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Aesthetic attraction is a type of attraction that one individual feels for another that is based purely on visual appeal. Aesthetic attraction is separate from sexual and romantic attraction. For this reason, this pure type of attraction is most commonly noted by asexual people.
Aesthetic attraction is often viewed as a type of sensual attraction because looking at attractive things or people can be a sensual experience.
Aesthetic attraction is most commonly discussed in the asexual community because these individuals do not have many of the feelings which taint the attraction people of the wider community have towards one another. For example, it is difficult for a gay man to determine whether he has an aesthetic attraction towards a man's appearance or whether he is attracted towards his appearance because he finds him sexually attractive.
Despite not having sexual feelings towards a person, asexual individuals can experience aesthetic attraction when admiring a good looking person, the way a person dresses, the way someone moves, and other things that cause visual stimulation. Just like people with typical sexual desires, asexual people often have "types," ideals of body types, hair color, and other characteristics that they are attracted to.
While the term aesthetic attraction is widely used in the asexual community, many asexual individuals reject it. For these people, it seems strange to suggest that they are attracted to anyone as their perception of looking at attractive people is not too dissimilar to their experiences looking at an attractive sunset or apparel item. Neither has a great emotional component that the term aesthetic attraction suggests. Aesthetic attraction isn't solely restricted to asexuals. Most people, regardless of sexuality, are initially attracted to others based on appearance.
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