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October 30 2014


On autochorissexualism, akiosexuality and lesser-known gray-ace identities


As I want this post to be comprehensive, to start discussions, and to be a resource to anybody who wants to use it, I feel the best place to start is probably definitions of these terms:

  • Asexual - a person who does not experience sexual attraction
  • Allosexual - a person who does experience sexual attraction
  • Grey-asexual - a person who fits somewhere inbetween the two (to my understanding, just like the term ‘queer’, grey-ace is a blanket term in this sense; describing all the bits inbetween ace and allo, but is also used by some as a valid identity in its own right, to describe someone who experiences sexual attraction only very rarely).
  • Akiosexual / Lithsexual - these two words mean the same thing; that a person feels sexual attraction, but has no desire for reciprocation. The prefix ‘lith’ was originally coined, but there were concerns about appropriation, so many people use ‘akio’ instead. They’re two words for the same thing.
  • Autochorissexual - a person experiences a disconnect between themselves and what they’re desiring. So they might enjoy erotica or porn, but feel no desire to participate in the activities they’re fantasizing about.

I’m aware that there are many other sexualities that exist in the shaded areas between asexuality and allosexuality, and that there are corollary romantic orientations for all the shades of grey aromantics, however, I don’t feel I have any authority to speak about these when I’m still trying to get all the knowledge straight in my head, and feel secure in my own identity. So…

Why are these labels important?

The first words that seem to come out of everybody’s mouth upon hearing these kinds of labels are “that’s not a thing”, which more than anything, just make me sad. As I’ve said before, these identities are a real and valid thing because we made them so. People who felt this way already existed, we just gave them a name. And a large part of the reason I’m making this post is because so often, somebody will reblog one of my posts about autochorissexuality with comments like “omg there’s a word for me!” and “I thought I was just a really bad asexual!” and similar.

If you yourself are queer and/or ace and/or aro, I’m sure you’ve experienced the whole Harry Potter ‘yer a wizard Harry!’ moment, where you find a word that explains all these feelings you’ve had and suddenly everything seems so much better because there’s other people just like you. These feelings are not exclusive to just the well-known or more common orientations and sexual/romantic identities. Those moments of clarity and relief also happen to autochorissexuals and akio/lithromatnics and demis and all the other people who fall somewhere between ace/aro and allo.

Words are important. And so are labels. If you are someone who doesn’t care about labels; if you are somebody who is queer and you’ve never been too bothered about labelling the specifics, that’s fine. For the longest time I didn’t give a shit about labelling my sexual and romantic orientations either. But for some people it is really important, and ultimately, the only person who gets to decide whether a label is important or not is the person it belongs to.

Do they belong in the LGBT+ acronym?

Another concern people seem to raise a lot is that these terms don’t belong in the LGBT+ acronym, and those who don’t identify with them don’t belong in the queer community. Which is rather a sweeping statement to make about an entire community of largely misunderstood people, for one thing. The accusation has been made that grey-ace people such as demis, autochoris, akio etc. only want to be in the acronym so that they can feel like special snowflakes even though they are straight.

Firstly, this disregards and assumes that all grey-ace people are hetero, which is just as stupid as assuming that all gay or bi people are allosexual. Secondly, even if gray-ace people are hetero that does not take away from the fact that they are still invisible to the rest of society, that they are discriminated against, and that people are determined that they need to be ‘fixed’.

Now, I think intersectionality within the LGBT+ community is important, because the struggles we all face are different, and while we are all sexual, romantic or gender minorities, we cannot all be lumped together as though we’re all the same. (Which is why I greatly object to the use of the word ‘gay’ as a synonym for LGBT+, because they do not mean the same thing, and it contributes to the erasure of bi, pan, ace, aro trans, non-binary and basically everybody else who isn’t gay or lesbian).

The LGBT+ community also has a tendency to do just that - to value the rights of and the visibility of gay/lesbian people over everybody else, even if it means treading over the rest of us. Which is why diversity is something to be celebrated, and intersectionality is necessary - because the challenges that bi people face, while they share some similarities to gay folk, are not exactly the same, just as the challenges that trans and non-binary people face is different to those which ace and aro people face.

Really, there are several categories that could well have their own acronyms and communties because they’re so different, and because everybody can identify with labels from each one - homo and poly people/the queer spectrum, the asexual spectrum, the aromantic spectrum, and trans and non binary folk. Somebody, for example, can be a pansexual demisexual aromantic transgender person, for example, falling somewhere into each of those categories. Understanding how all of these work means thinking of them as separate spectrums (as demonstrated by Kinsey Scale).

To determine whether or not an identity should be included in the LGBT+ acronym, we need to determine what exactly the acronym is for. Why does it exist and what is its purpose? Is it to provide a letter to represent each sexual, romantic or gender minority? Is representation/visibility the goal? Because if that is the case, I think it’s extremely important to include everyone on the ace and aro spectrums. Or is the goal to provide a community for people who have been stripped of their rights by cis heterosexual people? Or both? Neither?

Ultimately, I don’t expect everybody, or even most people to know about all of these terms and fully comprehend them. There are numerous terms, all describing people who fit somewhere on several different scales, and I too have a lot left to learn. What I do expect is an open mind and acceptance.

I personally am happy for a simple ‘A’ in the acronym, as all of these sexualities fall somewhere on the asexual spectrum, which is really something entirely separate to which gender a person is attracted to. But I don’t speak for everybody on the ace spectrum, and this is really a discussion for those people who fall into the lesser-known spaces inbetween ace/aro and allo.

So I guess now down to the nitty gritty…

What exactly is autochoris??

Autochorissexualism is a term coined and described thus by Anthony Bogaert:"A disconnection between oneself and a sexual target/object of arousal; may involve sexual fantasies, or arousal in response to erotica or pornography, but lacking any desire to be a participant in the sexual activities therein. Commonly found in asexual people; an analogous feeling may occur in aromantic people for romantic fantasies."

Anthony Bogaert has done considerable research into asexuality, and published several books and papers. His short paper/essay on autochorissexualism in particular can be found here.

But as my personal understanding of the term and myself have evolved, so has my definition of the label. Is autochorissexuality liking the idea of sex, but only at a distance and not having any desire to engage in it? Is it experiencing sexual attraction but having no desire to partake in the sex act? Is there a difference?

I suppose this all hinges really on how you define sexual attraction. Is it looking at somebody and wanting to have sex with them? Or is being turned on by somebody? Are they two different things? I would argue so, but then I don’t know that we’d ever be able to reach a final definition as our understandings of attraction and sex and ourselves evolve.

So autochorissexualism, as I identify with it, is a sub-section of asexuality, where a person who doesn’t feel the desire to have sex with people (sexual attraction) does get turned on by and/or otherwise enjoys porn, erotica, the idea of sex, and/or masturbation.

You might be autochoris if you identify as ace, but enjoy porn and self-loving, or if you’ve always been turned on by seeing or thinking about sex, but always picture your fantasies as detached from yourself. For example, instead of masturbating while imagining that hot guy you like having sex with you, you might masturbate while thinking about him having sex with somebody else. Or you might picture yourself and him like you would in a movie scene you observe, instead of imagining it actually happening to you.

So what exactly is akio/lith??

Akiosexuality/lithsexuality is described as: "An orientation in which one can feel a sexual attraction towards others and also enjoy sexual relationships in theory, but not needing that attraction to be reciprocated or be in a sexual relationship with the one the feelings are directed towards. Either that, or they may stop feeling the attraction once in a relationship or stop enjoying it." (adapted from here)

So akiosexual/lithsexual people experience sexual attraction, but do not desire for it to be reciprocated.

You might be akio/lithsexual if you tend to feel sexually attracted to fictional characters, or people who otherwise can’t reciprocate those feelings. Or you might be akio/lithsexual if you want to engage in a sex act with somebody, but when they show interest in you, you lose interest.

So what exactly is the difference between autochoris and akio/lith?

You want a short answer? Tough, there isn’t one! Again, this all depends on how you define attraction. If sexual attraction is a desire to engage in a sex act with someone, but akio/lithsexual people experience attraction yet don’t want to engage in a sex act, it seems like a contradiction. But then people are complex, as are sexualities.

In pure terminology, autochoris is enjoying sexual material/content (or feeling attraction, I suppose, depending on your definition) but not feeling the desire toparticipate, whereas akio/lith is experiencing attraction but not feeling the desire for reciprocation. So while akio/lith folks might be repulsed by reciprocation, they might be fairly indifferent to it too. They might feel attracted to somebody, want to engage with them, but when that person expresses their desire, the akio/lith person loses interest.

If you feel that one of these labels fits you, then wear it! Own it! And if you’re not sure, don’t worry - take your time to figure things out. If you still don’t know, don’t worry about it. Figuring out exactly what you’re feeling can be really tough sometimes.

But it’s also important to remember that these two words were originally defined for different orientations - autochoris was coined as a term to describe a newsexuality, whereas akio/lith was coined to describe a romantic orientation. And I suppose, as they are so painstakingly similar, you could argue that they are one another’s corollary sexual/romantic orientation, because sexual attraction works differently to romantic attraction - sex is an act, whereas romance usually involves a particularly kind of relationships; an ongoing thing. Falling in love is different to being horny, so something that may describe a sexuality might not be very applicable for a romantic orientation, and vise versa.


There are a lot of people that identify with labels like autochoris or akio/lith that fall somewhere between the ace/aro and allo extremes. These are all important. These are valued. It’s confusing and we’re still trying to work it out ourselves. But if you identify with one of these terms or if you’re still confused - you’re important and you are valued too.

Reposted byCarridwenBloodredswanbejsia
7332 1cc8


In aid of Asexual Awareness Week, I’ve decided to make a post about autochorissexuality and just what it is.

The term ‘autochoris’ was coined by Anthony Bogaert, and essentially translates to ‘identity-less sexuality’. It is a sub-section of asexuality, which he describes as:

A disconnection between oneself and the object of arousal; may involve sexual fantasies or arousal in response to erotica or pornography, but lacking any desire to be a participant in the activities therein.

Essentially, we like the idea of sex, and/or enjoy reading/writing/watching sexual content, but don’t actually experience attraction or want to have sex with anybody.

You might be autochorissexual if:

  • You get aroused by sexual content but don’t actually want to engage in any sexual activities yourself.
  • You masturbate, but are neutral or repulsed by the idea of having sex with another person.
  • When you fantasize about sex, you envision people other than yourself, and/or you view it in third person, as though you’re watching it on TV, rather than imagining it in first person, through your own eyes.
  • You predominantly or entirely fantasize about fictional characters or celebrities, rather than people you actually know.
  • You identify as asexual and feel no sexual attraction to people, but enjoy masturbating, are aroused by sexually explicit content, and/or have sexual fantasies.

This isn’t an exhaustive checklist, and ultimately nobody can give you a label but yourself. But hopefully this post has brought you a little closer to understanding autochorissexuality, whether you are asexual, grey/demi, questioning, confused, or just wanting to raise awareness.

Here are some further resources if you want to learn more:

An essay on autochorissexualism vs lithsexualitythe flag (as depicted above, but without the text caption), Anthony Bogaert’s short paper on Autochorissexualism, and my inbox is always open if you have any questions.

If you’ve found this post informative, please signal boost to help raise awareness and understanding about all the different aspects and subsections of asexuality!

The symptoms of autochorissexuality mentioned above sounds just like me (except for the last one because I don't identify as asexual because maybe I'm not sure yet). It's true that I tend to view myself as a watcher/observer and uninvolved whenever I picture sex scenes. I can't imagine myself having sex, but I do get aroused whenever I see some sex scenes.

I think I just found my description.

Reposted byCarridwenRekrut-KfrittatensuppenaichBloodredswankuroinekochrisschlachtorosPencilPaperandRubber
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