What Does the Term 'Allosexual' Mean?

and how to know if you're allosexual.

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The term allosexual describes people that experience sexual attraction to other people. This term is essentially the opposite of the term asexual.

History of the Term 'Allosexual'

Allosexual is a fairly new term. In the past, people used 'sexual' to identify people who aren’t asexual.

The problem is that the term 'sexual' indicates that you are sexually active, which is different from describing sexual attraction. 

There are asexual people who have sex and there are allosexual people who don’t have sex. So, it was important to develop a term to clearly identify the sexual orientation without implying sexual activity. Thus, the term ‘allosexual’ was born to differentiate between people who experience sexual attraction versus those who don’t.

Signs You’re an Allosexual

You can use the term 'allosexual' to describe a person who feels a sexual attraction to anyone, regardless of sexual orientation. Someone who identifies as allosexual may experience sexual attraction toward people in any capacity!

The only group of people who aren’t allosexual are those who identify as asexual. And, even then, someone who identifies as asexual may find themselves sexually attracted to someone else at one point or another.

So, if you've noticed or have realized that you have a sexual attraction to another person, there's a chance that the term allosexual may feel right to you.

Remember, it's also possible for your sexuality to change and evolve over time as it can exist on a spectrum for many people. So, you might find that the term allosexual feels right for you now but, over time, you may find that another term feels more accurate. It's also perfectly OK not to choose a label at all!

The Term 'Allosexual' Fosters Greater Inclusivity

Creating the term 'allosexual' was an exercise in inclusion. By developing a term for people who experience sexual attraction, we avoid excluding people who identify as asexual as abnormal.

It makes it easier to engage in conversation about sexuality without insinuating that people who experience sexual attraction are the norm, or that people who are asexual aren’t.

Other Types of Sexuality

Allosexual and asexual are opposite extremes on the spectrum of sexuality. Some people don’t identify with either of these terms. There are two different types of sexuality that fall in the middle of the spectrum: graysexuality and demisexuality. 

  • Graysexuality: People who identify as graysexual experience sexual attraction on rare occasions or at a lower intensity than allosexual people.
  • Demisexuality: On the other hand, demisexual people only experience sexual attraction when they have an emotional connection with someone.

Whether you’re allosexual, gray-sexual, demisexual, or asexual, you’re completely normal. The way each one of us experiences relationships, sexuality, and romance are different. Don’t limit yourself if you choose to label your sexuality.

5 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Dictionary.com. Allosexual.

  2. InsideHook. You May Not Have Heard of Allosexuality, But There’s a Good Chance You’re Allosexual.

  3. Aceing History. A History Of Words Used To Describe People That Are Not Asexual.

  4. LGBTQ and ALL. What is Graysexuality?

  5. Demisexuality Resource Center. What Is Demisexuality?.

By Brianna Graham, MPH
Brianna Graham, MPH, is the founder and CEO of Mixed Media, LLC, a Black woman-owned consulting business. Currently, Brianna holds a certification in public health, and a teaching certificate. She is an expert in copywriting and content writing for healthcare and education organizations.