How Do I Know If I’m Cupiosexual?

Cupiosexual sits under the broad asexual umbrella, but has its own specific meaning. What is cupiosexuality, and how can you know if the term applies to you?

As we know, sexuality exists on a spectrum, and orientations can change constantly. Have you sometimes wondered why you were less interested in sex than your peers? If so, cupiosexual might be a term you identify with.

Legs of tattooed couple in bed black and white

While we’ve only started talking about cupiosexuality in recent years, there’s no doubt that cupiosexuality isn’t new.

What is cupiosexuality? As we continue to learn about the fascinating nuances of sexuality and identity, new sexuality terms enter our vocabulary.

While terms like straight, gay, and bisexual are familiar to many of us, lesser-known terms like gynosexual, pansexual, and cupiosexual seem new to us but are just as real.

Learning the language of sexuality not only encourages inclusivity but also helps us better understand the shades of our own desires, express ourselves to friends and lovers, and find community.

What is cupiosexuality?

Simply put, someone who is cupiosexual does not experience sexual attraction, but does experience desire for or enjoy aspects of a sexual relationship with someone.

In other words, a cupiosexual person isn’t sexually attracted to people, but they might enjoy the experience of having sex or actively want to have sex with their partner.

This may seem hard to wrap your head around, but think about this: there are different reasons people crave sex besides sexual attraction.

Two friends cheek to cheek with rainbow light

In place of sexual attraction can be an awareness or sense that they desire something sex can give them, like physical release or emotional connection.

Someone may not be sexually attracted to people in general but still desire the pleasurable sensation of sex, the release of orgasm or the physical closeness of sex.

They might enjoy the romantic and emotional intimacy of having sex with and sharing pleasure with someone they care about.

It’s possible to experience these desires without feeling sexual attraction or actively craving sex when they meet someone they are drawn to.

What's the difference between cupiosexual and asexual?

Someone who is asexual experiences little or no sexual attraction.

Cupiosexual is a label within the asexual spectrum. In other words, it is a more specific form of asexuality.

The asexual spectrum is a broad one that encompasses different identities within it, such as graysexual and demisexual. It’s important to remember that being asexual doesn’t mean someone never has sex or wants to have sex.

Two hands in pinkie promise action

An asexual person may have sex for a plethora of reasons that don’t come from being sexually attracted to an individual. But if an asexual person doesn’t experience any desire to have sex, the label cupiosexual wouldn’t apply to them.

The prefix “cupio” means desire or longing, which can help you remember the difference between cupiosexuality and asexuality.

Embracing your cupiosexuality

Finding a sexual orientation term that feels like it fits you should be liberating, not restrictive. Even if you identify as cupiosexual, that doesn’t mean you should alter your behavior or mindset or condense your desires to fit that label.

Use the term to find acceptance and belonging and a self-understanding that enables you to explore your sexuality even further.

Cupiosexual sometimes feel excluded from both asexual and allosexual (people who experience sexual attraction to others) communities because they neither fit the stereotype of an asexual person as someone who has no interest in sex, nor do they experience attraction like allosexual people.

Female friends in strong pose with fists raised

What is cupiosexuality, and how many cupiosexual people are out there? While there hasn’t been much research into this type of asexuality, you can rest assured you’re not alone.

Find communities online or talk about your feelings with friends and lovers, and don’t feel pressured by yourself or others if you’re just not into something everyone else is. Do you.