Autosexuality: Are you sexually attracted to yourself?

Phrases like autosexual and autoromantic might seem brand new, but they’re just as normal and natural as other sexual orientation and gender identity terms entering our vocabulary.

Sexuality and desire are nuanced, fluid, and ever-changing. We can all feel love and desire for many things - including ourselves. 

What are autosexuality and autoromanticism? Ways of experiencing desire, pleasure, and romance that focus on one thing: the self.

Think you might be sexually attracted to yourself? Let’s learn about these orientations and see if they ring true for you.

Elegant woman sleeping on chair holding flowers

What is autosexuality? Are you sexually attracted to yourself?

Someone who is autosexual feels sexual attraction and desire, but primarily for themselves and never or rarely for other people.

Autosexual people may experience more arousal from themselves and their bodies than from others around them. They may enjoy masturbation (even more than most!), sexually fantasise about themselves, and feel more arousal from, say, nude photos of themselves than photos or erotic media that includes other people.

But this doesn’t mean autosexual people never enjoy partnered sex. You may be sexually attracted to yourself and occasionally desire or feel aroused by another person. Like other orientations, this one exists on a spectrum and each individual can choose how they define and experience their desire.

Is autosexuality the same as asexuality?

Someone who is asexual, also called an ‘ace,’ experiences little to no sexual attraction towards other people.

Although asexuality is often put under the asexual umbrella (‘asexual spectrum’ or ‘ace-spec’), being asexual is not the same as being autosexual.

What is autosexuality? Not a fixed category.

Sexual identities often interrelate and overlap. Someone can identify as both autosexual and asexual, or one and then the other. These terms aren’t restrictive. Rather, they are useful tools to help us understand and communicate our individual desires.

Smiling woman touching stomach lying on sofa at home

Autosexual and autoromantic: what’s the difference?

What is autosexuality about? As the name suggests, the term autosexual refers to the nature and direction of an individual's sexual desire, while autoromantic refers to romantic desire.

Someone who is autoromantic primarily desires romantic intimacy. They may take themselves on dates and buy themselves gifts, and they consider it a dynamic in which they both give and receive love.

An autoromantic person may feel little or no romantic attraction for other people. And not everyone who is autoromantic is autosexual and vice versa.

An individual may feel the most sexual attraction towards their own being and body (autosexual) while desiring romantic partnerships with others (not autoromantic).

What is autoeroticism? 

Autoeroticism refers to the act of masturbation or other forms of erotic self-stimulation, exploration, and play and is practised by nearly everyone worldwide.

While autosexuality is a sexual orientation, autoeroticism is an action or practice, one of receiving sexual gratification or pleasure from yourself rather than from external sources, like another person.

An autoerotic person understands and has erotic desire but prefers to satisfy desires alone rather than with other people.

Person holding sex toy in bed

Am I Autosexual?

Do you feel sexually attracted to yourself? Many people have autosexual tendencies. Like being turned on by our bodies, or enjoying masturbation.

Like other orientations, this one exists on a spectrum. You may feel that one, none, or all these signs of autosexuality fit you. You may identify with more than one orientation at the same time, or change your orientation several times over the course of your life. That’s normal!

  • Think you might be autosexual? 5 questions to ask yourself
  • Are you aroused by the thought of having sex with others? Does the thought of masturbation or touching your nude body turn you on?
  • Do you feel sexually attracted to other people? Do you think you feel sexual attraction less than people around you?
  • Do you have sexual fantasies involving other people? Or yourself?
  • Does the term ‘autosexual’ feel comfortable and right to you?

There’s no need to pick a side and stay there

If you think you might be autosexual, great! If not, also great! What is autosexuality all about? Not pressuring yourself to be one thing or another.

Forms of attraction are on a continuum and fall into different categories - sexual, physical, romantic, emotional - which overlap or change over time, or when you meet someone new (or explore a new side of your solo pleasure).

Remember that identifying with a sexual orientation shouldn’t restrain you. An autosexual or autoromantic person might want to enjoy sexual or intimate relationships with other people.

Queer couple with rainbow light symbol

Sexuality terms like bisexual, gynosexual, demisexual, and more, aren’t supposed to create limits or fix identities. They are there to help us understand the nuances of sexuality, find community, and share your experience with those around you to have more satisfying sex and relationships.

Autosexuality and autoromanticism haven’t been widely studied and we are all discovering new possibilities for pleasure and growth all the time.

Are you sexually attracted to yourself? Take pride in your desire, wherever it takes you.