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seaalien

Sapioromantic/sapiosexual

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seaalien

Hello, I am new to this website :)

I have been learning more about romantic attractions and demisexual/romantic and semisexual things like that recently and have found myself more interested as I found out more about things I find myself identifying with. Before I heard about sapioromanticism and sapiossexuality, I found something a bit strange about myself. I'm only romantically attracted to guys, but only if they are intellegent. Then I discovered the existence of sapioromanticism, something I feel I may identify with. But what I've noticed is a lot of people don't consider it an orientation. I just wanted to say that I do think it is an orientation. It's not that intelligence is the most attractive trait of a person, it's that (well at least for me, for as far as I've noticed I'm still very young) one can only be attracted to someone if they are intelligent. It's not a trait they like the most, it's that they literally cannot be attracted to someone if they are not intelligent. That's just how it is for me, as far as I've noticed. So far, they have to be male and they have to be intelligent. This has led me to having only two real crushes in my entire life. That being said, is there anyone else like this out there?

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qwair

Well, I have used the label sapiosexual from time to time as an orientation, but with a very different meaning: what it meant for me is that I do not care what gender the person is, nor do I care how they look, rather I'm solely attracted to people based on what's between their ears. Many other sexual people are less extreme than me, but are still more sexually and romantically attracted to personality and character than to appearance.

Being attracted only to red-haired, tall women isn't usually considered a different orientation than being attracted only to short, blonde women. Taste is also a part of sexual attraction and many people have different base properties without which attraction cannot happen. I agree that it's kind of ridiculous to say, that gender is a more important characteristic than intelligence or hair colour for everybody, and there's no real reason why one is generally considered an orientation and the other just taste.

The reason I stopped using the sapiosexual label was because nobody knew the word, so having a word for something I needed to explain was pointless. In my opinion, labels are tools for efficient communication, and if people don't understand immediately what you're talking about you'd be better off using a more well-known, but maybe less accurate, label.

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mayve

I wouldn't use it as an orientation either. Personally I find it more of a personal preference that doesn't really need a label. But to all their own. :)

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Naosuu

Moving this thread from The Gray Area to Romantic and Aromantic Orientations.

Naosuu, The Gray Area Moderator

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sapiogirl

::raises hand::

ME!

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AlexPeyton

I just wanted to say that I do think it is an orientation. It's not that intelligence is the most attractive trait of a person, it's that (well at least for me, for as far as I've noticed I'm still very young) one can only be attracted to someone if they are intelligent. It's not a trait they like the most, it's that they literally cannot be attracted to someone if they are not intelligent. That's just how it is for me, as far as I've noticed.

Yup same! I think the sapioromantic/sexual labels are real orientations but maybe I think it's overused because obviously so many people are going to say they like intelligence in a person and that kind of makes it more of a personal preference.

I don't feel attraction towards people in anyway, unless, they're interesting, intelligent people. It doesn't have to be something like oh they're just great at maths. I mean people who aren't afraid to debate philosophical/political stuff with me, or that they're really "book smart" and take an interest in peculiar things.

Idk what I'm really trying to get across but if I'm drawn to somebody in anyway, it's only because of the things they say and think.

Well, I have used the label sapiosexual from time to time as an orientation, but with a very different meaning: what it meant for me is that I do not care what gender the person is, nor do I care how they look, rather I'm solely attracted to people based on what's between their ears.

This is exactly how I feel too. Gender is completely irrelevant and so is appearance, I can only be attracted to someone by their mind.

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geek-dreamer221b

Wow! Thanks for letting me know, there is a word for that... Oh dear, I might be sapiosexual, another term to explain my complicated sexuality. Gotta do some research and think about it...

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poindexter

I really don't like the words "sapioromantic/sexual". To me, feeling attracted to someone because they're intelligent is more of a taste/personal preference than an orientation. It's like feeling attracted to someone because they make you laugh, or because they're nice to you, or because they're good looking or share the same interests as you - it kind of goes without saying. And how do you even define intelligence? What makes a philosopher more intelligent than a mathematician or viceversa? It's entirely up to the individual, just like beauty or any other aspect of one's personality.

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qwair

And how do you even define intelligence? What makes a philosopher more intelligent than a mathematician or viceversa? It's entirely up to the individual, just like beauty or any other aspect of one's personality.

And if you experience visual aesthetic attraction, how do you define 'good looking'? People have tried to explain 'good looking' to me intellectually, and it doesn't really work, because it's not something you have to define, it's something you either experience, or you don't.

Same about sapio*, it doesn't mean we go around making people take IQ tests and are attracted to those who get good scores. I'm attracted to a certain turn of phrase, a certain book reference, a certain demonstration of creativity, a quote in a foreign language. It's completely not about 'understanding' or 'defining' it, it's something I simply feel.

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littleheartsofjoy

I wouldn't use it as an orientation either. Personally I find it more of a personal preference that doesn't really need a label. But to all their own. :)

I completely agree. I'm indifferent about it being recognized as an orientation but to me, it is a personal preference as well.

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BookwormKaoru

The number one thing I am earnestly attracted to is intelligence. Writers are thus the pinnacle of intelligence. While actors are great and awesome, writers literally create new worlds from scratch. What is sexier than that? Personally, I don't know why every person out there isn't dating a writer. --Rachel Bloom

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Words-hurtxWords-heal

Yup same! I think the sapioromantic/sexual labels are real orientations but maybe I think it's overused because obviously so many people are going to say they like intelligence in a person and that kind of makes it more of a personal preference.

I don't feel attraction towards people in anyway, unless, they're interesting, intelligent people. It doesn't have to be something like oh they're just great at maths. I mean people who aren't afraid to debate philosophical/political stuff with me, or that they're really "book smart" and take an interest in peculiar things.

Idk what I'm really trying to get across but if I'm drawn to somebody in anyway, it's only because of the things they say and think.

I'm the same in that intelligence is applied in contrast to a high IQ score or being a physicist/chemist/mathematician/what-have-you. I need someone to debate with and who can integrate my opinions and counter with their own and together we can hash out the universe ;3

The number one thing I am earnestly attracted to is intelligence. Writers are thus the pinnacle of intelligence. While actors are great and awesome, writers literally create new worlds from scratch. What is sexier than that? Personally, I don't know why every person out there isn't dating a writer. --Rachel Bloom

Gorgeous quote (and flattering since I'm a writer ;P )

In general though, I identify as bi-sapioromantic because intelligence is a quality that's important to me and vital for romantic attraction. Whenever I hear a view that I interpret as close-minded or dull I get angry and have to restrain from wincing/hurting them. If it's something crucial to a relationship then it should qualify as an orientation.

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poindexter

And how do you even define intelligence? What makes a philosopher more intelligent than a mathematician or viceversa? It's entirely up to the individual, just like beauty or any other aspect of one's personality.

And if you experience visual aesthetic attraction, how do you define 'good looking'? People have tried to explain 'good looking' to me intellectually, and it doesn't really work, because it's not something you have to define, it's something you either experience, or you don't.

Same about sapio*, it doesn't mean we go around making people take IQ tests and are attracted to those who get good scores. I'm attracted to a certain turn of phrase, a certain book reference, a certain demonstration of creativity, a quote in a foreign language. It's completely not about 'understanding' or 'defining' it, it's something I simply feel.

Sorry for the very late reply - I lost track of the thread :(

You're absolutely right that "good looking" is hard to define. Sometimes we don't even know what it is we find attractive about someone, only that we do. So we feel attracted to different people for a massively wide number of reasons, and it would be impossible to have a word for all of them. Better to just keep romantic and sexual attraction down to gender, which is far less subjective. I include intelligence with "aesthetic attraction", because intelligence is simply one of the innumerable facets that makes someone beautiful, and thereby more likely to be sexually or romantically attracted to. Saying "I'm attracted to them because they are intelligent" is just begging the question - you're basically saying "I'm attracted to people I find attractive", which is obvious.

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qwair
Sorry for the very late reply - I lost track of the thread :(

You're absolutely right that "good looking" is hard to define. Sometimes we don't even know what it is we find attractive about someone, only that we do. So we feel attracted to different people for a massively wide number of reasons, and it would be impossible to have a word for all of them. Better to just keep romantic and sexual attraction down to gender, which is far less subjective. I include intelligence with "aesthetic attraction", because intelligence is simply one of the innumerable facets that makes someone beautiful, and thereby more likely to be sexually or romantically attracted to. Saying "I'm attracted to them because they are intelligent" is just begging the question - you're basically saying "I'm attracted to people I find attractive", which is obvious.

I agree that sapioaesthetic is a kind of aesthetic attraction, like sapiosexual is a kind of sexual attraction. When I use the word sapioaesthetic/romantic/sexual, what I'm saying is that I don't experience visual aesthetic/romantic/sexual attraction -- I don't care how people look, what clothes they wear, what gender expression or genitals they have. What they have to say and how they say it are the only parameters by which I am aesthetically/romantically/sexually attracted to people.

I also agree with you, that having too many labels is counter-productive, and I don't use sapiosexual in that way precisely because I think it's an obscure label few people have heard of; but I am not the word police, and if people want to use an obscure label, they have all the right to it. If people on AVEN use heteroaesthetic or wtfromantic, I can't see a reason for them not to use sapio* labels.

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poindexter
Sorry for the very late reply - I lost track of the thread :(

You're absolutely right that "good looking" is hard to define. Sometimes we don't even know what it is we find attractive about someone, only that we do. So we feel attracted to different people for a massively wide number of reasons, and it would be impossible to have a word for all of them. Better to just keep romantic and sexual attraction down to gender, which is far less subjective. I include intelligence with "aesthetic attraction", because intelligence is simply one of the innumerable facets that makes someone beautiful, and thereby more likely to be sexually or romantically attracted to. Saying "I'm attracted to them because they are intelligent" is just begging the question - you're basically saying "I'm attracted to people I find attractive", which is obvious.

I agree that sapioaesthetic is a kind of aesthetic attraction, like sapiosexual is a kind of sexual attraction. When I use the word sapioaesthetic/romantic/sexual, what I'm saying is that I don't experience visual aesthetic/romantic/sexual attraction -- I don't care how people look, what clothes they wear, what gender expression or genitals they have. What they have to say and how they say it are the only parameters by which I am aesthetically/romantically/sexually attracted to people.

I also agree with you, that having too many labels is counter-productive, and I don't use sapiosexual in that way precisely because I think it's an obscure label few people have heard of; but I am not the word police, and if people want to use an obscure label, they have all the right to it. If people on AVEN use heteroaesthetic or wtfromantic, I can't see a reason for them not to use sapio* labels.

Precisely because having too many labels becomes counter-productive. IMO, either A) we label everything B) we have no labels or C) we have a few, well defined and relatively easy to understand labels that are generally accepted. At what point do we say "no" to labels?

I simply feel that "sapiosexual/romantic" is too subjective to be of use. I wouldn't be "aestheticsexual" would I (sexually attracted to attractive people)? Why do we need to differentiate between sapio-aesthetic and visual-aesthetic if neither one can be clearly described or ascribed to romantic or sexual attraction? What makes it different from saying "I'm only aesethetically/romantically/sexually attracted to someone who has a good sense of humour"? Why don't we label that too? And so on and so forth.

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qwair
Precisely because having too many labels becomes counter-productive. IMO, either A) we label everything B) we have no labels or C) we have a few, well defined and relatively easy to understand labels that are generally accepted. At what point do we say "no" to labels?

I simply feel that "sapiosexual/romantic" is too subjective to be of use. I wouldn't be "aestheticsexual" would I (sexually attracted to attractive people)? Why do we need to differentiate between sapio-aesthetic and visual-aesthetic if neither one can be clearly described or ascribed to romantic or sexual attraction? What makes it different from saying "I'm only aesethetically/romantically/sexually attracted to someone who has a good sense of humour"? Why don't we label that too? And so on and so forth.

Well, my view on it is, that if you are not willing to actually go out and enforce what labels are and aren't used (and I'm hoping you're not), then any discussion about what labels should or should not be used is moot. Anyone has the right to use any label they want, as obscure or as common as it is, as long as they are willing to explain their labels to everyone if they choose to use it.

A label isn't something 'we' decide on. A label is something a person decides on for themselves. If a person wants to invent a label for themselves because they are attracted only to people whose left leg is longer than the right, but not the other way around, it is perfectly acceptable in my view, and nobody has the right to silence or police them.

I disagree that assessing intelligence is more subjective than assessing beauty. In general, attraction is always based on subjective parameters by definition, and there are no 'objective' parameters for attraction, including aesthetics or gender.

In my view, a label is a word that is used to describe how a person is different from the norm. In that respect, given that the norm is to be attracted to people because of their looks, the sapio* labels are useful for some.

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Person7638

This "sapio-" thing is complete bullshit, you don't need a label for each characteristic you admire in the people you're attracted to. I mean, if I'm attracted to say, fat, blond, caring girls I'm fat-blond-caring-girl-romantic?

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poindexter
Precisely because having too many labels becomes counter-productive. IMO, either A) we label everything B) we have no labels or C) we have a few, well defined and relatively easy to understand labels that are generally accepted. At what point do we say "no" to labels?

I simply feel that "sapiosexual/romantic" is too subjective to be of use. I wouldn't be "aestheticsexual" would I (sexually attracted to attractive people)? Why do we need to differentiate between sapio-aesthetic and visual-aesthetic if neither one can be clearly described or ascribed to romantic or sexual attraction? What makes it different from saying "I'm only aesethetically/romantically/sexually attracted to someone who has a good sense of humour"? Why don't we label that too? And so on and so forth.

Well, my view on it is, that if you are not willing to actually go out and enforce what labels are and aren't used (and I'm hoping you're not), then any discussion about what labels should or should not be used is moot. Anyone has the right to use any label they want, as obscure or as common as it is, as long as they are willing to explain their labels to everyone if they choose to use it.

A label isn't something 'we' decide on. A label is something a person decides on for themselves. If a person wants to invent a label for themselves because they are attracted only to people whose left leg is longer than the right, but not the other way around, it is perfectly acceptable in my view, and nobody has the right to silence or police them.

I disagree that assessing intelligence is more subjective than assessing beauty. In general, attraction is always based on subjective parameters by definition, and there are no 'objective' parameters for attraction, including aesthetics or gender.

In my view, a label is a word that is used to describe how a person is different from the norm. In that respect, given that the norm is to be attracted to people because of their looks, the sapio* labels are useful for some.

I would argue that gender is far more "objective" than aesthetics. Obviously, not entirely objective, but objective enough to be of use in communication. It's much easier to objectively say what gender a person belongs to than it is to understand what certain aspects of someones appearance attract you, not least because of the number of different things that might attract people - hair, hands, breasts, size, eyes, necks, feet, need I go on? So it becomes useful to differentiate between, for example, homosexuality and bisexuality, rather than, for example, height or weight. Furthermore, intelligence is at least as subjective as looks, not to mention the various other factors that go into making an individual person. Think about what "intelligence" is, for a second. If it's based - as you suggested - "on what's between their ears", then the multitude of meanings that has is infinite.

I agree that it is normal to be attracted to attractive people, but I would also argue that it is normal to be attracted to people who are "intelligent", because you're describing the same thing. There is simply no need to make the distinction between visual aesthetics and not-visual aesthetics. You're attracted to whomever you find attractive, it's really quite simple.

And of course I can't choose what labels are allowed and not allowed, but can I please be at liberty to roll my eyes and groan when certain ones are used?

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qwair

This "sapio-" thing is complete bullshit, you don't need a label for each characteristic you admire in the people you're attracted to. I mean, if I'm attracted to say, fat, blond, caring girls I'm fat-blond-caring-girl-romantic?

So if this is bullshit, as you so aptly put it, then why is homoromantic not?

Any label that defines a significant deviation from the norm is not bullshit in my opinion. Being attracted to caring or blonde people is definitely within the norm, and therefore not very usable as a label in my view. Being attracted to fat people is not normative, since in our society skinniness is considered normatively attractive, and a person who is exclusively attracted to fat people is called a 'fat admirer', and is used by many such people as a label.

Regardless, I support you choosing any label for yourself, even if it doesn't make sense for me.

I would argue that gender is far more "objective" than aesthetics. Obviously, not entirely objective, but objective enough to be of use in communication. It's much easier to objectively say what gender a person belongs to than it is to understand what certain aspects of someones appearance attract you, not least because of the number of different things that might attract people - hair, hands, breasts, size, eyes, necks, feet, need I go on? So it becomes useful to differentiate between, for example, homosexuality and bisexuality, rather than, for example, height or weight. Furthermore, intelligence is at least as subjective as looks, not to mention the various other factors that go into making an individual person. Think about what "intelligence" is, for a second. If it's based - as you suggested - "on what's between their ears", then the multitude of meanings that has is infinite.

And I would argue that gender is between the ears as much as intelligence is, and, in addition, the fact that you think you can determine people's gender objectively is kind of cissexist. Personally speaking, I can't see why being attracted solely to specific visual cues of 'maleness' is more 'important' and 'objective' than being attracted solely to blondes, to people with high-pitched voices, or to palaeontologists -- they're all equally subjective and irrational.

I agree that 'gay' and other gender-based labels are much more used labels than others, but not because of any objective standard. It's just because that our society is heteronormative, and thus forces every person who isn't heterosexual to label themselves. In other societies or in other times (ancient Greece for example) there was no need or logic to that sort of distinction, and other definitions and distinctions were in place (in the case of ancient Greece, they had to do with age and sexual function). In my view, what you are doing is taking a social, normative standard model, and trying to find excuses for it using words like 'objective'. There's nothing objective, as in independent from social norms and personal feelings, about gender, attraction, romance or sexuality.

There is simply no need to make the distinction between visual aesthetics and not-visual aesthetics. You're attracted to whomever you find attractive, it's really quite simple.

And of course I can't choose what labels are allowed and not allowed, but can I please be at liberty to roll my eyes and groan when certain ones are used?

You might feel no need to make that distinction, and most sexual people don't feel the need to make a distinction between sexual and romantic attraction. For me personally, that distinction exists. When people say 'attractive' or 'good looking' I honestly can't tell you what that is, and I don't understand what they're talking about. And when most people, including asexuals, talk about aesthetic attraction, they are talking about visuals and appearance, not about behaviour (random recent example).

Of course you can roll your eyes at people, you can also shout names at them and tell them their label is 'bullshit', I'm just saying that in my opinion, that behaviour is not very nice or respectful.

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Person7638

This "sapio-" thing is complete bullshit, you don't need a label for each characteristic you admire in the people you're attracted to. I mean, if I'm attracted to say, fat, blond, caring girls I'm fat-blond-caring-girl-romantic?

So if this is bullshit, as you so aptly put it, then why is homoromantic not?

Any label that defines a significant deviation from the norm is not bullshit in my opinion. Being attracted to caring or blonde people is definitely within the norm, and therefore not very usable as a label in my view. Being attracted to fat people is not normative, since in our society skinniness is considered normatively attractive, and a person who is exclusively attracted to fat people is called a 'fat admirer', and is used by many such people as a label.

Regardless, I support you choosing any label for yourself, even if it doesn't make sense for me.

I never said I think "homoromantic" isn't bullshit. I do think it is bullshit. And so is "heteroromantic" and so would be "skinny-sexual", if such a thing existed. I'm against all labels related to sexuality, because we'd need so, so many of them, that it would be pathetic to try create all those. Especially because there'll never come a time when you don't have to explain what they mean, so it would be easier to just explain your sexuality when asked about it or when you want people to know about it. I believe that would also help to abolish the "I am my sexuality, you are your sexuality" prejudices. Besides, what's so unusual about liking smart people?

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qwair
I never said I think "homoromantic" isn't bullshit. I do think it is bullshit. And so is "heteroromantic" and so would be "skinny-sexual", if such a thing existed. I'm against all labels related to sexuality, because we'd need so, so many of them, that it would be pathetic to try create all those. Especially because there'll never come a time when you don't have to explain what they mean, so it would be easier to just explain your sexuality when asked about it or when you want people to know about it. I believe that would also help to abolish the "I am my sexuality, you are your sexuality" prejudices. Besides, what's so unusual about liking smart people?

In my opinion, the more labels we have the better, because it exactly goes to show how personal and subjective sexuality is, and how ludicrous it is to try and define what is or isn't 'normal'. The more people question the normative model, and feel that they are different enough to require a label, the better it is for my political and social aims.

I think that there are two different issues here. One is what labels should people choose, what kinds of labels are allowed. The other is what labels do I choose for myself. Personally, I agree with you regarding the label 'sapiosexual', and as I've already said in this thread, I don't use it precisely because it requires too much explanation. However, I have used it in the past, I think it still applies to me, and I support people who want to use it, if they're willing to explain it. I don't believe I have any right to tell people what they should or shouldn't call themselves, and I find telling people their identity is 'bullshit' kind of rude.

Liking smart people isn't unusual, and I agree it doesn't need a special label. Being attracted to people solely on the basis of what they say, and not on the basis of their appearance (i.e. not experiencing visual aesthetic attraction) is, and that is how I used the label.

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Person7638
I never said I think "homoromantic" isn't bullshit. I do think it is bullshit. And so is "heteroromantic" and so would be "skinny-sexual", if such a thing existed. I'm against all labels related to sexuality, because we'd need so, so many of them, that it would be pathetic to try create all those. Especially because there'll never come a time when you don't have to explain what they mean, so it would be easier to just explain your sexuality when asked about it or when you want people to know about it. I believe that would also help to abolish the "I am my sexuality, you are your sexuality" prejudices. Besides, what's so unusual about liking smart people?

In my opinion, the more labels we have the better, because it exactly goes to show how personal and subjective sexuality is, and how ludicrous it is to try and define what is or isn't 'normal'. The more people question the normative model, and feel that they are different enough to require a label, the better it is for my political and social aims.

I think that there are two different issues here. One is what labels should people choose, what kinds of labels are allowed. The other is what labels do I choose for myself. Personally, I agree with you regarding the label 'sapiosexual', and as I've already said in this thread, I don't use it precisely because it requires too much explanation. However, I have used it in the past, I think it still applies to me, and I support people who want to use it, if they're willing to explain it. I don't believe I have any right to tell people what they should or shouldn't call themselves, and I find telling people their identity is 'bullshit' kind of rude.

Liking smart people isn't unusual, and I agree it doesn't need a special label. Being attracted to people solely on the basis of what they say, and not on the basis of their appearance (i.e. not experiencing visual aesthetic attraction) is, and that is how I used the label.

Yes, but, dude, how many labels will it take to define all the diversity we have? Many, many labels. And if you have to explain the words you're using, then you might as well replace them with their explanation.

Maybe it was kinda rude of me to put it that way, I can see that. So let me clarify: "sapiosexual" and "sapioromantic" are bullshit, as are all labels, in my opinion.

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qwair
Yes, but, dude, how many labels will it take to define all the diversity we have? Many, many labels. And if you have to explain the words you're using, then you might as well replace them with their explanation.

I agree that 'sapiosexual' isn't practical, and that I won't use it myself for those reasons. I still support other people's right to use it if they want to, though.

Labels aren't there to define diversity, or anything really. Labels, as I've said before, are words people use to mark themselves in relation to normative society, and sometimes to communicate that difference in some way. As long as society has norms, and there are some people outside of those norms, their choice is either to label themselves and identify as outsiders or to let society expect them to conform. As long as some choose their own happiness over conformity, labels will exist, and serve a function, and therefore are not bullshit in my view. Choosing not to label yourself in this day and age means accepting cisgendered heterosexual as your label by social default.

If a label is used enough, people will know it and it will become commonly understood, and if it isn't there's a chance it will fall into disuse, like any word really. The fact that a word isn't commonly used today isn't a good reason not to use it, if you believe introducing it has some value.

There is no set number of labels that 'we' need, because labels aren't defined by a group or relate to anything that is objective, outside a person's self identification in relation to society. Since labels, like sexuality, are subjective, there is no point in measuring them in objective tools, telling people what a label 'is' or 'isn't', or declaring specific labels to be 'too complicated', or not understood. It's all a matter of how a person chooses to call themselves, and I believe in respecting that whether or not I would have chosen that label for myself in the same situation.

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Person7638

Yes, but, dude, how many labels will it take to define all the diversity we have? Many, many labels. And if you have to explain the words you're using, then you might as well replace them with their explanation.

I agree that 'sapiosexual' isn't practical, and that I won't use it myself for those reasons. I still support other people's right to use it if they want to, though.

Labels aren't there to define diversity, or anything really. Labels, as I've said before, are words people use to mark themselves in relation to normative society, and sometimes to communicate that difference in some way. As long as society has norms, and there are some people outside of those norms, their choice is either to label themselves and identify as outsiders or to let society expect them to conform. As long as some choose their own happiness over conformity, labels will exist, and serve a function, and therefore are not bullshit in my view. Choosing not to label yourself in this day and age means accepting cisgendered heterosexual as your label by social default.

If a label is used enough, people will know it and it will become commonly understood, and if it isn't there's a chance it will fall into disuse, like any word really. The fact that a word isn't commonly used today isn't a good reason not to use it, if you believe introducing it has some value.

There is no set number of labels that 'we' need, because labels aren't defined by a group or relate to anything that is objective, outside a person's self identification in relation to society. Since labels, like sexuality, are subjective, there is no point in measuring them in objective tools, telling people what a label 'is' or 'isn't', or declaring specific labels to be 'too complicated', or not understood. It's all a matter of how a person chooses to call themselves, and I believe in respecting that whether or not I would have chosen that label for myself in the same situation.

Then why is there such a label as "heterosexual"?

Yes, if we create new words they'll become common one day, but I'm saying that creating so many words (because we have so many different ways to "differ from the norm", as you say) wouldn't be worth the trouble. What I think we have to do is get rid of the labels that already exist and start explaining our sexuality, instead. And I say that because sexuality is such a vast spectrum that it'd be just stupid to try and find a name for each and every one of it's points.

And not labelling yourself doesn't equal accepting the "normative label". I don't call myself asexual, but I tell people I have no interest in sex and nothing bad ever came out of that (well, nothing bad that might have been avoided if I used a label).

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Member54880
I agree that 'sapiosexual' isn't practical, and that I won't use it myself for those reasons. I still support other people's right to use it if they want to, though.

Labels aren't there to define diversity, or anything really. Labels, as I've said before, are words people use to mark themselves in relation to normative society, and sometimes to communicate that difference in some way. As long as society has norms, and there are some people outside of those norms, their choice is either to label themselves and identify as outsiders or to let society expect them to conform. As long as some choose their own happiness over conformity, labels will exist, and serve a function, and therefore are not bullshit in my view. Choosing not to label yourself in this day and age means accepting cisgendered heterosexual as your label by social default.

If a label is used enough, people will know it and it will become commonly understood, and if it isn't there's a chance it will fall into disuse, like any word really. The fact that a word isn't commonly used today isn't a good reason not to use it, if you believe introducing it has some value.

There is no set number of labels that 'we' need, because labels aren't defined by a group or relate to anything that is objective, outside a person's self identification in relation to society. Since labels, like sexuality, are subjective, there is no point in measuring them in objective tools, telling people what a label 'is' or 'isn't', or declaring specific labels to be 'too complicated', or not understood. It's all a matter of how a person chooses to call themselves, and I believe in respecting that whether or not I would have chosen that label for myself in the same situation.

Then why is there such a label as "heterosexual"?

Yes, if we create new words they'll become common one day, but I'm saying that creating so many words (because we have so many different ways to "differ from the norm", as you say) wouldn't be worth the trouble. What I think we have to do is get rid of the labels that already exist and start explaining our sexuality, instead. And I say that because sexuality is such a vast spectrum that it'd be just stupid to try and find a name for each and every one of it's points.

And not labelling yourself doesn't equal accepting the "normative label". I don't call myself asexual, but I tell people I have no interest in sex and nothing bad ever came out of that (well, nothing bad that might have been avoided if I used a label).

I think sexuality labels are needed, but not everyone feels the need to use them. It's true that labels can't be created to define every single experience, so that's why labels are supposed to have some flexibility to them. Many asexuals felt tremendously relieved when they found the asexual label, because they found a name for their experiences, and felt so lost before.

Labels like 'heterosexual' and 'cisgender' are needed in order to level the playing field. Generally, they aren't labeled because they're seen as the 'default', normative, and needing no explanation, while all other identities have labels to mark them as 'othered'. Having labels for the normative identities challenges the idea of them being the default.

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qwair
Then why is there such a label as "heterosexual"?

Yes, if we create new words they'll become common one day, but I'm saying that creating so many words (because we have so many different ways to "differ from the norm", as you say) wouldn't be worth the trouble. What I think we have to do is get rid of the labels that already exist and start explaining our sexuality, instead. And I say that because sexuality is such a vast spectrum that it'd be just stupid to try and find a name for each and every one of it's points.

And not labelling yourself doesn't equal accepting the "normative label". I don't call myself asexual, but I tell people I have no interest in sex and nothing bad ever came out of that (well, nothing bad that might have been avoided if I used a label).

One of the ways in which non normative folks show they are not normative is to label themselves, another is to label the norm. That's how we got 'cisgendered', 'heterosexual', and other labels. I don't very much like labelling other people, but I think it's okay to give a label to what society expects from you, in addition to labelling how you differ from that expectation. Before the gay movement, there was no such thing as a 'heterosexual' -- people were just assumed heterosexual, even though some anomalies were known. It was like today you don't say two legged human, although you know some people have less than two legs. The success of the gay movement in getting recognition was partly because of the use of that tactic, separating society to two groups, where there was only one before, and then demanding equality between the two groups.

I don't think that telling people that you're not interested in sex is equivalent to identifying as asexual. Identifying as asexual is much more than that, and frankly, as a non-asexual ally, I'm much more interested in that additional value than in what sex acts you are or aren't interested in. My guess is that if you go and ask someone what your sexual orientation is, even someone who knows you have no interest in sex, they will assume you are heterosexual and cisgendered, but flawed, traumatised or defective in some way. Identifying as an asexual is also taking a socio-political position in regard to human sexual diversity, saying not only that you are disinterested in sex, but also that it should be considered as normal and as healthy as any other sexual orientation, thereby pushing society toward social change.

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poindexter

Liking smart people isn't unusual, and I agree it doesn't need a special label. Being attracted to people solely on the basis of what they say, and not on the basis of their appearance (i.e. not experiencing visual aesthetic attraction) is, and that is how I used the label.

Bah, I concede - you got me there. :P I can see how it would be useful to make that distinction.

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Person7638

Pah, you guys are so dramatic. Fine, keep your labels, then...

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estrella fugaz

Interesting topic. I don't identify as sapioromantic, because intelligence isn't the only way that I can be attracted to someone (although I do prefer intelligence in a potential partner). But that doesn't make sapiosexual/romantic any less valid for others to use for themselves. If it feels right to identify that way, go for it. You may have to explain it, but aren't we often doing that with asexual?

Identifying as an asexual is also taking a socio-political position in regard to human sexual diversity, saying not only that you are disinterested in sex, but also that it should be considered as normal and as healthy as any other sexual orientation, thereby pushing society toward social change.

As a side note, I have no words. *-* I really like what you just said. Can I quote you in my signature?

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HeidiUK

Sorry to weigh in so late on this debate, but I only just saw this thread and I have been fighting for the sapio label for a while now, without even knowing it's name (If that makes any sense?).

It's not that intelligence is the most attractive trait of a person, it's that (well at least for me, for as far as I've noticed I'm still very young) one can only be attracted to someone if they are intelligent. It's not a trait they like the most, it's that they literally cannot be attracted to someone if they are not intelligent. That's just how it is for me, as far as I've noticed. So far, they have to be male and they have to be intelligent. This has led me to having only two real crushes in my entire life. That being said, is there anyone else like this out there?

Me.

Except that I'm a homoromantic (for the most part).

Welcome to AVEN :cake:.

Taste is also a part of sexual attraction and many people have different base properties without which attraction cannot happen. I agree that it's kind of ridiculous to say, that gender is a more important characteristic than intelligence or hair colour for everybody, and there's no real reason why one is generally considered an orientation and the other just taste.

The reason I stopped using the sapiosexual label was because nobody knew the word, so having a word for something I needed to explain was pointless. In my opinion, labels are tools for efficient communication, and if people don't understand immediately what you're talking about you'd be better off using a more well-known, but maybe less accurate, label.

I'm going to tackle both of qwair's points above separately.

I don't think that it is ridiculous to say that gender is a more important characteristic for most. I know many people both on the LGBT and straight spectrums for whom gender is vitally important. That's not to say that gender is the only important factor, but I know many who find a best friend who possess all the characteristics they want apart from gender and so they are just not attracted. And yet if said friend was the opposite, they'd probably have tried to hit on them from day 1. In their words the 'wrong' gender just does not 'do it for them.'

IT is of course a very difficult thing to define and no amount of our discussions (however enjoyable and engaging) is going to get a catch-all definition for IT that the entire world is happy with. The truth of the matter: everyone is different and differences are what make us attracted towards getting to know that person.

Now, to qwair's second point: agreed. However, I use different labels in different groups. I doubt my Dad would understand when I talk about homoromatic, sapiosexual, gray-A and yet I expect that AVEN users will (for the most part) get me. Though I consider myself ace, offline for all intents and purposes I am a homosexual woman. Because whilst my Dad would not get my first list of what I indentify as, I know he will get lesbian. And I am happy using a looser definition because, for me, it still fits.

The number one thing I am earnestly attracted to is intelligence. Writers are thus the pinnacle of intelligence. While actors are great and awesome, writers literally create new worlds from scratch. What is sexier than that? Personally, I don't know why every person out there isn't dating a writer. --Rachel Bloom

I want to marry this Rachel Bloom :wub:. Kaoru, with your permission, may I use this as my signature? You will of course get credit. (and :cake:)

In general though, I identify as bi-sapioromantic because intelligence is a quality that's important to me and vital for romantic attraction. Whenever I hear a view that I interpret as close-minded or dull I get angry and have to restrain from wincing/hurting them. If it's something crucial to a relationship then it should qualify as an orientation.

Yes!

Plus, there are words for everything these days.

I would argue that gender is far more "objective" than aesthetics. Obviously, not entirely objective, but objective enough to be of use in communication. It's much easier to objectively say what gender a person belongs to than it is to understand what certain aspects of someones appearance attract you, not least because of the number of different things that might attract people - hair, hands, breasts, size, eyes, necks, feet, need I go on? So it becomes useful to differentiate between, for example, homosexuality and bisexuality, rather than, for example, height or weight.

This.

I can't define why I am unattracted to men, but I am. Just something about them being male just doesn't appeal to me the same way a woman does. Believe me, there are days when if I was heteronormative I would jump with joy. I use the term heteronormative instead of heterosexual, because there's far more to being vanilla and normal than just a sexual expression.

Any label that defines a significant deviation from the norm is not bullshit in my opinion. Being attracted to caring or blonde people is definitely within the norm, and therefore not very usable as a label in my view. Being attracted to fat people is not normative, since in our society skinniness is considered normatively attractive, and a person who is exclusively attracted to fat people is called a 'fat admirer', and is used by many such people as a label.

This.

Then why is there such a label as "heterosexual"?

I think sexuality labels are needed, but not everyone feels the need to use them. It's true that labels can't be created to define every single experience, so that's why labels are supposed to have some flexibility to them. Many asexuals felt tremendously relieved when they found the asexual label, because they found a name for their experiences, and felt so lost before.

Labels like 'heterosexual' and 'cisgender' are needed in order to level the playing field. Generally, they aren't labeled because they're seen as the 'default', normative, and needing no explanation, while all other identities have labels to mark them as 'othered'. Having labels for the normative identities challenges the idea of them being the default.

Agreed. I personally dislike cis- and trans- as labels because I don't see why it is anybody's business what happens before the here and now. However I get why, in trans circles they can be useful to make a needed distinction. But in every day life? To me, not needed.

I don't walk into work and announce that I am gay. It doesn't impact my ability to sit at my desk and produce the work required. Therefore, I don't disclose nor do I plan to. If I worked for Stonewall, then I would disclose because somewhere like that I can see that my sexuality does matter.

Again, just me. I know people for whom it is vitally important to have their sexuality as a post-it note on their head and I am not going to say that what they choose is wrong. It's just not me.

Pah, you guys are so dramatic. Fine, keep your labels, then...

Thank you. I will. ;)

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