Asexuality and sexuality are not black and white; some people identify in the gray area between them. People who identify this way can include, but are not limited to:
- people who do not normally experience sexual attraction, but do experience it sometimes
- people who experience sexual attraction, but a low sex drive
- people who are technically sexual, but feel that it's not an important part of their lives and don't identify with standard sexual culture
- people who experience sexual attraction and drive, but not strongly enough to want to act on them
- people who can enjoy and desire sex, but only under very limited and specific circumstances
- people who experience some parts of sexuality but not others, according to a theoretical model such as Rabger's
Some people who most on AVEN would consider asexual choose to identify with the gray area instead, because they prefer a narrower definition of asexuality than AVEN's. For example, an asexual with a sex drive who prefers the nonlibidoist definition of asexuality might identify as semisexual rather than asexual.
Similarly, some people who might technically belong to the gray area choose to identify as asexual because it is easier to explain. For example, if someone has experienced sexual attraction on one or two brief, fleeting occasions in their life, they might prefer to call themselves asexual because it is not worth the bother of having to explain the one or two brief, fleeting occasions to everyone who asks about their orientation.
The most common term used to refer to the gray area is "hyposexual". Other terms that have been used for the gray area include "gray-A", "demisexual", "semisexual", "pseudosexual "low sexual intensity", "low-key sexual", "soft sexual", "nearly sexual", "not quite sexual", "halfway sexual", "asexual-ish", "sexual-ish", "sexual but not very sexual", "almost sexual", "middling", and "gentle sexual".
Some of these terms refer to specific parts of the gray area rather than the entire gray area.
Hyposexual can be used as a catch-all term for the gray area, but in standard medical parlance the term refers to a sexual person with a low sex drive. This can be a lifelong condition or occur because of stress or changing hormone levels. Most professionals consider hyposexuality a sexual dysfunction, but on AVEN the consensus is that, like asexuality, it should not be treated as a disorder if it does not cause the hyposexual person any distress.
Demisexual has two closely related uses. It tends to be used by adherents to Rabger's model of sexuality, referring to people who experience secondary sexual attraction but not primary sexual attraction (however, it should be noted that Rabger's model defines asexuality as a lack of primary sexual desire rather than a lack of attraction). It is also used, more generally, to describe people who only experience sexual attraction to a single romantic partner.