The current, established, consensus-approved terminology in the ace community for a given individual’s personal disposition toward sex includes sex-repulsed, sex-averse, and sex-indifferent.
For myself, I am partial to all of them and none of them, despite not meeting the criteria for “normal” sexuality’s attitude of enthusiasm either. In fact, if I had to summarize, that’s the one thing I know for sure: I cannot dig within myself to find some persistent underlying shade of the cultural norm. The unconditional* sentiment of “sex can be great” doesn’t live here.
*ruling out conditions like “as long as it’s with a person I desire”, “as long as it doesn’t conflict with other plans”, “as long as I’m not too tired”, “as long as it fits my ethical parameters”, etc. — the “unconditional” here refers to more of a “the appeal of my involvement in partnered sex, as an abstract idea, hangs around pretty much constantly, more or less, even if I may not always be up for it at the time”.
So if I say that the appeal of sex isn’t constant for me, that doesn’t just mean that I wouldn’t consent to it in most cases, or that I have other priorities, or whatever else applies to most allo people too. The variance under discussion is not same as just “not feeling it” some of the time. I have a very visceral understanding of sex-repulsion even toward people I’m attracted to, and that frequently stays with me. Uplifting and listening to the voices of repulsed, averse, and celibate people is not just politically important to me but personally relevant as well because I so regularly feel like I’m in the same boat.
However, I don’t identify as repulsed, averse, or even indifferent because there are also common enough periods where none of those apply, and feelings surface which I Do Not Know What To Do With. It’s an aberration, but it’s an aberration frequent enough to be granted acknowledgement, from my point of view.
The point is, my experiences are consistently inconsistent.
So, despite how silly it sounds, if I’m going to refer to myself as anything, I might as well call myself sex-sinewave. No one is expected to understand this at first glance, of course, so I’ll link to this post if I ever use the term later. I just like having more labels for my own introspective convenience.
- If you want to use the term “sex-sinewave” or a similar variation for yourself, or if it’s in any way personally useful to you, go for it, but please link this post when you do. I just don’t want this to become reduced to simply “has the capacity to like sex” or as some kind of synonym to “sex-enjoying/favorable” in some conventional/normative sense, because experiencing frequent periods of repulsion and indifference (or rather, experiencing impermanent divergences from the default state of repulsion/indifference) is an important part of the definition, and eclipsing that would defeat the point.
- Do not apply this to other people who have not applied it to themselves. Do not apply it to hypothetical groups in the abstract. It is not a mass term, an umbrella term, a “leftovers” term, a term for whoever else doesn’t fit the other terms you’re using, etc. I choose to use this label for myself to highlight a certain pattern of experiences, but someone else with the same/similar experiences might not (and probably won’t!) want the same label for themselves. Please respect that, while these experiences not unique to me, this word is my own idiosyncratic thing that cannot be generalized to others.