Graysexual is used to refer to people who experience limited sexual attraction. In other words, they experience sexual attraction very rarely, or with very low intensity. Graysexual people are ideally placed somewhere between asexual and allosexual. This originates from the idea that sexuality isn’t black and white — there’s a “gray area” that many people fall into.

Graysexuality is still a relatively new term and topic within the academic studies of sexuality and sexual orientation, which means there is still a lot we don’t know. But there are some things we know about graysexuality, and we will try to list them here to get a clear idea of what it is.

All the things to know about graysexual people


Graysexual fits between asexual and allosexual

Sexuality is often seen as a spectrum, with asexuality on one side and allosexuality on the other side. On one end, you’ll have asexual. In the middle, you’ll have graysexual. On the other end, you’ll have sexual or allosexual. A common misconception is that asexuality is a medical condition. This is not true! Being asexual isn’t the same thing as having a low libido, struggling with sex-related trauma, or experiencing pain during sex.

Asexual and graysexual people might have a high libido, and allosexual people might have a low libido. Many graysexual individuals would describe themselves as asexual, but not always. They can sometimes identify with being asexual but at the same time, they do feel sexual attraction. It’s just very rare for them.

Graysexual people fall in a bit of a gray area in the way they experience sexual attraction—namely, they do experience sexual attraction but rarely or with low intensity. Therefore, many graysexual people do engage in and enjoy sex, depending on their own unique feelings and experiences.

There are several types of graysexuality

Graysexual covers a large umbrella of people who do not identify with any of the other sexualities listed in the LGBTQIA+. However, graysexuality can be broken down into four main categories or types:

  • Sex-repulsed: people who might experience sexual attraction but find sexual activity itself to be undesirable or even revolting;
  • Indifferent/Neutral: people who might feel some sexual attraction or desire but don’t have any strong feelings about sexual activity or acting on their feelings;
  • Ambivalent: people who have mixed feelings about sex but aren’t represented as indifferent, repulsed, or favorable, with their feeling towards sex fluctuating often;
  • Sex-interested/Sex-favorable: people who feel some sexual desire and are open to or enjoy the concept of sexual activity but don’t experience sexual attraction.

What it means to be graysexual in practice

Graysexual people usually do not prioritize sexual attraction when it comes to choosing a romantic partner (if they want one). Sex is unimportant to them — or not as important as it seems to be for the rest of the population. They can feel sexual attraction sometimes, but not often, or they only feel sexual attraction in certain circumstances. They do, however, show love and affection in other ways, such as cuddling, talking, or helping their partner.

Being graysexual is different from demisexual

The terms graysexual and demisexual are often confused, with people usually assuming they are basically the same thing, when in fact they’re not. The two share similarities, but again, they aren’t the same thing. Demisexual people might experience sexual attraction often and intensely, but only with people they’re close to. Similarly, graysexual people might find that when they do experience sexual attraction, it isn’t necessarily with people they have a close emotional bond with.

How to tell if you are graysexual

If you’re wondering if your sexuality would fall under the graysexual umbrella, there are indeed certain qualities those who are graysexual have. The first one is that you don’t feel a particular sexual desire for either sex. If you feel the need to be close to someone and be emotionally intimate without being sexual, you fall under this category.

However, you may feel sexual arousal at times, without a specific reason. Feeling aroused may also come during very specific times if you’re graysexual. You may also not be sure if you feel sexual arousal or if what you’re feeling is sexual desire. If there are very strict circumstances in which you feel aroused and want to have sex, then this sexuality may describe how you’re feeling. One day you could be very attracted to someone sexually and feel absolutely nothing the next.

This is called being fluid within the asexual umbrella. Oftentimes, those who describe themselves as graysexual will never be able to tell you what gets them going. This is because they can’t even tell themselves. If one thing that makes you desire sex last week is doing nothing for you this week, it might just be because you’re graysexual.