There used to be a time within roleplaying games, and history in general, where various prejudices and uneducated thinking strictly limited the possibilities of romantic and sexual relationships. In a vast majority of instances, these types of relationships were limited primarily to heteronormative (male to female) relationships.
BUT, ever since the Stonewall Riots on June 28, 1969, which led to the very first Pride Celebration on June 28, 1970, those strict limitations have started to evaporate in games, and real life, around the world. As of today (meaning June 2021), Pride celebrations continue to occur in numerous countries around the world. And while we still have a long way to go before we reach full acceptance within the global community, we can still celebrate our own unique romantic and sexual identities and those of our families and friends and the LGBTQIA+ community as a whole.
And before you ask, YES, this also includes the amazingly wonderful characters that we play in our roleplaying games as well.
While some individuals choose not to use labels to help define their own romantic or sexual identities, many others do. The identities included below may be helpful in assisting you, the player, to more closely identify not only your own unique and wonderful romantic and sexualities identities, but also those of those characters you play in your various roleplaying games.
By no means is this list to be considered a complete list. New sexual and romantic identities are being discovered every day. And if one or more of these identities apply to either yourself or your RPG character, then that makes you and your character just that much more wonderfully amazing. For example, I (meaning Sarah, Founder of RPG Storytelling) identify as lesbian, graysexual, panromantic, and bicurious.
Before we jump into the list of identities, it is important to understand the differences between romantic attraction and orientation and sexual attraction and orientation. Here's a hint, they aren't the same thing.
The experience of having an emotional response that results in the desire for a romantic, but not necessarily sexual, relationship or interaction with another person or oneself. Some people experience romantic attraction, but don't experience sexual attraction.
Romantic orientation is an aspect of self and identity that involves:
how you identify
the way you experience romantic desire (if your do)
the gender(s) or sex(es) of the people who someone engages in romantic relationships with (if any)
the gender(s) or sex(es) of the people someone is romantically attracted to (if any)
Sexual attraction refers to experiencing sexual desire or arousal in relation to another person or group of people.
Sexual Orientation or Sexuality
Sexual orientation, or sexuality, is an aspect of self that involves:
how you identify
the way you experience sexual or romantic desire (if you do)
The gender(s) or sex(es) of the people who someone engages in sexual or romantic activity with (if any)
the gender(s) or sex(es) of the people someone is attracted to (if any)
Sexuality can change over the course of someone's life and in different situations. It's understood to be a spectrum instead of a series of mutually exclusive categories.
Romantic & Sexual Identities:
Abnosexuality is the fluctuation of attraction, either sexual, romantic, or platonic. For example, you may feel a sexual attraction to someone you had viewed only platonically for a long time, then will feel platonically attracted to them once more after an indeterminate amount of time. This sexuality falls under the abrosexual and asexual spectrum, but should not be confused for either. It is also important to note that this sexuality is not determinate on gender, so one can be heterosexual and abnosexual at the same time.
Abrosexual refers to an individual whose sexuality is changing or fluid. For example, someone could be gay one day, then be asexual the next, then polysexual the next. While it is possible—and even common—for a person's sexual identity to shift or change in some way throughout their life, an abrosexual person's sexuality may change more frequently, over the course of hours, days, months, or years. Because of their inconsistent attraction, some abrosexual people may not feel compelled to seek out a relationship or may prefer a wavership. The timing of the fluctuations is different for every person; for some the fluctuations may be erratic and for others they may be regular. The sexualities that a person fluctuates between also varies. Some abrosexual people may be fluid between all sexualities, while others may only be fluid between a few. The romantic equivalent of abrosexual is abroromantic (or abromantic). Abrosexuality is sometimes considered part of the asexual spectrum.
An Agynosexual individual is anyone who has no sexual feelings towards femininity, but may have other attractions such as romantic or platonic.
Akoisexual is the feeling of attraction but not wanting it reciprocated or losing it when it is reciprocated; used as an alternative and potentially less problematic form of lithosexual. Akoisexuality can be considered a form of Asexuality.
A person who identifies as alloromantic experiences romantic attraction to others. The opposite of Alloromantic is Aromantic.
This is an umbrella term. A person who identifies as allosexual typically feels sexual attraction toward other people. They may also want to have sex with a partner. People who identify with this orientation may also identify with another sexuality, such as gay, straight, lesbian, or bisexual, for example. The opposite of Allosexual is Asexual
An androsexual is anyone who has sexual feelings towards males, men or masculinity. Androsexual is often used by genderqueer individuals since they can't say they're heterosexual nor homosexual. The word is derived from the Greek word Andros which means "man" and the Latin word sexualis meaning "relating to sex"
Androgynosexual is being sexually attracted to both men and women, specifically to those with androgynous appearances.
Anegosexuality (also known as autochorissexuality) is a sexual orientation under the spectrum of asexuality. Like other asexuals, aegosexuals lack the desire to be a participant in sexual activities themselves; however, distinguished by the tendency towards having sexual fantasies at times, despite feeling a disconnect between themselves and a sexual target/object of arousal.
A person who identifies as aromantic may not feel any romantic attractiction toward anyone, regardless of sex or gender. People who are aromantic may not want a relationship beyond friendship. Those who identify with this orientation may also identify with another orientation. A person's romantic attraction can differ from their sexual attraction. For example, a person may not be romantically attracted to people but can be sexually attracted to some.
Someone who does not experience sexual attraction or an intrinsic desire to have sexual relationships (or the adjective describing a person as such). "Ace" is an informal label for asexuals or people under the asexual umbrella.
As an umbrella term: Asexuality and identities similar to asexuality, like demisexuality or graysexuality that are closely connected in a broader community.
A romantic orientation that describes a person who's romantically attracted to themselves. Those who identify as autoromantic often report experiencing the relationship they have with themselves as romantic. This does not mean that they do not experience romantic attraction toward others as well.
Those who identify as autosexual experience a sexual attraction toward themselves. Similarly to those who are autoromantic, people who are autosexual may also experience sexual attraction to other people.
Avansexuality is the sexual attraction to exclusively non-binary individuals. Unlike the traditional heterosexual, bisexual, pansexual, and homosexual spectrum, this sexuality leans closer to demisexual in nature as one would have to tell you what non-binary gender they identify as. But due to the nature of this sexuality, the psuedobinary genders, dual-binary genders, or demi-binary genders are not included.
This refers to people who are questioning or exploring bisexuality, which typically includes curiosity about one's romantic or sexual attraction to people of the same or different genders.
Those who experience romantic attraction, but not sexual attraction, to individuals of more than one gender.
A sexual orientation that describes those who experience sexual, romantic, or emotional attractions to people of more than one gender. Also referred to as "bi," bisexual typically includes individuals who are attracted to a variety of people, with genders that are similar to and different than their own.
Boreasexuality is having an exception to your usual sexual orientation. Usually revolves around a single person.
Burst or Burstsexual/Burstromantic is an a-spec identity where one is normally completely asexual or aromantic, but occasionally experiences sudden, short bursts of attraction. It could be considered an alternate word for arospike/acespike. It can be combined with other identities.
A sexuality where one feels that sexual orientation is meaningless or where one is indifferent to the idea of sexual orientation.
An a-spec orientation where sexual attraction will sometimes disappear for a while.
The feeling of attraction towards non-binary genders.
A sexual orientation where you only feel sexual attraction to someone if you developed that feeling upon meeting them the first time, and is similar to the concept of "Love at First Sight." Coeosexual people can develop romantic or sexual feelings for people they had not met before, although these feelings may be fleeting, or not strong enough to warrant a relationship. Coeosexual people are prone to intense crushes with people they barely know that can be as intense as an attraction someone has developed over years. Coeosexual people will often be disappointed or distraught if a person they love does not love them back. When they develop an attraction for someone, it is highly unlikely it will ever go away. Coeosexual, similar to demisexual, falls on the asexual spectrum and is essentially the opposite of demisexual.
Describes being sexually attracted to all genders and people, but depending on mood/desire, feeling attracted to only certain ones. While the individual's sexuality does not change, the gender(s) and people they are attracted to does.
Describes asexual individuals who don't experience sexual attraction, but still have the desire to engage in sexual behavior or a sexual relationship.
This romantic orientation describes individuals who experience romantic attraction only under specific circumstances, such as after building an emotional relationship with a person.
On the asexual spectrum, this sexual orientation describes individuals who experience sexual attraction only under specific circumstances, such as after building a romantic or emotional relationship with a person.
Femmesexual (sometimes referred to as venusexual) is the attraction to women, feminine non-binary people and 100% androgynous non-binary people. The opposite of mascusexual.
An umbrella term for those who find attraction to those exclusively in fiction, but cannot to those in real life. Fictosexuals do no consider it as an orientation, per se, but use this label to better express their experience when it comes to attraction. The romantic counterpart is fictoromantic.
A person who is attracted to other people who are Feminine in Nature (FIN), usually used by non-binary individuals, but binary individuals are able use it as well.
A sexuality in which one's sexual attraction changes over time, sometimes on a day-to-day basis, sometimes over the course of a month, depends on the person for the exact time.
This term refers to the fact that sexuality, sexual attraction, and sexual behavior can change over time and be dependent on the situation. It is used to describe those who experience shifts in their sexuality, sexual attraction, or sexual behavior in different situations or throughout the course of their lifetime. You may hear someone describe their sexuality as "fluid."
Also known as Ignotasexual, this is a sexual orientation on the asexual spectrum. It is defined as when someone only experiences sexual attraction towards those that they are not deeply connected with, and lose that attraction as they get to know the person. Fraysexual is often described as being the opposite of demisexual.
A term that describes individuals who experience sexual, romantic, or emotional attraction to people of the same or a similar gender. Some gay-identified women prefer the term lesbian, while others prefer queer or gay. It’s also best to ask which word or term someone uses to describe themselves.
The fields of medicine and psychology previously referred to this sexual orientation as homosexual. Homosexual is now viewed as an outdated and offensive term and shouldn’t be used to refer to LGBTQIA+ individuals.
A romantic orientation that describes individuals whose romantic attraction exists in the gray area between romantic and aromantic. Many people who identify as grayromantic do experience some romantic attraction, but perhaps not at the same level or frequency as those who identify their sexuality or romantic orientation as something other than asexual.
Graysexual is a term used to acknowledge the gray area on the sexuality spectrum for people who don't explicitly and exclusively identify as asexual or aromantic. Many people who identify as graysexual do experience some sexual attraction or desire, but perhaps not at the same level or frequency as those who identify their sexuality as being completely outside of the asexual spectrum.
Gynesexual or Gynosexual
A term used to communicate sexual or romantic attraction to women, females, or femininity. This term intentionally includes attraction to those who identify as women, female, or feminine, regardless of biology, anatomy, or the sex assigned at birth.
Those who are heteromantic may experience romantic attraction, but not necessarily sexual attraction, to those of a different gender.
Heterosexual or Straight
A term that describes people who experience sexual, romantic, or emotional attraction to people of the opposite gender (e.g., male vs. female, man vs. woman) or a different gender. Both cisgender and transgender identified people can be heterosexual.
A term that refers to people who are romantically attracted to those of a similar gender to their own. They may not necessarily be sexually attracted to people of the same gender.
Homosexuality is a term describing those who are emotionally and physically attracted to people of the same gender. This term is outdated and may have negative connotations due to the past.
A term for asexual individuals who are open to having sex.
The desire to have a sexual relationship yet never feeling sexual attraction. Part of the asexual spectrum.
A term for those individuals who want to have sexual actions done to them, but not wanting to perform sexual actions on others. Opposite of placiosexual.
A woman or female-identified person who experiences sexual, romantic, or emotional attraction to people of the same or similar gender. Some women who are lesbians may also refer to themselves as gay or queer, while others prefer the label lesbian.
A term used to describe an asexual person who experiences sexual feelings that are satisfied through self-stimulation or masturbation. This identity acknowledges that, for some people, acting on libido or sexual feelings doesn't necessarily involve sexual behavior with others.
A term for those who experience attraction toward depictions of attraction (writing or drawings), but not the physical acts.
A sexual orientation on the asexual spectrum. Someone who is lithosexual may experience sexual attraction, but does not want it reciprocated. The lithosexual individual may be uncomfortable at the thought of someone being sexually attracted to them, or they may lose their sexual feelings if they learn it's reciprocated. As such, lithosexuals do not feel compelled to seek out a sexual relationship. Like with any sexual orientation, lithosexuals can have any romantic orientation. Lithosexual can be a sexual orientation on its own or it can be combined with other orientations. The romantic counterpart is lithoromantic.
Mascusexual (sometimes known as marsexual or butchsexual) is the attraction to men, masculine non-binary people, and 100% androgynous non-binary people. The opposite of femmesexual.
Minsexual is the attraction to those who are Masculine in Nature (MIN). This means minsexual people are attracted to men, masculine aligned and/or presenting non-binary people, and potentionally masculine women. Minsexual is not synonymous with the attraction to people who identify as male, it is the attraction to masculinity.
A broad sexual orientation category that includes people who experience romantic or sexual attraction to people of one sex or gender. Monosexuality typically includes those who are exclusively heterosexual, gay, or lesbian.
Multisexual is a broad term that encompasses all sexual orientations in which people are attracted to more than one gender. Some sexual oritentations under this term include bisexual and omnisexual.
Mutosexuality is a fluid sexuality in which your attraction changes from day to day. If you are mutosexual, you may like women one day, men the next, and non-binary people another day. You may be bi, then gay, then straight. This is a form of fluid multisexuality such as pan or bi in that you like all genders, but you don’t always like all genders at once. Typically this is for use by people with fluid genders, but anyone can be/use mutosexual.
Neusexual is an orientation in which someone is exclusively attracted to people with neutral genders, including neutrois people, agender people, and other ningender people. Neusexual is similar to ceterosexual, attraction to non-binary people.
Ninsexual is the exclusive attraction to those who are neutral/non-binary in nature (NIN). This attraction includes people who non-binary, neutrois, agender, androgyne, and anyone else whose gender or gender presentation is neutral, androgynous, or in any other way not fully male or female. Some ninsexual people may be attracted to feminine or masculine aligned non-binary people, but it depends on the person. Similarly some ninsexual people could be attracted to binary men or women who present androgynously. The term was made with non-binary people in mind but binary people can use it.
The masculine equivalent in minsexual. The feminine equivalent is finsexual. The feminine male equivalent is finmasexual. The masculine female equivalent is minwomasexual.
Refering to an identity on the asexuality spectrum, a non-libidoist asexual is someone who doesn't experience any sexual feelings or have an active sex drive.
Novisexual/Noviromantic is feeling complicated attraction or lack thereof in such a way that it is difficult or impossible to fit into one word or term.
A Novosexual person is someone who's sexuality fluctuates along with their gender identity. Novosexuals are constantly changing between different genders and sexual orientations similarly to those who are genderfluid and/or abrosexual. How long it may take between the next fluctuation will vary from person to person. It could happen several times within a day or stay the same for weeks. Novosexuality, however, is only such when sexual orientation changes along with gender identity. While novosexuals can identify as genderfluid/abrosexual, they are set apart by having both linked together, as the sexual attraction of abrosexuals can happen independently of their gender identity. In essence, all novosexuals can identify as genderfluid/abrosexual but not all those who identify themselves as genderfluid/abrosexual are novosexual. As the same with abrosexuals; Novosexuals are extremely rare. Novosexuality is different than questioning; questioning sexuality is going through a phase of trying to work out who one is attracted to, whereas a novosexual person may feel like and identify as homosexual and agender one day, then polysexual and cisgender the next, and bisexual and nonbinary another day. What genders and sexual orientations they fluctuate to will vary from person to person.
Omnisexual is similar to pansexual and can be used to describe individuals whose sexuality isn't limited to people of a particular gender, sex, or sexual orientation.
A person who can be sexual with or fall in love with only one person their entire life. They can be heterosexual, gay, pansexual, or bisexual.
A term that describe individuals who can experience romantic or emotional (but not sexual) attraction to any person, regardless of that person's gender, sex, or sexuality.
A term that describe individuals who can experience sexual, romantic, or emotional attraction to any person, regardless of that person's gender, sex, or sexuality. A typical identifies for those who are pansexual is that gender is not a huge factor in sexual or romantic attraction. While there is overlap between pansexuality, omnisexuality, bisexuality, and polysexuality, some people may prefer to use one term over another.
A sexual orientation where the individual can be sexually attracted to anyone with a gender different than theirs.
On the asexual spectrum, this term defines someone who enjoys performing sexual acts for other people, but does not want them reciprocated. Placiosexual people may be sex neutral or sex repulsed when it comes to having sexual acts performed on them. Placiosexual is not the same thing as simply being dominant or having a sexual preference. Someone who is placiosexual may be repulsed at the thought of someone performing sexual acts on them. This may cause them to lose any sexual desire or attraction. This discomfort may be caused by dysphoria or similar discomfort with one's body, but it does not necessarily have to be.
A term that describes individuals with a sexual orientation that involves sexual or romantic attraction to people with varying genders. Polysexual orientations include bisexuality, pansexuality, omnisexuality, and queer, among many others.
A term (not necessarily an identity) used to refer to those who reject sexuality labels or don't identify with any of them.
Proculsexuality describes someone who only feels sexual attraction to someone they believe they can never really have sexual activity with. This could include a celebrity or fictional character.
An umbrella term that describes individuals who aren't exclusively heterosexual. The term queer (the Q in LGBTQIA+), acknowledges that sexuality is a spectrum as opposed to a collection of independent and mutually exclusive categories. Use of the word queer opens up options beyond lesbian, gay, and bisexual to individuals who don't fit neatly into these categories or prefer a category that isn't dependent on sex and gender.
While this term once had negative and derogatory connotations, queer has resurfaced as a common and socially acceptable way for LGBTQIA+ individuals to refer to themselves and their community. Despite its growing use, some people still have negative associations with the word queer and don't like to be referred to in this way. Queer, like all terms describing sexuality, should be used sensitively and respectfully.
Sanssexual refers to someone whose attraction changes randomly. Their orientation is very fluid and there is no trend line in the attraction. As such, sanssexual individuals may not feel compelled to seek out a sexual relationship, or they may prefer a fluitic relationship/wavership. However, this is not true of all sanssexuals, and some will seek out sexual relationships regardless of whatever attraction they may feel.
A word used to describe those who experience attraction based on intelligence, rather than sex or gender.
A sexual orientation that describes those who are sexually attracted to people with non-cisgender gender identities, such as people who are transgender, non-binary, genderqueer, or agender.
A term that describes people who are sexually or romantically attracted to multiple or varies sexes, genders, and gender identities - but not necessarily all or any.
Zygosexuality is having or wanting more sexual partners with your current romantic and/or sexual partner. You can be married or in a current romantic and sexual relationship, but you both desire more sexual partners; not separately, but together. This is different from Polyamory/Polyamorous people or relationships. Poly relationships are where multiple people are all in one consensual relationship or where all participants have many and multiple partners romantically and sexually. Whereas Zygosexual is strictly multiple, consensual sexual partners together. In a Zygosexual relationship, both romantically involved partners MUST consent to the person(s) that they are getting sexually involved with. One partner cannot have multiple sexual partners and the other partner not be involved, whether they know or not. Both partners must consent and be involved with the act.