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Urban Junkie

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The Sexual Suffix

Have you noticed how the term ‘sexual’ has become an appendage to quite an unexpected variety of words? In the beginning there were heterosexuals and homosexuals … and yes, right, bisexuals. We lived for many years fairly content with this three-way segmentation of human beings, with maybe an occasional ‘asexual’ popping up periodically. Then someone decided this was too simplistic a description of human sexual orientation – and so we had metrosexuals. Now there is a flood of diverse sexuality – there are technosexuals, chocosexuals, retrosexuals, frustosexuals, autosexuals (this one gave me a start until I realized auto meant automobiles, not automatic) and cosmosexuals.

“Cosmosexual, that’s me” read the caption under the photo of John Abraham in The Times of India last weekend. “Really?”, I thought, partly curious and partly appalled at the thought of the unquestionably kinky secret that was about to be revealed. A furtive scan of the article however brought forth no secrets, kinky or otherwise. The origin of the caption, it transpired, was the poor chap’s description of himself as cosmopolitan – having been born to a Christian father and Iranian mom and raised in a rather liberal, inclusive culture.

Why should The Times of India decide this was actually a confession to an offbeat sexual orientation?

Who is a cosmosexual anyway? I have pondered this long and hard, and I can tell you the concept does not lend itself to easy interpretation. Is it someone who is irresistibly attracted to anyone from a different culture? Someone not attracted to his own kind? Someone who gets a buzz from people with a mixed genetic history? All are possibilities I suppose, but vaguely unsatisfying. The most sensible interpretation, of course, is that of someone who doesn’t let differences in religion, community, race, nationality, language or culture stand in the way of attraction. Noble, but too general a description to be useful – not sufficiently distinct from ‘secular’ (or, in fact the literal interpretation of ‘heterosexual’) to warrant a separate place in the dictionary.

I quite like ‘chocosexual’, though. Clear and precise – no ambiguity there. Backed by science, too … haven’t chocolates been proven to be an excellent substitute for the real thing? Something about serotonin, if I remember right. Not that it matters, but it is reassuring to have your kinkiness grounded in biology.

‘Technosexual’ is at once alarming and evocative. It seems quite focused conceptually (someone who prefers technology to men, women and chocolates) … but try to think through the practical implications and you’ll be lost. What does ‘prefer’ mean, exactly? And what does ‘technology’ mean, for that matter? No doubt the technosexuals can clarify, but the mind is definitely challenged...

Frustosexual conjures up quite a sad image, although I quite enjoyed Jayesh's take on it.

One has to wonder, though, where this re-writing of the dictionary is leading. Will there ultimately be a sexual suffix to everything? And to what end? Is it an indicator of our willingness to embrace our individual kinks? A boredom with the limited possibilities that biology and society allow? A backlash against the rising population leading to non-reproductive modes of pleasure? Or perhaps just at long last a desire to wear Freud proudly on our shoulders. If Freud was right and everything is sexual, why not proclaim our unique expressions of it with pride?


  • all these words are being conjured up by the marketers and media. the marketers wanted to increase the reach of male skincare / cosmetics among the male community and hence started using the metrosexual word regularly.

    there are many more offshoots. i hope there is some restraint in using this word.

    thanks for dropping by at my blog.

    By Blogger Kaps, at 4:30 AM, August 26, 2005  

  • looks like they'll brand me as Blogosexual :-)

    By Blogger Kaps, at 4:30 AM, August 26, 2005  

  • Hmmm ...do you think Blogosexual is a subset of technosexual?

    By Blogger Anjali, at 9:56 AM, August 26, 2005  

  • I think the 'sexual' appendage has successfully replaced the other pleasurable vice...alcohol ofcourse!

    Remember the slurs? 'You alcoholic / chocoholic / workaholic'

    At some point i think people got very easy / bored with alcohol and today the obssession has perhaps shifted to 'sex'. Sign i guess of a more liberal generation keen to show they're 'with it' by bandying about the sex word! And ofcourse in the absence of the real thing it's nice to have a substitute...technological or otherwise! I guess i'm a 'mochaholic' or maybe in these days one should say i'm a 'mochasexual'.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:53 AM, August 27, 2005  

  • Had a hearty laugh, especially the last paragraph trying to figure out why the suffix change..lol.

    Well, hopefully people have more time to go out stick with the initial 2/3 sexuals instead of inventing new names to substitute the real deal.

    Irony of it being me typing this on a beautiful sat night :))

    By Blogger Brett, at 7:05 PM, August 27, 2005  

  • I guess its the media's insatiable hunger to fill pages with the same set of 'achiever dudes' like John Abraham, etc. that creates sexuality of different flavours.

    I created frustosexual to describe the current throb Emran Hashmi. Thanks for visiting my blog and referring the post.Welcome to blogging, your blog is promising.

    By Blogger Jayesh, at 2:18 AM, August 29, 2005  

  • Hi!
    Visiting blog-world after a long gap..
    Do visit my blog@

    By Blogger Vaibhav, at 5:15 PM, August 30, 2005  

  • Great post. I read your latest first and then scrolled down to see what else you have put up. Good stuff. By the way, in case you didn't get it, i am the man who presented with the open fly.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:31 AM, September 20, 2005  

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