As I have grown in my Polyamorous identity, I have come to better appreciate the myriad ways in which I find myself attracted to others. As I make no secret of my sexual orientation, one might find that to be the most defining trait of me in my relationships. However I have started to understand that I am only still just beginning to scratch the surface of what all of that means and discovering this lovely little infographic has given me some further things to think about.
This graphic, ‘Types of Attraction’ by the Artist Secondlina that I found on Deviant Art was one that quickly resonated with me. I think it is a great representation of some of the most common types of attraction beyond common friendship. The more I look at it the more I contemplate my attractions to others, friends, family, acquaintances, and so on.
I intend to break this down a bit further here, but I would say that of these 6 types of attraction, I can personally relate the strongest with sexual, romantic & sensual attractions the strongest.
As I consider aesthetic attraction, I would almost hazard that this is probably highly relatable to the vast majority of us, unless you are someone who experiences no attraction to other people, maybe even as one of the first types of attraction we experience, as we begin to figure out what we find attractive in others.
It would be easy to treat aesthetic attraction as a creepy, one where someone looks, possibly staring, at another, but consider for a moment that we are all drawn to various features and it is easy to find your self staring in fascination at a work of art, but isn’t a person in which we take appreciation for their appearance also every bit as fascinating? I think we have largely been conditioned to think of this behavior as wrong or bad, but like so many types of attraction, it’s not something we are trying to do, but something we do instinctively. I think the answer to this is to simply remain kind but direct about any boundaries we have.
If you feel attraction and are not A-Romantic, you are likely going to have experienced crushes. I know I have. I have had them going back as far as adolescence, and I continue to experience them to this day. This seems like probably one of the most basic of attractions, and may precede aesthetic attractions. I think the vast majority of my crushes tend to occur where I cannot act on them, or rather where I put a solid boundary not to act on them, such as in professional relationship; co-workers, clients, etc.
My squishes are few and far between, but I think that the closest I get tend to be with members of the opposite sex. My number one squish is my best friend. We have a very strong platonic relationship, but it is completely non-romatic or sexual. We have long been capable of being extremely close, cuddling, just being totally intimate without any other motives.
Sexual Attraction is my strongest attraction force. I would probably classify myself as Megasexual. This doesn’t mean I only desire sex, or hook ups, though I have and feel no shame in those. But I would rather get to know a person, know that I can enjoy their company beyond the bedroom. This could be a single date, and going at it on the first date, or it can be something that develops with people I am initially hooking up with. But I am certainly prone. to sexual attractions.
Romantic Attraction are for me the most common type of attraction I experience. Defined as “of, relating to, or involving love between two people” by Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Romantic Attraction is, to me, at the core of my Polyamory. Compared to sexual attraction which is often part of a romantic attraction, it tends to last longer than the sexual aspect. When I have a romantic attraction to someone it’s a rooted connection that is likely to outlive more physical ones. I may or may not experience sexual attraction when I experience a romantic attraction, but I don’t put sex first in serious relationships with my partners.
Sensual Attraction is an interesting one, I don’t really tend to experience an exclusively sensual attraction to my partners. But I do love a tender touch, smelling my partners hair, the taste of their lips during a kiss. Cuddling is an absolute delight. I very much enjoy sensuality in my relationships, but I would say that this is one that I cannot relate to as a stand alone form.