A short list of when/where some different pre-2015 terms can be traced back to. Many of these terms, as you can see, are both older than and separate from the creation of the term “split attraction model,” which has its own separate history derived outside of the ace community.
The following timeline lists the earliest uses that I or others have found:
- 2003 – emotional & romantic attraction were mentioned on an early version of the AVEN FAQ, and they most likely had been discussed even earlier than that. [See also romantic drive in 2002 on HHA]
- 2005 – aesthetic attraction came up in this NSFW AVEN thread, and ditto above.
- 2006 – sensual attraction was added to the AVENwiki, and ditto above.
[Read more about different definitions of sensual attraction here]
- 2007 – squish (or friendship crush) was coined on another AVEN thread.
[Read more about platonic attraction and related concepts here]
- 2010 – queerplatonic attraction was first described on Dreamwidth.
[Read more about the trajectory of queerplatonic as a concept here]
Most of these terms had more or less entered standard ace parlance by 2012, and I even wrote a post about Differentiating Types of Attraction in 2013 (that I now cringe to reread, but whatever). Different names for subtypes of attraction — or attraction subtyping — never went by any particular name, itself.
The term “split attraction model,” meanwhile, does not appear to predate 2015. It comes from Tumblr users outside the ace community who were reacting (negatively) to this kind of language & the (separate, but conflated) idea of romantic orientation, usually by calling it homophobic. The originating posts have been lost to time, but one of the approximately oldest ones is here, and you can get a better sense of how the term was being used and developed that year by looking at more Tumblr posts from around that time: here, here, here, here, here, and here.