Tag Archives: sexual orientation

Relationships to Orientation Language Norms

This post is just a summary of some ideas introduced in a previous post, now with a diagram and more in-depth use of examples. Because I have qualms about the reclamation of the term “split attraction model” to categorize people as SAM vs. non-SAM, I’ve put together some alternative scales to introduce more nuance. This post is simply an explanation of those scales (and can be considered a culmination of the conversations held here, here, here, and here).

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Different Aces -> Different Priorities

This seems like a good time to remind everyone to go read a very relevant post from two years ago (during another ace controversy flare up) about different types of aces valuing different parts of their identity differently.  What Queenie talks about there was true then and is still true now, and I could stand to see more acknowledgement of the fact.

Go read the full post for Queenie’s take on four (4) distinct groups of aces divvied up by how they each prioritize their romantic and sexual orientations:

  • Group 1: Aces who consider their romantic orientation more important than their sexual orientation.
  • Group 2: Aces who consider their sexual orientation more important than their romantic orientation.
  • Group 3: Aces who consider their sexual and romantic orientations equally important or who prioritize different orientations at different times.
  • Group 4: Aces who don’t identify with a romantic orientation and thus consider this whole categorization system boring and pointless.

Fun fact: a lot of the bickering I’ve seen made 200% more sense to me once I realized that it was a lot of mainly Group 1 vs. Group 2-3 (with Group 4 mostly disregarded — hi! we’re here too!).

Listen, it’s fine to be in any of these groups.  It’s fine if one part of your identity means more to you than another, and it’s fine if it doesn’t, and it’s fine if different people with the same nominal identity prioritize different parts of it for themselves.

It makes sense to me to argue interpersonal policy, what hurts people, etc., but it doesn’t make sense to me to argue that romantic or sexual orientation should/shouldn’t be the bigger deal to someone personally, and that’s actually a significant share of what I’ve seen people doing.  So check out Queenie’s words, yeah?


Shortcomings of LGB Homogenization

[cw: use/discussion of “sga” as a term, which for some is experienced as a slur]

Here’s something I haven’t seen addressed yet about lgb homogenization, by which I mean defining “heterosexism” as “homophobia” and defining “homophobia,” in turn, as related strictly to punishment of what’s termed “sga,” as reclaimed by some lgb folk.

This homogenization premise — that all silencing, abuse, and violence on the basis of sexual orientation is specifically about a presence of attraction to people of the same gender as the self (homogenizers regularly shorten this to “sga”) — has this dubious major implication: that the oppression of gay, lesbian, and bi/pan people (should, hypothetically) all function exactly the same way.  That is, the things they’re punished for, as lgb people, is a list that begins and ends with so-called “sga.”

I’ve already seen bi people taking issue with that idea, right or wrong, but what I haven’t seen contested or addressed is how this premise denies certain elements of the social reality for gay folks.

That is, for example — homogenization contends that lesbians as a class aren’t punished for anything that bi women as a class are not also punished for.

What strikes me about this, most of all, is that romantic/sexual rejection of men-as-a-class — something associated with lesbians & sometimes used as half the definition of a lesbian — would not, then, be part of the definition of homophobia.  According to homogenization, any “non-sga” elements of an orientation are politically irrelevant (that is, such attributes have no relationship to the term “oppression”).

So… if you were someone beginning from a lbg homoginization premise, would you rather:

  1. argue that [violence targeting people who lack cross-gender attraction or desire] doesn’t happen?
  2. argue that the aforementioned violence does happen, but is not part of any axis of oppression?
  3. argue that the aforementioned violence does happen and is oppressive, but is attributable to a different axis of oppression (ex. misogyny and racism, not heterosexism)?
  4. argue that the aforementioned violence does happen, but only to gay people who have already come out as gay?
  5. argue that the aforementioned violence does happen, but is attributable to “misdirected homophobia” (even when the targets in question are themselves gay)?

Any other possibilities that haven’t occurred to me here?

Which do you think would be easiest to make a case for?


AA: love and desireability talk

[cw: sex as a point of contention in romantic relationships]

Anonymous wrote in:

Have you seen this post? “Some people desire sex and feel like they need to have sex with their partner in order to have a fulfilling & happy relationship with them, and there’s nothing wrong with that at all.” http://theasexualityblog.tumblr.com/post/142562968716/joshnewberry-peak-bad-discourse-is-its

It reminded me of your post “equating sex with love is rape culture” and I was curious as to your thoughts.

(link to “equating sex with love is rape culture”)

No, I hadn’t seen it.

This question strikes me as the kind of message sent by someone who takes issue with joshnewberry’s post but wants someone else to address it for them.  Honestly I can’t say I have a problem with that tactic.

You might not get what you hoped for, though.

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sexuality triad

Anyway.  This… thing… tumblr meme? …of positioning ace/bi/pan folk as an allied unit was cute at first I guess, but it’s making me uncomfortable at this point.

‘Cause the theme has just more and more aggressively become this implication that The Hypocritical Gay Kids are invalidating and being bigoted toward innocent blameless ace/bi/pan folk, and, uh, while that definitely happens in specific incarnations (trust me, I’ve been there), it’s pretty clearly presented as if solely gay people (as a class) are Problematic and ace/bi/pan people (as a unified class) never engage in the same vice.

Which is false, by the way.

I’ve heard aces talk like anti-gay prejudice is mostly over and aces have it harder.  I’ve seen bi/pan people get on lesbians’ case for not being into men.  Our communities/demographics are not pristine.

If you’re addressing a specific case, that’s one thing, and if you’re just talking about things that have happened, that’s one thing, but if you’re adding that up to speak in metonymy as if gay people are guilty of invalidating others’ sexualities and ace/bi/pan folk totally aren’t… you’re wrong.


🌂

If one more straight kinkster compares being kinky to being gay or compares criticism of the kink community to homophobia I will be provoked to violence.


Aro/Ace Word Origins Ref

  • demisexuality was coined by sonofzeal and popularized by OwlSaint on AVEN; gray-a was coined by KSpaz there as well; Hezekiah (pianycist/metapianycist) has a nice summary of that history here
  • Hezekiah is also the one who coined allosexual during some musings on whether going on testosterone would affect their (a)sexuality
  • its romantic counterpart, alloromantic, was coined-slash-popularized by Queenie (queenieofaces)
  • lithromantic was coined by Ian (stopanthropomorphizingme), who itself identifies as Stone, to describe its partner
  • wtfromantic was coined as a snide joke by Sciatrix (writingfromfactorx), which you can read about here and here
  • quoiromantic was coined as a synonym/alternative to wtfromantic by Cor (epochryphal), and you can read more about it in cos #quoi and #quoi bloggin tags (I recommend this post, this post, and this post for summaries)
  • sex-favorable was coined by Talia, and you can read their reflections on it here
  • allosexism was coined by lunasspecto [note: don’t consider this an endorsement of the term (see here and, more recently, here). I’m just including it for documentation purposes]
  • autochorissexualism was coined by sexologist Anthony Bogaert
    • aegosexual was suggested by eridanamporadefensesquad as an alternative
  • queerplatonic and zucchini were both coined by meloukhia, the latter being somewhat tongue-in-cheek
  • arcsexual originated with Kisten Sadi’s arcsexuality blog
  • squish was coined by Raisin on AVEN
  • recipromantic was coined by Brooke (cameoes)
  • amatonormativity was coined by Elizabeth Brake
  • the #actuallyasexual tag was suggested by Hezekiah, an autistic ace (see notes here)

Feel free to add on!  I’ll update this post with whatever y’all give me.


On Labels and What They Need

blank labelsOr rather, what I need from them.

This is a short post on label formation for this month’s Carnival of Aces on identity, labels, and models.

On the one hand, it’s not unheard of for people to discover a label that works for them and feel immediate relief upon seeing the word next to the definition.  That’s a valid experience.  It’s just as valid, however, to take the scenic route.

I’m talking about the experience of staring at the words in front of you and thinking “But what does that mean, though?”  I’m talking weeks of research and doubt and waffling.  But mostly what I have in mind is the inadequacy of Label (adj.): definition as the key to unlocking identification & the psychological necessity of seeing it spelled out in detailed, personal, narrative form in order to feel comfortable enough to describe yourself as One Of Those.  I’m talking about needing to read whole stories, dozens of them, before you’ll take on a new label for yourself.

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What You’re Doing When You Take Labels Away

For the people who think labels are unnecessary, who think there are too many, who think the world would be a better place without them, who regard them as an interference or an obstacle to be done away with, or however you want to phrase it: this post is for you.  This post will focus primarily on orientation labels, especially the ones I relate to, but if you can apply this same idea to something else, go for it.

In a hypothetical world where you could wish away the entire use and existence of words like gay, straight, bi, pan, and ace, here is what you would be doing.

1) making it harder to combat oppression

You don’t need a to use the word “gay” to reprimand your employee for mentioning her girlfriend.  You don’t need to use the word “heterosexual” to uphold romantic relationships between men and women as a universal norm — by referring to “the bride” and “the groom” as if there’s always only one of each, or by assuming the gender of someone’s romantic partner based on their own, or by thinking that there’s something wrong with someone who isn’t interested in dating, or by any number of things.  Heteronormativity doesn’t require labels to exist. Continue reading


AA: What’s “normal” for an allo?

That is, how common is it for people who do experience sexual attraction to care more about friendship than romance or sex?  I got a message to that effect last night, though worded more in-depth than that.  I’m not well-equipped to answer it directly, not being allosexual myself, and all my knowledge of alloromantic-allosexual experiences is colored by media portrayals which I have to suspect are at least a little unrealistic (and place undue emphasis on romance and sex).

I’m publicizing the question in the hopes that any allo folks reading this (people who feel sexual attraction regularly, and have at least one gender of people they think are “hot”) can provide some perspective.  Would it be weird/contrary to your nature for you to prioritize friendships over romantic-sexual relationships?  How common do you estimate that might be, and do you know other allosexuals who feel that way?

I’m opening the floor for input.  In the mean time, here’s what I can add.

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