There's a lot of terms being thrown around these days linked with sexuality, and at first it may be very puzzling to anyone – whether you're somebody investigating what they may identify as, or a straight ally trying to educate themselves. A common question I've come across from most people is the difference between sexual attraction and romantic attraction.
It's a very simple definition with a more complex explanation. To experience sexual attraction is to feel an attraction to a person/s with sexual feelings and perhaps a desire to have sexual relationships with them. This creates the difference with romantic attraction. Romantic attraction is experiencing romantic feelings towards a person/s and perhaps a desire to have a romantic relationship with them. It is possible to experience both of these attractions, or only one of them. When it comes to displaying this, romantic acts usually involve kissing and cuddling (romantic, almost “cute” or “tame” acts) whilst sexual involves – you guessed it, sex!
The way this ties into people's sexuality is the way they do (or do not) experience the two attractions. For example, a male could be a biromantic homosexual: they experience romantic attraction to two genders (it could be male and female, or perhaps a different gender! Remember “bi” involves two genders, not just limited to males and females!) but only experiences sexual attraction to his gender only. Another example is that a woman may be homoromantic homosexual – experiencing sexual and romantic attraction to her gender only. Others may even not experience romantic or sexual attraction at all! This is known as aromatic and asexual.
Hopefully this explains well enough the difference. Don't be shy to ask if you still have questions! You can ask here on the website or at any of our social medias.
Teenagers With Experience is an organisation created to provide teenagers worldwide with an online platform to share their own experiences to be able to help, inform and educate others on a variety of different topics. We aim to provide a safe space to all young people. You can contact us via email, social media or our contact form found on our home page.