Sunday, July 20, 2014


When I was young I thought people were a lot like me on the inside when it came to sex.  I think about sex constantly and am extremely distractable when there are curves in my field of vision.  After having sex I take a bit of time to recharge but it isn't as if I am done - after all, once my body is cooled back down I generally can't think of anything more fun than just having sex more.  Listening to other guys talk this seemed like the normal sort of teenage boy experience and I assumed it was this way for pretty much everyone.  When other people made the occasional comment to the contrary I tended to dismiss it figuring they were just repressed, or depressed, or putting me on.  After all, sex, amirite?

Obviously in the intervening years from then to now I learned that people come in all types and that many of them don't have the same constant insatiable lust that defines my experience.  It was relatively easy to understand that asexuals exist and that they simply don't experience much or any sexual desire but what really got me was just how varied people's experiences are.  A simple number line with me at one end and asexuals at the other doesn't cut it at all.

In particular I read this post about demisexuality (those who primarily or only experience sexual desire in the context of an emotional relationship) and began chatting with other people about it.  One person described sexual desire as the coexistence of aesthetic appeal, horniness, and desire to snuggle.  I was floored.  I experience aesthetic appeal when I look at my daughter, athletes, particularly shapely noses, and any other number of things.  I am horny regularly and I totally get the desire to snuggle but none of those three are sexual desire.  I would describe sexual desire as "The desire to rub my genitals all over that."  The person in question and I stared at each other realizing that we had a totally different understanding of what sexual attraction even meant, never mind when or how often we experience it!

This led me to ask more questions.  In movies and shows straight cis men are often portrayed as rutting beasts rendered completely incapable of rational thought in the presence of boobs.  This always struck me as pretty much true.  I demonstrate a lot more self control than the men in question but my raw desire is very much like that and it requires substantial willpower to keep myself  focused on anything but breasts when breasts are there to be seen.  It being hard to gain perspective from inside one's own head I asked other people if my sexual desire is normal for a straight cis dude and the answer was a resounding no.

The word for people like me that regularly experience sexual desire in many different contexts is allosexual.  Apparently I am not just one of the norm - I am a bit of an outlier, the allosexual's allosexual if you will.  The way straight cis dudes are portrayed in media is meant to be a caricature, a ludicrous exaggeration.  The way teenage boys talk about sex and desire is distorted the same way out of bravado and macho culture and I thought it was all just straight up.  Obviously a lot of the stuff in those two examples I don't identify with like the constant objectification of women and rape culture but the power and constancy of overpowering desire totally describes my life experience.

That is not to say I am entirely alien - if you do imagine frequency of sexual desire on a number line from zero (no sexual desire) to ten (average amount of sexual desire) I am probably a twenty.  A couple standard deviations out from the average but still within comprehension of most people.  So there you go, a rough and inaccurate mathematical model of how I am a weirdo in yet another way.  I should be used to that by now.

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