Introduction to the Asexual and Aromantic Spectrums

An Introduction

Ace & Aro spectrums are two separate orientation spectrums–a sexual and a romantic one–with which to identify. These spectrums can create a multitude of identity combinations. “Ace” and “aro” are also umbrella terms used to refer to anyone with asexual and/or aromantic identities including demisexual and/or demiromantic and gray-a.

Asexual (ACE) is a sexual orientation characterized by a lack of sexual attraction toward any gender. “Ace”is short for “asexual,” just like “bi” is short for bisexual and “trans” is short for “transgender.”

Demisexual people can experience sexual attraction after a close emotional connection has formed. 

Aromantisicm (ARO) is a romantic orientation, which describes people whose experience of romance is disconnected from normative societal expectations, often due to experiencing little to no romantic attraction, or sometimes feeling repulsed by romance or being uninterested in romantic relationships. “Aro” is short for “aromantic.”

Demiromantic people can experience romantic attraction after a close emotional connection has formed.

Gray-A is considered the middle gray area between asexuality and sexuality on the sexual spectrum and between aromantic and romantic on the romantic spectrum. Demisexual and demiromantic identities fall underneath this “gray-a” identity.


Asexuality and aromanticism are two of the more recent areas being explored, included, and named in the LGBTQIA+ community. In this work, it is important to remember: all identities are self-identified. Never ascribe an identity to someone else. Let them tell you how they choose to identify. Like gender identity and gender expression, ace and aro identities can change over time.

A New Grid:

Adding Asexual and Aromantic to the Continuum

The horizontal spectrums represent the orientation of one’s romantic or sexual desire. The vertical gray aro and ace spectrums represent the intensity of one’s attraction toward that orientation. Although romantic orientation and sexual orientation might often correlate, they do not need to align. Plot yourself on each grid.

Interested in learning more about the different identities and helpful language surrounding our LGBTQIA+ siblings? Check out "Lutheran Introduction To Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, & Gender Expression" and purchase your copy today for $2.25 on the ReconcilingWorks eStore!