Autosexuality Is When You Get Turned On By Your Own Self. No, It’s Not Narcissism
I was oblivious to the concept of bad sex or lack of sexual chemistry until I dated someone who had absolutely zero interest in doing me. How can kissing be so awkward? How can someone not cuddle and be affectionate with a person they claim to love? He was shockingly cold. It was almost like someone took my favourite dish, dried it to preserve it. You know it’s there, but it’s not ready for consumption. I tried to read up on different sexualities and see if he falls on the spectrum of any. Asexuality was a possibility but they are still affectionate, right? And then I came across what is called autosexuality. Autosexuals are turned on with their own self. No, I don’t think he falls in this spectrum either. I guess I should bury my curiosity for good.
While that case file is shut and stowed away, I did realise that people sex it up differently. There are so many ways that we don’t know or understand. So who are we to say what is normal and what isn’t? Autosexuality is when a person is turned on by their own bodies. They feel real physical arousal and I think that’s great!
What is autosexuality?
Dr. Leon F Seltzer writes in Psychology Today that autosexuals or autoerotics “are attracted primarily—sometimes exclusively—to their own bodies.” He further adds, “Autoeroticism involves a whole range of sexual behaviours and attitudes. Many individuals fitting this designation might self-stimulate only when other alternatives aren’t feasible. Some might find themselves turned on both by themselves and others. Others might be aroused (or arousable) solely by themselves—whether through sight or touch. Obviously, the more “pure” the autoerotic, the less they’d require sexual fantasies of another to become physically turned on.”
Damn, this definition made me think of all those times when I enjoyed looking at myself in the mirror while getting it on. Is it just me or does everyone love mirror sex? Isn’t it just arousing to watch yourself and bae canoodle? It’s like watching porn but better. This doesn’t make you an autosexual. “Someone who is autosexual is primarily, or even exclusively, turned on by their own body and does not experience the same degree or intensity of sexual arousal from others as they do from their own self-image,” Lindsay Fram, MPH, sexuality educator told Health.com.
It can, however, work hand-in-hand with autoromanticism. “Someone who is autoromantic is mostly or only interested in romantic experiences by themselves,” Emmalinda MacLean, program director at More Than Sex-Ed told Health.com.
Autosexuality is not narcissism
Dr. Jennifer McGowan explains in her research, “Autosexuals are more comfortable sexually when in their own company, while narcissists crave attention. Autosexuality is also not likely to be associated with a lack of empathy or desire to give others pleasure – sexually or otherwise – but rather a preference towards a private and personal sexual experience.” There’s a little exploration on autosexuality and it being a spectrum, there can be varying degrees of it.
Several autosexuals are able to enjoy partnered sex, just not as much as they can satisfy themselves. “For years now, I’ve mainly masturbated to images or fantasies of myself. I conjure up memories of myself lying naked on the beach, or remember a time when I touched myself in the bath while my housemates were downstairs. Someone else’s touch just doesn’t do it for me in the same way,” an anonymous writer writes in BBC.co.uk. She added, “For me, it goes beyond masturbation. It’s about feeling a deep, instinctive attraction to myself whether I’m alone or with a boyfriend. I know that most of my friends get turned on by the thought of their sexual partners – if they’re not with them they dream up fantasies involving them. For me, it’s different – while I do enjoy sex with other people, I need to be thinking about myself, and touching myself, to orgasm.”
Are we all a little autosexual?
Seltzer leaves us with mindboggling questions in his blog about autosexuality. He questions: “Does autoeroticism denote a lifestyle preference or general sexual orientation? Or does it allude to nothing more than the simple practice of masturbation—which is, after all, universally engaged in by heterosexuals, homosexuals, and bisexuals alike? Additionally, in employing the term autoerotic, is it relevant to consider what the self-stimulating individual is thinking of, or who they’re fantasizing about, during the act?”
If it truly is a spectrum, then I hope all of us are a little autosexual at least. Why can’t we be attracted to our own bodies? Arousal does come from feeling desired after all. If you like what you see and find yourself sexy enough to arouse yourself, hurray! That’s amazing. Although I do find it appealing when I wear sexy lingerie or look at my reflection in the mirror while sexing it up, I still do need a guy in it. And that’s where all our problem lies.