Idea that’s been kicking around for a while and I’ve mentioned here or there. But I think I’m gonna start putting it into practice.
It’s ridiculous that we identify our sexuality by reference to our gender. Why don’t we say who we are attracted to? If we need latin-esque words for sexuality labels, why not:
- androphillic or androsexual (lover of men)
- gynophilic/gynosexual (lover of women)
- enbyphillic/enbysexual (lover of enbies)
I’m not saying that folks who are gay or lesbian should feel the need to give up those identities. Do your thing!
But our current sexuality labels do not work once you move beyond the binary.
What is monosexual nonbinary person who is attracted to men? Or a monosexual woman who is attracted to nonbinary people? How do genderfluid people map to our current terminology? It doesn’t work.
Not Everyone Is Monosexual
Labels based on who we are attracted to allow clearer descriptions. Especially for folks who aren’t monosexual. There is no way to say ‘I’m mostly straight but a little bit lesbian.’ The best we have is bisexual. But you can absolutely say ‘I’m mostly androphyllic but a little bit gynophillic.’ Or how to describe someone attracted to nonbinary folks and men, but not women? Again, best we have is bisexual. Doesn’t ‘androphillic and enbyphillic’ work better?
Side note: I realize that not all nonbinary folks identify as enbies. I’m making this up as I go along and am open to other suggestions.
Of course, that’s another good thing about this construction — it’s flexible. You can create new terms and be as specific as you want. There’s nothing stopping you from saying you are agenderphillic or panphillic or sarisphillic (if you happen to have a thing for people whose gender is an ancient Jewish thing almost no one has ever heard of)
Obvious, I lean toward a -phillic construction. It’s distinct from the current -sexual construction and would (hopefully) prevent confusion. But the -sexual construction has the advantage of being recognizable. people who haven’t heard it before will still understand what it’s referring to — someone’s sexuality.
So What’s my Dating Profile Look Like?
Hi, I’m Jess. I’m mostly androphillic and enbyphillic, but there have been a few women who caught my eye, including my awesome girlfriend C. I’m not looking for a new relationship right now, but I wouldn’t say ‘no’ if the right person came along.