Hey kids, your friendly neighborhood ace blogger here to teach you about different kinds of attraction!
Firstly, the definitions on the graphic above are very very very very bare-bones, and it’s important to say that different people experience the different kinds of attraction in different ways, and also there are probably more kinds of attraction, but I believe these three are the main ones and the most important to differentiate between.
Secondly, it’s also important to note that each person has their own limits and lines drawn between the different kinds of attraction. To some people, touching would be a reaction to aesthetic attraction; to others, it may be a romantic act; to others, sexual. Some people view kissing as sexual and others view it as romantic. Everyone, ace or allo, has their own borders and their own fences in between these different kinds of attraction and some don’t have any fences in between them at all, and just let them run around wild together.
Yesterday I did a little bit of an experiment with my followers and the two current most popular Tumblr heartthrobs, Sebastian Stan and Natalie Dormer. I asked my followers to choose whether they would want to have sex with said heartthrob, or merely stare at them. I asked that, if they aren’t attracted to the particular actor’s gender, they select ‘i don’t swing that way’. The results were interesting and point-proving.
While there were plenty of people who were attracted to both men and women, there were some who clearly experienced different types of attraction to the two actors.
The results were sort of unreliable considering I have a lot of ace people following me because I post things like this, but I think the image is indicative enough of the clear difference between types of attraction.
Some allosexual voters felt as if they wanted to bang Sebastian Stan while they were content to only stare at Natalie Dormer, or vice versa. Some wanted to stare at both, and some wanted to bang both. Now, why is it so difficult for society as a whole to differentiate between these three types of attraction when they no doubt feel the difference between them every day?
The point of the poll was this: the first reaction I usually get when I explain the difference between sexual, romantic, and aesthetic attraction is something along the lines of “but no one looks at someone and just wants to have sex with them right away! everyone needs to get to know them first!” This argument is also a big part of demisexual erasure. This is why I posted the poll, and wanted to take a closer look at this. The odds are that very few people, if any, on the list of voters here have ever spent any prolonged amount of time with Sebastian Stan or Natalie Dormer. And yet some of them are still sexually attracted to them, through physicality and personality alone.
Since I guess it’s too hard for me to explain in words, considering very few of the people who came to my ask box did understand it when I tried to explain it, I thought perhaps an example and visual would help them to get it more. Just because these three types of attraction go together for some doesn’t mean they go together for all.
Out of these three:
- Asexual people typically only experience aesthetic and romantic attraction.
- Aromantic people typically only experience aesthetic and sexual attraction.
- People who are asexual and aromantic typically only experience aesthetic attraction.
And that’s pretty much how it works, to my understanding. If I put my foot in my mouth somewhere in here, please be thoughtful when correcting me and avoid being harsh, though I think that that about covers it.