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I've to some degree decided that I'm dealing with a lack of sexual attraction.  I went on a few dates, felt nothing toward any of them, and decided that something's wrong.

my therapist gently pointed out that I was able to name three celebrities I was attracted to when asked.

so what gives? 

my therapist may have a theory--we ran out of time before we could get to it.  I'm just curious if anyone on CB had been here before or has any theories, regardless of how wacky they may feel.

Edited by dancesintherain

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Are you depressed? That might explain how you can name attractive people but feel disinterest to the “here and now” 

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Difficulty forming relationships? Hell yeah! My parents were miserable together, and shared that misery with us kids. Some people are traumatised by their parents separating, others are traumatised by their parents staying together. Love is a good thing, or so I hear. Sexual attraction is one thing but relationships seem frightening. They all live happily ever in the movies, rather than living ever after, in a mutually destructive relationship which drags down all who depend on them.

If any of that seems at all relevant then maybe you're closing yourself up when you go on dates. You're ambivalent about being in a relationship and are maybe as scared of someone liking you as you are of them not liking you. 

Or is that just me?

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could be mild depression, thanks @Iceberg

@Fluent In Silence you've probably touched on some of the psychosocial aspect.  My parents were miserable for my growing up years (they are happy as a clam right now).  I've had relationships, but I'm still hoping to find a long-term partner.  But to do that, I have to get to sexual attraction.  Or at least some point early on.  Because I can't keep up a relationship without it.

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have you dealt with absence of sexual attraction in the past at all? the degree of sexual interest that you have does tend to fluctuate based on how much stress you're dealing with, whether you're depressed or not, hormones, and plenty of other things. you may just be in a bit of a trough right now, if you think of attraction as a wavelength.

re: the celebrity thing -- i think it's a lot easier to feel attracted to celebrities because it's part of their job to look attractive. you don't see any of their less desirable features, because we pretty much only see them when they're dolled up. i kind of think that in a way, attraction to celebrities is less about finding the person attractive and more about finding the concept that they represent attractive, if that makes sense. plenty of actors (for example) get their roles by filling a visual type -- sexy redhead, dashing and brooding loner, manic pixie dreamgirl.

also, sexual attraction to real people has higher stakes. how do you go about acting on that attraction? what do you say? when will you meet up? it's more work, for one thing, and you have a real person's feelings at stake. in my personal experience, my constantly slightly-depressed brain tends to write off the whole thing as more trouble than it's worth. but, take that with a grain of salt, because i'm not super interested in relationships in the first place. i tend to blame the OCPD for that, since it comes with intimacy difficulties as part of the bundle. so! i guess all i really mean to say is that i have low sexual attraction, and this is my reasoning for why. it'll be interesting to hear your therapist's theory.

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On 2/6/2020 at 12:28 AM, dancesintherain said:

I've to some degree decided that I'm dealing with a lack of sexual attraction.  I went on a few dates, felt nothing toward any of them, and decided that something's wrong.

my therapist gently pointed out that I was able to name three celebrities I was attracted to when asked.

so what gives? 

my therapist may have a theory--we ran out of time before we could get to it.  I'm just curious if anyone on CB had been here before or has any theories, regardless of how wacky they may feel.

Sexual attraction? Ha....what's that? Only felt this in the past when I was either  a.) drunk/buzzed and b.) not on antidepressants. Depression, stress and hormone fluctuations destroy it. On a mental/visual level, yes certain men are sexually attractive, but do I actually FEEL this attraction? No....I haven't goggled over a guy or "hot" celebrity in like 20 years. I feel nothing.

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Yeah, when I started talking with my therapist about this, I commented that I hadn't felt that "lose sight of your words" sexual chemistry with someone for years.  AT least two and maybe even more than that. 

I can see it being harder when it's an IRL person sitting in front of me.  That makes sense.

 

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Also another point to consider. It can be hard to have attraction to a random person. Some people need an actual friend connection and trust before they can feel anything sexual. Also, here’s a thing probably age related more commonly, but sometimes you can have a sort of intellectual or mental idea of attraction but not much real drive to act on it in the now—like people in long term relationships not spontaneously in the mood, but can get into it once they get started. It sounds like maybe you are not pursuing a relationship because you don’t feel “chemistry “,  but it may be that the relationship needs to come first, especially as some people age or with some meds. I have no idea of your age or anything so this may or may not be a factor for you. Something to consider anyway, as an explanation. 

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thanks @sugarsugar.  I'm 37.  I had a six year relationship to a guy that ended up with a broken engagement, but I currently identify as lesbian (there isn't a causal relationship there).  Previously, I've felt decent chemistry at the beginning stages, which makes me wonder if it is the elevated prolactin.  But I've just had a really long dry spell (5 years) without a serious relationship and I'm worried that will continue. 

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