Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The spectrums of infinity

Before going into an explanation about the differences between sexuality and asexuality, sex and gender, I would like to say that labels are not exclusive. You don't have to label yourself at all if you don't feel like any existing word can define your orientation, or you can pick the closest existing word to how you feel and add to it or mix up different terms. Who is to tell you how you feel? No one. You alone know who you are. The spectrums of sexuality and gender are spectrums of infinity, no one fits perfectly into any box. Some people are against labeling all together. However, labels can be useful in some circumstances such as when you’re questioning or coming out. They can help explain to people how you feel and who you are. 


What is sexual attraction?

Sexual attraction is defined by one feeling sexual desire or interest in another individual along with romantic and/or aesthetic attraction.

Some sexual orientations:
Heterosexual:  Sexual and romantic attraction to a member of the opposite sex or gender.
Homosexual: Sexual and romantic attraction to a member of the same sex or gender.
Bisexual: Sexual and romantic attraction to both men and women.
Pansexual: Sexual and romantic attraction towards people of all genders. Pansexuals sometimes refer themselves as being 'gender-blind' as gender doesn’t determine whether they will feel attracted to others. Some people argue that pansexuality could be placed under bisexuality, however pansexuality deliberately rejects the notion of the "two genders".


Asexuality: Lack of sexual attraction to others or interest in sex. That doesn't mean they can't fall in love as many asexuals often engage in romantic relationships. Asexuality isn't like celibacy which is a choice .

What is romantic attraction?

The use of the term 'romantic' is usually used by asexuals to define their orientation because even though they don't experience any sexual attraction, they still have the same emotional needs as sexuals and still feel attraction towards individuals. This attraction is usually aesthetic, romantic or platonic.

Some romantic orientations:
Homoromantic: Romantic attraction to a person of the same sex or gender.
Biromantic: Romantic attraction to both men and women.
Panromantic: Romantic attraction regardless of gender. Panromantics may refer to themselves as being 'gender-blind'.
Aromantic: Person who feels no romantic attraction. Aromantics can be anywhere on the sexual/asexual spectrum.


The two binary sexes are male and female. People whose gender identity matches their physical sex are considered as cisgendered. But gender isn’t as simple as that.

Some people identify as transgender: someone whose gender differs from their gender assigned at birth, many transgender people will often undergo gender reassignment therapy so as to be able to live as the gender and sex they identify with. After transitioning, people may or may not identify as transgender any longer; they may simply identify as a man or a woman.

People who identify as neutrois are people who identify as agendered and who also seek to be without any physical traits of their sex.


A common misconception is that physical sex and gender always go together which is wrong, some people’s gender identity differs from their assigned sex.

Some gender identities:
Androgyne: Someone whose gender encompasses both female and male characteristics.
Gender fluid: Someone who is moves between genders.
Agender: Someone who identifies as neither female or male.

Again this list is just here to help, it's not at all official, and the aim is not offend anyone but to help.

Diagrams by Patrick