Brief thought: dating and ‘types’

In general, when you look at the group of people I have seriously dated (and/or been seriously into but maybe never dated), there’s really no discernible physical ‘type’ of people I am into. My dating history has been exclusively white (and my being-into-people history is primarily, though not exclusively, white as well); a function of racism and white supremacy that I am complicit in enough that my social circles have consistently been pretty overwhelmingly white. But that’s about the only through-line I can identify.

And this makes a lot of sense, given that I am demisexual – although I develop an attraction to people’s features once I am close to them, their looks aren’t the initial draw and whatever qualities do initially draw me to people aren’t correlated with physical appearance, so that’s pretty much that.

I have noticed, though, that in a minor way I do have a sort of type; it’s just that it has shifted in various ways throughout my life. The pattern is clear though: when I am partnered I experience a sort-of attraction to other people who look like my partner(s) in various ways.

I say sort-of, because it’s really a very shallow attraction – scratch the surface and you’ll find me just as uncertain about my desire to be intimate with these people as I am about any other random person. But there is a veneer of something that appears, nevertheless.

I don’t actually have any serious thoughts about this, right now. It’s mostly just an interesting observation (er, I hope it’s interesting, anyway?)

I’d definitely be interested to hear from other demi/grey-ace/otherwise ace spectrum people who sometimes experience sexual or romantic attraction though! Is this an experience I share with other people?

7 comments

  1. I definitely think I am demisexual, and for me, I have a type that is “realistic dating partner” (even though I’m not looking, and I rarely “see” this person out and about. These people are more androgynous female-esque types.

    And then I have a type that is more of a possibility to be physiologically turned on, even though I have a really hard time conjuring up fantasies, and a sexual response is rare/fleeting. These people are male, and they’re the types I seek out within porn, or that I might think, “he’s cute” if walked by someone in real life. These two groups are really distinctly divided.

  2. I also have this experience. One of the first people I dated was overweight and brown, and for some time afterward I had the impression that my “type” was overweight brown–based on aesthetic attraction to passing strangers. Now that I’ve dated several people it appears to be a bit more mixed. Ironically I do not experience aesthetic attraction to my partners.

  3. This is interesting! Thanks for sharing.

    I’ve got no aesthetic or sexual attraction for anyone, but I have noticed a pattern in the only two guys I’ve dated longterm (one was a queerplatonic partnership but I still think we were dating) – they both had fraternal twin brothers! Ok lol obviously (hopefully?) that’s just a silly coincidence. (I didn’t learn this fact about either of them until long after I was interested in them lol.)

    No a real pattern I’ve noticed in the guy I asked out in high school (to junior prom, he turned me down) plus all the guys I’ve dated (whether for 2 dates or more longterm) is just how they’re… all more introverted than me, I’m drawn to the super quiet types? Idk what that is. The first guy I ever “decided” I had a crush on was basically like that too. I think I’ve had strong squishes for people of all genders who aren’t as quiet, but still. I can’t recall anyone who wasn’t male who was this introverted/private/soft spoken who I was this drawn to… ?

    I don’t know what kind of attraction I do or don’t feel but I do find these kinds of things fascinating.

    When I didn’t know asexuality existed I thought I had a type based on the male TV show characters –
    The ones who I later realized I was probably most empathizing/identifying with. I wasn’t drawn to them for how they looked, but they mostly happened to have ways they looked in common. Dark-ish hair, usually… white and/or European guy… except for the like one blond exception and the one Indian actor…

    When I started dating, and had a kissing-averse person’s reaction to kissing, I think the VERY first question I tried asking myself is if the problem was that the guy wasn’t “my type”, and in the same thought then trying to discern for non tv show level beautiful people what my type even was. (Hint: none. Oh gosh I was so clueless. Even the tv show guys weren’t my type, I now realize.)

    1. Ok, so there’s a lot of interesting stuff here (thank you for sharing!) but now you’ve also sent me down a whole new wondering rabbit hole based on the fact that, so often in casting tv shows and movies, personality types are conflated with physical types (hence many of your squishes ‘coincidentally’ looking similar), and there’s no way in heck that people’s preferences/’types’ aren’t influenced by that!

      There’s almost certainly room for a thesis on that topic tho XD

  4. I’m…somewhere in the demiromantic zone? And I have similar experiences of superficial attraction to people who resemble the couple of people I’ve ever been seriously attracted to, but it also seems to fade over time. Honestly, I think that my perception of physical features as attractive (or not) is pretty malleable based on what kind of emotional associations I make. E.g., when asked to pick out the most attractive character in a movie when I was a teenager, I would generally pick the nicest or most heroic one. I’m currently trying to curate my media consumption to take advantage of that tendency in unlearning prejudice; unfortunately, it’s not so easy to accomplish on some axes of oppression.

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