If you came from the FAQ, there's nothing to see here.

If not, let me tell you what a PASSLQ is.

To paraphrase William Safire, a PASSLQ is a Person of an Appropriate Sex Sharing Living Quarters. Safire invented the word to counter a word used by the U.S. census bureau for two people living together but not married, POSSLQ (which would be, Person of the Opposite Sex Sharing Living Quarters). Safire said that "POSSLQ" was an offense to the 10% of Americans who happen to be gay (not to mention those of us who happen to be happy), so he suggested that the census bureau use PASSLQ instead in a New York Times column. I'm not sure if they eventually adopted it or not; I assume so, since you know how the government likes to do anything to keep gay people from being happy. People don't like me to use the word, because it's an homage to William Safire, plus 97% of people who hear me say the word think I'm nuts anyway.

(from Rob Harley on FoRK) Harumph. That Safire bloke must be a militant species-ist. What about the 23% who prefer the company of a sexy hamster? I hereby petition the bureau to replace POSSLQ with AASSLQ: Animal of the Appropriate Sex Sharing Living Quarters.

And there are those 18% of necrophiliac-americans whose civil rights must be defended. I mean, who are we to to judge those who happen to be turned on by a nice firm corpse? I hereby cancel the previous motion and demand that the bureau replace POSSLQ with TASSLQ: Thing of the Appropriate Sex Sharing Living Quarters.

Darn, there are about 34% whose sex life involves non-gendered things, such as the Usenet alt.binaries.pictures hierarchy and a big pillow. And 15% have no "living quarters" as such but have to survive on the street, under a bridge, wherever. I hereby waive the previous demand and order the bureau to replace POSSLQ with a noun sufficiently generic to offend no-one: "stuff".

PS: In answer to the question that started this, Myriam is indeed my SBSLQ now not just a g.f. (Sexy Babe Sharing Living Quarters).

PPS: Where did your 10% come from? If I recall correctly (always a doubtful proposition), in anonymized surveys roughly 97% of American men claim to be heterosexual, 1.5% homosexual and 1.5% bisexual.

(from Jim Whitehead on FoRK) Of course, even this category doesn't cover all the situations, since presumably you would want to separate people who are living together in a committed relationship from those people who are roomates who happen to be of the appropriate sex, but they're just roomates.

(response from Rob on FoRK) Perhaps the census bureau should get over the pretense that they really care who you're sharing living quarters with... enough of the euphemisms! Replace POSSLQ with WAYS: Who Are You Screwing?

(response from Ron on FoRK) Of course not all couples screw. Regardless of gender preference, liveness of partner preference, blessings of church or otherwise, even an intimate shackup can occur without actual coitus. In fact I'd venture a guess that a non-trivial amount of married couples are celibate at home, and do all their screwing on the side.

And now for an unrelated bit of humor...

Police: Good evening, are you the host?
Host: No.
Police: We've been getting complaints about this party.
Host: About the drugs?
Police: No.
Host: About the guns, then? Is somebody complaining about the guns?
Police: No, the noise.
Host: Oh, the noise. Well that makes sense because there are no guns or drugs here. (An enormous explosion is heard in the background.) Or fireworks. Who's complaining about the noise? The neighbors?
Police: No, the neighbors fled inland hours ago. Most of the recent complaints have come from Pittsburgh. Do you think you could ask the host to quiet things down?
Host: No Problem. (At this point, a Volkswagon bug with primitive religious symbols drawn on the doors emerges from the living room and roars down the hall, past the police and onto the lawn, where it smashes into a tree. Eight guests tumble out onto the grass, moaning.) See? Things are starting to wind down.

Get back to where you once belonged.