Today’s post bringing awareness to asexuality talks about the confusing part of the ace community: the spectrum. Much like an other spectrum, it’s a fluid scale ranging from one side to another based on a set of criteria. Inside the asexual community there are different ways to identify to help communicate feelings and what people want or don’t want in terms of relationships or emotional needs.

The Huffington Post did a wonderful infographic which is posted below, and I will try to explain a bit.

Courtesy of The Huffington Post

Courtesy of The Huffington Post

Romantic Attractions

Some asexuals have romantic attraction, “warm fuzzies,” or “squishes” that are purely based on personality and emotions. It’s essentially a desire to have a romantic connection to another individual, but absent of sexual desire. In the allosexual world, romantic attraction is usually something that goes along with sexual desire, unless it’s a hookup type situation. What’s easy about understanding romantic orientations is that they use prefixes that are already common in society today. This helps to describe what asexuals might want in terms of romantic connections.

heteromantic asexual is romantically attracted to people of the opposite sex or gender. This is the most common type of asexuality.

homoromantic asexual is romantically attracted to people of the same sex or gender. This is the least common type of asexuality (especially for men).

biromantic asexual is romantically attracted to people of both sexes or genders. This is less common than heteroromantics but more common than homoromantics.

panromantic asexual is romantically attracted to people regardless of sex or gender. This basically means that this type of person doesn’t regard sex or gender to be a defining part of their attraction. It’s similar to biromantic, but in itself different and one of the more complex and personal orientations.

An aromantic asexual does not have romantic attraction for any sex or gender. This is more common than one might think, and identifies people that don’t want romantic relationships and prefer friendship and other non-romantic relationships.


As if that’s not confusing enough, the idea of the spectrum and sexual orientation fluidity helps to describe and explain how people change over time. During periods of sexual transitions, allosexual people change from being homosexual to bisexual, or heterosexual to pansexual depending on their preference and desires at any given time.

When thinking about romantic orientations it’s also a curious way to describe certain people that seek out romantic relationships with people outside of their sexual desires. For example, a heterosexual man (would have sexual desires for women) but might be homoromantic because he has romantic attraction towards men but aren’t sexually attracted to them. It might seem a bit strange, but any combination works.

The VlogBrothers on YouTube did an excellent explanation of sexual and romantic orientations, and even gender in their video “Human Sexuality is Complicated.” And for a cisgendered heterosexual man, I’m pretty impressed about how much he knows about the subject and shows the differences of social norms, romantic, sexual, gender, and sex differences and similarities. Have a look at his video for a bit more information:


Now that you understand the basic idea of romantic attraction we delve into the difficult to explain world of grey and demisexuals. Often the source of much debate within the asexual community, and clinging onto the idea that sexuality and orientation are spectrums, the idea that grey-asexuals could possible exist, and do.

Demisexuals identify as people who do not normally have sexual attraction, but do when they form a strong emotional bond (possibly even romantic) with another person. The easiest example that I can provide is two people getting to know each other, one person is not necessarily sexually attracted to the other, but perhaps when they develop a strong emotional bond, sexual attraction can (not always) emerge.

There is an interesting article posted by Marie Claire entitled “The Demisexuals: ‘It Takes Me Months To Feel Sexually Attracted To Anyone’ that is worth a read if you’re interested in more information. It is written from a female perspective, but if you keep gender out of the picture (because males can be demisexual too) it holds true.

Grey-Asexuals identify as people between asexual and sexual, possibly meaning that they experience sexual attraction sometimes or during specific but not prolonged periods of life. It’s kind of a “catch-all” orientation for anything in between and is often a confusing and difficult to communicate or understand orientation.


And so many this has taught you a little bit about other people, or hopefully even for yourself because it’s possible that you could be a cisgendered heteroromantic heterosexual male or even a transgendered biromantic heterosexual female. While it’s not necessary to identify as any of these long-named orientations, once you have the toolkit of understanding them you can unlock a huge array of different types of relationships and people that you didn’t understand and now can connect to in platonic, romantic, or even sexual ways.

aceweek2016

It would seem that no other minority is more underrepresented or misunderstood as the asexual community. This week, beginning October 23 through to October 29 marks an educational and awareness movement called Asexual Awareness Week, or #AceWeek that aims to help build awareness about asexuality and its community members and to help educate the allosexuals of the world.

To get started, here is a bit of basic information that you may or may not be aware of about asexuality. Asexuals represent approximately 1% of the human population and represent an sexual orientation for people that do not experience sexual attraction. While this is very difficult to understand, asexual people explain romantic and sexual attraction as separate entities, because well they are. For most people the two are synonymous or connected, but sometimes they are not. Allosexuals can be sexually attracted to someone and not be romantically attracted to them, right? Cue hookup culture.

Some key vocabulary:
And a TLDR summary

Asexual: someone who does not experience sexual attraction
Aromantic: someone who does not experience romantic attraction
Demisexual: someone who experiences sexual attraction only after experiencing romantic attraction
Gray-asexual: someone who is in-between asexual and sexual on the spectrum
Ace: a common term for the asexual umbrella of identifications; plurally, a group of aces
Allosexual: someone who experiences sexual attraction and does not identify with the asexual community

Now that you know a bit about the terms, we can move on do the topic of today’s day: Coming Out. Normally associated with the LGBTQ+ community and publicly announcing ones orientation as being non-assumed as heterosexual, coming out can apply to anyone when it comes to disclosing something about oneself that is otherwise assumed due to statistics or commonality. Asexuals can come out, and often do it, leaving people on the receiving end of a confusing confession about their feelings. A popular YouTube celebrity, Ricky Dillon, who was assumed to be heterosexual or homosexual for awhile, came out on his channel in 2016, which can be seen below:

Ricky describes his experience in relationships and not having sexual attraction and feeling like he was pressured into a mould or form due to society and social pressures. While he doesn’t articulate asexuality in the best way, he shifts from sounding aromantic to heteroromantic and back again likely because he’s still discovering himself. What’s important is that he was brave enough to talk about his feelings in a public way, fearing possible social backlash and negative attention. Hopefully he hasn’t experienced that, but like most ace people, probably are on the receiving end of confusion, misinformation, ignorance, or sometime even hostility.

A community resource named the Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) is celebrating its 15 years of operation and focus of bring visibility and helping people understand themselves and find others with similar feelings, experiences, or orientations. It’s a wonderful place with many members, old and new, that share their experiences, thoughts, and try to navigate the difficult and confusing hypersexualized world in which we live.

So in the spirit of “Coming Out,” if someone comes out to you in person, on social media, or in mainstream media, start a conversation to educate yourself; don’t probe, but ask questions to learn more and erase ignorance and open a dialogue with your fellow human. We all come in different shapes and sizes, and the aces celebrate with purple, grey, white, and with a lot of cake (it’s an ace thing…). Promote tolerance, acceptance, and open-mindedness in all corners of the world to make it a better place.