I often find myself with a need for words that mean “people who are attracted to men” or “people who are attracted to women”, and at a loss for anything but those awkward constructions. This shows up elsewhere, too: OkCupid has to list “Both (who are attracted to bi [guys/girls])” to solve a similar problem.  Of course, OkCupid has its own issues in dealing with gender and sexuality, but at least it’s years ahead of any reasonable competitors.

Quickly googling indicates that the words I want already exist, in basically the ways that I would construct them: androphilia and gynephilia. Although for symmetry’s sake I would think (andro/gyne)sexual would work better.  Obviously, there exist things like “omnisexual” or “pansexual” that would be supersets of these, but of course for my direct purposes I don’t really care if someone is bi or pan or omni or straight (mostly, although I’m probably more likely to get along with the first three).  I present fairly strongly as male, even if I reject a lot of masculine tropes, so “adrophiliac” or “androsexual” is all I’d really need to know.

Basically, I just find it odd and illogical that I have to be given someone’s sex and a word to describe their orientation and then work backward to determine whether they’re into people who are shaped like me.  It’s obviously not a huge burden, but it doesn’t make sense to me to define orientation primarily in reference to one’s own sex, rather than sex(es) to which one is attracted.


3 thoughts on “Logophilia

  1. I find it strange that I haven’t really thought about how useful words like that would be! You make a lot of good points.

    There’s a nasty history to the term “auto-gynephilia” that makes me hesitate to embrace “gynephilia”. I guess that still leaves androsexual/gynesexual. Or man-philic and woman-philic? None of these is rocking my world.

  2. Those are all right, but we still run into awkwardness like “people who are into women” rather than “gynephiles”. They’re good as descriptors, but not as nouns.

    I mean, unless we go the 1984 route and call people “intomens” or something.

    Not that we’re going to solve a linguistic deficit on my little blog, regardless.

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