Question of the Month: January 21st, 2020.

What do you think about aegosexuality? Do you identify with the term? Never heard of it? 

I recently learned that aegosexuality is a sub-type of asexuality “describing people who exclusively feel sexually aroused by situations that don’t involve themselves(cw: the link is a sex site). The need for this identity was already familiar to me because aegosexuality was created to replace autochorissexuality. Autochorissexual was initially coined by Anthony Bogaert in 2012 as a paraphilia (meaning it is understood as abnormal, distressing, and could be classified as a mental disorder). So essentially the the core identity is the same, but with a new name and a new context that identity/way of being is validated rather than undermined as something abnormal to cure or gawk at.

From a very brief internet search I noticed that sites included aegosexuality,  whereas others only include autochorissexual. I guess where you are on the internet largely depends on if people have moved on to aegosexuality, continue to use autochorissexual to reclaim it, or aren’t discussing either.

About Talia

Talia is an asexual, nonbinary, vegan-feminist that drinks a lot of coffee and stays up very late playing Blizzard video games and writing fiction. They are working on a PhD in Environmental Studies where they think a lot about oppression as intersectional and impacting identities differentially. Talia has a particular fondness for asexuality, fandom, and Critical Animal Studies. Their personal blog is petuniaparty.tumblr.com
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20 Responses to Question of the Month: January 21st, 2020.

  1. Coyote says:

    Does it say anywhere why the rename? Is the new version supposed to be easier to spell or something?

    • Siggy says:

      I found the post that coins the word here:

      However, my gratitude to Dr. Bogaert does not erase my distaste for the unnecessarily long and unpronounceable word (choris or khoris?), nor does it mean I am any less upset and offended that he described my experience as a paraphilia. A paraphilia is an abnormal sexual interest, much like a fetish. And as we can see from the number of people who can relate, autochoris- is not abnormal. We are not broken, we are not strange, and we have lived our lives wondering what’s wrong with us. In my case, I’ve spent years already battling hatred from both sides; those who claimed asexuality does not exist, and my own mind, for claiming I couldn’t be asexual if I experienced sexual arousal.

      I used some developer tool tricks to determine that the post was published on November 1st, 2014.

      • Coyote says:

        Thanks!

        …And as I suspected, I do not agree with this reasoning at all. Well, except for the “this is word is a mess, phonetically.” I’m on board with simplifying it down a bit. But taking offense at it being called a paraphilia? And treating “normality” as a basis of value? Come on.

        • Siggy says:

          Well Bogaert’s paper predates the DSM-V (which drew a distinction between paraphilias and paraphilic disorders). Back then, in the scholarly context, paraphilias were all disorders, and calling it a paraphilia was pathologization in the most literal sense.

          I just took a look at Bogaert’s paper, and he compares it to automonosexualism, citing some Blanchard papers on autogynephilia. So, yikes to that.

          • Sennkestra says:

            Well, see, I would agree with your note about actually criticizing the way sexology conceptualizes “paraphilias” as opposed to more ‘normative’ sexual desires (that’s a huge mess and there’s a lot to say there) – but the post in question doesn’t feel like it’s doing that. It feel much more like the kind of “ew, we’re not weird and gross like those *other* paraphilias” kind of attitude that’s not actually questioning the justifiability of paraphilia labelling at all.

  2. Siggy says:

    I’ve known of aegosexual for quite a while. It kind of seems… better in every way? Fewer syllables, uses more widely-known latin roots, not coined by a researcher who read an AVEN thread and decided he discovered a paraphilia… But it’s more obscure, and I guess time has shown that an academically-coined microlabel has more reach then a community-coined microlabel.

    • Talia says:

      Yeah it seemed better to me in every way too, which is why I was confused that a community-coined term that is more validating hasn’t gained more traction.

  3. Well it’s how I describe myself, but just to complicate matters, I place an ‘n’ between the first two vowels (anegosexual) as that’s a customary thing to do when separating an ‘a’ from another vowel. It makes the pronunciation a little smoother.
    As regards aego/anego versus autochori, I always choose the former. Bogaert regards my sort of behaviour as a form of voyeuristic paraphilia. I don’t and it pleases me to have a term that isn’t directly linked to that view. In translation, they basically mean the same: in a sexual sense, no self (anego) / the self apart (autochori).
    I’d say that, within the AVEN community at least, both terms are used equally and fairly frequently.
    I’ve often posted about anegosexuality (or whatever one wishes to call it) on my polyallsorts blog.

  4. Nowhere Girl says:

    Please, just a little bit of linguistic correctness!
    It should be called “aNegosexual”. This is how Latin prefixes work – the same, in fact, as English articles (A tomato, AN owl): if the word negated by the “a-” prefix begins with a vowel, the prefix is used in the extended form “an-“.
    Really, you could have at least used this opportunity to promote the correct spelling. Using correct linguistic forms matters.
    I never cared much about the autochorissexual/anegosexual dispute, I don’t really perceive “autochorissexual” as pathologising. I also have my own opinions – for example, I DON’T consider anegosexuality “an orientation” or “a form of asexuality”. For me it’s rather a “parameter” describing a specific aspect of a person’s sexuality, which is, indeed, relatively common among libidoist asexuals and comparatively rare among allosexuals. But I see no reason why allosexuals could never have third-person fantasies – they obviously seem to have them, as for example the popularity of lesbian (or, mostly, “lesbian”) porn among heterosexual men would suggest. For allosexual this form of fantasies would not be “exclusive”, but an allosexual person could, in principle, have an anegosexual aspect to their sexuality. And I never thought of this pattern of sexual imagination as having to be “exclusive” – although, for me it is, I’m anegosexual and sex-averse and therefore I feel intensely uncomfortable if trying to imagine sex in first person. Partnered sex is something I want to never experience, so third-person fantasies are the only option for me.
    Also, I don’t think of it (as in the Kinkly article) as “experiencing desire”. I would say that I experience limited sexual attraction, but it never crosses into sexual desire because I don’t want to have sex with anyone. This is the point where the two most popular definitions of asexuality come into potential conflict, because I consider attraction without desire to be possible.

    • Siggy says:

      Using correct linguistic forms matters.

      Absolutely not convinced of this. Also not convinced that correct Latin form corresponds to correct English form, on account of English isn’t Latin. But whatever. Not my word.

      The fact that this is an argument in the first place is more interesting than the argument itself, because it indicates some discursive activity. I should have expected that (considering how popular it is in the surveys), but it’s still a bit surprising because I so rarely see it being discussed. I guess the discussion is just happening on AVEN.

      • Sennkestra says:

        The current consensus among most linguistics scholars today is that the idea that english forms need to follow the rules of latin forms (i.e. no split infinitives) is laughably wrong and outdated, so I wouldn’t worry too much about trying to follow specific latin patterns. Also, any of those general language patterns of conjugation or declension or whatever (in latin or english) pretty much become moot once there’s a different established precedent to override them (as is the case for aegosexuality).

  5. Adding a little to all the above, including my own bit!
    Like Nowhere Girl, I feel that the term is not exclusively one for the asexual community, so I don’t feel that it describes a subset of asexuality (Coyote’s OP). Yule, Brotto and Gorzalka published research in 2014 that showed that 16.39% of asexual women and 14.29% of sexual women fantasised about homosexuality. I do, and I am in no way a participant in those fantasies. I am completely dissociated from them. I would assume that the sexual women experienced a similar disconnection.
    I’m not hung up on the linguistics. I feel a bit as Siggy does: it’s not my word. However, it’s more natural for me to include the letter ‘n’ in the prefix. Thank you, Siggy, for digging out the creator’s OP. I’ve frequently read of its existence, but I’ve never actually seen a transcript. Unlike the word’s creator, I’m not offended by the thought that I might have a pathological disorder. I do feel that there was something pejorative in Bogaert’s usage, though, and I can understand why someone felt the need to coin a different term, especially when they seem to have experienced so much hurt.

  6. My apologies: Talia’s OP referring to a sub-type, not Coyote’s. Apologies to both.

    • Talia says:

      I referred to aegosexuality as a sub-type of asexuality because the article I was using for my definition calls the term a type of asexuality. Now that I’m thinking more about it, I would add I definitely agree that people who aren’t asexual can identify with aegosexuality. When I wrote sub-type, I meant it is a particular way to be asexual and it has a context in the asexual community. But, importantly, it is also a particular sexual identity that is not asexual for others. Hrm! I suppose if calling aegosexuality a sub-type of asexuality cancels out the option for aegosexuality to be non-asexual then I wouldn’t phrase it that way again. I guess I would say like QPRs to aromanticism, it has a context in a particular community, but isn’t exclusively for members of that community?

      • Z says:

        Yeah, there was a repackaging on tumblr in late 2014 / early 2015 that went from ‘this experience is common among asexuals’ to ‘this is an asexual orientation’. I’m not entirely sure why, or if it coincided with the coining of the name aegosexuality, but I remember it happening to other things at that time too.

  7. Siggy says:

    I was just looking at some old threads on autochorissexual/aegosexual, including this one (from 2012 but it gets necro’d in 2014) and this one (from 2015). It appears that “anego” was discussed as early as 2015, as was the question of whether autochoris/aego/anego- was a sexuality/sexual orientation. Here’s one post that features examples of both:

    For one, according to both the creator of the term and AVEN’s wiki, anego IS an asexual. Yes, the word ends in sexual and sounds like an orientation, but it’s not. Yes, masturbation is sexual, but it is not a sexuality; those denote who you desire to have sex with.

    I would criticize a few of the assumptions here. For one, there’s the assumption that anegosexual people are asexual. Then, if anegosexual people are asexual then anego can’t be an orientation, because apparently people can only have one orientation? I don’t get why it is a rule that sexuality can only denote those who you desire to have sex with–I suppose that must exclude graysexuality and demisexuality. I don’t get why the “sexuality”/”not a sexuality” distinction matters, and I find it strange that people thought this distinction was so important, while at the same time using “sexuality” and “sexual orientation” interchangeably.

  8. Pingback: Question of the Month: February 11th, 2020. | The Asexual Agenda

  9. I’ve started to wonder if the term is one that would describe me, but I’m not certain enough to say.
    Also, I had heard of aegosexual as an synonym/alternative to autochorissexual, but now I know why.

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