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Coyote

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

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8 hours ago, Coyote said:

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.

Yep, I think that's a different conversation though - I'm not in Laura's head and I don't know why they chose to talk about it like that, maybe because the most common usage of sam is to distinguish between romo and sexual attraction, but that's not all there is. 

 

8 hours ago, Coyote said:

Ah! That's a different statement then.

I mean honestly that's what I've been trying to say from the start, so I'm glad we're finally on the same page. "I don't undertand how it's not the same idea" was followed by:

 

10 hours ago, bydontost said:

"There's more than 1 or 2 types of attraction, so romantic attraction can be different from sexual attraction"

the first part of that sentence was about sam (existence of multiple types of attraction) and the second part was fitting sexual and romantic patterns of attraction into the frame provided by sam. A statement "There's more than 1 or 2 types of attraction, so sensual attraction can be different from platonic attraction" would also be true and I don't see how it'd imply that sam = platonic orientation. 

8 hours ago, Coyote said:

Is this the same for your thinking or is it different?

Mostly the same!! Definitely don't see the various orientations as exclusive or existing in some sort of hierarchy (where you'd first have to label your sensual orientation for example and only then you'dbe able to make other ones), so definitely overlapping, definitely something everyone can pick and choose from to suit their needs in describing experiences, so you can as one of the options choose sexual and aesthetic and platonic orientation or romantic and sensual and platonic and emotional orientation and it'd be all happening within the framework sam provides. 

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On 3/16/2019 at 3:53 PM, bananaslug said:

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.

It wouldn't surprise me if that's a common experience amongst perioriented people. Who, it must be remembered, comprise the vast majority of people.

 

On 3/16/2019 at 3:53 PM, bananaslug said:

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.

The obvious complication is 'heterosexual', 'homosexual', 'bisexual', 'pansexual' on their own tend to be assumed to be perioriented. Whereas 'asexual' on it's own tends to be assumed varioriented. Maybe this is something which needs an aroace specific space to work out.

I'm wondering if the "split attraction model" became normative within the asexual community in the fairly early days of AVEN. With normative assumptions having the strange quaility of often being unnamed. Something can be normative for a long time before someone names it. In the case of amantonormativity maybe even as much as a century.
 

On 3/17/2019 at 12:42 AM, 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. 

I find "platonic" to be used in some ambiguious and generic ways in parts of the aro community. Including using 'platonic' as a noun rather than an adjective and conflation with 'friendship'. I'd definitely consider sensual to be non platonic.
 

16 hours ago, Coyote said:

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.

I've only recently encountered the idea of 'platonic' including physical forms of attraction. With the most common understanding of the term being about the emotional, intellectual and spiritual whilst excluding the physical, sexual and sensual. Some of consequences, notably the idea that something can be both 'platonic' and 'sexual' seem quite oxymoronic.
There is this article which addresses some of the problems associated with using the term "platonic love" in a broad way. The author appears to assume the SAM or something like it.

 

16 hours ago, Coyote said:

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

I'm not sure how this follows.
Elizabeth Brake says: "Amatonormativity is a word I coined to describe the widespread assumption that everyone is better off in an exclusive, romantic, long-term coupled relationship, and that everyone is seeking such a relationship." That the SAM includes aromantic people falsifies this assumption.
Some things which can seem somewhat like amantonormativity are (Queer) Platonic Life Partners, Aro Soulmates and some Queer Platonic Relationship definitions. Whilst these may not be romantic they could describe exclusive, long-term coupled relationships. Which some people may want whilst others would find repulsive.

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12 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

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. 

I'm somewhat wondering if these definitions of 'aromantic' and 'Queerplatonic', both of which are on the AVEN Wiki, are intended to be 'friendly' towards allo aces. e.g. by not challenging the notion of romance being 'more than' friendship.

 

11 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

"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?"

Ironically this is also an issue with 'aromantic' and 'asexual'.
Which likely contributes to aro allos and allo aces embracing the SAM as providing useful identity. Which it dosn't do for aro aces. 

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25 minutes ago, Mark said:

on the AVEN Wiki

The aromantic definition does seem to be only very lightly skimming the possibility of aroallos except in the last line of "aromantics can be of any sexual orientation."

But the descriptor for queerplatonic on the Aromantic definition page is offensively amatonormative:

Quote

When an aromantic gets into a relationship that's more than friends - but less than romantic - that is known as a queerplatonic relationship.

So the amatonormative language is around, but SAM doesn't seem to be in line with that sort of language or concept, so maybe @Coyote meant it in the way that SAM is silently ever-present as amatonormativity is silently ever-present (well not so silent to us, but you get the idea of it's general pervasiveness). Which ties in with the fact of non-SAM users having to identify themselves with a negative...just like aros and aces (lol, it would be fun if 'blank slate' was assumed and we defined ourselves by what we actually are, but the majority would probably take offence as I have seen happen in other spaces where allocishetnormative question their need for any labels because they are the 'normal ones')

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1 hour ago, Mark said:

I'd definitely consider sensual to be non platonic.

Sensual attraction is generally defined as the "desire to interact with others in a tactile, non-sexual way such as hugging, kissing, cuddling, or hand holding"

 

While I understand that different people and cultures have different views on whether these actions are romantic or platonic, and that's okay, the cultural values I was raised with say that those actions are platonic, or at least can be done in a platonic way. 

 

Hugging, cuddling, and hand holding are not, in my mind, even a little bit sexual or romantic. These are just things that friends do with eachother and that's normal and expected. I think my view on this is probably colored by gender roles sense I'm feminine presenting and afab and I know most masculine presenting people are discouraged from being physically affectionate with their friends, but it is still my exsperiance. I'm never assumed to be romantically attached simply because I was holding hands with friends in public or hugging someone I haven't seen in a long time, these are just things that friends do.

 

Kissing is, I think where this gets a little complicated because whether or not a kiss is considered platonic is deeply dependent on intention and where its placed in the body. There was a thread on here a few months ago about what the diffrent placements of kisses signify which gets more in depth with this (I'll try to find it for you once I'm off my phone). So like there's an argument to be made there, but even then there are platonic forms of kissing such as on the cheek or forehead so this is a grey area.

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13 minutes ago, bananaslug said:

Sensual attraction is generally defined as the "desire to interact with others in a tactile, non-sexual way such as hugging, kissing, cuddling, or hand holding"

I'd tend to see 'platonic' as being not physical.
 

18 minutes ago, bananaslug said:

While I understand that different people and cultures have different views on whether these actions are romantic or platonic, and that's okay, the cultural values I was raised with say that those actions are platonic, or at least can be done in a platonic way. 

Different cultures may be an issue here. Though I find the notion of 'romantic or platonic' to be a false dichotomy with sensual and sexual falling into the category of 'neither'.

 

25 minutes ago, bananaslug said:

Hugging, cuddling, and hand holding are not, in my mind, even a little bit sexual or romantic. These are just things that friends do with eachother and that's normal and expected. I think my view on this is probably colored by gender roles sense I'm feminine presenting and afab and I know most masculine presenting people are discouraged from being physically affectionate with their friends, but it is still my exsperiance. I'm never assumed to be romantically attached simply because I was holding hands with friends in public or hugging someone I haven't seen in a long time, these are just things that friends do.

I see sensual attraction as distinct from, but not unrelated to, sexual attraction. In that it's uncommon that I won't also be sensual attracted to people I'm sexually attracted to.
With the complication that I'm AMAB with attitudes, feelings and fears towards relationships and 'dating' which align more to 'girl' than 'boy' norms. 

 

34 minutes ago, bananaslug said:

Kissing is, I think where this gets a little complicated because whether or not a kiss is considered platonic is deeply dependent on intention and where its placed in the body. There was a thread on here a few months ago about what the diffrent placements of kisses signify which gets more in depth with this (I'll try to find it for you once I'm off my phone). So like there's an argument to be made there, but even then there are platonic forms of kissing such as on the cheek or forehead so this is a grey area.

Kissing I feel can be motivated by romantic, sexual or sensual feelings. Either singly or in combination.

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Yeah so, the definition that @Apathetic Echidna gave for sensual attraction-

17 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

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”

was really different from the definition I used, and it prompted me to Google it just to see how much variation there was in definition.

 

3 hours ago, bananaslug said:
5 hours ago, Mark said:

I'd definitely consider sensual to be non platonic.

Sensual attraction is generally defined as the "desire to interact with others in a tactile, non-sexual way such as hugging, kissing, cuddling, or hand holding"

And after looking into it, the confusion here isn't surprising. Just from a quick Google and digging around on my Tumblr for the definition I used, I was able to find four distinct definitions- who knows how many more there really are!

 

3 hours ago, Mark said:

I see sensual attraction as distinct from, but not unrelated to, sexual attraction.

Funnily enough, sensual attraction was actually coined by an asexual as a way to describe how their relationships were still romantic. Not that I agree with that, and I think as time as worn on sensual attraction gets to be it's own stand-alone thing that can be felt in conjuction with other attractions.

 

I made a whole post about it here, if anyone is interested. 

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4 hours ago, Mark said:

I'd tend to see 'platonic' as being not physical.

 

This is....humm, idk how I feel about this. "spiritual and not physical" isn't even a definition that works with my personal understanding spirituality. My physical self is deeply tied to my spiritual self, defining platonic as one but not the other doesn't work for me. I also think of spiritual attraction as it's own thing that, while a type of platonic attraction, is not the only kind of platonic attraction. If I'm spiritually attracted to someone that means I want to work with them in a religious or magickal context (ritual, coven, meditation, etc). While this kind of attraction is, in fact, a deep and intense pull, it's not the only kind of platonic attraction I feel, I tend to just define platonic as not romantic or sexual. Of course, not everyone defines spirituality the same way I do and that's okay, I think spirituality, in particular, is one of those things that people should really define for themselves, but that variation in how people view spirituality does mean that "spiritual, not physical" probably isn't a great blanket definition.  

 

4 hours ago, Mark said:

Kissing I feel can be motivated by romantic, sexual or sensual feelings. Either singly or in combination.

 

I think a conversation that also needs to be had here is that of physical affection without the motivation of attraction. I kiss my little sister forehead when I tuck her into bed, but I am certainly not attracted to her in any of these ways, it's simply an indication of familial affection. The same goes for my found family, they all kiss each other on the cheek from time, but it's not due to any kind of attraction, it's just a way of communicating that they're important to one another. This is what I mean when I say that I consider a lot of the actions associated with "sensual traction" to be platonic. These acts are so frequently used simply as a form of comfort or communication between people who feel no attraction towards each other whatsoever, how can they possibly be anything else? Definitely, when attraction is involved they can stop being platonic in nature, and that grey area is I think what we're really trying to discuss here, but I think it's also important to mention that physical affection often has nothing to do with sensual attraction or any other kind of attraction for that matter.

 

That discussion about kissing is here btw , although it looks like you were also involved in it.

 

1 hour ago, assignedgothatbirth said:

just from a quick Google and digging around on my Tumblr for the definition I used, I was able to find four distinct definitions- who knows how many more there really are!

 

Oh interesting! This is something I've seen happening a lot lately. I feel like we all got scattered somewhere along the lines and now that everyone is getting back together and talking everyone has 10 different definitions for every term. Which is... confusing and difficult, but also pretty neat I guess.

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On 3/18/2019 at 10:18 AM, Coyote said:
On 3/18/2019 at 8:27 AM, bydontost said:

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

 

On 3/18/2019 at 9:53 AM, 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.

You realise these two quotes were replying to entirely different things, right?

 

In the first instance @bydontost says that she believes the statements "there's more than one or two types of attraction" and "romantic orientation can be different from sexual orientation" are both part of the same concept, and explicitly clarifies her understanding to be, "There's more than 1 or 2 types of attraction, so romantic attraction can be different from sexual attraction."

 

In the second instance tost is replying to your comments about "split attraction" and "romantic orientation" being "interchangeable/indistinguishable" which... as far as I can tell literally nobody in this thread believes? (I don't know who Laura is but if you have a problem with what they've said elsewhere maybe you should be talking to them about it?)

 

ETA: lol whoops, didn't notice page 2 on my phone.

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7 hours ago, bananaslug said:

I feel like we all got scattered somewhere along the lines and now that everyone is getting back together and talking everyone has 10 different definitions for every term. Which is... confusing and difficult, but also pretty neat I guess.

Yeah. I have problems with some definitions of the attractions in the original model I was introduced to and I have no idea why in that model they stopped at 6 attractions in the SAM. So I think it is a good thing we have that variation in information now (though I don't ever think I will understand non-individualised attraction to intelligence). 

 

Even now though I don't see any of this discussion and debate as being specifically about SAM itself. It is rather about the components (attractions) that the SAM concept allows to be separated.  do other people agree with me? is discussing specific attractions discussing SAM, or are the discussions using SAM as a idea to divide attraction and we are specifically discussing the attractions (as being the product of SAM, not SAM itself)?

(ahhh, so much bold!)

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23 minutes ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

Even now though I don't see any of this discussion and debate as being specifically about SAM itself. It is rather about the components (attractions) that the SAM concept allows to be separated.  do other people agree with me?

Yeah, I agree that's where this discussion has ended up - and I agree that how people define different types of attraction is a separate topic to the SAM itself (which is just the concept that attractions can be distinct). 

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Oh uh, wow, this got a lot of replies suddenly. Neat.

...I feel like I can only address a few things in a reply at a time, though. I will do my best here.

 

23 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

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). 

 

!

So, is it right or wrong to interpret this as meaning that "SAM" & "non-SAM" mean multiple things/can be used in multiple ways, for you?

 

23 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

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.  

 

Before you mentioned it, I hadn't really given it much thought. I think that could be chafing to some folks, yes. While it's fine for me as an individual, because I have the communally-established language to say "no, romantic orientation doesn't apply to me" in more condensed shorthand, there isn't yet comparable shorthand for the sexual-and-romantic-as-combined-unit orientation folks to express that in this format, nor is there space to list any other kind of orientation.

 

Also, thank you for pointing me toward that thread. I might go post on it after I finish this uhhh mammoth of a post.

 

22 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

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,

 

This is something I am interested in talking about. While I don't want to get sidetracked into talking about Plato just yet, stick a pin here to indicate that I have thoughts (so, we can talk more about that if anyone cares). Would you mind -- for definition purposes -- laying out examples of a "true/reflective" definition & a "misuse"/"narrowed down" definition? I want to see if we agree about which uses are bad/nonstrategic/unfair/unwise/whichever thing you'd like to call it.

 

22 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

I don't know why you linked her comments as being confused about SAM.  

 

We don't have to keep talking about that if you don't want, but to address this (implicit) question(?), that would be because her comment included sentences like "I have to admit, before Coyote made this post, I was rather confused about 'SAM' and where it came from."

 

______

 

 

16 hours ago, bydontost said:

Mostly the same!! Definitely don't see the various orientations as exclusive or existing in some sort of hierarchy (where you'd first have to label your sensual orientation for example and only then you'dbe able to make other ones), so definitely overlapping, definitely something everyone can pick and choose from to suit their needs in describing experiences, so you can as one of the options choose sexual and aesthetic and platonic orientation or romantic and sensual and platonic and emotional orientation

 

Oh, um, that wasn't quite what I meant to be explaining -- although I do agree with that too. That's all good. Let me try another question. Does having a romantic orientation entail differentiating romantic attraction from other kinds, and does differentiating types of attraction entail having more than one orientation?

 

_______

 

 

11 hours ago, Mark said:

I'm wondering if the "split attraction model" became normative within the asexual community in the fairly early days of AVEN.

 

No. ...Well -- maybe? It depends on what you're using that to mean. As I've stated, the term "split attraction model" itself doesn't come from aces, and it was coined within the past five years, on Tumblr, not AVEN. So -- I guess it depends on what you're specifically using it to mean. What idea or concept specifically are you thinking of, Mark? I've been looking into this for a while, so I might be able to pull some links for you, depending. 

 

11 hours ago, Mark said:

There is this article which addresses some of the problems associated with using the term "platonic love" in a broad way. The author appears to assume the SAM or something like it.

 

Oh boy. Her? ....Somebody might have to tell Siggy that The Thinking Aro's influence on the aromantic community hasn't quite been left behind.

Fun fact, I'm in the field of rhetoric and a lot of our early theoretical tradition engages with Plato (unfortunately...), so I have a lot to say about that dude & how come I've got complaints about the word "platonic" from all sorts of angles, but that may be a topic for another day. In terms of its contemporary usage apart from the dude himself? I've seen it used to mean nonromantic, nonsexual, nonromantic-nonsexual, nonromantic-nonsexual-casual... all sorts of things. It's kind of a mess, and I don't like the other associations it has for me, so on a personal basis I mostly just stay away from it.

 

11 hours ago, Mark said:

I'm somewhat wondering if these definitions of 'aromantic' and 'Queerplatonic', both of which are on the AVEN Wiki, are intended to be 'friendly' towards allo aces. e.g. by not challenging the notion of romance being 'more than' friendship.

 

While I can't really speak to anything going on with wikis, if you're interested in how people define the latter there, you might be interested in this Genealogy of Queerplatonic, which I also made a thread for here. It talks about the origins of the term and also some examples of how it's been used differently by different people over the years.

 

With that said, I also agree with you and @Apathetic Echidna that "more than friends - but less than romantic" is questionable/bad wording and deserves to be addressed. This could be veering off topic though, so that's a conversation we could maybe take to that other thread? In case this thread starts feeling any more unwieldy than it already is, I mean.

 

______

 

 

11 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

so maybe @Coyote meant it in the way that SAM is silently ever-present as amatonormativity is silently ever-present

 

No.

 

1 hour ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

Even now though I don't see any of this discussion and debate as being specifically about SAM itself. It is rather about the components (attractions) that the SAM concept allows to be separated.  do other people agree with me? is discussing specific attractions discussing SAM, or are the discussions using SAM as a idea to divide attraction and we are specifically discussing the attractions (as being the product of SAM, not SAM itself)?

 

I'm not sure. ...And I don't mean "I'm not sure" as in "I disagree with you," but "I'm not sure" as in "I'm not sure how to answer that yet." I will explain a little bit more about what I am thinking. In one respect, I can't answer that question because I made this thread to find out more about how other people are using the term. I don't know that I can take a position on what "SAM" itself is or isn't, in relation to this conversation or otherwise -- and so I don't know how that influences how I should answer your question. What I will say though is this: I'm coming at this from something of a linguistic/rhetorical/language perspective, if that makes sense. I am thinking about names for things, and I am thinking about things and names for things as sometimes distinguishable. I do not really believe in "true" names or absolute essential meanings that "inherently" match up to a word (or that things can "inherently" mean things), just trends and tendencies. For example, if I call a spade a spade ♠️ and you understand me, that's not because a spade "is" a spade, it's just because we happen to share an understanding of what the letters-spelling-out "spade" (as a word-symbol) refers to, as its referent.

 

I don't think I can say right now what this discussion "is" about. I can say what I'd like it to be about, though, and what I'd like it to be about is the idea of "split attraction model" as a name or phrase that people are making a choice to reclaim and use on things -- "split attraction model" as a symbol for an idea (or set of ideas), not the ideas themselves.

 

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:/ sorry, I feel bad for your inundation. That is how I felt yesterday when I found all the activity here. well at least it is good that it no longer takes 3 days to get an answer on topics!

 

1 hour ago, Coyote said:

So, is it right or wrong to interpret this as meaning that "SAM" & "non-SAM" mean multiple things/can be used in multiple ways, for you?

I think this is where the ambiguity of "non-SAM" come in. I don't really know. As I said in my first post here, SAM is not something I was particularly interested in before so I wasn't particularly critical. Sure, I used SAM to work out 3 orientation labels for myself which was only because I could identify those attractions, but now that I have labels doesn't change how I experience my life, and 2 of those attractions are so closely tied and so generally uncommon that I'm not on first name basis with them. I don't know enough about how "non-SAM" is generally understood to be comfortable using it, but I have used the concept of SAM in the past even if I don't think the division of attraction is important in my day to day life.

 

 As for the mini-profile format, I was originally going to also say AVEN mini-profiles as well but they just have an area called "A/Sexuality" and then people fill it with as many or as few orientation labels as they want which obviously allows more inclusion to those who use neither sexual or romantic (or don't separate them). I (in a very stupid way) actually really like the format of the mini-profiles (for a really stupid reason) as my mini-profile makes a nice pyramid shape (told you it was stupid) which is why I never bothered to change my sexuality when I found a specific label (it would have ruined the pyramid!) 😜

This thing is getting pretty mammoth, but it is really interesting! and I'm glad we are able to keep it all nice and respectful which goes into my little mental pile of why these forums are the best. 

 

1 hour ago, Coyote said:

This is something I am interested in talking about. While I don't want to get sidetracked into talking about Plato just yet, stick a pin here to indicate that I have thoughts (so, we can talk more about that if anyone cares). Would you mind -- for definition purposes -- laying out examples of a "true/reflective" definition & a "misuse"/"narrowed down" definition? I want to see if we agree about which uses are bad/nonstrategic/unfair/unwise/whichever thing you'd like to call it.

Feel free to re-awaken those topics that mention Plato if you wish (I'm sure there are some members who would love to pounce back on that topic). They would probably be a better place to get into the technical history of 'Platonic' anyway because some of the argument is already there and Platonic is really only a minor component of the SAM discussion which has so many other attractions to compete with for discussion space. 

 

As for a "true/reflective" definition, as a simplified to basic concept, I think SAM as an idea is at it's core: a person may feel many attractions and they may not all be similar 

Using the word 'may' to also include a negative option or possibility of an absence of attraction. 

 

The "misuse"/"narrowed down" definition that I commonly see is that: SAM is used to define sexual and romantic attraction (only).

Which makes the assumption that only those two attractions exist and that everyone has to have both, and that they require individual orientation labels. 

 

--As for Elizabeth's comment, because they admitted they used it successfully I figured they must have an understanding of SAM and the confusion was about where it came from. I must admit I had no idea where it came from, that it was so recent a term or that it apparently has elitist links to it's coining.  

 

1 hour ago, Coyote said:

I do not really believe in "true" names or absolute essential meanings that "inherently" match up to a word (or that things can "inherently" mean things), just trends and tendencies. For example, if I call a spade a spade ♠️ and you understand me, that's not because a spade "is" a spade, it's just because we happen to share an understanding of what the letters-spelling-out "spade" (as a word-symbol) refers to, as its referent.

 

I don't think I can say right now what this discussion "is" about. I can say what I'd like it to be about, though, and what I'd like it to be about is the idea of "split attraction model" as a name or phrase that people are making a choice to reclaim and use on things -- "split attraction model" as a symbol for an idea (or set of ideas), not the ideas themselves.

My call out question was basically to find out who thought about this conversation in a similar way as me. 

I realise now that my own concept of SAM is probably much different from the original SAM definition, and maybe that is because people have been linking it back to older ideas of difference in attraction without detailing the ideas as being separate or a progression.

 

But when I said "Even now though I don't see any of this discussion and debate as being specifically about SAM itself. It is rather about the components (attractions) that the SAM concept allows to be separated." I sort of meant "since my last post" because the discussion seemed to sway into talking about the attractions themselves, which can end up like debating colours as they come out of a prism (a prism that is the idea of SAM). Sorry for the bad wording on my part, really the unbolded stuff is more important than the bolded stuff. I fail at formatting but this is all happening during my 'weekend' so I am a little bit hungover

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4 hours ago, Coyote said:

Does having a romantic orientation entail differentiating romantic attraction from other kinds, 

Orientation as in pattern of attraction - not necessarily.

Orientation as in identity - it is used this way, yes, a homosexual perioriented person probably won't say they're homoromantic, while a varioriented one may.

4 hours ago, Coyote said:

does differentiating types of attraction entail having more than one orientation?

Yes (that is orientation in terms of pattern of attraction, not identity or label you choose) 

 

Again tho, I don't see romantic orientation and split attraction model as on the same level - sam is a category above romo, sexual, platonic, sensual, emotional, and so on attractions that allows to talk about them in terms of one concept (the split attraction model). 

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All right, y'all have talked about me enough, I've been Summoned.

 

This is Elizabeth (from Prismatic Entanglements, pronouns she/her), the commenter on Coyote's post.

 

I'm just gonna clarify my position, since I think some of you have misunderstood me.

 

The concepts (plural, there are multiple concepts involved) of the so-called "Split Attraction Model" have been around for a very long time, and I have no trouble understanding those. What I was confused about is the name "Split Attraction Model," which concepts exactly it refers to, why it came to be referred to that way... and why we keep using it this way still.

 

Some background: I first encountered the asexual community in late 2004, and joined in 2005 (both LJ and AVEN). So please don't assume that because I said "I don't bother with Tumblr" I'm therefore uninformed about the ace/aspec community or unfamiliar with the concepts.

 

When I first joined, I'm pretty sure the concept of romantic orientations was already around. The idea of having both a romantic and a sexual orientation has been established for a very long time.

 

I think that aesthetic attraction and sensual attraction were also around, or were established shortly after I joined, so they've been around for almost as long, but they were less developed than the idea of having separate sexual vs. romantic orientations. However, the ideas of platonic attraction and definitely alterous attraction, were still a long way from being conceptualized. There was a span of like 4-5 years in between there, as I recall, before people started talking about platonic attraction (as in, that it was defined as a specific type of attraction, rather than "I'm attracted to you [in x/y/z or unspecified way] but it's not sexual/romantic"). I believe that "platonic attraction" as its own specific thing happened maybe a year or so before "queerplatonic" was coined (Coyote made a great post about that, which I think was already linked here?). Now, I'm not saying these are for sure the exact dates/time frames or anything, my memory may be off and I'm really not the best at keeping track of time, so I wouldn't really be surprised to find out some of these terms are even older than that. It could be I missed the introductory thread for any of these terms. 

 

Those of you who first encountered the aspec community since "SAM" was coined, and probably also those of you who encountered it 2-4 years before that, have had a totally different experience with your introduction to these concepts. You've experienced them as a packaged deal, very likely explained in the same slide or page. It makes sense to explain it that way, so that's what we (asexual activists) started doing.

 

But it wasn't always like that. For me, first encountering the asexual community so much earlier, it was really different (there was no aro community, "ace" wasn't a term yet, and there was no gradient spectrum on the AVEN logo, it was a black triangle within a white triangle). These were two separate ideas, related but very much distinct.

 

Idea #1 was romantic orientation. Idea #2 was "there are many different types of attraction, not just sexual." And believe it or not, romantic orientation did not necessarily involve the idea of romantic attraction. That is an assumption that people make now, because of how dominant the “aromantic = does not experience romantic attraction” definition has become, but back then? I remember many people talking about it in terms of “who I want to have a romantic relationship with,” without considering attraction. The question was sometimes “who do I want to date?” rather than “who am I attracted to?” In most cases, there was probably also some kind of attraction, but you can’t just assume that’s the case for everyone. Some considered it a preference, not necessarily a pattern of attraction. Some people would base their romantic orientation identity label more on their comfort level, or their tendency to form emotional connections, with people of their preferred gender.

 

So to me, it does not make sense to refer to BOTH of these concepts as if they are exactly the same and one is an automatic consequence of the other, and call it “The Split Attraction Model.” That is why I could not figure out which concept “SAM” was referring to initially. I think the name for this model should either be separated to add “The Split Orientation Model” or expanded to “The Split Orientation/Attraction Model” at the very least.

 

I also dislike “Split” because it feels very wrong to call it “splitting” to me, but that's sort of a different discussion (see my original comment + Coyote’s reply for more on that).


To sum up: I think Coyote understood me correctly, and I’m coming from a similar place in that I want to talk about the name of the thing, more so than the concepts behind it, and potential alternative names for them, because “SAM” sure as heck doesn’t cut it for me, and "non-SAM" is even worse.

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51 minutes ago, Prismatangle said:

When I first joined, I'm pretty sure the concept of romantic orientations was already around. The idea of having both a romantic and a sexual orientation has been established for a very long time.

 

I think that aesthetic attraction and sensual attraction were also around, or were established shortly after I joined, so they've been around for almost as long, but they were less developed than the idea of having separate sexual vs. romantic orientations. However, the ideas of platonic attraction and definitely alterous attraction, were still a long way from being conceptualized. 

Are these the "concepts" you mean when you say the SAM refers to multiple concepts? 

 

Because that might be where we're talking across each other. Like @Apathetic Echidna, I understand SAM itself to mean literally nothing more than the concept that "a person may feel many attractions and they may not all be similar". What kinds of attractions exist, and how they are defined, is an entirely separate question. 

 

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2 hours ago, Prismatangle said:

Some background: I first encountered the asexual community in late 2004, and joined in 2005 (both LJ and AVEN). So please don't assume that because I said "I don't bother with Tumblr" I'm therefore uninformed about the ace/aspec community or unfamiliar with the concepts.

I'm seriously... speechless, we're on an aromantic forum. We've been over this time and time and time and time again, talking about how aro spaces don't equal ace spaces. And if you missed that, then you're uninformed. 

 

3 hours ago, Prismatangle said:

It makes sense to explain it that way, so that's what we (asexual activists) started doing.

 

But it wasn't always like that. 

So you started doing it a certain way that you say made sense and now you're saying that it wasn't always understood like that.

3 hours ago, Prismatangle said:

And believe it or not, romantic orientation did not necessarily involve the idea of romantic attraction

Alright, this shifted. 

 

3 hours ago, Prismatangle said:

In most cases, there was probably also some kind of attraction, but you can’t just assume that’s the case for everyone. Some considered it a preference, not necessarily a pattern of attraction.

And I'm not going to deny people's right to identify a certain way that makes sense to them. So, romantic orientation wasn't always based on attraction. Okay, this shifted and usually I see people identifying as a certain thing because of their pattern of attraction, which I imagine suits the romance favourable aros, who still call themselves aromantic despite being comfortable in romantic relationhips. But I think I see what you mean that attraction may not be the only reason for someone to identify with a certain label and that was marginalised in the split attraction model. Is that it?? An identity someone chooses may not be only affected by their attraction, but also by other factors??

 

3 hours ago, Prismatangle said:

I think the name for this model should either be separated to add “The Split Orientation Model” or expanded to “The Split Orientation/Attraction Model” at the very least.

I hmm, am assuming you mean orientation as identity here, so I'm getting that you mean that a) even though some people may feel distinct patterns of attractions, they don't have to label them and incorporate into their identity OR they don't use their attraction as indicator of identity, b) even though some people may not feel distinct patterns of attractions, they may want to label their identities based on their preferences?? 

 

3 hours ago, Prismatangle said:

I’m coming from a similar place in that I want to talk about the name of the thing, more so than the concepts behind it

If it was about that, then I don't think a lot of people understood it, with coyote asking

  • Quote

     

    • 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 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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13 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

I think this is where the ambiguity of "non-SAM" come in. I don't really know.

 

!

hm. That's fair. It also seems like people are defining SAM in terms of multiple (not "separate" but "separable," like aromanticism & asexuality are theoretically separable) different meanings, such as "having distinct orientations," "having distinct sexual and romantic orientations that don't match," "distinguishing between romantic and sexual attraction," and "types of attraction can be different." Some of those and not others could apply to one person, creating equal ambiguity in referring to another person as "SAM-using" or "non-SAM." At this point I'd also like to point out that we weren't dealing with this particular issue back when we weren't using this term (that is, the term creates the issue) -- even though it also helps to highlight or expose other issues, and in particular here I am thinking of... to use your term from the other thread as a placeholder for a sec, aspezzas and greyspezzas, for whom the sexuality/romanticism distinction is irrelevant or even troublesome.

 

13 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

As for the mini-profile format, I was originally going to also say AVEN mini-profiles as well but they just have an area called "A/Sexuality" and then people fill it with as many or as few orientation labels as they want which obviously allows more inclusion to those who use neither sexual or romantic (or don't separate them). I (in a very stupid way) actually really like the format of the mini-profiles (for a really stupid reason) as my mini-profile makes a nice pyramid shape (told you it was stupid) which is why I never bothered to change my sexuality when I found a specific label (it would have ruined the pyramid!) 

 

Oh gosh. I'd want to update it and make it accurate, myself, so I can imagine feeling really torn in your shoes ('cause that kind of visual orderliness appeals to me too).

 

But anyway -- for now, I'm thinking the mini profile solution (ideologically, if not visually, RIP your triangle) would be a singular line that just says "orientation(s)." Thoughts?

 

13 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

I realise now that my own concept of SAM is probably much different from the original SAM definition

 

Oh most definitely. For reference, just as a historical note (and I use the word "historical" lightly), here are some of the antecedents and earliest uses of the phrase "split attraction model" that Belowdesire found and shared with me on Pillowfort:

  • "i got a prollem w ppl splitting a complex sociocultural influenced ting like attraction into only two distinct experiences that ppl present as inherently unrelated all the time." (approx March 25, 2015)
  • "stop this hyper-progressive (romance and sexual attraction are completely different so lesbians can still date men!!) shit which just circles riiiiight back to being your run-of-the-mill bigot" (approx April 23, 2015)
  • "in the past few days i have alluded to the idea that the split attraction model plays into homophobia and particularly lesbophobia but i have not explained that in depth. i have discussed in the past how 'allosexual' is an alienating term and how it potentially hurts non-ace gay/bi people who are already hypersexualized, particularly sex-repulsed gay/bi people (me!!!). but i dont know where these posts are and my position on this is also not fully developed i think." (approx May 10, 2015) (note: this user says tumblr user medicine "is smart af and has definitely talked about split-attraction model before" -- I believe user medicine is the same person as user pure, up in the first link I've listed here)
  • "the split attractions model encourages the maintenance of internalized homophobia" (approx June 24, 2015)
  • "Again, the split attractions idea does apply to some people. But the model in which sexual and romantic attractions are intrinsically different is not. That difference does not apply to everyone. Trying to apply it where it does not exist is harmful, and reflects many types of homophobia." (approx June 24, 2015)
  • "split attraction model is the idea that every single person experiences romantic/platonic/sexual/aesthetic/sensual attraction entirely separately and identifies every single LGBT+ person using that as a guide " (July 22, 2015)

So the "original" uses of the words "split attraction model" were to say that 1) the "model" applies itself universally, as "inherent" and applying to "every single" person (i.e. the model is bad because the model itself involves doing that), and 2) the "model" -- and before that, even "romance and sexual attraction are completely different" -- was being called homophobia and bigotry. Note that even these definitions all from the same year are slightly different from each other in terms of whether they're talking about attraction being split into two (romantic/sexual) or more than two. From what I can tell, though, it was mostly responding to the idea of romantic orientation.

 

Obviously I have to infer here that people started responding by saying "well you've got a point except it doesn't have to be applied to every single person though," while retaining/reclaiming the same name ("split attraction model") to mean something else, but I don't know of a particular post that discusses that shift as an intentional reclamation at the time. This kind of stuff is very hard to dig up again owing to the Tumblr format.  

 

_________

 

 

9 hours ago, Prismatangle said:

All right, y'all have talked about me enough, I've been Summoned.

 

Hi, Elizabeth. I'm so sorry. I thought quoting your comment as an example made sense at the time -- I wouldn't have done it if I'd known it was going to turn into that big headache of a mess. 

 

9 hours ago, Prismatangle said:

I believe that "platonic attraction" as its own specific thing happened maybe a year or so before "queerplatonic" was coined (Coyote made a great post about that, which I think was already linked here?).

 

Ty, and I think I have, yeah -- but for quick ref again, "squish" was introduced in 2007 (cw for amatonormative language), although I could only find "platonic attraction" as a phrase as far back as here, in 2014. Queerplatonic meanwhile comes from 2010.

 

10 hours ago, Prismatangle said:

I also dislike “Split” because it feels very wrong to call it “splitting” to me, but that's sort of a different discussion (see my original comment + Coyote’s reply for more on that).

 

I still strongly feel this. The name "split attraction model" seems very intentionally coined to positioned romantisexual as a default and the idea of differentiating types of attraction as "splitting" a larger whole, which to me is like referring to the concept of apples and oranges as "split fruit."

 

_________

 

10 hours ago, bydontost said:
15 hours ago, Coyote said:

does differentiating types of attraction entail having more than one orientation?

Yes (that is orientation in terms of pattern of attraction, not identity or label you choose)  

 

So you're using "orientation" and "pattern of attraction" to mean the same thing, and "orientation" and "identity label" to mean something different from each other?

 

6 hours ago, bydontost said:
10 hours ago, Prismatangle said:

Some background: I first encountered the asexual community in late 2004, and joined in 2005 (both LJ and AVEN). So please don't assume that because I said "I don't bother with Tumblr" I'm therefore uninformed about the ace/aspec community or unfamiliar with the concepts.

I'm seriously... speechless, we're on an aromantic forum. We've been over this time and time and time and time again, talking about how aro spaces don't equal ace spaces. And if you missed that, then you're uninformed. 

 

So uh, not to butt in here, but so that I don't make the same mistake you're identifying... can you explain more? Is the issue that Elizabeth used "ace community"/ace concepts to refer to romantic orientation & differentiating types of attraction? Is it the phrase "ace/aspec"? Or is it something else?

 

6 hours ago, bydontost said:
10 hours ago, Prismatangle said:

I’m coming from a similar place in that I want to talk about the name of the thing, more so than the concepts behind it

If it was about that, then I don't think a lot of people understood it, with coyote asking 

  • Quote

     

    • What have you seen people using "split attraction model" to mean? What does it mean to you? [etc]

 

Talking about the name and how to apply that name is what I am interested in talking about, yes. The way that I think and speak, asking "what does it mean to you" and "is it useful" and "does it fill a lexical gap," plus the notation on when it seems to have been coined (plus the nigh constant use of quotation marks, around "split attraction model") are how I express curiosity from a language vantage point, as opposed to "what is it" and "what does it mean" and "how does it work" (and much less use of quotation marks, i.e. split attraction model), which would have been the questions I would ask if I was thinking only of the concept itself as a thing. It failed to occur to me, at the time of creating the thread, that there was ambiguity there. I apologize for my role in causing confusion.

 

Fortunately this point of confusion has been raised and addressed, and now we are on the same page, yes?

 

We have identified several definitions that people have used and ways that people have used it, as a name, or string of words, to apply to different and overlapping and intertwined concepts, and I would like to talk about the semantic work that the phrase does or does not perform, i.e. how it is and is not useful -- starting with the classification of individuals into "SAM" and "non-SAM."

 

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@bydontost

 

Quote

“I'm seriously... speechless, we're on an aromantic forum. We've been over this time and time and time and time again, talking about how aro spaces don't equal ace spaces. And if you missed that, then you're uninformed. “

 

Umm… yes? Obviously this is an aromantic forum. I’m well aware. And I assume you are aware that in 2004 there was no such thing as an aromantic community?? These terms/concepts did in fact develop within the asexual community (it was not even called “the ace community” until… hm, maybe ‘09 at the earliest? I remember in ‘07-’08 there was still debate about whether it should be spelled “ace” or “ase”... and forget about “aspec,” that’s at least 5 years more recent than that). It is shared terminology. I am naming the community I was part of when these concepts developed, for clarity’s sake.

 

I mean, look, you may not like where these terms originated, but it IS relevant to my point. Snapping at me about this… isn’t really going to change it. Sorry I guess?

 

And uh… I have to say, if I’m going to get this kind of reaction when I enter an aro community space just for saying I’ve been around aspec spaces for about 15 years… I mean, this is part of why I’ve been hesitant and uncomfortable with engaging with specifically-aro spaces, and even publicly IDing as aro-spec. Am I not welcome here?

 


 

Quote

“So, romantic orientation wasn't always based on attraction. Okay, this shifted and usually I see people identifying as a certain thing because of their pattern of attraction, which I imagine suits the romance favourable aros, who still call themselves aromantic despite being comfortable in romantic relationhips. But I think I see what you mean that attraction may not be the only reason for someone to identify with a certain label and that was marginalised in the split attraction model. Is that it?? An identity someone chooses may not be only affected by their attraction, but also by other factors??“


 

I don’t think “this shifted” is completely accurate. I think the default assumption has shifted, yes. Now, people assume that generally, people identify with a romantic orientation because of their patterns of attraction. But I think that assumption is not always correct, even today! I personally know some people who identify as lesbian despite occasionally being attracted to a few men, because of their strong preference to only date women. And there are also people who ID as asexual for similar reasons. So yes, it’s correct to say that identity is not only affected by attraction, there may be other factors as well.


----
 

@Coyote

 

Quote

“Hi, Elizabeth. I'm so sorry. I thought quoting your comment as an example made sense at the time -- I wouldn't have done it if I'd known it was going to turn into that big headache of a mess.”

 

It’s cool! It certainly made sense to me too, so I totally get it, haha.

 

Quote


“Ty, and I think I have, yeah -- but for quick ref again, "squish" was introduced in 2007 (cw for amatonormative language), although I could only find "platonic attraction" as a phrase as far back as here, in 2014. Queerplatonic meanwhile comes from 2010.”

 

 

Oh yeah, “squish” was definitely a predecessor of “platonic attraction,” I remember that one being coined. I think I recall someone using “platonic attraction” shortly before or around the same time as queerplatonic was coined, but it’s possible I’m misremembering, and what I’m thinking of is actually someone saying something like “the attraction is just platonic” as in not romantic and/or sexual.

 

Quote

“The name "split attraction model" seems very intentionally coined to positioned romantisexual as a default and the idea of differentiating types of attraction as "splitting" a larger whole, which to me is like referring to the concept of apples and oranges as "split fruit."’

 

LOL split fruit! And yeah, exactly!

 

I think this sort of thing is what you were getting at with the idea that “SAM” (the name, not the concept) is kind of amatonormative, maybe? Right?

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26 minutes ago, Coyote said:
  • i got a prollem w ppl splitting a complex sociocultural influenced ting like attraction into only two distinct experiences that ppl present as inherently unrelated all the time." (approx March 25, 2015)
  • "stop this hyper-progressive (romance and sexual attraction are completely different so lesbians can still date men!!) shit which just circles riiiiight back to being your run-of-the-mill bigot" (approx April 23, 2015)
  • "in the past few days i have alluded to the idea that the split attraction model plays into homophobia and particularly lesbophobia but i have not explained that in depth. i have discussed in the past how 'allosexual' is an alienating term and how it potentially hurts non-ace gay/bi people who are already hypersexualized, particularly sex-repulsed gay/bi people (me!!!). but i dont know where these posts are and my position on this is also not fully developed i think." (approx May 10, 2015) (note: this user says tumblr user medicine "is smart af and has definitely talked about split-attraction model before" -- I believe user medicine is the same person as user pure, up in the first link I've listed here)
  • "the split attractions model encourages the maintenance of internalized homophobia" (approx June 24, 2015)
  • "Again, the split attractions idea does apply to some people. But the model in which sexual and romantic attractions are intrinsically different is not. That difference does not apply to everyone. Trying to apply it where it does not exist is harmful, and reflects many types of homophobia." (approx June 24, 2015)
  • "split attraction model is the idea that every single person experiences romantic/platonic/sexual/aesthetic/sensual attraction entirely separately and identifies every single LGBT+ person using that as a guide " (July 22, 2015)

Yep so those are just exclusionists and otherwise aphobic people criticizing the universal application of sam. They also don't seem to engage in good faith and are probably just trying to stoke the aphobic moods on tumblr. So while they were the first ones (probably) who used the words, I'm not actually going to take their concerns too seriously. When it comes to what sam meant to them - I still think they were talking about different patterns of attraction existing in people. 

 

The reclamation may have been just that people arguing with them started using the term too in their responses.

 

2 hours ago, Coyote said:

So you're using "orientation" and "pattern of attraction" to mean the same thing, and "orientation" and "identity label" to mean something different from each other?

YES!! Just like I said on my very first post on this topic!! 

Quote

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.

Clearly, we weren't on the same page here. 

 

3 hours ago, Coyote said:

So uh, not to butt in here, but so that I don't make the same mistake you're identifying... can you explain more? Is the issue that Elizabeth used "ace community"/ace concepts to refer to romantic orientation & differentiating types of attraction? Is it the phrase "ace/aspec"? Or is it something else?

In my opinion, a connection to spaces described as "ace/aspec" when you're on an explicitly aromantic forum and trying to explain how you're connected to the issues being discussed in context of this space is a great insensitivity. Wording that would work for me: "ace/aspec and now aro communities too". Just... use the word aromantic when you're on an aromantic forum and discussing things in context of aromanticism. 

3 hours ago, Coyote said:

We have identified several definitions that people have used and ways that people have used it, as a name, or string of words, to apply to different and overlapping and intertwined concepts, and I would like to talk about the semantic work that the phrase does or does not perform, i.e. how it is and is not useful -- starting with the classification of individuals into "SAM" and "non-SAM."

I'll read what @Prismatangle wrote as I was assembling this reply and get back to you on this

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1 hour ago, Prismatangle said:

Obviously this is an aromantic forum. I’m well aware. And I assume you are aware that in 2004 there was no such thing as an aromantic community?? These terms/concepts did in fact develop within the asexual community (it was not even called “the ace community” until… hm, maybe ‘09 at the earliest? I remember in ‘07-’08 there was still debate about whether it should be spelled “ace” or “ase”... and forget about “aspec,” that’s at least 5 years more recent than that). It is shared terminology. I am naming the community I was part of when these concepts developed, for clarity’s sake.

Yes, and now you're on an aromantic forum and discussing this in terms of aromanticism and the possible shifts in meanings that you're supposedly informed on/following. I am well aware that aro community wasn't a thing when the concepts of multiple attractions were being developed, but at least when the words "split attraction model" started being used, the are community was very much a thing already. So, wording I'd prefer to see, when you're trying to prove you're connected to aro discussions (this, happening on an aro forum, is an aro discussion) would be for example "ace/aspec spaces and now aro communities too". It worked poorly to me to name the communities you were active in then, in the context of you being connected to what is going on now. This is all.

 

1 hour ago, Prismatangle said:

, look, you may not like where these terms originated, 

I don't mind actually, to clarify. 

 

1 hour ago, Prismatangle said:

this kind of reaction when I enter an aro community space just for saying I’ve been around aspec spaces for about 15 years

nope, still not a reaction to this

1 hour ago, Prismatangle said:

Now, people assume that generally, people identify with a romantic orientation because of their patterns of attraction. But I think that assumption is not always correct, even today! I personally know some people who identify as lesbian despite occasionally being attracted to a few men, because of their strong preference to only date women. And there are also people who ID as asexual for similar reasons. So yes, it’s correct to say that identity is not only affected by attraction, there may be other factors as well.

Oh cool, same page!! Yes, I agree this is not good to assume a person's identity is only, always about their attraction. I think the most common case in which this is not so are people identifying as straight, but who have some non-straight attractions. I'm going to theorize that a lot of people like that aren't going to call themselves straight in the future (well, the younger generations). But I agree that it's good to emphasize that attraction doesn't have to equal identity. Tbh I thought that people who say they're "non-SAM" mean that they don't name their identities only based on the attractions they feel. And those who use SAM, use it to label their identity according to the attractions they feel (be it romantic, emotional, sexual, platonic, etc).

 

3 hours ago, Coyote said:

The way that I think and speak, asking "what does it mean to you" and "is it useful" and "does it fill a lexical gap," plus the notation on when it seems to have been coined (plus the nigh constant use of quotation marks, around "split attraction model") are how I express curiosity from a language vantage point

Well I certainly didn't catch that at all tbh. 

 

3 hours ago, Coyote said:

Fortunately this point of confusion has been raised and addressed, and now we are on the same page, yes?

 

We have identified several definitions that people have used and ways that people have used it, as a name, or string of words, to apply to different and overlapping and intertwined concepts, and I would like to talk about the semantic work that the phrase does or does not perform, i.e. how it is and is not useful -- starting with the classification of individuals into "SAM" and "non-SAM."

Yes, okay, I think I'm on the same page.

So, useful in my opinion - helps to conceptualize that there may be different types of attractions a person feels and that some of them may not exist or pull us in different directions. Useful when to someone a certain attraction is an important part of their experience and they want to incorporate it into their identity.

 

Not useful - may further reinforce the concept that attraction is the sole basis of identity. It is also mostly used in a way that centers sexual and romantic attraction-based identities, which doesn't make sense to many people. I don't think an argument that it doesn't apply to everyone is a strong one - a lot of concepts doesn't apply to everyone, but can be very useful to others. 

 

As a word - it's not the best for sure, but I'm not certain trying to change it wouldn't be like trying to turn a river with a stick at this point.

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5 hours ago, Coyote said:

Some of those and not others could apply to one person, creating equal ambiguity in referring to another person as "SAM-using" or "non-SAM."

I don't think it's particularly sensible to refer to other people as "SAM-using" or "non-SAM". The SAM isn't an identity, it's an optional framework which people may or may not use to conceptualise their patterns of attraction. 

 

As for the "original" definition: 2015-era definitions of the SAM that involve forcibly applying it to everyone come from the time that exclusionists were using the SAM to discredit and attack aspec communities. These days it is well-recognised that the SAM doesn't apply to everyone's experience, and that it is deeply harmful to try to force it on people. I'm on holiday and not about to go digging up posts as examples, but I can promise you my experience of aro communities here, on Tumblr, several Discord servers, and elsewhere, is that they have all long since rejected the "original" definition (which, again, was created and spread by exclusionists) in favour of the understanding that the SAM simply means that some people experience distinctions between different forms of attraction. 

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On 3/19/2019 at 3:04 PM, Prismatangle said:

and forget about “aspec,” that’s at least 5 years more recent than that

 

On that note -- do we know when that term itself got popular? It seems new to me, but I'm not really sure when or where it came from.

 

On 3/19/2019 at 3:04 PM, Prismatangle said:

LOL split fruit! And yeah, exactly!

I think this sort of thing is what you were getting at with the idea that “SAM” (the name, not the concept) is kind of amatonormative, maybe? Right?

 

Partly, yes. My thoughts are still forming and I'm still kinda figuring out what I want to say about that, but I think it's both the name and how the name has been getting used. So, first, there's just the choice of words for the phrase itself -- calling it "split" attraction, as if attraction is, to continue the fruit metaphor, a banana that I cut down the middle, normally one whole but here being artificially split apart (as opposed to just... being different things in the first place). But also, there's people's repeated, repeated, repeated implicit and explicit assumption that "splitting" attraction = splitting romantic from sexual = using orientation language for each kind = having two different/differing orientations = having a romantic and a sexual orientation. So that involves assuming that 1) the point of identifying attraction is to incorporate it into "orientation" language, 2) the main type of attraction that people separate off from sexual is "romantic," 3) differentiating types of attraction means having a romantic orientation. As a quoiromantic who differentiates between types of attraction, I register this as an unwarranted centering of romance.

 

_________

 

 

On 3/19/2019 at 4:35 PM, bydontost said:

Yep so those are just exclusionists and otherwise aphobic people criticizing the universal application of sam.

 

They were defining "split attraction model" as the universal application. This is what I mean by agreeing with @Apathetic Echidna that the statement "my own concept of SAM is probably much different from the original SAM definition" must be true, based on what's been already said.

 

On 3/19/2019 at 4:35 PM, bydontost said:
On 3/19/2019 at 1:29 PM, Coyote said:

So you're using "orientation" and "pattern of attraction" to mean the same thing, and "orientation" and "identity label" to mean something different from each other?

YES!! Just like I said on my very first post on this topic!! 

 

Okay. I take issue with that.

 

If "orientation" means "mere pattern of attraction, not necessarily identity," then that means that I, by virtue of experiencing aesthetic and sensual attraction, necessarily "have" an "aesthetic orientation" and a "sensual orientation," regardless of whether or not I label it as such or use that language for myself. This is what you are saying? 

 

On 3/19/2019 at 5:33 PM, bydontost said:

So, useful in my opinion - helps to conceptualize that there may be different types of attractions a person feels and that some of them may not exist or pull us in different directions. Useful when to someone a certain attraction is an important part of their experience and they want to incorporate it into their identity.

 

We were doing that and talking about that already, though. Before this term was imposed on us.

 

I do think that the term is adding something somehow, just... not that. To the extent that aces and aros have found the term useful, it seems, I'm thinking now, to be in the context of rejecting/negating/positioning themselves apart from it. This makes its utility less about a rejection of the pervasive model of composite/unilateral attraction & more about a disidentification with certain intracommunity norms among aces and aros, where a lot of people talk like having two separable orientations is normal for us. For instance, this seems(?) to resonate with what Bananaslug wrote earlier:

 

On 3/16/2019 at 11:53 AM, bananaslug said:

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. 

 

_________

 

 

On 3/19/2019 at 6:12 PM, eatingcroutons said:

I don't think it's particularly sensible to refer to other people as "SAM-using" or "non-SAM".

 

I agree! I don't think it's particularly sensible either. And yet people are doing that anyway. They're doing that in this very thread.

 

On that note, I have compiled some more thoughts on this. Some of that post is just rehashing things we've already gone over, but here's the part that I think is maybe(?) most relevant for this thread -- trying to draw a few different circles around ways of relating to the concept of "orientation":

 

Quote
  1. We’ve got people who have one orientation, and that orientation “combines” (or “doesn’t split”) what the ace and aro communities now frequently talk about as separate components, in that their orientation contains those components (or relationship to those components, or lack thereof) without distinguishing between them. It’s not as much that they have “two orientations” (an orientation of one kind and another of another) as it is experienced as one singular whole. This is a way of relating to orientation which relates to (or, conversely, disidentifies with) multiple concepts while integrating them as one continuous and inseparable experience. In ace and aro contexts, this group may experience friction with the romantic/sexual orientation division and may need language to distance itself from the community-influenced idea that their “sexual orientation” (or an orientation that ends in “-sexual”) is necessarily separable from their “romantic orientation.” For this reason, it could be that a de-emphasis on the suffix (or a different suffix entirely) is what’s most valuable. Convergent, cohesive pieces, singular composite orientation.
  2. We’ve got people who have one orientation, and that orientation doesn’t necessarily map to “just romantic” or “just sexual,” but it doesn’t necessarily combine them, either. There’s people with just one or the other, and there’s also people whose one orientation is neither. So, as subcategories: people who have only a sexual orientation, people who have only a romantic orientation, people who have only an emotional orientation, and so on, with further possibilities I may not have accounted for. This way of relating to orientation “splits” or otherwise diverges from the Western “sexual orientation” composite, but it’s still just one orientation in the singular. The particular choice of suffix might be more meaningful here than in the first group, but not necessarily. Divergent pieces, singular specific orientation.
  3. We’ve got people who have multiple orientations (not necessarily just one for romantic & one for sexual), and they view those orientations as distinct, somehow — if not separable, then at least comfortable and content with the community norm of specific orientation division/multiple orientations (as applied to just themselves). This way of relating to orientation again “splits” or otherwise diverges from the Western “sexual orientation” composite and gives name to two or more orientation labels, which may include more than romantic or sexual ones. It seems that the particular choice of orientation suffix might be the most important for this group in naming and distinguishing between each kind. Divergent pieces, multiple specific orientations.
  4. There’s also people who do not use orientation language, who may find the whole point moot. I’d say I probably know the least about this group, owing to the fact that this topic seems to arise most in ace and aro circles.

 

What do y'all think? Is that enough groups, too specific, too broad?

 

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On 3/20/2019 at 3:59 AM, Coyote said:

It also seems like people are defining SAM in terms of multiple (not "separate" but "separable,"

ah, yes this a distinction I did not actually think of before but yes. For some people things will be more clearly defined and so can be 'separated' and identified easier, but for a lot of people (as seen from all the pain from those "what am I?" posts) the decision/choice has to be made to self-evaluate and examine if other attractions can be identified (either singly or in conjunction with others). 

 

On 3/20/2019 at 3:59 AM, Coyote said:

So you're using "orientation" and "pattern of attraction" to mean the same thing, and "orientation" and "identity label" to mean something different from each other?

I hadn't realised you didn't catch this idea when @bydontost brought it up the first time. I skimmed that post too, but I recognised the distinction and it is pretty much the same one I make. It is possible this is the point that is tripping some of our conversation up. I have tried to be clear in my own posts about when I was talking about orientation or the orientation/identity label that we choose, but if that wasn't picked up I can understand how odd some things might get. 

 

The basic framework of this can be seen as:

Self 

Our inner being, thing, mind, whoever we are when meditating. Basically not important to the concept beyond it being the starting point. 

Orientation

An uncontrolled thing that we discover the presence of and we learn about through experiencing the world.

Attraction/Pattern of attractions

Another uncontrolled thing that generally is associated with orientations.

Orientation label/ Identity label/ Label   

Something that is chosen. We make a conscious choice to add terms to our identity assemblages according to internal and external factors.

 

It lines up with the concept of 'Born this way' that got publicity and debate around the campaigns for same-sex marriage laws around the world as well as campaigns against aversion therapy and the idea that non-heteronormative people can be 'cured'. Summed up as

Quote

"Sexual orientation is not a matter of choice, it is primarily neurobiological at birth." So said Jerome Goldstein, director of the San Francisco Clinical Research Centre.

Many other people have said basically the same thing, but recently (not sure when) the 'sexual' has been dropped to include a-spec orientations. Not knowing the label words or denying them does not change the orientation or attraction patterns as they are uncontrolled, unlike actions or identifying as something which is a choice. 

I know this is all of on another tangent but I felt this had to be cleared up because in a way it does tie back to the understanding of the current view of SAM. The only thing I disagree with @bydontost about is that 'orientation' and 'pattern of attraction' are the same thing, simply because using them as synonyms denies the possibility that there may be other influences, in addition to pattern of attraction, that may influence someone's fundamental orientation. A specific case for this might be neurodivergency.  

 

@Prismatangle Welcome! :aroicecream:I'm sorry to have misunderstood you when I quoted, so thanks for coming over and clearing things up (also thanks for clearing up the pronouns! I didn't want to make assumption so I went neutral). Am I right in re-reading your comment as you used the concept that we (at least Croutons and I) now call SAM?

 

On 3/19/2019 at 5:41 PM, Prismatangle said:

So please don't assume that because I said "I don't bother with Tumblr" I'm therefore uninformed about the ace/aspec community or unfamiliar with the concepts.

As for this, I would be more worried if you did find Tumblr important because that seems to be the stronghold of all sorts of bad stuff. 

 

Just saw I got pinged here, so just going to post it

oh also @Coyote yes, just having 'Orientations' would solve the issue but I am sort of attached to my pyramid so I'm not going to be the one to mention it in the site improvement topic

 

On SAM:

On 3/20/2019 at 8:03 AM, bydontost said:

As a word - it's not the best for sure, but I'm not certain trying to change it wouldn't be like trying to turn a river with a stick at this point.

On 3/20/2019 at 3:59 AM, Coyote said:

The name "split attraction model" seems very intentionally coined to positioned romantisexual as a default and the idea of differentiating types of attraction as "splitting" a larger whole, which to me is like referring to the concept of apples and oranges as "split fruit."

On 3/20/2019 at 5:34 AM, Prismatangle said:

LOL split fruit! And yeah, exactly!

Yeah, Split Attraction Model (SAM) is not the best use of words but I do like the acronym. I did think that maybe Differentiated Attraction Model might be a possible solution but that acronym.....😲..😂

 

 

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12 hours ago, Coyote said:

If "orientation" means

That's what the way I've been using it, yes. You clearly were using a different meaning, so of course you're going to (eta:) misunderstand me if you don't apply the sense I mean to my words (/end eta).

 

12 hours ago, Coyote said:

regardless of whether or not I label it as such or use that language for myself.

only in the sense that you experience that attraction, yes. Can you have attraction without labelling it?? Yes, you don't have a problem with this. Can you have orientation (in the meaning pattern of attraction) without labelling it?? Apparently not, even though it has the same meaning to how I use them. This is tripping you up. You don't use them the same way I do, but can you let go of the way you're using it for a second and understand what I'm saying?? 

 

The answer to that question you asked above is still: yes if you mean orientation = pattern of attraction, and no if you mean orientation = identity. I mean it in the first sense. 

 

12 hours ago, Coyote said:

To the extent that aces and aros have found the term useful, it seems, I'm thinking now, to be in the context of rejecting/negating/positioning themselves apart from it.

I'm not sure I understand - you mean that aros and aces only talk about the term sam to say they don't apply it to themselves...?? Or that it's mostly useful in setting apart aces from aros?? 

 

12 hours ago, Coyote said:

trying to draw a few different circles around ways of relating to the concept of "orientation"

Mostly looks like those are the groups. The only issue I have is this first part of this sentence and the use of "split": 

 

12 hours ago, Coyote said:

This way of relating to orientation “splits” or otherwise diverges from the Western “sexual orientation” composite, but it’s still just one orientation in the singular. 

 

12 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

The only thing I disagree with @bydontost about is that 'orientation' and 'pattern of attraction' are the same thing, simply because using them as synonyms denies the possibility that there may be other influences, in addition to pattern of attraction, that may influence someone's fundamental orientation. A specific case for this might be neurodivergency.

Hmm this is sth I'd have to think about tbh...?? I guess my understanding was that patterns of attraction(s) itself(s) were influenced by things like that tbh.

 

12 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

Yeah, Split Attraction Model (SAM) is not the best use of words but I do like the acronym. I did think that maybe Differentiated Attraction Model might be a possible solution but that acronym.....😲..😂

Should throw in N there too, to make "damn" 👌. But I think that to name it accurately it'd have to be like "Possible Attraction Model, You Don't Have to Apply It to Yourself, But It's an Option, Please Remember You Don't Have to Label Your Identity According To This Model", which is to say - it's not useful for everyone, the name is probably never going to reflect all the problems people have with it, while the name split attraction model remains a bit unfortunate. Differentiated Attraction Model - "so you have to differentiate??". Separable Attraction Model - "so it's possible to separate in everyone??". Split Orientation Model - "so everyone's orientation is made out of different components??" or "so everyone's patterns of attractions can be separated from each other??". 

 

Anyway, maybe people who only have one orientation (either in terms of identity or attraction) could just say they're something"-oriented" as clarification..?? Like, "I'm aromantic, in the sense that I'm a-oriented"..?? 

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