Self-love is important.
But what if you feel more than that. What if you not only love yourself but are also attracted to yourself?
Although you might be questioning whether that’s a bit strange, rest assured that you are far from being alone.
Is it weird to be attracted to yourself? No. And in fact, it’s probably a lot more common than you think.
In this article, I’ll offer plenty of reasons why it’s perfectly ok and what it all means.
What does it mean if I’m attracted to myself?
If you have a physical attraction to yourself then you might be what is known as autosexual.
But what is autosexuality?
It simply means that you’re more attracted to your own body than to other people.
You might find yourself looking at yourself in the mirror admiring your figure or feeling like you’d love to touch your own skin. You might find yourself sexually fantasizing about yourself.
The term was first thought to have been coined by sex therapist Bernard Apfelbaum in a paper from 1989.
At first, the term largely referred to people who can only get turned on by themselves and struggle to get turned on by others.
These days, the meaning is more loosely used to include anyone who feels attracted to themselves and their own bodies.
How do I know if I’m autosexual?
Some common signs of auto sexuality include:
- Feeling physically attracted to your own body
- Being sexually aroused by your own body
- Fantasizing about yourself rather than other people in order to orgasm
- Having erotic dreams about yourself
- Preferring masturbation over sex with other people
- Wanting to look at yourself in mirrors when you have sex
- Being attracted to people who look like you
Autosexuality most likely exists on a spectrum. So whilst some of these signs might be recognizable to you, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all of them will.
Is it weird to be attracted to yourself? 10 reasons why it’s not!
1) You’re not alone
Whenever we feel different from others, we tend to feel guilt and shame.
Often that’s because we imagine there is something wrong with us. That only we feel a certain way. This can be even more common when it concerns sexual desires which we can end up keeping to ourselves for fear of judgment.
But you are far from alone if you feel attracted to yourself. In recent years plenty of people have spoken about their own personal experiences of it.
People like Ghia Vitale who shared her story with Metro newspaper:
“My earliest memories of checking myself out in the mirror and feeling attraction happened at around age seven. I didn’t learn the term “autosexual” until after I graduated from college in 2013.
My attraction to myself made me confused at times, but once I learned about auto sexuality, I was glad there was a word for my experience.
I want other autosexuals to know that it’s okay to be attracted to yourself. Other people aren’t attracted to themselves like we are to ourselves, but that doesn’t mean our desires are wrong.
Don’t be afraid to explore that attraction towards yourself.’’
2) Most of us are at least a little attracted to ourselves
Far from being weird, the real truth is that most of us exhibit traits of auto sexuality.
Masturbation is perhaps one of the most obvious ways that the majority of people take pleasure from their own bodies sexually.
It’s also very common for people (particularly women) to feel more sexual when they are feeling sexy. Looking good, and knowing that you look good is a turn-on for a whole lot of us.
A woman who dresses up in sexy lingerie, and does her hair and make-up may do it just as much for herself as her partner. Or maybe dancing provocatively naked in front of the mirror.
In short: It’s sexually arousing to a lot of people to see yourself looking good or doing sexy things. And it doesn’t necessarily mean you would identify as being autosexual.
The point is that like all kinds of sexuality, auto sexuality most likely isn’t so clear-cut. The extent to which you feel attracted to yourself is probably on a spectrum.
And it’s highly likely that many of us are also somewhere on that spectrum too — even if it’s lower down.
As therapist and author Michael Aaron, PhD, points out to Refinery29
“Some experience it more like orientation, in that they feel more aroused by themselves than by others, and they are called autosexuals. It is very common for people to be aroused by themselves [to varying degrees].”
3) Anything new is always misunderstood
Despite the term being around now for several decades, there has been very little research done on auto sexuality.
Which makes it still relatively new and not particularly well understood. The reality is often that anything new in society has the potential to be thought of as “weird”.
This has applied to many other sexual identities such as bisexual, asexual, pansexual, demisexual, and more.
But society viewing differences as strange or somehow wrong happens over all sorts of things, and certainly not just sexuality.
Even things that now we recognize as totally trivial have been viewed as a really big deal.
For example, because around 90% of the population are naturally right-handed, people who were born left-handed throughout history were forced to change their dominant hand.
For literally hundreds of years, it was not only seen as weird but even as a sign of devilry or witchcraft.
These days we view the pressure to force left-handed people to try to use their right hand as cruel, unnecessary, and ludicrous.
We now better understand the perfectly normal biological reasons behind being left-handed.
My point is that society has a habit of making us feel weird about any differences we have that go against the majority. But the truth is that we are all unique, and therefore all different in some ways.
People’s knowledge of autosexuality is already changing and becoming better known, with the likes of Kourtney Kardashian talking about it on her lifestyle website Poosh, and arguing that “we all are, at least a little” autosexual.
4) It’s not a sign of narcissism
You might have wondered if being attracted to yourself makes you self-obsessed, or a bit of a narcissist.
But this isn’t the case at all.
Being attracted to yourself does not suggest that you have any kind of personality disturbance or disorder.
Yes, you are “into” yourself and so is a narcissist. But in very different ways.
Narcissists tend to have a very self-centered type of vanity and egotism. Their regard for themselves manifests as a constant need for attention and admiration.
They are prepared to manipulate others and show a total lack of empathy. Being autosexual is not the same. It is a form of self-love, but not a selfish one.
It’s a love of your own body, but that certainly doesn’t mean you don’t care about other people or that you don’t want to give others pleasure. It’s just a preference for more private sexual experiences with oneself.
Neither does being autosexual mean that you have incredibly high self-esteem.
When you are turned on, you might find the way you look really hot. But that doesn’t mean you won’t still feel insecurities at other times.
Being attracted to yourself doesn’t mean you have boosted confidence or always think you’re “all that”.
5) It doesn’t stop you from having healthy and loving relationships
Of course, being autosexual doesn’t mean that you can’t have other loving relationships.
Some people are exclusively attracted to themselves. And they may not want to have sex with other people and prefer to only please themselves.
But other people who identify as autosexual do still have sexual relationships with partners. Even though they find the thought of themselves (as opposed to their partner) more erotic.
Speaking anonymously to the BBC, one woman who identifies as autosexual says she has incorporated her autosexual desires into her sex life with partners:
“Another guy I was dating seemed to take it a bit better and said he saw it as a sign I had healthy self-esteem. He made my autosexuality part of our sex life – he liked watching me turn myself on, and it helped me stop feeling so ashamed.”
Regardless of whether you choose to have sexual relationships with anyone else or not, being autosexual does not impact in any way on your ability to create strong, healthy, and loving connections with other people — whether they be romantic or platonic.
6) There is no such thing as “normal”
It’s totally understandable that part of us is always striving to “fit in”.
It can feel incredibly uncomfortable and exposing to feel like we stand out from the crowd.
But the funny thing about “normal” is that it doesn’t really exist. Even those who on the surface seems the same will always differ in various ways inside.
When it comes to sexuality there really is no such thing as a normal sexual expression. In this way, none of us are normal, which kind of makes all of us normal!
Writing in Psychology Today, professor and psychologist Leon F. Seltzer Ph.D. highlights:
“In the end, autoeroticism is best viewed as a more or less natural expression of our sexuality. And this is hardly anything to be ashamed of. In a sense, we’re all deviants—or, much more realistically, none of us is. Despite society’s uneasiness or discomfort with it, autoerotic expression is an altogether normal outlet for sexual feelings common to us all.”
7) Your relationship with yourself is the most important you will ever have
The only relationship guaranteed to last a lifetime is the one we cultivate with ourselves.
There are plenty of people who neglect this primary relationship and suffer because of it. The truth is that probably all of us could do with re-evaluating the relationship we have with ourselves.
It’s something I learned from the world-renowned shaman Rudá Iandê. He taught me that the way to find love and intimacy is not what we have been culturally conditioned to believe.
In fact, many of us self-sabotage and trick ourselves for years, getting in the way of finding true self-love and love with others.
As Rudá explains in this mind-blowing free video, many of us chase love in a toxic way that ends up stabbing us in the back.
We get stuck in awful relationships or empty encounters, never really finding what we’re looking for and continuing to feel horrible about things like being attracted to ourselves.
We try to find someone who “completes” us, only to fall apart with them next to us and feel twice as bad.
Rudá’s teachings showed me a whole new perspective.
If you are curious to explore and better understand your relationship with yourself, then I would recommend checking it out.
I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
8) It’s a natural expression of erotic desire
One of the first things that may cross your mind when you realize you have autosexual feelings might be, why am I attracted to myself?
But that is like pondering why am I heterosexual, why am I bisexual, why am I homosexual — or any other expression of sexuality.
Being attracted to yourself is just like any sexual orientation. It’s not something you choose for yourself. Instead, it is something you are born having a preference for.
There’s no known cause for an orientation.
And just like most sexual preferences, a lot of autosexual people express feeling this way from a very young age.
Because it is a relatively new term, some people might wonder is autosexual valid as an identity? And this is where labels can be helpful in feeling more validated.
Not everyone feels the need to put labels on the way they feel. But having an explanation for feeling attracted to yourself has helped a lot of people to feel less “weird” about what they are experiencing.
In recent years, model Luana Sandien came out about her autosexual status. Speaking about her identification as autosexual, she says it has helped her find more understanding:
“I always felt that way, I just didn’t know there was a name for it.
There was always a part of me that thought it was weird – so it’s nice to have this statement that it’s normal.
It’s nice to know I’m not crazy for it, or a massive narcissist, it’s something real that a lot of people experience.”
9) It can be empowering
Although as I mentioned, autosexuality doesn’t mean you necessarily have higher self-esteem than anyone else, it can be incredibly empowering.
It is at its core still a form of self-love and independence.
For some people, autosexuality helps them feel more comfortable with their bodies and how they look. This can help make them feel more confident in their own skin.
Being attracted to yourself means that you don’t need others to experience pleasure, which can feel liberating. As this anonymous autosexual woman explains:
“Ultimately unless you are an autosexual, then you will never know how good it feels. I get to have great sexual relationships with other people, but at the end of the day, I get my best orgasms with myself – and whether I’m single or in a relationship, I’m always going to be there for myself. What’s not to like?”
10) Because self-acceptance is what matters most
If you are attracted to yourself, then you may well fall somewhere on the autosexual spectrum.
But at the end of the day, it’s totally up to you whether you choose to identify as such or not. What matters most is always self-acceptance.
We all have our own desires. And when your sexual desires are not hurting anyone else and are not harmful to yourself — everything is valid.
At the end of the day, sexuality is nuanced. The labels that you choose to adopt should ultimately serve you, not others.
Whilst you may want to define your sexuality, you certainly don’t have to. There isn’t an autosexual quiz you can take. It all comes down to how you feel.
If you’re happy with your life and your relationships, then that’s great. You don’t need to worry about what label you fit into.
Being autosexual isn’t something to be ashamed of.
And if you’ve ever felt like you were struggling with your sexuality, then you know how important it is to embrace whatever feels right for you.
Although we spend much of our time and energy seeking acceptance of what is and isn’t weird from others, ultimately it’s true what they say — the opinion that matters most in life is always your own.
What’s the difference between autosexual and autoromantic?
If you’re wondering why some people call themselves autosexual while others call themselves autoromantic, here’s a quick guide to the two terms:
Autosexual – Someone who is sexually attracted to themselves.
Autoromantic – Someone who is romantically attracted to themselves.
So basically, if you’re autosexual, you’re more (or exclusively) interested in having sex with yourself.
If you’re autoromantic, you’re also going to have romantic feelings towards yourself. You might want to go on dates with yourself or create more romantic experiences.
This is different from self-care or “me time”.
Feeling autoromantic involves seeing yourself as being in a loving relationship with yourself which is just as valid as loving another person. You give and receive love from yourself.
Some people might identify as only autosexual, or only autoromantic. Others will experience both at the same time.
Sharing her experiences of autoromaticism, Ghia Vitale says:
“I take myself out for coffee, go on walks in nature, dress in lingerie and cuddle up to myself, or simply sit in the darkness and bask in my own presence,” she writes. I don’t just love myself, I’m in love with myself.”
What should I do if I think I’m autosexual?
If you feel attracted to yourself and identify as autosexual it is totally up to you what you do (or don’t do) with that information.
It may simply be enough to know that there is nothing weird about the feelings you have and that they are completely normal for some people.
Whether you choose to come out as autosexual is a personal choice — just like telling anyone your sexual orientation or preferences is.
You may wish to confide in others and talk about it. You might decide to keep it to yourself.
The reality is that sadly there will always be people who judge us in life, no matter what it is about.
And so plenty of people who express different sexual orientations still face misunderstanding or negative reactions to coming out.
That could range anywhere from insensitive or unkind comments, to full-scale abuse.
As a relatively unknown term by most people, if you do decide to discuss how you feel with people, they will probably need you to explain more or answer questions about autosexuality to better understand.
If you are seeking some support, then talking with a friend or a support group for LGBTQIA+ people might be useful.
To conclude: is it normal to feel attracted to myself?
I hope by now that reading this article has confirmed that it’s not at all weird to be attracted to yourself.
If you are feeling this way, then you are not alone. It is a recognized orientation experienced by plenty of other people too.
It’s easy to feel different and wonder if that means there’s something wrong with us. And this can cause anxiety, stress, or low self-esteem.
If you are experiencing any distress over these thoughts, then there are always people you can talk to.
Even if you don’t feel comfortable opening up to anyone you know, there is always support available from help groups or from a professional.
Putting yourself first
What’s your number one goal at the moment?
Is it to buy that car you’ve been saving up for?
To finally start that side-hustle that’ll hopefully help you quit your 9-5 one day?
Or to take the leap and finally ask your partner to move in?
Whatever your goals are, there’s a hidden trap in how you set them.
The trap is this:
You’ll only experience genuine life satisfaction when your goals are aligned with your values.
Because when values and goals are aligned, you enjoy the journey much more. And this makes achieving your goals much more likely.
If you find it hard to articulate your deeper life values, I suggest downloading the free values exercise by career coach Jeanette Brown.
It takes only a couple of minutes and will reveal a number of powerful insights about your underlying values.