The term allosexual refers to anyone who experiences sexual attraction. Those who identify as allosexual can also identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, or any other orientation, because allosexuality isn’t linked to gender but simply attraction. This is as opposed to asexuality, described below.
Someone who is androsexual will find themselves sexually or emotionally attracted to folks on the more masculine side. For some people, this attraction has very little to do with biology; it’s more about having a masculine identity or gender presentation. Alternatively, some people also use the term androsexual to refer to attraction to any folks with penises, though still with a focus on people with more masculine presentations.
An asexual individual typically doesn’t experience sexual attraction to any gender. However, it is possible for an asexual being to be romantically attracted to people of other genders or the same gender, and some asexual people do have sex in certain circumstances.
Have you ever wished there were two of you so you could have sex with yourself? If you answer yes, then you might be autosexual, aka someone who is sexually attracted to themselves.
Bi-curious refers to someone who is looking to explore or has already begun exploring bisexuality. There’s some disagreement about whether this term has roots in biphobia, however.
Someone who is bisexual will likely find themselves romantically, sexually, or emotionally attracted to more than one gender. It can sometimes overlap with pansexuality, which is the attraction to people regardless of gender. (Here’s more on how to know if you’re pansexual vs. bisexual.
Closeted, also referred to as “in the closet,” refers to anyone who is a part of the LGBTQIA+ community, but they have yet to publicly acknowledge this truth. These people typically have good reasons to keep their sexual identity to themselves, such as for safety from an intolerant community or to avoid discrimination associated with being “out” of the closet. Some closeted people may or may never “come out.”
Demisexual falls on the asexual spectrum. It describes someone who only experiences sexual attraction to folks they already have established a strong romantic or emotional relationship with.
Some people describe themselves as sexually fluid. A person who is fluid experiences their sexuality or sexual identity as changing over time or in different contexts rather than having one finite way they experience attraction.
The word gay is used to describe someone who is sexually, romantically, or emotionally attracted to people of the same gender. In some cases, women who date other women prefer to use the word lesbian, while others opt to use queer.
Graysexual people are all about the gray area of the sexuality spectrum and tend to experience limited sexual attraction. This means they’ll rarely experience sexual attraction, and when they do, it’s usually not very intense.
Heterosexual or straight
Heterosexual or straight refers to people who are only attracted, whether sexually, emotionally, or romantically, to people of the “opposite” gender—i.e., men who are attracted to women exclusively, or women who are attracted to men exclusively.
Heteroflexible or homoflexible
A heteroflexible person is mostly straight (heterosexual) though occasionally is attracted to the same gender or other genders. A homoflexible person likewise is mostly gay (homosexual) though occasionally is attracted to the “opposite” gender. For example, a homoflexible man might primarily date and sleep with men but occasionally date or sleep with a woman. Like bi-curiosity, there’s still ongoing debate over whether these terms are rooted in biphobia.
The term homosexual is a bit outdated, but it refers to anyone who is attracted to people of the same or a similar gender.
A lesbian is a woman who is mentally, physically, and emotionally attracted to other women. Some women who date women prefer to be called gay or queer. Some people who don’t identify as women but do have more feminine aspects to their gender—for example, a more feminine-leaning nonbinary person—might also use the term lesbian to describe themselves and their relationships with other feminine people.
Someone who identifies as pansexual experiences attraction to folks regardless of sex or gender identity.
The dictionary defines queer as something “odd, strange, or weird,” but the word has since been reclaimed and redefined. These days, queer is an umbrella term that is sometimes used to describe anyone within the LGBTQ+ community. The term also provides a sense of community for those who may not fit into one of the other categories specifically but also don’t identify as straight or cisgender.
Someone who falls into the questioning category is someone who is questioning their current sexual identity and curious about exploring different aspects of sexuality or gender. For example, this could apply to someone who has always identified as a lesbian but is now wondering whether they’re also attracted to men.
You might be seeing this word used in social media and dating app bios more often these days. A sapiosexual person is someone whose attraction is based on intelligence rather than sex or gender.
Someone who is sex-repulsed is repulsed or disgusted by sex or sexual behavior. This person falls on the spectrum of asexuality.
Skoliosexual is one of the newer terms on the sexuality scene, and it refers to a person who is attracted to anyone who isn’t cisgender. This means a skoliosexual will usually find themselves drawn to people who are trans or nonbinary.
A spectrasexual is sexually or romantically attracted to a wide range of sexes, genders, and gender identities.