Someone who identifies as panromantic asexual may be romantically attracted to people of any gender, but may not experience sexual attraction. The term “asexual” refers to a broad spectrum of sexual orientations in which people experience varying levels of sexual attraction to others.
People can be both panromantic and asexual. Panromantic describes a person’s romantic orientation, while asexual refers to sexual orientation.
This article looks at what it means to identify as panromantic asexual and how this may relate to relationships and sex.
A person who is panromantic can feel romantic attraction to people of all gender identities.
It is important to note that this does not mean that they are attracted to all people. Instead, it means that gender identity is not a factor in whether or not they are attracted to a person.
Panromantic vs. pansexual
Panromantic refers to romantic attraction, whereas pansexual refers to both romantic and sexual attraction.
A person who is pansexual can feel romantic and sexual attraction to a person of any gender identity.
According to the LGBTQIA Resource Center, asexuality refers to forms of sexual orientation generally characterized by feeling varying degrees of sexual attraction or desire for partnered sexuality.
Asexuality is an umbrella term, and the asexual spectrum covers a range of identities. GLAAD notes that people may refer to these as “a-spec” identities, and people who are asexual may describe themselves as “aces.”
Some asexual identities include:
- Demisexual: People only feel sexual attraction towards someone once they have formed a strong emotional connection with them.
- Graysexual or gray-a: People identify as being in-between sexual and asexual.
- Queerplatonic: People experience an emotional connection in a nonromantic relationship that is more intense than in a traditional friendship.
- Akoisexuality: Akoisexuals may feel sexual attraction, but the attraction fades if another person reciprocates it.
- Reciprosexuality: People only experience sexual attraction once they know the other person is attracted to them.
- Aceflux: A person has a sexual orientation that fluctuates within the asexual spectrum, or sometimes outside of it.
The Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) notes that around 1% of the population identifies as asexual.
Asexuality is not the same as celibacy. Celibacy is a choice not to engage in sexual activities. If a person is asexual, they may not feel the desire to engage sexually with people they have an attraction to.
What is the difference between asexual and aromantic?
The term “asexual” refers to a person’s sexual orientation, while “romantic” refers to a person’s romantic orientation. A person who is aromantic does not feel any romantic attraction to others.
People who identify as aromantic may choose to have a partner that involves the same commitments and life choices as many romantic relationships, but the relationship will be platonic.
A person may identify as both asexual and aromantic, or they may identify as one of these with any other sexual or romantic identity.
According to GLAAD, the split attraction model (SAM) differentiates between sexual and romantic attraction.
Sexual attraction refers to the desire to have sexual contact or show sexual interest in a person. Romantic attraction is when people feel the desire to have romantic contact or romantic interactions with a person.
Using SAM, there is a romantic counterpart for each sexual counterpart. This means that a person who identifies as asexual can be panromantic, heteroromantic, or have another romantic orientation.
Someone who identifies as panromantic and asexual can be romantically attracted to people of any gender and do not necessarily experience sexual attraction to others.
Characteristics of panromantic asexuality may include:
- experiencing little or no sexual attraction to others
- not choosing to engage in sex
- feeling romantically attracted to people of any gender identity
- being attracted to others emotionally, aesthetically, or sensually
- experiencing arousal or not experiencing arousal
Panromantic asexual people may seek romantic love and an emotional connection, want close friendships, or be more content on their own.
As asexuals make up a small proportion of the population, it may be difficult for panromantic asexuals to connect with another person with a similar sexual identity.
This can mean panromantic asexual people may form a relationship with a sexual person, which could create challenges.
Good communication between partners can help people find what is comfortable and feels good for them.
Asexuality is a spectrum, which means different people who identify as asexual may feel differently about sexual activities.
GLAAD notes that some asexual people may find the idea of sex repulsive and not partake in any sexual activity, whereas others may be sex-neutral or sex-positive. In some cases, asexual people may have a libido and masturbate but not desire sex with others.
People may find the following online resources helpful to learn more about panromantic asexuality and other sexual or romantic identities:
A person who identifies as panromantic asexual can experience romantic attraction to people of any gender but may not experience sexual attraction to anyone.
Panromantic asexual people may desire a romantic relationship and may or may not choose to engage in sexual activities.
Asexuality is an umbrella term for a range of identities covering varying degrees of sexual attraction.