I Like You, But I Don’t Love You: The Split Attraction Model
Gay, Straight, Lesbian, bisexual, pansexual. It doesn’t paint the full picture.
I have met Lesbians who are exclusively attracted to women, but may engage in intercourse with men. There are asexuals who are still date people, but they don’t have sex. In the split attraction model, we distinguish sexual attraction from romantic attraction.
For the first example, the Lesbian in question might be considered bisexual homoromantic. To that end, anyone can choose their own identity. Orientation and identity are fluid. Anyone who has spilled milk knows that fluids can be messy.
Because they are still homo-prefixed in some regard may be why they still feel they Lesbian. Same can be applied to a Gay guy.
The inverse can be true as well. I could be bisexual and aromantic. I just want sex, but do not feel romantic attraction towards any gender.
This model is mostly seen in the asexual community. Asexuality is on a spectrum, and there’s many shades of it. Since asexuals still tend to want companionship, they also choose a romantic identifier. Some who are asexual and aromantic choose a -sensual identifier to let people know who they like to be touched by.
That’s generally how I am. I don’t feel romantic attraction and I don’t feel sexual attraction, but I would rather be touched by feminine people.
Romantic, sexual, and sensual orientations typically tend to add up for most people. However, it is important to distinguish that attraction can come in many forms and each form is unique. Just because you like to have sex with a gender does not mean you also have to be romantically attracted to them. Your orientations don’t define who you are, you get to define who you are.
Some of these comments come from arguments I’ve seen lately about people shaming Lesbians for casually being sexually attracted to men, and also people not understanding that asexuals can still feel romantic attraction.