What Is Androsexual?

the word androsexual spelled out in Scrabble tiles

Human sexuality is an ever evolving and expanding part of the human experience. Sexuality plays a role in the biological evolution and expansion of the human species. Sexual attraction is natural for us all and we can’t help who we like. There are various terms for describing one’s sexuality in regard to who we are attracted to. For example, heterosexual means you are attracted to someone of the opposite sex, while homosexual means you are attracted to the same sex. But androsexual is a term less commonly heard of and widely misunderstood. What does it mean to be androsexual and how do you know if you are?

What Is Androsexual?

Androsexual refers to a person who is sexually attracted to men, masculinity, and masculine energy. People who are androsexual are attracted to these masculine qualities regardless of the person’s sexual orientation or gender. An androsexual can be a person of any gender including male, female, or trans. A cisgender woman, for example, may consider herself an androsexual if she is attracted to men, transmen, or masculine women. In the same way, a cisgender man may also describe himself as an androsexual if he is attracted to men, transmen, or masculine women.

black and white closeup of a physically fit man's naked torso

How Does Androsexual Differ from Homosexuality and Heterosexuality?

To be androsexual means you are attracted to aspects of “maleness” like physical, mental, emotional, or sexual traits that are perceived to be masculine. Androsexual does not focus on the actual gender of the person or their sexual orientation. It is more so about their perceived male energy. Androsexual differs from homosexuality and heterosexuality in that both sexualities are tied to the gender of the person (either attracted to same sex or opposite sex) while androsexuals are not limited to gender.

Androsexual is a more fluid term for those trying to explain their sexual preferences. For example, an androsexual cisgender woman could be considered bisexual if she is attracted to both men and masculine women. However, that term would not be correct in describing her. Bisexual is a sexual orientation in which someone is attracted to people of both genders (male and female). If you are an androsexual cisgender woman, you are not attracted to women or female energy. You may be attracted to a woman with masculine energy or a transman, but not a woman who exhibits “femaleness”. Essentially, an androsexual is attracted to masculinity rather than a person’s genitals.

What To Know About Being Androsexual?

Androsexual vs. Androphilic

The term androsexual has Greek roots. The prefix “andro” in ancient Greek means “male”, “sexual” relating to sexual attraction, and “philic” meaning love. A rough translation to English could be to have sexual attraction or love for men, or maleness. You might hear androsexual be used interchangeably with androphilic. While they technically mean the same thing, they may mean different things to different people. Androphilic sounds more clinical, which could be off-putting to some people. Androphilic may also be used more so to refer to one’s genital preferences, not gender identity preferences. However, there is an aspect of personal interpretation of language. If you identify with being androphilic, then you can define what that means for you.

A Heterosexual Woman Isn’t Necessarily Androsexual

There is a misunderstanding that heterosexual women are by default androsexual. But this is not necessarily true. Although there may be women who consider themselves both heterosexual and androsexual, the two terms should not be used interchangeably. For example, some women would define heterosexuality to mean being attracted to biologically men only, not transgender men. Other women would consider themselves heterosexual if they are attracted to biological men as well as transgender men, but not necessarily masculine women. In the latter case, the second woman could be considered androsexual, but that’s up to her to define herself. Again, androsexual doesn’t necessarily define what biological sex you are attracted to, it simply defines the gender expression you’re attracted to. But each person gets to define what “masculinity” or “maleness” means for them.

heterosexual couple in bed embracing

A Homosexual Man Can Also Be Androsexual

A homosexual man can be androsexual but not always by default. For example, a man who considers themself a homosexual is attracted to people of the same gender. But for some homosexual men, their idea of being male may also translate to transgender men (but likely not masculine women). These men may consider themselves both a homosexual and androsexual. Of course, it gets a little more complicated when someone considers themselves a non-binary person. Non-binary is a sexual orientation where an individual identifies as neither a male or female, or both. These people may be assigned female or male at birth. So, someone assigned male at birth but who identifies as a non-binary person, may be attracted to men but not consider themselves homosexual, because they don’t consider themselves a man.

Transmen Can Be Androsexual

A transgender man is a person who transitioned from female to male and now identifies with masculinity. Transmen may also be androsexual if they are attracted to men, other transmen, or masculine women. However, they may also consider themselves homosexual at the same time. Or they may consider themselves homosexual and not androsexual if they are only attracted to biological men. Again, how people choose to identify or explain their sexuality comes down to personal interpretation.

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How Do You Know If You’re Androsexual?

Defining your sexuality is a personal matter and really comes down to how you, yourself choose to identify. There is no right or wrong way to experience sexual attraction. Just because you find yourself attracted to one type of person one day, doesn’t mean you need to identify with that related sexual orientation. To clarify, say you are a cisgender woman who generally finds herself attracted to biological men. However, one day you find yourself attracted to a woman or transwoman. Being attracted to this woman or transwoman does not necessarily make you lesbian, or even bisexual. Again, you get to define what your sexuality means to you. Also, keep in mind that sexuality is fluid. Maybe for the most part you identify as heterosexual but on occasion, find yourself attracted to someone of the same sex. There’s nothing wrong with being fluid in your sexuality. What’s wrong is when other people try to pigeonhole you into choosing a sexual orientation based on what they perceive of your sexuality or sexual preferences

Are You Androsexual for Having a Sex Dream About Someone Masculine?

Dreams are not well understood as far as what meaning they have in our lives. Some people claim that dreams are our inner subconscious expressing themselves and our real-world desires. Others would describe dreams as being nonsense, or letting our imagination run wild while we’re sleeping. Dreams are open to everyone’s interpretation and while most of us can agree some dreams hold meaning, a lot of our dreams don’t make sense at all. Sex dreams can very well mean you have hidden sexual desires for someone. Or they can mean something different entirely. Having a sex dream about someone masculine does not automatically mean you are androsexual. It could just mean that person has been on your mind and somehow got caught up in your sexy thoughts. What matters is how you feel in your waking life. Only you can consciously determine your sexual preferences.

Am I Androsexual If I’m Attracted to Biological Men But Not Transmen?

Technically, you could be androsexual if you are attracted to biological men but not transmen. Androphiles are attracted to maleness, which is anything from physical features, to energy vibes, to emotional aspects. But everyone has their own definition of what maleness means to them. You may be specifically attracted to certain physical characteristics that typically only biological men have. Such as height, muscle mass, or body hair for example. In that case, transmen who are not as likely to have those features might not be attractive to you. But if you are attracted to these qualities of maleness, then you are likely attracted to homosexual men as well.

Can I Be Androsexual and Lesbian?

Someone who identifies as a lesbian could be considered androsexual if they are attracted to masculine women but not necessarily cisgender men. Lesbian is a sexual orientation in which a biological woman is attracted to other biological women, however, transwomen may also identify as lesbian if they are attracted to other transgender women or biological women. But a lesbian who is only attracted to masculine females over feminine women may be considered androsexual.

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Is There a Quiz To Take To Determine If I Am Androsexual?

There is no quiz to take to determine if you are androsexual. Determining your sexual preferences or sexuality is not necessarily like ticking off boxes on a worksheet. Everyone expresses their sexuality differently and being androphile may mean something different for everyone. So how can you tell if you are androphilic? Ask yourself what you find attractive in other people.

Do you tend to be attracted more to what we perceive as “maleness”? Are there certain attitudes, styles, speech, or characteristics typically associated with men that you find attractive? Are your feelings of attraction based on these characteristics rather than the actual sex or gender identity of the person? If you answer yes to any of these questions, you could be androsexual. However, that’s up to you to determine. The bottom line is if you are attracted to someone, you’re attracted to them. You need to give no other explanation than that.

How To Talk to Others About Being Androphilic

Opening up about your sexuality can be a difficult conversation for anyone. Unfortunately, other expressions of sexuality are not well understood beyond heterosexuality. In many cultures around the world and even here in the US, identifying as something other than straight is taboo. But times are changing, and the world is becoming more open to both gender identity and other sexual orientations. While it is no one’s business but your own (and the person you’re dating), you may want to express your sexuality to your friends and family. Here’s how to talk to others about being androphilic:

Pick the Right Time

When you decide to speak to your friends and loved ones about being androphilic, be sure to pick the right time. Make sure you tell them when they are in a relaxed mood and atmosphere. Deciding to broach the subject after they’ve had a stressful day or are showing signs of irritation is not the best time to talk to them. When we’re in a bad mood, we’re much less likely to be receptive to new ideas and conversations. Similarly, make sure the atmosphere you’re in is calming and relaxing. Trying to have a serious conversation in a rowdy bar, for example, will be difficult. Not only will you struggle to make yourself heard, but the atmosphere will be distracting. Find a time and place when your friends and loved ones can give you their full, uninterrupted attention.

Close up of man with lipstick, nail polish, and a mustache

Explain to Them Sexuality Fluidity

Not everyone understands sexual fluidity. Many cultures and upbringings do not encourage sexual expression outside of the heteronormative. They may have been taught to discourage any other form of sexual identity or to condemn it. It can be frustrating to have family members or friends who think this way. Being fearful of a negative reaction is a huge cause for concern among people who identify as being androsexual. But just because someone doesn’t understand sexual fluidity, doesn’t mean they can’t be taught. Take time to explain sexual fluidity to your friends and loved ones before revealing to them your sexual orientation. Offer your opinions on how you feel about it and why identifying as androsexual (or any other sexual orientation) is a personal choice and not a bad thing.

It’s very likely that after a while, your friends and family will come around. People fear what they don’t understand, it’s the nature of human beings. But if your friends and family are willing to talk and have an open mind about the subject, they can learn to understand.

Let Them Know This Doesn’t Change Their Relationship With You

Coming out to your friends and family doesn’t change who you are as a person. If you had a great relationship with your friends and loved ones before, there is no reason you shouldn’t have a great relationship with them going forward. You will still be the same person after coming out as androsexual. The only difference you may feel is a sense of relief. Now that you are out and in the open about your sexuality, you’ll be free to be yourself entirely. You will no longer feel the need to fake or evade questions about your sexuality. You will feel more comfortable about liking who you like and telling your friends or family about them. But assure your friends and family that other than feeling more comfortable with yourself, your relationship with them won’t change. You will still love them just as much as you did before.

Interracial gay couple embracing

Exploring Androsexual

Your sexuality is no one’s business but your own and the person you’re dating. If you think you are androsexual, then feel no shame in expressing yourself as such. But if you’re not sure, that’s fine too. Dating can be tricky no matter what sexuality you are. Although, not knowing what your sexual orientation is may be frustrating both for you and the people you’re interested in dating. If you are still playing the field and figuring yourself out, let the people you date know that. Tell them you’re still figuring yourself out. If you are both attracted to each other, it shouldn’t matter what sexuality you identify with. But if your date is uncomfortable with your sexuality (or lack of knowing your sexuality) that’s a telling sign you might not be right for each other. Everyone deserves to be with someone who accepts them for who they are. Being androsexual is part of who you are and should therefore be accepted by your romantic partner.

The Takeaway

Androsexual is a term to describe those attracted to “maleness” but not confined to being attracted to men alone. The idea of what constitutes “maleness” can change depending on what your personal view of maleness is, along with cultural and societal norms. Therefore, your idea of what it means to be androsexual may differ from someone else’s. How you choose to define yourself is up to you, and you alone. There is nothing wrong with liking who you like. It’s entirely normal and possible that your sexual preferences may change over time and it’s fine to admit as such. Your sexuality is your own business. And if your sexual experiences are consensual, you’re not doing anything wrong by liking who you like.

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