I Don’t (Meaningfully) Experience Platonic Attraction

This is my submission for the February 2016 Carnival of Aces, which was themed around Platonic Attraction. To see the original call for submissions, look here, and the round up of all the officially submitted blog posts is right here: http://sexyaussiekirkland.tumblr.com/post/140274580574/february-carnival-of-aces-roundup.

Sorry I’m late with this post.


For the December 2014 Carnival of Aces on “Touch, sensuality, and nonsexual intimacy”, I wrote about how I don’t experience sensual attraction.

The more I think about all the forms of attraction, the more I doubt I experience any of them.

Just because I can have a preference for one kind of hairstyle or fashion sense over another or be able to tell when certain celebrities are objectively “good looking” or “model-level gorgeous” or whatever does not mean I am really drawn to stare, does not mean I experience a “pull” toward them that the phrase “aesthetic attraction” seems to imply in my mind. I cannot imagine watching a film or TV show just because a certain person is gorgeous and I want to look at them. When it comes to my relationships with other human beings in my every day, real life, whether or not I find them visually appealing usually doesn’t cross my mind. In fact, before I realized I was asexual, when I was 22 years old and experienced my first real kiss, and I hated it, it was only then that I even thought to consider if maybe the guy I had kissed wasn’t (visually/looks-wise) “my type”, and then to try to figure out what WAS my type.  And you know what? I couldn’t. Not really.

For a long time I identified as wtfromantic, and I still relate to the experiences of pretty much everyone who identifies that way, but now I’ve become more comfortable saying I’m actually aromantic. I’m an aro ace. But I think I’m wtfromantic too. Part of why I say I’m wtfromantic, I now believe, is because I’m someone who can have close relationships with people, and can desire relationships like those, but actual experiences of “attraction” don’t really happen for me.

It’s fairly typical for an asexual person to experience no sexual attraction. People don’t always, exactly, talk about what they experience instead. Okay. Sometimes they do. They like people romantically, just not sexually. Or can appreciate their looks aesthetically, they just don’t find them “hot” in a sexual manner. Etc. But in a lot of ways I see the asexual discourse around a lack of sexual attraction, a lack of finding people hot, a lack of even understanding that people weren’t joking or exaggerating to the extreme when they spoke of their sexual attraction… I see people not actually trying to explain what they do feel instead.

Rather, they explain “Hey, you know how you don’t find every single person on the planet sexy? If you’re straight, maybe how you find no one of the same gender sexy? For example? Well those times when you don’t feel attracted to someone? That’s how I feel all the time, toward everyone.” Sometimes they feel confused because they do feel something but only toward fictional characters, or they have no actual desire to act on it, or something. But many aces really feel the “none, zero, never have I ever experienced sexual attraction” kind of sentiment. I’ve never looked at boobs, crotches, butts, exposed feminine shoulders/legs, manly chest hair, or anything else on another person and found myself thinking that “oo, this appeals to me”, and I’m sure many other aces can relate.

But when it comes to romantic attraction, people are quick to bring up squishes as a parallel, even platonic attraction itself. There’s this idea that EVERYONE experiences attraction, even if it’s just platonic, but that the average allosexual experiences platonic, romantic, AND sexual, and the idea of being “aplatonic” is basically unheard of, or like a ridiculous “You’re going too far with words, you’re making up words on tumblr” kind of mentality, even if people kind of accept that allosexuals could be aromantic and vice versa. No one thinks about aplatonic identity much.

And honestly, I don’t identify with the thought of aplatonic.

But that’s what’s so confusing to me. It’s not that all my feelings for people I like are clearly platonic attraction, therefore I must be aromantic. It’s that all my feelings for people are kind of neither romantic NOR platonic. So it took me a long time to accept I don’t experience romantic attraction, because I thought that meant the only way left to categorize my feelings was some weird notion of “platonic attraction” that has NEVER made any sense to me.

elainexe wrote recently about the concept of attraction being non-applicable to her, and especially the point she made about platonic attraction not seeming relevant when it comes to (non-chosen) family (meaning like, not your spouse or your qpp or friend you decide is your family but rather people that just ARE your family). Check it out here: http://elainexe.tumblr.com/post/139929592688/family-and-the-scope-of-attraction-models

I think I relate to what elainexe was saying there about how basically if you already have a connection to someone, maybe attraction doesn’t apply to your experience, and if you feel basically the same feeling toward your family members whom you are close to as you do your close friends, then… then what??

Kasey Weird wrote two submissions for the Carnival this past month that I actually relate to a surprising amount, but I still don’t like categorizing when I feel similarly as them that my feelings are “attraction” of the “platonic variety”. On a somewhat related note, Coyote wrote about “friendship flirting” recently and ah yes I have a lot of complicated thoughts I need to write about on this topic. Soon, very soon. I just… I don’t quite know why? I think I need to blog a bit more to flesh this out. I need more time to think though all these thoughts.

I actually have recently entered a queerplatonic relationship with the guy I talked about in this post. We “clicked”as I said in that post, we got along well, and it felt like the relationship kind of, sort of, “just happened”. Yes maybe there was some degree of “Friendship flirting” going on there at some point, I guess?? But idk, I feel like things happened in a way where, at least on my end, nothing began because I was attracted to him emotionally, aesthetically, romantically, sexually, sensually, nor on any other level including that nebulous “platonically” word that is basically meaningless. We became friends just because. Because we gave talking to each other a chance and it worked out and we ended up just talking more and more and spending more time doing things together and it just was an enjoyable enough experience each time that we gradually fell into a close friendship.

I feel this way about my other friends and even family members too. The friends & family I’m a little less close to, or close to in slightly different ways, who I’ve bonded with over different experiences, it all still was similar enough.

I don’t know. I don’t have time to really flesh this out right now. I need sleep and need to submit this already since I’m way late with my submission and it’s already well into March 1st in Australia.

I will write more on this subject soon. Please reply with your thoughts. Thanks.

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10 thoughts on “I Don’t (Meaningfully) Experience Platonic Attraction

  1. Oh wow yes I super relate to the idea that sometimes (/often) friendships (and, for me, romantic relationships) sometimes just “click” apropos of nothing, when I’m not even paying attention and certainly not experiencing attraction! I hadn’t ever quite thought about it though. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m the same way — in that I don’t really conceptualize it as a form of attraction, when I want to be friends or I just like someone. Haven’t really talked about the fact before, though. Apparently it’s a concept that works for some people.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thanks for writing this. As often seems to be the case, the two of us seem to have similar experiences. I don’t think there’s a significant difference between how I feel about family and how I feel about friends, but I characterize it as “love” or “bonding” rather than as “attraction”. I hope to find someone that I can develop this kind of love or bond with over time; I guess the trick is finding someone who is looking for a similar type of relationship and feelings and hoping that we “click” in some way despite a lack of any kind of “attraction”.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Way back over a year ago, I wrote a post [ https://yapbnweca.wordpress.com/2014/12/27/changing-labels/ ] in which I discussed the term “antraherent”, and despite the fact that I later determined that it actually doesn’t apply to me (making much, but actually not as much as I expected, of that post less relevant now), I’ve always felt it would be helpful to other people. Being “antraherent” (I never came up with a noun form, but perhaps “antraherency”?) means “not meaningfully experiencing interpersonal ‘attraction’ or otherwise not identifying with the concept in a general sense”. Perhaps this word/concept would be of use to people reading this post?
    As it happens, I still think that most of my interpersonal relationships don’t involve any sort of ‘attraction’, it’s just the rather rare demi ‘episodes’ (can’t think of a better term, it’s quite late) that are actually ‘attractive’ in nature, which might explain my continued attachment to the term, beyond the mere fact that I was the one to originally come up with the concept.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I relate very hard to the “my feelings toward people are neither romantic nor platonic.” Attraction is just completely irrelevant to my relationship formation. Attractions just don’t motivate me at all to change my actions around the person or want a different kind of relationship with the person, so none of my experience of attractions is meaningful.

    Like

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