What does Graysexual mean? Experts answer gray sexuality FAQs.
“EVERYTHING IS NOT BLACK AND WHITE.” You’ve probably heard someone say that about life at some point. For people who identify as gray sexuals, areas of gray carry particular weight when it comes to sexual attraction.
Gray sexuality—sometimes spelled “greysexuality” and sometimes known as gray, gray-ace, gray-ace, or gray-a asexuality—is a term people use to describe their identity. And because it can mean different things to different people, the word can be hard to define.
What does graysexual mean?
In general, a person who identifies as graysexual is “someone who identifies with the zone between asexuality and sexuality”, according to the Asexual Visibility and Education Network. “For example, they may experience sexual attraction very rarely, only under specific circumstances, or of such low intensity that [it] is ignorable and not a necessity in relationships.
Shadeen Francis, LMFT, CST, licensed marriage and family therapist and board-certified therapist, says people who identify as graysexual can relate to statements such as:
- “I feel like I occasionally feel sexual attraction, but only in particular contexts.”
- “Maybe I like certain types of sexual activity, but I’m disgusted or turned off by others.”
This lack of sexual attraction to other people is not the same as having a low libido due to life or relationship changes, or health reasons such as taking certain medications or certain health conditions. (If you have questions about a potential medical problem, talk to your healthcare provider.)
What does gray sexuality look like?
It may be different for everyone.
For example, someone may use this term to show that they belong to a community of people who experience little or no sexual attraction, but their attraction is based on context, Francis says. Some people may view demisexuality—characterized by only feeling sexual attraction after establishing a strong emotional connection with a specific person—to fall under the umbrella of gray sexuality.
“Some demisexuals also relate to other definitions of gray asexuality, such as finding experiences of sexual attraction confusing or hard to pin down,” according to the Demisexuality Resource Center. “It is possible and valid to use both labels if they both apply.”
According to Demisexuality Resource Centerpeople who identify as graysexual may:
- experience infrequent, low-intensity sexual attraction, for only a few people or in specific circumstances
- feeling sexual attraction but not wanting to act on it
- having confusing or ambiguous feelings of sexual attraction
- feel that sexual attraction is not a meaningful concept to them personally
You don’t know yet how you identify yourself? Before settling on a label, Francis encourages people to “take stock of where they are.” Ask yourself questions like:
- “What makes me happy? »
- ” What’s wrong ? »
- “What am I open to? »
What is the difference between gray sexuality and asexuality?
Sexual attraction – just one of many types of attraction – refers to someone’s desire for sex (like the desire for sexual activity or touching).
According to Asexual Visibility and Education Network.” Meanwhile, someone who is queer (sometimes called “sexual”) Is feeling sexual attraction or desire for other people.
“A person who identifies as gray sexual is often a person who says ‘my identity — my sexual orientation — exists in gray,’ says Francis. “Grey sexuality is part of the larger asexuality, or as, umbrella.”
All of these labels can help people understand themselves, connect to a community, and find comfort in knowing that others feel the same way, according to Francis. “Language helps us understand our experiences,” she says. And if you’re dating someone who identifies with a certain label, having that language can help you learn more about their experience, she adds.
Labels should help you feel more free, not more locked up. While terms like graysexual, asexual, and allosexual can help people find where they belong, if you To do identify with a particular label, there is no need to identify – or act on – each attribute, says Eric Marlowe Garrison, sex counselor and best-selling author.
Also, remember that sexual attraction is not the same as sexual behavior. Thus, a person may choose to have sexual contact for various reasons, even if they do not feel sexual attraction. (Similarly, a person can choose not to have sexual contact despite feeling the attraction. Because…limits, y’all.)
If you feel confused or want help with your feelings, you can talk to someone you trust, contact people from related online communities and networks, or talk to a trained sex therapist.
Can you be straight/gay/bi/pansexual and greysexual?
Yes. People who identify as graysexual may identify with other orientations. (For example: if you are attracted to people of all genders on the rare occasions when you experience sexual attraction, you could be pansexual and grey-a, or gray-pansexual, or pansexual grey-a, or any label that suits you!)
Additionally, it is possible to experience infrequent sexual attraction while also experiencing romantic attraction. Thus, people can combine labels to communicate their identity and the relationships they wish to have.
How can you communicate about gray sexuality when dating?
As in any romantic relationship, communication is important. So if you’re dating someone who identifies as greysexual, or if you identify that way, talk about how you both feel, what you both like and dislike, and what you both want to do or not do.
For example, if your partner says “I don’t do that X thing,” Garrison says you can look for positive commonalities and discuss what they are comfortable to do.
“It’s a process of exploration,” Francis says, suggesting that if you’re going through something that feels dangerous, scary, or “really bad,” honor that. She also highlights making sure you have a partner who is patient, communicative, curious, and respectful of boundaries.
Also, be aware that consent is ongoing and you and your partner can say no at any time.
If your desires do not match and you are not able to move forward, understand that it happens. Ideally, you can both be honest about how you feel and wish each other the best. Not everyone is compatible, and that’s okay.
Finally, if someone who doesn’t understand gray sexuality intentionally or unintentionally insults you, don’t internalize it, Garrison says. Your identity is valid.
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