What is A-Spec?
A-spec is the umbrella term for anyone who experiences little to no romantic to sexual attraction. This includes aromantics, asexuals, as well as demis, and greys. Unlike people saying they are gay or bi, a-specs rely heavily on the split attraction model and often feel the need to specify both romantic and sexual attraction since they aren't presumed to match.
The Split Attraction Model
The Split Attraction Model allows people to clarify how they experience attraction by breaking it up into different types of attraction and then who that person is attracted to. In most people romantic and sexual orientations match up but understanding this model gives people freedom to explore. A person may be heteromantic and bisexual, an andromantic asexual, or any other combination of orientations.
Many people break up attraction into 6 different categories:
Sexual Attraction: A desire to engage in sexual activities with another person.
Romantic Attraction: A desire to be romantic with a person. What counts as romance differs from person to person and can include all kinds of things such as kissing or cohabitation.
Aesthetic Attraction: This is attraction based upon appreciating a person's appearance. This does not have to be sexual or romantic and is closer to how one would admire a painting in a museum.
Sensual Attraction: This is a desire to interact with another person in a way that could be seen as physical or tactile. This can include cuddling, holding hands, or listening to a person's voice.
Emotional Attraction: This is an attraction based on personality and other associations one might have with a person. This often results in the desire to form an emotional bond with a person.
Intellectual Attraction: This is a desire to be intellectually engaged with a person.
Aromantacism is a lack of romantic attraction. Aromantics or "Aros" people usually fulfill their emotional needs through platonic relationships. Aromantics can experience sexual attraction.
Asexuality is a lack of sexual attraction. Asexuals or "Aces" were first identified by Alfred Kinsey in 1948 as Category "X" and part of the queer community since at least the Stonewall Riots but began to become organized in 2001. Aces can have and enjoy sex, and masturbate but find that libido and attraction are separate. Aces that do experience romantic attraction sometimes do date but may need to communicate their boundaries more than others.
Grey- is a prefix attached onto the front of an orientation that describes how that attraction manifests. Greys are between allos (those who experience attraction) and asexuals and aromantics (who do not). Greys experience attraction but at a lower level and less often than is considered typical. This manifests in many ways: in attraction being rare, or weak, a desire for it to not be reciprocated, or attraction that is not quite the attraction one expects but is the best fit, or for an emotional attachment to be there first.
Demi- is a prefix attached onto the front of an orientation to describe how that attraction manifests and is under the grey umbrella. "Demis" don't experience attraction towards someone until there is an emotional connection.
The term autochorissexual was coined by Anthony Bogaert and is derived from ‘autochoris’ which translates to 'identity-less sexuality’. It is a subset of asexuality which is defined as: a disconnection between oneself and a sexual target/object of arousal; may involve sexual fantasies or arousal in response to erotica or pornography, but lacking any desire to be a participant in the sexual activities therein. Auticorisoromantacism is the romantic equivalent of this, with romantic fantasies instead.