Greysexuality is a sexual orientation that falls under the asexual spectrum. A person who is greysexual typically experiences limited sexual attraction to others. However, everyone’s experience of greysexuality varies drastically.
Medical News Today uses definitions of sexual, romantic, and gender identities that come from LGBTQIA+ and ally sources. However, it is important to note that these identities are personal, and people may define them differently. Always refer to a person’s sexual, romantic, or gender identity the same way the person describes it.
This article covers the definition of greysexual and how it compares to other types of asexual identities. It also examines where a person can find support and provides sources where others can learn how to be an ally.
People typically characterize asexuality as a sexual orientation in which a person does not experience sexual attraction or desires. However, asexuality is a spectrum of different sexual orientations, which people may refer to as ‘a-spec.’
Greysexuality is one type of asexual identity. It refers to those who fall between an asexual identity in which people do not experience sexual attraction and those who identify as allosexual. Allosexual is a term to describe individuals who feel sexual attraction or desire for sexual activity with another person.
According to GLAAD, each person who is greysexual can have very different experiences but will usually experience limited sexual attraction to others. This can include:
- not usually experiencing sexual attraction to others, but may occasionally
- people enjoy and desire sexual relationships, but only under specific and limited circumstances
- people experience low sexual desire but do experience some attraction
The Asexual Visibility & Education Network (AVEN) states that although each person will experience greysexuality differently, a person who is greysexual will feel much lower levels of sexual attraction than people who are allosexual.
Other terms for greysexuality include:
If people have an attraction to a certain gender, they may also use terms such as bisexual, gay, or heterosexual in conjunction with grey, such as grey-homosexual.
There is no test to determine whether someone is greysexual, and everyone experiences greysexuality differently.
However, a person may identify as greysexual if they feel that the word relates to them. They may also identify as greysexual if they relate to the concept and experiences of asexuality, but they do not feel that “asexuality” is a label that fits them exactly.
The Split Attraction Model, or SAM, divides sexual and romantic attraction. People can experience romantic and sexual attraction differently.
In the same way a person can identify as asexual and allosexual, they can also identify as aromantic or alloromantic
Greyromantic refers to those who may feel some romantic attraction to others, falling between aromantic and alloromantic.
Demisexuality is the term for people who only feel a sexual attraction to another person after they feel a strong emotional bond with them.
GLAAD states that people who are demisexual may only experience secondary attraction to people.
Primary attraction is an attraction to another person through first impressions, such as how they look or smell. Secondary attraction is an attraction that forms over time through emotional connection.
People who are demisexual may feel they are greysexual or asexual if they do not develop an emotional bond with someone.
Sexual orientations are on a spectrum. Therefore, people may fluctuate between different sexual attractions, such as demisexuality and greysexuality.
Sexual attraction is different from sexual desire, and greysexuality is not the same as having a low libido, or sex drive. People within the asexual spectrum may feel arousal but without a desire to have a sexual relationship.
Although a person’s interest in sex can fluctuate, it becomes a problem if it causes stress. Low libido may occur as a result of a medical condition.
Greysexuality is different to a person who has a medical condition that affects their sexuality.
People who are greysexual may experience a range of attractions toward people, including:
- Romantic: A person may feel romantic attraction and want a romantic relationship with another person.
- Aesthetic: An individual may feel aesthetic attraction by appreciating another person’s appearance.
- Sensual: People may experience sensual attraction and have the desire to hold hands, cuddle, or kiss another person without any sexual desire.
People who are greysexual may or may not choose to experience sexual activities.
People may fall into certain categories regarding how they feel about sex:
- Sex-averse: People may feel repulsion toward the idea of having sex or have a complete disinterest in it.
- Sex-neutral or sex-indifferent: People may not find sex intimate or that enjoyable, but feel no distress at the idea of it. People may not actively seek sex but may still have sex in a relationship if they want to for their partner.
- Sex-positive or sex-favorable: People may feel happy to compromise with a partner when it comes to sexual activities and may enjoy sex with others for pleasure.
People who are greysexual may also choose to have sex to have children.
Communication is an important part of any relationship. People who are greysexual and in a relationship will need to let their partner know what works for them and how they feel about having a sexual relationship.
Some people who are greysexual may not be interested in having a relationship at all, while others may want a romantic relationship or a relationship that is sometimes sexual.
People who identify as greysexual will have their own unique definition of it that fits them, so communicating this in a relationship can help a partner understand their needs and preferences.
People may fluctuate between different sexualities within the asexual spectrum. The spectrum also includes different romantic orientations.
Some of the identities within the asexual spectrum include:
- Aromantic: People feel no romantic attraction to others.
- Demisexual: People only feel sexual attraction after developing an emotional connection with someone.
- Demiromantic: People only feel a romantic attraction after developing an emotional connection with someone.
- Reciprosexuality: People only feel sexual attraction to someone once they know the other person has an attraction to them.
- Recipromanticism: People only feel romantic attraction to someone once they know the other has an attraction to them.
- Akoisexual: People feel sexual attraction toward another person, but it fades if they reciprocate the attraction.
- Akoiromantic: People feel romantic attraction toward another person, but it fades if they reciprocate the attraction.
- Aceflux: People have a sexual orientation that fluctuates between asexual and sexual.
- Aroflux: People have a romantic orientation that fluctuates between aromantic and romantic.
People may find online forums or support groups helpful for connecting with other people with similar experiences of greysexuality.
People can also learn more or seek advice from several organizations, including:
- AVEN, which includes information and forums on asexuality
- Demisexuality Resource Center, which includes forums and resources
- TrevorSpace, which is an online community for young LGBTQIA+ people
People can take steps to support LGBTQIA+ people by being an ally with the following steps:
- Learning: Keep informed and learn about current issues and terms within the LGBTQIA+ community.
- Listening: Stay open-minded and willing to listen to other people’s experiences.
- Speaking up: Educate others and speak up when someone says an offensive comment against LGBTQIA+ people, and discuss LGBTQIA+ issue with others.
- Supporting equality: Sign petitions or support policies that protect LGBTQIA+ people from inequality and discrimination.
Greysexuality is a sexual orientation that falls under the asexual spectrum. People who are greysexual fall experience some levels of sexual attraction.
A person who is greysexual may:
- infrequently experience sexual attraction at a low intensity
- feel sexual attraction to some people or under specific circumstances
- feel sexual attraction but have no desire to act on it
- be uncertain of their feelings of sexual attraction
- not feel that sexual attraction is important to them
People who are greysexual may have a different experience of greysexuality that is unique to them.