(Not sure if this is really a “lesswrong thing”, but this seemed like as good a place as any for something like this).
I’m a late-twenties male, have only had one (female) sexual partner. For reasons, we never successfully had regular, vaginal sex. I’ve been single for the past 4 years, during which time I had only one interaction that you could sort of call a sexual encounter. (Including things like kissing here) tl;dr, it’s been a very dry spell
I masturbate several times a week, though essentially never to porn of or the idea of vaginal sex. It’s almost always exclusively a specific kind of domination fantasy, where it’s always women being dominant, and the men sort of almost don’t exist or have clear identities. It’s been this way since I first started masturbating in my early teens.
I often see women around on the streets that I’m attracted to. And like, sometimes quite attracted to. I’ve definitely spent a bit too long staring, things like sometimes hoping someone walking in front of me will keep being on the same route so I can keep walking behind them, being disappointed when they turn. Not to be too creepy about it but just want to emphasize, this attraction is very real, it’s not at all like I’m telling myself I’m attracted to women because of social pressure.
I find that, in general, I don’t have an especially strong physiological desire or need for sex. I have some desire to be more sexually experienced, but it really feels more like a social need than a physiological one. I have a somewhat stronger desire to be in a relationship (though here too I suspect a not-small part of the desire here comes more from social pressure), a reasonably strong desire to have a family one day. Right now (after 2 years of living alone and WFH), I’d say my strongest desire period is just for a stronger sense of community; not especially a romantic relationship (though that would certainly be nice too).
I find that people are sort of confused by this. I think for a while my therapist thought I might be asexual until I mentioned the thing about finding people on the street very attractive. Once when I was explaining to my therapist that I don’t feel a strong desire for vaginal sex, he said “but hang on, just before didn’t you mention you often find women on the street attractive?”. Similar convo with a friend: “so you find women attractive”, “yeah”, “but you don’t want to have sex with them”, “yeah”, “so… what do you want to do with them?”—I almost don’t understand the question: I could find a painting beautiful, but it’d be weird for someone to ask “so what do you want to do with the painting now that you find it beautiful?” “uh, I don’t know? I guess keep looking at?”
What’s going on? Is this a thing any other people feel? Is there a term for this? Is this some kind of niche asexuality? Am I actually just a regular heterosexual guy that just needs to have good sex to realize how much I actually do want it?
edit: Someone in a DM asked about other kinds of sexual activities beyond PIV sex, and thinking about it, I realize that I do enjoy and feel the urge to kiss and dry hump. So I guess it’s not that the only sexual activities I enjoy are purely solo masturbation, just that I don’t feel as interested in penetrative sex?