Category: aromanticsm

Tumblr Aro Asks meme, my answers (part 2 of 4)

As I said here in part 1, I’m gonna answer all of these, in a 4 part series of answers. Cross-posted to tumblr.

This is part 2 of 4.

(I’m sorry I kind of failed to finish these in time for Aro Spec Awareness Week, whoops.)

I’m gonna answer some of these with long paragraph answers, rather than just 1 word, because I feel like sometimes long answers are necessary? 😄


3. do you have any squishes?

One year ago for the February 2016 Carnival of Aces I wrote a blog post titled I Don’t (Meaningfully) Experience Platonic Attraction. I still am kind of confused by the concept of squishes.

I feel like when I was in elementary, middle, and high school and had crushes on approx. 3 guys, a decision to pick them to have a crush on really when I knew I had to be crushing on someone, I picked each of them because I had some form of a squish on them, I guess. But I mainly had a practical desire to get to know them better and have them see me as a friend/like me rather than a “attraction” per say? Idk but it turned into definite crush like feelings and for all I know I created asexual yet romantic rather than platonic attraction for them by nature of my trains of thought!

In the past year since writing that post I have felt major squish-like feelings I guess, towards mainly select new members of local non-religious meetup groups I’ve attended. There were women/girls I bonded with over fandom and even got the chance to speak with one on one before leaving, but I’ve only seen them once each, for a few hours, so it’s not like we can count as friends yet, hence my squish feelings. It’s like it’s only a crush/friend-crush if it’s… not quite requited, right? The one of these who is closer to my own age, she… I felt so much when we parted ways on the metro like this could’ve been the end of a really successful first date, I was like… I had butterflies but I knew she was almost definitely straight and what we had was just budding potential friendship but I was instantly reminded of Coyote’s friendship flirting blog post and was in the moment just… mentally noting how overcome with happy emotions I was. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen each other since though and I think that was… 3 months ago, so idk. We did message a little in the days after meeting, about the Gilmore Girls revival,which she saw after meeting me, and some of my feelings of bonding with her were less strong in those days because she’s on a totally different wavelength than me there, but idk. I still “really like” her, in whatever way that can be. I imagine if we see each other again I’ll make a “targeted effort” (as described in Coyote’s post) to see if, say, I can sit near her and chat with her.

And also there is this one guy who I basically feel that way about too, although it’s different because it is requited, it’s just still… relatively limited, I suppose, since I’ve only spoken to him in large group contexts and very brief one-on-one moments when like, departing from said groups. So there’s still that longing for more emotional intimacy, perhaps. He’s… too nice to me? That doesn’t make sense really, but it’s sort of how I feel. I think he’s a really amazing person and can’t understand why he would treat me with so much… respect I guess, I feel inadequate in his presence but not really because he is so reassuring and idk how to describe it, but I am reminded of when I had “crushes” on guys before I knew I was asexual. He’s married with children and I like his wife too although I’ve barely met her, and I don’t feel envy/jealousy at all, I don’t think it’s romantic attraction at all, and I’m satisfied with our friendship as it currently is, but I just feel strong feelings that are hard to pin down when it comes to this person.

Speaking of craving more emotional intimacy and that kind of squish… I’ve totally had it for extended family members too. Even quite recently. It’s… hard to pin down but I feel like I don’t meaningfully separate out my you know, blood relations from marriage family relations from non-related acquaintances, the same set of feelings is possible for any/all of them?

I think this is the only answer I’m posting tonight, because it’s so long!

Tumblr Aro Asks meme, my answers (part 1 of 4)

Happy Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week, everybody! I know the week started on Sunday and it’s already almost Saturday… 😄

Before this week over, I’m gonna answer all of these, in a 4 part series of answers. Cross-posted to tumblr.

This is part 1 of 4. Part 2 is here.

I’m gonna answer these with long paragraph answers, rather than just 1 word, because I feel like long answers are necessary? 😄

1. where are you on the aromantic spectrum?

Don’t know! Lol I’m gray aro. I’m wtfromantic and quoiromantic (I see these words as synonyms.) I’m bi/pan in terms of who I’d consider as a queerplatonic partner/who I’d “date”. Meaning gender isn’t a factor there for me. I think it’s related to the fact that I’m actually completely aro in many ways. Similarly I don’t identify as polyamorous however I do feel quite a lot of affinity for “non-monogamy” or rather… I’m not monogamous exactly either.  I usually feel completely devoid of any form of attraction to people: sexual, aesthetic, sensual, romantic… And I think it’s all a part of me being a 100% Asexual person with no grayness there at all. I think the way sexual orientation and romantic orientation are tied together for most people, being heterosexual also means heteroromantic and separating the two is tricky for your average straight person…  I am in some ways that kind of aroace. However I am way more “romantic”, for lack of a better word, than a lot of aros. I am a shipper in fandom. I did try dating prior to understanding my orientation and…

2. do you have a qpp/qpps?

…well, also, yes I have an amazing queerplatonic partner. We’re basically dating, a romantic relationship minus the romantic feelings. We’re both aro ace (however we do experience these orientations in different ways – My queerplatonic partner and I were talking this week about this stuff, aromantic awareness week brought some of it up, and he mentioned “I’d say I feel [asthetic and sexual] attraction, but not much desire to take that anywhere”).

Our relationship feels like “best friends as adults”, in a way most adults our age (I’m 27, he’s 28) don’t have. Our relationship feels like a practical decision to be committed to each other, to plan for our futures jointly but to do so mainly because we already have similar plans for our futures and if those plans were to change we would revert back to a typical friendship, albeit possibly a better friendship than a lot of people are lucky enough to have but I’d consider him equal to a few other very close friends I have, if not for our current commitment to each other to be queerplatonic partners. Also because we are together we are going to like, prioritize each other in certain situations, meet each other’s extended families, be automatic “plus one” options if going to an event kind of a thing. So again basically we look like a romantic relationship and act like one in big ways but we don’t feel like one on the inside, we don’t kiss (neither of us has ever liked kissing) or hold hands or feel butterflies. We don’t feel feelings that are different than deep, companionate love.

My qpp told me in a message this week: “I like what we have, and I don’t really have any expectations or visions of what our relationship is supposed to be Like ‘oh we need to be more romantic’ or something” and I think that sums us up well.

Why “Romantic Orientation Does Not Apply” Does Not Cut It (For Me)

This is my second submission for the August 2016 Carnival of Aces, which was themed around Naming It. And yes, it’s September 1st now, so I’m late. I apologize. Please enjoy the post below!


Sure, people don’t have to apply* the split-attraction model to themselves if they don’t want to. That’s what the vast majority of supporters of this model say – only use it if you want to. If it feels right.

And if I’m having a lot of trouble coming up with any identity label that feels right to me other than just “asexual”, then maybe I should consider myself to simply be asexual, end of story. Maybe I should not apply the split attraction model to myself. Maybe that’d be the easiest, simplest solution. Maybe that’s all I need to do.

But there are a lot of reasons that it makes sense for me to want to apply it to myself.

One of the main reasons is that I am a member of a group (the online ace blogging community, specifically) where most people seem to apply a romantic orientation to themselves, and if they don’t actively claim one, with time they tend to eventually accept that they are aromantic – by default, by nature of not dating, etc.

Another reason I feel like I need a romantic orientation is because, while I know I am cisgender (female), I need to clarify exactly why I’m not “het” in the way the “aces aren’t LGBT” discourse on tumblr lately has been going, talking about “cishet aces” to… at their most generous, only mean the heteroromantic aces. Because at this point in my introspection, one thing I do know deep down is that I’m not heteroromantic.

Now “not wanting to be marked as cishet” is not just me trying to be “a special snowflake”, although I’ve let that cross my mind. No. That’s unfair to me and so so many other aces.

Continue reading “Why “Romantic Orientation Does Not Apply” Does Not Cut It (For Me)”

How to Positively Represent Asexuality within Humorous Fiction: Part 2, “Options that can be funny without being hurtful!”

The following is part 2 and the conclusion of my two part submission for the July 2016 Carnival of Aces which was titled “Make ’em Laugh” (and which is more broadly themed around humor). Check out the Carnival of Aces Masterpost here for more information on what The Carnival of Aces is.


As I said in part 1, there are many ways, both positive and negative, that humor can be utilized in ways that directly affect your asexual characters and how your readers/audience members are likely to perceive them.

Part 1 was about what to avoid.

The good news: there are other options for how to use humor around asexual characters in fiction. Ways that I believe are less harmful, possibly not harmful at all! Even better yet: Ways that in the long run could be helpful to everyone for expanding our understanding of the world, and all the variation of human experience. A way that lets aces feel represented… without also hurting them at the same time.

The most obvious option:

  1. Instead of making asexuality part of the joke, just let the asexual character be in jokes that are not at all related to asexuality.

Continue reading “How to Positively Represent Asexuality within Humorous Fiction: Part 2, “Options that can be funny without being hurtful!””

How to Positively Represent Asexuality within Humorous Fiction: Part 1, “What to Avoid”

The following is part 1 of my  two part submission for the July 2016 Carnival of Aces which was titled “Make ’em Laugh” (and which is more broadly themed around humor). Check out the Carnival of Aces Masterpost here for more information on what The Carnival of Aces is.


There are many ways, both positive and negative, that humor can be utilized in ways that directly affect your asexual characters and how your readers/audience members are likely to perceive them.

Here in part 1, I will list examples of things to avoid when using humor in relation to an ace-spectrum character.

  1. There is a character who is asexual and the other characters make fun of him (or her, or them).

This is not ideal representation because it implies that “someone being asexual” is, in and of itself, a funny thing. It shows no respect for asexuality, nor respect for all of the people in real life who happen to actually be asexual. Perhaps to many people reading this blog post of mine right now it is fairly obvious that this can be one of the worst types of asexual representation, but unfortunately I think it does need to be spelled out because it’s clearly not obvious to some creators.

As someone who is speaking from a United States perspective and who has consumed mainly American fiction, with a side of some stuff from the UK and some television from Canada too… and then has engaged with the social justice communities online… I’ve noticed that most minorities (specifically meaning minorities-in-the-USA) have to face a particular issue when it comes to representation.

Even when a creator thinks “hey, I’m (finally) representing your group; you should be grateful”, the audience members/readers/content consumers who belong to that-particular-marginalized group realize that the character who represents them is being laughed at for being in a minority or marginalized group. It is a common issue for characters who belong to minority religions and/or characters who are ethnically Jewish, for characters who are members of certain (most non-white) races, sometimes for disabled characters, and yes, for all types of Queer characters. See the TV Tropes article on the “Queer People Are Funny” trope. (That site includes instances of the tropes in multiple fictional mediums by the way – not just television.) There is also a whole “Queer as Tropes” page for more options, such as overly exaggerated flamboyance in gay male characters.

When asexuality becomes another type of queerness that is deemed inherently funny, this can be harmful to asexual people in real life. Asexual people who have not yet heard of asexuality might never even think to consider that they might be ace, because it’s not being presented as a valid orientation for a person to be. It can make a viewer who does realize they are asexual feel attacked. It makes the asexual character the one you’re not supposed to relate to, and encourages the general (non-ace) audience to not even sympathize with their pain at being bullied or treated unfairly. The asexual character’s asexuality is exaggerated or stereotyped too because the writer didn’t respect the need for careful/realistic portrayals and spent no time on research.

Continue reading “How to Positively Represent Asexuality within Humorous Fiction: Part 1, “What to Avoid””

Risk & Courage, Disappointment & Resilience, Everything Changing & Me Catching Up (Part 3 of 3)

This is the third and final part of a series of blog posts I’ve written (mainly belatedly) for the June 2016 Carnival of Aces on the topic “Resiliency”. Please check out part 1 here, and part 2 here


My queerplatonic partner broke up with me in June, a little over a month ago now, and I really thought I’d be able to write this post while it was still June.  But for this post in particular, (part 3 of my mini-series…) I think the delay was partially because I needed more time to get over all my disappointment and sadness, to “grieve” if you want to call it that, and settle into being…  Not “just” friends with him, but… Well I guess “friends-who-aren’t-partners”.

I just so happened to be an ace going through a break up during the course of the same month when the Carnival of Aces was themed around Resiliency. Of course. That would just be my luck, right? 

I don’t know when the last time something brought me to tears to quite this degree was, and in some ways I’m really surprised by my own emotions. I actually cried on a few different occasions over this break up! I didn’t cry when I broke up with my only ever other boyfriend. In fact, it’s almost like what I experienced as a child here… I have at times over the course of letting this break up sink in for me felt a disconnect between what I actually “think” versus what I (subconsciously?) am/was feeling. But with time and more self-reflection, what I feel makes more sense, and it’s all very tied to my asexuality.

Continue reading “Risk & Courage, Disappointment & Resilience, Everything Changing & Me Catching Up (Part 3 of 3)”

Risk & Courage, Disappointment & Resilience, Everything Changing & Me Catching Up (Part 2 of 3)

This is part 2 of a three-part series of blog posts I have been writing for the June 2016 Carnival of Aces. Please check out part 1 here, first. Sorry parts 2 & 3 came late, once it was (is) already July. I expected to be able to finish in June but… ended up not.


So you know that feeling, when you look at the Carnival of Aces being about Resiliency, and all you can think about is about how the biggest things where you’ve needed strength, and to be able to “bounce back”, in your life, have had nothing at all to do with your asexuality?

Like just how little your mother being abusive intersects with the fact that she isn’t aro nor ace and you always were those things but didn’t know it back when she was in your life? And you’ve had to become someone who simply doesn’t care about not having a mother in your life, despite other people’s attempts to make you care, and how resilient you had to be to shield yourself from how that would’ve made you feel.

Or how the days, when you think back on your life, that were the worst days of your life, the most painful, the most stressful, had literally nothing to do with asexuality? Most of those days happened years before I’d learn that asexuality was a thing, let alone fully come to accept that it was who I was.

Well, I certainly know that feeling.

But you know… I gave it some time, and the more I thought about it, the more I realized just how resilient I’ve had to be in some ways that are directly related to my asexuality.

And how complicated and confusing it all can be at times.

Continue reading “Risk & Courage, Disappointment & Resilience, Everything Changing & Me Catching Up (Part 2 of 3)”

Risk & Courage, Disappointment & Resilience, Everything Changing & Me Catching Up (Part 1 of 3)

This is a post written for the June 2016 Carnival of Aces, which was themed around “Resiliency”.  

I split this post up into 3 parts to make for better ease of reading, and also because I wrote them pretty far apart lol. I wrote in separate chunks. Part 2 is here, and part 3 here.


This long, 3-part post itself involves me taking some pretty big risks, putting myself out there in multiple ways I haven’t yet on this blog.

But a huge theme of this post will be risks I’ve taken especially in the past year or so, and the risks I continue to take, how my life has in the past year been much more categorized than in years prior by… purposefully making myself vulnerable, because hopefully, in the end, the rewards would be worth the risks I was taking. Because, as I remember Coyote spelling out in a blog post back in April,

When you take an emotional risk and aren’t punished for it — when your trust is validated, instead of your vulnerability exploited — that can make for a very rewarding experience.

That resonated SO powerfully with me.

 And if you’ve ever had a vulnerable experience that ended positively, I think it’s fairly easy to understand.  Sometimes you have to take a risk in order to see your judgement validated.

I have taken more risks recently. And a lot of them have to do with my asexuality in  some way or another. It felt like the only alternative options were to be almost completely closed off from true friendship with new people. It has felt like it would be so positive to take the risk that to not take it would leave me festering in negative feelings like regret, and like no one understands me, and…

Well first, a note: I haven’t entered a post in the Carnival of Aces since March, meaning I skipped two months worth of the carnival. I also haven’t blogged about asexuality or related issues at ALL since that post of mine in March. 😄 I have left lengthy comments on other people’s posts since then, but… my own blog here? It’s been quiet over in this neck of the virtual woods.

I almost entered a blog post in the carnival for April though; the beginning of my post today is going to be what was saved in my drafts from my unfinished entry for that, because while it would fit April’s theme, it also fits June’s theme of Resiliency.

Continue reading “Risk & Courage, Disappointment & Resilience, Everything Changing & Me Catching Up (Part 1 of 3)”

Update/Deadline on asking me about my queerplatonic partnership!

Hey everyone. So yes, even though Robert agreed to answer questions with me, and this plan to do this on my blog did happen quite recently… we actually ended up dissolving our queerplatonic partnership this past Thursday.

We’re still friends and I hope he will still be willing to answer questions with me for the blog, though. If not, I’ll still answer all of them.

I’ll stop taking questions around Monday, July 4th. Please get your questions in by then! I’ve only received 2 questions so far. Thank you to the tumblr Shades of Grayro for this post: http://shades-of-grayro.tumblr.com/post/146106897800/ever-had-a-question-for-a-queerplatonic-pair which eventually prompted both questions. 😉

The questions I’ve been asked:

1. I am a cis male in my early 30‘s who identifies as straight, demiromantic and quoiromantic.  Since I am quoiromantic, I am confused about what is romantic and what is platonic.  In dating, you hear a lot of words like “spark”,  “completing each other,” and “opposites attract” whereas words like, “comfortable around them,” “common interests,” and “easy to talk to” can apply to either romantic or platonic relationships.  My observation is that maybe you need that “spark” to jump from a friendship to romantic relationship.  In queerplatonic relationships, would you *need* some sort of spark or is that exclusively for a romantic relationship?            

2. “I think my question would be about how it started; what was that conversation like and how did you bring it up? Granted, the fact that you are both ace and probably knew what a QPP was already probably helped but I am still curious how one moves from ‘really good friends bordering on something else’ to actually having the conversation. “

Remember anonymously sending me an ask on my tumblr (luvtheheaven) with your question, or sending me an email at pemk7@aol.com is totally fine. Your name doesn’t have to be publicly associated with your question anywhere.

I’d be happy to talk about my friendship with Robert before the queerplatonic partnership, about the queerplatonic relationship, about the break up, or even about our friendship since then. We’re actually going to spend Independence Day weekend together with a couple of other friends of ours, as well, so answering questions AFTER July 4th should be pretty good timing.

I just wanted to update all of you.

My Queerplatonic Relationship: Ask us anything!

So coming up in about a week will be the four month “anniversary” (4th monthiversary) of me and Robert* deciding to officially become queerplatonic partners!

I asked him if he’d be interested in doing a thing for my blog where we interview each other and post some answers for my readers. He said he would be up for that!

And then I suggested that maybe my followers would have some questions for both of us (or in a few cases, for one or the other person). Robert thought that was a good idea, asking you guys to help us.

That means you guys, my readers, coming up with questions that the two of us in this relationship will answer (unless for whatever reason we decide we don’t want to answer – no promises on answering every question we get.).

You may pose questions just for him, especially if it’s a question where you already know how I’d answer because of my previous blogging, you can ask a question just for me, or you can ask a question that both of us will try to answer.

For basic information, I identify as both wtfromantic & aromantic, and I am asexual. I’m 26 years old, cis-female.

Robert is aromantic and gray-asexual, 27-years-old, and cis-male.

I look forward to seeing what questions you might pose for us to potentially answer in the comments below!

Alternatively, if you wish to ask a question more anonymously than in the comments, feel free to email me the question(s) at pemk7@aol.com and I will keep your identity private, no one besides you and me has to know you asked.

 


* Robert is not his actual name. He chose this name, when I asked him to provide an alias for my blog. 😉