What does it mean to identify as Agender, Asexual, or Allosexual?
Pride month is always an avenue to find resources to discover your gender and sexual identity. Knowing about various identity options is hence not only empowering, but can help you in your journey to explore yourself!
This “Explained” series starts off by examining being Agender, Asexual and Allosexual.
Agender, literally meaning ‘without gender’ refers to people who do not relate or associate to any gender. An agender person will hence not associate with the binary of a man or a woman, or any other ‘gender’ for that matter.
Hence, agender people have no gender identity. They also identify as genderless, genderqueer and non-binary. They can also be “neutrois“, or of neutral gender.
Agender people can also exercise the choice to not have their external or internal identity be defined by gender.
Being agender, which is a gender identity should not be confused with being asexual, which is a sexual orientation.
Being asexual broadly means lacking sexual attraction to anyone. You can, however experience romantic attraction to same and different genders.
Being asexual is NOT the same as celibacy. Celibacy is based on compulsions based on some choice factor, while asexuality is a sexual orientation.
Popularly referred to as “aces“, people who are asexual can fall on an ‘asexuality spectrum’. You can hence be any of the following:
- Aromantic~ not experiencing much (or not at all) romantic attraction, and having close friendships
- Biromantic~ experiencing romantic feelings for two genders
- Panromantic~ experiencing romantic feelings for multiple genders
- Demisexual~ experiencing sexual attraction only once a strong emotional connect or bond has been established
- Grey Area~ oscillating somewhere between sexual and asexual
- Queerplatonic~ experiencing very strong emotional bonds in a non-romantic friendship
Being asexual does not mean that you cannot experience arousal, or cannot have desire to masturbate. You may just not want to seek it in other people, if you experience arousal. You can also not have a sex drive, in which case you are an asexual non-libidoist.
If you identify with any of the above, or want to know more, message us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit https://www.asexuality.org/
Allosexuality is a term used mostly in the asexual community to refer to people who experience any kind of sexual attraction.
Hence, anyone who identifies with sexual orientation other than the asexual spectrum, namely gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, etc., is an allosexual.
The reason why knowing about, and using the term allosexuality is important is because having sexual attraction is something normalized. Everyone expects to have sexual attraction at some point of time.
When this idea is normalised, not having inclination to experience sexual attraction is labelled abnormal. It is hence important to have terms that distinguish and give clarity.
You may wonder why not we call it as ‘asexual’ and ‘sexual’ then. Well, there are many reasons for not doing that.
Firstly, the terms sexual and sexuality already have defined meanings and are a part of the normalised narrative. It can create more confusion.
Secondly, sexual might indicate that someone is experiencing sexual encounters. However, that is very different from being allosexual. You may be allosexual and still not be having sex.
You can also be alloromantic, or experiencing romantic attraction. This is opposite to being aromantic, and is an attempt to normalize not having desire to act out romance with others.