Abrosexual is a term that describes a kind of sexual fluidity. Someone who’s abrosexual finds that their sexual attraction shifts often: they might identify with the term ‘gay,’ and later feel attracted to people of all genders, and then feel little to no sexual attraction at all.
Typically, abrosexual people experience fluctuations in terms of who they’re attracted to as well as how intense their attraction is.
Being abrosexual isn’t about “changing your mind” or simply using a different label to describe your orientation. It means that your actual experience changes over time.
The prefix “abro-” means “delicate” or “graceful.” This relates to how an abrosexual person’s sexual attraction can change over time.
Abrosexuality is often considered a part of the asexual spectrum. However, these aren’t exactly the same thing.
Asexuality is where someone experiences little to no sexual attraction.
Someone who is abrosexual finds that their attraction fluctuates over time. Some people who are abrosexual might experience little to no sexual attraction from time to time.
They might fluctuate between identifying with the term ‘asexual’ to identifying with the term ‘allosexual‘ (the opposite of asexual). They might also identify with the terms ‘demisexual‘ or ‘graysexual‘ from time to time.
While some asexual people might find that their attraction changes over time, not every asexual person feels this way.
It’s possible to be both abrosexual and asexual at the same time.
Terms like homosexuality, bisexuality, heterosexuality, and pansexuality refer to the genders of the people you’re attracted to. The term ‘abrosexuality’ is different because it doesn’t specify a gender — it simply refers to the fact that your sexual attraction shifts over time.
An abrosexual person might find that they identify with the term ‘pansexual,’ later with ‘heterosexual,’ and later with ‘homosexual’ — all while being abrosexual.
You can identify with multiple labels at once. It’s also okay to choose not to use any labels to describe your sexual orientation.
Abrosexuality looks different to different people. Some people find that their capacity for attraction changes within a matter of days, while others feel it shifting over a few years.
Generally, though, abrosexual is a label most often used by people who find their attraction shifting often.
Here are some examples of how abrosexuality can look:
- You might feel attracted to men and only men on one day, and then to women and only women the next day.
- You might feel attracted to people of all genders, and after a few weeks, feel that you’re only attracted to people of one specific gender.
- You might find yourself experiencing little to no sexual attraction, and months later, notice that you’re starting to feel sexual attraction for people of all gender identities.
- You might be a man who is heterosexual, but after a few years, find that you are starting to feel sexual attraction for men.
Again, there’s no “right way” to be abrosexual.
Abrosexual people can face unique challenges in dating or partnered relationships.
Some abrosexual people avoid long-term relationships because they find that their attraction levels change often: they might be attracted to their partner’s gender when they first commit to them, and later find that they’re no longer attracted to them.
However, being abrosexual doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t have a healthy, committed romantic relationship. If that’s something you want, you can work towards it. Many abrosexual people do have happy, fulfilling, long-term partnered relationships.
Many people use the term ‘sexual fluidity‘ while others prefer abrosexual — it’s totally up to you to determine which label fits you. You also don’t have to use labels if you don’t want to!
A benefit of describing yourself as sexually fluid is that most people know what you mean by this. Abrosexual is a more niche word that many people haven’t heard of.
At the same time, the term abrosexuality can be useful, as it specifies a sexual orientation that fluctuates over time. This term can help you find a community of people who have similar experiences to you.
Just as abrosexuality refers to a sexual orientation that changes over time, you might find that the word “abrosexual” doesn’t fit you anymore.
And that’s totally okay. It’s okay to change the labels you use — if any — if you want.
Although you shouldn’t feel pressured into coming out, you might want to share your sexual orientation with your loved ones.
The term abrosexuality usually isn’t well-known among people outside of the community. You might want to explain that the term means that your orientation changes over time.
If you’d like, you can tell your loved ones:
- What the term means to you
- What abrosexuality looks like for you, e.g. “I used to feel attracted to XYZ and now I only feel attracted to ABC”
- How you’d like to be supported
- Any challenges or questions you’ve faced
They might have questions about abrosexuality. Only share what you’re comfortable with sharing.
If you have a loved one who is abrosexual or sexually fluid, you can support them in the following ways:
- Avoid implying that they’re confused or going through a phase. Asking doubtful questions like “Are you sure?” and “But how do you know?” can be invalidating.
- Avoid asking invasive questions about their sexual experiences or relationships, unless they express interest in talking about it.
- Give them space to talk about their crushes, relationships, and experiences without quizzing them about their sexuality.
- Don’t out them to others. In other words, don’t tell people they’re abrosexual without their permission.
Lastly, it’s a good idea to simply ask how you can support them.
If you’re interested in learning more about abrosexuality and sexual fluidity, the following online resources might be helpful:
- Finding an LGBTQIA+ Affirming Therapist
- LGBTQIA+ Safer Sex Guide
- Terms That Describe Sexual Attraction, Behavior, and Orientation
You also might benefit from joining LGBTQIA+ groups and support networks, both online and in person.
Sian Ferguson is a freelance writer and editor based in Grahamstown, South Africa. Her writing covers issues relating to social justice, cannabis, and health. You can reach out to her on Twitter.