Confused by some of the different terms and identities around on the internet? Here’s a dictionary of orientations and preferences from across the spectrum.
Starting with the more widely known. . .
gay: when a male is attracted to another male, or when a female is attracted to another female
lesbian: when a female is sexually attracted to another female, might use the term “gay” interchangeably
straight or heterosexual: when a female or male is attracted to the other binary gender
bisexual: when an individual is attracted to both their own gender and another gender
An example of bisexual is when a female is attracted to both other females and males. This is often confused with. . .
pansexual or omnisexual: when an individual is attracted to all gender expressions, while still maintaining preferences
An example of pansexual is when a male is attracted to other males, females, transsexual individuals, third-gender individuals, androgynous individuals, etc.
Then, there are the lesser known. . .
skoliosexual: when an individual is not attracted to cisgender individuals, but the other gender expressions
gynesexual or gynosexual: when an individual is attracted to females and/or individuals with feminine features
androsexual: when an individual is attracted to males and/or individuals with masculine features
asexual or non-sexual: when an individual rarely experiences sexual attraction to other individuals, but still experiences romantic and/or emotional attraction
Grey A or Gray A: when an individual very rarely experiences sexual attraction or has only a slight sex drive, but may in particular situations or with particular individuals
aromantic or non-romantic: when an individual rarely experiences romantic and/or emotional attraction to other individuals, but still experiences sexual attraction
autosexual: when individuals are sexually attracted to themselves
demisexual: when an individual only experiences sexual attraction to another individual when a powerful romantic and emotional relationship is created
androgynosexual: when an individual is attracted to males, females, and/or androgynous individuals with both masculine and feminine features
polysexual: when an individual is attracted to some, but not all gender expressions
pomosexual: when an individual does not feel their sexual preference can and/or should be identified by pre-existing labels
This is all so confusing. I don’t know about you but I only identify with one sexual orientation here. However, this is not a comprehensive list; when it comes to sexuality, people are constantly coming up with new ways to identify themselves.