A person who is gynesexual is attracted to people who identify as a woman, but not necessarily a person of female sex.
While a heterosexual man is attracted to the female sex, or in other words, a person with a vagina and other female body parts, a “gynesexual” is attracted to anyone with feminine traits, who identifies as a woman.
This is the opposite of “androsexual”, a person attracted to masculine traits.
The person who is “gynesexual” might be a heterosexual male, a lesbian female, or any genderqueer that is attracted to the female gender identity.
Do not confuse it with the term “femmesexual”, which is anyone who is attracted to a feminine gender expression.
Origin of the term
Made up of “gyne-”, the Greek word for woman, and sexual.
The Greek version of the term, gynaikophilias, was mentioned in Theocritus Ancient Greek poem “Idyll”, to describe Zeus lust for women.
Famous psychologist Sigmund Freud used the similar term “gynecophilic” to describe “Dora”, his case study.
In 1978, Nancy Chodorow mentioned the term “gynesexual” in her book “The Reproduction of Mothering: Psychoanalysis and the Sociology of Gender”, separating it from “gynesexual” from “gynephilic” based on the basis of the persons attraction.
Spread of the term
The term spread to the internet in 1997, first on the forum platform Usenet. Said forums discussed topics such as transsexuality, and used the term to describe the attraction to women.
In 2018, author Macaela McKenzie explained “androsexual” as being ‘attracted to brawny men’, while “gynesexuals” are more into ‘Kim-K’s super-femme vibe’, in the online Women’s Health magazine.
While several gender identities can identify with this orientation, the term has experiences backlash from parts of the LGBTQ society for excluding non-binary people and being excessively pro-cis gender.