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The asexual spectrum (abbreviated as acespec, ace spec, or ace-spec)[1] refers to sexual orientations that are asexual or are closely related to asexuality. Identities under the asexual umbrella are closely connected as part of a broad community.[1][2][3]

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Community

Identities under the umbrella

The identities below are listed alphabetically, following asexual itself.

Asexual

Asexual Flag

The asexual pride flag

Asexual refers to people who do not experience sexual attraction toward others,[2] as well as people who experience limited or conditional sexual attraction[4] and relate to the label asexual more than other sexual identity terms.[2] They may experience other forms of attraction, such as romantic, sensual, or aesthetic attraction. Asexuality is a sexual orientation,[5] not a behavior, choice, or medical condition. Some asexual people choose to engage in sexual activities for various reasons despite not experiencing sexual feelings and desire toward any particular person.[2][4] Asexuality is part of the asexual spectrum (abbreviated "ace spectrum"), an umbrella term and a broad community of identities that are closely related to asexuality when placed on a spectrum ranging from asexual to allosexual.[2]


Aceflux

Aceflux

The aceflux pride flag

Aceflux has two common definitions:[6]

  1. Someone with a fluctuating orientation, and that orientation is always within the asexual spectrum.[1][3][6]
  2. Someone with an orientation that fluctuates between no attraction, some attraction, and a lot of attraction.[6]


Aegosexual

Aegosexual

The aegosexual pride flag

Aegosexual, also known less commonly as anegosexual[7] and formerly referred to as autochorissexual ("autochoris" means "identity-less"), is a microlabel on the asexual spectrum that describes those who experience a disconnect between themselves and the subject of arousal. The contemporary term is made up of the prefix "a/an-" meaning 'not', "ego" for 'self', and 'sexual'. Hence, "aegosexual" or "anegosexual" literally means "sexual without self". Aegosexuals may have sexual fantasies, view sexual content, or masturbate, but typically feel little to no sexual attraction or desire to engage in sexual intercourse. Many aegosexuals fantasize about sex from a third-person perspective.[1][3][8][9]


Apothisexual

Apothisexual

The apothisexual flag

Apothisexual, which stems from the Greek root "apothisan" meaning 'repulsed', refers to someone who identifies as asexual and finds sex and/or sexual activity to be disgusting or uncomfortable. Individuals who use this term are affected by sex in the media to varying degrees, and may try to avoid its presence altogether. This term should not be confused with 'sex-negative', which means finding sex immoral.[3][10][11]


Autosexual

Autosexual or egosexual is a label that refers to someone who mostly or only feels sexual attraction to themselves.[3][12]


Cupiosexual

Cupiosexual

Cupiosexual flag

Cupiosexual, derived from "cupio" meaning longing, refers to a person who is asexual or on the asexual spectrum and still desires sexual actions despite not feeling an attraction towards people who'd inspire that desire.[1][3][13] The term originally showed up on forums in 2014. Although cupiosexuals will not experience sexual attraction to their sexual partner, there are a myriad of other reasons a cupiosexual may have sex, such as physical pleasure or a way to bond with one's partner.[14]


Demisexual

Demisexual Flag

The demisexual flag

Demisexual is a sexual orientation most often defined as only experiencing sexual attraction when an emotional connection or bond has formed with someone.[2][15][16][6][17] The nature of that emotional bond varies by person, but possibilities include friendship or romance and may or not mean loving the other person.[18]

Another definition is a person who does not experience primary sexual attraction (defined as sexual attraction that is based on sight, smell, or other information instantly available upon meeting someone) but does experience secondary sexual attraction (attraction that develops over time based upon the relationship and connection with another person). How much demisexuals need to know about another person and for how long they need to know about them before they may develop secondary sexual attraction varies from person to person.[19]

Demisexual people can be gay, straight, bisexual, or any other orientation describing the gender(s) of people they are attracted to.[20] Some add demi- as a prefix to another sexual orientation label, such as "demi-bisexual".[16] Demisexuality is part of the asexual spectrum,[2] but individual demisexuals may or may not identify as asexual.[15]


Fraysexual

Fraysexual flag

The fraysexual pride flag

Fraysexual or ignotasexual describe individuals who experience sexual attraction to those whom they do not know very well. For some fraysexual people, they may initially be attracted to another person; however, they find that their sexual attraction fades over time, particularly as an emotional connection is formed.[1][3][21][22] Some fraysexual people have described their sexuality as an "imbalance of morals" that prevents them from being able to engage in sexual acts with any other person close to them.[23][24] Fraysexuality has been considered by some to be the "opposite" of demisexuality.[25]


Gray-asexual

GrayAsexual

The gray-asexual flag

Gray-asexual,[26] also known as graysexual or gray-A,[26][27][28] is an asexual identity characterized as being "in between" asexual and allosexual; that is, being asexual while also able to experience, or have experienced previously, sexual attraction.[26] People who identify as gray-asexual may experience sexual attraction that occurs infrequently, at low intensity, or in an ambiguous way.[6][29][1][3] The term is often included in the asexual spectrum.[1][3][30]


Lithosexual

Lithosexual, formerly known as "akoisexual", is a term for someone who feels sexual attraction only for those that do not reciprocate those feelings.[1][3][31]


Flag

While the overall asexual flag is often used to represent the asexual spectrum, there is also a flag design specifically made to represent this spectrum.[3][32] This design was posted to Tumblr on July 25, 2020, by Potion of the Flag Archive blog. It has four equal-sized horizontal stripes, and they suggested the following meanings for the colors: dark blue for community, its history, and solidarity; purple for asexuality in all variations and personal labels, pink for self-determination, pride, and acceptance; cream for diversity in experiences and types of attraction.[33]

Resources

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Ace and Aro Journeys: A Guide to Embracing Your Asexual or Aromantic Identity by The Ace and Aro Advocacy Project. Published 2023 by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. ISBN 9781839976384.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 "General FAQ" by The Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) on The Asexual Visibility and Education Network(Archived on 2024-05-03)
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 Amazing Ace, Awesome Aro: An Illustrated Exploration by Victoria Barron. Published 2023 by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. ISBN 9781839977145.
  4. 4.0 4.1 language primer.com/asexual "Asexual" by The Trans Language Primer on The Trans Language Primer(language primer.com/asexual Archived on 2021-10-28)
  5. "Overview" by The Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) on The Asexual Visibility and Education Network(Archived on 2024-05-03)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 The ABC's of LGBT+ by Ash Hardell. Published 2016 by Mango Media. ISBN 9781633534087.
  7. "Grey-asexuality" on <asexuality-handbook.com>. Published by Asexuality Handbook. (no backup information provided)
  8. "History of Aegosexuality" by Edha Shirodkar on The Michigan Gayly. Published 2021-02-01. (Archived on 2022-02-14)
  9. https://www.slanglang.net/slang/lgbtq/aegosexual/
  10. "What is Asexuality?" on <wp.wwu.edu>(no backup information provided)
  11. "Being an Apothisexual" by Flannigan, Amy Maria on <ourqueerstories.com>. Published 2015-09-25 by Our Queer Stories. (no backup information provided)
  12. "What Is Autosexual?" by WebMD Editorial Contributors on <webmd.com>. Published 2021-06-28 by WebMD. (no backup information provided)
  13. "Cupiosexual" by Carina Hsieh on <cosmopolitan.com>. Published 2020-12-29 by Cosmopolitan. (no backup information provided)
  14. "What Does Cupiosexual Mean? It's One Of Many Asexual Microlabels" by Georgia Davis on <womenshealthmag.com>. Published 2022-02-24 by Women's Health Mag. (no backup information provided)
  15. 15.0 15.1 "Demisexual" by The Trans Language Primer on The Trans Language Primer. "Someone who does not experience sexual attraction unless they form a strong emotional connection with another person first. Some may experience romantic attraction, but until the emotional connection is formed, they do not experience sexual attraction. Some individuals experience sexual attraction rarely and/or may have little interest in sex in general. Demisexuality is included under the grey-asexual umbrella, though demisexual people may or may not identify specifically as asexual for a variety of reasons." (Archived on 2024-01-06)
  16. 16.0 16.1 The A-Z of Gender and Sexuality: From Ace to Ze by Morgan Lev Edward Holleb. Published 2019 by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. ISBN 9781785923425 (paperback), ISBN 9781784506636 (eBook)
  17. The Queens' English: The LGBTQIA+ Dictionary of Lingo and Colloquial Phrases by Chloe O. Davis. Published 2021 by Clarkson Potter/Publishers. ISBN 9780593135006, ISBN 9780593135013 (Ebook)
  18. "Demisexuality: What Does It Mean?" by Sian Ferguson on Healthline. Published 2022-01-31. (Archived on 2022-10-04)
  19. "No lust at first sight: why thousands are now identifying as 'demisexual'" by Nosheen Iqbal on The Guardian. Published 2019-09-07. (Archived on 2023-11-25)
  20. "What Is Demisexuality?" by WebMD Editorial Contributor on WebMD. Medically reviewed 2023-08-17 by Zilpah Sheikh, MD (Archived on 2024-03-24)
  21. "What Is Fraysexuality? The Sexual Orientation, Explained" by Kassel, Gabrielle on <wellandgood.com>. Published 2021-02-16 by Well and Good. (no backup information provided)
  22. "Savage Love: Lose desire after getting to know someone? You're fraysexual" by Savage, Dan on <nowtoronto.com>. Published 2021-07-7 by NOW Magazine. (no backup information provided)
  23. "Fraysexuality, Sexless Marriage, and the Love/Lust Split" by Golden Oak on <medium.com>. Published 2020-01-02 by Medium. (no backup information provided)
  24. "'Once I Start Liking Someone, I Don't Want Sex Anymore': What It's Like Being Fraysexual" by O'Brian, Vanna on <pedestrian.tv>. Published 2021-02-17 by PedestrianTV. (no backup information provided)
  25. "Fraysexuality" by likeappletrees on <asexuality.org>. Published 2015-08-03 by Asexuality.org. (no backup information provided)
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 The Invisible Orientation: An Introduction to Asexuality (in English) by Decker, Julie Sondra. Published 2014 by Carrel Books. ISBN 978-1-63144-017-5.
  27. Understanding Asexuality (in English) by Bogaert, Anthony. Published 2012 by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.. ISBN 978-1-4422-0101-9.
  28. "Graysexuality: What Does It Mean" on <webmd.com>. Published 2021-06-29 by WebMD. (no backup information provided)
  29. "What Does It Mean to Be Graysexual? 16 Qs About Attraction and More" by Ferguson, Sian on <healthline.com>. Published 2019-09-17 by Healthline. (no backup information provided)
  30. "Grey-Asexual" by The Trans Language Primer on The Trans Language Primer(no backup information provided)
  31. "Everything you need to know about lithosexuality" on <livelovelgbtq.wordpress.com>. Published 2017-10-26 by Wordpress. (no backup information provided)
  32. Perfectly Queer: An Illustrated Introduction by Barron, Victoria. Published 2023 by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. ISBN 9781839974083.
  33. "Asexual spectrum flag!" by Potion on <theflagarchive.tumblr.com>. Published 2020-07-25. (Archived on 2022-02-21)
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