What exactly is aesthetic attraction?

Couple together through aesthetic attraction

There are many different kinds of attraction — sexual, romantic, physical, and emotional are some of the most common types of attraction that you may be familiar with. But there’s a more recent form of attraction that has people talking — aesthetic attraction. But what exactly does it mean and how is it different from other kinds of attraction? 


The easiest way to explain aesthetic attraction is to first define attraction. Attraction is the universal experience that encourages us to like certain people. The way you like a person is determined by the type of attraction you feel for them:

  • Sexual attraction: The desire to engage in sexual activity with a specific person
  • Romantic attraction: The desire to have romantic contact with a specific person — it doesn’t have to be sexual
  • Physical attraction: Considering someone’s physical features appealing — most often connected with sexual attractiveness and desirability
  • Emotional attraction: Being attracted by someone’s mind and spirit without necessarily being physically or sexually attracted to them

Aesthetic attraction

Out of the above, aesthetic attraction is most similar to physical attraction. But, unlike physical attraction, aesthetic attraction isn’t sexual. To be aesthetically attracted to someone means to appreciate the appearance of another person while not feeling romantically or sexually attracted to them.

Aesthetic attraction can involve being attracted to someone’s style, figure, facial features, the way they dress, hairstyle, gait, or overall look. 

Here are two examples of aesthetic attraction:

  • You can think someone has a great body, but not want to be physically intimate with them or have a romantic relationship with them.
  • You can think someone dresses well while also being sexually attracted to them.

In the first example, there’s only one kind of attraction — aesthetic attraction. In the second example, there are two types of attraction — aesthetic and sexual. Aesthetic attraction is often coupled with romantic or sexual attraction, but this doesn’t always have to be the case.

The term aesthetic attraction was first created by the asexual community in 2005. Many asexual people find themselves visually attracted to the physical features and/or style of another person with no interest in having romantic, physical, or sexual contact with them. 

How does it feel?

You’ve almost certainly felt an aesthetic attraction to someone at least once in your life. Aesthetic attraction feels like an involuntary, magnetic desire to stare at someone and appreciate the way they look. It can feel the same way as looking at a gorgeous view you can’t take your eyes off or a spectacular photograph you can’t help but stop and look at.

When you’re aesthetically attracted to someone, it’s common to gaze at that person for longer than you’d typically look at someone. All you want to do is stare at them — you have no urge to talk to them or form a relationship.

Is it important?

Don’t worry if you’ve never felt aesthetically attracted to someone before. We all have vastly different preferences when it comes to the kind of attraction we value the most.

Some people may have an emotional bond and desire to have sex with someone without being aesthetically attracted to them at all. On the other hand, other people may prioritize aesthetic attraction over romantic or intellectual attraction when looking for a partner.

There’s more than one kind of attraction

Although sexual and romantic are two of the most common types of attraction in today’s world, there are many other kinds. You may have found yourself feeling attracted to someone, but struggle to determine exactly how you feel. Are you attracted to them physically? Do you admire their intelligence or personality? Do you want to be sexually or romantically intimate with them?

Aesthetic attraction is something many people feel regularly. It can often be confusing and take some time to understand. While it’s sometimes an isolated feeling, it’s often the cause of sexual, physical, or romantic attraction. 

It’s important to remember that there are absolutely no rights or wrongs when it comes to feelings. How you experience attraction is unique to you and no way is better than any other. By learning more about attraction and expanding your knowledge of the subject, you can better understand yourself and improve your current and future platonic and romantic relationships.

If you’ve been struggling with attraction and you want to better understand your feelings, we’re here for you. Get in touch with us today and we can help support you through your emotional journey. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the signs of aesthetic attraction?

Signs of aesthetic attraction can vary from person to person, but some common indicators include:

  1. You may find yourself putting more effort into your appearance when you know you’ll be around someone you’re aesthetically attracted to.
  2. You Feel nervous or shy around someone you’re aesthetically attracted to.
  3. You constantly want to look at the person you’re attracted to.
  4. You think people are good-looking but don’t feel sexual attraction.

What is the difference between aesthetic attraction and emotional attraction?

Aesthetic attraction is primarily based on physical appearance. It refers to the feeling of being drawn to someone because you find them visually appealing or attractive. Emotional attraction, on the other hand, is based on a person’s personality, character, and emotional qualities. It involves feeling a deep connection with someone because of their emotional compatibility, kindness, sense of humor, shared values, and other non-physical factors.

Can you be demisexual and have aesthetic attraction?

Yes, it is possible to be demisexual and experience aesthetic attraction. Demisexuality is a sexual orientation in which a person typically does not experience sexual attraction to others until they have formed a strong emotional or romantic connection with them. This means that demisexual individuals may not experience immediate sexual attraction based solely on physical appearance or aesthetics.

The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. If you are in a crisis or any other person may be in danger,  these resources can provide you with immediate help:
Suicide and Crisis Lifeline 988
24 Hour Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1.800.273.8255
Crisis Text Line Text TALK to 741741