“PC culture” is simply the phrases we use now to speak about different individuals. It’s actually simply up to date terminology.

– Cameron Esposito

The world of love and its accompanying vocabulary is increasing. The days of “one-size fits all” and even “one-size fits most” orientation labels are a factor of the previous. To assist us look to the long run, nevertheless, it’s usually useful to attract from what we all know.

In this case, we’re trying to etymology and a linguistic component referred to as the “combining form.” Here is our information on combining types used to precise several types of love and relationships, and how you may even see them used.

Gottman Love and Sexuality Glossary Prefixes
Gottman Love and Sexuality Glossary Suffixes

Click here to obtain the PDF

Terms it’s possible you’ll be aware of

Monogamous = one + marriage
Colloquially we perceive “monogamy” to imply being in a single dedicated relationship at a time, not essentially marriage. But, as we’ll dig into later, our terminology may use some increasing, as not everybody is selecting to have interaction with the establishment of marriage.

Homosexual = similar + sexuality/intercourse associate
This is usually used to explain those that want same-sex companions. As we broaden our definitions, we might come to search out that this refers primarily to who an individual is sexually interested in, however that doesn’t essentially point out who that particular person is romantically interested in.

Heterosexual = different + sexuality/intercourse associate
This is used to discuss with people who find themselves principally (or strictly) interested in individuals of the other intercourse.

Bisexual = two + sexuality/intercourse associate
If we maintain our definition strictly to its Latin roots, bisexuality refers to 1 who’s attracted to 2, and solely two, genders. With our ever-evolving understanding of gender expression, this time period is doubtlessly limiting and its definition adheres to a now-outmoded, binary assemble of gender. Colloquially, bisexual refers to somebody who’s sexually interested in each males and girls, and the time period pansexual or omnisexual presents a extra broad perspective (males, girls, and gender non-conforming/non-binary people).

A observe about pansexuality and/or omnisexuality
It’s essential to notice right here that when somebody identifies as pansexual, it means they can be interested in somebody anyplace alongside the gender identification spectrum. It doesn’t imply, nevertheless, that they’re interested in everybody and the whole lot. Every particular person is exclusive and has their very own proclivities, turn-ons, and traits that entice them to a different particular person. Just as a heterosexual girl will not be sexually interested in ALL males, an omnisexual particular person will not be sexually interested in ALL individuals.

Let’s discover different mixtures!

Polyamory vs polygamy
Polyamory and polygamy are usually not the identical factor. Polyamory means many or multiple love/emotional connection, often concurrently. Polygamy refers to plural marriage and is colloquially tied to sure factions of the Mormon religion. Just as many Mormons are usually not polygamous, to equate polyamory with polygamy can be a miscategorization.

Often, polygamists we see represented on tv (Big Love, Sister Wives, My Five Wives) are practising polygyny (-gyny from the Greek gynos or Ancient Greek gunḗ, that means girl), the state or observe of getting a number of wedded wives on the similar time. A lady with a number of husbands on the similar time can be practising polyandry (-andry from the Greek andros, that means man). To proceed taking part in with combining types, an individual with simply two wedded companions concurrently is practising bigamy.

Equating the 2 is, nevertheless, comprehensible, as polyamory is often known as “ethical non-monogamy” (unmoral non-monogamy is dishonest). We know from our combining types that -gamy means marriage, so it might be logical to see the other of monogamy (one marriage) as polygamy (multiple marriage). But because the methods we have a look at marriage (and the explanations we get married) change, it is sensible to broaden our definitions and terminology for love relationships, and transfer outdoors binary considering. Polyamory will not be really in opposition to monogamy, simply completely different.

This false impression could also be resulting from the truth that culturally, our understanding of the phrases monogamy and even polygamy precede our consciousness/understanding/acknowledgment at massive of polyamory.

Not-Necessarily-Straight A’s
A- is a enjoyable combining type as a result of it’s principally simply saying “no thank you” to no matter follows it. For instance, somebody who identifies as Agamous is selecting to not have marriage, as an idea, of their lives. An particular person can establish as heteroromantic (romantically interested in or will get “crushes” on individuals of the other intercourse), however asexual (not desirous about sexual exercise with anybody, thanks).

Everything on a spectrum
A observe of warning: labels are most useful in self-exploration, or to additional your understanding of somebody who already makes use of them. Labels are much less useful after they’re getting used to outline or confine somebody with out their permission. If the introductory combining types featured right here really feel too limiting, particular, or two-dimensional for you, it’s possible you’ll wish to take a look at the “More Complicated Attraction Layer Cake.”

The better part about exploring an expanded world of love and relationship definitions (except for having the ability to maintain your personal at a cocktail get together) is the empowering feeling that may come from discovering one thing that extra precisely describes how you are feeling.

In Anne of Green Gables, Anne hates when individuals level out her “red” hair, calling it her “lifelong sorrow.” But later, when a neighbor tells Anne her hair has turn out to be “a real handsome auburn,” her outlook modifications. A extra particular phrase makes all of the distinction.

Editor’s Note: We have determined to restrict this introductory exploration to the areas that greatest converse to the work we do: love and relationships. For extra studying on gender, sexuality, and pronouns, we suggest beginning with these sources.


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