Sensual attraction, also known as sensorial attraction, is a type of physical attraction to another individual involving the senses, usually the sense of touch. This is not an explicitly sexual form of physical touch, for example, sensual attraction could involve an interest in non-sexual forms of touch such as cuddling, kissing, holding hands, or massage. Sensual attraction can also be applied in non-tactile ways, such as attraction to voices, or odor. In the a-spec community, it is often helpful to distinguish sensual attraction from sexual attraction.
Some individuals may get sensual pleasure from non-human objects, such as pillows, blankets, or toys. In this case, it's important to remember that one can receive pleasure usually associated with a form of attraction without actually feeling that form of attraction.
Sensual attraction can often be confused with sensual drive, or its especially intense counterpart, touch-starvation. Sensual drive and touch starvation may cause someone to desire sensual interaction in general, but it is not directed toward a particular individual. Sensual attraction is a desire for sensual interaction with someone in particular.
A sensual crush is known as a lush, although the term is not widely used. Sensual attraction is most commonly associated with the color orange. Someone who regularly experiences sensual attraction would be allosensual. One who does not experience or experiences little sensual attraction may identify as asensual or an identity on the asensual spectrum.
For a more complete list, see the tertiary identity category.
Sensual Attraction Terminology
- Tertiary attraction
- Asensual spectrum
The first flag was coined by Tumblr user arya-fae on or before September 3, 2015. The flag was based on the asexual flag. The multiple shades of purple represent different elements of sensual attraction such as sight, touch, hugs, caresses, kisses, and similar physical senses.
The second flag was coined by an unknown user at an unknown time. White represents a lack of sexuality or sexual desire, peach and light brown represents skin and the sensation of touch, and finally, black represents diversity from sexual attraction.
The third flag was coined by user MutedGold on November 18th, 2020. The flag is based on the Matthiola Incana flower, due to the flowers' meanings around being happy together, growing old together, and similar concepts. The cross on the flag is symbolic of hugs and is in the lightest color to represent the brightness and joy of contact. The dark stripes are for the deep warmth of accepting how small acts can impact oneself. The green is the leaves of the flower and represents calm happy growth.
The fourth flag was created by FANDOM user Zer0Rebel4. Dark purple represents allosensuals, pink for greysensuals, brown for asensuals, beige for demisensuals, white for sensual attraction, and black for the spectrum of sensual attraction. When someone wants to show that a certain attraction is sensual they may put that attraction's flag inside a triangle.
The fifth flag was made by FANDOM user gilded rat on August 21st as an equal version of the original flag.