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Allosexuality: What It Means

Medically Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on June 25, 2021

Anyone who feels sexual attraction for other people is considered allosexual, while people who rarely or never experience sexual attraction are considered gray- or asexual.

Allosexual people may have any sexual orientation. The word was coined by the asexual community to help reduce the assumption that allosexuality is “normal” and asexuality is “abnormal.” 

What Is the Difference Between Allosexuality, Demisexuality, Gray-sexuality, and Asexuality?

Some people who feel attraction only rarely may identify as “gray-asexual” or “gray-sexual” instead of asexual or allosexual.

Allosexual vs. Asexual

Allosexuality and asexuality are largely considered to be opposites. Allosexual people feel sexual attraction to others, while asexual people do not. It’s possible for both allo- and asexual people to experience romantic attraction, but this is not the same thing as sexual attraction. 

For example, an allosexual person may feel both romantic and sexual attraction to someone, generally meaning that they want to be in a relationship and perform sexual acts with them. On the other hand, an asexual person may only want to be in a relationship with someone because of their romantic attraction, but feel no desire to perform any sexual acts with their partner.

Allosexual vs. Demisexual

Demisexuality is the attraction to a person only if the demisexual person experiences a strong emotional connection with them. Asexuality is the complete or near-complete absence of sexual attraction to anyone.

Allosexual vs. Gray-sexual

Gray-sexual people feel slight sexual attraction or only feel sexual attraction on occasion. The majority of the time, they do not experience sexual attraction. As a result, they may identify as gray-sexual, asexual, or allosexual.

Myths and Misconceptions about Allosexuality

The term allosexual arose to help counter the idea that feeling sexual attraction is “normal” and a lack of sexual attraction needs to be “fixed” or makes someone “broken.” Being allosexual has nothing to do with how often someone engages in sexual activity, or to whom they feel attracted. 

Show Sources

SOURCES:

Archives of Sexual Behavior: “The Temporal Stability of Lack of Sexual Attraction across Young Adulthood.”

Dictionary.com: “Allo-.”

Dictionary.com: “Allosexual.”

The Independent: “Three Quarters of People Cannot Define Asexuality, here’s What It Means.”

LGBTA Wiki: “Allosexual.”

UW Madison Research Guides: “Asexuality/Demisexuality.”

Washington University: “Thinking of coming out?”

Women’s Health Magazine: “Are You Allosexual? Everything You Need to Know.”

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