Everything you've ever wanted to know about the sexual orientation abrosexual.
As we know by now, sexual orientations fall across a spectrum. Who someone is or isn't attracted to isn't definitively black and white, as there's room for lots of grey area since those preferences can change and evolve over time.
Abrosexual is one of those grey areas. The term is a sexual identity used to describe people whose sexuality is fluid, says Kyle Elliott, MPA, CHES, and founder of Caffeinated Kyle, meaning their sexual preferences and/or attraction may change over time. This could look like someone who has once said they are bisexual later coming out as asexual.
There is also zero time frame as for when or how often this person might change their sexual orientation. It could be a week, a month, or years before this person aligns with another.
Katherin Winnick, a sex coach at LetsTalkSex.net, also explains that someone can consider themselves abrosexual if the intensity of their sexual orientation changes. An example of this would be if someone's attraction to women goes from a lot to only a little bit over time.
The Difference Between Abrosexual, Gender Fluid, and Polysexual
Someone who is abrosexual should not be confused with someone who is gender fluid, as abrosexuality is a sexual orientation and gender fluid is a gender identity. Gender fluidity is “the way someone identifies regardless of how other people see their body as looking.” The term itself relates most closely to people who experience themselves across multiple spectrums of gender. Being gender fluid has nothing to do with the person’s sexual orientation or preferences—in fact, you could be both gender fluid and abrosexual at the same time.
Another term that can often be confused with abrosexual is polysexual. Someone who is polysexual is attracted to many genders and identities. And more often than not, those who identify as polysexual ignore gender binaries altogether, especially when it comes to who they are and aren’t attracted to. The difference is that the term abrosexual is more about how the person themselves identifies, rather than who they are attracted to.
What Identifying as Abrosexual Looks Like
Abrosexuality looks different for every single person. "There is no overarching clue, personality trait, or physical aesthetic that signifies a person’s sexuality, and this is just as true for abrosexuality as it is for any other sexual orientation or gender," says queer sex scholar Nadège.
Of course, there is no specific rule or limitations, but Winnick explains that abrosexual people usually shift in between two to three sexualities. This could look like identifying as straight one day, gay within the next three weeks, and then pansexual after that. They would most likely switch between three sexualities in either regular or random cycles.
It’s best to just wait for a person to come out to you, if they feel comfortable doing so, before making any assumptions. Someone's sexual identity is none of your business if they don't bring it up to you in the first place.
How to Support Friends or Partners Who Identify As Abrosexual
Nadège says that the best thing you can do is "validate and believe someone when they come out to you." Especially since their sexual preferences might change over time, and they may identify differently than they did prior.
She continues that, oftentimes, after someone comes out, we expect them to prove that their love, sexuality, gender, or experience of oppression is authentic and not just a “phase.” But this is a form of emotional labor that people with privilege have learned to expect from LGBTQ+ and BIPOC people. Validating their experience will help prevent this.
Lastly, “one of the best things you can do for a loved one after they come out is to believe them and then do your own research,” she adds. “If you still have questions after you’ve educated yourself, ask your loved one for permission to discuss their sexuality with you.”
How to Be a Proud Abrosexual
There are plenty of ways you can proudly show off your abrosexuality. This sexual orientation has its own flag, which consists of five different stripes with a gradient of colors going from dark green, light green, white, light pink, then dark pink.
Though the specific meaning and creator is unknown, it’s thought to have originated in 2013 on DevianArt and then made popular through Tumblr. There are also different renditions of this flag being used in the LGBTQ+ community.