Tag Archives: attraction

What makes non-physical attraction a squick?

A personal reflection post about certain forms of attraction subtype terminology and teasing out how come some of it gives me the reaction it does. Written for the October 2021 Carnival of Aces.

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.

[Crossposted to Pillowfort. Preview image by Tristan Chambers, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.]

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Attraction-Based Essentialism

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.

[Preview image Apothecary Jars by Kato, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.]

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On an Ace Experience of Physical Attraction

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.

[Crossposted to Pillowfort. Preview image by Tebo Steele, CC BY-SA 2.0]

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Reminders on attraction

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.

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A Mini History of Different Types of Attraction in the Ace Community

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.


Romantic Orientation and the “Split Attraction Model” are not the same thing

[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.

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AA: Questioning and Attraction

Anon wrote in:

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nb x nb

[cw: not hellenist friendly]

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“I’m not here for you.”

Probably the best meta I’ve seen on Hamilton is this, to which I have nothing of value to add.  But I do want to talk about the relationship between Angelica and Eliza just for a bit.

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Romantic Orientation: N/A

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.

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