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Sexual orientations include gay, lesbian, straight, bisexual, and asexual. Sexual orientation is about who you want to be with. Gender identity is about who you are. Gay women may prefer the term lesbian. People whose attractions span across many different gender identities male, female, transgender, genderqueer, intersex, etc. Some people don't like the idea of labels at all. Other people feel comfortable with certain labels and not others. It's up to you to decide how you want to label yourself, if at all.
The term queer can include a variety of sexual identities and gender identities that are anything other than straight and cisgender. Some people still find it offensive, particularly those who remember when that word was used in a painful way. Others now use the word with pride to identify themselves.
When talking to someone about their sexual orientation, use the terms that they use. Asexuality has nothing to do with romantic attraction. Many asexual people feel romantically attracted to people — so they may identify as asexual, and also as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or straight. Asexual people have emotional needs just like everyone else.
They get close to people or experience intimacy through ways other than sex. Being aromantic and being asexual are two separate things. And some asexual people masturbate. But others may not feel arousal at all. And asexuality is not the same thing as being celibate. Celibacy is a choice you make, and asexuality is a sexual identity — who you naturally are. Different people fall into different places on that spectrum. Some people who have very little sexual attraction to other people identify as gray-a.
Want to know how someone identifies? Ask them. You can find more information about asexuality at the Asexual Visibility and Education Network. Only you can decide what sexual identity best describes you. But some people may feel that none of the common labels feel right to them.
Your sexual orientation and identity can remain the same throughout your life. This is completely normal. Or call How do I know my sexual orientation? What's "coming out"? What is homophobia? We couldn't access your location, please search for a location. Zip, City, or State Please enter a valid 5-digit zip code or city or state. Filter By All Telehealth In-person.Woman at orientation
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