Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sexual attraction

Since declaring myself asexual about a year and a half ago, I have done more experimentation, had more candid discussions and experienced more diverse situations involving sexuality than in my whole previous life. And I have been able to do that because I now felt secure in the knowledge that the only thing that is required of me, is to follow my own natural impulses, and there was no pressure to act in any way that I might have previously thought I needed to act, out of an obligation to comply with “normal”. So I want to shout that from the rooftops to “experts” who fear that asexual people are closing themselves off prematurely: I and many others share your value of self-exploration. Very much.
I am fortunate to have experienced a trusting, emotionally intimate and mutually supportive relationship with a close friend, who does feel sexual attraction towards me. Now that I know that a) I am not required to respond, and that b) I am free to have any reaction, people who are attracted to me no longer freak me out, and I feel quite comfortable addressing this. I feel open to receiving and feeling whatever is being felt by them or me.
I’ve found that although it never occurred to me to have sexual ideas (I may have wanted to be more physically affectionate) before my friend’s attraction was made explicit to me – I am able to respond to the feeling of sexual attraction. My body senses and resonates with the longing, and feels a quickening of energy when near, which is enjoyable. At some point, I want to write a separate post about the concepts of “proceptive” and “receptive” sexual desire – I seem to lack proceptive, the initiative and drive part, but am capable of receptive arousal. At the same time, I can’t seriously imagine initiating something like this without a strong desire on the part of the other: I just wouldn’t believe myself.
So recently I’ve been feeling the feelings that this brings up. It still doesn’t really involve sexual fantasy in terms of body parts, but it does involve an attraction to something. It occurs to me that the desire I feel, is basically for surrender. It’s a desire to be completely open, free, loving. Desire for absence of any conflict and tension, utter flow and total intimacy, absolute nakedness in the sense of having nothing to hide, being completely real. I imagine these are desires shared across sexual orientations. I may or may not express them through sex – it would not be my first choice, as I lack the primary drive.
The presence of this person inspires a great openness in me. And I think I get now that what is commonly referred to as “sexual attraction” is when you think you need that particular person to cause these wonderful feelings of letting go, openness and unguardedness for you. I find that problematic. It places the responsibility for feeling your feelings, on an external stimulus. Whereas in fact, the way I see it, what’s primary is my longing to be completely open, real and transparent. The reason there is attraction to a particular person is because we somehow only ALLOW ourselves to feel those feelings around them, because we consider that person safe. We close down around other people because we consider them unsafe. I realized this in the middle of a wave of gripping desire to be close to my friend. That what I really wanted, was not this person per se, it was the feelings I am able to have with them. I realized: “I’m really longing to surrender.” And what came to me was – “Just be the openness.” Allow yourself to feel that much intimacy and flow, right now, with yourself. That switch was very soothing and nourishing and pleasurable, and released the obsessive focus on the person instantly.
This is not to say that I intend to just be by myself all the time. Only that there’s a possibility to share this intimacy with each other freely, rather than obsessively, rather than believing the other person has to provide it for us.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for writing this. I often can identify with your posts, and learn a lot from them. I think I may know what you mean about the "receptive" and being open to - or even desiring - sexuality with another person for other than sexual reasons.

    "[Thinking] you need that particular person to cause these wonderful feelings of letting go, openness and unguardedness for you" may be part of sexual attraction -- I certainly assume the "wonderful feelings" are part of what a sexual person hopes to get out of a sexual experience -- but I think you leave out a large part of the story. I think there's still the issue of satisfying a core sexual desire, of acting on a specifically sexual attraction, and that this is something sexual people experience and asexual people do not.