Asexuality (and related concepts) 101 part 3

This is part 3 of my Asexuality (and related concepts) 101 page; original post proposing the idea is here.


(allo- “other” –> “sexual attraction to other people”) People not on the asexual spectrum, or people who are not asexual nor gray-asexual. They experience sexual attraction, or the desire for partnered sex in a consistent manner, and this attraction is usually closely tied to other forms of attraction they experience.

Rhetoric to avoid

  • Assuming all allosexuals feel the same way about sex: It’s not fair for us to assume they’re a monolith, when we, as asexuals are speaking out to show the diversity of the asexual community. It’s also incorrect. Allosexuals can experience sexual attraction at different frequencies and intensities from each other. They also value, and prioritize sex differently from each other, ranging from those who feel that sex is a must-have in a relationship, to those who never want sex, and rejected it for life.
  • Assuming all allosexuals experience romantic attraction, and that their romantic orientation must match up with their sexual orientation: Aromanticism isn’t limited to asexuality, and there are allosexuals whose romantic orientations don’t match their sexual orientations.

Other forms of attraction

Aside from sexual attraction, there are other types of attraction, including romantic, aesthetic, and sensual.

  • Romantic: The desire to form a romantic bond with someone. People who don’t experience romantic attraction are known as aromantics, and some are asexual, others aren’t. For more information on romantic orientation, see the “Romantic orientation” section.
  • Aesthetic: Finding someone aesthetically attractive, strongly drawn to their looks, in a non-sexual way.
  • Sensual: The desire for sensual, but non-sexual contact with others. Not everyone can neatly separate sensual attraction from sexual attraction, and for many allosexuals, they may be closely linked. For some asexuals who experience romantic attraction, sensual attraction is closely tied to their romantic attraction.

Asexuals just don’t experience sexual attraction (going by the “sexual attraction” definition), but could experience any of the other forms of attraction, and describe their other attractions as being inherently disconnected from anything sexual.

“Squishes” are intense feelings, and a desire to form a platonic relationship with someone. Aromantic people don’t experience “crushes”, which are romantic, but may experience “squishes”.

Libidoism and nonlibidoism

Asexuals with a libido often describe it as having a libido that isn’t directed at anything, and can be satisfied with self-stimulation. Nonlibidoists are people without libido, and have no physical need for self-stimulation. Arousal is separate from libido, and some, but not all nonlibidoists can be physically aroused. Those that can, and could feel physical pleasure, just have no physical drive for it.

26.1% of asexual spectrum people are estimated to be nonlibidoist, according to the 2014 AVEN Community Census.

Points that are still unclear:

  • Can someone be allosexual and nonlibidoist? I heard that isn’t possible, and all people who experience sexual attraction, but no libido are gray-A. I’ve also heard of others saying that all nonlibidoists are asexual, claiming that sexual attraction can’t exist without libido (though libido can exist without sexual attraction).
  • Any rhetoric to avoid with the attraction and libido sections?: I think I addressed one, when I said that not all nonlibidoists can feel physical arousal or pleasure. I didn’t know until it was first pointed out that a lot of explanations of nonlibidoism erase those that don’t.

Other points I wanted to add, but wasn’t sure: It’s harmful and inaccurate to assume that all allosexuals feel the same way about sex, because it may also suggest that mixed relationships are a lost cause. There is a later section on mixed relationships, so I wasn’t sure if I should mention this point in the “rhetoric to avoid” header for the allosexual section. I also thought of splitting off the upcoming section on aromanticism into its own page.


One thought on “Asexuality (and related concepts) 101 part 3

  1. sablin27

    ” “Squishes” are intense feelings, and a desire to form a platonic relationship with someone. ” Feelings is plural and desire is singular. I’m also not sure the sentence makes sense beyond that. Maybe swap “, and a” for ” of” ?

    In, “Those that can, and could feel physical pleasure, just have no physical drive for it,” the “could” should be a second “can”.

    On non-libido-ism: A lot of (adolescent and adult) people who can’t get physically aroused are libidoists. I think the majority are. (No idea what the number of libidoists is among asexuals who can’t get physically aroused.)

    I think the mixed relationship reason would go better in the mixed relationship section. It reinforces that we should respect allosexuals as people and not prioritise what we can get from them.



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