Like gender, sexuality is a spectrum. It’s not black or white, it’s not all or nothing. And while all or nothing might be easier to understand, it leaves out a lot of nuance that is needed with things like gender and sexuality. This is by no means comprehensive, and there are a lot of different subsets of these sections. But I wanted to do a quick review of the asexual spectrum just in case you need a refresher on where you or your loved one might fall. Let’s get to it!
Asexual and Sex-Repulsed
Asexual people who are sex-repulsed are people who will not have sex! They don’t want to, and that’s completely and totally fine. If sex squicks you out, triggers a trauma for you, or you just plain don’t want to, you might fit in this section.
A lot of people assume that anyone who identifies as asexual is sex-repulsed. That’s just not the case, although though there are folks who want nothing to do with it.
Asexual and Not Sex-Repulsed
It me! These are people who don’t experience sexual attraction, but still have sex and/or masturbate regularly or occasionally.
For me, this is a weird place to be. Because you don’t experience attraction, but you do experience arousal and might watch porn and jerk off and have intercourse or other sex acts with partners. It can feel like you’re “faking it”, by accepting and embracing the asexual label. But remember, it’s about attraction, not action. You’re still asexual if that’s how you want to identify.
Gray Asexual (Gray Ace)
The thing about a spectrum is that there’s a lot of gray area, which is where gray-asexuals fit in. Gray ace folks are asexual-ish. For the most part, they may not experience attraction, but once in a blue moon, it might pop up.
If you’re gray ace, you might feel completely asexual until one time, by chance, you find yourself attracted to someone! It might take you by surprise, and might make you question your identity. Don’t worry, it’s normal to reevaluate from time to time. Your identity isn’t invalid just because you’ve been attracted to someone. You’re just at a different point on the spectrum!
Demisexuals are folks who experience attraction sometimes, typically after an emotional bond has already been formed.
Demisexual folks are like ace folks in that there’s no immediate sexual attraction for them. However, they differ from ace folks because after they’ve gotten to know someone, after they’re bonded emotionally (maybe even romantically, although not necessarily) they might feel attraction to this person. If you’ve found that you’ve only been into someone once you’ve gotten to know them, you might be somewhere in the demisexual range.
Allosexuality is considered the norm! I won’t say it’s normal, it’s just common. It has nothing to do with orientation, so allosexual folks can be straight, gay, bi, pan, or however they want to identify. But since they experience regular sexual attraction to someone, regardless of who, they fall on the other side of the ace spectrum, allosexuality.
Ultimately, there are a lot of places you can fall on the asexuality spectrum, and they’re all totally valid. They might change from time to time, even from day to day, and that’s okay. You do you.