Sexuality exists on a spectrum and despite greater awareness about LGBTQA+ rights these days, there’s still confusion and misinformation about “non-normative” sexual identities and orientations like graysexuality. This is much more complex than not liking sex or relationships, so it’s important to clear misconceptions and be more accepting of different identities. Could you be graysexual? Here are some clues this might explain your feelings.
You don’t identify as asexual, but you’re not exactly sexual either.
You’ve always been confused as a kid and a teen, wondering if your classmates who went on dates were simply faking it. You know deep inside that labels like straight, gay, or bisexual don’t really apply to you (at least not all the time) but then you’re not comfortable calling yourself asexual either. You feel as if you exist in that no-man’s land between the two but you probably never knew there was a name for it. That’s graysexuality and it’s perfectly valid.
You’ve experienced sexual attraction and desire once or twice, but it doesn’t happen very often.
Once in a long while, you meet someone you’d like to sleep with and that turns you on, but those instances are extremely rare and tend to happen under unique circumstances. You don’t feel attracted to people at first sight and can’t relate when your friends remark on a guy or girl they find “hot” since you just don’t regularly view people that way.
Platonic relationships are your priority.
You’ve always formed deep platonic attachments with people, be it friends or family members. These relationships, devoid of any sexual undertones, are the most important relationships to you. If you do happen to have a partner, it’s always things like trust, loyalty, and intellectual compatibility that are the priority rather than your sexual chemistry.
You have a lower sex drive than anyone you know.
You’ve touched yourself and maybe liked it once or twice, but in general, you’re not really into masturbation or even actual sex with another human being. Sex scenes in movies make you fall asleep and you wouldn’t even notice if porn was banned. There’s also the chance that you do enjoy getting yourself off but have no desire to experience that with another person.
You might be aromantic, biromantic, panromantic AND graysexual.
Your sexual identity may be that of a graysexual, but your romantic identity might be something else. You may be a heteroromantic and enjoy hugging/kissing/cuddling with your partner, or your romance needs are not affected by gender at all. There’s also a chance you may be an aromantic graysexual and not feel romantic and sexual attraction at all. There are so many possibilities.
You love making out but not making love.
You might love going on dates, making out in parking lots, and holding hands in bed as you and your partner walk back home, but none of these scenarios end with you guys tumbling into bed and crumpling the sheets. You might value intimacy, but not necessarily of the sexual kind.
You’re fine with never having sex again so long as your emotional and intellectual needs are met.
If someone were to promise you a life in which all of your needs and desires would be met but there’d be no sex, you’d happily and immediately say yes to it. After all, there’s so much more to life—travel, learning a new language, cultivating a hobby, dancing the night away—than sex.
You could be a demisexual too.
You could be someone who only feels sexual attraction and desire only after forming a close emotional bond with your partner, having built a foundation of trust and security as a result of knowing someone for a long time. In that case, you could be a demisexual.
It’s also OK if you don’t choose to identify with any label at all.
You may be a graysexual (or a demisexual) and not identify with every point on this list, or you may relate to these points but choose not to identify as one. Either way, that’s totally fine and there’s nothing wrong with you. Labels may be empowering for some but restrictive for others. Just do what works for you.
Your identity and experiences are valid no matter what.
Sexual identity is fluid and may shift across the spectrum in one’s lifetime. As a gray ace or gray-A, your experiences will be different from that of other people’s, but that doesn’t mean they’re less valid. In fact, take every chance you get to celebrate your identity, because hey, you’re unique and you’re beautiful and you deserve all the good things life has to offer.
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