Q&A: “is there a reason that orientation is based solely on which gender(s) you’re attracted to?”

anonymous said:

i’ve been wondering lately – is there a reason that orientation is based solely on which gender(s) you’re attracted to? why CAN’T an orientation define who you’re attracted to based on other factors? i get that would allow for things like sapiosexual and whatnot which is…yikes. but i almost feel like that’s PART of why ppl have like…a kneejerk reaction to “”mogai”” orientations maybe? idk i’m probably missing something abt it

not all orientations are based solely on which gender(s) someone is attracted to. off the top of my head, some examples of orientations that aren’t solely based on that (if even based on that at all) are lith*, demi*, gray*, and a* but there are many more, of course. that said, i’m guessing you had “The Big 3″ orientations that society most commonly recognizes in mind when writing this ask. don’t quote me on this, but i feel like there’s probably numerous reasons why orientations have historically been defined based on gender (both that of the ‘object’ of attraction and that of the person experiencing the attraction) rather than other characteristics of a person and that historical precedent (or rather lack thereof) plays a part in present-day knee-jerk reactions towards more recently coined orientations which aren’t defined by gendered attraction.

regarding why orientations have historically been defined based on gendered attraction, for one, i think that for some people gender (identity, expression, etc) can and does play a big part in the attraction they experience. that even if people of various genders shared a common characteristic (or even set of characteristics) that the person in question theoretically found attractive, the person in question may still only experience attraction towards someone whose gender aligns with the gender(s) that they personally have the potential to experience attraction towards.

another thing that i guess may be relevant (and forgive me if this doesn’t make sense because i’m having a hard time wording it) is that the social concept of orientations generally conceptualized as a person experiencing attraction towards someone and everything that makes them who they are as a person. this, of course, includes various characteristics about a person, but it also includes their gender. that said, i think gender has long since been considered a “fundamental trait” of a person– an “immutable trait” shared by “everyone” and thus by extension considered to be a “fundamental” factor in attraction, much more so than many other traits or characteristics about a person….

…..again, this is just me pulling thoughts out of my exhausted head at 2:00am. none of it may make any sense and even if it does, none of it may even be relevant. i don’t know.

but anyway, going back to the last part of your question and what i said before, i think that historical precedent (or lack there of) plays a part in people’s knee-jerk reactions, alongside lack of understanding, amatonormativity, sexnormativity, transphobia, non-binary erasure, misogyny, racism and lots of other factors.

….and i feel like i totally went all over the place in this post. sorry if none of this is even relevant to your actual question(s).

* substitute the asterisk for -sexual, -romantic, etc.

YouTuber and Blogger, Vesper is an American expat currently living in Japan.

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