Asexuality in Esperanto

Raye Chell Mahela

ace-eo-star

Trying to describe one’s sexuality and romantic orientation can be rather a mouth-full in Esperanto. It’s not quite as mono-syllabic as saying “straight”, “gay”, “bi”, and so on.

I, in particular, have a difficult time remembering terms I’ve seen suggested to describe asexual people in Esperanto, so I’m going to keep this blog post so I can have a single source to keep notes. ;P


Asexual Terminology

These definitions are from asexuality.org

Asexual

Someone who does not experience sexual attraction.

Suggested terms I’ve seen: neamoremo, neseksumemo, neseksuala, neamoremulo, neniuseksema

Heterosexual is translated as “malsamseksema” or “aliseksema”, homosexual is translated as “samseksema”, so for the sake of consistency, asexual could be “neniuseksema“.

Demisexual

Someone who can only experience sexual attraction after an emotional bond has been formed. This bond does not have to be romantic in nature.

“Demi” here means “partially”. This is different from the definitions above, as those specify what one would be sexually attracted to, while this describes the degree. We could use “parta” for partial, though I’m not sure whether a different suffix besides “seksema” should be used.

The problem with Demisexual and Gray-asexual is that they don’t specify “targets”, for whom one is sexually attracted to, which is a problem because in Esperanto, the descriptions for sexualities (samseksema) specify targets. It’s not the same in English, but it’s difficult to come up with a fit in Esperanto without making a really long word.

Gray-asexual (gray-a) or gray-sexual

Someone who identifies with the area between asexuality and sexuality, for example because they experience sexual attraction very rarely, only under specific circumstances, or of an intensity so low that it’s ignorable.

I believe that “Gray” here refers to a “gray area” – ill-defined, ambiguous, indefinite, indeterminate.

Attraction

In this context, it refers to a mental or emotional force that draws people together. Asexuals do not experience sexual attraction, but some feel other types of attraction.

Esperanto: Allogo

Aesthetic attraction

Attraction to someones appearance, without it being romantic or sexual.

Esperanto: Estetika allogo

Romantic attraction

Desire of being romantically involved with another person.

Esperanto: Romantika allogo

Sensual attraction

Desire to have physical non-sexual contact with someone else, like affectionate touching.

Esperanto: Sensema allogo

Sexual attraction

Desire to have sexual contact with someone else, to share our sexuality with them.

Esperanto: Seksa allogo


 Romantic orientations

These definitions are from asexuality.org

In Esperanto, “seksama” could be used to mean “-gender-fondness”. Though, it does sound pretty close to “seksema” when spoken aloud.

Aromantic

An aromantic is a person who experiences little or no romantic attraction to others. Where romantic people have an emotional need to be with another person in a romantic relationship, aromantics are often satisfied with friendships and other non-romantic relationships.

Neniu-seksama

Biromantic

A person who is romantically attracted to two sexes or genders. Biromantic asexuals seek romantic relationships for a variety of reasons including companionship, affection, and intimacy, but they are not sexually attracted to their romantic partners. The sexual counterpart to biromantic is bisexual.

I’ve seen “ge-seksema” and “antaŭ-seksema” used for bisexual. I don’t like these, because ge- and antaŭ both mean “both”, whereas “bi-” denotes two.  Specifically, my definition of “bi-” is that you’re attracted to “same” and “other” genders, not just “both genders” (because I do not approve of gender binary speech).

Heteroromantic

A person who is romantically attracted to a member of the opposite sex or gender. Heteroromantic asexuals seek romantic relationships for a variety of reasons, including companionship, affection, and intimacy, but they are not necessarily sexually attracted to their romantic partners. Most heterosexual people are also heteroromantic.

Malsam-seksama

Homoromantic

A person who is romantically attracted to a member of the same sex or gender. Homoromantic asexuals seek romantic relationships for a variety of reasons, including companionship, affection, and intimacy, but they are not necessarily sexually attracted to their romantic partners. The sexual counterpart to homoromantic is homosexual. Most homosexuals are also homoromantic.

Sam-seksama

Panromantic

A person who is romantically attracted to others but is not limited by the other’s sex or gender. Similar to biromantic. Panromantics will tend to feel that their partner’s gender does little to define their relationship. Often someone identifying as biromantic will also choose to identify as panromantic. Panromantic asexuals seek romantic relationships for a variety of reasons including companionship, affection, and intimacy, but they are not sexually attracted to their romantic partners. The sexual counterpart to panromantic is pansexual.

The “pan-” in pansexual means “all, every, whole, all-inclusive“.

Ĉiu-seksama – Romantically attracted to each gender? (Suggested by frenezulino)


 Additional thoughts…

Geeze, why does describing ourselves have to be so long-winded?! Also, I think that it is a problem that -seks-ema (tendency towards a gender) and -seks-ama (loving of a gender) sound so similar, it makes it hard to differentiate between “samseksema” and “samseksama”. I guess technically, “-seks-ema” doesn’t even describe sexuality, but it’s used commonly for sexuality.

The term “Asexuality” means to not experience sexual attraction towards any gender.  Oni, kiu ne sentas seksan allogon [al iu ajn sekso].

Another problem is that the term “sekso” is used to mean both gender/sex, and in certain contexts also refer to something dealing with the act of sex. The 1880s were quite a while ago, and these sort of details were probably invisible to the activists of the time. Still, just as words like komputilo have been added to Esperanto, perhaps there should be a better set of terms to talk about sexual and romantic orientations.

Geja is also a term in Esperanto, after the English word “gay”. So, perhaps instead of “neniuseksema”, something similar can be done for “ace” — Ejsa? Grej-ejsa? Demi-ejsa? @_@;;; Ho, ve…

  • Let me know if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions!
  • Also send me any Ace resources you may know of, especially if it’s also related to Esperanto. :)

  Sources