This is an extremely niche topic, so if you are not generally privy to these conversations, you may not get much out of this post.Continue reading
Tag Archives: attraction
What is “attraction-based essentialism,” or even “essentialism,” for that matter? Here’s your handy reference post to explain. I’ve proposed and discussed these ideas before on Pillowfort [DW backup], but after a recent Carnival of Aros post, I realized it would be good to port this idea to WordPress as well.Continue reading
This is a personal reflection post about physical attraction. In this post, I talk some about what I use “physical attraction” to mean, what I find the concept useful for, what I don’t find it useful for, and my personal experiences of what makes it difficult to talk about.Continue reading
In a comment on a prior post, Ib/Arofrantics mentioned seeing a problem with how some people talk about attraction, implying a kind of compensatory role. In their words:
It feels like aspec identities are so open to “I don’t experience [x] attraction but…. I experience [y].”
And based on the fuller context of that conversation, it sounds like this is another one of those topics subject to anxieties over some narratives being (ostensibly) centered over others.
I don’t run in the same circles as Ib, so I won’t claim to know exactly what they’ve seen, and that limits what I can respond to. Even so, it sounds like the issue merits further conversation. For that reason, I’m using this post to spell out some things that have been on my mind — a few reminders that I think some people need to hear: 1) attraction isn’t all (of the subtypes) or nothing, 2) attraction doesn’t need to define you, 3) attraction doesn’t need to define your relationships, and 4) attraction is not a source of legitimacy.Continue reading
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, and it comes from Tumblr users outside the ace community.
[Edit: If you’re reading this post in the year 2021 or later, I would recommend An Actual History of The Term “Split Attraction Model” for a quicker, shorter read.]
A few days ago, when I mentioned on Pillowfort that I wanted to write something about the development of the “romantic orientation” model, I was helpfully pointed toward this post on the “split attraction model” at Historically Ace. I appreciate that, and I think it’s a handy collection of information. However, I have a problem with that post: it’s not actually a history of “the split attraction model” as a term itself. The phrase “split attraction model” appears in the post only three times, two of those times being as introduction and the other solely to specify that something else would not be considered an example of it. The timeline of that post ends at 2007, which is actually before the phrase “split attraction model” even entered into circulation in the ace community.
For comparison, I think this is like if I had written “a history of relationship anarchy” and then only, solely charted examples of the use of queerplatonic — which is to say, maybe it’s not wildly-off base, but it still falls short of what it actually promises. As related as they are, and as much sense as it makes to discuss the two alongside each other, the history of one is not the history of the other. A history of the “split attraction model” still remains yet to be told.Continue reading
Several parts of Queenie’s recent post on greyromanticism (and the comment section beneath it) were highly relateable and helpful to me in putting words to my own experience. So then why is it, then, that I don’t identify as greyromantic?
In this post, I navel gaze, discuss semantics, get distracted, ramble, talk in circles, and contrast having a sexual orientation of gray-ace with having a romantic orientation of divide by zero.
I’ve been thinking about something I haven’t seen much discussed before. People who read this blog (I presume) know that attraction can be classified according to lots of different types, but what of its longevity?
This post isn’t asking about sexual fluidity, or changes in sexual orientation, but of changes in attraction to a specific individual (which could also correlate to an overall change in orientation, but wouldn’t have to).
I know that I’ve experienced changes in aesthetic attraction, for example, based on extraneous factors aside from the look of the person themselves — such as whether the person in question goes from being a total stranger to revealing themselves to be a raging jerk (and a corresponding change in my aesthetic perception of their face sometimes occurs). That doesn’t always happen, though, as there are also people I strongly dislike who are still uncomfortably attractive.
I’ve mentioned before, in explaining why I identify as gray-a, that picking out sexual attraction is difficult for me — which is why I’m now looking at the volatility and longevity of other types of attraction for comparison.
Sensual attraction is very similar in some ways, so I’ve been keeping an eye on that. It’s not as frequent as aesthetic attraction, though, which keeps the data pool limited. And in the one case that I can draw repeated observations on… it has shown an inconvenient permanence. Other people I’ve been sensually attracted to are people I never saw again, so I can’t say how fleeting that feeling might’ve been for them or formulate any significant conclusions, yet.
Have you ever had a reverse-demi experience, where you’ve started out attracted to someone and then felt the attraction fade? How quickly did it happen? What about the opposite (whether as a result of a strong emotional bond or not)? What about attractions fluctuating from one type to another? If you find that the people you’re attracted to (in any sense of the word) tend to stay the same from day to day, have you ever noticed exceptions? Or is volatility your norm?