October 17, 2015

"I identify as grey-asexual (can't bring myself to call it greysexual) and for me it's a useful term."

"I experience sexual attraction vanishingly rarely and when I do it's often not strong enough to even act on, more of an intellectual curiosity. Some folks in the asexual community can be absolutists about the identity, so that a person with my history, for instance, wouldn't be considered asexual, even though my lived experience is more in line with asexuality than not. Grey-asexual identifies those who fall between asexual and non-asexual and can help those of us who fall on that part of the spectrum understand ourselves. It's not a term with an exact definition and people who identify with it often have their own interpretations, but it's functioning in an area where the language is evolving rapidly as people work to more accurately express their feelings, hence the host of identities in the article."

From the Metafilter comments on a post about a HuffPo article collecting a bunch of words that purportedly identify various sexual conditions. The HuffPo article is not good. It seems like it could be a joke, but if so it would be: 1. not particularly funny, and 2. disrespectful toward some people you'd expect HuffPo to swath in dignity. The HuffPo article can be experienced as funny, as Metafilter commenters point out, if you concentrate on why the various stock photos were chosen to illustrate the particular sexual conditions. Why is the "graysexual" a man in a hat walking down the middle of a country road?

The serious question — the one that made me choose the quote above — is whether having more specific words for feelings helps people understand who they are and what they are doing with their lives? Off hand, I say it depends on what you do with that word once you learn it.

31 comments:

mccullough said...

always good to feel like you're not the only one. But once they give you a term, you feel pinned to the wall

rhhardin said...

Grey is Germanic and sex is Latin, so they shouldn't mix.

rhhardin said...

50 shades of greysexual.

rhhardin said...

We need a term for old enough not to think of women's genitals all the time. Sexagenarian perhaps.

David Begley said...

Why would a story be written on this topic?

Is the Internet that desperate for content?

I guess the HuffPo idea is to throw a ton of dubious low cost content out there and sees what sticks.

Six hundred channels and nothing to watch.

BDNYC said...

What's the word for sexually attracted to girls with brown curly hair and long legs? Dammit I need a special word to validate my existence.

Laslo Spatula said...

The article identifies them as "GREY-asexual."

Later, Althouse uses the term "GRAYsexual."

Are GREY and GRAY two distinct categories?

What is the significance of Althouse choosing GRAY over GREY?

Pondering, here.

I am Laslo.

rhhardin said...

A grey-asexual has bad teeth. A gray-asexual does not.

Laslo Spatula said...

Squirrels identify as Red or Gray.

So there is that.

I am Laslo.

rhhardin said...

In the dark, all squirrels are gray.

Gusty Winds said...

They term 'greysexual' should be reserved for a 50 plus year old man who can hold an erection, or produce more than on in the same hour without taking a blue pill.

Ann Althouse said...

"Grey is Germanic and sex is Latin, so they shouldn't mix."

The question is what's the word for people who think the Germanic and Latin shouldn't mix. Homosexual?

Ann Althouse said...

Keep the sames together...

rhhardin said...

Classicist, as in classy.

rhhardin said...

Next you'll be accepting automobile.

Laslo Spatula said...

"...where the language is evolving rapidly as people work to more accurately express their feelings..."

Yes,now more than ever, we need feelings to be more accurately expressed.

That is what is missing from the World: navel-gazing precision.

Just because I see you with a cock in your mouth doesn't mean I fully understand your complexities.

Just because I see you with a cock in your ass doesn't mean I fully understand your proclivities.

Just because I see you with a cock in your mouth AND a cock in your ass doesn't mean I fully understand your label.


I am Laslo.


Kylos said...

Agree with McCullough. Language both clarifies and restricts.

Saint Croix said...

I am literally open to every single thing that is consenting and doesn't involve an animal

You are the wussiest pansexual ever!

You're just a bisexual with robot privileges.

Roughcoat said...


Althouse:

Did you just denigrate someone by insinuating that he was gay?!

Sebastian said...

"I say it depends on what you do with that word once you learn it."

M-kay.

rhhardin said...

School lunch milk cartons used to say HOMO MILK stamped on top. That was before sensitivity came in.

Roger Sweeny said...

mccullough, I was going to say what you did, but you said it better.

Laslo Spatula said...

The labels that matter:

Good Girls.

Good Girls who do Naughty Things.

Naughty Girls.

Dirty Girls.

Cheerleaders.


That should do it.


I am Laslo.

William said...

It's the whole age appropriate thing that's a turn off. Sex would still have its zest if one were boffing super models a generation or, perhaps, two generations younger. But you don't want to spend a long weekend in Nevada brothel ingesting vast amounts of Viagra. That takes all the romance out of it. One hooker. One pill. One time per week. That's the proper balance. In all things moderation.

JAORE said...

"I say it depends on what you do with that word once you learn it."

Flexibility in language. Very helpful in communication, I'm sure. Of course words are really only useful in helping us define ourselves.... or something.

Didn't Humpty Dumpty have a comment about that?

n.n said...

Tolerance, not normalization, obviously.

Fritz said...

rhhardin said...
We need a term for old enough not to think of women's genitals all the time. Sexagenarian perhaps.


We do. Dead.

David said...

"Why is the "graysexual" a man in a hat walking down the middle of a country road?"

He just has not arrived at the fuck in the road yet.

Smilin' Jack said...

"I identify as grey-asexual (can't bring myself to call it greysexual....

I can. God, talk about yawn.

tim in vermont said...

What if you get horny once a month and another person gets horny once every two months? Don't we need a taxonomy sensitive to that difference? How is a person who gets horny once a month feel validated by a nomenclature that doesn't recognized his/her truth?

tim maguire said...

Saibt Croix said..."I am literally open to every single thing that is consenting and doesn't involve an animal"

You are the wussiest pansexual ever!

You're just a bisexual with robot privileges.


I've known exactly one pansexual, who described his sexual orientation as, "I'll f**k or be f**ked by anything." If this person demands consent, then that rules out everything not human adult, which means he's not pansexsual. I'm betting his sex life is fairly vanilla, and the pansexual thing is just a pose.