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ithaca

Lith, WTF, Sapio, etc aka Romantic Orientations list review

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ithaca

I hope this will not get too controversial.

I have been thinking of doing a review of this thread for a while now. Why? Because I think that certain things, for the purpose of visibility and education, could be explained differently.

More in practice, it's about romantic orientations. The key word is orientations. Technically speaking, orientation usually indicates what gender(s), if any, you are attracted to: sexually or romantically. So while homo, hetero, bi, pan, aromantic and all the variations for non-binary people can make sense, I'm a bit skeptics about how correct it is that some of these terms are listed as orientation (and yes, I know I posted that thread, no need to point it out).

Basically, I'm not saying those things do not exist. I trust that there's lithromantic people, who feel romantically attracted but do not desire their feelings reciprocated. But is this description an orientation? Does it say what gender you're attracted to? Eventually, even lith people would be hetero, homo, bi or pan, right?

So what I'm proposing is a bit of discussion over those terms like WTF-romantic or sapioromantic etc which do not indicate any gender. I would propose to put them under a different section which could be "other specific characteristics of romantic attraction". Because people shouldn't exclude one label because of the other, but also because I think it damages a bit our visibility goals to mix them all like this. With no offence intended.

Thoughts?

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Vrenn

I think it's important to make the distinction between orientations and preferences. Lithromanticism isn't even really a preference though, per se, as much as a lack of one (not minding whether someone doesn't reciprocate those feelings or not.) From my perspective though (that of a fairly new member who had never come across the concept of "romantic orientations" before AVEN), they do confound a concept that is confusing to begin with.

Basically what I'm saying is that these labels are completley valid descriptions of oneself, but they aren't orientations, and calling them orientations is just confusing. Nobody calls themself "sapiosexual" or "lithrosexual" after all.

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Aqua-ace

I agree with what you're saying. Treating the romantic labels not based on gender the same as those based on gender overcomplicates things. Lithromantic, sapioromantic, WTF-romantic, among others should be a separate category, to correctly suggest that they are not mutually exclusive with being hetero/homo/bi/pan/aromantic.

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Lady Girl

I found this...

Definition of sapiosexuality :.

(sā-pē-ō-sĕk-shü-ăl'ĭ-tē)

1. (n.) A behavior of becoming attracted to or aroused by intelligence and its use.

Origins: From the Latin root sapien, wise or intelligent, and Latin sexualis, relating to the sexes.

Example: Me? I don't care too much about the looks. I want an incisive, inquisitive, insightful, irreverent mind.

Personally I had not heard of these terms until AVEN. Apparently this isn't the only place using them.

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Dawn Marie

I guess I never really thought about it. I just took the self identification as a way to explain how your romantic feelings (if any) manifest. But it does make sense that someone will prefer a gender (or more) even when identifying as one of the non-gender type prefixes you mentioned.

For sake of clarity in the linked lexicon reference post, then yes it might make more sense to have the non-gender identifying romantic labels to be separated from the gender ones. Which is, of course, not to make them less important.

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Vrenn

Well, I stand corrected about it not being used, but it still doesn't really seem like an orientation so much as a preference to me.

Learn something new every day. :)

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Guest member25959

I'm still not entirely sure what sapio- and lith- are or why they even exist as labels??? Attraction to intelligence, when did that become a label?

I think it's important to make the distinction between orientations and preferences

This sums up how I feel

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R_1

Wtf-romantic? I had no idea that existed.

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Mezzo Forte

I guess my opinions kind of echo what has been said in some ways. I don't mind there being a definitions list of terms that modify existing orientation labels, but listing them alongside the primary orientation labels may come off as confusing. If anything, there should probably be at least a distinction made about which labels are and are not exclusive to each other, to prevent any sort of confusion about what the "preference" labels actually mean.

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Janus DarkFox

Same goes for its sexual equivalence, to me they sound too vague and its best described as a personal feature alongside their gender orientations. Still it wouldn't stop people feeling those are orientations, as there's at least an Internet 'cult following' for those. Features that don't exactly fit with orientation to me at least.

The WTFSexual/Romantic to me sounds like an attraction to really... Anything that can be found sexual/romantic. Like but not including to objects/services or just anything that a mind can find sexy/romantic and such :wacko:

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R_1

Now, I hope not to offend anyone with this comment, but ain't the label wtfromatic is a problem? To me, I got to say it sounds like you're romatically into worthy of 'whoa wtf, seriously man...I do not need to know'. Is there a better replacement?

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Aqua-ace

What is WTF-romantic anyways? Is it like being grey-romantic, or unsure whether one is romantic or aromantic? Or if it's for those whose romantic identity is too difficult to label, and if so, wouldn't pomoromantic be a better choice instead?

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Law of Circles

What is WTF-romantic anyways? Is it like being grey-romantic, or unsure whether one is romantic or aromantic? Or if it's for those whose romantic identity is too difficult to label, and if so, wouldn't pomoromantic be a better choice instead?

Yeah, I understand the intent behind the WTFromantic label and understand why someone might want to use it, but I think it could benefit from a name change. It seems like it'd be easy to misunderstand.

In my mind, there are several dimensions of romantic identity. One is a measure of degree (romantic, grey-romantic, and aromantic); another is a measure of orientation (hetero, homo, bi, pan, etc., where aromanticism specifies no orientation). WTFromantic, lithromantic, and sapioromantic don't really fall into either of those dimensions. If I were going to make a list of romantic identities (which includes everything mentioned above), I'd separate it into two continua (degree and orientation) then add another section for other tendencies (lith- and sapio-), and finally a category for those whose romantic identities don't fall neatly into those dimensions (WTF/pomoromantic).

But those are relatively arbitrary categories that I've made up to make sense of things in my head. Undoubtedly, there are going to be flaws in such a categorization. In fact, I can see a few already. So that's probably not the best idea either.

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ithaca

Aromantic is still an orientation, as much as asexuality is, as it indicates what pattern your attraction has towards which gender: a pattern towards no genders. Saying it's not an orientation because it has no gender it's attracted to would mean that biromantics and bisexuals have 2 orientations.

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Law of Circles

Aromantic is still an orientation, as much as asexuality is, as it indicates what pattern your attraction has towards which gender: a pattern towards no genders. Saying it's not an orientation because it has no gender it's attracted to would mean that biromantics and bisexuals have 2 orientations.

This is one of the flaws I was talking about. I agree that aromanticism is also an orientation for the same reason you mentioned. That's why the idea of specifying discrete categories as I tried to do is probably a bad idea - there's inevitably an overlap somewhere.

I should know better than to do that by now. Oh well. :lol:

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Mysticus Insanus

Lithromanticism isn't even really a preference though, per se, as much as a lack of one (not minding whether someone doesn't reciprocate those feelings or not.)

No... lith means preferring them not reciprocated. All else being equal, a lith will actively choose someone who doesn't have romantic feelings for them over someone who reciprocates; reciprocation is undesirable/a turn-off. It certainly is a full-blown preference. (But not an orientation... I agree with you on that.)

Nobody calls themself "sapiosexual" or "lithrosexual" after all.

Uhm, how about stone butches? That's the identity that spawned the "lithromantic" word being coined in the first place, after all... and if they'd go for fancy Old Greek instead of colloquial English, they'd literally be lithsexual Lesbians. ;)

I think it's important to make the distinction between orientations and preferences. [...] From my perspective though (that of a fairly new member who had never come across the concept of "romantic orientations" before AVEN), they do confound a concept that is confusing to begin with.

Basically what I'm saying is that these labels are completley valid descriptions of oneself, but they aren't orientations, and calling them orientations is just confusing.

Agreed to all the rest of it, though. Lith- and sapio- have never made sense to me as orientations, either, much as I do very much value them as specific patterns of experience. It makes perfect sense to me to set them apart from the gender-based "orientations block". (I'm really torn on whether or not the same goes for gray and/or demi... reading some posts here lately did get me thinking, but that's a whole different can of worms entirely.)

And WTFromantic... that one still makes me facepalm every time I see it. I wouldn't mind seeing that one disappear from the list in a puff of smoke... "unsure/questioning" is neither an orientation nor a preference. It just means you can't and/or won't identify with a real orientation label (not yet or not ever). Perfectly fine, but no need for a label for it, especially not if it's worded in a way that really doesn't invite being taken seriously... :rolleyes:

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ithaca

How about the following changes:

This is a list of terms to describe a/romantic orientations (the terms are listed alphabetically, not for importance):

  • Aromantic: a person who experiences little or no romantic attraction to others.
  • Biromantic: A person who is romantically attracted to members of two different sexes or genders.
  • Heteroromantic: a person who is romantically attracted to members of the opposite sex or gender.
  • Homoromantic: a person who is romantically attracted to members of the same sex or gender.
  • Panromantic or Omniromantic: a person who is romantically attracted to others but is not limited by the other's sex or gender. Similar to biromantic except that it includes genders beyond male and female including transgender, genderqueer and third gender.


Romanticism and aromanticism, as sexuality and asexuality, can be put on a scale of intensity or frequency, therefore the following terms can also be taken into consideration:

  • Demiromantic: a type of grey-romantic who only experiences romantic attraction after developing an emotional connection beforehand. According to the model derived from Ragber's "secondary and primary sexual attraction model", demiromantics do not experience primary romantic attraction, but they are capable of secondary romantic attraction.
  • Grey-romantic or Gray-romantic: a person with a romantic orientation that is somewhere between aromantic and romantic. One type of gray-romantic is called demiromantic.


People who have a non-binary gender identity may find the following terms useful:

  • Androromantic: a person (regardless of their gender) who is romantically attracted towards male-identified people; it helps defining romantic attraction for people who don't identify in the gender binary system, and can't say which gender is “same” or “opposite” to theirs.
  • Gyneromantic or Gynoromantic: a person (regardless of their gender) who is romantically attracted towards female-identified people; it helps defining romantic attraction for people who don't identify in the gender binary system, and can't say which gender is “same” or “opposite” to theirs.
  • Transromantic: a person who is romantically attracted towards transgender person(s). Generally used in the trans* community to describe trans* people who are exclusively attracted to other trans* people.


Other terms that can be found used, more often than not in the asexual community, but are not romantic orientations (more like characteristics or preferences) could be:

  • Lithromantic: a person who experience romantic love but do not desire their feelings to be reciprocated. This term is less "recognized" (as less known).
  • Sapioromantic: a person who is romantically attracted by intelligence as first characteristic. This term is less "recognized" (as less known).
  • WTFromantic: very loose definition. A wtfromantic will typically be someone on the aromantic spectrum, who does not experience romanticism in the traditional manner, but who cannot fully say they are aromantic or grey-aromantic. This term is less "recognized" (as less known).

What do you think?

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Janus DarkFox

Nobody calls themself "sapiosexual" or "lithrosexual" after all.

Uhm, how about stone butches? That's the identity that spawned the "lithromantic" word being coined in the first place, after all... and if they'd go for fancy Old Greek instead of colloquial English, they'd literally be lithsexual Lesbians. ;)

Best not to discount who calls themselves. I'm not surprised that there are people who use the "sapiosexual" "lithiosexual" terms, check the Tumblr tags of these ;) #sapiosexual and to a lesser extent #lithsexual

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Doppel

This is probably going to be somewhat controversial, so sorry to anyone who may be offended. But I question the usefulness of these labels:

  • Lithromantic: a person who experience romantic love but do not desire their feelings to be reciprocated. This term is less "recognized" (as less known).
  • Sapioromantic: a person who is romantically attracted by intelligence as first characteristic. This term is less "recognized" (as less known).
  • WTFromantic: very loose definition. A wtfromantic will typically be someone on the aromantic spectrum, who does not experience romanticism in the traditional manner, but who cannot fully say they are aromantic or grey-aromantic. This term is less "recognized" (as less known).

In the case of Sapiormantic it doesn't indicate who you are attracted to, characteristics yes. However this could be much easier explained as characteristics you like in a person rather than a special label.

The same can be applied to Lithromantic as it describes a preference not who you are attracted to.


WTFromantic seems to be (and correct me if I'm wrong) something that someone may use whilst they are unsure of where they sit romantically, I don't think a label that makes this sound ridiculous is very useful or at least doesn't convey a weight of seriousness.

Outsiders of the community may see these and be confused or have a hard time taking these terms seriously. Which in turn could discredit the seriousness of other information on the site. I don't feel that every label needs to be listed on a official pinned thread.

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R_1

The closest replacement I can think of for WTFromantic is aparomantic.

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ithaca

I don't feel that every label needs to be listed on a official pinned thread.

I see what you mean, and I can agree if I consider that pinned threads are more visible than others and possibly visited by people who question the validity of asexuality, of our community, and of the differentiation between romantic and sexual attraction. Having labels that are "less recognized" and listing preferences or uncertainties may be counter-productive.

I could get behind not listing them in the pinned thread, while obviously letting them be discussed in the forums.

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5_♦♣

I think the reason for outside confusion regarding sapioromantic, lithromantic and WTFromantic, is the newness of the terms.

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Kelly

Perhaps we could use a different term rather than WTFromantic? It does seem a bit OMG WTF?! :huh:

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Tanwen

Perhaps we could use a different term rather than WTFromantic? It does seem a bit OMG WTF?! :huh:

Which is the phrase that springs into my mind when I see those letters. :)

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TuesMorning

Quick question Ithaca, should Aromantic be "a person who experiences no romantic attraction to others", to coincide with Asexuality? Just curious.

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Janus DarkFox

WTFromantic seems to be (and correct me if I'm wrong) something that someone may use whilst they are unsure of where they sit romantically, I don't think a label that makes this sound ridiculous is very useful or at least doesn't convey a weight of seriousness.

There is a label called Questioning, I see it in forums for sexuality, but doing so for romance. As I see WTFRomantic as something already defined, but don't fit already stated labels.

Questioning/ Romantic in Question/ Questioning my 'Romanticality' or whatever term. Questioning is the thing I find that is missing from the FAQs

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ithaca

Quick question Ithaca, should Aromantic be "a person who experiences no romantic attraction to others", to coincide with Asexuality? Just curious.

Sure, why not.

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ithaca

I've updated the Lexicon and FAQ

**takes cover**

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ithaca

The thread was subjected to further editings, and I'd like to discuss this.

In my first editing, yesterday, I had removed the terms "lithromantic", "WTFromantic", and "sapioromantic" from the OP, the Lexicon. At the same time, as posted, I updated the FAQ but sadly, due to our recurrent bug, many spoilers and links got broken. So I have spent a great deal of hours fixing them on Easter and this morning, and putting all of the questions back up with working links (some have sadly been lost).

While removing the terms from the OP, the questions regarding them would have remained in the FAQ, with the addition of the following question right above them:

Are these all the labels on romantic and aromantic orientations?

No, they are not. There are many labels discussed and used both in and out the asexual community. Some of these, for example, are lithromantic, WTFromantic and sapioromantic.

As of now, due to some misunderstandings and disagreements, the three terms are back up in the OP and the question was removed from the FAQ because it made no sense.

So I'd like to know from all of the members who are interested in this discussion, if you think those terms are useful in the OP or would be better left in the FAQ as an addition to those who cannot find themselves in any of the "basic" labels.

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Guest

I would leave those terms out. If we start adding preferences then the list could get very long and very silly very quickly. It's best to keep it simple so newbies don't get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of different labels we throw at them.

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