Anyone can feel attached to or identify with a diversity of gender identities and/or sexual orientations. And as evermore definitions have been popularised over the years to embody the emotions and experiences of queer people, it can be hard to keep up.
If you are not totally absorbed in LGBTQ+ culture or the rainbow community, you may not appreciate these lesser-known sexual orientations and gender identities – most of which have a lack of representation in mainstream media.
One such term is allosexual, so we are going to define and cover what does allosexual mean and then provide some tips to help you become a better ally to allosexual people.
In this article we will cover...
What Does Allosexual Mean?
Allosexuals are people who experience sexual attraction for other people on a regular basis, whereas gray- or asexual people rarely or never experience sexual attraction. People who are allosexual can be of any sexual orientation. The asexual community coined the term to help dispel the misconception that allosexuality is “normal” and asexuality is “abnormal.”
It’s critical to distinguish between allosexuality and asexuality. Allosexuality is frequently thought to be universal — we’re all expected to feel sexual desire at some point in our life. As a result, when individuals learn of asexuality, they often think of the reverse as “natural.” The difficulty is that classifying asexual people as “not normal” contributes to their discrimination.
Sexual orientation isn’t a medical issue, deviance, or something that has to be fixed for an asexual person; it’s a valid part of who they are. We use the term “allosexual” to avoid categorizing one group as “asexual” and the other as “normal.”
It is vital to distinguish between different groupings, which is why we have terms like “heterosexuality” and “cisgender.” Allonormativity is a phrase used to describe the belief that everyone is allosexual, or that everyone experiences sexual attraction.
Allonormativity can be defined as the assumption that everyone: has sexual attraction to crushes, has sex at some phase of life, and wants sex. Fortunately, none of those premises are correct.
Being allosexual simply means that you are attracted to other people sexually. It could present as follows:
-Experiencing sexual crushes
– Understanding and connecting with people that describe their own sexual attraction feelings
-Deciding who to have sex with depending on who you’re sexually attracted to
Even if you’re allosexual, you might not encounter all of these scenarios. Similarly, some asexual people may be able to relate to some similar feelings.
Before the term “allosexual” was coined, “sexual” was used to denote the opposite of asexual. While there was no clear definition of what was meant by sexual when it first appeared between 2002 and 2005, it was widely assumed that it referred to everybody who wasn’t on the asexual spectrum.
There was a protest against the term “sexuals” in 2011, because it claimed that all non-asexuals enjoy and have a positive connection with sex, as well as the implicit “slut-shaming” of non-asexuals.
These statements were regularly made by non-asexual people, and they were frequently based on misinformation of who asexual people meant when they said “sexuals.” The debate raged on both inside and beyond the asexual community.
Asexuals also raised additional issues with the term “sexuals,” such as a history of people being sexualized, desexualized, or both because of their skin color. In a similar fashion, survivors of abuse have stated that some people have a problematic connection with their sexuality and are uncomfortable being called “sexuals.”
Allosexuality Pride Flag Meaning
There are many different pride flags symbolizing most queer identities, so it should come as no surprise there is a flag for allosexual people to fly.
There are two allosexual pride flags. One is for CisHets (someone who is both cisgender and heterosexual) and the other is an alternative flag, The first flag has grey and black stripes and a white one in the middle. The alternative allosexuality pride flag is the same as the original flag but with a pink stripe in the middle.
At the writing of this article, it wasn’t exactly clear what the colors stand for.
Other Allosexual Information to Help You Be an Ally
As with many other LGBT orientations, allosexuality is frequently met with various misconceptions. The first thing you need to know to change the narrative is that no allosexual experience is identical to another.
You can’t tell whether someone is allosexual by looking at them, observing their personality, or their physical aesthetic. None of these characteristics can provide a clue as to how a person identifies, and this is as true for allosexual individuals as it is for any gender or sexual orientation.
The first thing you should do as an ally is to believe them when they tell you about their identity. Don’t try to argue them out of it or make the mistake of thinking you could know more about how they feel than they do. It could also help if you worked on your mindset. Working on your attitude means you challenge your concept of gender, sexuality, and sex.
After all, if you have any issues with understanding asexuality and allosexuality the root cause is bound in your understanding of gender and sexuality – not theirs. Educating yourself (as you are by reading about what does allosexual mean?) is an excellent first step to increase your awareness and not make your lack of knowledge in this area a burden on them.
There aren’t any explicit rules or guidelines, but here are some thoughts on how you can be a better LGBT ally and support a loved one as you discover what it means to be asexual and allosexual.
Anyone can be allosexual
Allosexuality is not a preserve of ‘the chosen few’. Anyone can be an allosexual. That includes CisHets, transgender people, non-binary individuals, or any other gender.
There’s nothing wrong with asexuals or allosexuals
If you’re not allosexual, it’s ok. People have different sexual orientations and there’s nothing they can do to change that because it’s not a disease or a mental illness. If you aren’t allosexual, try not to judge those who are because of their sexual experiences or choices.
Remember that having sexual feelings is normal and acting on them is ok as long as it’s done responsibly. On the other hand, not having any sexual attraction to anyone is also normal. Just because we’re built differently doesn’t mean we have to fight.
Advocate for safe sex
Advocate for safe sex practices for the allosexual people in your life. Safe sex practices include making use of a condom when you want to have sex or ensuring that you and your partner are tested for HIV and STIs.
Allosexuality will look different for everyone
Two allosexual individuals will not have the same exact experiences with their sexuality. Remember that people of different genders can be allosexual. Transgender males and females, nonbinary people, and even heterosexuals and lesbians will have different experiences when it comes to sex.
Never assume that just because you’re the same gender as someone then you have the same experiences. Our sexual experiences can be influenced by our views on sex, the environment we live in, socialization, and many other factors.
Usage of pronouns
As we mentioned before, allosexuals can be of different genders and could be binary or nonbinary. Therefore, it’s essential that you find out what someone’s preferred pronouns are before you make assumptions. A good ally would do this.
Remember that you can’t tell someone’s identity just by looking at them so asking for preferred pronouns would be the best direction. If you aren’t sure what pronouns someone identifies with, use gender-neutral pronouns while referring to them with someone else.
When they’re in the vicinity, introduce yourself with your pronouns so they can catch on and do the same thing. If you happen to use the wrong pronouns, quickly say sorry and move on. Ensure you don’t linger too much on your apology otherwise, you will make the person uncomfortable in a situation where they were the ones who have been wronged.
An excellent way of introducing yourself would be to say something like, ‘hi, I’m Gary and I go by they/them. How about you?’.