not all of them are illicit. There are promiscuous demisexuals out there..hell, there are probably slutty asexuals out there.
On the flip side, this is just like someone who has a raging libido can learns how to keep it in check and let their moral values win so they aren’t boinking every skirt who walks by, or who saves himself for marriage EVEN if it means him and his right hand, and the variety “stranger” left hand, become a LITTLE too familiar with one another. Your desires do not automatically become your actions. Nor do your choices always reflect your inner desires or motivations. Demisexuality has to do with a natural state of being, describing the circumstances under which a person who is demi would be sexually attracted to someone (meaning that they would WANT to, have the desire to, engage in sexual behaviour).
Now, like I said before, demisexuality is a HOW of attraction, not a who. Therefore, all of the ‘who’ orientations still apply. You can be demi-gay, demi-lesbian, demi-straight, pan-demi, bi-demi. Oh, and did I mention that, of course, down the rabbit hole, that none of that has anything to do with you wanting a romantic liaison (i.e. relationship) with someone. Didn’t anybody ever tell you there’s a difference between sex and love? *wink wink*.
Actually, there’s a whole bunch of types of attraction, besides sexual: There’s Aesthetic Attraction, which is being attracted to someone’s physical appearance (without a sexual component), Sensual Attraction, which is the attraction one feels to engage in sensual, usually tactile, forms of affection and/or intimacy with someone (that lacks sexual intent, and is not always romantic in nature), and Romantic Attraction, which is a feeling that causes people to desire a romantic relationship with a specific other person (or persons). And, as I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, there is a primary and secondary attraction in each category (and the parameters of what makes one primary versus secondary are about the same, regardless of the type of attraction we’re talking about).
Now, let’s be clear…your status in one type of attraction has absolutely nothing to do with your status in another. Someone could be, for example, completely asexual, but experience primary romantic attraction all the time!
Now, although I’m not going to go into any depth in all of the other alternatives, and yes there are more… for one example, check out sapiosexual. Throughout this post, I’ve already provided you with a couple great sources, including the AVEN website, which is linked in the second paragraph, if you want to do some of your own sleuthing about. I mean, I could go on and on and on and on all ding-dong day about this crazy new world I’ve learned about. Actually, I would have to if I wanted to give a completely in-depth look at every possible sexuality, attraction, and sub-attraction level…to give you an idea, there are, to break it down even further, more than 10 different types of romantic you could be alone! Take a look at the full glossary of romantic terms here. I didn’t even have to ponder, after reading up on it. I was positive that I’m a demiromantic.
Demiromantic: a type of grey-romantic who only experiences romantic attraction after developing an emotional connection beforehand. According to the model derived from Ragber’s “secondary and primary sexual attraction model”, demiromantics do not experience primary romantic attraction, but they are capable of secondary romantic attraction.
definition from www.asexuality.org
And then, just the other day, I came across a reminder of Azmarie and looked her up, as I have many times in the past, just to see what she’s up to, if her and Raven Simone are actually together or broken up now, what new modelling or career ventures she’s been up to, etc. etc. When her cycle of ANTM first aired, I was pretty sure that it was one of those girl crushes…like, I wanna be her BFF 4EVA, cause she’s just so super chill, and something about the way she walked, and spoke, and her attitude towards things was just so…magnetic. But it is definitely more than that. I mean, I’m positive I don’t want to actually have sex with her or anything, so it’s not like a bisexuality thing, exactly.
And I know you’re wondering how I, being a demisexual who must develop a strong relationship with someone before feeling sexually attracted to them, could judge that, right? Well here’s the thing: just as I can look at people and judge how aesthetically pleasing they are, I can also look at people and judge their potential for me to find them sexually attractive, should we ever get to that place (like, after getting to know each other and building a relationship). Just as I am well aware of what..ummmm…plumbing, I find to be attractive. And male plumbing wins out 100% of the time. Sexually, while I think that visually women are far more sexy-looking, nothing of that sexy appearance makes me wanna..interact in any sexual way with them. It’s like, major ‘ick’ to me.
But there’s still SOMETHING there about her, something that’s…foreign and strange to me. The more I explore this realm of asexuality and alternative-sexuality related literature, I realize that just because it has nothing to do with the desire for sexual action does not mean it can’t have something to do with romantic or sensual desire. Hmmmmm. I’m gonna have to think on that one. The idea of being intimate with people, or sensual, or even romantic, generally makes me uncomfortable, so my mind automatically repels the idea…but if I don’t think directly about it, I can kinda see whatever ‘it’ is taking form..like that spot in your field of vision you can only see as long as you don’t look directly at it. In any case, I’ll probably never have the opportunity to find out, will I? And something tells me that she’s a one-off experience that I’ll never really have again.
But really, it was the sexual part, if you remember, that was really causing me some psychological disturbance in my life. And that was really the first thing that I read up on, which completely opened up my mind. It described me to a T. If it could tell me about myself so perfectly when at best I usually stumbled through telling people like I was a very drunk and delusion child, then everything else it is saying must also be true. I wonder if there’s a word for this Azmarie dilemma I have yet to find…guess it’s back to the research board for me!!
Have you ever struggled with your own sexuality or attraction category, perhaps being dazed and confused and clueless, like myself, until someone showed you the light? Are you still questioning something about you, or wondering if perhaps one of those millions of glossary terms apply to you? I’d love to hear your story, or your opinion on all of this…it’s new and upcoming, but the terminology, and the visibility of groups that are supporters or advocates, are on the rise. Do you think this is all a bunch of hooey? Defects caused by medical issues, or social, emotional, or physical trauma maybe? Something other than what advocates like Aven are saying?
If you want to see if there is somewhere in the gray area that you fit in, here is the link to the quiz…I would love to hear the results you get! Don’t worry, each one is relatively quick and painless lol!
Happy Tuesday y’all!