If People Were Completely Asexual.....

…would men still prefer to live with women and women with men? Is there something about the opposite sex that has an attraction beyond the erotic attraction?

I think most people would say there is - say, women might appreciate “strength” or something like that, and men might like “graceful” or “delicate” or whatever, and others along similar lines (I hope not to quibble about particular examples). But the question is if the appeal of these characteristics are merely a product of the sexual aspects which color judgment of other aspects (it is obvious - to me at least - that sexual attraction has the capacity to do this on an individual level), or if their appeal is independent of the sexual.

I should stress that I am not trying specifically to make a point about homosexuality here. But this does appear to have some bearing on the general issue, and I bring it in for this purpose. Because if the non-sexual appeal is independent of the sexual, then that would mean that gays who prefer the companionship of the same gender differ from straights in two independent ways, both in sexual attraction and in non-sexual attraction. One might wonder if there are in fact people who prefer one gender for sex but prefer the other for other personality aspects. (Though perhaps the same brain function controls both features).

Or maybe my whole premise is off. What do you think?

Not to restate your question, IzzyR, but let’s look at it this way: if sex was not an issue, why would men and women live together? What would compel them to do so? Men and women think so differently, that without sex to drive us, what would drive us to try to communicate with each other?

I think if we were completely asexual, we would live in tribes of our own gender. People like the familiar, and it’s more comfortable living with your own kind. Look at how race divides people, and it’s far more superficial than gender.

I don’t know. Women tend to drive me crazy if they’re in large groups.

Opposite tack: if people were only sexual beings, they’d be less likely to live together, at least in the permanent sense. We’d all simply enjoy fucking, and all in all probably bear a strong resemblance to groupings of bonobo apes. You know, like college.

If eros were a complete non-issue, I suspect most people would still cluster into family structures as the basic social-living unit, though the traditional concept of what made a family would be a bit looser. Love and affection is something larger than just sexuality, after all, and people are social critters.

I like women a lot, but I prefer to live with men. But I know women who would much rather hang with a bunch of chicks…I think you’re going to get a lot of different answers on this one.

Ideally I’d prefer a mixed group where I’m one of a minority of males but not the only one.

Women are the best company in mixed company.

(I’m not in a position to know about women as company in non-mixed company)

When I’m the only male for any prolonged length of time I eventually end up feeling left out and out of synch.

I second wintermute… sex not being an issue… the whole issue of “family unit” would change. Maybe we would all live in sororities… or tribal units. Who knows…

I wouldn’t put up with many women thou.

Isn’t liking strength or beauty a sexual thing too, though? Do strong and beautiful people pair up as friends of the same sex?

If people were completely asexual, why would some be “women” and others “men”?

Good point, Sauroposeidon.

I suppose the intended term would be something like “anerotic”, where reproduction would just happen kind of in the way you decide to get a new car or remodel your kitchen, not as something to which you are “driven” by a basic urge which evolution has hardwired to the brain’s intense pleasure center.

(And if that were the case, IMO we would not have an overpopulation problem!)

I am a girl and I think I would prefer to stay in the company of men even without sexual attraction to them. I’m not exactly sure what it is that makes me like them, but I tend to feel more relaxed around guys and click better with them, even in cases where I feel absolutely no sexual interest in them.
In fact, with the vast majority of my good male friends, it’s rather creepy to think of them in a sexual context (they truly are like brothers to me), so our relationship is a de facto asexual one as it is.

Intersesting question.

As a woman I think I would live in a mixed community. Likedrastic said if we were ONLY sexual beings we would probably live alone. I agree.
If there was no sexual issues I would not have a problem living with either sex.
Both sexes irrespective of desire contribute important characteristics and I would like to have the men around for the ‘man’ things they contribute, (or are known best for)like strength, logic, security (not that many women can’t supply this , it’s simply a generalisation) and would have the women around for the conversation, nuturing, gentle touch, and the ability to interact with another being who can identify with my feelings, and biological similarities.

We would probably still come back to a group of the same particular people otherwise the world may seem too large and impersonal and although we may branch out to interact with as many different people as possible, feelings of belonging and identity would bring us back to a particular group of known people. Like a family or community.

Imagine if we only had sexual intercourse for the sole purpose of having babies. Imagine that it gave NO pleasure of any kind???
Alcohol would not be such a huge commodity, TV would probably just be News and cartoons. Clothes would be worn for comfort and practicality, and the internet would be purely educational!!!
What a strange world it would be. now you’ve got me thinking IzzyR ???

We’d probably continue to hang around with the same sort of people that we currently select as friends, assuming we’re currently choosing our friends for reasons OTHER than “maybe I can get this person to have sex with me eventually”.

Personally, I prefer women. Men always expect me to share their interest in talking about sports and work, and consider me strange that I do not.
Women are much easier to steer into talking about things that entertain me, because they accept that I don’t share their “feminine” interests.

If we were asexual, would you prefer to bud like hydrae or split like amoebae?