Being autosexual is an orientation that not most people are familiar with and is not often discussed. This is when a person experiences sexual desire for oneself and prefers masturbation to having sex with their partner. There are also only a few studies about it, making it difficult to talk about scientifically. But the truth is that it might be more common than you think.
(picture: https://www.bbc.co.uk/ )
What does being autosexual mean?
Autosexuality can be categorized as a subtype of autoerotism, which is sexual gratification that doesn't involve another person. To put it simply, this is when you're sexually attracted to yourself.
You don't have to meet any specific criteria to be autosexual. Like with any other sexuality, there are many different ways that people can identify themselves as autosexual. Some people might only be attracted to their reflection while others are only attracted to their own body parts (arms, legs, etc.).
Some might only be attracted to themselves in certain situations (like when they're wearing clothes) while others just love imagining their naked body to get off while masturbating. Most importantly, autosexuality does not mean not being able to maintain a healthy romantic relationship with other people.
There's nothing wrong with being autosexual! It just means that you're not as sexually attracted to other people as much as you are to yourself. And that's totally normal and fine.
What are the signs that you are autosexual?
Now that you know the definition of being an autosexual, you might already have an idea if you are one. But, if you're still doubting if this is the right term that fits your sexual orientation, here are some of the signs that you might want to check.
1. You prefer masturbation to sex.
People who are autosexual may find that they prefer to masturbate instead of having sex with other people. They may also have difficulty having an orgasm with a partner, or they may not experience an orgasm at all during sex. Autosexuals may find that they are most aroused when they're alone and can get off on their own without anyone else being involved.
If you identify as autosexual, it doesn't mean that you're incapable of feeling attraction toward other people—it just means that you prefer masturbation. You might feel attracted to them but not want to act on those feelings because you'd rather focus on your own pleasure instead of theirs.
2. You fantasize about yourself to achieve an orgasm.
Being autosexual means you fantasize about yourself to achieve an orgasm. The most common form of autosexual activity is masturbation where they may use their hands or sex toys while fantasizing about their own body. Some people also use mirrors during masturbation, so that they can see themselves while touching themselves.
Other forms of autosexual activity include looking at erotic images of oneself, dressing up in erotic clothing, or having sex with another person while imagining themself as their partner.
3. You imagine yourself instead of watching porn
You are an autosexual if you prefer imagining yourself rather than watching pornography or having sex with another person.
Some people think that autosexuality is all about loving masturbation. But although being one means you prefer masturbation, you can actually still enjoy sex with other people. Autosexuality isn't about touching yourself to orgasm — it's more about being more aroused in imagining having sex with yourself rather than watching random people in porn.
4. You have erotic dreams about yourself
If you have ever had an erotic dream about yourself, then you could be autosexual. Many people have had these types of dreams and believe that they are normal because they happen so often and without warning. However, if the majority of your dreams involve sex with yourself then this may indicate that there is more going on than just a normal occurrence in your life.
5. You like the label autosexual.
Does the word autosexual ring a bell to you? Do you feel and are you comfortable calling yourself one? If your answer is yes, then you are an autosexual.
Remember that only you can confirm if you are an autosexual or not (just like other sexual orientations. No one has the right to assume your sexuality and put words in your mouth. Whether you want to be called as an autosexual is entirely up to you.
Let's debunk the common misconceptions about autosexuality
I've heard many myths about autosexuality — it doesn't exist, it's just a phase, it's something only narcissists do — but there is actually no research saying that any of these holds to be true. Also, they are just that: MYTHS. Let's debunk them one by one.
1. Autosexuality does not equate to narcissism.
Not because someone is an autosexual means they are narcissists. Being autosexual does not mean that you are not interested in other people or you think you are above them. You can still find a person you are attracted to. It just means that your first choice, in terms of sexuality, would be yourself.
To be clear, narcissism is the excessive interest taken in one's self and one's physical appearance. Narcissists are often vain, arrogant, materialistic, and exploitative. They may have an inflated sense of their own importance and may seek attention from others because they feel they don't get enough attention from themselves.
Autosexuals do not necessarily fit this description! They may love themselves but they are also likely to be introverted and shy away from the spotlight — not seek it out as narcissists would. In fact, many autosexuals have very low self-esteem; they might even hate themselves because they feel worthless or incapable of forming meaningful relationships with other people.
2. Autosexual is different from autoromantic.
Some people think that being autosexual automatically equates to being autoromantic. However, these are two different terms for a reason. While autosexual is about being “sexually attracted” to yourself, autoromantic means being in love with your entirety.
All autoromantic people are autosexual, however, not all autosexuals can only be in a relationship with themselves. In fact, some autosexuals can still maintain their romantic and sexual relationships with other people.
3. Being autosexual is not “unhealthy.”
Being autosexual is not “unhealthy” and it is definitely not a mental disorder. Autosexuality is a normal part of human sexuality, just like heterosexuality or homosexuality. The condition does not require treatment unless the person experiences distress about it, which should be treated as any other form of distress or anxiety would be treated.
People who are autosexual are generally very accepting of themselves and their sexuality and do not feel compelled to seek out treatment for their condition. However, many autosexuals found that it helps them to feel more comfortable with their sexuality if they can talk about it with someone who understands what they are going through.
For this reason, many people choose to join support groups where they can share experiences with others who share the same sexual orientation or identity.
But, always remember, being autosexual is perfectly normal and you're doing fine!
4. Being autosexual does not mean you don't want sex with other people.
Autosexuality is a sexual orientation in which an individual's primary sexual attraction is toward themselves. However, this doesn't mean that you can't have sex or form romantic relationships with other people. While it's true that some autosexual people prefer being by themselves, there are also some who can still be attracted to others.
5. You don't need to have high self-esteem to be autosexual
It is a common misconception that autosexual people are proud and have high self-esteem. However, some autosexual have low self-esteem. They may think that something is wrong with them because they do not want to be intimate with other people. They may also feel like there is something wrong with them because they do not enjoy sex or even seek it out at all.
Aside from that, autosexuals who struggle with body image issues may experience anxiety when engaging in sexual acts with other people. This causes them to form a preference for just masturbating or fantasizing about themselves. Moreover, For some people, autosexuality is a way to avoid sexual contact with other people or any form of emotional intimacy.
How to maintain your relationship as an autosexual
Some people who identify as autosexual may not experience sexual desire toward other people, but they may still have romantic feelings and relationships with others. But how can you make your relationship work if you're an autosexual?
Here are some tips for how to maintain your relationships with other people as an autosexual:
Make a self-assessment.
Find out what kind of relationship you want with other people, then make sure that both you and the other person are on the same page about it. For example, if you want a casual friendship where sex isn't involved at all, then make sure that's what they want too! If they don't want that sort of relationship, then it may not work out well for either of you in the long run.
Communication is the key!
Be honest about what you want from your relationships with other people. If someone is interested in dating you and wants to find out more about your sexuality and what it means for their relationship, tell them that you're an autosexual and explain what that means for them. You might also want to let them know that you don't mind if they have sex with other people while they are dating you (as long as they tell you first).
Being honest would be helpful, however, it is also fine if you are still not ready to discuss your sexual orientation with other people. Take your own pace!
Your partner's support is important.
Some people might be uncomfortable with the idea of dating someone who isn't interested in having sex with them. If this is the case for your partner, they may feel threatened by what it means for them if they don't want to be intimate with each other. If they're not willing to accept that this is just another way of being human (and a perfectly valid one at that), then it's probably best if you break things off.
Try joining support groups.
If there is one available in your area or in social media, join a support group for autosexuals. Find out where you can go to meet others who are in your situation. These groups can be extremely helpful when it comes to maintaining connections with other people. They can also help you learn more about yourself and your sexuality.
Frequently Asked Questions
Finding out more about autosexual orientation can indeed be taxing. There are also only a few studies about it so it's almost impossible to have a complete understanding of it. However, here are some of the common questions about autosexuality that I found on the internet and I tried answering them.
Is there anything that causes your autosexuality?
No! Just like any other sexual orientation, being autosexual is normal and it is not a medical condition that you need to solve. It also varies depending on the person, so there is no known cause for this.
Can you still maintain a healthy relationship if you are an autosexual?
Yes. Although some autosexual people prefer being by themselves, some are still able to maintain healthy romantic relationships with their partners. Just like what I mentioned, communication and acceptance are the keys!
Do you have to tell your partner that you are autosexual?
No, you are not obliged to. Being transparent with your partner about your sexual orientation would build a deeper bond with your partner. However, it is still up to you if you are comfortable talking about your autosexuality with your partner, or anyone for that matter.
Autosexuality is more common than you may think and you do not have to feel ashamed about your sexuality or your experiences of being sexually attracted to yourself. If you are still unsure if you are one, you may take your own pace in understanding more about yourself. You can also try attending support groups or exploring your own desires through various methods like using sex toys.