What Does It Mean To Be Apothisexual?

At some point, you've probably heard someone else describe something that they love but you simply don't feel like it's for you. Think about another person describing an ice cream flavor they say is the best ever, and even though you can't think of a less tasty flavor you're totally okay, or at least neutral, with their liking of the flavor. Gender and sexuality identities are certainly more important than ice cream flavors, but the analogy may be helpful in understanding what it means to be apothisexual, an identity on the asexual spectrum that is hallmarked by a repulsion or aversion to sexual activity (via asexuals). However, just like how you may dislike an ice cream flavor yourself but be absolutely fine with other people enjoying it, people who identify as apothisexual generally have a personal aversion to sex but are supportive of others engaging in sexual activities.

Of course, one size, flavor, or identity doesn't fit everyone. Like all sexual identities, apothisexual can be nuanced, and it's definitely as individualized and unique as each person themselves. According to Medical News Today, the asexual specification is both a spectrum and an umbrella term for many identities, including apothisexual. It's reported that one percent of people fall somewhere under the asexual umbrella, but it's believed that more people could actually be on the asexuality spectrum than are officially documented. Here's what you should know about what it means to be apothisexual, an identity beneath the asexuality umbrella.

Asexual feelings about sex fall into three categories

Frequently referred to as ace, or being an ace, the asexuality distinction carries numerous identities that fall on a wide spectrum of individualized factors, per Talkspace. Apothisexual is an asexual identity that can be distinguished through the lens of ace feelings about sex. For people on the spectrum of asexuality, there are three broad categories into which attraction to sex itself falls for individuals. These categories are sex positive, sex neutral, and sex negative. 

Asexuality that is sex positive usually constitutes a lack of felt sexual attraction, but approving or complimentary feelings and thoughts about sexual activity. Some people with asexual identities engage in relationships involving sex while others avoid it, but the general perception regardless of personal engagement is that sex is a natural human behavior and a healthy aspect of life. On the other end of the spectrum, being sex negative indicates a degree of off-putting feeling towards sex or even a complete lack of commendation for sex altogether. For people who are sex negative, they may feel disgusting or nauseated by the prospect of sexual activity. In the middle of the spectrum of these categories is being sex neutral, in which a person doesn't necessarily have a favorable or unfavorable view of sex, but instead feels indifferent about sex. Sometimes being sex neutral is an experience that dictates a person's individual feelings towards sex, while other times it may define their feelings about others engaging in sexual activity as well.

The context of sex aversion

Being apothisexual is nuanced in its category placement with an emphasis on neutrality, even though the description of being sex repulsed might be thought to be synonymous with being sex negative. The Asexual Visibility & Education Network states that people who are sex negative often desire censorship of the sexual activity of others, including depictions of sex in media. In contrast, being apothisexual frequently comes with a literal neutrality towards other people having sex, even an approval of others engaging in sexual activity. 

Most people who are ace don't possess intrinsic desires or needs for having sex themselves, which isn't always congruent with their feelings about others having sex. In the context of feelings about sex, being sex repulsed or sex averse is defined as having a reaction ranging from total disdain at the prospect of oneself engaging in sexual activity to feeling completely indifferent towards sex while not having any desire to have sex of any kind themselves. Simply put, being apothisexual often comes with a pure lack of desire for sexual activity. The sex aversion experienced is much like a thought that never crosses the mind, something that just doesn't seem appealing on a personal level. However, that doesn't mean that there is a repulsion to others having sex. While being apothisexual is sex neutral or sex negative when it comes to personal engagement in sex, the feelings about other people being sexual fall more into categories of sex positive or sex neutral.