On Sex-Favourable Asexuality

This is an interesting article by Talia on asexual agenda. I find this particularly insightful:

I often wonder if sex-favourable asexual people are such a minority because their experiences often do not make sense in asexual discourse and so they don’t stay in (or even join) the community because it’s not useful to them. I’ve long avoided the AVEN forums and the asexual tag on Tumblr because the way that many people write about asexuality there does not include me. I feel more at home in allosexual communities and you will find me responding to their censuses because I happen to be there.

http://asexualagenda.wordpress.com/2014/07/25/reflections-on-the-use-and-boundaries-of-sex-favourable-asexual-as-a-term/

However I’m intrigued as to how, if at all, we should see the category Gray-A as overlapping with sex-favourable. Furthermore, what’s the potential extension of the latter category? The more I’ve read, the more I realised that ‘sex-positive asexuality’ (as I called it in my first paper) slipped out of my later writing partly because I saw little empirical evidence of it (potentially indicating how much things have changed since 2008), partly because it confused me conceptually and partly because many experiences I saw as distinctively Gray-A might now come to be categorised by the people in question as sex-favourable. I’m also curious about the phenomenological boundary between desire and attraction – how does this play out over time and shift in the context of a relationship? One of the reasons I’ve found the category of Gray-A interesting is because a lot of people could potentially fall into it e.g. a common experience of the loss of sexual attraction but continuing sexual desire within a long-term sexual relationship.

2 thoughts on “On Sex-Favourable Asexuality

  1. The first thought that springs to my mind on the matter of desire and attraction is that model, which I can’t recall the name of, that includes secondary sexual attraction and primary sexual attraction.

    I think of desire as a (or the?) strong urge to seek out physical intimacy, especially that which is sexual in nature, the urge to be close and have that proximity. Sexual desire then, is the urge to have specifically sexual-proximity.
    Libido is the physical arousal state, and I find that (for me) desire seems to form or increase if it’s running high.
    For attraction, it happens directly in connection with the person, I think of it as the thing directing desire. (And yes, I do think it would be possible for someone to have desire, without the ability to feel attracted. I look to the people calling themselves “cupidosexuals” on tumbler, as a variant of aromantic aces. I think maybe they are an example of people who have desire without direction.)
    I’m not sure if I do, or ever have, experienced what that model calls ‘primary’ sexual attraction, but it seems to relate directly to looking at a person and then experiencing a spike in libido and desire, the attraction provides the direction for the accompanying ‘spikes’ as seeking personal physical pleasure.
    For what is called in that model ‘secondary attraction’ which I think I primarily experience, it might not result from looking at the person so much as thinking about them, the reasoning behind seeking closeness is to do with the other rather than the self, and I personally seem to not experience a libido spike with it, just the desire spike.

    I seem to remember having possibly, *maybe*, but I’m really not sure, experienced ‘primary’ attraction at the very beginning of my relationship with my spouse, but I still experience ‘secondary’ attraction and desire for sure.

    This topic is interesting to me, I rather look forward to what you potentially find out about it.
    Oh, and I don’t know that you’d have any, but I’d be good with answering any questions. 🙂

  2. sorry for such a late response, that’s really helpful though – i’m now wondering if I’ve ever experienced primary sexual attraction! i’m wondering how well this distinction maps on to identifications within the asexual community and how these relate to what people see as ‘normal’ experience of sexual attraction.

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