Sexual attraction

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I believe very strongly that when it comes to desire, when it comes to attraction, that things are never black and white, things are very much shades of grey.
—Brian Molko[1]

Sexual attraction is attraction on the basis of sexual desire. The attraction can be to the physical or other qualities or traits of a person, or to such qualities in the context in which they appear. The attraction may be to a person's looks or movements or to their voice or smell, besides other factors. The attraction may be enhanced by a person's adornments, clothing, perfume, hair length and style, and anything else which can attract the sexual interest of another person. Sexual attraction is also a response to another person that depends on a combination of the person possessing the traits and also on the criteria of the person who is attracted.

Types of sexual attraction[edit]


Androphilia, androsexuality, mascsexuality or massexuality is when one is attracted to men, and often to people of non-binary genders in the masculine spectrum. Both a gay male and a straight female can be described as androphilic. This term is useful for trans people, in that someone who formerly identified as a gay male and then transitioned to female could be described as androphilic, in that while the label for her orientation went from gay to straight with her realization that she was trans, her orientation did not change in itself. This is also a useful term for non-binary people, as the words "gay" and "hetero/straight" imply a binary gender identity.


Gynephilia, gynesexuality, femsexuality or femmesexuality is when one is attracted to women, and often to people of non-binary genders in the feminine spectrum. Both a gay female and a straight male can be described as gynephilic. This term is useful for trans people, in that someone who formerly identified as a lesbian (like Elliot Page) and then transitioned to male could be described as gynephilic, in that while the label for his orientation went from gay to straight with his realization that he was trans, his orientation did not change in and of itself. This is also a useful term for non-binary people, as the words "gay" and "straight/hetero" imply a binary gender identity.

Gynephilia should not be confused with femmephilia, when one is attracted to feminine people, or the pseudoscientific concept of "autogynephilia".

Attraction to people who are not dyadic or cisgender[edit]


Skoliosexuality can be defined as an attraction to people who identify out of the male-female Western gender binary, such as those of non-binary gender identities, fluid gender identities, non-Western gender identities/roles, or who identify as agender, genderless, gendervoid, those who "queer" their gender identity and presentation, and so on.

It can be concomitant to mascsexuality/femsexuality and non-preferential, concomitant to mascsexuality/femsexuality but preferential or exclusive. It might include a preference for binary men and binary women who present aesthetically in an androgynous manner in comparison to those who are more masculine men or feminine women, or it might not, being just a subset of one's bisexuality or pansexuality.

To many people, skoliosexuality and skolioromanticity might be seen as the half-way components of the allosexual/eusexual and alloromantic/euromantic spectra, defined as those in which people experience their sexuality and romanticity out of the ace (asexual) and aro (aromantic) spectra (put together, they would be interpreted as a triangle if this was a true way to analyze the sexual or the romantic spectrum), in-between of mascsexuality and femsexuality. Nevertheless, this is not always the case, as one's non-monosexual attraction is not necessarily put on an exact scale from male-like non-binary genders to "neutral" or "ambiguous" ones (as if they did not have any particular difference) to female-like ones, as all notion of gender is an arbitrary learned concept (social construct), so that a bisexual or polysexual person might be positioned in places of the spectrum that are not always a neat, simplistic preference such as mascsexual-skoliosexual, skoliosexual or femsexual-skoliosexual. One can lean closer to mascsexual-femsexual (and just weakly skoliosexual or not at all skoliosexual), be more strongly attracted to masculine non-binary people than women, but not feel attracted to men in general or specifically cis men, and so on. If skoliosexuality is taken into account, the different sorts of bisexuality would look much closer to the Microsoft Paint's color palette than just a simple lavender triangle overlapped within a larger one.

People of all sexual/romantic orientation identities, such as hetero/straight, gay, lesbian, bi, aro, ace, gray-aro, gray-ace, etc. can be skoliosexual or skolioromantic without this invalidating their identity or orientation. It is also a biphobic myth that people who identify as bi but are skoliosexual or skolioromantic are actually pan: the bi identity can be claimed by anyone who is attracted to two or more genders, or to one's own gender and other genders, and it can also be claimed together with the pan identity.

Non-cissexist/non-dyadist monosexuality[edit]

Often, people think of sexual attraction as a matter of "biological sex" (as if biological sex had an inherent, indisputable, Universal, static interpretation, and criticism that it is a socially constructed binary opposition that does not accurately explain human anatomic differences leaving out a huge percent of the population did not exist) rather than gender, and confusion might arise when cis gay or cis hetero people date their trans and/or intersex peers as if there was nothing different about them.

Well, there is a single difference. Trans people were designated a gender at birth, but this action turned out to be a failed cultural expectation about defining people through their bodies (specifically genitalia), rather than letting them develop psychologically and socially before setting up any normative roles. Intersex people have bodies that fall out of normative expectations about what male and female represent, look like and should be, and this failure of the cultural narrative about human body and gender roles is often made obscure through silence, secrecy, shaming and unconsented surgeries that mutilate children out of their consent, often without caring about future erotic sensitivity (particularly if the desired anatomy is to make the child look "female") or fertility.

Trans women, it does not matter if they are of anatomies that can be loosely described as testicular, ovarian (Afghan girls in families without male children are often raised as boys due to the severe restrictions put upon women in such society), ambiguous (intersex) or transitioned, are women. Trans men, it does not matter if they are of anatomies that can be loosely described as ovarian, testicular (people victims of accidents where they lose their testicular genitalia were often raised as girls), ambiguous (intersex) or transitioned, are men. Intersex women, raised as girls, boys or neither, are women. Intersex men, raised as boys, girls or neither, are men. What makes a gender identity valid is self-identification, and nothing else.

Homosexuality includes men who are attracted to men, women who are attracted to women. Heterosexuality includes women who are attracted to men, men who are attracted to women. Being trans and/or intersex does not make one's gender identity invalid.



Homophilia or homosexuality is when one is attracted to people that are "the same" as oneself, almost always referring to people having the same gender as oneself.


Heterophilia or heterosexuality is when one is attracted to people that are "different" from oneself, almost always referring to a different gender.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]