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What’s gynosexuality: Breaking down the modern, feminine allure

Robyn Exton

Aug 18, 2023

What’s gynosexuality: Breaking down the modern, feminine allure
  • Have you recently heard this word within your queer friend group? Maybe on a random TikTok and don’t know what it means? Well, in a world that buzzes with rapid linguistic evolution, the lexicon of human sexuality continually evolves. 

    Source: Queer Screen

    We recently acquired a term that encapsulates the magnetic pull of femininity—whether it emanates from cis women, trans women, or non-binary individuals who embrace feminine qualities. 

    Enter the intriguing realm of gynosexuality, a word that casts attraction in a bold new light while simultaneously celebrating the diverse feminine spectrum. Allow us to unearth its roots, explore its multifaceted dimensions, and understand its place in the modern landscape of sexual orientation and identity.

    What’s the meaning of gynosexual?

    At its essence, gynosexuality celebrates the allure of the feminine. It recognizes that attractions and desires extend far beyond traditional gender boundaries, including cis and trans women, nonbinary folks, etc. The term casts a wide net that includes the attraction to physical traits, radiant energy, and personality traits often associated with femininity. 

    Let’s break it down: the ‘gyno’ prefix? It’s a Greek nod to ‘gynaika,‘ which translates to ‘woman,‘ So, when we say someone’s gynosexual, we’re saying they’re into those who identify as female or rock feminine traits.

    Unfortunately, this term is associated with negative connotations as it’s been adopted by transphobes, and the term finsexual is considered a more inclusive and narrow identification for those who want a blank slate. Still, if you’re trying to reclaim gynosexual, we encourage you to do so!

    History and depiction of gynosexuality

    The concept of appreciating the captivating charm of feminine traits isn’t a novel idea, right? Throughout history, societies have paid homage to the diverse expressions of femininity. From ancient goddess worship to the golden age of Hollywood, its admiration has thrived in various forms across cultures and eras. 

    Back in the ’80s, psychologist Ron Langevin was the trailblazer proposing the terms ‘androphilia‘ and ‘gynephilia.’ These terms were then categorized as “sexual anomalies,” describing attraction regardless of gender identity and focusing on gender expression. Obviously, now we know these feelings are perfectly normal and valid!

    Then, in 2014, a group of iconic trans activists introduced the term ‘gynosexual’ to the scene. They were looking for an alternative to the word ‘lesbian,’ specifically to protect themselves from TERFs. And guess what? It worked! Even though it’s not the most popular word, it serves as a safe haven for trans and gender non-conforming folks and gynosexual peeps.

    Gynosexual vs. other labels

    The big question everyone’s popping open like a bottle of bubbly: How’s gynosexuality any different from being a card-carrying lesbian or a straight-shooting dude? Let’s get to the bottom of this: Being gynosexual transcends conventional labels. Not to replace them, but to further specify someone’s attraction and make it inclusive for all groups that may present femininely. It’s also very useful to express a type or preference our bi or pan pals may have.

    Source: Marie Claire UK

    On the other side of the spectrum, we have androsexual, which you might have guessed means attraction to masculine characteristics and essence. 

    Who can be gynosexual?

    • Lesbians 
    • Straight men
    • Bisexuals
    • Pansexuals
    • Polysexuals
    • Trans people
    • Basically, anyone who likes feminine traits in a partner!

    For example, you can call yourself a gynosexual and a “gynosexual-bisexual” if your attraction leans more toward femmes and feminine-presenting folks.

    Is there a gynosexual flag?

    Just as the LGBTQIA+ community waves the iconic rainbow flag, gynosexuality has a vibrant emblem of its own! Painted in a gradient from pink to green, or pink, brown, and green blocks, it perfectly sums out the attraction.

    Source: Men’s Health

    • That gorgeous pink on top? It’s borrowed from the trans flag, a nod to being into all women. 
    • That snazzy green at the bottom? It’s from the genderqueer flag, a shout-out to loving everyone that’s feminine.
    • And the brown in the middle? It’s the connection between all women and the femme-presenting girlies out there.

    What’s the gynosexual experience like?

    As we mentioned before, gynosexuality doesn’t have to exist in isolation; it thrives within the rich ecosystem of sexual orientations that we know and love. For instance, one might identify as pansexual with a leaning towards gynosexuality. This overlap highlights the nuanced facets of desire and reminds us that attraction is as individualistic and diverse as the people we’re drawn to. Of course, you can identify only as gynosexual because sexual attraction labels are here to make us feel safe, understood, and comfortable with who we are. 

    Source: GenderGP

    It’s worth mentioning that not everyone is on board with this term. On the one hand, we have transphobes that use it in their hateful conversations, and on the other, we have those who say that making the distinction promotes transphobia itself. All of this happens because it’s very recent terminology, and it’s obviously going to spark conversations. What’s important is that we listen to our queer peers and to ourselves.

    Am I gynosexual? 

    Identifying as gynosexual is a deeply personal choice. If you’re comfortable saying you’re straight or gay without getting into the specifics, that’s awesome! But if you feel like there is something more about you, something that clicks within you when you read the definition of gynosexual, then you might as well be.

    Source: Brillantio

    How to date as a gynosexual person

    We can cover the basic advice of “be yourself” or put yourself out there!” But specifically for gynosexuality, we recommend being open about it, mainly because the first filter should be finding someone willing to understand you. 

    Second, we recommend you go on the HER app to meet THOUSANDS of women, femmes, and feminine people who can be your match! HER is a safe space for the LGBTQIA+ community, and it can help you connect with open-minded, like-minded folks!

    Lastly, if you don’t identify as a woman or a feminine-presenting person, try to educate yourself on women and trans rights, so you can understand your partner how you want to be understood.

    So, whether you’re swiping, sipping, or sashaying through life, know that being gynosexual is a reminder that attraction is a canvas of individuality, where each stroke of emotion and preference contributes to a masterpiece as diverse and vibrant as the spectrum of gynosexuality itself.

    Robyn Exton

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

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