autosexual

[aw-toh-sek-shoo-uhl]

What does autosexual mean?

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Autosexual is a term for sexual attraction to oneself, especially a preference for masturbation over sexual intercourse. Experiencing romantic feelings towards oneself is called autoromantic.

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Examples of autosexual

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Examples of autosexual
wish my paper was autosexual so it would do itself
@SASSYWHITEWoMAN, November 2013
Of course, masturbation is inherently autoerotic (there's just you, after all), but unless you're fantasizing about having sex with yourself, you're not considered a full-blown autosexual by most experts.
Sophie Saint Thomas, Refinery29, February 2017
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Where does autosexual come from?

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The word autosexual (along with a parallel term, autoeroticism) is found by the early 1900s as a term for sexual self-stimulation, specifically masturbation. Auto-, a prefix seen in many other English words such as autograph or automobile, comes from a Greek root meaning “self.”

In 2016–17, some popular publications notably began discussing the topic of autosexuality in terms of experiencing greater arousal from images of or stimulation by oneself than they do from others, including mental fantasies and in front of mirrors. This sense of autosexual is found online in the late 1990s.

In April 2017, writer Ghia Vitale published a piece on Medium describing her sexual and romantic orientation as autosexual and autoromantic, experiencing a relationship with herself and preferring it over any others.

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Who uses autosexual?

In clinical contexts, autosexual generally refers to sexual self-stimulation, especially when one doesn’t experience the same degree or intensity of arousal from others. Some people identify their sexual orientation as autosexual while others more playfully use the term to note when they are feeling sexy or feeling jaded by relationships.

It can similarly be used for playful self-compliments, self-empowerment.

Some online references to autosexual are critical of it as a sexual identity, mocking it a form of narcissism.

And oh, there’s a word for sexual fetishes involving mirrors: katoptronophilia, with katoptron meaning “mirror” in Ancient Greek.

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