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What Does the Term Reciprosexual Mean?

reciprosexual
Reciprosexual describes someone who doesn’t experience sexual attraction for a person until they know that person is sexually attracted to them first

While many people may have heard of asexuality as an identity within the LGBTQ+ spectrum, did you know that an identity called reciprosexual falls under the asexual umbrella? According to Zoe Stoller’s Instagram, reciprosexual describes someone who doesn’t experience sexual attraction for a person until they know that person is sexually attracted to them first. 

If the word reciprocate came to mind when you first heard the word, then you’re correct. It stems from the word reciprocate. 

What is a Reciprosexual?

Reciprosexual, aka, recipsexualz is a sexual orientation on the asexual spectrum. Their identity can be defined as someone who does not experience sexual attraction unless they are sure that the other person is sexually attracted to them first.

The romantic and non-sexual counterpart of reciprosexual is called reciproromantic. To put it another way, a reciprosexual person primarily experiences sexual attraction and a reciproromantic person will likely have a romantic interest as an act of reciprocation. In essence, they may like you back, but they won’t be the first ones to do so.

How Do I Know if I’m Reciprosexual?

Here are some characteristics of being reciprosexual:

  • When you know someone is attracted to you, and then you suddenly feel desire for them too 
  • You don’t often experience sexual attraction for other people
  • Not having an interest in sexual intimacy unless there’s a specific person you desire 
  • Believing that your identity is somewhere within the asexual spectrum
  • You feel that sexual attraction is like a light switch that can be turned on and off depending on the circumstances 
  • You vibe with the word reciprosexual 

However, keep in mind that these are only a few signs of being reciprosexual. Every experience is unique to the person and has a different sexual threshold for their attractions. For instance, some reciprosexual people may not want to have sex, even after experiencing attraction to someone. 

In addition, not all reciprosexual people fall within the LGBTQ+ spectrum and can identify as straight. On the other hand, others may be part of the LGBTQ+ sexualities, with identities like bisexual or queer. 

Is There a Flag for Reciprosexuals?

The flag for reciprosexuals includes the color pink at the top of the flag. This color signifies attraction. There is also white in the flag, which means lack of attraction. Finally, the black part of the flag is for asexuality. 

Are These Relatively New Terms and Why Aren’t They as Known?

While it may seem that reciprosexual and reciproromantic are brand new labels since they aren’t discussed as much as other LGBTQ+ identities, they actually date back to 2005. 

According to Poly Land, these terms were considered controversial within the asexual community, with many ace individuals believing them to be pathologizing.  

However, reciprosexual and reciproromantic are not psychological diagnoses at all. In other words, they weren’t actual clinical labels, but they were clinical-sounding. However, since there was controversy within the community over these terms, it didn’t reach as many people, like the way the word demisexuality has, for instance.

In Summary

While the term reciprosexual is underrepresented in the media and not as known within the LGBTQ+ community, many people identify this way in the ace community. Hopefully, there will be more representation of this identity and other asexual identities in the future. 

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Billie Olsen

AUTHOR: Billie Olsen

Billie Olsen (she/they) is a lifestyle writer, disability justice advocate, and cozy femme located in Kelowna, BC, Canada. Their works have appeared in Metro News, Discorder, Sophomore Magazine, the Post-Feminist Post, DINE Magazine, and NerdReader.

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