Sexual Orientation and Romantic Orientation

Basics

Sexual Orientation- Sexual Orientation refers to who a person is attracted. There are many different terms that people may use to describe their sexual orientation based on the sex(es) and/or gender(s) they are attracted to.

Romantic Orientation- Romantic orientation refers to who a person is romantically attracted to. The concept of romantic orientation mostly stems out of sexual orientations that fall on the asexual spectrum.* However, this is not always the case. A person may identify with a romantic orientation as it differs from their sexual orientation**, or simply because it makes sense to them to identify with a romantic orientation***.There are many different terms that people use to describe their romantic attraction based on the sex(es) and/or gender(s) they are attracted to.

Let’s Expand

*A person who identifies as asexual experiences little to no, or situational sexual attraction. This identity exists across a vast spectrum

Example: A person may identify as asexual, but panromantic, meaning that they do not experience sexual attraction, but are romantically attracted to people regardless of sex or gender identity.

**Examples: 1) A person may identify as bisexual, but homoromantic, finding sexual attraction to two genders and/or sexes, but romantic attraction to people of the same gender. 2) A person may identify as gay/lesbian/queer (homosexual), but aromantic, meaning that they experience sexual attraction to the same sex or gender, but do not experience romantic attraction.

***Some people may say, for example, that they are pansexual and panromantic.

The Ever Growing List of Sexual Orientations and Romantic Orientations

A special thank you to mmikan of Tumblr for allowing us to share this valuable resource! “Here’s information about sexual/romantic orientations and gender identities that I put together! I..I don’t do graphic design, so this isn’t that great. Also, I’m very sorry if I missed your orientation or identity or got some information wrong. Sources: (1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6) Flags: (1) Top photo: (1)

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*Bi tends to be defined as “attraction to two or more genders”

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