It was, in fact, primarily a joke, but let me clarify a few more things while I'm at it.
-What I'm looking for is certainly more than NSA sex, but we couldn't be called full-blown polyamory. Neither of us is capable of having sex without some kind of emotional attachment, so romantic feelings with outside partners are expected, but "in love" love is just within the relationship, and we are each other's only primary partners.
-The issue hasn't been people not being interested in me--it's been the other way around. I just haven't felt a connection on anything other than a cerebral, conversational level. So even if there were "vibes," they evidently don't put people off.
That second point is what's been making this harder. I don't LIKE turning people down. I mean, it's something I have to do, but telling someone I'm not interested in them that way always feels hurtful. A few have turned into some fun friendships, but others have decided to step back when it became clear it wasn't turning into anything else. And that's fine, of course--but I barely have time for my current friends as is. It's hard to let go and just enjoy the company when some part of my brain is fretting over other things I should be doing if it turns out to be a dead end. :/
I've dated many people I didn't think were my type. So far they remain not my type. What was especially baffling was that when I went and visited this town, I suddenly felt very attracted to multiple people, something I haven't experienced where I'm currently living (thanks to grad school) at all. Hmmm.