Homoromantic and asexual, or ace, are two different identities. One lies on the romantic orientation spectrum, and one lies on the sexual orientation spectrum.
Someone may choose to identify as both homoromantic and asexual. But identifying as one does not imply identifying with the other.
Keep scrolling to learn the exact definitions of both, and how to know if you’re homoromantic asexual.
Before you can understand what homoromantic means, you need to understand something called the split attraction model.
“The split attraction model says that there are many types of attraction — mainly sexual attraction and romantic attraction — that can operate independently of each other,” explains homosexual asexual and asexuality activist Daniel Walker, founder of Slice of Ace, a YouTube channel dedicated to asexuality education.
Basically, it says that your romantic orientation and sexual orientation aren’t necessarily the same.
Sexual orientation: names the gender(s) of those you feel sexually attracted to, if any
Romantic orientation: names the gender(s) of those you are romantically attracted to, if any
This model was popularized by the asexuality community to name their lived experiences. But people all across the sexuality spectrum can utilize it.
After all, anyone can experience romantic attraction toward a gender category that they don’t experience sexual attraction toward — and vice versa.
“Homoromantic is a romantic orientation that names a potential for romantic attraction to people of the same or similar gender as yourself,” explains Walker.
It means you want to make dinner with, cuddle, share a bed with, kiss, and adventure with someone(s) with gender(s) that are similar to your own.
As we well know, there are multiple sexual orientations.
But did you know that most fall under one of two categories — allosexual or asexual? Yep!
Allosexual is a broad term for anyone who regularly experiences sexual attraction. Homosexual, pansexual, heterosexual, bisexual, and omnisexual are just a few of the many sexual orientations that can be classified this way.
Asexual is basically the opposite of allosexual. It refers to anyone who does not regularly experience sexual attraction. Asexual, demisexual, and graysexual are just a few of the sexual orientations that fall under this umbrella. (Sometimes romantic identities like aromantic, demiromantic, and grayromantic also get grouped under this umbrella.)
Now, here’s where it might get confusing. The term “asexual” functions a bit like the word “queer,” in that it’s both an umbrella term and a specific identity.
As a specific identity, asexuality is defined as “a person who experiences little to no sexual attraction to anyone and/or does not experience desire for sexual contact.”
Remember how the split attraction model says that a person has both a sexual orientation and a romantic orientation? Well, that’s what identifying as homoromantic and asexual is saying, too!
Someone homoromantic and asexual may not experience sexual attraction toward anyone but does experience romantic desire towards some people of a similar gender as their own.
You know it, baby! People on the asexual spectrum experience differing levels of sexual attraction.
Let’s define the most common ones:
- Demisexual: You only have the potential to experience sexual attraction toward someone after developing a close emotional bond with them.
- Graysexual: You experience sexual attraction infrequently.
- Aromantic: You experience little to no romantic attraction to anyone.
- Demiromantic: You experience romantic attraction infrequently, but when you do, it’s only after a strong emotional connection has been developed.
- Grayromantic: You experience romantic attraction infrequently, perhaps only a handful of times throughout your life.
Other terms under the asexual umbrella include:
It’d be i-m-p-o-s-s-i-b-l-e to outline what the life of a homoromantic asexual looks like because there’s no shortage of options!
That said, someone who’s asexual and homoromantic generally has a history of experiencing romantic attraction to people with a similar gender to their own, but doesn’t experience sexual attraction to anyone of any gender.
They often feel like the labels homoromantic and asexual describe their lived experience.
For starters, it means that if you choose to date and romance (or be romanced!), you’ll likely do so with someone(s) with a gender that is similar to your own.
What qualifies as romantic will vary relationship-to-relationship and person-to-person, but common components of a romantic relationship include:
- sharing meals, or cooking, together
- kissing, hugging, and other forms of intimate body contact
- cuddling on the couch or in bed
- offering regular words of affirmation
- performing acts of service, like making the bed or picking up their dry cleaning
- celebrating anniversaries and other milestones
“Someone who’s homoromantic and asexual could be in any relationship structure, depending on their personal preferences,” says Walker.
So if you’re interested in a relationship, it may be helpful for you to explore your relationship orientation and preferred relationship structure, he adds.
Do all people who are heterosexual and heteroromantic have to be in a relationship? Hell no!
The same goes for people who are homoromantic! Or anyone of any other sexual or romantic orientation for that matter.
Just because you have the capacity to experience romantic attraction doesn’t mean you need to be in a relationship acting on that attraction at all times.
Remember: Romantic and sexual relationships aren’t the only kinds of relationships people share. There are also platonic relationships, friendships, intellectual relationships, cohabitors, and more.
Whether someone who’s homoromantic asexual chooses to have sex, in or out of a relationship, depends on their personal preferences and boundaries.
“Some ace folks feel comfortable having sex, despite not having much sexual attraction,” explains Walker. These folks might do so to satisfy their libido, to conceive, or any number of reasons, he says.
Other ace folks are what’s known as “sex repulsed” or “sex averse,” which mean exactly what it sounds like. Usually, these ace folks aren’t comfortable having sex at all.
“It’s really important for someone on the asexuality spectrum to pin down their personal preferences around sex,” he says.
Thinking about the two identities can get overwhelming, so you might find it helpful to break down your relationship orientation and sexual orientation individually.
You might be asexual if you answer yes to any of the below questions:
- Does identifying as asexual make me feel good or seen?
- Do I feel removed from common movie narratives around sexual attraction?
- Would I be totally fine never having sex in my life?
- Do I feel exhausted by the idea of sexual attraction?
- Does identifying as asexual bring me community with people who experience sexual attraction similar to how I do?
You might be homoromantic if you answer yes to any of the below questions:
- Does identifying as homoromantic make me feel seen or understood?
- Am I primarily drawn to people of a similar gender as me?
- Five years down the line, do I see myself sharing a life with someone(s) with a similar gender as me?
- Does identifying as homoromantic give me a sense of comfort?
As someone who thinks they may be homoromantic asexual, it can be helpful to learn about both asexuality and lesbian and gay identities.
Some books you might read:
- “Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex” by Angela Chen
- “The Invisible Orientation: An Introduction to Asexuality” by Julie Sondra Decker
- “How to Be Ace: A Memoir of Growing Up Asexual” by Rebecca Burgess
- “How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir” by Saeed Jones
- “Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic” by Alison Bechdel
Some podcasts you might listen to:
Some online resources you might check out:
- The Asexuality Visibility and Education Network (AVEN)
- Demisexuality Resource Center
- The Trevor Project
Gabrielle Kassel (she/her) is a queer sex educator and wellness journalist who is committed to helping people feel the best they can in their bodies. In addition to Healthline, her work has appeared in publications such as Shape, Cosmopolitan, Well+Good, Health, Self, Women’s Health, Greatist, and more! In her free time, Gabrielle can be found coaching CrossFit, reviewing pleasure products, hiking with her border collie, or recording episodes of the podcast she co-hosts called Bad In Bed. Follow her on Instagram @Gabriellekassel.