Definition & Types
It's not as strange as it seems; it's common, normal and possible for most humans to be autosexual. Only society builds up a great wall of taboos around such simple, natural, everyday issues, forbidding or limiting their discussion until they become taboo by force of habit. Individuals too create their own taboos, by fearing change, of thoughts, habits, lifestyle ...
Any human with active libido can fully enjoy sex without having somebody else "in mind" or in person, because sex is only a sensation that can be experienced with or without thoughts or "bodies" of others to stimulate ours. Any thought we attach to sex involuntarily or voluntarily (for extra "spice-up") is optional, changeable and temporary, while the sensation itself is the same. This belief is fundamental to enjoy pure autoeroticism, of body and mind, and let go of society's stereotypes of "beauty, symmetry, masculinity, femininity; sex types, roles, positions ... " that we mostly "learn" from other people, none of which is compulsory to enjoy a simple, mindless, physical sensation such as sex.
Sadly, the more people across cultures and over the ages share similar "personal preferences," the more likely the latter turn into rigid norms/standards everyone else must follow, illogically turning the specific and personal into general and public, discarding, even punishing whatever is different, like a world-wide fallacy everyone commits.
Since it's an act done between a person and their own body, naturally and logically autosexuality is the handiest, healthiest, truest form of sex, that is by nature self-sufficient, private and dignified. It gives instant on-demand pleasure, just as wine or euphoric drugs do, except at no cost, with no effort made to find a drugstore or secretly meet a drug-dealer, and less overdose risk or severe addiction problems. It's Nature's free pill of pleasure to all her children who could not find other forms of happiness available or satisfactory, their last resort to hold on to life, and a buffer zone keeping them from hating/ending that life.
However, as it is personal, only few come out to speak about it, while the majority wouldn't, afraid or indifferent, which sadly causes a large misconception by society about autosexuals' existence, more deepened by sex illiteracy and the herd mentality leading some to fear and attach a stigma to solitude, and whatever is done in solitude, defining humans as mere social beings, like most animals are, rather than rational ones. Thus "different" behaviors and lifestyles become automatically labeled "eccentricity, disorder, selfishness, apathy … and anti-society."
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Any sexually active person is autosexual to a varying degree, because they must use the same body they share with others, their own, to extract pleasure from. Many times we do without the actual presence of someone else, satisfying ourselves instead with fantasies of it. Even then, consciously or not, we completely do away with the fantasy part, enjoying the physical sensation only, just like self-massage, a stretching exercise, or any mindlessly pleasurable activity. Already, many foods, drugs, hormones, medical conditions, and natural body functions cause mindless arousal.
Autosexuality takes different forms, which are only different degrees of autosexuality:
Erophilia, Egophilia & Objectophilia
This best describes natural autosexuality, or the love of sex sensation itself most humans have, which is an innate neutral state that gradually takes various forms. It kicks off in early childhood formative stages, by increased oral, anal & genital sensitivity that peaks at adulthood. It derives from relieving the central, most tense, congested area of the x-shaped human body (where lower back support, limb control, food digestion, waste recycle/discharge, and gamete manufacture & emission all converge). Sex hormones basically increase the sensitivity of such area to help release its tension.
Common orientations simultaneously develop with the above, by environment and genes, where environment plays the bigger role, and ours mostly encourages "strict" sexual, familial and social identity. Such early complex programming, starting from pregnancy, decides our lifelong behavior, compared to other animals who rely more on genetic clues. Any genetic predisposition or pheromone effect "we" have is minor, as orientation genes are mostly a preference for certain "smells" a baby can detect. (Any other sense is not capable enough then to differentiate external physical features, e.g. of gender differences—let alone people lacking such senses, like the deaf or blind. And any other genes are only "connected" to orientation, not causing it—only chromosomally neighbored.)
Thus preferences develop by what is perceived and associated with such smells, then by other senses and concepts later. Sexuality is a mere accumulation, of genetic chances & life experiences: nobody is 100% one orientation or another. However, had we intervened early, we could've benefited from the better child-raising tools and other potential genes we have, rather than let inept adults and our noses decide our fate.
Only few are born/grown autosexual (less than 1% of society). Genetically, they have no or latent (unused) orientation genes; socially, they had no sexual fixation on any human type during childhood, simply "staying" autosexual. They can be helpful to scientists seeking better genetic design for humanity's future evolution, than the outdated sex patterns we've had for the last tens of thousands of years.
However, many of those autosexuals wrongly consider themselves asexual, and even advocate asexuality, although they DO have sex alone. They define their orientation as "NOT what others like" instead of "what WE like" (like a protestant calling himself "not catholic," or a humanist calling himself an atheist).
Other autosexuals can be differently oriented, yet quite living and enjoying an autosexual lifestyle, hardly differing from those born/grown autosexual, where the line between orientation and lifestyle gets extremely fine. (It makes no difference after years of autosexuality and hundreds of orgasms!) The force of habit, belief and environment much exceeds that of instinct, better qualified to tame, refine or just ignore it. (We hardly follow the urge to mate, excrete, etc. "instantly" like other animals do, nor do we use our full potential of "evil genes"!)
Becoming autosexual widely differs in time length between individuals, to develop (rather, redirect) preference. Homosexuals, narcissists, artists, rebels, or "anyone" with a relatively independent sexuality can accept, understand and enjoy autosexuality more.
Despite years of social confusion, autosexuality can be honed anew, and reclaimed. Even when initially difficult to avoid thinking of "somebody" during sex, it's still possible to evoke others' images "occasionally," or even at the "beginning of masturbation," until reaching arousal then following one's own fantasies. Or one exploits natural mindless arousal (caused by sleep/food/massage/etc.) or intentionally creates it by repeated fast-and-slow stimulation, etc. It's amazing how quickly afterwards one can spend entire hours enjoying sex only, or mixing it with non-human fantasies, toys, locations, etc.
After several times and "autosexual memories" stored, one is aroused instantly by evoking such memories. Once mental attitude is grown, any physical attitude, technique, etc. becomes natural, as sex is mostly a mind game, of what we imagine while our body is in heat: somebody else, something else, or just ourselves. Whatever we choose, the fact remains it's still a sensation, and it's a good one.
Enjoying sex sensations "only" is yet challenging, lasting less than when it's combined with arousing thoughts. Thus, at such "exploratory" stage, one starts by thinking of the different sensations themselves, caused by various moves, positions, erogenous zones, etc., that many people know little about, responding to an urge to touch someone they visually like, without understanding sex itself and their own bodies first.
Similarly, enjoying abstract thoughts only during sex is challenging, because abstracts are so distant from the act of sex itself. Although an advanced autosexual can simultaneously enjoy sex while solving a puzzle or a mathematical/philosophical question, etc., even making sex intensify thinking, and vice versa, it's more exciting and inspiring to make the two pleasures connected than enjoyed as parallels that never meet. The most rewarding autoerotic pleasures are those lying in the middle of the concrete-abstract spectrum, satisfying the animal and human in us.
Narcissism as a sexual preference is not eccentric or pathological. Any human is aroused sometimes by their own smell, voice, or image. Even during sex with someone, when one's limbs, smell, voice, etc. are mixed with another's, it's difficult to tell what/who caused the arousal. This is more felt by those allowing themselves a chance to discover the latent sides of their nature, just like what a good actor needs to play their role perfectly. There is no need to be Narcissus or Venus to experience such feelings, for even the ugliest human knows better what excites their mind and body most, finding therein sexy, weak and strong points no one else can reach.
An autosexual narcissist likes in his body "what he likes in others' bodies, or what they like in his body," until he favors his over theirs. A gradual affection for oneself grows slowly:
However, narcissism is not quite autonomous, because one needs to hear/see/move/imagine one's body frequently, which is more challenging for some people (the deaf/blind/disabled), and in some circumstances (lacking mirrors/privacy) and thoughts (having to include one's image in every sexual fantasy). Also since one's body is similar to others', one likes the similar parts in others' bodies, and may even like people "looking like" oneself.
Narcissism is even more challenging than monogamy, committing you to one partner who is almost always available, you, to save all your libido for rather than squander it here and there on strangers while erratically following your sex drive wherever it goes. Thus you need to "change & challenge" yourself more: having new looks/love-settings; occupying yourself with other things outside yourself to "miss" yourself; and surprising yourself: rediscovering the mine of mysteries you are, and every human is, that you never fully know or expect what comes of next.
Replacing humans with objects in sex and romance is the most satisfying autosexual form, more diverse than mindless physical autosexuality and free from narcissists' obsessive personalization of others' sexual stereotypes. Objects can do that we and others can't, in sex and other fields of life. As civilization moves forward, objects become part of us, literally, playing common human roles, physical and social. We are objects ourselves, who come from and return to nature.
Books, tools, machines, inventions, science and Mother Nature herself are lifeless entities, yet they GIVE life and improve it better than our mere social or physical intimacy does. These were the "passion" of great minds throughout history (Newton, Tesla, etc.) who have changed our life by devoting theirs to those objects they loved and spent most of their life with. Such or any love can turn into lust, and vice versa, esp. if one knows that libido can be directed toward virtually anything, and one believes they direct it toward "worthy" things, helping oneself and others most.
Arousal by an object can occur before/during/after sex, gradually growing into a sexual preference itself:
Sex technology is far more pleasing, diverse and helpful than "limited & limiting" human sex, connecting us and others more with Nature and natural objects to enjoy and experiment with, seeking science's support rather than our insufficient words, sympathy, or sex. Technology will always surpass the human body in doing things the latter cannot do, offering better options in sex than those traditional human sex offers; the latter mostly pleases the mind rather than the senses, of those who wouldn't change their mindset.
Many people grow autosexual merely after trying the extra intense pleasure artificial sex gives, where human sex pales in comparison. The former will help us reach and stimulate every body part, visible or hidden, at any speed, pressure, frequency, or "setting" we like, that neither we nor others can offer. It is more secure, interactive, adaptive, and powerful enough to please even before growing arousal. Technology will enable us to control our emotions, simultaneously viewing & directing the rush of endorphins taking place inside us, prolonging orgasm or pre-orgasmic sex indefinitely, and ending it only by choice, when we have other pleasures to try or duties to fulfill.
Some autosexuals, however, satisfy themselves only with free fantasy & sensations, to avoid attachment to technology (sex toys/games/robots/parks/fairs/etc.) that could be unavailable or clashing with social norms, esp. that most available toys are humanized, designed to excite social fantasies more than physical senses. However, the very fact that a sex object is "rare, expensive, shocking, embarrassing, or ever-changing" is its most exciting side, satisfying our natural instinct to chase "new & hard-to-get" sex targets.
Humanity has made great leaps in many sciences, yet it's still persistently backward in sex technology, even so in liberal societies supporting sex diversity "between individuals," without trying to improve diversity in "sex" itself, by asking for science's help to benefit from libido's potential to take it to new unprecedented heights. Relying on another human's limited body in sex is like communicating by snail mail and horse-riding in the age of satellites and spaceships.
As singularity combines more machine and human elements together, in sex and otherwise, the concept of human "type" becomes irrelevant. Eventually, future "breeding" will be nothing like today's upbringing (where fixation on such types originally develops), decided by whatever technology available then: robotics, biotech, etc. Happiness, our goal in life, constantly metamorphoses into various forms, sex is one of—that may go obsolete too, along with sex organs, and the human body we are familiar with now.
Like other types of sex, drugs, habits, etc. autosexuality can become an ADDICTION, when overused or abused, causing common addiction problems: