Glossary

Ace

Ace is a popular nickname for an Asexual  person. It is a phonetic shortening of “asexual”, and has lead to some symbolism regarding the playing card “ace”. Some asexuals use the Ace of Spades or Ace of Hearts to represent their orientation (Note: Ace of Hearts is more commonly used for “romantic-A’s”, whereas a more reserved Ace would use the Spade).

Ace is also sometimes used as an “umbrella term” for the asexual spectrum, which includes asexuality, demisexuality, and grey-asexuality.

Aromantic

There is no concrete definition for “aromantic”. Some people think of it as the lack of romantic attraction, whereas others define it as the lack of desire to be in a romantic relationship.

Asexual

An asexual is someone who does not experience sexual attraction. Unlike celibacy, which people choose, asexuality is an intrinsic part of who we are. Asexuality does not make our lives any worse or any better, we just face a different set of challenges than most sexual people. There is considerable diversity among the asexual community, each asexual person experiences things like relationships, attraction, and arousal somewhat differently.

Asexy

A term that is used to describe a number of different things, usually a person who asexuals tend to be attracted to (for reasons ranging from intelligence to baking skills). “Asexy” is also an AVEN forums rank.

Autosexual

Autosexual is a term that describes a person that derives adequate sexual satisfaction from masturbation. An Asexual may also be autosexual, being capable of taking care of bodily arousal without needing to seek partnered sex.

AVEN

The Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) was founded in 2001 with two distinct goals: creating public acceptance and discussion of asexuality and facilitating the growth of an asexual community. Since that time we have grown to host the world’s largest asexual community, serving as an informational resource for people who are asexual and questioning, their friends and families, academic researchers and the press. AVEN members throughout the world regularly engage in visibility projects, included but not limited to distributing informative pamphlets, leading workshops, arranging local meetups and speaking to interested press. The AVEN community centers around the web forum, which provides a safe space for asexual and questioning people as well as their partners, friends and families to discuss their experiences.

Biromantic

A person who is romantically attracted to members of both sexes. Bi-romantic asexuals seek romantic relationships for a variety of reasons, including companionship, affection, and intimacy. However, they do not desire sex with their romantic partner.

Celibacy

Celibacy or chastity is conscious abstinence from sexual activity. Celibacy is a choice of behavior, as opposed to asexuality which is an orientation. Not all asexuals are celibate, because there are reasons besides sexual attraction to engage in sexual activity.

Because giving up sex can be a form of personal sacrifice for sexuals, celibacy is often tied to spirituality. Members of the clergy in several faiths take vows of celibacy, notably Catholic monks, nuns, and priests. It has been suggested that some of these individuals have historically chosen to do so because they were in fact asexual, and preferred to lead a life without sex.

Cisgendered

Cisgender (pronounced /ˈsɪsdʒɛndər/) is an adjective used in the context of gender issues and counselling to refer to a class of gender identities formed by a match between an individual’s gender identity and the behavior or role considered appropriate for one’s sex.[1] Cisgender is a neologism that means “someone who is comfortable in the gender they were assigned at birth”, according to Calpernia Addams.[2] “Cisgender” is used to contrast “transgender” on the gender spectrum.

Demiromantic

A type of grey-romantic who only experiences romantic attraction after developing an emotional connection beforehand. Demiromantics do not experience primary romantic attraction, but they are capable of secondary romantic attraction. The sexual counterpart to demiromantic is demisexual.

Demisexual       

A person who identifies as a Demisexual is, according to Rabger’s model, a person who does not experience primary sexual attraction but yet still experiences secondary sexual attraction. Primary sexual attraction being sexual attraction based on outward qualities such as a person’s looks, clothes, or personality. Secondary sexual attraction being attraction to another stemming from emotional connection (usually romantic) or status or how closely the person is in relationship to the other.

Genderqueer

Genderqueer (GQ) and intergender are catch-all terms for gender identities  other than man and woman. The term “genderqueer” is considered derogatory by some. People who identify as genderqueer may think of themselves as being both man and woman, as being neither man nor woman, or as falling completely outside the gender binary. They may express a combination of masculinity and femininity, one or the other, or neither. Androgyne  is also used commonly to describe this same category. Since there is still relatively little agreed upon terminology, the distinction between the two categories is difficult to pull apart. Genderqueers may have any sexuality/sexual identity, any physical sex, and may or may not identify as trans (trans women and trans men).

Gray-A

Asexuality and sexuality are not black and white; some people identify in the gray (spelled “grey” in some countries) area between them. People who identify this way can include, but are not limited to:

    * people who do not normally experience sexual attraction, but do experience it sometimes

    * people who experience sexual attraction, but a low sex drive

    * people who are technically sexual, but feel that it’s not an important part of their lives and don’t identify with standard sexual culture

    * people who experience sexual attraction and drive, but not strongly enough to want to act on them

    * Functionally asexuals who experience sexual feelings but do not engage in them

    * people who can enjoy and desire sex, but only under very limited and specific circumstances

    * people who experience some parts of sexuality but not others, according to a theoretical model such as Rabger’s[1]

Grey-romantic

A person with a romantic orientation that is somewhere between aromantic and romantic.

For example, a gray-romantic may:

  • Experience romantic attraction but not very often.
  • Experience romantic attraction, but not desire romantic relationships.
  • Desire relationships which are not quite platonic and not quite romantic.


Heteroromantic               

A person who is romantically attracted to a member of the opposite sex. Hetero-romantic asexuals seek romantic relationships for a variety of reasons, including companionship, affection, and intimacy. However, they do not desire sex with their romantic partner.

Homoromantic

A person who is romantically attracted  to a member of the same sex. Homo-romantic asexuals seek romantic relationships for a variety of reasons, including companionship, affection, and intimacy. However, they do not desire sex with their romantic partner.

Indifferent

A term used by some asexual individuals to indicate that they feel neither revulsion toward nor powerful desire to engage in sex, as in, “I’m an indifferent asexual” or simply “I’m indifferent.” Some indifferent asexuals take this to mean that they are indifferent toward the idea of being involved in sex, and others take it to mean they are indifferent toward the idea of sex in general.

Libido (or sex drive)

In the context of asexuality, sex drive is an important concept because some asexuals have a libido but lack sexual attraction- an undirected sex drive- while others have little or no sex drive. This is the main reason some asexuals masturbate and some do not, and can confuse people who either do not fully understand the definition of asexuality, or do not see sex drive and sexual attraction as different things.

Panromantic

A person who is romantically attracted to others but is not limited by the other’s sex or gender. Similar to bi-romantic except that it includes genders beyond man/male and woman/female including transgender and third gender. Someone panromantic versus bi-romantic will tend to feel that their partner’s gender does little to define their relationship. Often someone identifying as bi-romantic is also pan-romantic but pan-romantic is much less known or understand as a term and simply less common. The sexual counterpart to pan-romantic is pansexual.

Polyamorous

Polyamory (from Greek πολύ [poly, meaning many or several] and Latin amor  [love]) is the practice, desire, or acceptance of having more than one intimate relationship at a time with the full knowledge and free consent of everyone involved.

Polyamory, often abbreviated to poly, is sometimes described as consensual, ethical, or responsible non-monogamy. The word is occasionally used more broadly to refer to any sexual or romantic relationships that are not sexually exclusive, though there is disagreement on how broadly it applies; an emphasis on ethics, honesty, and transparency all around is widely regarded as the crucial defining characteristic.

Polyromantic

polyromantic: romantic attraction towards person(s) of more than one gender or sex but without implying, as biromantic does, that there are only two genders or sexes

Queer

Queer has traditionally meant odd or unusual, though modern use often pertains to LGBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex and non-normative heterosexual) people. Its usage is considered controversial  and underwent substantial changes over the course of the 20th century with some LGBT people re-claiming the term as a means of self-empowerment. The term is still considered by some to be offensive and derisive, and by others as a re-appropriated term used to describe a sexual orientation and/or gender identity or gender expression that does not conform to heteronormative society.[2]

Queerplatonic

A queerplatonic relationship is a relationship that is not romantic but involves a close emotional connection beyond what most people consider friendship. The commitment level in a queerplatonic relationship is often considered to be similar to that of a romantic relationship. People in a queerplatonic relationship may be of any romantic or sexual orientation.

Repulsed

A term used by some asexual individuals to indicate that they find sex disgusting or revolting, as in, “I’m a repulsed asexual” or simply “I’m repulsed.” Some repulsed asexuals take this to mean that they are repulsed by the idea of engaging in sex, while others take it to mean that they are repulsed by the idea of sex in general. The revulsion felt by a repulsed asexual may or may not be directed at sex acts other than intercourse. An asexual can be personally repulsed, but still be sex-positive when the sexual activity does not involve them.

Romantic orientation

This refers to an individual’s pattern of romantic attraction, often based on a person’s gender. For many sexuals, their romantic orientation and their sexual orientation are in alignment, so the gender(s) of the people they fall in love with are also the gender(s) they are sexually attracted to. For an asexual, who does not experience sexual attraction, it is their romantic orientation that determines which gender(s), if any, they are inclined to form romantic relationships with. A person may be aromantic or romantic, or somewhere in between.

Sex-positive

The sex-positive movement is an ideology in which all forms and expressions of sexuality are viewed as potentially positive forces as long as they remain consensual. The sex-positive movement advocates sex education and safer sex as part of its campaign. The movement makes no moral distinctions among types of sexual activities, regarding these choices as matters of personal preference.

Many asexuals are sex-positive, and it is possible for an asexual to be repulsed by sex on a personal level while being sex-positive towards humanity as a whole.

Sexual

Sexual is the opposite of asexual. A sexual person is a person who experiences sexual attraction. They can be heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, or various others.

Sexual Attraction

Disclaimer: not everyone agrees with this definition of sexual attraction

Sexual attraction is a feeling that sexual people get that causes them to desire sexual contact with a specific other person. It is often, but not always, felt along with other forms of attraction - i.e. sometimes a person experiencing sexual attraction will only want sex, such as some friends with benefits relationships, and other times they will desire sex as well as romantic interaction or other things.

Sometimes asexuals will desire sexual contact for other reasons besides attraction (e.g. in order to make a sexual partner happy, to satisfy a curiousity, to have a child, or to prove to themselves or others that they are “normal”). It therefore becomes difficult to define sexual attraction exactly, as it is not considered by many asexuals to be the same as desire. One good rule of thumb is that sexual attraction involves a desire for the sexual act itself, rather than its social consequences. Some models of asexuality, make distinctions between different kinds of sexual desire, and allow for asexuals to feel some varieties but not others.

Sexual attraction is not the same thing as sex drive (libido), although in sexuals the two often go together. When asexuals experience sex drive, it is not connected to attraction or desire, and can thus be taken care of by oneself.

Squish

A squish is an aromantic crush, a desire for a strong platonic relationship with someone; this envisioned relationship is usually more emotional intimate than a typical friendship.

There is a fine line between a crush and a squish. Both crushes and squishes could involve persistent thoughts about the person of interest, self-consciousness around that person, desires to be with him or her, fantasies about physical (not necessarily sexual) contact with him or her, or any combination of these. However, crushes sometimes entail jealousy of partners of the person of interest, and desire for romantic contact (such as kissing), a dating relationship, or marriage, while squishes do not.

Transgender

A category of gender identity, referring to a person whose gender differs from the one assigned at birth (usually assigned based on physical sex). For example, a person could be physically female, and thus assigned the female gender at birth (FAAB), and have a male gender, or vice versa. Genderqueer eople are also considered to be transgender.

Transgender people may seek to take hormones to transition their sex toward their gender, and may undergo sex reassignment surgery, in which case they are known as transsexual.

Zucchini

A zucchini is a partner in a queerplatonic relationship.


Taken from AVEN Wikipedia and Wikipedia


Also useful the AVEN lexicon:

    *  A, Ace: someone who is asexual

    * amoeba: one of many biologically asexual microorganisms, but also a word used informally to denote an asexual.

    * androgynous: Not identifying with a particular gender i.e. male of female. Many asexual people identify as androgynous, but it is not limited to asexuals.

    * antisexual: being opposed to sexuality, or someone for whom this is true. An antisexual person may or may not be asexual.

    * aromantic: not interested in romantic relationships

    * AS3: a sexual person who is supportive of asexuality; also an imaginary stamp given to such people (“Asexuals in Support of Supportive Sexuals”).

    * asexual: a person who does not experience sexual attraction

    * asexy: an informal word for asexual; someone or something that is made more attractive by her/his/its lack of sexuality

    * autosexual: an asexual with a sex drive; someone who can experience sexual pleasure but considers it a private, solitary activity

    * AVENista, AVENite: a member of the AVEN forums

    * hetero-romantic: someone who is romantically attracted to people of the opposite sex (and may be sexual or asexual)

    * bi-romantic: someone who is romantically attracted to people of many sexes/genders (and may be sexual or asexual)

    * homo-romantic: someone who is romantically attracted to people of the same sex (and may be sexual or asexual)

    * hetero-asexual: a shorten form of hetero-romantic asexual

    * bi-asexual: a shorten form of bi-romantic asexual

    * homo-asexual: a shorten form of homo-romantic asexual

    * celibate: someone who does not engage in sexual activity (and may be sexual or asexual)

    * demisexual: a person who experiences sexual attraction only to one person with whom they are in an intense romantic relationship [1], or a person who only experiences secondary sexual attraction

    * gray-A: a person in the gray area between sexuality and asexuality

    * gay-A: another term for homoromantic-asexual

    * straight-A: another term for heteroromantic-asexual

    * hyposexual: having a low sex drive

    * ineffable: cannot or should not be expressed in spoken words

    * effanineffable: bard of aven explains: Well, the dictionary definition is “unable to be expressed in words.” And … T. S. Eliot used it to speak of cats contemplating their “ineffable, effable, effanineffable” names. My theory is that effan is as close as you could get to having “fucking” printed in a book of poetry when he was writing. So if the first [e]ff stans for “fuck”, why shouldn’t the second? (introduced in this thread)

    * monamorous: loving only one person. Compare polyamorous.

    * polyamorous: loving more than one person. Compare monoamorous

    * nonlibidoism: not having a sex drive

    * Pan-romantic: Asexual and romantically attracted to others regardless of gender

    * primary sexual attraction: instant sexual attraction, according to Rabger’s model

    * primary sexual desire: wanting to engage in sexual activity for the purposes of pleasure, according to Rabger’s model

    * secondary sexual attraction: sexual attraction based on the strength of a relationship, according to Rabger’s model

    * secondary sexual desire: wanting to engage in sexual activity for reasons other than pleasure, according to Rabger’s model

    * sensual: enjoying pleasure brought through the senses, which may or may not be sexual [2]

    * 53x+m³=Ø: an equation used on some products in the AVEN store - it translates as “sex + me = no result”

    * sexual: a person who is not asexual (i.e. a heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual etc.)

    * type A: an asexual having a sex drive and no romantic attraction

    * type B: an asexual experiencing romantic attraction and no sex drive

    * type C: an asexual experiencing both romantic attraction and sex drive, but not experiencing sexual attraction

    * type D: an asexual who experiences neither romantic attraction nor sex drive