Another example of conflation: sex

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.