If you haven’t heard of the split attraction model, fear not. The split attraction model suggests that people can experience different types of attraction, which can be split into different categories. For example, not everyone experiences romantic attraction with the same people, or in the same way, as they experience sexual attraction.
There are lots of different forms of attraction that can be identified, ranging from the obvious romantic and sexual attraction to platonic or sensual attraction.
There are certainly some issues with the SAM model. Some people believe that it is exclusive and doesn’t include all sorts of people. Whatever the case, if you feel like the SAM applies to you, then you could benefit from learning a bit more about it.
- A Bit About the Split Attraction Model
For a lot of people, attraction is a pretty simple, black-and-white opportunity: either we’re attracted to someone, or we’re not. But for some of us, we find that facets of our attraction are the result of different parts of our identity. We can be attracted to a certain person for a certain type of quality, but find the same quality unattractive in someone else, for example.
The split attraction model was first developed by Karl Heinrich Ulrichs. However, it’s widely considered that it was ‘first developed’ within the asexual community to help identify and solidify the notion that physical and romantic attraction are completely different ideas. In some cases, they can even be the opposite of each other.
Many people feel empowered by this particular model because it allows them to utilize vocabulary to discuss difficult topics and concepts that are not easily covered in mainstream society. Conversely, others feel that it is an over-analysis of a simple concept that creates confusion.
One of the reasons that people feel that the SAM is so important is because the term ‘asexual’ doesn’t really work as an umbrella term anymore. Just like the terms ‘gay,’ ‘bisexual,’ and ‘transgender’ don’t suffice to label everyone in the LGBTQ community, using the term ‘asexual’ doesn’t really work to cover the different facets of asexuality.
For example, some people view that sex is completely wrong, or unpleasant, and choose to remain abstinent at all times. However, there are also people who remain abstinent because of personal choice. Some people only have sex when there is no romance involve, and there are those who develop a romantic attraction to people without the desire to have sex with them.
- Where Do You Fit?
If this sounds like you, it could be useful to further identify yourself by understanding some of the terminology used in the SAM.
Two ‘main’ groups are the asexual and aromantic group. Asexuals are generally non-sexual and avoid sexual contact; whereas a person who is aromantic develops no romantic feelings even during sexual experiences.
There are many other distinctions, however. These are a few of the most common:
- Asexual homoromantics are people who don’t experience any sexual attraction, however, can develop romantic feelings toward people of the same gender
- Bisexual gray-romantics are those who are attracted to males and females, and lands somewhere between romantic and aromantic
- Homosexual biromantics are people who are romantically attracted to both genders but who are only sexually active with people of the same gender
As you can imagine, there are a number of other combinations and labels that could arise in this system. Hopefully this information has helped you understand how you could develop or identify a term to describe your sexual and romantic orientation.
- In Conclusion
The split attraction model is an opportunity for people who have a unique sexual or romantic orientation that does not simply fit into the black-and-white labels that are most commonly used in society.