What Does Sexual Attraction Feel Like

Last Updated 25.03.2022
10 min read

If you are inexperienced or asexual, you may wonder what sexual attraction feels like. You may also be curious about romantic attraction if you are similarly inexperienced or aromantic. Or, maybe you are just curious about the psychology and science behind sexual tension.

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Believe it or not, it's actually a fascinating topic. People have been studying it for years. All of this is to simply understand, what does sexual attraction feel like, and what causes these feelings of sexual tension?

We do know that sexual attraction is often portrayed in pop culture completely inaccurately. In fact, it can be humorously funny. At the same time, it's damaging. People may believe their own feelings are weird or wrong. That's why this is such an important topic to discuss.

Have you ever dated someone after knowing them platonically for quite a long time? Think about it. You didn't feel sexual attraction from the start. Instead, those feelings of sexual tension either hit suddenly, or they slowly crept up over time. Does feeling sexual attraction differ when you start with a non-sexual relationship? What about your first same-sex relationship if you've previously only had relationships with members of the opposite sex? Does that feel or work differently?

Why is Sexual Attraction So Important?

Sexual attraction is undeniably an important part of many relationships. It may not be the only important thing, but for a lot of people feeling sexually attracted to someone is a really big deal.

When you do experience sexual attraction, you will notice that it's more than just a desire to be with somebody sexually. As part of feeling sexual attraction, your body actually releases hormones that make you feel happy. Just being around someone you are physically attracted to makes you feel good.

Finally, remember that you can feel sexual attraction with someone you don't want to have sex with, or with whom you have never even met. That explains experiencing sexual attraction with celebrities or having feelings for a crush at work that you would never pursue. Sexual desire is important because it crops up in so many different ways.

What About Lack of Sexual Attraction?

If you are going to fully understand how sexual attraction works, you should understand the lack of it. Not just the absence of sexual attraction that everybody experiences, but the lack of sexual attraction that people who are asexual feel. This is normal. This is valid, and more people are asexual than most people realize.

While an asexual person doesn't experience sexual attraction, they may feel crushes, romantic feelings, and aesthetic attraction. Some people are still interested in asexual dating while they may not even be turned off by the idea of sex. Some enjoy being in romantic relationships. They just don't particularly feel any urge to have sex.

What Does Sexual Attraction Feel Like?

After watching a "steamy" show such as "Sex And The City", as an asexual you may believe that the feeling of sexual attraction can simply be described as wanting to rip off your clothes. While some people do experience that feeling, there is normally a process when it comes to sexual attraction.

We, as humans, are incredibly strange creatures and there are times when sexual attraction is a feeling that goes largely unnoticed. For the most part, every person is different, and because of this, the reaction to sexual attraction can completely vary from one person to the other.

Your Body Usually Tells You

The human body is one of the strangest and most extraordinary things in the world. While this concept may seem strange to some especially if you haven't experienced it for yourself, your body does tell you when you are sexually attracted to someone. Remember that this feeling of sexual attraction doesn't need to be analyzed. Remember that sexual attraction normally starts in the body, your head is usually completely separate.

Sexual attraction is all about the potential connection of your physical bodies, therefore you need to become in tune with your body and listen to what it has to say. Remember that sexual and physical attraction are interchangeable terms for a reason. So listen to your body and pay attention to what it is telling you.

You Tend To Mimic Who You're Attracted To

Pay attention to how you may respond to those around you, you normally won't even notice that you tend to mimic the body language of those you like.

Interactional synchrony is what this phenomenon is referred to as, and it is based on one of the key foundations of communication. Imitation. After all, how is it that we learn how to speak to begin with? By imitating others.

This may sound absolutely insane! But this act of imitation is constant through all forms of attraction. Including the mental and emotional forms of said attraction. It's why humans tend to imitate the people that they like. It's an attempt to bond with others and get closer to them.

Your Body Will Feel Warm

You're familiar with the feeling of embarrassment, correct? Your heart starts twisting around and your stomach drops. You feel a bit of heat rising to your face. Well that feeling is relatively similar to what most people may feel when they are sexually attracted to someone.

You start to feel hot, and your heartbeat goes up in pace. This is normally when the desire for another person starts to kick in. Your body, and potentially theirs as well, will start to feel continuously warm.

Dopamine Starts To Set In

This might not mean much to you at first. What exactly is Dopamine? It is essentially a chemical that is produced by your brain that is responsible for the feeling of sexual attraction. It is essentially what causes you to become aroused and what gives you that twisting feeling in your stomach

This chemical has a tendency to be referred to as "The Happiness Hormone" that makes you feel good with the help of endorphins. It can also make a certain person or object much more addictive so there is a dark side to this hormone.

You'll Have A Tendency To Touch Them

Essentially the feeling of sexual attraction is the desire to touch another person. While you may not realize it when it's happening you tend to touch others more when you're physically attracted to them. Of course, it might not seem like much by that playful touch to the shoulder or arm may indicate stronger feelings for them.

After all, many relationships start off with a simple touch. Therefore if you feel drawn to touch them, that's how sexual attraction tends to feel.

You Remember Small Details About Them

This may seem weird to some but we do have a tendency to remember, especially when it comes to those that we are sexually attracted to. You have a tendency to remember even the smallest details of the things they tell you. This is something that is known as 'considerate memory'.

Of course this doesn't mean that you or the other person will remember how one of you broke your arm while sledding as a child. What it does mean is that they may remember your shirt size, how you enjoy your coffee, or even what you always order from the cafe around the corner. It's the same reason why you tend to remember the little details about those you care about.

You Feel Like There Are Magnets Pulling You Together

For those who wonder what sexual attraction feels like, just remember how strong the emotions of desire and passion are. When you are sexually attracted to someone you feel like you're being pulled towards them and those emotions with a magnet.

Of course some people may brush this off as some strange hippie lingo, but it is actually science. Cellular attraction basically means that your cells are being attracted to theirs. This attraction makes you want to be physically closer to them.

Cellular attraction also explains the strange feeling of being drawn to those you are sexually attracted to. You can test this out the next time you're with someone who you think may be sexually attracted to you.

Sit next to them and then move a little bit away from them, make sure to do this slowly. If they are attracted to you they will most likely follow.

You Tend To Think About Them

Sometimes you go on a date with other people and you tend to stop thinking about them once you part ways. This is normally a sign that you two didn't have much of a connection. You probably had a good time with the other but you just didn't seem to click.

When you are sexually, or mentally attracted to someone you tend to think of them when you aren't together. You feel such a strong desire for them that you can't help but allow your thoughts to lean towards them. If you aren't thinking about how they might be kissing or how they might look when they're on top of you naked, then you probably aren't sexually attracted to them. Of course, you will have non-sexual thoughts about them as well.

Your Pulse Rises

Just like with all forms of attraction, when you are sexually attracted to someone your body produces a wide range of hormones. These hormones include oxytocin, endorphins, and norepinephrine.

There is a science to figuring out why your heart rate increases whenever you see a particular person. Remember that as we stated earlier, sexual attraction starts in the body. As your adrenal gland sends those hormones out into your body, one of the side effects is that your heart beats faster.

Eye Contact

Surprisingly a sure sign of sexual attraction is consistent eye contact. Many people would assume that you would want to constantly have your eyes roaming across their body when you're sexually attracted to someone, however eye contact is usually the cue that you may be sexually attracted. After all eye contact is one of the most intimate forms of communication and if there's any form of sexual attraction you will most definitely be holding your gaze.

Here's something else that's interesting. Wait until somebody in the room says something funny. Most people will look at the joke teller. Your eyes will be on the person you're attracted to.

Other People Make Comments

While it might not be obvious to you or the person you're attracted to, it may be obvious to others around you. If you wonder what sexual attraction feels like take notice of how other people may observe or comment on your tension. After all, people tend to notice things about others much better than what they may notice about themselves.

You Probably Feel Nervous Around Them

When you are sexually attracted to a person you tend to feel anxious around them. This is where the concept of the whole butterflies in your stomach tends to revolve around. You tend to feel nervous, and when you sense their presence or spot them from across the room that odd sensation tends to increase. Unfortunately, this could lead to you saying really cringey things around them, or being super quiet.

Your Voice Might Change

When you are attracted to someone you may change the pitch of your voice. This is usually done unconsciously so don't feel bad about it. This change in tone is perfectly normal and is found to make you seem more attractive if nothing else.

You Tend To Hug Them Longer

When you're attracted to someone you tend to want to keep physical contact with them. So when you hug them that hug tends to last a bit longer than it does for those you're not attracted to. Because you're attracted to them you subconsciously don't want to let go of them.

You Feel Aroused

This is possibly the most evident piece that comes with the whole idea of being sexually attracted to others. If you feel aroused or turned on by their presence then you are sexually attracted to them. There isn't much else to say on the matter.

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