23 Types of Sexuality: Glossary of Terms

Human sexuality: It’s complicated!

Navigating our bodies, desires, needs, definitions, boundaries, values, social mores, cultural expectations, and more is a lot to sort out, no matter how you define your sexuality type.

Furthermore, our perspective on sexuality and sexuality types changes. Our experience of sex and our bodies is influenced not just by our inbuilt desires, but also by our society, connections, relationships, values, and our adventures.

What Is Sexuality?

Sexuality and human sexuality types are difficult to define. They encompass our bodies, our genders, our social constructions, our cultures.

Human sexuality and sexual orientation involve very personal ways of experiencing and defining identity and sexual desire, as well as our cultural, biological, medical, and social perspectives.

Two people may both be same-sex attracted to other biological women, for example, but one defines her sexuality type as genderfluid and the other as lesbian. A third may share their desires, but identify as heterosexual because she is happily married, and another may say she is bisexual.

Wikipedia says, “Human sexuality is the way people experience and express themselves sexually. This involved biological, psychological, physical, erotic, emotional, social, or spiritual feelings and behaviors. Because it has varied with historical contexts over time, it lacks a precise definition.”

Just as we all have our sexuality type or sexuality, each of us has opinions and perspectives on the utility or accuracy of sexuality terms and labels.

Debates rage online and in social circles on whether the recent proliferation of sexual identity terms is helpful and inclusive or divisive and too complicated to keep track of. That’s a discussion for another day!

I believe everyone has the right to define themselves and identify the way they see fit, regardless of my personal opinion or anyone else’s. Because it definitely can get confusing, this list of sexuality terms or sexuality types may come in handy!

23 Sexualities and Their Meanings

1. Abrosexual

Abrosexual people experience fluctuating sexualities.

2. Androsexual

The sexuality term “androsexual” means people of any sex or gender who are attracted to men, masculinity, or the male gender.

3. Androgynosexual

Some folks are attracted to people with androgynous qualities, whatever the sex or gender of those people.

4. Asexual

Asexuality is a sexuality type that isn’t sexual—some people simply do not have sexual attractions or feelings.

Asexual people may desire relationships without sex, even romantic ones, or they may be sexually active in order to please a partner or have a family, without feeling sexual desire.

Read: Non-Sexual Intimacy: How to Be Intimate without Sex

5. Autosexual

The sexuality type, “autosexual,” refers to those who experience sexual attraction towards themselves. They may feel romantic attraction or physical attraction or both.

No, masturbation does not make you autosexual!

Read: AutoSexual and Asperger’s in Polyamory

6. Bicurious

Those who feel attracted to both genders may self describe with the sexuality term “bicurious” if they haven’t explored sexual contact with one gender, or if they have a stronger preference for one gender over another.

7. Bisexual

Bisexuality is a sexuality type that experiences attraction to both men and women.

Read: Tips for Dating a Bisexual Woman

8. Ceterosexual

Those attracted to transgender or nonbinary people may use the sexuality term “ceterosexual.” In some definitions, this is only applicable when the person is themselves nonbinary or transgender.

Read: What to Know about Sex with Transgender Women

9. Cupiosexual

The sexuality type “cupiosexual” refers to someone who is asexual but desires to engage in sex or in sexual relationships.

10. Demisexual

Demisexual people don’t experience primary sexual attraction based on purely biological responses. They are only attracted to people they have known for a while or feel a bond with.

11. Fraysexual

The sexuality term “fraysexual” means someone who feels most attracted to people they don’t know well and do not have close emotional bonds with.

12. Gay

The most common sexuality term for same-sex attracted people is “gay,” although it was once used more often for men because women sometimes preferred a separate distinction and used “lesbian.”

Read: Dating Tips from Gay Men to Straight Guys

13. Graysexual

Graysexual is a sexuality type where the person experiences attraction rarely or at a low intensity.

14. Gynesexual

This sexuality term is also spelled “gynosexual” and refers to those who are attracted to women, regardless of the gender those women were assigned at birth.

15. Heterosexual

Heterosexuality refers to attraction to the opposite sex.

16. Lesbian

Lesbians are women attracted to women.

17. Omnisexual

The omnisexual sexuality type is attracted to people of any gender, sex, or orientation.

18. Pansexual

Pansexuality also means attraction to people of any gender, sex, or orientation. The subtle difference, according to some, is that pansexual people don’t notice the gender of the objects of their attraction. However, this distinction is not recognized by all.

Read: Pansexuality vs Bisexuality

19. Polyamorous

Most people, including polyamorous people, wouldn’t consider “polyamory” a sexuality or a sexual orientation. Rather, it is an expression of sexuality. It simply refers to one’s preference for non-monogamy. But others do see this sexuality term as a kind of orientation.

Read: Sexual Diversity in Poly Relationships

20. Reciprosexual

Those who don’t experience sexual attraction until they know the other person is attracted to them use the sexuality term “reciprosexual.”

21. Sapiosexual

Sapiosexuality refers to those who are sexually attracted to people of high intelligence rather than physical traits.

22. Sexually Fluid

Sexual fluidity is the term used by some who experience changing or fluctuating sexual identities or orientations. This term is used interchangeably with “abrosexuality” by many.

23. Skoliosexual

A sexuality term used by those attracted to transgender or nonbinary people is “skoliosexual.” This sexuality type can refer to someone of any gender including transgender or nonbinary and is not the same as someone expressing a fetish for transgender people.

“Skolio” means “crooked,” so some reject the implications that transgender people are crooked or different, and other sexuality terms are often preferred, if they are applicable, such as ceterosexual or allotroposexual.

Read: Tips to Find Sexual Compatibility Online

Did we miss a sexuality type that you identify or experiment with? Please share!

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