Here's What You Should Know About Fraysexuality

Sexuality is complicated. As an umbrella term for all things sexuality-related, like thoughts, feelings, and attractions toward others, it's hardly a simple topic to tackle. In fact, Healthline listed 47 types of sexualities, and even the most knowledgeable on the subject just might look at some of the terms and exclaim, "Oh, so that's what I am!"

Linked to sexuality, although not exactly tied, is romantic orientation. Romantic orientation is how you date, fall in love, or what emotional intimacy looks like to you (via Greatist). Also known as affectional orientation, romantic orientation is personal and how one identifies themselves from aromatic to grayromantic, to all the orientations in between. Like sexual orientation, this part of ourselves can change over time, as life experiences and human interaction can play a role in who we are, who we desire, and who we want to cuddle up with on the couch on a Friday night.

Orientation, for some, is ever-revolving, meaning you could identify as gay and homoromantic, then realize in time you're bisexual and panromantic. It makes orientation so exciting because no one is just one thing, and for those who love — or even need — labels, there's pretty much a label for everyone and everything. What a fun time to be alive, yes?

Among those romantic orientations is fraysexuality. Perhaps the term isn't as well-known as other orientations, but that doesn't mean there isn't a slew of people out there who are fraysexual but just didn't realize there was a term for it.

What is fraysexuality

Unlike some gender and sexual orientations, fraysexuality is all-encompassing. In other words, anyone, no matter how they identify, can be fraysexual. "Someone who is fraysexual typically feels sexual attraction for a person after initially meeting them but this fades as the emotional bond strengthens," sex and relationships expert Dr. Lurve tells Body+ Soul.

Like many orientations, fraysexuality is misunderstood. Just the definition alone can lead some to think that a fraysexual has a fear of commitment since they want to bail when the emotions kick in, but that's not the case. As sex therapist Ty David Lerman tells Men's Health, those who are frayseuxal "struggle with misunderstandings that they ... can never hold a relationship ... [and] dodge accusations about having commitment issues."

Yes, when a fraysexual gets to know someone, the sexual interest burns off rather quickly, but that doesn't mean, despite the emotional connection, they stop caring. It's not as though frayseuxals are the Tin Man running around town looking for a heart. It's just that the initial sexual desire fades out and how they interact with their partner from then on isn't very sexual anymore. It's hard to be sexual when your sexual desire is gone.

How to know if you're fraysexual

Like any orientation, you can't run to the doctor and get diagnosed as fraysexual. Instead, you just inherently know that you are, even if you aren't aware of the word for it. However, you might be fraysexual if you crave sex with people you don't know; then, when you start to know them and an emotional bond brewing, the craving to be sexual with them wears off. Although sexual desire does tend to dwindle after being with a partner for a while and the relationship reaches the attachment phase, for a fraysexual, that desire fades quicker and earlier.

But despite how this might sound, especially to someone who doesn't understand it, it doesn't mean that fraysexuals can't have loving and deeply intimate relationships. It just takes a lot of work on the part of the fraysexual because feelings of abandonment by their partner are inevitable. It's hard to be in a relationship when you don't feel sexually desired by the person you sexually desire.

"What often ends up being the most supportive thing you could do is to de-center sex in your relationship and see what other ways you enjoy connecting and what other kinds of intimacy are fulfilling," sex educator Aubri Lancaster tells Cosmopolitan. "While somebody who is on the asexual spectrum may not want sex to be part of a relationship, they may find there are a lot of other ways they really enjoy connecting that are more fulfilling."

But what's important to realize, especially if you struggle with your fraysexuality, is just because you identify as fraysexual now doesn't mean you always will. This is your journey, and you can take whatever road feels right at any time in your journey.