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Aegosexuality 101: sex without the self

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Aug 14, 2023

Aegosexuality 101: sex without the self
  • Aegosexuality describes people who do not connect themselves to their arousal. They may fantasize about sex, but not having it themselves. There are plenty of things we can enjoy without wanting to do it ourselves — professional sports, the circus, parkour. 

    For those who identify as aegosexual, sex with someone else is one of those things better left to others. Maybe you watch or read sexual content or enjoy fantasies about celebrities or fictional characters, but the thought of getting it on with someone just gives you the ick. 

    Aegosexuality falls on the asexual spectrum, which includes a diverse range of identities for people who experience little or no sexual attraction or sexual attraction under specific circumstances. 

    Understanding asexual identities might be a helpful way to discover who you are. It’s also important to be a better ally to people on the ace spectrum and to combat acephobia in its many forms. 

    So let’s get into it. 

    What does aegosexual mean?

    The Etymology Behind It

    The word aegosexual is as gay as the Latins. So let’s break it down. 

    The two main roots are “a,” meaning without, and “ego,” meaning the self. Aegosexual: sex without the self. 

    In 2012, psychologists Anthony Bogaert coined the term “autochorissexualism” to describe “identity-less” sexuality. Bogaert originally categorized this term as a pathologized form of “atypical sexual interests,” not a sexual identity. Not only is “autochorissexualism” a mouthful, it feels cold and medical. 

    That’s when tumblr stepped in! The lovely Suger-and-Spite coined the term aegosexual in a 2014 post as a more positive term and an identity on the asexual spectrum. 

    Aegosexual Flag and Identification

    The aegosexual flag includes an inverted triangle with alternating stripes of black, gray, white, and purple. The black and gray represent asexuality and gray-asexuality. White designates aegosexual as a sexual identity. And purple is a nod to the community of the asexual spectrum. 

    Am I Aegosexual?

    You might be aegosexual if…

    Here’s another place to start. Do any of these resonate with the way you experience your sexuality?  You might be aegosexual if…

    • You are aroused by sexual content like pornography or erotic writing, but you don’t want to have sex with another person.
    • You might masturbate, but again, you don’t want to have sex with someone else. 
    • You have sexual fantasies in the third-person or imagine people other than yourself having sex, like you’re watching TV.
    • You only imagine fictional characters, celebrities, or other people you don’t know personally having sex. 
    • You think you might be asexual but you still are aroused or fantasize about sex.  
    • You have highly unrealistic sexual fantasies, and adding realistic elements makes them less appealing. 

    Can aegosexuals have romantic relationships?

    Absolutely! Aegosexuality is a sexual identity. Romantic and sexual attraction are two different experiences, and not experiencing one does not erase the other.  

    Like other asexual identities, many aegosexual people still desire connection through romantic love and find these needs in romantic relationships. 

    It’s also possible to identify as asexual, as well as lesbian, gay, or bisexual. These are sexual and romantic orientations. 

    Distinguishing Aegosexuality from Voyeurism

    To start, aegosexuality is an identity, describing how one experiences sexual attraction or desire, while voyeurism is a fetish or a kink, one specific thing that might turn someone on. Aegosexuality might involve being turned on while watching sexual activity, but voyeurism also often involves participating with others, rather than just the fantasy. They can overlap, but they’re not the same thing. 

    Embracing Aegosexuality

    Aegosexuality is an identity like any other — designed to help you find yourself and your community. I firmly reject that more identity labels equals confusion or delusion. It’s the opposite. We can all learn about how to be kinder to ourselves and kinder to our allies in the LGBTQ+ community by understanding the vast nuance and beauty of the asexual spectrum. 

    If you feel like aegosexual describes you, go forth you beautiful ace human.

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    Catherine Henderson is a journalist based in Chicago. She has worked at a wide variety of newsrooms, including The Denver Post, Chalkbeat, Business Insider and In These Times, covering education, career development and culture. Catherine holds a master’s and bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling, exploring Chicago, reading LGBTQ lit, and analyzing internet trends.

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