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Coyote

What can y'all tell me about the "split attraction model"?

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Since recently posting Romantic Orientation and the "Split Attraction Model" are not the same thing, I've been doing some more thinking about the issues it raises, and I wanted to solicit more info/perspectives.

 

Some things from that post:

  • The earliest use of "romantic orientation" as a term I've found in ace contexts dates back to approximately 2005, give or take, although it seems like it may well have been in use prior to that. (Outside of ace or aro contexts, the older term is "affectional orientation.")
  • The earliest use of "split attraction model" as a term I've found dates back to approximately 2015, and although I can't tell exactly who coined it, it seems to have come from people who are under neither the aro nor ace umbrellas and started the discussion as part of a (renewed) reactionary movement against ace tumblr, which expanded into attacking aro tumblr as well.
  • In the comments of my post, you can find some of us discussing the concept of labeling a "split attraction model" and how useful it is or isn't as an umbrella term & in what ways.

 

Some questions I have for y'all:

  • What have you seen people using "split attraction model" to mean? What does it mean to you?
  • If somebody says that they use it, what does that mean to you? If somebody says they don't use it, what does that mean to you?
  • Do you usually think of "split attraction" correlating with "having more than one orientation," or no?
  • Does anybody have a source dating it back prior to 2015?
  • Any other thoughts on the dilemmas raised? Does it fill a lexical gap? Does it have multiple meanings? Is it useful?

 

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Coming in as a completely un-researched and un-refreshed mind, the SAM I learnt about 2-ish years ago shall answer your questions.  Lol, so I might be reiterating misunderstandings. 

 

What have you seen people using "split attraction model" to mean? What does it mean to you?

I am grateful to it because I see it as the main factor that allowed the formation of aromantic. Like a white light hitting a prism the SAM divides up attraction into it's component pieces. Most people, myself included, generally tend to only bother determining or mentioning one or two types of attraction when defining our orientation. When people say they have a romantic orientation and a sexual orientation (aroallo/aroace/alloace/etc....) I make the assumption that they have used the SAM to understand those two labels to explain their experience.

 

If somebody says that they use it, what does that mean to you? If somebody says they don't use it, what does that mean to you?

If someone specifically says they use SAM I think they might have been more self-evaluating and labelled aesthetic, sensual and maybe even platonic or maybe even others (there being issues with the concept of 'platonic' and the need for affectionate terms) , along with romantic and sexual attraction. If someone says they don't use SAM I assume they don't find it useful to explain their personal experience, but that doesn't diminish it's importance to other people. 

 

Do you usually think of "split attraction" correlating with "having more than orientation," or no?

I think the SAM is most important to people questioning their orientations and trying to find communities (when you are dissecting yourself or trying to find some sort of match to other people's dissections). The way things work, having specifics known about your attractions as sorted out through the SAM, shows you facets of your orientation, but overall it is one orientation as you experience it as a whole. One attraction might be more important than the others, but the others are still there (or you know, as a aspec they are not). 

 

Does anybody have a source dating it back prior to 2015? Any other thoughts on the dilemmas raised? Does it fill a lexical gap? Does it have multiple meanings? Is it useful?

No idea about before 2015. I read the links for this answer. 

I do think it fills a lexical gap, and is incredibly important to people who are variorientated* because it gives a framework to clearly understand their internal conflict in attractions. But really I feel SAM should only be linked to attraction because our 'orientations' are our experiences and I don't think our experiences are split. Even when we experience conflict we experience it as a full feeling rather than two or more parts and the conflict separate. *that is why I have a bit of an issue with this word as it uses the word 'orientation' to describe something determined by attraction. I understand other people have varying ideas, and variattracted sound hideously wrong for what I am trying to mean. 

 

I hope I am not too unclear in what I am trying to say. My ideas on the subject are not particularly strong because it directly links to how other people define their orientations and I feel that  I don't (and shouldn't) have any right to dictate the way they define themselves, but then I seem to have avoided many of the disagreements so I was unaware of flame wars and semantic battles going on, I just never want to be accused of being a gatekeeper.  

 

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I entered the aspec community in late 2015 and by that point the term was already being used among aspecs in non discourse ways. And most people found it to be very useful? They liked having a term for that model, it made them feel more legitimate, but I have to say I never felt that way.

 

I've always viewed SAM as, at best, a frustrating nuisance. I'm aroace so SAM is something I have to navigate around even though it almost never fits my exsperiances and that is uh... not great.

 

There is no good alternative for aroaces who don't use SAM. I am not going to pick one identity or the other to identify as because one is not less than the other, "Aroace" is what I have settled for  but it still implies a split that isn't really there, and everytime I or someone else tries to coin a new term for aroaces who don't want to use SAM the aro and ace communities give it no support while anti mogai discoursers attack it, and you end up deleting the post for the sake of your own sanity.

 

I started leaning towards the aro community because I could identify as aro and typically people would assume the ace was a part of that. It was like a nice little recognition that maybe these two identities aren't as split as people say they are. Now as we have these discussions about making aro spaces more alloaro inclusive it's becoming clear that that's not a functional mindset, and that it makes a lot of alloaros feel excluded from their own spaces. And I don't want alloaros to feel alienated from aro spaces, they're my community members and I want them to feel safe and included so clearly this needs to change... but no alternative has been offered. Being aro and assumed ace was a half baked and imperfect solution to begin with, now I need to find another one, and I don't even know where to look. Everytime someone tries to make a term for non SAM aroaces it gets shut down or ignored and having to constantly talk about my identities like my romantic and sex orientations are separate makes it very difficult to actually dig into the complexities of my exsperiance with attraction.

 

So I don't think SAM is neccessarily bad, by any means, I know it's really helpful for some people, and everytime I teach a workshop on queer terminology I bring up SAM incase someone will find it useful. But having this model has made having separate  romantic and sexual  identities almost mandatory in aspec spaces and that maybe isn't great? I would love to have another option, and I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in that. For me the SAM means trying to navigate tensions between two aspects of myself that I never really viewed as separate to begin with and that's a very difficult place to be.

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Thanks for the answers, y'all! Anyone else with thoughts, please do share 'em. 

 

@Apathetic Echidna

6 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

What have you seen people using "split attraction model" to mean? What does it me

I am grateful to it because I see it as the main factor that allowed the formation of aromantic.

 

Interestingly enough, the word "aromantic" is about a decade older than the phrase "split attraction model." So I guess you're referring to, more generally, the idea of multiple orientations?

 

Quote

I do think it fills a lexical gap, and is incredibly important to people who are variorientated* because it gives a framework to clearly understand their internal conflict in attractions. But really I feel SAM should only be linked to attraction because our 'orientations' are our experiences and I don't think our experiences are split. Even when we experience conflict we experience it as a full feeling rather than two or more parts and the conflict separate. *that is why I have a bit of an issue with this word as it uses the word 'orientation' to describe something determined by attraction. I understand other people have varying ideas, and variattracted sound hideously wrong for what I am trying to mean.

 

Sorry, can you elaborate on that? I don't think I follow you. Are you saying that individual people only have one "orientation," in the singular, and can't have more than one?

 

                                                                      

 

@bananaslug

3 hours ago, bananaslug said:

I entered the aspec community in late 2015 and by that point the term was already being used among aspecs in non discourse ways.

 

Oof, in "non discourse" ways... You'll have to forgive me, but in my field "discourse" just means "talking," so in a lot of cases, jsyk, I'm not super clear on what exactly other people mean by it. In this case I'll assume you were referring to my bullet point/summary of its origins, with the anti-ace hostility. I just want to note here that not everyone uses the word that way (it seems to be a pretty niche Tumblr thing?), and a lot of the times, even with an awareness that people have tried to redefine it over there, in specific cases it's still really confusing to me what exactly people are trying to get at. (Fun fact -- I did try checking out the site discord server earlier, but... when I saw the "no aro/ace discourse" rule and how it doesn't elaborate on that at all, I figured it would be easier to just leave quietly than ask for clarification.)

 

Quote

There is no good alternative for aroaces who don't use SAM. I am not going to pick one identity or the other to identify as because one is not less than the other, "Aroace" is what I have settled for but it still implies a split that isn't really there, and everytime I or someone else tries to coin a new term for aroaces who don't want to use SAM the aro and ace communities give it no support while anti mogai discoursers attack it, and you end up deleting the post for the sake of your own sanity. [...] Being aro and assumed ace was a half baked and imperfect solution to begin with, now I need to find another one, and I don't even know where to look. Everytime someone tries to make a term for non SAM aroaces it gets shut down or ignored and having to constantly talk about my identities like my romantic and sex orientations are separate makes it very difficult to actually dig into the complexities of my exsperiance with attraction.

 

Since I only watch small parts of Tumblr, I had no idea that was happening. Sorry to hear that. :C It does seem like Tumblr is an especially unworkable environment for hosting these kinds of discussions...

 

Quote

So I don't think SAM is neccessarily bad, by any means, I know it's really helpful for some people, and everytime I teach a workshop on queer terminology I bring up SAM incase someone will find it useful. But having this model has made having separate romantic and sexual identities almost mandatory in aspec spaces and that maybe isn't great? I would love to have another option, and I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in that. For me the SAM means trying to navigate tensions between two aspects of myself that I never really viewed as separate to begin with and that's a very difficult place to be.

 

A couple of thoughts... One, in your workshops, have you been introducing it under that name, specifically? ("the split attraction model")

 

And also... I don't think it's that "model" that did that, because wtfromantic was coined in 2011 -- in reaction to the overdetermined assumption that all aces had a romantic orientation -- four whole years before the term "split attraction model" had even surfaced. I do think that there's a prevalent assumption that all aces have "two orientations" (a romantic one and a sexual one), but that's not necessarily a given of just separating types of attraction at all, so to me those are two different things going on. With that said, I previously had just been thinking about the "everybody has a romantic orientation" assumption in terms of how that impacts people who don't, like wtfromantic and quoiro people... You and Siggy are some of the first folks I'm hearing from who feel at conflict with the multiple-orientations idea in a different way. So this is good to know for thinking about how to reconceptualize these things.

 

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33 minutes ago, Coyote said:

Oof, in "non discourse" ways... You'll have to forgive me, but in my field "discourse" just means "talking," so in a lot of cases, jsyk, I'm not super clear on what exactly other people mean by it. In this case I'll assume you were referring to my bullet point/summary of its origins, with the anti-ace hostility. I just want to note here that not everyone uses the word that way (it seems to be a pretty niche Tumblr thing?), and a lot of the times, even with an awareness that people have tried to redefine it over there, in specific cases it's still really confusing to me what exactly people are trying to get at

 

 

The "aro/ace discourse" refers specifically to the 'debate' around whether of or ace's/aro's should be considered part of the lgbtqia+ community. This includes both pro ace inclusion and anti ace inclusion sentiment, and while this so-called "discourse" did happen mostly on Tumblr it also happened on other social media platforms like Twitter, Reddit and even Facebook to a lesser extent. When people talk about "ace discourse" this is generally what they're referring to. When I say that I was seeing SAM used in a "non discourse way" I mean I was seeing it used outside of debates around who was an wasn't "really lgbt+". 

 

41 minutes ago, Coyote said:

Since I only watch small parts of Tumblr, I had no idea that was happening. Sorry to hear that. :C It does seem like Tumblr is an especially unworkable environment for hosting these kinds of discussions...

 

I think I should make it more clear that these issues (SAM being used a default, non-SAM aspecs being ignored, etc) were not just happening on Tumblr. They were also prevalent on AVEN and at in-person aspec groups, I attended. While exclusionists shutting down new terms was an issue specific to tumblr, the overall apathy of the aspec community towards non-SAM aros was not. I remember seeing other aroaces try to bring up this issue even before I realized SAM didn't work for me and the concerns were consistently brushed aside, or, at best, given lip service and then forgotten. While Tumblr isn't a great format for these discussions formatting was certainly not the only issue. 

 

49 minutes ago, Coyote said:

A couple of thoughts... One, in your workshops, have you been introducing it under that name, specifically? ("the split attraction model")

 

Yes, that's how the concept of split romantic, sexual (and other) kinds of attraction were first presented to me within aspec spaces, so that tends to be the terminology I use. I also use that term because it makes it easier for students to look it up later if they're interested.  

 

56 minutes ago, Coyote said:

And also... I don't think it's that "model" that did that, because wtfromantic was coined in 2011 -- in reaction to the overdetermined assumption that all aces had a romantic orientation -- four whole years before the term "split attraction model" had even surfaced. I do think that there's a prevalent assumption that all aces have "two orientations" (a romantic one and a sexual one), but that's not necessarily a given of just separating types of attraction at all, so to me those are two different things going on.

 

This is a good point. I tend to associate these problems with SAM because that's the vocabulary I've had available to me, but it's an issue with people assuming separate romantic orientation generally. However, it's still a lot easier for me to just say "SAM doesn't work for me" than it is for me to give a long explanation of my feelings on romantic orientations so I tens to conflate the two.  The idea that SAM is somehow separate from discussions of sexual and romantic attraction being different things is maybe important when discussing history, but I think in a practice it just works to give us vocabulary around concepts that already existed, so trying to distinguish them as two separate things doesn't really take into account the way in which people discuss attraction currently. The two are still deeply connected even if they don't have the same history.  

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 @bananaslug

6 minutes ago, bananaslug said:

The "aro/ace discourse" refers specifically to the 'debate' around whether of or ace's/aro's should be considered part of the lgbtqia+ community.

 

Huh. Just as frame of reference -- I've also seen it used to mean more generally(?) any kinds of invalidation/attacks on an identity or concept, regardless of whether it's about "who's lgtb+ or not," so I wouldn't have thought to guess that specific topic. Are you one of the mods on the server, or do you just know from talking to them that that's what the rule is meant to mean?

 

6 minutes ago, bananaslug said:

I think I should make it more clear that these issues (SAM being used a default, non-SAM aspecs being ignored, etc) were not just happening on Tumblr.

 

Oh absolutely. Sorry, I figured that by the "anti mogai discoursers" (?) you might've been referring to tumblr users, in particular with the mention about deleting your posts.

 

6 minutes ago, bananaslug said:

However, it's still a lot easier for me to just say "SAM doesn't work for me" than it is for me to give a long explanation of my feelings on romantic orientations so I tens to conflate the two.  [...] The idea that SAM is somehow separate from discussions of sexual and romantic attraction being different things is maybe important when discussing history, but I think in a practice it just works to give us vocabulary around concepts that already existed, so trying to distinguish them as two separate things doesn't really take into account the way in which people discuss attraction currently.

 

As I explained in the post up top, conflating the two causes problems for me as someone who doesn't have a romantic orientation yet does differentiate between types of attraction. Like I said to Siggy -- I don't want to be classified as Schrödinger’s SAM user. So this is not just a historical reflection to me. It's about (as I linked as an example, in the post) actual cases of people speaking over my words and my identity in ways that directly eclipse and invalidate my ways of describing myself.

 

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23 minutes ago, Coyote said:

Are you one of the mods on the server, or do you just know from talking to them that that's what the rule is meant to mean?

Oh no, sorry for the confusion, I wasn't referring to that server in particular, I was just expressing how most people define that term as well as how I was using it. It's possible that server has a different definition, but I suspect that they use a similar one, because at least within aspec spaces I've found that that's pretty consistently what "ace discourse" means. I guess some people also use it to mean "aphobia generally" but 9 times out of 10 when I see it it's being used in relation to ace exclusion. 

 

29 minutes ago, Coyote said:

conflating the two causes problems for me as someone who doesn't have a romantic orientation yet does differentiate between types of attraction. Like I said to Siggy -- I don't want to be classified as Schrödinger’s SAM user. So this is not just a historical reflection to me. It's about (as I linked as an example, in the post) actual cases of people speaking over my words and my identity in ways that directly eclipse and invalidate my ways of describing myself.

 

Ahh, that's fair, thank you for the explanation. I get that to a certain extent because I do distinguish between different kind s of platonic attraction even when I don't distinguish between sexual and romantic attraction, so I guess it does make sense to distinguish between the two in that way.

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What have you seen people using "split attraction model" to mean? What does it mean to you?

 

I've generally seen people using it to explain that they have distinct sexual and romantic orientations - often ones that don't match. I've always understood the split attraction model to be a framework for people to describe distinctions between their sexual and romantic orientations. 

 

If somebody says that they use it, what does that mean to you? If somebody says they don't use it, what does that mean to you?

 

If someone says they use it, I understand that to mean that they make a distinction between their sexual and romantic orientations. If someone says they don't use it, I assume they experience their orientation as a coherent whole, not as having distinct sexual or romantic parts. 

 

Do you usually think of "split attraction" correlating with "having more than orientation," or no?

 

I'm not sure how much use it is to people who don't have distinct orientations, so yes, I tend to assume those things correlate. (Regarding @bananaslug's points above, I don't generally assume aroace people use SAM unless they specifically say they do.) 

 

Does anybody have a source dating it back prior to 2015?

 

Can't help you there! 

 

Any other thoughts on the dilemmas raised? Does it fill a lexical gap? Does it have multiple meanings? Is it useful?

 

I definitely need some way to explain that I have a sexual orientation but not a romantic one, so a split attraction framework is necessary for that. "Split attraction model" as a term is concise, widely used, and pretty unambiguous, and that to me is more important than where it originated. I don't think I've seen it have meanings other than the one I've described above. 

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@bananaslug Gotcha. And thanks. Can you say more about distinguishing between different types of platonic attraction? That sounds like that might relate to some other concepts I've been looking at lately, but I don't know whether you would use the same words.

 

@eatingcroutons

49 minutes ago, eatingcroutons said:

Do you usually think of "split attraction" correlating with "having more than orientation," or no?

 

I'm not sure how much use it is to people who don't have distinct orientations, so yes, I tend to assume those things correlate.

 

While I can't speak to prevalence in any way, I only have one orientation (gray-ace, no romantic orientation), and I find differentiating between types of attraction extremely useful and important. That was a big part of my process of questioning and coming around to identifying as ace.

 

49 minutes ago, eatingcroutons said:

"Split attraction model" as a term is concise, widely used, and pretty unambiguous,

 

Hoo boy. I had to get up and walk around for a moment at that one. There's some talk about its ambiguity here, in the comment section, about its multiple meanings -- for instance see Elizabeth's comment.

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3 hours ago, Coyote said:

Can you say more about distinguishing between different types of platonic attraction? That sounds like that might relate to some other concepts I've been looking at lately, but I don't know whether you would use the same words.

Definitely! like I feel queer platonic attraction mostly towards other nonbinary people, but then I'm almost entirely sensually attracted to men, and I mostly feel aesthetic attraction to women and enbys. All of these kinds of attraction are platonic in nature, but I still have preferences, so when I do use the SAM it's usually in relation to these kinds of attraction, not in relation to romance or sexuality.  

 

4 hours ago, eatingcroutons said:

I don't generally assume aroace people use SAM unless they specifically say they do.

 

I think it's important to recognize that whether the use of SAM is assumed by individuals or not, the language and structure of aspec spaces still enforces the use of SAM on aroace who would otherwise not use it. Even just the term "aro-ace" implies two separate romantic and sexual identities. It's not so much about how individuals do things as it is about how the use of language and split in resources forces aroaces to view their aspec identity as two parts instead of one whole. 

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3 hours ago, Coyote said:

Hoo boy. I had to get up and walk around for a moment at that one.

Well you did ask for my perspective. Everywhere I've seen it used, it's pretty unambiguously been a framework for people to describe distinctions between sexual and romantic orientations. 

1 hour ago, bananaslug said:

I think it's important to recognize that whether the use of SAM is assumed by individuals or not, the language and structure of aspec spaces still enforces the use of SAM on aroace who would otherwise not use it.

I agree. 

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19 hours ago, Coyote said:

Interestingly enough, the word "aromantic" is about a decade older than the phrase "split attraction model." So I guess you're referring to, more generally, the idea of multiple orientations?

I came at these questions only as informed as I generally am (which is not much as I seem to have missed most serious terminology discussions), and the split attraction model was something I wasn't particularly interested in, so I had no idea it's etymological origin was so recent. When I heard about SAM from pro-SAM users they seemed to always give the idea of a long history of development, so obviously they were hitching the SAM model to historical references about multiple orientations or the division of types of affection. 

 

I have to also agree with @eatingcroutons comment about it being "widely used, and pretty unambiguous" because whenever SAM is defined for new users on AVEN or those 'Introduction to Aspec' type articles normal they describe 'attraction types' (whether SAM is specifically mentioned or not) as being 6 types of attraction with the romantic and sexual being the most important. Those with conflict to the idea tend to argue from the outside, rejecting the SAM or talking about it's inadequacies, rather than talking about it's ambiguity or vagueness.  

 

19 hours ago, Coyote said:

Sorry, can you elaborate on that? I don't think I follow you. Are you saying that individual people only have one "orientation," in the singular, and can't have more than one?

Yeah sorry, it is hard to get the words to describe something I think of in pictures. 

We live our lives as one experience (there are exceptions, like brain damage and severe psychological issues) and we feel attractions or absence of attractions. We the use that information of attraction and experience to define our orientation(s) (that is if the people do decide to identify themselves with labels, some don't want to use labels at all). Some people may find using two or more orientations useful to define aspect of themselves, others may not want to explain themselves using more than one orientation as they may feel it is splitting their experience. Ultimately though no word or collection of words will ever fully explain us and our experiences because not everything may be defined or explained. 

I am aro/grey-a and I see that as one thing, and that one thing is me, but I know other people may think of that as two things.

 

My problem with 'variorientated' is about people who feel differing attractions but only wish to use one orientation to describe themselves. Having variorientated applied to them or using it, implies more than one orientation, when in fact they use one orientation and have variation in attractions. 

 

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What have you seen people using "split attraction model" to mean? What does it mean to you?

 

distinguishing between different types of attraction, usually romantic and sexual.  usually because they don't match, and usually because one is a-spec (like me: aromantic heterosexual) but not necessarily (apparently the most common non-matching combination is heteroromantic bisexual), and they could match but feel distinct (i know someone who IDs as "asexual and aromantic").  

 

 

If somebody says that they use it, what does that mean to you? If somebody says they don't use it, what does that mean to you?

 

if they use it, they want to distinguish their different types of attraction; if not, they don't feel the need to (or don't know about the SAM).  i agree with this:

8 hours ago, eatingcroutons said:

If someone says they don't use it, I assume they experience their orientation as a coherent whole, not as having distinct sexual or romantic parts. 

i actually talked about romantic vs. sexual attraction to my high school lgbt+ leader (back when i'd just become familiar with the SAM and was questioning about being aro) and she looked confused and said to her they were the same. (???)

 

 

Do you usually think of "split attraction" correlating with "having more than orientation," or no?

 

generally but not necessarily.

 

 

Does anybody have a source dating it back prior to 2015?

 

i learned about it in conjunction with aromanticism, which must have been 2014/2015, on my first social media site, google+.  good times.

 

 

Any other thoughts on the dilemmas raised? Does it fill a lexical gap? Does it have multiple meanings? Is it useful?

 

it's useful to me, as understanding that romantic orientation existed and didn't have to match sexual orientation allowed me to realize i'm aro.  i've also seen other people describing what sounds like variorientation in confusion, ex. "i like dating everyone but only sleeping with girls--what am i?"  i suggest "panromantic homosexual?" and explain the SAM.  i don't see any problems.  use it if and as you like.

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2 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

Those with conflict to the idea tend to argue from the outside, rejecting the SAM or talking about it's inadequacies, rather than talking about it's ambiguity or vagueness.  

Yeah, this - I've seen plenty of arguments about the limitations and inadequacies of SAM, but never anyone who finds its actual meaning ambiguous or unclear. 

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Before I reply - there's a problem of understanding sometimes wether someone is talking about their identity (a choice to apply a certain term to themselves) or orientation (pattern of attraction). Orientation has taken to mean identity for a lot of people, so I want to make sure we're on the same page here.

 

What sam means to me??

i started to call myself bisexual aromantic, because i felt that it just describes me and my non-standard relation with sexual and romantic orientations. i need both those terms to accurately talk about my experiences of attraction - bisexual wasn’t enough and i can’t call myself aromantic without acknowledging my sexual attraction/orientation. at that time i didn’t know i was using what is called the split attraction model (SAM), i knew that it was natural and right to be able to discover and name both my bisexuality and aromanticism. i experience both a bisexual pattern of sexual attraction and aromantic pattern of romantic attraction and those are my orientations that I identify with.

 

What have I seen other people using sam to mean??

A description of their patterns of attraction, that aren't all going in the same direction. Most popular is the sexual and romantic one, because it's the framework we're operating in right now, mainly because of the importance of sexual relations and partnerships in the world we live in. It became customary to specify "allo aro" or "aroace", while the other types of attraction aren't as widely spread and rarely considered identities.

 

If somebody says they use it, what does it mean to you??

I guess I mostly see people just use it. It helps me to conceptualize what kind of patterns of attractions they experience - though to me it's closely tied to my identity, which doesn't make sense to some people. 

 

If somebody says they don't use it, what does it mean to you??

Either that they choose to identify a certain way that's more central to them despite experiencing distinct patterns of various attractions, or that they don't experience distinct patterns of various attractions and so SAM doesn't apply to them. 

 

Does it fill a lexical gap??

Yes, it provides the frame in which the concept of "romantic orientation" fits, alongside the other orientations.

 

Is it useful?

Yes, I find it necessary to use

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18 hours ago, bananaslug said:

Definitely! like I feel queer platonic attraction mostly towards other nonbinary people, but then I'm almost entirely sensually attracted to men, and I mostly feel aesthetic attraction to women and enbys. All of these kinds of attraction are platonic in nature, but I still have preferences, so when I do use the SAM it's usually in relation to these kinds of attraction, not in relation to romance or sexuality.   

 

Ahh okay, gotcha, for some reason I was thinking of "platonic attraction" strictly in terms of "emotional attraction" -- somehow it also completely slipped my mind that some experiences of physical attraction can rightly be described as platonic. But anyway. Yeah! Those are also experiences I relate to and it's valuable to me to have separate names for. I just call it differentiating between types of attraction (and then the specific names, as applicable/relevant).

 

19 hours ago, bananaslug said:

I think it's important to recognize that whether the use of SAM is assumed by individuals or not, the language and structure of aspec spaces still enforces the use of SAM on aroace who would otherwise not use it. Even just the term "aro-ace" implies two separate romantic and sexual identities. It's not so much about how individuals do things as it is about how the use of language and split in resources forces aroaces to view their aspec identity as two parts instead of one whole. 

 

:icecream::icecream::icecream:

 

12 hours ago, eatingcroutons said:

I've seen plenty of arguments about the limitations and inadequacies of SAM, but never anyone who finds its actual meaning ambiguous or unclear. 

 

I'm, uh... feeling a little unheard here. I just provided you with a link to exactly that: someone saying that it was confusing to them.

 

14 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

whenever SAM is defined for new users on AVEN or those 'Introduction to Aspec' type articles normal they describe 'attraction types' (whether SAM is specifically mentioned or not) as being 6 types of attraction

 

That's another example of the ambiguity. 

 

There's the "there's more than one or two types of attraction (ex. 6, as in your example)" idea, which you're acknowledging here, and there's the "romantic orientation can be different from sexual orientation" idea, which is what some others here in this thread are reiterating, and those two aren't the same thing (not least of which because I don't see people acknowledging 6 different orientations). Attraction isn't the same as orientation, you can experience a type of attraction without conceptualizing it in terms of its own orientation language, nobody here has even mentioned sensual orientation, etc. When people conflate the "there's more than one type of attraction [sexual/sensual/aesthetic/emotional/romantic/queerplatonic/who knows what else]" idea with the "romantic orientation as distinct from sexual orientation" idea, people are treating romantic & sexual like the only types of attraction anyone cares about distinguishing between, the only types that anyone conceptualizes as orientations, and the only types that even count as attraction in the first place. Because of that, I am beginning to conclude that the way people talk about "the split attraction model" is amatonormative.

 

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1 hour ago, Coyote said:

There's the "there's more than one or two types of attraction (ex. 6, as in your example)" idea, which you're acknowledging here, and there's the "romantic orientation can be different from sexual orientation" idea, which is what some others here in this thread are reiterating, and those two aren't the same thing 

I don't understand how this isn't the same idea...?? "There's more than 1 or 2 types of attraction, so romantic attraction can be different from sexual attraction", that's how I understand it. A different thing entirely is how people mostly use it to distinguish between/describe their sexual and romantic patterns of attraction - but that doesn't mean they think those are the only ones in general or the only ones that are separate enough to distinguish between. 

 

1 hour ago, Coyote said:

people are treating romantic & sexual like the only types of attraction anyone cares about distinguishing between, the only types that anyone conceptualizes as orientations, and the only types that even count as attraction in the first place. 

Most people who use SAM use it to distinguish between sexual and romantic attraction because it's *useful* to them, and the fact that that makes some people who are less knowledgeable about the community terminology think SAM is only for sexual and romantic attraction or that those are the only orientations worth naming is not the fault of people who use SAM to describe their experiences a certain way. I'm not sure where you got that generalization that romo and sexual are "the only ones to count as attraction" either.

 

1 hour ago, Coyote said:

Because of that, I am beginning to conclude that the way people talk about "the split attraction model" is amatonormative.

I don't get how this is amatonomative, as in conforming to the "assumption that a central, exclusive, amorous relationship is normal for humans, in that it is a universally shared goal, and that such a relationship is normative, in that it should be aimed at in preference to other relationship types". Did you mean that sexual and romantic identities are assumed to be necessary to describe most people's experiences with interpersonal relationhips and you don't want it to be a norm?? 

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1 hour ago, Coyote said:

 

I'm, uh... feeling a little unheard here. I just provided you with a link to exactly that: someone saying that it was confusing to them.

I read your link when you provided it in the OP. I saw people talking about how SAM is inadequate for describing all the complexities of human attraction/experience. I didn't see anyone confused about what SAM means or describes, in the way it is currently used. 

13 minutes ago, bydontost said:

I don't understand how this isn't the same idea...??

Ditto. 

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13 minutes ago, eatingcroutons said:

I didn't see anyone confused about what SAM means or describes, in the way it is currently used. 

 

I'll quote the specific lines I was thinking of, from here

 

Quote
Quote

“And now, if I wanted I could just say I was non-SAM.”

 

I… don’t know about this. I mean yeah, you could say that, if you wanted and feel that it fits, but… I have to say, if you just said that you’re “non-SAM” without any of the context of this conversation where you’ve just explained what that means to you, I would honestly have no idea what you meant by it. Because as you said, it does have multiple meanings. So would it really be that useful as an identifying phrase? Would it actually be able to stand alone?

 

I have to admit, before Coyote made this post, I was rather confused about “SAM” and where it came from. I don’t bother with Tumblr so I missed all the flamewars where this apparently originated, so from my perspective it was just sort of… suddenly all over the place? And it’s difficult to figure out exactly what people mean by it.

 

To me, Elizabeth saying "I was confused about this" and Siggy & Elizabeth saying "it has multiple meanings" is incompatible with "nobody finds its actual meaning ambiguous or unclear."

 

__________________

 

29 minutes ago, bydontost said:
1 hour ago, Coyote said:

There's the "there's more than one or two types of attraction (ex. 6, as in your example)" idea, which you're acknowledging here, and there's the "romantic orientation can be different from sexual orientation" idea, which is what some others here in this thread are reiterating, and those two aren't the same thing 

I don't understand how this isn't the same idea...??

 

That's an example of what I'm talking about then. I'm not sure whether or not I should approach this by asking you questions so you can explain your own thinking more, or by giving examples of how the two meanings can contradict each other when applied to individual people. For reference, though, the post I linked up top has the start of an explanation for why I object to using "split attraction model" to mean the same thing as "romantic orientation." I'm not sure whether you read that or not, but right now in context it isn't super clear to me why you'd see the two as interchangeable/indistinguishable.

 

So here's what I'm thinking at this juncture: if "the split attraction model" means one thing only, not more than one thing, and is always consistent with itself across iterations, then I can give you 3+ plus examples of individual narratives, and you can tell me whether or not "the SAM" applies to those people or not and how. Does that plan work for you?

 

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5 minutes ago, Coyote said:

To me, Elizabeth saying "I was confused about this" and Siggy & Elizabeth saying "it has multiple meanings" is incompatible with "nobody finds its actual meaning ambiguous or unclear."

It seems to me that Elizabeth was saying "non-SAM" can have multiple meanings and is confusing - possibly because that term was only mooted in the thread you linked to. 

 

I can understand how someone who doesn't "bother with" any of the communities where the term "split attraction" is used might be unfamiliar with it. I've also met plenty of people who've never come across the concept of split attraction. But in my experience it takes about five seconds to explain that it means "different types of attractions can be distinct (split)". The meaning is literally in the term itself. The fact that some people are unfamiliar with the concept doesn't make the concept itself ambiguous. 

22 minutes ago, Coyote said:

I can give you 3+ plus examples of individual narratives, and you can tell me whether or not "the SAM" applies to those people or not and how. Does that plan work for you?

 

Of course not. Only an individual can decide whether split attraction as a concept meaningfully describes their own experience. 

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25 minutes ago, Coyote said:

For reference, though, the post I linked up top has the start of an explanation for why I object to using "split attraction model" to mean the same thing as "romantic orientation."

Yes, and what I said is that SAM: 

 

12 hours ago, bydontost said:

provides the frame in which the concept of "romantic orientation" fits, alongside the other orientations.

I'm not saying sam is the same concept as romo orientation. I'm saying that the split attraction model is a concept larger that this of romantic or sexual or platonic or aesthetic orientation and it provides a larger frame/mold in which all those attractions can be conceptualized as distinct and different...?? I'm really not arguing they're the same thing... 

So again, how does "There's more than one or two orientations" contradict "romantic attraction can be different from sexual attraction"?? I think the second statement is complementary to the first one.

 

34 minutes ago, Coyote said:

Does that plan work for you?

As @eatingcroutons said, I think the essential part of sam is that a certain person finds it useful to describe their experiences. If you give me examples of people who say the sam doesn't work for them, then I'll say they don't use the sam, because they say they don't use the sam. 

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25 minutes ago, eatingcroutons said:

It seems to me that Elizabeth was saying "non-SAM" can have multiple meanings and is confusing - possibly because that term was only mooted in the thread you linked to. 

 

I can understand how someone who doesn't "bother with" any of the communities where the term "split attraction" is used might be unfamiliar with it. I've also met plenty of people who've never come across the concept of split attraction. But in my experience it takes about five seconds to explain that it means "different types of attractions can be distinct (split)". The meaning is literally in the term itself. The fact that some people are unfamiliar with the concept doesn't make the concept itself ambiguous. 

 

So are you saying my statement was wrong, or... something else? Like are you saying what I said was incompatible isn't actually incompatible, or are you saying that Elizabeth doesn't count as a person who finds it confusing, or are you saying that she would have understood it eventually if I hadn't failed to explain it to her right?

 

29 minutes ago, eatingcroutons said:

Of course not. Only an individual can decide whether split attraction as a concept meaningfully describes their own experience. 

 

10 minutes ago, bydontost said:

If you give me examples of people who say the sam doesn't work for them, then I'll say they don't use the sam, because they say they don't use the sam.  

 

I should have clarified, sorry: I was talking about hypotheticals. Like "if a person thinks of their experience as [...] then which category applies?" but, very well. Set aside that idea then.

 

On that note, I'm glad to hear that neither of you believes in applying "sam" or "non-sam" to people without their say in it! Because that was a big part of the impetus to this whole thread & the whole previous post -- Laura referring to quoiromantics as people who don't split attraction, i.e. referring to a group I'm a part of in a way that I don't subscribe to and in fact find invalidating.

 

1 hour ago, bydontost said:

I don't understand how this isn't the same idea...??

 

12 minutes ago, bydontost said:

I'm saying that the split attraction model is a concept larger that this of romantic or sexual or platonic or aesthetic orientation and it provides a larger frame/mold in which all those attractions can be conceptualized as distinct and different...?? I'm really not arguing they're the same thing... 

 

Ah! That's a different statement then. Right now, it sounds like you're switching to talking in terms of overlap or subcategories. For instance, it's comparable, perhaps, to saying that aromanticism and asexuality are different things. That doesn't mean there aren't people who fit both or that they're contradictory, just that you can have one without the other -- "aromantics" can be a bigger category that includes people who are asexual and who are not, and "asexuals" can be a bigger category that includes people who are aromantic and who are not. When I say "romantic orientation" and "differentiating types of attraction" are different things, this is the kind of nesting/overlapping category idea I am thinking about. Is this the same for your thinking or is it different?

 

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1 hour ago, Coyote said:

 So are you saying my statement was wrong, or... something else? 

I'm saying that in my experience, the "split attraction model" refers to the concept that different kinds of attraction can be distinct/split, and I've never met anyone who has found that concept ambiguous once explained in those terms. 

 

ETA: I just tested this out on a friend who has zero connection to queer communities, zero knowledge of aspec identities, and has definitely never encountered the concept of split attraction before. It took me all of ten seconds to say, "If I told you some people experience different kinds of attraction as distinct - like they might be bisexual but only romantically attracted to one gender - does that concept make sense to you?" and he was like, "Yeah, why?"

 

I asked if there was anything ambiguous about what I'd said and he was like, "I reckon if you said that to Fred on the street he'd think it was pretty weird, but nah, the idea is straightforward."

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So much. More posts. Currently active. Quoting my crap writing!

 

This is specifically the way I was introduced to the SAM concept

Spoiler
Quote

Romantic Attraction –

The attraction and desire for a romantic relationship with a person. “I want to date you”.

noun : a capacity that evokes the want to engage in romantic intimate behavior (e.g., dating, relationships, marriage), experienced in varying degrees (from little-to-none, to intense). Often conflated with sexual attraction, emotional attraction, and/or spiritual attraction.

Aesthetic Attraction –

When you’re only attracted to the way a person looks and desire nothing more. “You look nice”

Sensual Attraction –

When you're attracted so someone through your senses (other than looks). This may mean that you're attracted to the smell of a person or you want to be touched or hugged by a person. “I want to hug/kiss you”

Platonic Attraction –

The desire to be really good friends with someone and nothing more. “I want to be friends with you”

Sexual Attraction –

The desire to engage in sexual type activities with another person “I want to have sex with you”.

noun : a capacity that evokes the want to engage in physical intimate behavior (e.g., kissing, touching, intercourse), experienced in varying degrees (from little-to-none, to intense). Often conflated with romantic attraction, emotional attraction, and/or spiritual attraction.

Alterous Attraction –

Can best be described as desiring emotional closeness with someone; is neither platonic nor romantic but rather somewhere in between the two

 

It was my mistake to think that the 6 type format was well known, it is just the only one I ever heard in a total explanation.

In most cases of it's use I have seen people prioritising sexual and romantic (attraction and orientation), mostly because I have been in aromantic or asexual centric spaces. I have seen bullying about use of platonic and several failed attempts of people trying to get others to classify their own sensual (experience, attraction or orientation). I have posted many times on AVEN about people needing to be careful about what is an 'appreciation' and what is an 'attraction' because it seems many people get really confused over attractions that are not romantic or sexual (mostly I see this issue with Aesthetic, which can marginalise people who actually find it important because the majority are making jokes about it). 

 

 

Because people don't list 6 orientations (to form their internet identities) that match perfectly with this 6 type SAM format (if they do in fact use SAM), just means they pick and choose what is most important to them in regards to the community they are in, how much information they have about themselves... or their answers may be N/A, or they might not list them at all (even if they know them) to avoid the negative reactions that would isolate them from the community they have chosen to be active in. I used the concept of SAM to find my orientation labels (yea, I do have more than two) but I feel them joined as a cohesive experience (which is more not-SAM) yet I still am happy to explain most things in the format of SAM because I find the idea useful and it makes explanations easier (especially when trying to figure out absence of attraction).

  

4 hours ago, Coyote said:

When people conflate the "there's more than one type of attraction [sexual/sensual/aesthetic/emotional/romantic/queerplatonic/who knows what else]" idea with the "romantic orientation as distinct from sexual orientation" idea, people are treating romantic & sexual like the only types of attraction anyone cares about distinguishing between, the only types that anyone conceptualizes as orientations, and the only types that even count as attraction in the first place.

That is all about how people use the SAM, rather than what it is and how it is explained in 'information' and 'introduction' spaces. Sure, if people get their understanding from other people who preference the sexual and romantic only view and give incomplete information then the two things could be seen as different because the new person would only have the information to work out their two attractions and how that might apply to an orientation label. But for everyone else, what we list is not all there is.

 

I guess the website format here is enforcing the romance and sexual being the important ones because they are the two clearly asked for and listed on our mini profiles. There are some worries about our language being too amatonormative in it's format. 

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11 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

It was my mistake to think that the 6 type format was well known, it is just the only one I ever heard in a total explanation.

I have seen it used partially, like here, where the 'less important/more confusing attractions' were not included. 

And I have seen people complain about specific terms used

 

EDIT: My post was cut off! I had like 5 other links and other comments I think the site hates me. Okay I think I can reconstruct it....

 

And I have seen people complain about specific terms used in the SAM like herehere and here

I see people talk about attractions not covered in the SAM 6 attraction model like here and sometimes I have seen those attractions cut and fit into the SAM, like here.

But because some attractions are not given importance by some people they discourage or erase the possibility of having an orientation that is not sexual or romantic, like here

I think these discussions and criticisms are based in the misuse of a narrowed down understanding of SAM or issues associated specifically with a type of attraction, not with the basic concept of 'a person may feel many attractions and they may not all be similar'. 

 

I've read through the article and comments of your linked article "Romantic Orientation and the “Split Attraction Model” are not the same thing" (I think it was my quote from there that glitched my post) and I agree with @eatingcroutons that at least Elizabeth's comments seem to be talking about what "not-SAM" is. 

 

(A quote, but not using the quote function again)

"What I don’t understand about the phrase “non-SAM” is this: why are we identifying people who do not split attraction/orientation/whatever, why are we identifying people by what they do not do (or experience) rather than what they do experience? Wouldn’t it be better to name the experiences that people are having, rather than the model(s) they’re rejecting?" -Elizabeth seems to be asking why is SAM the automatic assumption (which forces others to note if they don't use it)

 

(and another quote from Elizabeth)

"In my case, I don’t find the phrase “non-SAM” to be useful to me, because in one sense (the one sense that the phrase is apparently used to mean most often), I definitely do use SAM. Making distinctions between sexual and other kinds of attractions has been critical, for me. But when it comes to other kinds of attraction… eh. It’s not as important for me to make distinctions, even though I probably could if I really tried, just to explain what components are involved. I experience these attractions as integrated, rather than split." -Elizabeth seems to have the (at least basic) understanding of SAM because she has used it and referenced more than 2 attractions (sexual and attractions, plural), so I don't know why you linked her comments as being confused about SAM. 

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