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Chantel Brink
Chantel Brink
April 5, 2024 ·  3 min read

What it means to be skoliosexual

For many, their sexual identity can be hard to explain. It’s can be hard to describe what you are feeling, and some aren’t yet ready to hear it. There are various sexualities or ways of describing who you are sexually attracted to. These include, but are not limited to, homosexuality, heterosexuality, bisexuality, and even asexuality, but have you ever heard of being skoliosexual?

Skoliosexuality means different things to different people,” says Laura Lee Townsend, a California-based clinical therapist. The easiest way to describe it is an attraction to non-binary individuals. This would refer to people who neither identify as male nor female.

For others, it’s a way to express that they are attracted to anyone who isn’t cisgender,” Townsend explained, referring to people who identify as the gender assigned to them at birth. “So it’s a term often used to describe an attraction to trans men and women.” A person who is attracted to someone who identifies as something different from their assigned gender role at birth or non-binary gender identification would be skoliosexual.

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What it means to be skoliosexual - couple hugging
Image Credit: Megan Ruth Pexels

Digging deeper into a skoliosexual mind

When you’re leaving room for ambiguity, it could even mean you’re attracted to those who play with gender norms. Using non-binary and trans are very fluid terms of reference here, disrupting our attachment with gender definitions and roles. One could see it as avoiding traditional ways of looking at sex and gender.

Read: Fresh push by Australian campaign to drop gendered terms like mom, dad, husband, or girlfriend

There is a difference between an attraction to non-conforming gendered individuals and fetishizing trans people.

Being sexualized specifically for having a certain gender presentation feels a bit icky and inauthentic,” says Cy Ozgood, a gender-fluid tarot reader in Milwaukee. “It feels like I’d have to stick with that to remain attractive, which isn’t something I want to do. I’d rather know the people who are drawn to the part of me that stays constant while my gender is always changing.”

What it means to be skoliosexual
Image Credit: Jacob Von Bank Pexels

Not all non-binary individuals felt this way

 “I don’t feel like I’ve personally been fetishized because of my gender presentation but in saying this, I do know a lot of my other gender non-conforming friends have.” Says Rae D’Agnillo, a PR account associate in San Francisco. They identify more regularly as non-binary lesbians. Often more attracted to gender non-conforming people than others as they feel safer and more accepted. Feeling validated in their relationships, they often tend to feel more confident about their chosen gender.

Do androgynous and skoliosexuals meet in the middle?

Doctor Tracey Anne Duncan seems to agree. “This resonates with me as a woman who can present as androgynous. I often feel more comfortable with genderqueer or non-binary folks because maybe if they aren’t playing by strict gender rules, they will accept the ways that I’m not either.”

The safest way to understand the term is to know that it means many different things. We should stop objectifying or fetishizing people and allow them the freedom to decide what it all means to them. Be free to be who you truly are.

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  1. What it means to be skoliosexual.” MIC. Tracey Anne Duncan. February 19, 2020.
  2. “What Is Skoliosexuality?” WebMD. September 21, 2022.
  3. “What Does It Mean to Be Skoliosexual?’ Healthline. Jun 28, 2019