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Are you Allosexual?

Time to add to your vocab

By Claire Lampen  June 27th, 2018

If someone were to ask you if you’re asexual, how would you reply? Happily, the nomenclature for sexual orientation has significantly broadened over the last few decades, with terms like “pansexual” and “queer redefining the way that people self-identify.

However, a new term has entered the lexicon which you might not yet know about.Have you heard of “allosexual” yet?

What does ‘allosexual’ mean?

Allosexual (n.): a word used to describe someone who isn’t asexual.

“Allosexual is a word emerging from the asexual community to describe someone who isn’t asexual,” says Rena McDaniel, who has a master’s degree in counseling with a specialty in gender and sexual identity.  

In short, using the word “allosexual” undercuts the assumption that sexual attraction comes standard in every human, and people who identify as asexual are abnormal.

First…you need to understand “asexuality”

To get a better understanding of what “allosexual” means, you really need to get the term “asexual.”

In broad strokes, asexuality means not feeling sexual attraction toward others, but it’s just as fluid as other orientations.


Asexual (n.): a term used to describe someone who does not feel sexual attraction toward others.

“There is a lot of diversity in how asexual people want to relate to others in a romantic or sexual capacity,” says McDaniel. Maybe you feel sexual attraction very occasionally; maybe that experience demands a sincere emotional connection first.

“Some asexual people have sex regularly, some asexual people are in relationships, and some asexual people engage in self-pleasure,” explains x rance, an asexual, trans, AFAB (assigned female at birth) GLAAD campus ambassador. “These facts do not invalidate someone’s asexual identity.”

Why is this term important?

It’s worth repeating: The term “allosexual” helps eliminate the idea that being “asexual” is abnormal — which, on top of feeling shitty for someone who identifies that way, can lead to “harassment, persecution, and oppression,” McDaniel says.

As x rance explained during GLAAD’s Asexual Awareness Week last year: Using the word allosexual helps ditch the notion that “any identity is more “normal” than other.”