Sexual Identity Signs You May Be Autosexual A sexual identity where you derive more sexual pleasure alone than with others. By Sarah Fielding Sarah Fielding LinkedIn Twitter Sarah Fielding is a freelance writer covering a range of topics with a focus on mental health and women's issues. Learn about our editorial process Updated on May 23, 2023 Medically reviewed Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more. by Monica Johnson, PsyD Medically reviewed by Monica Johnson, PsyD Dr. Monica Johnson is a clinical psychologist and owner of Kind Mind Psychology, a private practice in NYC specializing in evidence-based approaches to treating a wide range of mental health issues (e.g., depression, anxiety, trauma, and personality disorders). Additionally, she works with marginalized groups of people, including BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and alternative lifestyles, to manage minority stress. Learn about our Medical Review Board Print Milko / Getty Images Table of Contents View All Table of Contents Signs You May Be Autosexual How Autosexuality Affects Romantic Relationships Challenges Autosexual People May Face How to Support Someone Who Is Autosexual Autosexuality is a sexual orientation in which a person is more attracted to themselves than to other people. Some people with this sexuality may prefer masturbation to sex with others. Nikki Coleman, PhD Autosexuality means you experience intensities or types of sexual pleasure with yourself that you are not able to experience with partners. — Nikki Coleman, PhD Autosexuality exists on a spectrum and no one's experience of being autosexual is the same. “Just as much as there is diversity among sexual identity and expression among heterosexual or queer folks, there is for autosexual folks,” says Rachel Gersten, LPCC, a licensed therapist and co-founder of Viva. This article discusses the signs that may indicate you're autosexual, the challenges and stigma that are associated with autosexuality, how autosexuality impacts your relationships, and ways you can support people who identify as autosexual. Glossary of Must-Know Sexual Identity Terms Signs You May Be Autosexual Someone may identify as autosexual if their sexual arousal and satisfaction is higher through masturbation than with another person. Here are some signs that can indicate you are autosexual. You Experience More Sexual Pleasure With Yourself Than With Others Although many people feel aroused with themselves and others—with pleasure from partnered sex varying between encounters for anyone—autosexuality means “you experience intensities or types of sexual pleasure with yourself that you are not able to experience with partners,” says Nikki Coleman, PhD, a licensed psychologist who specializes in racial trauma, relationships, and sexuality. Just as much as there is diversity among sexual identity and expression among heterosexual or queer folks, there is for autosexual folks. You Are the Main Character in Your Sexual Fantasies Another big distinguisher, according to Dr. Coleman, is “If you are the star in your sexual fantasies or thoughts of self-pleasure turn you on more than partnered play” you might be autosexual. How a Sex Therapist Can Help If you can access one, a sex coach or therapist can help you figure out if you’re autosexual. Dr. Coleman says that a sex therapist can help you determine if autosexuality is your true and most authentic sexual orientation or if it's the result of past trauma. While you're the only one who can determine your sexual identity, a therapist can help you process your feelings. Additionally, in getting a better understanding of your sexuality, Gersten recommends checking in with yourself about how you feel sexually and emotionally while being intimate with yourself or others. This awareness can help you determine your preferences and what brings you pleasure. Best Online Sex Therapy Programs How Autosexuality Affects Romantic Relationships There can be a sense of “mismatched libido” when one person prefers partnered sex and the other would rather masturbate, says Dr. Coleman. Neither of these is wrong, but they can make it challenging to feel connected or in sync sexually. Open communication about what you want is critical for each partner in any relationship, especially when desires don’t fully align. “It likely will need to be a conversation with any future romantic partners on how to make a sex life fulfilling for all parties,” says Gersten. “Someone who identifies as autosexual may also only choose to spend time in that context with others who identify as the same.” Open communication about what you want is critical for each partner in any relationship, especially when desires don’t fully align. Gender vs. Sexuality: What's the Difference? Challenges Autosexual People May Face Stigmas still exist for anyone who is not heterosexual—what society still wrongly considers the “norm.” Autosexual people can still face stigma and “an attitude that you’re not ‘supposed to’ feel that way,” says Gersten. Autosexuality and Stigma Dr. Coleman explains that the stigma around autosexuality, though, can mean a person is holding onto shame or is defensive about their desires for fear of judgment. This can lead to additional conflict and a lack of communication. A Guide to Coming Out People Assume That Autosexuality Is Linked to Narcissism and Selfishness Autosexuality has a slew of negative connotations, such as that a person is selfish, narcissistic, or prudish. These labels fuel “otherness” and diminish an individual’s experience of sexuality. Some People Believe That Autosexuality and Asexuality Are the Same—They're Not It’s critical to note another misconception. Some believe that autosexuality is the same as asexuality and it's not. Asexuality Someone who is asexual is not attracted to anyone, or rarely sexually attracted to another person regardless of their gender. Autosexuality isn’t a type of sexual dysfunction and it's also not a choice to be celibate. Autosexual people can be attracted to and enjoy intimacy with themselves and others. But, the degree to which they want to interact with another person sexually depends on where they fall on the autosexuality spectrum. How to Support Someone Who Is Autosexual People deserve respect and kindness. There is nothing shameful or wrong about finding yourself attractive or enjoying masturbation more than partnered sex. If someone tells you that they’re autosexual, believe them. “Listen more than you speak and be willing to challenge yourself about any negative biases you are holding,” says Dr. Coleman. Can I Ask Someone About Their Identity? Sexuality is a very personal experience. So use your judgment when determining if it's OK to ask someone about their sexuality. If you know that they're already open to or enjoy talking about their sexuality, then it may be safe to ask them. So, if they’re comfortable with it, talk to them about their experience. If someone does not want to talk to you about it, then respect their boundary.If you don't know of someone who is autosexual, you can go online and read forums or personal essays from people who are autosexual so that you can get a better understanding of what sexuality means to them. The most important thing you can ask, though, Gersten says, is “what they need and how to best be an ally for them." What to Do When You're Questioning Your Sexuality 1 Source 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. LGBT Center-UNC Chapel Hill. Asexuality, Attraction, and Romantic Orientation. See Our Editorial Process Meet Our Review Board Share Feedback Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! What is your feedback? Other Helpful Report an Error Submit Speak to a Therapist Online Advertiser Disclosure × The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Verywell Mind receives compensation.