Fraysexual (ignotasexual) - What is it? What does it mean?

Last Updated: 12/16/2022
4 min read
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What is it?

Fraysexuality (ignotasexual) is the orientation of those who more easily feel sexually attracted to people they have just met rather than to those they have built an emotional connection with.

For fraysexuals, a romantic relationship can be built upon sexual and romantic attraction, but the sexual attraction typically fades as the relationship evolves and the two partners become more intimate. Unlike sexual interest, however, romantic attraction usually remains.

What does it mean?

What sexually attracts fraysexual individuals is newness and fresh experiences. The more they get to know someone, or the closer they become to them emotionally, the less sexual desire they feel towards that same person.

A fraysexual person can still experience romantic feelings towards their partner even when their sexual attraction has faded, meaning they do not necessarily jump from relationship to relationship. Nevertheless, the couple's sex life naturally suffers, and in long-term relationships, any of the parties will be prone to leave an unhappy relationship.

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Similar Terms and Differences

Fraysexual and Demisexual

Demisexuality is the complete opposite of fraysexuality. 

A demisexual person only experiences sexual attraction towards those they are romantically/emotionally connected to, whereas the fraysexual individual will lose sexual interest as they forge an emotional bond with someone. 

Demisexuality references the impossibility of sexual connection until a romantic relationship is formed, and fraysexuality is losing interest in someone you previously felt sexually attracted to once you became emotionally close to them.

Fraysexual and Asexual

Although it can roughly be categorized as a sexual orientation, the truth is that fraysexuality doesn't indicate to which genders the individual experiences sexual attraction towards or how exactly they define their sexual interests apart from preferring new acquaintances over old lovers. 

This means that fraysexual people can assume any gender or sexual identity. Fraysexual folks can be non-binary, homosexual, queer, heterosexual, pansexual, etc. 

As such, fraysexuality is also commonly placed under the grey asexuality category, an umbrella term for circumstances or labels between the sexuality and asexuality spectrums, i.e., that fall under neither of the two.

Fraysexuality falls under the asexuality umbrella, because it names an experience of sexual attraction that falls outside of β€˜the standard way.’ 

β€” Lateef Taylor, polyamory inclusive sex educator

Fraysexuality and Fear of Commitment

More often than not, fraysexual folks are misunderstood by society and, most of all, by their partners. So are those with a fear of commitment, making these two terms prone to being misused or confused for one another.

A fraysexual partner can be loving, respectful, and even want to pursue long-term relationships, but inevitably, denying their drive for new sexual experiences will wear them down. They have no say as to when their sexual attraction fades and no control over the desire they develop towards strangers or acquaintances.

The opposite happens with individuals who experience fear of commitment. Their motivation for leaving or rejecting a profound connection as they become more and more attached to their partners is made out of immense fear, fomented by past trauma. It's a deliberate decision and not a natural impulse. 

Fraysexuality and Polyamory

When fraysexual folks cease to feel sexually attracted to their partners, they are still left emotionally bonded to them, making long-term monogamous relationships difficult to build but also extremely painful to leave. 

What is more, each couple has its preferred relationship structure, and what is acceptable and unacceptable within a relationship depends entirely on a person's perspective. This means that many couples may choose more flexible boundaries for a more healthy romantic and sexual lifestyle.

For the fraysexual individuals, in particular, bending the rules and abandoning a monogamous point of view might be able to salvage their happiness and the happiness of their partners. After all, a healthy relationship is made up of compromise and tolerance. 

How to Know If You're Fraysexual

Labeling how we feel about ourselves and others can be a difficult process, especially in a prejudiced and judging world. Do your best to clear your mind of any biases, and use the following questions as guidelines to ask yourself if this is really the right term for you.

  • Do you crave romantic stability but find yourself losing sexual interest over time?
  • Do you feel immense sexual attraction at the early stages of a relationship and notice a progressive decrease as you get to know the other person?
  • Do you fail to rekindle the flame, no matter how emotionally invested you are?
  • Do you find yourself more sexually drawn to strangers or acquaintances rather than to people you already know well?
  • Do you feel romantically and emotionally happy with your partner but progressively stopped feeling sexually attracted to them?

If your answer to most of these questions was yes, fraysexual might be the right label for you. If questioning yourself using these guidelines left you more confused than you were before, that's okay, too; there might be other, more appropriate labels to describe how you feel, or you might just not have fully understood your own standpoint yet.

The key to clarity is to be tolerant with yourself and remove any urges to censor your thoughts or impulses. Whether you're fraysexual or not, as long as you accept yourself, sexual and romantic fulfillment is possible, one way or another. Sometimes, all it takes is the will to unlearn a few toxic biases.

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Juliana is a 25-year old lawyer and translator born in Porto, Portugal. Since 2019, she's been involved with many projects related to the Taimi app, from localization and business development to customer support and external communications.

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