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What it means to be cupiosexual: an a-spec sexuality to be proud of

Robyn Exton

Jun 20, 2023

What it means to be cupiosexual: an a-spec sexuality to be proud of

The LGBT+ community continues to expand the vocabulary for all the different ways humans can express themselves and experience attraction. Every nugget of information gets people closer to the truth: who they really are! Today’s nugget of knowledge is cupiosexuality!

People who are cupiosexual (pronounced like the letters “Q, P, O -sexual”) are interested in sexual relationships but don’t experience sexual attraction. On the HER blog, we’ve previously discussed the romantic counterpart of cupiosexuality, which is cupioromantic

Can you relate to this experience of lack of sexual attraction? If so, this article shares some more signs that point to cupiosexuality. Cupiosexuality may come with some unique roadblocks, so we have tips to help you build the most authentic and genuine relationships as a cupiosexual.

Breaking the stigma: What is cupiosexuality?

Cupiosexuality, whose prefix stems from the Latin word for “desire” or “wish for,” refers to the yearning for sexual attraction towards someone but not being able to achieve it. 

For example, cupiosexual individuals may seek emotional intimacy, companionship, and romantic connections without experiencing sexual attraction towards their partners. 

This could be challenging for cupiosexuals in relationships, but it doesn’t have to be if you have a supportive relationship! 

Origins of cupiosexuality: relationship with asexuality 

A person holds a small paper drawing of the asexual pride flag, which consists of four black, gray, white, and purple horizontal stripes.

Because cupiosexuals don’t experience sexual attraction, that means that cupiosexuals could also identify as asexual. Asexuals feel little to no sexual attraction – the sexuality refers to the level or lack of attraction, not who you feel that attraction towards

As for who invented the term cupiosexual, this label likely originated in online circles forums in the 2010s, similar to its counterpart, cupioromanticism. 

The cupiosexual flag and symbols

Today, people are still designing new flags to reflect cupiosexuality. The standard cupiosexual flag is the one shown below. It has similar colors to the asexual flag, from white, to black and purple. It’s unsure what the final color symbolizes.

A cupiosexual pride flag with four horizontal stripes, with similar colors to the asexual flag.
Source: Unknown

Source: Unknown

Cupiosexual FAQ

The best cupiosexual test is to ask yourself if you want sexual attraction but can’t seem actually to feel it. You may have asked the following questions if you or someone you know is a cupiosexual. Check out our answers! 

Can a cupiosexual have healthy relationships?

Absolutely! Your lack of attraction has nothing to do with the ability to have healthy relationships. Healthy relationships should always come down to open and honest communication and being able to see someone else’s perspective. 

If you have friends that may not understand what you’re going through, send them this article, and maybe they’ll have a better time stepping into your shoes. And if you have a partner who struggles with your cupiosexuality, there are mature ways to discuss boundaries and guidelines to a fulfilling sexual life, non-existent or otherwise.

Four women hug and smile in a field, showing a great amount of love and support towards each other.

Just because you don’t experience sexual attraction doesn’t make you any less deserving of love and support. If your partner wants physical intimacy, the most important step to take is to have a discussion about what boundaries all parties are or are not willing to cross. Communication can go a long way.

What’s the difference between cupiosexuality, asexuality, and demisexuality?

Asexuality refers to a lack of sexual attraction. It’s a spectrum, so there are subsegments of identities that can call underneath asexuality. Demisexuality and cupiosexuality are examples of subsegments of the asexual spectrum. 

Demisexuality refers to only being able to develop physical and sexual attraction after a deep personal bond has been formed. This usually entails partners getting to know each other for a while and developing a genuine connection before feeling any sort of sexual attraction from the demisexual person. 

Cupiosexuals, on the other hand, don’t feel sexual attraction, so there’s no possibility they can develop it later on. 

Remember that life is fluid, and so is sexuality! You can absolutely identify as cupiosexual or demisexual and be proud. But this also doesn’t mean that if you begin to develop a sexual attraction towards any of your partners and identify as cupiosexual, there is nothing to be ashamed of. 

Many LGBTQ+ people try different labels before finally landing on one that’s right for them. Or you might even be pomosexual — meaning you reject labels altogether! 

Cupiosexual vs. cupioromantic: Can a cupiosexual fall in love?

Yes. Just because cupiosexuals don’t feel sexual attraction doesn’t mean they cannot fall in love romantically. This would be the case for cupioromantics, who cannot feel romantic attraction but desire the attraction.

Support your loved ones who are cupiosexual

If you’re cupiosexual and want to educate someone on your experience, feel free to share this article with them. Part of having supportive partners and friends is communicating and educating yourself and others about each other’s lived experiences. 

If you aren’t cupiosexual but know someone who is, let them know that they are supported and that, no matter what, their experiences are valid.

If you want to find more cupiosexuals like you, you might start by finding your cupiosexual community on the HER app.

Robyn Exton

Robyn is the CEO & Founder of HER. Find her on Twitter.

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