• Antitraction

    Antitraction (a merge of “anti” and “attraction”) is a concept I came up with that describes a reverse of an attraction – feeling like some features (gender, age, etc) of a person make them completely off-limits sexually, romantically, and so on. It would be also possible to describe this feeling as repulsion, although I don’t want to use this word as the official name of this orientation, because it sounds like it contains some judgement. 

    I believe that antitraction coexists in many people with attraction, and many do not separate between having an attraction towards A and an antitraction towards B, considering one to be an inevitable consequence of the other. For example, often in lesbian exclusionist discourse, people claim that all real lesbians not only aren’t attracted to men and features, common among men, but are actively repulsed by them and perceive them as a deal-breaker. Typically, this argument is analyzed by their opponents as an exaggeration or a projection of a rare personal experience, and no further conclusions are made. But I think the people who say these things are just lumping two different types of orientation into one.

    For a very long time I struggled putting a label on my own gender preference. I do not find any sexually dimorphic feature or aspect of gender presentation hot by themselves – I just don’t see any of them as off-limits. I used to think this is what being pan was, but that did not seem accurate after a while. I started thinking about it when my friend Kamil introduced me to his conlag. There was only one third person singular pronoun that did not convey any gender information, and all the words, except the ones describing the gender itself, were neutral too. However, Kamil left a loophole, allowing force-gendering of words by attaching an extra suffix. As an example of why this would be necessary sometimes, he brought up wanting to convey that someone’s hands are attractive specifically because these are a man’s hands. Meanwhile I do not feel like this at all. I used to think I was attracted to women specifically as women, but this turned out to be autogynephilia. I simply do not find anything gender-related attractive (and maybe this is why I do not really connect to the gay label), while being able to be attracted to people for other aspects, such as their age, mannerisms and views, or the clothes they wear.

    Introducing antitraction changes the game. I do not need to say that I am attracted to all genders, I just need to say I am not antitracted to any. For now I am calling this “a-antitraction”, as a reference to aspec identities, but I may change it to something more easily pronounced later.

    Coming back to the discourse around common sexuality labels, I think antitraction needs to be identified and removed from their definitions. It doesn’t make sense to list who you are repelled by while talking about who you are attracted to, and many people who share your attractions will not share your antitractions – even when these are exclusive attractions, because being unattracted does not yet mean being repulsed. 

    I made a flag that I think will go with this concept, I based it on a screenshot from a video that showed a process of refraction (for no particular reason). The rays may symbolize something coming out of the center and moving away. In the center I would like to place symbols of what is regarded as antitractive. 

    A blank flag.

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