In our modern world, there are many nuances and complexities when it comes to sexual orientation. Although some identify as gay or straight, others fall somewhere in the middle or completely outside of the spectrum. Who and how we love is complicated, however, there are more people out there with an orientation you may not be familiar with. Take a look at seven sexualities that fall under the LGBTQ+ umbrella in the gallery below, then let us know if you feel represented by one (or more) of these identities in the comments section on social media.
Someone who identifies as asexual experiences little to no sexual attraction to any genders. This is very different than being celibate, as celibacy is a conscious choice and asexuality is an identity many people have for the rest of their lives. Some asexual people do have sex and many engage in long term partnerships. Many asexual people have romantic attractions, as aromantic is an entirely separate sexual orientation.
Someone who identifies as bicurious is interested in having sexual experiences with members of their same sex. People who feel connected to this label may go on to adopt the term bisexual as they become more comfortable with their own identity. For others, they may realize that bisexuality isn’t for them and find themselves as straight allies to the queer community.
Someone who identifies as demisexual only experiences sexual attraction to someone they’ve formed an emotional connection with. For demisexual people, relationships are often formed through friendships and they feel sexual attraction based on the bonds they form with others. The romantic parallel to demisexual is demiromantic, an orientation where people only experience romantic attraction to someone they’ve formed an emotional connection with.
Someone who identifies as sexuality fluid experiences shifts in their sexuality over time or depending on the situation. Fluid can be a great label for people who don’t feel represented by the traditional straight, gay or bisexual labels, as it’s tailored to the individual. Many people identify with gender fluidity as well, which means their gender identity changes over time.
Someone who identifies as pansexual experiences sexual attraction to people regardless of their gender, sex or sexuality. Pansexuality and bisexuality are often used interchangeably, especially as more bisexual communities have expanded the label to include those outside the binary. In fact, just last week Merriam-Webster updated the definition of bisexual to “of, relating to, or characterized by sexual or romantic attraction to people of one’s same sex and of the opposite sex” or “of, relating to, or characterized by sexual or romantic attraction to people of one’s own gender identity and of other gender identities.”
Someone who identifies as queer isn’t exclusively heterosexual. This is the label for people who don’t like labels, as it’s more based on an individual’s personal experiences and preferences. Queer was once used as a derogatory slur toward LGBT people, but it’s since been reclaimed by the community.
Someone who identifies as sapiosexual is attracted to a partner’s intellect over anything else. Although intelligence is a priority in most relationships, it’s number one for sapiosexuals. When it comes to sapiosexuality, it’s important to acknowledge that it’s intellect itself they find stimulating, not the status, fame or fortune that can come with it.