Multiple Orientation Labelling

Multiple Orientation Labelling


Multiple Orientation Labelling is the concept that there are different types of orientations and that people can identify with multiple orientations at once. Some of these orientations are based on attraction and people can be attracted to different people in different ways. But people can also be of a particular orientation for reasons other than attraction, as attraction is not universal.

Someone might be both heterosexual and heteroromantic, feeling both sexual and romantic attraction to a different gender than themself. But it is just as possible for someone to be homosexual and biromantic, asexual and homoromantic, queersexual and panromantic, or any combination of orientations. We use sexual and romantic orientations here because they are the most common for folks to recognize, but they are by no means the only orientations that exist.

Multiple Orientation Labelling is a replacement framework for the Split Attraction Model (SAM). There are many criticisms of the SAM. It reinforces the idea that sexual and romantic attraction are the only valid types of attraction. It also reinforces that only those who experience those specific attractions can have orientations. We here at the Primer are no fan of false binaries and thus have updated the Primer to include Multiple Orientation Labelling instead of SAM. You can read more about the criticisms of the SAM in the links below.

e.g. Ian was amazed when he learned about multiple orientation labelling— it made a lot of things from his past make much more sense. He now understood himself to be a heterosexual panromantic person.

Further reading to gain expanded context:

Differentiating Attraction/Orientations (Or, the “Split Attraction Model” by any other name is so much sweeter.) | NEXT STEP: CAKE

Splitting the Split Attraction Model | The Asexual Agenda

An Actual History Of The Term “Split Attraction Model” | The Ace Theist

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