If your knowledge of sexual attraction is from that sex movie you watched or that romance novel you read, I’m sorry to break it to you, you probably have it all wrong.
Sexual attraction is way more than tearing each other’s clothes off or pushing each another against the wall in a bid to get sexually satiated. There’s that, but that’s not all. It’s not even a fraction of it.
Sexual attraction is the torrent of emotions that you feel when you meet someone who you think can meet your sexual needs and desires. This attraction makes you crave a sexual attachment with the person you feel it for.
If you are romantically linked with someone, there has to be some sexual attraction. Else, there would be no spark. Even in platonic relationships, sometimes, this sexual attraction develops, causing two people to go from friends to lovers with just one passionate kiss.
These feelings can be overwhelming, especially when they suddenly hit you. But don’t let the feeling confuse you. Here are some of the signs of what sexual attraction feels like.
1. Dopamine is released
In research done to show the involvement of dopamine in human sexuality, it was confirmed that the central dopaminergic system is actively involved in the sexual behaviors of males and females from the stages of desire, erection, orgasm, and satisfaction.
Here is what it means in non-scientific terms:
You know that feeling of extreme excitement or happiness that you derive when you meet someone you like? That’s dopamine.
It’s a neurotransmitter that people like to call “The Happiness Hormone,” for obvious reasons. This hormone is released when we do things that make us feel good. It could be eating your favorite dessert or, in this case, meeting your favorite person, or having sex.
When you start to feel excited and happy at the thought of seeing one special person, chances are, you are sexually attracted to them.
Related: 10 Signs He Wants You Badly Sexually
2. Your body takes over
Usually, the head (brain) leads the body. In sexual attraction, the body leads the head.
If you want to know whether you are sexually attracted to someone, listen to your body. For some, it is the raging butterflies in their bellies; for others, it is the arousal of their sexual organs. Either way, your body will give you signs.
While an erection or hardened nipples are obvious body signs of sexual attraction, there are a few more subtle ones. As a female, if you notice you are suddenly more conscious about your appearance in front of a certain man, it could mean you are sexually attracted to him.
Watch for preening signs like regular trips to the bathroom to touch up your makeup, licking your lips, exposing your neck, adjusting your hair —the whole shenanigan.
For males, the signs are similar. You know you are sexually attracted to a certain woman when you start to show traits of dominance when she’s around. These traits include sitting in a way that takes up space, a wide stance, a straight posture, and eye contact.
3. You feel touchy
Humans bond through touch. When we are around someone we find very attractive —physical or sexual— we tend to touch them more frequently than others.
You always want to hug them, cuddle them, pat them, or maintain skin-to-skin contact for an extended period. And this is because — as several studies have shown — touching those we are attracted to helps us to relieve a drastic amount of stress while inducing feelings of warmth in us.
If you have ever felt this way, you might be confused about why it is so. Why do I have this warm fuzzy feeling when I touch her? Why do I always feel excited when he hugs me?
This myriad of feelings induced by touch is caused by the release of oxytocins, which some people term the love or cuddle hormone. It is released into the bloodstream by the hypothalamus when touching those we are sexually attracted to.
4. You remember the small details
When you start to remember the smallest details about someone, then sexual attraction might be the reason why.
We meet so many people and make friends with a lot more, but some people will leave a very big impression on you, causing you to remember everything about them.
It could be how they like their coffee without sugar, their shirt size, or how they broke their ankle rock climbing when they were ten. The reason for this is not far-fetched.
The oxytocin and dopamine released by sexual attraction create a warm and happy environment, which helps you retain information better. Also, since you’re always thinking about those you are attracted to, you tend to dwell on every conversation you have had, making it easier to remember the tiniest detail.
5. The attraction is magnetic
It might sound very cliche, but it’s true! Sexual attraction can be so strong that it feels like there’s a magnetic field around that person drawing you in.
You feel so many powerful emotions simultaneously; it’s like a literal magnet. It’s easy to roll your eyes and brush it off like a K-drama romance flick, but don’t do that just yet. There is a reason for that magnetism.
When you put a magnet close to a needle, they strongly attract each other. It’s the same with humans. We all have atoms in our bodies, so when we meet someone who shares the same charge, we become attracted to them.
Just like magnets don’t get attracted to every particle around, humans are also the same. The atoms in our bodies, otherwise called parmanus, don’t just attract random people. If the other person’s atoms do not match ours, there can be no attraction.
6. Nerves come to play
Have you ever been around someone that makes you nervous? Not the attack of nerves that scares and gives a panic attack, but a nervous excitement that has you tongue-tied and stuttering over your words.
If you’ve felt that before, that’s what sexual attraction feels like.
You are nervous because you desperately want to impress that person. You either overthink your words or blurt them out without thinking; there’s no in-between.
There is also the nervous stomach flip or sweaty palms. It just means you have a big crush on the other person or are sexually attracted to them.
Interesting: How To Attract A Man Physically In 10 Proven Ways
7. You love looking at them
Eye contact, when done correctly, is one of the most intimate forms of communication. We can all agree that at one point in our lives, we have looked into someone’s eyes and immediately knew what they were thinking or feeling.
The eyes are very expressive, and, normally, you want to maintain this contact with someone you are attracted to.
It would help if you were careful about this, though, because you can easily be tagged creepy by staring at another person for too long. You want to hold their gaze for a few seconds, then look away with a smile. It will make you come across as friendly and interested without looking rude.
This is one of the biggest signs of sexual attraction that people don’t notice.
As humans, we mirror each other for various reasons, one of which is to show interest and attraction. It is a physiological behavior we exhibit when we pay close attention to another person, especially someone of interest.
Even without knowing it, we start to imitate their expressions. We laugh when they laugh or smile when they smile.
While laughing and smiling are simple expressions, mirroring can become more complex depending on the depth of the attraction. You can easily find yourself drinking your coffee the same way as the other person, wearing the same shirt color, and imitating the person’s language and speech.
This is called limbic synchrony and is controlled by the mirror neurons in the body.
9. You feel aroused
Arousal is the biggest sign of sexual attraction and is easily the most recognizable.
Everyone must have felt this before and instantly knew what it was. Men and women experience arousal in different ways —psychologically and physiologically.
In men, this arousal is primarily influenced by testosterone, leading to the hardening of their sexual organs and other biological processes.
Women experience arousal as vaginal lubrication and hardening of the nipples. The hormones that influence these processes are progesterone, estrogen, and of course, testosterone.
One major tip about sexual attraction is that it primarily gives body signs. If you want to distinguish this attachment from other emotional connections easily, listen closely to what your body tells you.
Despite how powerful these torrents of emotions might be, always make sure the other person has given the go-ahead before you begin to act on them.
Not everyone might be interested in pursuing a sexual relationship with you, and it would be creepy if you pressured them into doing so.