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MOTSS is an initialism used as a term to refer to "Member(s) of the Same Sex" or describe gay or bisexual encounters or relationships. It is possibly derived from the 1970 U.S. Census forms Member Of The Same Sex esp. one considered as a possible sexual partner, a potential or (less often) actual sex partner. For example, the term/phrase "on the down-low" or "on the DL" refers to men who have MOTSS experiences or occasionally sexually prefer MOTSS. Gay men or women prefer MOTSS exclusively. The inverse MOTOS refers to "Member(s) of the Opposite Sex" The acronym is gender and sexual orientation inclusive in sentences like, "Flirting with MOTSS in public can draw unwanted attention," or "There is a strong bias favoring MOTOS relationships." A similar, less-often used term is MOTAS "Member of the Appropriate Sex" to be inclusive of both heterosexual and homosexual relationships. For example, "What would you do with a MOTAS?"
Spoken, "MOTSS" can be pronounced with a short o as in "pots" or a long o as in "motes." Some LGBT people call each other "Motssers." In the bi community, MOTSS and MOTOS are nearly as commonly used as "he" and "she."
The designations were first used by famous sexual researcher Alfred Kinsey of the Kinsey Institute as well as Masters and Johnson and are currently used in sexology research polls and tests. The acronyms were popularized in the early years of usenet possibly starting on soc.singles. "net.motss" was chosen in 1983 as a name for one of the first LGBT newsgroups as an inside term to avoid having a highly visible gay-related newsgroup name. net.motss changed name to soc.motss in 1987.
The gay symbols for MOTSS are either two female or two male symbols interlinked together. The bisexual symbols for MOTSS are either two male symbols and one female symbol OR two female symbols and one male symbol all interlinked together. Also, there is an all-encompassing newer MOTSS symbol of bisexual identity with two male and two female symbols fused into one circle.
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