A sex therapist breaks down everything you need to know about autosexuality.
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How to Know If You're 'Autosexual'
Credit: Stocksy

Do you possibly enjoy masturbating more than partnered sex? Do you find yourself being attracted to yourself more than other people? If you answered yes to these questions, you might be autosexual. (And if not, you should still read on!)

To answer a question some of you might be thinking — no, autosexuality is not new. Rather, we are just beginning to normalize and learn about it (and all of the possibilities that humans are capable of feeling and desiring) thoroughly. Because here's the thing about sexuality: you can't put it in a box.

Ahead, what it actually means to be autosexual, what it definitely doesn't mean, plus a few signs that you might be autosexual.

What does it mean to be autosexual?

Being autosexual generally means that a person is more attracted to themselves and mostly enjoys solo sex more than partnered sex. This could entail fantasizing about one's self, dreaming about one's self, and having a sexual desire for one's self.

Sexuality is a fluid spectrum, and autosexuality falls more closely to self-desire and pleasure — meaning that an autosexual person derives a great amount of satisfaction and pleasure from experiencing themself sexually. This differs a bit from autoromanticism, which is when someone is romantically attracted to/in love with themselves.

A few common misconceptions about autosexuality:

Being autosexual is "unhealthy."

Quite the contrary, actually. Being autosexual is a perfectly healthy expression of sexual desire — in fact, it can be quite liberating and empowering to sink into this amount of eroticism with oneself. 

What potentially isn't "healthy" is trying to make yourself press into something you don't feel comfortable with — meaning if you don't enjoy partnered sex as much as solo but you pressure yourself to do it — examine the 'why' behind that. Again, even though it's just becoming more widely normalized, autosexuality is an absolutely healthy form of sexual expression and not 'weird'. (Let's just get rid of the word 'weird' when we're talking about people's desires, okay?)

If you're autosexual, you never want to have sex with anyone else.

Not true. There are plenty of autosexual people who have sexual and/or romantic relationships with other people — being autosexual does not mean you're incapable of desiring or loving someone else. Even though they are most attracted to themselves sexually, it doesn't take away from their connection with other people, because that's just not how people and relationships work!

Being autosexual is narcissistic. 

Once again — nope! It's not narcissistic to have a preference, even if that preference is, well, yourself! If you're askinga me, the only reason we even ask this question is because our society teaches us that it's okay to be confident and love ourselves — but only to a certain point. Once you pass that point, it's narcissistic and over the top. I call bullshit. When it comes to autosexuality, this is someone's preference, and what they desire isn't causing any harm to anyone or themselves. 

You have high self-esteem. 

This is a misconception for a couple of reasons: Autosexuality is a sexuality — not a character trait. You don't get to choose to be autosexual, just like you don't get to choose to be gay, straight, asexual, or trans. And just because autosexuality involves someone finding themselves attractive doesn't mean that they are "full of themselves" or have very high self-esteem. Like all of us, they are most likely just figuring it out as they go.

Autosexual is the same as asexual.

People who identify as asexual experience minimal to no sexual arousal or desires. This differs from autosexuality because autosexual people do feel the feelings of arousal, intimacy, and pleasure —just with themselves. 

5 signs you might be autosexual:

First, a little disclaimer about this section: It's possible to be a little autosexual. After all, sexuality is a spectrum! Maybe you find yourself sexy and feel particularly erotic in certain lingerie or using a specific sex toy — great, press into that! You don't have to be all or nothing — just do what feels good and what you enjoy.

1. You prefer sex with yourself more than other people.

Again, this is one of the key indicators of autosexuality. However, this doesn't mean someone who is autosexual exclusively prefers masturbating over sex with a partner, but mostly

2. You often enjoy sex (of any kind) in front of a mirror.

Who doesn't love a little sneak peek of what the sex you're having looks like every now and again? Well, for autosexual individuals, this might be particularly hot or even necessary for their playtime.

3. You are deeply attracted to yourself.

As a sex therapist, I believe it's important to think highly of yourself, build yourself up, and show yourself self-love. For autosexual people, though, there is a sexual level of attraction that many people might not necessarily experience with themselves. This is one of the reasons autosexuals feel like they can meet all their own sexual needs — because not only can they pleasure themselves, but they are attracted to themselves while doing it.

4. You fantasize about yourself.

Whether you are masturbating or having partnered sex, it's normal for our minds to wander to different fantasies. Well, for autosexual people, their mind often wanders to sexual fantasies about themselves. Even if they are partaking in partnered sex, this doesn't mean they aren't present and enjoying their current sexual experience — if we're being honest, everyone's mind wanders during sex, no matter what their sexuality is. It's natural! This might also include having erotic dreams about yourself.

5. You're attracted to people who look like you.

If you find yourself sexually attractive, this is probably inevitable and can happen for some autosexual people. Again, not weird! There are kinder ways to have conversations if something becomes problematic — but just because it seems different than what we are into doesn't make it 'weird'.

The Bottom Line on Autosexuality

If the above signs resonate with you, you might be autosexual. Again, it's possible to be a little autosexual — sexuality exists on a spectrum — but if you feel the term "autosexual" describes you, you can use that term. There's absolutely nothing abnormal about being autosexual and it isn't a problem that needs to be solved.

Rachel Wright, LMFT, is a licensed psychotherapist, sex educator, and relationship expert based in New York City.