As folks with marginalized attractions and sexualities become more visible in mainstream media and communities, it is important to also talk about those who do not experience attraction in a physical and/or romantic manner.
- Emotional Attraction – the desire to get to know someone, often as a result of their personality instead of their physicality. This type of attraction is present in most relationships from platonic friendships to romantic and sexual relationships
- Intellectual Attraction – the desire to engage with another in an intellectual manner, such as engaging in conversation with them, “picking their brain,” and it has more to do with what or how a person thinks instead of the person themselves
- Romantic Attraction/Orientation – attraction that makes people desire romantic contact or interaction with another person or persons
- Sexual Attraction/Orientation – attraction that makes people desire sexual contact or shows sexual interest in another person(s)
In understanding identities and attractions, it is important to remember that orientation and attraction do not necessarily define or predict behavior. This is another important that orientation do not necessarily define or predict behavior. This is another important reason why it is important to ask people how they identify, as you cannot assume you know someone’s identity based on their behavior. This also means that you cannot assume what types of relationships or behaviors a person will engage in simply by knowing how they identify.
- Agender – a person without a gender. An agender individual’s body does not necessarily correspond with their lack of gender identity. Often, agender individuals are not concerned with their sex assigned at birth, but may seek to look more androgynous
- Aromantic – a person who experiences little or no romantic attraction to others. Some folks who are aromantic may refer to themselves as aro
- Asexual – a person who experiences little or no sexual attraction to others. They may or may not experience emotional, physical, and/or romantic attraction. Asexuality differs from celibacy in that it is a sexual orientation, not an active choice. Some folks who are asexual may refer to themselves as ace
- Demiromantic – a person who does not experience romantic attraction unless they form a strong emotional connection with someone
- Demisexual – a person who does not experience sexual attraction unless they form a strong emotional connection with someone. It’s more commonly seen in, but by no means confined to, romantic relationships
- Gray Ace – someone who identifies as part of the asexual community but does not identify as completely asexual. This differs from demisexual in that being demisexual is a specific orientation and a gray ace is used as a catch all for any unspecified identity under the ace umbrella
- Grayromantic – someone who identifies as part of the aromantic community but does not identify as completely aromantic. This differs from demiromantic in that being demiromantic is a specific identity and greyromantic is used as a catch all for any unspecified identity under the aromantic umbrella
You can find a complete list of our offered definitions here.
More About A-Spectrum and Demi-Spectrum Experiences
- 6 Actual Facts About What It Means to Be Asexual (Article by Julie Zeilinger, published on 05/01/2015)
- 8 Things You Should Never Say to an Asexual (Article by Kirstin Kelley, published on 07/17/2014)
- Asexual, Aromantic, Partnerless, Child-Free…and (Yes!) Happy (Article by Julie Sondra Decker, published on 02/25/2015)
- Asexuality and Aromance 101 (Video/Article by Psych2Go, published on 04/25/2015)
- Asexuality and Polyamory: My Life is Not a Contradiction (Article by West Anderson, published on 06/20/2015)
- Asexuality: Life Without Sexual Attraction (Article by Anonymous, published on 06/29/2013)
- At the Intersection of Asexuality and Queerness (Article by West Anderson, published on 02/09/2015)
- Debunking 5 Common Myths About Asexuality (Comic by Adri Tibbs, published on 10/19/2014)
- How Asexuality is More Complicated Than You Think (Article/Video by Everything’s A-Okay, published on 10/28/2014)
- How Latina ‘Spicy & Sexy’ Stereotypes Affect Asexual Latinas (Article by Raquel Reichard, published on 11/03/2014)
- Let Them Eat Cake: On Being Demisexual (Article by Cara Liebowitz, published on 01/20/2015)
- Why We Need Mental Healthcare Without Asexual Erasure – And How to Get There (Article by Kirstin Kelley, published on 07/09/2015)
- You’re Not Broken If You’re Not Interested in Sex – But These 3 Social Lies Probably Make You Feel That Way (Article by Kris Nelson, published on 07/01/2015)
- Asexuality Visibility & Education Network (AVEN) – hosts the world’s largest online asexual community as well as a large archive of resources on asexuality
- Asexuality Archive – a collection of all things ace.