Can anyone help me understand what attraction is? - Forums at Psych Central


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Old 02-04-2018, 12:41 PM #1
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Default Can anyone help me understand what attraction is?

Hello,

I am new here and joined to see if anyone can hel answer a question I have.

Question:
A few times in the past (2-3 times sometime alst year) I had active (meaning I was awake and it was intentional) romantic fantasies of being with celebrity women (actress and an athlete-fantasized about them in two separate occasions) and imagined being in a dating relationship (living together, kissing etc) and yet as soon as the fantasy was done I couldnt help but laugh at it because I have no attraction towards these women in real life (i.e. when I see them on TV I dont not feel any attraction) but in the past I did watch lesbian movies and maybe it got me curious at to what it would be like. I was turned on by the romantic fantasy but for whatever reason it doesnt crossover to any real life desire.

My question is: does being attracted to them in the fantasies I had in the past mean that I am attracted to them? I know in real life that I am not attracted to them at all but because of the attraction that I felt only in the past fantasy that I had its left me very confused. FYI, these fantasies were in the past only and I have no desire or attraction to these female celebs in fantasies now at all.

I am just confused if attraction to an individual occurs in fantasy but does not crossover to attraction in real life is that deemed as attraction?

Background info on me:

Basically I am a woman in her mids 20s who is very likely asexual and happily a virgin. Outside of a few fantasies, I do not desire physical intimacy in the real world. I could basically live into old ago and remain a virgin and this has been a consistent theme throughout my life. I consider myself closer to hetro romantic as I do and have formed romantic attraction to men just never desired entering into any form of romantic relationship as I prefer being alone.

Okay so when it comes to women in real life I have formed no desire on a physical or romantic. This has been a consistent theme throughout my life.
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Old 02-04-2018, 02:24 PM #2
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Smile Re: Can anyone help me understand what attraction is?

Well... I don't know a lot about this. But my thinking is that no... the fantasies you had were just that... fantasies. I know, myself, I have had all sorts of fantasies over the years. But I don't believe any of them necessarily bore any relationship to my life in the real world. They were just fantasies.

Nowadays especially, when we're bombarded by SO MANY images... on TV, in the movies, in print, etc. I think there is more than enough fuel for all sorts of fantasies. The danger is that, in some cases, people can begin to believe their fantasies are real. But, from what you wrote, it doesn't sound as though that is a problem for you. Personally, I would just chalk these fantasies up to idle imagination & let it go at that.

By the way... since you mentioned you feel you are asexual, I thought I would mention this on-line resource I just became aware of. It is The Asexual Education & Visibility Network. Perhaps it may be of some interest to you. Here's a link:

The Asexual Visibility and Education Network | asexuality.org

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Old 02-06-2018, 02:40 PM #3
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Default Re: Can anyone help me understand what attraction is?

Thanks you so much for your reply.

If I am being honest the reason I asked the question was that someone else wrote that romantic fantasies determine one's sexual orientation and then someone else told me that by fantasizing those two women celebrities, I was attracted to them and that I was suffering from maybe internalized homophobia. I explained that I was attracted to them in the thoughts in my head a few times in the past and that outside of those thoughts I felt nothing for them i.e. did not crush on them, feel attraction when I saw them
on tv, social media pics etc.

I dont know, I just feel like all these opinions made me confused. Like, I was a freak show for having felt an attraction to the thoughts in my head about the celebrity women but not to them when I saw them on tv or via pictures and never feeling any crush like feelings for them.

I've spent 14 months going round in circle analyzing if I liked women in real life, came to a conclusion I already knew all along which is that I have never and still do not feel any form of attraction to women in real life i.e. women i see everyday and do not desire or even want to experiment in any way. So no internalized homophia, no denial. I wish I didnt let people make me doubt myself and waste so much time digging to find out if I was homophobic, I wish people didnt assume everyone asking a question like mine isnt in denial or hiding something. At this point it looks like after 14 months I've developed a mental illness, unable to hold down a job, living off savings and basically trying to keep it together. Just wish I could afford counselling to speak to someone who specializes in whatever mental health issue I am going through.

Sorry for the rant and thank you so much for replying to me. Hopefully, ill get to a point where it all makes sense and the opinions of others doesnt drown out my own voice.
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Old 02-17-2018, 03:08 PM #4
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Default Re: Can anyone help me understand what attraction is?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skeezyks View Post
Well... I don't know a lot about this. But my thinking is that no... the fantasies you had were just that... fantasies. I know, myself, I have had all sorts of fantasies over the years. But I don't believe any of them necessarily bore any relationship to my life in the real world. They were just fantasies.
Hey Skeezyks, I should of asked this at the time when I replied to your post, but it took a break from all this confusion regarding fantasies and now feel so much more better and more inspired to just learn to be okay with being confused in life lol.

Can I ask when you express fantasies in your quote above do you distinguish between fantasies one has when they are awake? My fantasies were one's I had that I was awake i.e. it wasn't a dream. I only ask because some people have told me that fantasies one has when one is awake i.e. thoughts imagining stuff is an indication of true feelings as it is reality, whereas unconscious dreams one has when asleep are not. I remembered your feedback as it helped me out a lot but just wanted to confirm whether or not your feedback was based on fantasies one has in a dream ad/or fantasies one has when they are awake, if that makes sense?
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Old 02-17-2018, 05:24 PM #5
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Default Re: Can anyone help me understand what attraction is?

You know, if you're in severe pain you might dream of the doctor giving you a pill and telling you it'll take the pain away - and it will. In reality you won't want that pill because you know it won't help.

Get my analogy?

It's very much possible that you weren't just fantasizing the presence of the woman, you were also fantasizing liking it. I don't like touch much, yet if I'm feeling very lonely I might fantasize something giving me a hug and making me feel better.. in real life I don't want that hug because it won't make me feel better. Yet the fantasy can actually give me some comfort. *shrugs* weird stuff, but it makes sense I think. I think you were fantasizing about that good feeling/that feeling of attraction (or aiming to fantasize about that), and the celebs were mostly a medium to achieve that feeling in your fantasy.
People imagine living on the moon and liking it. They wouldn't like if they actually lived on the moon.. and probably wouldn't move there if offered the chance, either. You imagined attraction and/or a sexual relationship. You wouldn't necessarily like it in real life.
A lot of people dream of a beach holiday and sunbathing for a month, oh how relaxing it would be and how relaxed they would be. They'd go stir crazy in a week. Others dream of an active holiday and all the things they would see and learn and how interesting it would be. They'd be bored out of their minds in a week.

I think when imagining something, you're not just imagining the rest of the world in that situation, but also yourself in a situation where you like it. You weren't just imagining Britney Spears in your bedroom - it's very likely you were also imagining yourself as a sexual person.

Which I, as a fellow asexual, totally understand. I'm kind of interested in sex - well, not in the act (it sounds really creepy and somewhat disgusting to me), but in how a sexual relationship works - because I totally don't get it and why people would want it. I don't understand it, so I'm interested in it from an almost academic perspective. Being sexual for a moment sounds interesting, even if it's only in my imagination. Just as being a pirate for a day might have sounded interesting at some point in my life. All those kids who role-play being a pirate or a knight, they don't actually want to be a pirate or a knight. They don't secretly feel they are a pirate or a knight. They just like to imagine that their pencil is a sword and their rug a ship. You imagined you were responding a certain way. It's not weird and it doesn't really mean anything.

If you're asexual, you're asexual. If you are unsure enough that you have difficulty stating "I am", just follow my lead and say "I identify as".
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Old 02-17-2018, 08:35 PM #6
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Lightbulb Re: Can anyone help me understand what attraction is?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Breadfish View Post
You imagined attraction and/or a sexual relationship. You wouldn't necessarily like it in real life.
A lot of people dream of a beach holiday and sunbathing for a month, oh how relaxing it would be and how relaxed they would be. They'd go stir crazy in a week. Others dream of an active holiday and all the things they would see and learn and how interesting it would be. They'd be bored out of their minds in a week.

I think when imagining something, you're not just imagining the rest of the world in that situation, but also yourself in a situation where you like it. You weren't just imagining Britney Spears in your bedroom - it's very likely you were also imagining yourself as a sexual person.
If you're asexual, you're asexual. If you are unsure enough that you have difficulty stating "I am", just follow my lead and say "I identify as".
Breadfish, just to clarify your use of the word imagination is in regards to things being imagined whilst awake? I assume that is what you meant but just want to make sure.

Also Wow, thank you so, so much! I don't know who you are but seriously I don't think you understand just how much you have helped me I wasn't expecting anyone to reply let alone somewhat relate. This whole thing has not only confused me but isolated me because I found no one in my real life and online who had a similar experience. Maybe I just look too much into things? Its a desire to just know myself and why I do things that drives me to analyse. I also don't know how you were able to describe my situation so well. Yes the thoughts I imagined in my head while awake (on 2-3 separate occasions) were indeed sparked by a curiosity but the feelings of attraction disappeared as soon as the thoughts left. The conflicting feedback from others telling me it was attraction because it was imagined whilst I was awake just made me feel very confused and then alone. Thank you for helping me jump through this hurdle of confusion by sharing your experience and knowledge Ohh and yes asexual sounds very right in my situation.

Also your quote at the end in your signature really stuck out to me.
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Old 02-18-2018, 04:26 AM #7
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Default Re: Can anyone help me understand what attraction is?

Yes, with imagine I meant while awake. But I think it goes for dreams, too.

I'm very glad I was able to be helpful! For the most part I just extrapolated from my own experiences, and things I've seen with people in general. Just make a list once of all the things you've ever imagined doing and liking, and then afterwards thought But I don't actually want that! A dinner at a fancy restaurant with Michelin stars, champagne and a server that calls you My Lady sounds great and you might even fancy doing that sometime.. until you wisen up and realize you don't like exotic dishes, alcohol, and formality/stiffness.

If you want to conclude something from that, conclude: I'm in a crappy restaurant with a rude server now, and a chance would be nice. Or: I wonder what it's like.
A psychoanalyst would probably tell you you're dissatisfied with your current socio-economic status. (Or maybe even that that dissatisfaction is rooted in your contempt for your absent father who came from a low socio-economic background.)
Things usually have a meaning, and that meaning is also usually pretty simple. You fantasized because you were curious or lonely or both.
That means if you're at a crappy restaurant, go ahead and imagine it's the Ritz - or that the Ritz is your next stop. If you're lonely, go ahead and imagine Britney is there.

For some reason people seem to attach far more meaning to sexual fantasies/imaginations than 'regular' daydreams while honestly, they are not really all that different. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
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Old 02-18-2018, 06:13 PM #8
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Default Re: Can anyone help me understand what attraction is?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Breadfish View Post
Yes, with imagine I meant while awake. But I think it goes for dreams, too.

I'm very glad I was able to be helpful! For the most part I just extrapolated from my own experiences, and things I've seen with people in general. Just make a list once of all the things you've ever imagined doing and liking, and then afterwards thought But I don't actually want that! A dinner at a fancy restaurant with Michelin stars, champagne and a server that calls you My Lady sounds great and you might even fancy doing that sometime.. until you wisen up and realize you don't like exotic dishes, alcohol, and formality/stiffness.

If you want to conclude something from that, conclude: I'm in a crappy restaurant with a rude server now, and a chance would be nice. Or: I wonder what it's like.

Things usually have a meaning, and that meaning is also usually pretty simple. You fantasized because you were curious or lonely or both.


For some reason people seem to attach far more meaning to sexual fantasies/imaginations than 'regular' daydreams while honestly, they are not really all that different. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
Wise words! Yes, I actually have a lot of things I have imagined in my life that I do not want to do at all and that I do not analyse and identify with lol so yes you make perfect sense. Thank you again so, so much for sharing your time, knowledge and experience with me. I am forever grateful and wishing you all the good in the world for helping this very confused stranger get out of a rut of confusion. I am happy to say that I can close the door on this subject matter.
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