Tom Ramcigam (magicmarmot) wrote,
Tom Ramcigam
magicmarmot

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Labelism

This entry delves into areas that may be TMI for you, so feel free to skip it.

I've met a couple of people, both of them women, who describe themselves as sapiosexual, which in short means that they're "turned on" by a form of intelligence more than the physical attributes of a potential partner. This always gives me pause, because it's almost always provided as a label of context in the lines of homosexual or heterosexual, provided as an alternative to either label as being not fully descriptive.

But the conceptual labels of homo- or hetero-sexual are broad generalization categories that more identify a particular subset of the populace. (Yes, it's basic set theory. Bite me, O label-fondler.) For instance, someone who is homosexual defines the subset of people who they may be sexually attracted to as those of the same gender identity (in a very rough sense); what it does not mean is that because someone is homosexual that they are sexually attracted to everyone of the same sex.

In the realistic sense it's a lot more complex than that. Sexual attractions are a lot more personal and divisive than a broad categorization will allow, but I'm trying to make this contextually simple.

The term "bisexual" tends to be used by people who don't find themselves sexually attracted to a single gender identity category. In theory it's an equal balance because gender doesn't really matter, but in most cases of bisexuals that I've run into, they tend to have a gender preference. Not always, but usually.

The concept of "sapiosexuality" in that same context is a bit misleading. Instead of a limiting based on gender perception, it filters based on some criteria of intelligence. Taken loosely, it could mean "won't fuck the stupid", but there are so many different kinds of intelligence displayed by different people that I find it difficult to believe that a single term can cover all of them, or is consistent between different people.

Maybe I'm reading too much into it. In the same way that someone who is homosexual isn't going to be attracted to all people of the same gender, someone who is sapiosexual isn't going to be attracted to everyone who is smrt.

But there's another metaphorical door here that I want to open, and that's a dissociation between attraction and sexual attraction. I make a distinction between the two, because for me they are different sets: there are women that I am attracted to that I am not sexually attracted to, and there are women that I am sexually attracted to that would drive me insane if I had to spend any vertical time with them.

Ideally, the two overlap. And in the case of a potential long-term life-partner, they should overlap.

But if I'm going to apply a label to myself, do I define it by the sexual attraction, or the "other" attraction?

How do you look at attraction? Do you separate the two, or do you only count one?
Tags: relationshipship, sex
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