Gender & Sexuality dictionary


[skoh-lee-oh-sex-shoo-uh l]

What does skoliosexual mean?

Someone who is skoliosexual is sexually attracted to people who identify with a nonbinary gender.

Related words

nonbinary gender, demisexual, queer, genderflux, gender-fluid, gender-neutral pronouns

Where does skoliosexual come from?

The skolio- in skoliosexual comes from a Greek root meaning “bent” or “curved,” seen in the word scoliosis.

The term was coined in 2010 by a DeviantArt user, Nelde, who made a comprehensive diagram of sexual attraction. Nelde noted using the Greek root as a gloss for the English queer.

Nelde / DeviantArt

Skoliosexuals are attracted to people who identify as nonbinary (i.e., a gender identity that doesn’t fit into traditional male/female and heterosexual/homosexual divisions). Attraction between two people who are nonbinary, for instance, may be described as skoliosexual.

Many in the queer community prefer the term ceterosexual, with cetero- (think et cetera) based on the Latin for “other,” given how “bent” and “curved” can imply something is wrong with nonbinary people.

Examples of skoliosexual

To be skoliosexual is to be attracted to anyone who isn't cisgendered. Skoliosexuality refers to sexual attraction to people who identify as non-binary, and apparently does not generally describe an attraction to specific genitalia or birth assignments. I couldn’t help but wonder if there was a word for people who are only attracted to binary/cisgendered people, and while I didn’t come up with anything conclusive, controversial opinion would simply call that “transphobic”.
Maya Khamala, Collective, July 2018
are we past pretending that people who call themselves "skoliosexual" aren't just chasers/nb fetishists
@ieleftist, October 2018
Emilyfly99, DeviantArt

Who uses skoliosexual?

The term skoliosexual has seen spread with the greater awareness, inclusion, and visibility of nonbinary identities in popular culture. Major publications like Refinery29 and HuffPost have written about the term.

Discussion of skoliosexuality, including self-identification, is popular on blogging and social-media platforms like Tumblr, sexuality forums, and Twitter.

Some within the queer community argue that being skoliosexual is problematic because they feel it is impossible to tell if someone is nonbinary without stereotyping them or fetishizing them.

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This is not meant to be a formal definition of skoliosexual like most terms we define on, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of skoliosexual that will help our users expand their word mastery.