Romantic and sexual orientation

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Romantic and sexual orientation are enduring personal qualities that incline people to feel romantic and sexual attraction to certain kinds of people.[1] Sometimes terms for sexual orientation are also used to include romantic orientation, the tendency to feel romantic attraction to certain kinds of people. Other times, orientation labels differentiate between romantic and sexual attraction.

Some of the most widely known labels for attraction, such as "lesbian," also label your own gender as a binary gender. There aren't similarly wide-spread words for attraction experienced by nonbinary people or attraction to nonbinary people. This article includes many terms for this that have been proposed, even though they may not have been widely used at this time.

Usually attracted to women[edit | edit source]

In the English-speaking world, most people know about three orientations that are usually attracted to women: bisexuals, heterosexual men, and homosexual women (lesbians). Some other identity labels have been proposed in order to have a way to say that one is usually attracted to women, without labeling one's own gender identity: gynephilia, femaric, feminamoric, neptunic, and venusic. Some identity labels have been proposed specifically for nonbinary people who are usually attracted to women: azalian, nonbinary people loving women (NBLW), and orbisian/trixic.

Azalian[edit | edit source]

"An agender/genderless person who loves women." Coined by tumblr user genderless-gibberish.[2]

Femaric[edit | edit source]

Non-straight attraction by anyone to women and feminine-aligned people. Coined by Tumblr user goodpositivitylgbt.[4]

Feminamoric[edit | edit source]

Attracted exclusively to women.[5]

Gynephilia[edit | edit source]

Gynephilia, also referred to as gynesexual, is a romantic or sexual orientation in which a person feels attraction to women or femininity.[6] This term has gained criticism, arguing that the prefix "gyne-" is focused on genitals, not gender. Proponents of the term "gynephilia/gynesexual" argue that the term refers to women, not genitals.

Lesbian[edit | edit source]

People who identify as lesbians have a feminine gender identity, and are attracted only to women. This word is applicable regardless of whether one or both people involved are cisgender women or transgender women. Some nonbinary people also identify as women to some degree (nonbinary women), and also usually experience attraction to women, and so they consider themselves lesbians. Some people see "lesbian" as a gender identity as well as a sexuality.

NBLW[edit | edit source]

Non-binary people loving women (often abbreviated as nblw) is an expression used to describe nonbinary people who feel some type of attraction towards women. Trixic or orbisian are terms that can be used with the same meaning.

Some nblw prefer the term nonbinary lesbian to describe their attraction to women because it's easier, since lesbian is better known than trixic or orbisian, and some people can relate more to this term.

Gynesexual or finsexual are also terms to describe the attraction to femininity but they're not specifically for not non-binary people and also don't exclusively describe the attraction to women.

Neptunic[edit | edit source]

Attraction to women, nongender people, and all nonbinary people who are not male-aligned or masculine.[7]

Orbisian/Trixic[edit | edit source]

Trixic or orbisian flag.

An orbisian or trixic person is a nonbinary person who is attracted to women (exclusively or not).[5] The trixic or orbisian was created by non-alligned-sapphic on tumblr. Purples and yellows represent nonbinary-ness, while pink represents the attraction to women.

Venusic[edit | edit source]

Only attracted to women and fem-aligned nonbinary people or partial women.[8]

Usually attracted to men[edit | edit source]

In the English-speaking world, most people know about three orientations that are usually attracted to men: bisexuals, heterosexual women, and homosexual men (gay men). Some other identity labels have been proposed in order to have a way to say that one is usually attracted to men, without labeling one's own gender identity: androphilia, marsic, mascic, and uranic. Some identity labels have been proposed specifically for nonbinary people who are usually attracted to men: nonbinary people loving men (NBLM), quadrisian/toric, thistlian, and viramoric.

Androphilia[edit | edit source]

Androphilia is a romantic or sexual orientation in which one feels attraction to men or masculinity, regardless of one's own gender identity.[6]

Gay men[edit | edit source]

People who identify as gay men have a male gender identity, and are attracted only to men. This word is applicable regardless of whether one or both people involved are cisgender men or transgender men. Some nonbinary people also identify as men to some degree (nonbinary men), and also usually experience attraction to men, and so they consider themselves gay.

Marsic[edit | edit source]

Only attracted to men and masc-aligned nonbinary people or partial men.[9]

Mascic[edit | edit source]

Non-straight attraction by anyone to men and masculine-aligned people. Coined by Tumblr user goodpositivitylgbt.[10]

NBLM[edit | edit source]

Nonbinary people loving men (very often abbreviated as nblm, NBLM) is a term that refers to nonbinary people who are sexually and/or romantically attracted to men.

Quadrisian/Toric[edit | edit source]

Nonbinary person attracted to men (exclusively or not). [5]

Thistlian[edit | edit source]

"An agender/genderless person who loves men." Coined by tumblr user genderless-gibberish.[2]

Uranic[edit | edit source]

Attraction to men, nongender people, and all nonbinary people who are not female-aligned or feminine.[11]

Viramoric[edit | edit source]

Nonbinary person attracted exclusively to men.[5]

Usually attracted to a different gender than one's own[edit | edit source]

Heterosexuality[edit | edit source]

Also called being straight, heterosexuality is a romantic and sexual orientation in which a person tends to feel sexual attraction only to people of a different gender identity than their own. For example, women who usually feel attracted only to men. This is heterosexuality even if one or both of the people are transgender, because this is based on gender identity rather than sex. Heterosexuality is often defined as attraction between persons of opposite gender[12]. However, the idea "opposite gender" only makes sense within the gender binary, which sees all people as being either of only two genders, and that those two genders are supposedly opposites to each other. What "heterosexuality" means when nonbinary identities are taken into account is not agreed upon. By its etymology, it could imply "other" or "different" gender[13]. In that case, a heterosexual nonbinary person could mean one who feels attraction to one gender other than nonbinary, to both binary genders, or to all genders other than their exact own. Nevertheless, heterosexuality is often assumed to refer to attraction between men and women only, even when nonbinary identities are acknowledged. This can cause distress to nonbinary people in a relationship and their partners as they struggle to find a labels for themselves. The question of whether a nonbinary person can identify as heterosexual-- and how exactly that person defines their heterosexuality-- is up to that individual person.

Usually attracted to the same gender as one's own[edit | edit source]

Homosexuality[edit | edit source]

Also called being gay, homosexuality is a sexual orientation in which a person feels sexual attraction only to people of the same gender as one's self.[14] All homosexual people can also call themselves gay. Nonbinary people who are mainly attracted to other nonbinary people can call themselves homosexual, gay, or NBLNB (nonbinary loving nonbinary).

Nonbinary people who also identify as men or women to some degree, and are mainly attracted to the same, may also call themselves homosexual, gay, and/or lesbian.

Usually attracted to more than one gender[edit | edit source]

A pride parade in which bisexual and pansexual flags can be seen.

Bisexuality[edit | edit source]

Bisexuality is a sexual orientation in which a person feels sexual attraction to more than one gender of people[15]. Some define this as attraction to women as well as men. Others define bisexuality as attraction to two genders of people: the same as one's own gender, and different than one's own gender. Others define bisexuality as attraction to people of any gender. What "bisexuality" means when nonbinary identities are taken into account is a matter of debate. Many people feel that "bi-" reinforces the gender binary, and erases nonbinary identities, preferring pansexual or polysexual. Others[16] argue that "bisexual" was originally coined to describe a sexuality which included aspects of both heterosexuality and homosexuality, and that in a nonbinary context heterosexuality should be interpreted as inclusive of attraction to all other genders or sexes.

Pansexuality[edit | edit source]

Pansexuality is a sexual orientation that involves sexual attraction to people of all genders. Pansexuals are attracted to all types of people. They are gender-blind (because if they're not gender blind than it's called Omnisexuality), asserting that gender is insignificant or irrelevant in determining whether they will be sexually attracted to others. Some people prefer to call themselves 'pansexual' rather than bisexual because of the latter term's binary implications.[17][18]

Polysexuality[edit | edit source]

Polysexual flag.

Polysexuality is a sexual orientation with sexual attraction to several genders of people. Polysexuals are attracted towards two or more genders, but not all (as in pansexuality) and not just both binary genders (as in some understandings of bisexuality).[19] The polysexual flag has pink for women, blue for men, and green for nonbinary people. Not to be confused with polyamory, which is about having more than one partner at the same time.

Dahlian[edit | edit source]

"An agender/genderless person who loves men, women, nbs, and other agender/genderless people." Coined by tumblr user genderless-gibberish.[2]

Mercuric[edit | edit source]

Also known as mercurian, this term can be used to describe attraction to women, men, and nonbinary people who are aligned towards one or the other, but not other-aligned or unaligned. Intended to be similar to other planetary-related terms to describe attraction for nonbinary people, such as venusic and marsic.[20]

Usually attracted to nonbinary people[edit | edit source]

Words for orientations involving nonbinary people are, at this time in history, not as developed or widely agreed upon as those involving people who have binary genders.

Orientations tend to be named and categorized in a way that involves one's own gender identity. For example, "lesbian" indicates not only that one is attracted to women, but also that one identifies as a woman. Some words for sexual orientations make reference to one's own gender: heterosexuality and homosexuality, gay and lesbian.

Some words for sexual orientations don't make reference to one's own gender, which makes it easier for nonbinary people to use them. This includes androphilic, gynephilic, skoliosexuality, and asexuality. This is also the case for bisexuality, polysexuality, omnisexuality, and pansexuality, which mean attraction to more than one gender of people. People disagree about how each of these involve transgender, nonbinary, and intersex people, and which of these words is the most inclusive and respectful of the legitimacy of them.

Androgynesexual[edit | edit source]

Androgynesexual and ninsexual refer to attraction to androgynous or gender neutral people.[21] However, androgynesexual carries the connotation that the person of attraction is both masculine and feminine, rather than neither.[22]

Delphinian[edit | edit source]

"An agender/genderless person who loves other agender/genderless people." Coined by tumblr user genderless-gibberish.[2]

Diamoric[edit | edit source]

"A form of attraction felt by nonbinary people who feel that being nonbinary affects their experience with attraction or a nonbinary form of attraction that does not fit a same or similar vs opposite or other gender attraction dichotomy. ‘Diamoric orientations’ is an umbrella term for all orientations lables that describe nonbinary attraction that does not conform to a similar/opposite gender dichotomy."[5]

Enbian[edit | edit source]

"[NBLNB], nonbinary people who experience attraction towards nonbinary people (whether exclusively or not)."[5]

Lunaric[edit | edit source]

Attraction solely to lunarians, female-aligned nonbinary people, and feminine nonbinary people (but not women).[23]

NBLNB[edit | edit source]

Nonbinary people loving nonbinary people (often abbreviated as nblnb, NBlNB, NblNb) is a term that refers to nonbinary people who are sexually and/or romantically attracted to other nonbinary people.

Saturnic[edit | edit source]

Attraction solely to other nonbinary people, including those who may be woman-aligned and/or man-aligned, but not to women nor men.[24]

Skoliosexuality[edit | edit source]

Skoliosexuality, or ceterosexuality, means a sexual orientation in which a person feels sexual attraction to nonbinary people, and perhaps other kinds of transgender people as well. [25] Some believe the term is only to be used by non-binary people, though it was coined in the context of binary people's attraction to non-binary people. [26] Non-binary people who are attracted to other non-binary people may also use the term homosexual/homoromantic. Due to a somewhat problematic etymology (skolio- comes from the Greek for "crooked"), some prefer to use the term ceterosexual, from Latin "cetera", meaning "other".

Solaric[edit | edit source]

Attraction solely to solarians, male-aligned nonbinary people, and masculine nonbinary people (but not men).[23]

Stellaric[edit | edit source]

Attraction solely to non-aligned nonbinary people and stellarians.[23][27] Given that this term is based on stellarian, it could also be taken as a term for attraction solely to stellarians and gender-neutral nonbinary people. This would be similar to the origins and use of lunaric and solaric.

Terraric[edit | edit source]

Attraction to nonbinary people and stellarians.[28] Judging by the wording, the use of "nonbinary people" here may be referring to non-aligned nonbinary people.

Wisterian[edit | edit source]

"An agender/genderless person who loves nbs." Coined by tumblr user genderless-gibberish.[2]

Usually not attracted[edit | edit source]

Asexual participants in the Pride in London 2016 parade. Photo by Katy Blackwood.

Asexuality[edit | edit source]

Disambiguation: for asexuality in the sense of a person born without sexual organs, that is an intersex condition, so instead see intersex. People who don't experience sexual attraction are most often not intersex.

Asexuality is a sexual orientation characterized by lack of sexual attraction. This is often accompanied by low or absent interest in sexual activity. Asexuality is distinct from abstention from sexual activity and from celibacy, which are behavioral and generally motivated by factors such as an individual's personal or religious beliefs. Asexuals may have attraction sometimes but is not performed practically. Though asexuals lack in sexual attraction to any gender, may engage in romantic relationships. Some asexuals identify as MOGII. This can be because they feel that the category is appropriate because they experience discrimination for their sexuality like lesbian, gay, and bisexual people, because they experience romantic attraction to the same gender, or both. [29]

Asexuality is also an umbrella term, and there are many kinds of sexual orientations in the asexual spectrum. One of many kinds of asexuality is gray-asexuality, a sexual orientation that partly lacks sexual attraction.[30] Aromanticism and demisexuality are also included under the asexual umbrella.

Aromanticism[edit | edit source]

An aromantic is someone who usually experiences little or no romantic attraction, though they may feel other forms of attraction.[4]

Demisexuality[edit | edit source]

Demisexuality is a sexual orientation in which a person feels sexual attraction only to people they have formed a strong bond with, friends for example. Grey-asexuality is similar to demisexuality, but not exactly the same.

See also[edit | edit source]

  • Sexes, in the sense of how people's bodies are put into categories such as female and male
  • Intimacy
  • LGBT

References[edit | edit source]

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_orientation
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 https://genderless-gibberish.tumblr.com/post/175819840125/so-i-think-i-figured-out-what-i-want-to-call-the
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 https://genderless-gibberish.tumblr.com/post/175744061860/so-i-think-i-figured-out-what-i-want-to-call-the
  4. https://goodpositivitylgbt.tumblr.com/post/162015830695/new-terms-as-many-of-you-know
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 https://diamoricpositivity.tumblr.com/post/174544315194/nonbinary-orientation-terms
  6. 6.0 6.1 "LGBTQ Terms." Neutrois.com. [1]
  7. https://neptunicnbs.tumblr.com/terminology
  8. https://non-aligned-sapphic.tumblr.com/post/166272150888/feminamoric-only-attracted-to-women-flag-by
  9. https://50wives.tumblr.com/post/164377019211/for-nb-peopleand-maybe-some-binary-who-want-some
  10. https://goodpositivitylgbt.tumblr.com/post/162015830695/new-terms-as-many-of-you-know
  11. http://loud-and-queer.tumblr.com/post/165451319627/i-tried-my-hand-at-making-some-flags-for-neptunic
  12. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heterosexuality
  13. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heterosexuality#Etymology
  14. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality
  15. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bisexuality
  16. http://www.bisexualindex.org.uk/index.php/Bisexuality#binary
  17. http://oxforddictionaries.com/view/entry/m_en_gb0602230#m_en_gb0602230
  18. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pansexuality
  19. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polysexuality
  20. https://loud-and-queer.tumblr.com/post/165489879497/hey-hey-so-i-saw-you-coined-some-terms-for-nb
  21. https://pride-color-schemes.tumblr.com/post/146780123855/nin
  22. https://pride-color-schemes.tumblr.com/post/162155422185/androgyne-orientation
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 https://loud-and-queer.tumblr.com/post/165279086792/non-aligned-sapphic-and-nonaligned-nblw-if
  24. https://www.deviantart.com/pride-flags/art/Saturnic-747909854
  25. Jack Molay. "Transgender and transsexual glossary." January 25, 2010. [2]
  26. http://nelde.deviantart.com/art/Sexual-Attraction-v2-180255547
  27. https://www.deviantart.com/pride-flags/art/Stellaric-748747050
  28. https://www.deviantart.com/pride-flags/art/Terraric-1-665395945
  29. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asexuality
  30. Jillian Cottle, "Hallelujah, it's raining labels." [3]

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