This is part 4 of 4.
Onto the final chunk of questions… some of these are much more fun than the previous parts.
13. do you headcanon any characters as arospec?
This is part 4 of 4.
Onto the final chunk of questions… some of these are much more fun than the previous parts.
13. do you headcanon any characters as arospec?
This is part 3 of 4.
(And as it turns out… I didn’t just “kind of” fail to finish these in time for Aro Spec Awareness Week… lmao. I completely totally am insanely late finishing up. However I want to post the final 2 parts before I post my March Carnival of Aces post, so I’m kicking this into high gear really quickly.)
As I explained before, I’m answering many of these with long paragraph answers, rather than just 1 word, because I feel like sometimes long answers are necessary, and I have a lot to say.
That being said, we’re finally at the parts where I plan to give some… shorter answers.
4. what’s your stance on romantic attraction?
Happy Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week, everybody! I know the week started on Sunday and it’s already almost Saturday… 😄
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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. 😉
[Content Note: Brief discussion of biphobia/inaccurate stereotypes about bisexual people which my dad apparently believes/believed, mentions of conservative Judaism and Christianity, and general discussion of heteronormativity, the gender binarist world we live in, etc. I am a 26-year-old cis female, non-libidoist, aromantic/wtfromantic asexual from the USA.]
Last night, a discussion about how it feels like most of the aces I meet in the local meetup group are either non-religious, or Jewish, transformed into me mentioning to my dad that one of my friends (friendly acquaintances?) whom I met last year at an ace meetup was raised in a conservatively Jewish home. This meant, actually, that when she came out to her parents as bisexual, it didn’t go well, and that’s why she still hasn’t felt like coming out to them as ace.
I was explaining that she thought she was bisexual before she realized she was asexual, and my dad was really surprised.
That concept was difficult to wrap his mind around, because “it was like she went from hypersexual to non-sexual”. It seemed my dad was wondering how anyone could be so confused?! How could they jump around so much with their thoughts on their sexuality?
And I cocked my head at him. I shot him a look, surprised by his reaction for multiple reasons. Yes, I was surprised by his unchecked belief that bisexual people are all hypersexual. (Hadn’t he watched that ABC Family TV show Chasing Life with me? If that kind of bisexual representation didn’t help him imagine a world where some bisexual people have a pretty average-seeming sex drive, I’m not sure anything would’ve.) And the first thing I said was that that was not an accurate idea of what bisexuality really is. But the other thing that jumped to my mind was… Oh. For all that we talk about, for all that I try to discuss with my family, when it comes to nuanced issues it takes me a long time sometimes to really get around to bringing them up. I only recently tried to explain queerplatonic relationships to them, right around when I started to consider entering into one, really!!
And even now, I don’t think I’ve told anyone other than the people at the ace meetup group and also everyone who reads my posts on the internet that I had multiple fleeting instances of questioning if I might be bi. I explained to my dad something broader, but my own personal experience with it didn’t make it into the conversation. Maybe I’ll find a way to bring it up soon.
What I said to my dad was that actually, it was a pretty common narrative in the ace community for people to think they were bi before coming to the conclusion that they were ace. That I might’ve thought I was straight-by-default, but some people kind of think they’re bi-by-default, because if they really aren’t attracted to either gender, equally, then they feel the same way toward both genders, and that can be easily interpreted by someone who doesn’t know asexuality is a possibility as “I must be bi”.
When I was 10 years old, in fifth grade (my final year of elementary school), waiting with my mom for my brother’s haircut to be over and for it to be my turn to trim off an inch or so of my hair, she asked me if I liked any boys in my class. (Truthfully, I’m only 25% sure this memory is factual, but please, go with it as if it really happened like this.)
Phrasing it like that, asking a young girl if they “like” any boys in class, plays into heteronormativity to the extreme, amatonormativity, etc. It assumes “like” in a sense that is rare, special, probably slightly-sexual but maybe not too sexual since I was barely entering puberty by then, and definitely a synonym for the term “crush”, with heavy romantic connotations.
And I thought about the boys in my class, none of whom I was actually “friends” with because of the societal gender binary splitting us off and only girls being considered for friendship. Who I talked to at lunch and at recess were pretty much just girls. So the guy I liked was the guy I had noticed reading all 50 books in the Animporphs series just like I was, but with whom I’d never gotten a chance to share a conversation. Was the guy that stood out to me because he was the one non-white guy in class and he was also one of the smartest of my classmates. I was a straight-A student in elementary school, and so was he. We both raised our hands really often to participate in class. And I respected him a lot for all of these reasons, and I decided he was the guy, I guess, that I had a crush on. Let’s call him Jeremy.
This is a post written for the January 2016 Carnival of Aces. I believe it is just the first post I will be writing for this month’s Carnival topic (“Relationship Stages”), but time will tell if I actually do write any of my other ideas.
If you want a specific kind of relationship, how do you go about looking for someone(s) to develop that kind of relationship with?
Do you go looking to start a specific relationship intentionally or do you wait to see if it happens serendipitously?
Do you start off with an ideal image of your relationship member(s) or are you just open to seeing what works?
Life works in mysterious ways. I’ve generally been the kind of person who just lets life happen to her. At least, it’s sort of how I perceive myself. All 4 years away at college and not a single truly close friendship was formed, I just let myself get assigned random roommates each time.