Sexuality 101: Terms And Definitions
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Health and Wellness

Sexuality 101: Terms And Definitions

Through a college student's perspective.

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Sexuality 101: Terms And Definitions
www.sawyoo.com

While I am obviously not knowledgeable about all things sexuality wise, I'm going to be discussing the meaning behind certain terms. Additionally, I most likely will miss a few terms so I apologize ahead of time.

First off, there's a difference between romantic attraction and sexual attraction. Romantic attraction, as defined by AVEN, is essentially how people react when they want a romantic relationship with another person. Sexual attraction is when you find someone sexually interesting. For example, someone can be considered "straight" or heterosexual but also asexual. They may find others romantically attractive; however, they do not want to have sex with them.

Asexuality is when an individual does not experience sexual attraction to others. However, there is a spectrum on how much sexual attraction the individual experiences. An individual may be a gray-asexual, according to AVEN, meaning:

  • do not normally experience sexual attraction, but do experience it sometimes
  • experience sexual attraction, but a low sex drive
  • experience sexual attraction and drive, but not strongly enough to want to act on them
  • people who can enjoy and desire sex, but only under very limited and specific circumstances

There is also demisexuality, which is in the asexuality spectrum as for the most part, individuals in this spectrum don't feel sexual attraction. They are usually attracted to a handful of people or even just one person. It's defined as "a sexual orientation in which someone feels sexual attraction only to people with whom they have an emotional bond". Demisexuals usually do not have these initial feelings towards random people. Most non-asexual people feel sexual attraction "regardless of whether or not they have a close emotional bond with someone".

Bisexuality is when an individual is attracted to individuals of the same gender and individuals of different gender/gender presentations of themselves. Bisexuality is not being "promiscuous" and it is not always a 50/50 distribution.

For further information and educational resources, check out the Asexuality Visibility and Education Network website here.


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