I read a post about primary and secondary sexual attraction on valprehension and it made me think about the way I experience sexual attraction and the way I make decisions about it. The post postulated that primary sexual attraction is roughly speaking the desire to have sex with someone based on superficial qualities, while secondary sexual attraction is based on intimacy, emotional connection, etc.
One particular quote stood out:
The way I think about secondary sexual attraction in an allosexual context is that it’s the thing that allows people to remain attracted to each other over time in long-term relationships, as their bodies inevitably change drastically from however they used to look, and stop having the characteristics that caused the initial primary sexual attraction they may have felt for one another.
This gave me pause, because I suddenly realized that this illustrates how different I am from most allosexuals in terms of the way I experience primary and secondary sexual attraction.
If I am in a relationship with someone the idea of not being sexually attracted to them just seems impossible. It isn't as though I need to lean on shared experience and emotional closeness to maintain desire, because the only way that sort of bond can exist is in combination with intense lust on my part. Granted, I haven't been in a long term relationship with someone whose body changed drastically over time - like, for example, being in a relationship with someone from the age of 20 to 80, but I do know that lust doesn't diminish with time at all for me. From day 1 to day 4000 it is always there.
When I think about the idea of being in love with someone and not wanting to jump their bones it feels preposterous. Romantic love doesn't help sexual desire along - sexual desire is a requirement for romantic love to even exist for me.
In any case most of the change in sexual desire in long term relationships has little to do with appearance. People who have sex every day at the start of a relationship generally wind down fairly rapidly whether or not they change how they look. It is more a function of time and familiarity. Appearance is definitely critical at the start for most people, and matters some down the road, but it isn't the critical factor that changes sexual desire for most people.
I suspect that sexual desire and romantic attraction aren't so dependent for most people. They are independent variables, and people are mostly quite able to have lust for some, love for others, and search for that magical person in whom they can have both things. Like the quote above says, that lust fades with time and the love maintains the bond, and this makes sense to me.
Demisexuals are different in that they don't normally experience lust except when an emotional bond is already there. I appear to be the opposite of that, where love doesn't appear except in the case where lust already does. I tried thinking of a term for this, like hemisexual or duosexual, but all the words are already taken, so forget it. I found lots of discussions on what the opposite of demisexual is, but the concepts were all quite unlike me. Perhaps I should have been looking for the complimentary version of demisexual instead of the opposite?
Not to say that I am some special snowflake, particularly, because most allosexuals experience romantic love and lust as intertwined most of the time. However, most of them also experience lust declining while romantic love remains, and most of them are quite capable of maintaining romantic love without primary sexual attraction. I don't do either of those things.
I do totally agree with the main point of Val's post though, my ramblings on this small chunk of exposition aside. There is nothing wrong with having any particular set of things you find attractive about people, and certainly no moral fault in making their physical characteristics part of the package. You definitely should think about it like "This is what I have found attractive in others" rather than "X group is unattractive" though, because it is fundamentally a thing that happens in your brain, not a characteristic of the other person.
I often see sapiosexual listed as a thing on dating profiles, and if a person really is only interested in somebody else's brain, then all good. However, there are definitely people who pitch themselves like that because they think it makes them superior... and a strange tendency for them to still mostly want to date conventionally attractive people. What you are attracted to is your thing, and you can be whatever way you want, but don't try to place your attractions on a pedestal, and don't pretend that it is some universal property of the world.
Like whatever stuff you want, just don't make it out that you are better than others for liking the stuff you like, nor that the stuff you don't like is inherently bad, or even unlikeable.