Aroace Lesbian | Is it a legitimate label?

Aroace Lesbian Image
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Have you ever met a person who identifies as an aroace lesbian? When people hear the term aroace or lesbian what immediately flashes their mind is their “orientation”. Let us understand this with the more common term lesbian.

When a woman identifies herself as a lesbian, you know that she is interested in other women. So, you make a judgment call about the individual’s “romantic” or “sexual” orientation upon knowing that she is a lesbian.

Similarly, when somebody introduces herself as an aroace you immediately make up your mind that she is NOT interested or attracted to other individuals romantically or sexually, that is, this person has no romantic or sexual “orientation”. 

Until this point, everything seems acceptable and there are hardly any questions asked. 

However, if a person introduces herself as an aroace lesbian you will see blood run from people’s faces. 

AroAce is a familiar term for people from the LGBTQ+ community, as well as to a large number of people who understand and appreciate the need for making such classifications for ease of expression and communication. For the benefit of neophytes, the word AroAce is formed by a combination of the abbreviation of aromantic, i.e. “aro” and the slang of asexual, i.e. “ace”. 

Aroace is an identification label on the aromantic / asexual spectrums, which is taken by individuals who relate and identify as both aromantic and asexual. It simply means that an aroace individual does not experience romantic attraction or sexual attraction towards other individuals.

Why ask whether one can be an aroace lesbian? 

It is relatively easier for people to reconcile with the fact that one can be an aroace, however it raises a few hackles when a person identifies as an aroace lesbian. Why such a fuss?

Well, I would say that the skepticism is not entirely unfounded. It can appear absurd to people who merely scratch the surface without a deep analysis of the term.

An in-depth analysis can be made using a layer-by-layer approach. We have already introduced the first layer, i.e. Aroace.

The second layer is the term – lesbian – which is understood widely and requires a passing explanation only, to set the tone. A woman who is romantically and sexually attracted to other women is known as a lesbian.

Now, let us juxtapose these two terms “aroace” and “lesbian” and think of the meaning conveyed by the terms. Use the graphic below to visualize the same.

Aroace Lesbian - Contradiction
The Contradiction

Isn’t the contradiction too obvious to be missed? It is indeed.

Is Aroace Lesbian an Oxymoron?

How can a woman be romantically and sexually attracted to other women and then claim to identify as an aroace?

The terms aroace and lesbian are perceived as mutually exclusive. It could be because the term aroace lesbian is a sort of an oxymoron. Going strictly by the individual meanings of each term, they seem to be like two mutually exclusive sets that cannot intersect.

For a layman, it means that identifying with one term should exclude you from identifying with the other. Therefore, if the literal meaning of aroace is considered, aroace lesbian does sound like an oxymoron.

Read also: What is Oriented Aroace | Who can identify with the intriguing label

Is Aroace Lesbian a Legitimate Label? The Proof!!!

Yes. Aroace lesbian is a legitimate label, and we are going to prove it using the concepts of orientation and the theory of human attraction. 


On looking up the word orientation in a dictionary, we find two meanings that are of interest. 

  • a person’s basic beliefs or feelings about a particular subject (romantic or sexual orientation)
  • the direction in which an object faces.

You would appreciate that the interpretation of the first meaning somewhat limits its usage to mean only the romantic or sexual feelings of a person.

However, when we combine the second meaning with the first one, we get a much broader interpretation of orientation, as something that means much more than just romantic or sexual orientation.

From this we can understand that orientation is not restricted to romantic or sexual contexts, rather it can also mean alignment with a particular gender without any romantic or sexual underpinnings.


Just as in case of orientation, attraction is often thought to be only romantic or sexual in nature. However, that is not true at all. The term aroace only qualifies a person as incapable of experiencing romantic and sexual attractions. 

It does not stop an aroace person from feeling four types of tertiary attractions, namely aesthetic attraction, alterous attraction, platonic (including queerplatonic) attraction and sensual attraction.

Tertiary Attraction Types
Types of Tertiary Attractions
Read also: What is Alterous Attraction | Is it Genuine or Feigned?

Experiencing any of the above tertiary forms of attractions does not preempt you from assuming the aroace identity. Therefore, it is a misconception that aroace individuals cannot feel attraction towards other persons. 

From the foregoing discussion, it is evident that it is natural for aroace individuals to feel attracted towards other individuals in an aromantic and asexual way. In fact, “aroace lesbian” is a special case of “oriented aroace”.

What remains to be established is that this attraction can be experienced by a woman towards other women.

Insiders Speak

Before arguing in favor of the case, let me illustrate the views that were obtained from a few individuals who self-identified as aroace lesbians.

Aroace Lesbian Couple
Source: Canva

“I was comfortable with aromanticism and asexualism as a way of life. But I like having a companion to share the finer things of life…to go to the movies with…to do all that stuff, I prefer a woman…I think I am a lesbian-oriented aroace, if there is such a thing”.


“I was in college when I first thought about a girlfriend. But I never felt attracted to girls in a sexual or even romantic sense. It could be just aesthetic or emotional attraction. I guess I fit the Aroace lesbian description well”.


“I have never had a crush in my life, but I do sometimes feel touch-starved and wish I had a girlfriend who had similar emotions”.


“I love to cuddle…especially when it rains…but I really hate the idea of doing it with a guy. What would you call me? Lesbian aroace? I think so too”.


These are only some of the responses that I received from people who identify as aroaces, many of whom have expressed a desire to date someone. However, what is common with almost all of them is their emphasis on the dating being a non-conventional one. 

Most people like the idea of having a companion. It makes their lives more interesting and fulfilling. If a woman desires to have a companion that fits the twin-criteria of aromantic and asexual, and wishes that companion to be a woman, there is no way you can deny her claim to the aroace label. And her choice of WOMAN ONLY as the companion makes her a lesbian-oriented aroace or aroace lesbian.

The WOMAN-ONLY is important here because tertiary attraction felt by an aroace woman towards people of different gender identities would mean that she cannot be an aroace lesbian. Let us see how.

Other Aroace Identities

Bi-Oriented Aroace

An aroace individual who experiences tertiary attraction towards people of two genders, say to a person of her own gender and another gender.

Pan-Oriented Aroace

An aroace individual who feels tertiary attraction towards people of all genders.

Gay-Oriented Aroace

A gay aroace is a man who feels tertiary attraction towards another man. 

How can you be sure? Simplified Aroace Lesbian Test

  1. The first step for a woman to test her aroace lesbian identity is to ascertain whether she has ever felt romantic or sexual attraction towards any person. Once you are certain about your aromantic and asexual status you can proceed to the next step.
  2. The second step is to find out if you have ever felt any one or more of the four types of tertiary attractions listed above. If so, you can proceed to the next step.
  3. Is the subject of this tertiary attraction a woman? If yes, you can proceed to the next step.
  4. Are you quite certain that you get attracted in this manner only to women? If the answer is yes, you can be absolutely sure that you are an aroace lesbian.


A subset of the broader identity label, i.e. Oriented Aroace, Aroace Lesbian is a perfectly legitimate label for women who are aromantic and asexual, but feel tertiary attraction to women only. 

However, before identifying with the label one needs to consider the various factors that decide whether one fits the identity.

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2 thoughts on “Aroace Lesbian | Is it a legitimate label?”

  1. I feel more asthetic attraction to males , but sensual attraction to women , am I Bi aro ace? I’ve seen myself as a quiriosexual for awhile, but I’ve only seen myself having a female roommate of platonic partner .. Help ! 💀

  2. I feel more asthetic attraction to males , but sensual attraction to women , am I Bi aro ace? I’ve seen myself as a quiriosexual for awhile, but I’ve only seen myself having a female roommate of platonic partner .. Help ! 💀.


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