Orientation and Attraction

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Attraction describes a feeling of interest or desire towards a particular individual. Orientation is an individual's displayed pattern of attraction towards a set of genders or individuals.[1] Libido or Drive is one's desire for certain activities such as sex or romance, regardless of target gender.[2] Relationship is a descriptor for how two or more individuals relate, behave, or interact with one another.[3]

Attraction, orientation, drive, and relationships are umbrella terms for various subtypes, the two most common types being sexual and romantic. Types that are not sexual nor romantic are considered tertiary identities or descriptors. Individuals that experience attraction to the same gender(s) both romantically and sexually are considered perioriented, and those that differ are considered varioriented, and may use the Split Attraction Model to describe their various attractions, including tertiary attractions.

Attraction, orientation, drive, and relationships are known to influence one another but are not intrinsically linked. For example, one that is androsexual, who is attracted to men, will typically engage in sexual relationships with men.[1] Cupio- is often used by individuals that pursue relations without attraction, whereas orchid- is often used by individuals that experience attraction but do not wish to pursue a relationship.

Individuals that do not experience any form of attraction may identify as anattractional.

Orientation / Attraction Description Attraction
Romantic Attraction to an emotional closeness and commitment with another. Crush
Sexual Attraction to performing or perceiving sexual acts with another. Lust / Smush

Common Tertiary

Orientation / Attraction Description Attraction
Aesthetic Attraction to how someone looks/appears. Swish / Thete
Alterous Attraction that sits between platonic and romantic attraction. Mesh / Hush
Domestic Attraction to performing domestic activities with another. Plish
Familial Attraction to emotional closeness and familial bonding with another. Kinsh
Parental Attraction to raising and long-term nurturing of a typically younger individual. Prush
Platonic Attraction to emotional closeness and sharing of interests with another. Squish
Queerplatonic Attraction to emotional closeness and commitment with another. Squish/Plush/Squash
Sensual Attraction to touching and physical interaction with another. Lush
Social Attraction to be closer to or more like another because of their personality, benefit, or expertise. Rush

Uncommon Tertiary

Orientation / Attraction Description Attraction
Amical Attraction to emotional closeness and sharing of interests with another but typically more intense than platonic attraction. Shush / Thresh
Cedural Attraction to being protected and cared for by a tutor or guardian. Gush / Sush
Exteramo Attraction that sits outside of platonic and romantic attraction. Orush
Invidious Attraction to another often resulting in envy to be similar or alike. Erash
Mental Attraction to forming an intellectual bond and sharing of knowledge with another. Mish
Pseudosexual Attraction to an individual relating to one's own sexual libido and physical desires. Sesh
Tutelary Attraction to take care, protect, and support another. Mush
Unspecified Attraction not otherwise specified by other forms of attraction. Blush

Resources

  1. 1.0 1.1 "ASEXUALITY, ATTRACTION, AND ROMANTIC ORIENTATION". LGBT Center, https://lgbtq.unc.edu/resources/exploring-identities/asexuality-attraction-and-romantic-orientation/#:~:text=Attraction%20%2D%20There%20are%20many%20different,with%20another%20person%20or%20persons.. Accessed on 17 Feb, 2023.
  2. "Libido". BetterHealth Channel, https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/libido. Accessed on 17 Feb, 2023.
  3. "Definition of 'relationship'". Collin's Dictionary, https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/relationship. Accessed on 17 Feb, 2023.