Sex is another area in which conflation is common.
These are all things:
- Not liking sex
- Not wanting sex with a particular person
- Not being interested in a particular type of sex
- Only being attracted to certain genders
- Being monogamous
- Being interested in sex, but only occasionally
- Being celibate
- Being abstinent until marriage
None of these are the same thing.
Or, phrased positively, here are some other things that are different from one another:
- Liking sex
- Looking for sex
- Being open to sexual advances from strangers
- Being open to sexual advances from people you know and like
- Being open to casual sex
- Looking for dates
- Being in a sexual relationship
- Being open to a long-term sexual relationship
- Being interested in romance
- Being polyamorous
- Identifying with the sex-positive philosophy
None of these are the same thing. But they get conflated all over the place.
Another set of things that get conflated:
- Feeling attracted to someone
- Wanting to have sex with that person
- Being open to the possibility of sex with that person once you’ve gotten to know them better
- Being interested in a romantic relationship with that person
Conflating those things does a lot of harm, and can confuse people about what they actually want. They’re different, and it’s important to be clear and honest about that.