What does Allosexual mean?

Allosexual is an umbrella term for everyone who experiences sexual attraction of some sort. In other words, anyone who does not have an asexual orientation.

They may identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, or any other orientation that includes sexuality. The attraction can also be combined with other attractions. Traditional relationships, for example, are generally a combination of both sexual and romantic.

If you only experience sexual attraction, not in combination with any other, your only interest in other people is to have sex with them.


What's the origin of Allosexual?

The term was created by people on the asexual spectrum that needed an umbrella term to describe people who are not on the spectrum.

In the early 2000’s, people who were not asexual would simply be defined as sexual. This became problematic for people on the asexual spectrum, as it implies that asexual people cannot enjoy sex. This is false, as for example “demisexuals” can enjoy sex after building a strong emotional connection, but without the strong arousal that “sexual” people usually experience.

The campaign to rename non-asexual people started in 2011, and after multiple controversial suggestions, the words “allo-”, meaning “other”, and “sexual” was combined, implying that the person who is “allosexual” is “sexual with others”.

Spread & Usage

How did Allosexual spread?

The term is mainly used by the asexual community when referring to people who are not on the asexual spectrum.

For a long time, “Zsexual” was suggested as the accepted term for non-asexuals, as Z is at the other end of the alphabet, as opposed to ‘A’ for “asexual”.

“Allosexual” still carries some controversy among LGBTQ members, as some even claim that such a word is not needed. Others say that it is derogatory for people who is not asexual, and creates a split between asexual and non-asexual LGBTQ members.

In Canadian French we find a very similar term, “allosexuel”, which refers to all people with a sexual orientation that is not heterosexual, such as gays, lesbians, bisexuals etc.

External resources

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