Understanding Sexual Jargon

2015-11-17 06:12

With an ever-expanding awareness of sex and sexuality growing around us, what do sexual jargon terms like asexual, demisexual, sapiosexual and kink actually mean?

When it comes to sex and sexuality, we’re all curious as ten, but petrified as hell that anyone else will find out that we have and like sex, so we don’t share our information, either in social media, online or through word of mouth. So often, when do you learn something really cool, you don’t pass the information on out of shame or embarrassment.

Sexual jargon and lingo does evolve and change though, and below are a few more modern terms that will help you in your explorations and understanding.

Androgynous & Asexual

An androgynous person is someone whose looks do not clearly identify them as being female or male. A great example of this is Ruby Rose.

Often androgynous people will further enhance the features that confuse you, and dress in a way that makes it even more difficult to see their gender orientation.

An asexual person on the other hand, is a person who has little to no interest in having sex, either casually or in a relationship.

While asexual people have a very low libido (sex drive) and will actively avoid sexual contact or engagement, they often still want the romantic relationship, with cuddling, touching and kissing. Basically they want all the relationship aspects except sex.


If someone identifies as demisexual, what it means is that they need an emotional bond in order to be turned by a partner.

Being demisexual doesn’t always mean that you need a relationship and commitment to have sex, it just means that there needs to be genuine affection and connection for you to be turned on.

For many demisexual people the idea of casual sex is abhorrent and they actually don’t enjoy that kind of physical release at all.


A sapiosexual person is someone who is turned on by intellect and intelligence.

If you’re looking to cozy up to a sapiosexual, you’ll be have much more success at the bookstore than at a dress store.

BDSM, Kink & Vanilla

BDSM, kink and vanilla are very interconnected terms; in fact BDSM and kink are pretty much interchangeable.

BDSM stands for Bondage & Discipline, Dominance & Submission and Sadism & Masochism. Both BDSM and kink are basically umbrella terms for everything that falls outside the realm of mainstream accepted sexual practice.

Mainstream accepted sexual practice, or the plain stuff, is known as vanilla, because vanilla is the plainest flavor you get. Did I spell that one out too much lol? ?

The terms are also used to apply to people, as in a vanilla person, or she’s vanilla. If someone practices BDSM or participates in a fetish activity, then you can refer to them as being kinked, or a kinkster, with kinked obviously being derived from kinky.


LGBTQ is an acronym that stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bi (Bisexual), Trans and Queer/Questioning.

Originally LGBT, the Q was apparently added around the mid-90s for those who identify as queer, or are currently questioning their sexuality.

This umbrella term is really more to identify the movement of change sweeping around the world, in terms of affording LGBTQ communities the human dignities and rights they deserve, like the right to marry, have children together, be on each other’s medical insurance and more. All the things heterosexual couples take for granted.


Poly is a bit of an umbrella term for relationships where the partners are not sexually or emotionally monogamous with one another.

Poly setups can be in the form of open relationships, swinging, polygamy (one man, multiple wives), polyandry (one wife, multiple husbands) and polyamory, which takes multiple forms.

In open relationships, partners are often allowed to have sex with other people, alone and in private, with their partner’s consent. Emotional bonds may be forbidden though, and the partner may not always have knowledge of liaisons.

With swinging, couples will often move in known swinging circles, and usually default to a setup where they can only have sex with other people in front of each other, under specific circumstances, or in specific environments. Usually no emotional bonds are allowed to form and no private meetings are allowed to take place with other persons.

Polygamy and polyandry have been practiced around the world for years, and our president, Mr. Zuma, would be classified as polygamous.

A polyamorous relationship however, can take one of two main formats.

First, there’s the setup where polyamorous people will have one primary relationship, often live-in, and then secondary and tertiary romantic attachments to others. All the parties involved in this setup know about each other, and these are ongoing long-term romantic relationships.

The second poly option, which there is a surprising amount of happening actually, is where multiple partners choose to live together in the same home, in one big combined romantic relationship. In these cases, you may actually find three or four people sharing the same room and bed.

When using the terminology, it would be correct to say that somebody is poly, or polyamorous.

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