Our Definition

refers to a person’s pattern of experiencing attraction, usually sexual or romantic. Can specify the gender(s) one is attracted to, or the circumstances and degrees to which one experiences attraction.

Common Practices

Everyone is different! You'll see this repeated throughout our website and glossary. Common practices pertaining to orientation include, but certainly aren't limited to:
  • Using terms to self identify based on how they feel to you, on a personal level. 
  • Using more general/broad language when speaking about one’s orientation to strangers while preferring more specific and descriptive language in intimate company. 
  • Finding meaning in being able to accurately label your lived experiences.
  • Rejecting some or in some cases all labels regarding orientation.

Bobby prefers the split attraction model when discussing orientation, identifying as asexual and panromantic

Jill likes to keep it simple if someone asks her orientation, preferring to leave it as “I’m queer” 

When Pierre talks about his orientation, he includes qualifiers describing the degree to which he experiences attraction rather than focusing only on who he is attracted to. The label “grey aro-ace” fits him best. 

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Real Life Examples

We're gathering short anecdotes on this topic from experienced kinksters!
If you'd like to be quoted in our glossary, please email us a single paragraph describing the practices you'd like to share, along with whatever name you'd like to be credited with.
If your definition differs from ours, tell us how and why! We want to illustrate as many sides of kink as we can to both normalize kink and the diversity within it.

Recent Glossary Entries


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