4. Our sexual interest ranging from asexual to highly sexual.
In my view, these four components are equal in that they are all things that we are rather than things that we choose. While it is possible to choose a lifestyle that deviates from one's sexual identity, in all cases doing so entails stress, cognitive dissonance, and some degree of self-loathing. Like all conceptual frameworks, this one is not necessarily complete. It fails to include sexual interest in animals, particular age groups, or any of several hundred kinks, all of which are traits that seem to be more identity than choice. That said, I do think there is something unique and universally applicable in the four-component scheme, and I think that we should as a society set a goal of acceptance and nondiscrimination surrounding all aspects of sexual identity.
-Just My Thoughts
I like your model, JMT, but it has to be said: At a certain point, endless Tumblr-enabled debates about sexual identity, gender identity, sexual orientation, and sexual interests take on the flavor of those how-many-angels-can-dance-on-the-head-of-a-pin debates that obsessed theologians in the Middle Ages.
For the record: Each of us is free—and remains free—to identify however we wish and to apply the labels "identity" and/or "orientation" however we please. If a particular person isn't trying to take anything away from you, then the fact that the person holds slightly differing views on identity or orientation, or the meanings of those words, or just how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, well, it really isn't an enormous fucking deal, is it? And, in my opinion, those who spend their time debating, classifying, and unpacking sex and identity run a very real risk of disappearing up their own ass in a puff of santorum. Which is my way of saying…
No, I won't be giving a column over to angry letters from buttsore people who feel that D/s is their sexual orientation, despite being told that I must because last week I suggested that, from my point of view, D/s is a sexual identity, not an orientation, and I gave a column to angry poly folks so it's only fair and blah blah blah.
Find the Savage Lovecast (my weekly podcast) every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage.
@fakedansavage on Twitter