A guide to sexual orientations


Activists carry a LGBT flag. Photo credit: Getty Images – Ted Aljibe

The basic sexual orientations that most people are familiar with are heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality. However, there are so many others that aren’t talked about as much in schools or the media. All of these terms were resourced from the University of California, Santa Barbara’s website. All of these sexual orientations are valid and should be more well known across society. There are students at Chico State who identify with every one of these orientations, educating others of their identities is necessary.

What is sexual orientation and romantic orientation?

A sexual orientation is different from a romantic orientation in that romantic orientation is who someone falls in love with, and sexual orientation is who someone falls into bed with. They are often similar to each other in the sense that those who fall into a romantic attraction with someone also have sexual feelings for their partner, but that’s not always the case.

Sexual Orientations you didn’t know about:

1. Androsexuality

Androsexuality is the sexual attraction to masculine people. The difference between being “gay” or “straight” and being androsexual is that there might be someone who is a woman but has a very masculine style or deminer, but they would still be attracted to this person. The same goes for a man who is more feminine, an androsexual person would probably not be attracted to them.

3. Aromantic

Someone who doesn’t feel romantic attraction to someone but can still feel sexual attraction to someone.

4. Asexual

An asexual person does not feel sexual attraction to others but can be romantically attracted to people.

5. Demisexual

A demisexual person is someone who isn’t sexually attracted to someone unless they have made a strong, emotional or romantic bond with someone.

6. Gynesexuality

Gynesexuality is like androsexuality but for feminine characteristics. Someone who is gynesexual is attracted to people who are feminine, regardless of their sex or gender. Lesbians and heterosexual males are both gynesexual because they are attracted to femininity.

7. Pansexual

A person who identifies with pansexuality can be attracted to anyone, regardless of their sex or gender. Unlike bisexuality which focuses on feminine and masculine characteristics and genders, pansexuality does not. Someone who is pansexual could be attracted to someone who is transgender, intersex, etc. A lot of pansexual people will say they are attracted to someone because of their personality, not because of their physical characteristics.

8. Queer

Queer is an all-encompassing umbrella term that anyone who does not feel “straight” or “cisgender” can identify with. Anyone who knows they are not straight or cisgender but doesn’t feel comfortable identifying with any other term above will sometimes take this term to identify with. It means, “I’m part of the LGBTQ+ community and that’s all I have to say.”

The LGBTQ+ community is so much more than what society plays it out to be. Along with these sexual and romantic orientations, there are a plethora of genders and intersectional characteristics that accompany many people in the LGBTQ+ community. It is our job at Chico State to support these individuals for who they are and support them no matter what. Even those who don’t agree can choose to live peacefully with everyone else here in the Chico community, regardless of who they identify as.

Kendall George can be reached at [email protected] or @kendallmgeorge on Twitter.