More about types of attraction

There are many different ways that people feel attracted to each other. Some of them are purely physical, while others are more emotional or intellectual.

Physical, or sensual, attraction describes the desire to be around someone physically and to touch them – but not in a sexual way. Examples include hugging friends or petting a pet.

Subjective Physical Attraction

Attraction is often thought of as a physical experience, but there are many different types. There are five main categories of attraction: sexual, romantic, physical, emotional, and intellectual. Each of these can be fluid and change throughout a relationship, but understanding the various forms of attraction will help you navigate your relationships better.

Sexual attraction is a desire to become involved sexually with another person. It may occur alongside romantic attraction, but they are separate experiences. It is also possible to be sexually attracted to someone without having romantic feelings for them.

Physical attraction is the desire to be close to someone, including touch (but not in a sexual way). It can include things like hugging and cuddling with friends or family members. It is a human need and is important in all relationships, whether they are platonic or romantic. Physical attraction can also be dictated by a person’s appearance, which is known as aesthetic attraction.

Subjective Sexual Attraction

Sexual desire and attraction is an incredibly complex mix of biological, emotional, social and cultural factors. Although some studies link low cue-specificity of genital vasocongestion to lower levels of subjective sexual arousal, others suggest that preparation plays an important role in facilitating the connection between these two components of sexual arousal and that the relationship between these is not linear.

A key component of this theory is that women’s subjective sexual arousal can be enhanced by integrating their laboratory experience with a partner, thus increasing the amount of emotional immersion in the stimulation. This is thought to result in stronger agreement between women’s subjective and genital arousal, which in turn can lead to greater motivation to act on this arousal and increased willingness to do so. Three self-report measures of subjective sexual arousal have been developed in order to secure more uniform measurement across laboratories and allow for comparison between men and women.

Objective Physical Attraction

Understanding how people feel about each other is a key part of building a sense of connection. Many people think that attraction only refers to sexual or romantic feelings, but you can actually feel a number of different types of attraction for a person.

Objective physical, or sensual, attraction is a desire to be around people and to show love and affection through touch. This type of attraction can go together with other types, but it doesn’t have to. It’s also common for asexual or aromantic people to feel this type of attraction.

Emotional attraction is a desire to connect with someone on an emotional level, like talking about your feelings and being open about your experiences. Sometimes this type of attraction can lead to romance, but it’s just as likely to be platonic.

Objective Sexual Attraction

Although people often associate sexual attraction with romance, it can be present in all types of relationships, including platonic ones. For example, a college male may be sexually attracted to his female classmate even though they are just acquaintances. The attraction itself isn’t necessarily sinful, but it can be directed toward immoral things such as sex and marriage.

Physical or sensual attraction is a desire to be around others and to give and receive physical affection such as hugs or cuddling. It can go hand in hand with other types of attraction but does not need to.

Intellectual attraction is the desire to interact with people on a more cerebral level, such as discussing different topics or admiring their point of view. It can also be referred to as sapiosexuality and is an important aspect of emotional intimacy. This type of attraction is a necessary component of friendships and even some types of romantic relationships.