Cross-orientation describes a situation in which someone’s romantic orientation doesn’t ‘align’ with their sexual orientation, and is also known as a ‘mixed orientation’.

Often when we speak about ‘sexual orientation’, we assume that sexual and romantic orientation are the same thing. For example, we assume homosexual people are also homoromantic, that bisexual people are biromantic, that pansexual people are panromantic, that asexual people are aromantic, etc.

However, sexual attraction and romantic attraction are not the same thing.

An example of this would be a woman who could be sexually attracted to people no matter their gender, but only experiences romantic attraction to other women. She might describe her orientation as pansexual and homoromantic.

We could also imagine a situation in which a man has the potential to be romantically attracted to all people, no matter their gender, but is only sexually attracted to women. He might describe his orientation as panromantic and heterosexual.

Another example might be someone who is asexual – meaning they experience little to no sexual attraction to others – who experiences romantic attraction to their own gender. They might describe themselves as asexual and homoromantic.

More info:

Image by Michelle Avenant

Image by Michelle Avenant


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