Attraction describes a feeling of interest or desire towards a particular individual. Feelings of interest or desire which are not directed at a particular individual are not attraction and may instead be referred to by other terms, such as libido, romance drive, or touch drive.
The split attraction model (SAM) is often used to differentiate different forms of attraction which one may or may not experience. This model is especially common in a-spectrum communities by individual who experience some forms of attraction but do not experience others. Not every individual finds this model helpful, however.
Individuals who do not experience any forms of attraction may use the term anattractional. Individuals who experience an attraction which they do not want to or do not feel the need to elaborate on may identify as orientated.
The two most commonly discussed forms of attraction are sexual attraction and romantic attraction. Forms of attraction beyond these two are often categorized as tertiary attractions. However, this term is controversial because it positions non-romantic, non-sexual attraction as less important. The term eriattraction was created as an alternative.
- Romantic attraction (commonly a factor in romantic orientation, sexual orientation, or orientation in general)
- Platonic attraction
- Queerplatonic attraction
- Alterous attraction
- Amical attraction
- Cedural attraction
- Familial attraction
- Mental attraction
- Presential attraction
- Social attraction
- Tutelary attraction
- Wechselnd attraction
Naming and differentiating between specific subtypes of attraction has been popularized by the asexual community in the early 2000s. This is partly due to definitions of asexuality that emphasized a lack of sexual attraction.
As early as 2003, the FAQ page of the Asexual Visibility and Education Network mentioned that some asexual individuals may experience emotional or romantic attraction.
Other subtypes, such as aesthetic and sensual attraction, also developed around or before 2006.
- [https://web.archive.org/web/https://www.pillowfort.social/posts/717314 A Condensed History of Asexuals Arguing with Asexuals Over What Asexuality Is ]
- AVEN FAQ (archived from 2003)
- Attraction - AVENwiki (archived from 2006)