“Gray-A” for short. An umbrella term for people who aren’t asexual, but aren’t allosexual either, and their experiences are generally more in line with those of asexual people. Usually considered to be part of the asexuality spectrum.
People who feel that they experience sexual attraction or a desire for sex, but only to a limited degree. Reasons for identifying as gray-asexual include, but aren’t limited to the following:
- Experiencing it only very rarely, noticeably less frequently than the general population.
- Experiencing it only at a low intensity, rarely, if ever strong enough to desire acting on it.
- People who experience sexual attraction, but no libido, may also be considered gray-asexual.
- Experiencing it only under limited circumstances. Some of these patterns of experiencing sexual attraction only under certain, limited circumstances have names for them:
- Demisexual: A close emotional bond with someone is the only condition in which experiencing sexual attraction is possible. This emotional bond doesn’t have to be romantic. Demisexuality isn’t the same as someone not wanting to not act on sexual attraction, unless they have an emotional bond with that person.
- Lithsexual/Akoisexual: Only experiences sexual attraction with no desire for it to be reciprocated; sexual feelings disappear with reciprocation.
Rhetoric to avoid
- “It means experiencing sexual attraction rarely”: This is a common explanation given for what gray-asexuality is, but the low frequency of sexual attraction isn’t the only reason why someone may identify as gray-asexual.
- “It’s the area on the spectrum between asexual and allosexual” (without any further elaboration): Mentioning this without further elaboration gives off the impression that the continuum from asexual to allosexual is one-dimensional (i.e: it’s only about the intensity of sexual attraction, or only the frequency of it), and erases the various reasons why someone would consider themselves gray-asexual.
A collective term referring to asexuals and gray-asexuals; asexuality is the point of the continuum defined by never experiencing sexual attraction and/or the desire for partnered sex.