For the asexually curious and the curiously asexual

Picture-pretty

So I’ve finally been browsing some of the Hot Pieces Of Ace videos, although youtube seems to be messing up and stopping me watch the majority of them. As I said, I’ll tune in on a topic of particular interest to me, and long-term followers of the blog may know that aesthetic attraction is something I think about quite a bit (basically, whenever I see someone incredibly pretty).

For example, I agree with the little scenario in Ally’s video where her friends are like “Oh, he’s cute, I want to have sex with him” and she’s like “Oh, he’s cute, I want to… like… look at him! Oh, maybe we could have a conversation!” and that’s ditto for me, even down to the excited “best thing evar” voice.

However, there’s something I’ve seen in a lot of the videos, and in a lot of places before, that I suddenly realised was odd.

When people ask how we can find someone attractive but not aesthetically, the response is often “I find them pretty in the same way that landscapes are pretty.” And it’s an answer that often works. It has the benefit of simplicity. It references the fact that we just love to look at them, like you would an amazing picture (and my love of photography and of pretty men seem to feed off each other in complex ways when I look at a good photo of a pretty man). However, I’m guessing it’s often a downright lie.

See, I crush. I don’t know how I know it’s a crush. There’s generally no (or little, depending on how demisexual I feel today) bedroom antics at the base of the crush, but my response to a pretty, confident man with a big personality is so different to my response to a basket of kittens.

Come to think of it, my response to said man is different to my response to a pretty woman, which tends to be an aesthetic attraction in the same way a picture is. It’s hard to describe, but my response to the man contains something of that attraction that most people think of as sexual. But not the sexual bit.

If you want to use the “pretty like a picture” illustration, good for you. Especially if you feel it is really true for how you experience sexual attraction. Heck, looking back through my blog, I’ve used it myself. But, personally, I feel that I’d be lying if I simplified it to that. And it’d be one of those lies that weaves itself around you and ends up trapping you.
So my answer? Probably a “Why do crushes have to be sexual?”. There’s so much else involved in a crush, I’m sure, why can no-one understand that what I feel is the same thing as you feel*, except without the desire to rush of and have sex with them?

I’d go so far as to say that I think a lot of people, assuming those feelings are always about sex, self-define them so that they become about sex anyway. The “Oh, I really want to… oh no, I actually don’t. There’s nothing I specifically want to do” feeling is offputting.

*another simplification- I tend to assume that no-one feels any aspect of attraction in exactly the same way. Talking about attraction is like talking about pain- language fails because there can be no common references.

NOTE: So this was a random little thought that occured to me. I’d promised myself that, starting after my holidays, I was going to adress to an audience of any vaguely sex-non-normative people or allies, rather than sticking to adressing a small crowd of in-the-know asexuals constantly. As you can see, this post blatantly disregards that. Sorry. Will try harder.

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Comments on: "Picture-pretty" (3)

  1. You've managed to articulate exactly what goes on in my head. I certainly notice that my response to pretty men is different than my response to pretty women, but it's never been sexual… exactly. And both of them are different than looking at a landscape, for me.

  2. Oh yeah, a crush. I know about them. It is more than pretty like a picture…maybe a good pop song? Delicious and prickly, all at the same time. I swoon, want to it hear it over and over. That sort of feeling.

  3. M, yeah, that's a much better analogy

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