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  1. 10 points
    i had a psychiatric assessment yesterday (recently had a bit of a mental health crisis, not important), so there was a social worker who did most of the talking, a psychiatrist whose purpose was supposedly just to prescribe me an appropriate medication, and a recent grad who was just observing. anyway, at one point they asked my sexual orientation and whether i was in a relationship, so i told them, and they had a lot of questions and comments. i had to explain aromanticism and how it's different from asexuality. they asked whether i'd ever been in a relationship so i tried to sum up in a minute what a bad experience it was (just because i'm aro; he was great) and added that "i haven't been in a sexual relationship because then it would have to be sexual and romantic and i...can't do that. but i also don't want to just like...ugh, it's complicated." at this point the psychiatrist interjected by saying that a sexual and romantic relationship is an important part of life and basically implied that it would lessen my depression, when i'd just explained how the opposite was true. i said "i would have to disagree. i'm quite happy with my life the way it is." he said "ok" but was clearly not satisfied. i also found it interesting that despite my having expressed a mild interest in making more friends (but i couldn't be bothered), they did not agree that that would improve my life. i wonder whether they would have made such a big deal about me being single if i weren't aro, like if i just didn't happen to be dating at the moment. i told my dad afterwards and he was surprised and disappointed that they reacted like that; i was disappointed but not surprised. i told him "everyone says that. i'm used to it." (most of the mental health professionals i've seen, i mean, but obviously people in general too.) he said "that's like telling an asexual: 'go have some sex.'" i informed him that people do suggest that, and reflected that "if i'd been asexual, he (the psychiatrist) would have had a wig-out." i added that my aromanticism is "always my least favourite thing to bring up (to health care professionals). they're like, 'so, are you in a relationship?' and i'm like, 'oh, here we go.'" so yeah. i'll be doing a few therapy sessions with the social worker; i hope she'll let me talk about my depression instead of my aromanticism. 🙃
  2. 8 points
    So I had heard about the discrimination that happens in the LGBT+ community. However since I hadn't been identifying as Aro for long, I hadn't experienced this discrimination from anyone, let alone from someone in the community at all yet. Sadly, I just had a run in with this first hand a few weeks ago for the first time. I was talking with my German friend over the phone and he asked me to tell him about something new in my life. I was struggling to tell him something so random so he asked me about my love life. I hadn't really told many people of my Aromanticism, and he's not someone you can take seriously so I told him jokingly that "I don't have a love life". Then when he said that surely there must be someone, I decided to say the "A" word. I said "I'm Aromantic"...He was Bisexual so I thought he would be accepting but then he said " I don't believe you" and that shocked me. I had never experienced this so I didn't know how to respond. All I could say was "Why?". I tried to play it off as he told me things like that I should try dating, or as he asked me if there really is nobody that I would date, or as he suggested I was just socially awkward and not Aromantic but on the inside it was starting to hurt. It hurt even more after the conversation ended. As I reflected on the conversation I realized he had tried to "fix" me. He tried to get me to date. He tried to make me something I'm not, and it was a member of the LGBT+ community that did this! (The only good thing I got out of that is now I'm starting to think I might be asexual too, not heterosexual like I previously thought. but what a way to find that out...definitely not how I'd prefer to) Now that I've experienced this, it is clear that this is a real problem. People think we don't exist. People think there's something wrong with us just as my friend suggested it was my social awkwardness that was the problem (though other worse informed people will suggest things like actual mental illness). And even worse, we are overshadowed in our own community and that has lead even our own peers to believing that we don't exist. I began noticing things I would overlook like how, and I'm sure you guys don't do that here, but when I look through the aromantic hashtag in instagram I'll see posts that deal with asexuality only. There's not a single mention of aromantics except in the hashtag! It's a bit of a pain having to scroll past those nonaromantic posts especially for people who aren't even asexual. It's also hard when some (not all!) alloromantic asexuals will throw aromantics under the bus to be accepted as well by saying things along the line of "Look! I have a partner. I experience love too! There's just no sex involved." Now I know not all Alloromantic Asexuals do this but some do and this is definitely damaging to the Aromantic community. I'm just beginning to notice how different we are from the rest of the LGBT+ community. We are separated from them by a common bond a lot of them share: love. And it's not just a small part of the asexual community that will do it, parts of the LGBT community will do it unknowingly when they argue their case saying that "it's just love." This helps them, but when they've been accepted by others, the aromantic community won't be accepted because those same arguments will be used against us. It hurts us in the long run. Yeah I'm sorry this post is very all over the place! I'm kind of having a crisis. It's just, as other parts of the LGBT community are starting to be accepted, aromantics are struggling to get any recognition at all. We're growing slowly but I'd love to see more progress. But how? How can we make people see us and understand us? After this incident I feel like I'll be more hesitant in the future to come out to, well, anyone!
  3. 8 points
    That's something the aro community, and especially us allo aros, have been fighting against for a long time. I'm sorry you had to find out about it this way.
  4. 7 points
    I'm posting this information on Tumblr too as a follow up to this poll, but I think a lot of the more active aro community members are on this forum and not all of y'all use Tumblr (and as formats for keeping track of information goes Tumblr is actually kind of terrible) so I wanted to post this here as well. If you have other advice for aros trying to start in-person communities, please add on! This is by no means the end all and be all of community building, it's just meant to create a starting point for people who need one. In-person groups are something that every community needs before it can do more on the ground activism, and creating in-person spaces is something I actually have some experience with so that’s where I’d like to start. This information is intended to be general, so you can apply it to creating a larger communal aro space, or to creating a smaller space for an aro subcommunity. Please also note that this is certainly not the *only* way to create an in-person space, every organization does things differently. This is just supposed to give basic and overarching information about how an in-person group can be run, using the knowledge I’ve gained from working with several long-lasting LGBTQIA+ and religious groups. Creating in-person community doesn’t have to take a lot of resources, but it can be hard to maintain. With this in mind, I would like to split this post into 4 parts: Creating a community, maintaining community, general advice, and the benefits of putting in the work. Let’s get started! Creating a community: In order to create in-person community you need five things: 1. Space - You will always need a place to meet but take a deep breath, this isn’t the challenge you think it is. Many people get stuck on this, thinking that they’ll need to spend a lot of money to rent a space, but public parks, coffee shops, and free library meeting rooms (which, just fyi usually need to be reserved ahead of time) are all perfectly fine places to start a group. 2. Leadership- If you start a new group then you and anyone else you may have started it with, will probably become that groups leadership by default. If you’re the one setting up all the meetings then that makes you the person in charge whether you like it or not and this steers a lot of people away from starting new organizations. And I get that, most of us grow up with very intimidating ideas of what a ‘leader’ looks like and as a result, feel that’s leadership is too much responsibility to take on. But if we want in-person aro groups someones gotta do it, so as someone who has been running my church youth group for 3 years now, I’m here to tell you that my job is 90% herding cats and 10% arts and crafts. That’s it. As long as you know how to make lists, use craft scissors, and keep a schedule you’re perfectly qualified to be the person in charge, don’t let the idea of leadership intimidate you out of trying to start an in-person aro group. 3. Time - Especially when you’re first starting out creating a new group can take a lot of time and energy. So make a schedule, take as long as you need to, and if possible, split the work with other people. Putting everything together as quickly and with as little effort as possible is not the way to build an effective community, so go slow if need be, there’s no shame in that. 4. An online presence - Every modern organization needs an online presence. This can mean anything from making a Facebook group to creating a whole new website, but whatever you do, you will need a centralized online space where people can consistently find information about your events. If you’re not someone with a lot of web design skills then I recommend using Facebook, or, if you have the money for it, Meetup (Note: Meetup does tend to bring more people to an event than Facebook does, but I know many people have tight budgets, so like don’t worry too much if you can’t afford it. I know a lot of groups that do all their event organizing on Facebook and still have great attendance). 5. An Activity- Especially when a community is new, activities are often needed to get people talking to each other. Facilitated group discussions are, IMO, the easiest way to do this, but anything that gets people to talk with each other can work. Once you have all this the final step is to promote your group. And I mean actually promote it, don’t just make one post about it on your favorite social media site. Leave flyers in coffee shops, post about it on relevant Facebook groups, contact local queer groups and see if they’ll promote it, post about it on neighborhood blogs and bulletin boards. Don’t half-ass this part, aro’s are few and far between and you will need to be loud about your group's existence if you want people to find you. Maintaining Community: Creating a community is one thing, but maintaining it is another and this is, arguably, the more challenging part of the process. Lots of new organizations never make it past their first few months of existence, but that’s not what we want for the aro community. So here’s are the things that, in my opinion, are most necessary to keep a group going. 1. Persistence - There is a very good chance that the first few meet up’s you arrange will have low or no attendance. New groups are like that, and I know it’s discouraging, but don’t give up. Keep promoting and keep showing up, and then be prepared for no one else to be there. This may sound like an exercise in futility, but I promise it’s not. This summer my church youth group tried to set up a program for teen and young adult Pagans. It took four months for anyone outside of our youth groups to actually show up, but we kept meeting despite that, and now, eight months in, we have relatively high attendance. So bring a book, bring some other work that needs to get done, and if no one shows up do that instead. If you’re doing a good job of promoting your events someone will show up eventually. 2. Have Help- Burn out is real, and trying to run everything yourself is the fastest way to fail, so figure out who can help you run things. Ideally, of course, the people helping you will be other aro’s, but many of us don’t have any irl aro friends so figure out your other options. You’re out to your sister and she’s really good at social media promotion? See if she'll help you get the word out about events. Your friend just really fricking loves graphic design? See if they’ll help you with posters, web design, informational pages, or other similar design needs. As your community grows other aros may be able to take over these tasks, but you will need help from the getgo, so make sure you have at least one or two people to share the work with. 3. Have Community Guidelines- Humans! Are! Messy! And everyone has different ideas about what behaviors are and aren’t acceptable. A good way to prevent these differences from creating issues is to have a set of community guidelines. Put them up on your facebook/website/other social media so people can see them, or better yet, go over them at the beginning of each meeting, this will make sure that everyone knows your group's code of conduct. I suggest involving other community members in the creation of these guidelines so that everyone is happy with them. 4. Consistency- This isn’t necessary, but it is helpful. If you can make sure your group meets at the same time or in the same place every meeting it can help people fit your group into their schedule. That said, this isn’t always something that can be managed, so don’t be hard on yourself if it isn't possible. Consistency is an ideal, not a requirement. 5. Stay out of Drama- Drama can break up even the most stable communities, so while it’s sometimes unavoidable you should try to stay away from it (especially if you’re leadership). Play well with other queer organizations, and if possible, try to have community members that can act as mediators within the group. I’ve seen more communities then I can count break up because a few people couldn’t get along, don’t let the same thing happen to yours. General Advice: Make something you would want to go to When first starting a group, make it something that you would be excited to participate in. What you want is likely to be what others want too, and if you’re doing something that you already love it will be a lot more bearable if other people don’t show up the first few times. Look at other groups If you’re still anxious about starting a group, take some time and go to some other small meet up groups first. See what they do, and if you’re comfortable, talk to the organizers about how they run things. It’s easier to get started when you can see that other people have done the same thing. Money, money, money Use free spaces, websites, and other materials as much as possible. Once an organization starts needing money just to exist funding will become the top priority no matter what other issues are going on. If you just love finances maybe this will work for you, but I think most of us get stressed out when money becomes an issue. Sometimes these things are unavoidable, but if you can organize your community without spending too much it will let you focus on other things. The Benefits of Putting in the Work: Running an organization, especially as a volunteer, can often feel like a thankless job, but try and remember how much good it does. Community building can help you understand others better, it allows people to create necessary social networks, and most importantly, people with in-person communities can organize larger political action. Not everyone has the time or energy to start an aromatic group in their area, and that’s perfectly understandable, as we’ve seen it can be a lot of work. But if you can start a group, and you want to start a group, then your organization can do a lot of good Here are some more resources on organizing communities, clubs, and meetups, that, while not aro specific, might still give you some ideas. Hopefully, some of them will be helpful for y’all! (x) (x) (x)
  5. 7 points
    The trouble with aromanticism is that it's very hard to prove a negative. Most of the time when people identify as aro what they're saying is "I've felt little to no romantic attraction up to this point and I greatly suspect that this will continue to be the case". Of course, there are other reasons to identify as aro aswell, but I think that's what a lot of people mean by it. So like personally I consider myself to be aro because I haven't ever felt anything I would consider to be romantic attraction, and when I'm in situations where I'm expected to reciprocate romantic feelings or actions it usually impacts my mental health negatively. I know that all of that might change in the future and if it does I'll probably find another identity label to use, but at least for right now that doesn't appear to be changing any time soon and having the word "aromantic" helps me explain and understand my experiences. So I guess what I'm trying to get at is that you don't have to be 100% sure that you'll be aromantic forever and always to use the label. In fact most aros aren't that certain. But if the term 'aromantic' helps you understand your current experiences a little better then you're welcome to use it for as long as you need to, whether that's only for a few months or for the rest of your life. You're also welcome to try out that label for a little bit to see how it fits, I think a lot of the questioning process can be very guess and check. Absolutely certainty isn't something you're likely to get with an orientation that's based on a lack of something, but if aromantic is a label that you think might fit you then it's totally okay to just try it out for a bit.
  6. 6 points
    Oof yeah....I haven't had any mental health professional who I've come out to, and stuff like this is part of why I'm wary and mistrusting of therapists because I wouldn't be able to talk about my issues without incorporating the fact I'm aro, but coming out to them seems...difficult. I doubt they would have made a big deal out of someone just happening to be single. If anything, there tends to be a healthy perspective that you need to take care of yourself before able to healthily enter a relationship. But society is such that NOT wanting a romantic relationship at all is seen as a weird or bad thing so...yeah. Tbh them saying a romantic relationship would improve your depression is....a really unhealthy attitude in and of itself? The narrative of finding a partner to fix you and make you happy is bad and could lead to over-dependence. I hope stuff goes well and you're able to actually talk about what you want to. Also, if they expect you to educate them about aromanticism, during the time they're supposed to be helping you, remind them of what you're supposed to be talking about and tell them to do research on their own time (though possibly useful if you can recommend sources).
  7. 6 points
    This is great and really useful! I wanted to elaborate on some things and provide some more resources. I've previously been involved in leadership of my college's queer organization and have been to workshops with tips for different aspects of queer community organization. Coalition Building: If there's local lgbtqa groups in your area, it can be useful to build an alliance with them. As you mentioned, these such larger groups can help spread awareness of your group. They can also help with stuff like providing space to meet at a local lgbtqa center and even fundraising things. In general, they will have more experience on running queer organizations in your area, and therefore might be able to provide resources and advice specific to the area where you live. This is good both with overall queer organizations but also if there are established ace organizations in the area, they would be well positioned to help. (TAAAP has a list of ace groups that exist in america, seen here). Advertising: Advertising is very important, though it can be difficult posting to a bunch of different social media platforms. Make your life easier by using a media management tool which allows you to post to multiple social media sites simultaneously, such as hootsuite and others found here. Also, it's good to have aesthetically pleasing and easy to see advertisements/pictures; you can use websites like this to make them more easily. Leadership: Most people in leadership positions for communities like this kinda stumble into it; people might look like they know what they're doing, but often they're trying to figure things out themselves and that's okay. I also agree, it's very important to get help because then there's multiple people to do the work and hold each other accountable. Also, never stop recruiting people for leadership: many hands make lighter work, plus eventually people will leave for one reason or another so it's always best to have more people. Another thing is set realistic goals; trying to do too much too quickly just leads to burnout. Additionally, it's important to communicate well with leadership team; if you notice conflict, stop and address it because a lot of times it's due to miscommunication or different leadership styles. Lastly, use things to help stay organized, including: google drives, trello (online to-do list for groups); also "slack" is a good messaging app for those kinda things...it has a bunch of different channels and overall is like the "professional" version of discord. (these are based on things I've previously used, I'm sure there's many more) Activities/Meetings: Community discussions are really good, though sometimes it can be difficult if people struggle to think of what to discuss, so plan discussion questions ahead. Also, especially as an organization grows, you might want to have themed discussion topics. In my old club, each week we'd have a powerpoint presentation for themed discussion, such as representation in media or intersections with other minority groups; though, it's good to make sure these still are discussions with questions rather than just lectures. Additionally, it's good to have a social element, such as going out to eat after meetings if people want. Discussion groups are important and form camaraderie, but more fun and social things help people become friends. Community Guidelines: These are really great to have for facilitating discussions! Here are a few community guidelines I've often seen used in queer spaces: "Take space, make space": People are encouraged to talk but remember to leave space for other people, who may be more shy, to be able to talk too "One diva one mic": Don't talk over someone who's speaking "ouch-oops": If someone says something hurtful to you, say "ouch" and then they'll respond "oops" to acknowledge they did something that upset you. This is a useful way to address these things without completely derailing the conversation; I've most commonly seen it used when someone accidentally misgenders someone. Gender inclusive language: Remember not to gender people based on presentation and to use gender inclusive language in general. For example, instead of addressing a group with terms such as "guys", use terms such as "Y'all". "Stories stay here, lessons leave": there's a certain amount of confidentiality around things people share, and it's important to remember not to share other people's stories which they shared in confidence. Take and share the lessons you learn, but don't repeat the stories. "I" statements: talk about your own experiences, not other people's. Diversity: the queer community has a lot of diverse intersections to other minority groups, and it's important to respect all aspects of other people's identities. (Here is a link to "Campus Pride" which has similar guidelines and more) Accessibility: It's important to try and be accessible and provide relevant accessibility information. Now, it's generally unrealistic to be 100% accessible to everyone due to limited resources and also conflicting accessibility needs, but there are some relatively simple things that can help: Provide accessibility information for events this includes how physically accessible the location is and also if it would require much walking/standing or if it is very loud which might cause sensory issues. Food and dietary information if your event has food, that's great! people love food! But remember, a lot of people have dietary restrictions including food allergies, so it's important to make sure food is properly labelled. Also, have information available on what kind of food it will be beforehand, perhaps providing a link to restaurant/caterer as relevant. Examples of common dietary restrictions: Vegan/Vegetarian, gluten (Celiac disease), lactose intolerance, Food allergies (including nuts, shellfish, eggs, & soybeans), and religious dietary restrictions (Kosher & Halal). (I personally have had a lot of issues with this; if something says there's food but doesn't specify what, I have to assume there will be nothing for me to eat...and I'm typically correct. I can think of at least two times where I was at events where I expected there to have enough to eat only to discover the provided information was insufficient, and I found it very stressful and it made me unable to enjoy the event). Communication accessibility Making visual presentations easily visible (with size and font/background colors); use bullet points and frequent paragraph breaks to make things more readable Speaking loudly/clearly; when talking to people who have problems hearing, speak facing them; have discussions in a circle so people can see each other Avoid use of ableist language (There's more detailed info for accessibility here, especially under "Holding inclusive events") Hope this helps!
  8. 5 points
    So I'm always really confused about what the hell romance even is, so I decided to try to find out the history behind it. And the thing is, romantic love didn’t even exist as a concept for most of history? Ancient Greeks defined seven different types of love, none of which were romantic: eros (sexual love), philia (friendship), storge (familial love), agape (universal love aka altruism or charity), ludus (casual love, flirtation and no-strings-attached), pragma (practical love, like arranged marriages), and philautia (self-love). (x) The concept of romance was first introduced only 900 years ago (x), which is pretty recent, considering marriage had been around for about 3500 years before that. (x) Obviously, by Shakespeare’s time, romance was a widely accepted concept. However, marrying “for love” like Shakespeare shows wasn’t very common until the late eighteenth century. Before the late 1700′s, love was seen as something that happens after the marriage, not before it. But as the first romance novel was written by Samuel Richardson in 1740(x), and Jane Austen normalized romance novels from 1795 to 1817 (x), romance quickly became a prerequisite for marriage by the mid-1800s. And when romance was necessary for marriage, it was suddenly deemed necessary for life. The need for romance overpowered the needs for all other types of love as more books about romance were published, and then songs about romance, and then movies about romance. I think romance became an "essential" thing as life got easier, the same way plumbing and indoor heating are now "essential." But, the thing is, it's not actually necessary, and, in my opinion, sometimes life is a lot simpler without it. What are your thoughts about this? Do you think romantic attraction has always been around, or is it a new thing? Do you think life is simpler without romance? Is romantic attraction even a real thing, or is it just a manmade concept? Disclaimer: I am white, and I’m not a historian or anything, and I only really know Western history and the Bible and whatever some quick Google searches will tell me. A lot of this is just my personal informed opinion. Please let me know if I’ve gotten anything wrong, and add any non-Western viewpoints!! tl;dr: the concept of romance didn’t exist until 900 years ago, and after people in the mid- to late 1700s started writing about it, people thought it was necessary in order to get married, and then it was "necessary" for just life in general, and it complicated things.
  9. 5 points
    I've had mental health counselors try to tell me I either secretly wanted a romantic relationship or that not being in one wasn't good for me (the latter mainly before I discovered the term 'aromantic'). I did really believe I wanted a romantic relationship in the past, and after I figured out my identity, I found that people including mental health counselors as well as my mom didn't seem to get the concept that maybe it was everything the media and my parents had taught me that had made me think I wanted a romantic relationship rather than my actual desires and they kept mistaking my friendships for something romantic just because I tend to make friends with women more than with other guys. I also understand what you're saying about not having a sexual relationship because it can be hard to have a non-romantic one. I usually think I'm demi or gray-ace, but I sort of think that may just be the result of not being comfortable getting that close to someone who might see me in a romantic way and I'm also not interested in random hook-ups with people I don't know.
  10. 5 points
    Yeah...in my experience with irl lgbtqa communities, people have accepted aromanticism but that's not the same as including it? Like....to start with people aren't well informed and need to be taught that it isn't just a subset of ace and stuff. Then there's the casual amatonormative language, assuming everyone wants romantic relationships. Then there's people simply forgetting to mention aromantic stuff. The thing I've had the most trouble with is that romance repulsion just....is not respected. I can't establish boundaries about being repulsed by romance at all without being attacked for it. At one point in my friend group I tried to request we limit or move romance in a d&d game because it made me uncomfortable and unable to enjoy it....and one of my friends at the time, who herself is ace (but biromantic), didn't respect that at all and basically said it was homophobic because it would "limit their ability to express their queerness"....clearly not caring about how it made me feel. (I previously wrote a tumblr post pertaining to this)
  11. 5 points
    What you describe is more an active process of denial and erasure. I think it's worth asking if your "social awkwardness" could, in any way, be a consequence of your being aromantic in a highly amantonormative society. That isn't specific to Instragram. You find much the same thing on Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, etc. This is part the reason I strongly object to asexual organisations adding "and aro" to their names (or events). The current situation isn't entirely down to Alloromantic Asexuals. Since there are certainly Aromantic Asexuals who failed to challenge, even supported, the idea of aro as a subset of ace. Something which I see reflected in "aro language". Parts of the LGBT+ community manage to be biphobic or transphobic, ironic as that may appear. There can also be acephobia, most likely towards heteroromantic asexuals. Similarly with arophobia, especially towards aromantic heterosexuals. Personally I find claims that either of these kinds of people are "straight" to resemble bovine excrement. Something which I think is a factor here is "marriage equality". Which about romantic, rather than sexual, orientation. The problem does have both these attributes. Often even if you can get people to recognise that "love" includes eros, philia, storge, pragma and agape they'll still place romance on a pedestal or at the top of a hierarchy. Thus you'll get this sort of thing.
  12. 5 points
    This is the exact problem that plagued most of my life. I have been in the same sort of situation but because it was years ago and the people responsible for issuing the rules were the sort to brush off romance and not see it as a problem nothing was done to help me even if I when I was brave enough to try and articulate my problem. Literally the advice I got once was "Did he follow you home? no? then don't worry about it" You did nothing wrong. Your professor was great! giving you a solution to your immediate issues. Even the PhD is not really being penalised, he's just learning that not being able to control his reactions to maintain a cool professional demeanour can hurt others (which is a lesson he would have had to learn eventually, especially if he wants to be a good professor in the future ...even going into private industry, being open and uncontrolled in this way can leave you open to manipulation).
  13. 5 points
    Not at all. An issue arose and you addressed it. Since you said that you were previously feeling too anxious to go into the office/lab, and since you said that you feel much more at ease going into work now, that tells me you did what you needed to do in order to make life easier on yourself as a student and a person. I know it's hard not to feel guilty, withdrawing from or establishing "hard" boundaries with people that "didn't do anything that bad," but interaction with you isn't anything anyone has A Right to, and it's not like you sent him to jail. All you did was create the conditions necessary for yourself to continue working on your goals.
  14. 4 points
    [ an extension of this previous thread now that that one has gone so far off-topic ] I'm trying to address, or at least describe in order to talk about, an intra- & intercommunity problem. In the ace & aro communities both, there's arisen a norm of talking about ourselves and each other in terms of "romantic orientation" and "sexual orientation" as discrete entities. This has been preferable for some people but not for others, and that's caused some conflict, which people have tried to address in a lot of different ways already (all with their own issues). What I'm trying to do, at the moment, is try to map all of those different relationships to different norms of orientation modeling. Here is the blog post where I explain more of why I'm bothering with this. You may want to go read that first if this post is confusing to you, but for those of you who already have the context, you can skip it. So I'm working on the following loose descriptions right now (in the list below), and here's my questions for y'all: Do you feel like you fit anywhere among these? Is there any way I could change the wording to make more room for you to fit better? Is there anything else I left out? Should any others be added? Should any of the descriptions be subdivided into more? Are there any other norms or dynamics I should be taking into account? Here's the descriptions I'm working with so far [work in progress, edited 3/28]: ORIENTATION LANGUAGE: This is the norm of using the word “orientation” as a part of how to talk and think about particular ways of desiring, connecting, and relating to other people. Not everyone uses or wants to use orientation language at all. And even among those who do, they don’t all use the same models, definitions, types, or categories; using orientation language for one thing or in one way doesn’t necessarily entail using it for every conceivable experience of interpersonal desire or attraction. The degree to which orientation language feels right or applicable to different people for different feelings will vary. And again, some people may prefer to stay away from using it at all. COMPOSITE SEXUAL ORIENTATION: This is the Western composite norm of thinking of “orientation” in the singular, where “sexual orientation” is synonymous/interchangeable with “orientation” in general, where romance & sexuality are intertwined, and where one’s pool of romantic interests is integrated with one’s sexuality. One’s relationship to this norm can be thought of as a scale ranging from “convergent” to “divergent.” The more you prefer this way of modeling your orientation, the more you could say your relationship to this norm is more convergent. The more you feel alienated from this norm or want to distance yourself from it, the more you could say your relationship to this norm is more divergent. Those are just the extremes, though; think of this as a sliding scale. ROMANTIC ORIENTATION/SEXUAL ORIENTATION DYAD: This is the aro & ace communities’ norm of talking about “romantic orientation” and “sexual orientation” (RO SO) as two things that aros and aces have. In other words, we are expected to have a “romantic orientation” box and a “sexual orientation” box, and we are expected to apply labels to or some how fit our experiences into those boxes, making ourselves legible under this framework. The more you relate to this norm (RO SO) as an applicable and useful framework for yourself, the more you could describe your identity as “rosol.” The more you feel alienated from this norm or want to distance yourself from it, the more you could describe your identity as more out of alignment with this dyad, or “non-rosol.” Think of this as a sliding scale with plenty of room in between for those whose relationship to this norm is ambivalent or apathetic. ONLY ONE OR TWO TYPES OF ORIENTATION: This is the norm of thinking and speaking of “orientation” language as something that only, strictly pertains to either sex, romance, or both. One’s relationship to this norm is strong when you think of all your orientations as making reference to romance and/or sex in some fashion. One’s relationship to this norm is more alienated or distant the less you think of your orientation (or one of your orientational identities) as being “about” the canon categories (of sex or romance). With reference to this norm, we might think of romantic and sexual orientations as the more “orthodox” types, and we might think of other kinds of orientation (like sensual, aesthetic, affectionate, etc.) as more “unorthodox.” ORIENTATIONS BY AXIS: This is the norm especially prevalent in the ace & aro communities that all orientations must be specified along a specific axis, such as romanticism, sexuality, sensuality, platonism, alterity, and so on. Under this norm we are expected to “map” every orientation label along a specific axis on a grid. One’s relationship to this norm is stronger the more that all of your orientations align with a specific axis (or bundle of axes) and the more you feel comfortable with this way of sorting and defining your orientational identities. These are identities that we might describe as more “axial.” One’s relationship to this norm is more alienated or more distant the more you do not subscribe to this framework. The less you bind or map your identity to this norm, the more you might describe that identity as “non-axial.” Again, think of this as a sliding scale.
  15. 4 points
    God, yeah, the mental health field is such a gamble. On a lot of things, this included. I avoided coming out to my last therapist (despite it being... directly relevant to sources of stress in my life) out of the conviction that I'd get a reaction like this or worse. I wish you the best on your recovery -- and take everything that psychiatrist says on this subject with a grain of salt. Actually, more than a grain. More like an entire sack.
  16. 4 points
    I'm sorry you had to go through that. Seems they missed this study http://time.com/4809325/friends-friendship-health-family/
  17. 4 points
    Played hangman today and I slipped in the words Zucchini and squish because I could. Nobody noticed that I used two Aromantic terms in a row but whatever because I knew 😏
  18. 4 points
    I am a grad student and had 2 senior phd’s overseeing my project. I knew one of them was attracted to me the day I met him and I would catch him fixating on me. It didn’t feel sexual, but aesthetic or romantic, like glassy eyes. I was worried he was going to try dating me at some point so I tried to keep our conversations work related but eventually I decided I was being paranoid and showed him my personality and we became friends. Then he quickly developed an intense crush on me and I immediately became uncomfortable because I’m SUPER SUPER romance repulsed. I was so uncomfortable, I couldn’t even look at him. He could tell I was uncomfortable so he tried really hard to leave me alone. He stopped overseeing my project as a result and I worked with the other phd mostly. Whenever I went into the office to talk about my results with the other phd, the guy who had a crush on me would look at me wishfully and ask me if I was going to also go to whatever drink night was coming up. I always said no, partially because I was avoiding him and partially because I’ve been very antisocial lately. I can tell he isn’t trying to make me uncomfortable and he feels very bad that he’s making me feel that way but also just misses hanging out with me. I felt too anxious to go into the office and even the lab since he was there sometimes and I’d have to deal with this conversation and wishful looks. I got in trouble for not doing enough work or going in, so I finally told my professor what was going on. She issued a no contact rule so he’s not allowed to talk to me anymore. Through my professor he said he didn’t have the intention at all to make me uncomfortable and is very sorry. Although I feel so much more at ease going into work now, I feel like I reported someone who really is a good person and was trying his best to not make me uncomfortable. It’s not like he was sexually harassing me but I also can’t help my romance repulsion. Do you think I did the wrong thing? Whenever I look up harassment examples, they’re always about sexual not romantic situations. Most people brush off romantic attraction no problem so I’m confused if what I did was wrong.
  19. 4 points
    Ace of spades does have more an association with asexuality, though iirc it's more specifically for aroaces. Anything with arrows is a symbol because puns are good lol. Other things I've seen (many of these are more things adopted as aro culture rather than specific symbols per ce): Ice cream (aces have cake, so ice cream & cake) Pizza (also parallel to cake, this time because sliced....though personally I'm not too fond of food symbols) Dragons are more known as ace but are also for both? Dragons are aspec thing. Alternatively, I've seen griffins somewhat commonly used for aros since it's another cool mythical creature. More recently, bees have become a symbol....I think it's because st. valentine was also patron saint of bees, so for valentines day we ignore the romance and instead celebrate bees in a way? Succulents (and plants in general) are also popular...which also matches aesthetic since green. Yellow roses because they represent friendship/platonic love So yeah overall we don't necessarily have a few specific noticeable symbols, but there's a lot of things we end up adopting as aro culture/symbols and I think that's cool *** Oh yeah! I also think a symbol we should use more often as it's useful when making pride stuff is specifically an arrowhead. I recently made an arrow pride patch in the shape of an arrowhead and I really like it! (pictured below):
  20. 4 points
    The acronym sounds nice as an acronym, but it feels a little wordy in the full expanded form. Might need to think a bit to find an acronym that isn't taken yet though so I don't know if I can necessarily do any better though. (It looks like ANREA isn't used for anything except obscure shipping policy, though, so that's a plus in it's favor) On the other hand, for the domain name specifically, I'd recommend going for a full word or two rather than an acronym - it makes it more obvious what your site is and is also more advantageous for SEO and making it easy for people to remember you. (This is part of why AVEN, for example, is asexuality.org and not aven.org). You can still use the acronym elsewhere. Aromantic.org (which used to be the National Coalition for Aromantic Visibility) looks like it's been snapped up and is likely too pricy to buy back, but maybe consider something like aromanticnetwork.org or another more descriptive url? -aroadvocacy.org -aromanticadvocacy.org -aromanticnetwork.org -aronetwork.org (Aromantic is more clear but aro is more concise so that could go either way. I also haven't checked availability for any of these). I also had some thoughts about that recently here: https://nextstepcake.wordpress.com/2019/04/01/the-chance-to-be-the-change-you-want-to-see/ On a side note, if you need or are open to monetary donations for supporting initial domain or hosting costs, please let me know! I've been wishing someone would set up something like this but didn't have the time do it myself, so I'd like to support in the ways that I can!
  21. 4 points
    Very very important. I am sort of fascinated and horrified at some of the allergies that children at local schools have, and have to be catered for: eggplant, Kiwi fruit hairs, severe touch contact lactose allergy, strawberries, certain natural red food colourings from cochineal to the one made from berries, Peach fuzz.... There are so many good points here. Great information! You could decide your group should have an annual grand meeting (AGM) which is generally something larger groups do but certainly everyone can do them. Basically the only rules of a good AGM is that it happens once a year and is notified weeks or months in advance so people can work it into their scheduled if they can. You might have a guest speaker or a poetry reading as the 'meeting' part but for the most part they are just social events to get the whole groups together which is especially beneficial if you have sporadic attendance from members (so not everyone knows each other, which is more of a problem in larger groups). Tying back to the food comment: (The AGM) If it is to be an event with food, but not in a location that serves a variety of suitable food you can use the rule of Bring for yourself, to share. Which is simply bring a shareable quantity of a food you are happy to eat. (Being Australian this normally turns into a 'bring a traditional dish' to celebrate different cultures and see different foods)
  22. 4 points
    Yeah, the examples weren't meant as a comprehensive list/summary, just as individual examples....and I used variations of aroace because it's different ways I perceive and might describe my own identity? Honestly, I don't think I feel particularly attached to any of those models, but I kinda use all of them based on what feels best for the context? So on one hand, I tend to use aromantic asexual separately to describe my identity when I'm aiming for clarity, such as if I'm trying to educate an allo queer person about a-spec stuff. I find this useful because people tend to conflate the two and assume people must always be both, or they assume aromantic is a subset of asexual. Part of what I like about the second model is its use for explaining things clearly when discussing stuff outside of the community(Model 2). Other times, I use aroace as a singular term when trying to emphasize the intersection of the two. I tend to do this more in relation to community discussions? Like, my individual identity of being aro & ace can be separable as I can generally tell which things I feel because I'm aro and which things I feel because I'm ace. But being aroace puts me at the intersection between the aro and ace communities and that's when it as a singular entity feels most relevant. Though, I also use aroace for brevity sometimes when it seems relevant to mention both(Model 1) Lastly, I am increasingly inclined to drop the ace part and just say I'm aro. I feel like being aro more regularly affects my life since society expects romance, but since I'm not in a romantic relationship then me being ace doesn't really come up that much (aside I guess from the fact I'm sex-repulsed). I feel much more closely tied with the aro community than the ace community. If I say I'm aro and ace, people are generally inclined to refer to my ace-ness first whereas I'd rather center the fact I'm aro. Therefore, I might only say that I'm aro, but if someone asked or it otherwise became relevant to mention, I wouldn't mind mentioning that I also happen to be ace(Model 3).
  23. 4 points
    I'd like to know more about this. I've been uncomfortable with many of the terms used in the aro community. Typically I frequent asexual spaces where aromantic conversation seems to center around the "search for a QPP" and issues along the lines of "my spouse is viewing me too romantically, what do I do?" Often when I try to explain the feelings I have for my two closest friends people jump on me saying I obviously have a squish or that I should ask them to be my partner and the very thought of any of that sounds bizarre to say the least. What I did happen upon about a year or so ago were some things in reference to Plato that in summary were describing how friendship in that time period wasn't viewed as casually as it is today. I'd only seen an excerpt of it (I can't remember the title of the book) but it was a book essentially about same sex relationships throughout history. I only thought about it again because only a few days ago I came across Aristotle's "three types of friendship" being: - Friendships of utility - Friendships of pleasure - Friendships virtue In reading about this I quickly discovered that my two closest friends I definitely think of as "friendships of virtue." I think in general people recognize that these types of friendships are a thing but they're often dismissed because I don't think they're all that common.
  24. 3 points
    This is a question for whoever currently manages the non-forum parts of arocalypse - When I was looking up aro resources pages a few weeks ago, I accidentally stumbled upon the Arocalypse 101 page section, which I had no idea even existed until now. However, I also noticed that these pages aren't accessible from the main arocalypse site (going to arocalypse.com redirects straight to the forums, which have no mention of the 101 pages that I can find) - so you have to kind of know they already exist to find them. Does anyone know whether these pages are still active, or are they more just a historical artifactand/or something still under contruction? Or, for my actual question, should I avoid including these arocalypse 101 pages in resource lists for now? I'm not sure if they were hidden for a reason or if it was just an accident of site remodeling over time I tried using the contact form in that section but didn't get a response, which is part of what makes me wonder if they may just be archived pages that don't have up to date information or functionality.
  25. 3 points
    I think it always has been around, tho it was not treated as an universal phenomenon (and sometimes may have been undesirable if it got in the way of an arranged marriage for example). Right now it's treated as something that is universal and that's what's Not Cool about it. I also think it's a manmade concept in the way that certain feelings in our society are interpreted as romantic and we're taught to think about them that way. Anddd as for if it's more simple or no - idk, it just is different
  26. 3 points
    I've been wondering some of the same things lately, and posted some of my thoughts about it here, after reading demiandproud's Trying to Define Romantic post The short version is... I think the concept of "romantic attraction" is a lot newer than the concept of romance, and I'm not convinced it refers to one single thing. I think it's probably a bundle of different emotions and desires. And since I don't have those emotions/desires... well, I'm reminded of Sciatrix's Invisible Elephant metaphor. How can I define something I don't experience?
  27. 3 points
    Well, I think the concept of romance is an exaggerated form of ludus. In my opinion, it became popularized and, as it became universally accepted, people started to view it as a requirement for life and for humanity.
  28. 3 points
    That sucks! This is a concern of mine because I'm starting grad school to become a mental health counselor. I want to be able to provide quality care to a-spec people especially aro-spec people. I'm really lucky that my current therapist trusted me when I told her I'm grayro. She was respectful, accepted it, asked me to elaborate because she's never treated someone who identified thus before, and ran with it. I know my old therapist would have insisted I just needed to find the "right person" to correct me of it.
  29. 3 points
    A pity you didn't ask them what relevance that questioning was or, even, ask them inappropriate personal questions. You were doing a favour explaining aromanticism, especially free of charge. Again unprofessional of them to be asking. Though it sounds like you gave a good explanation. That's as inappropriate as suggesting that it would be good for a straight person to be in a gay relationship or a gay person to be in a straight relationship. Have you considered making a complaint about him? That actually does sound like a symptom of depression. TBH a single alloromantic who wasn't desperate to be in a relationship might well get the same attitude. Belief in amantonormativity being pseudo-religious. See this article. It's unlikely they would get it. Since they very much part of the problem here. I think wanting, but being unable to find, meaningful non-romantic sexual relationships can be a problem for many allo aros. Especially those of us who are romance repulsed and unable to tolerate being in a romantic relationship.
  30. 3 points
    i have dysthymia too, i usually just say depression because it is a type of it and most people will understand better. but yeah, that storyline...yikes. it's also romanticized in the sense that, like, the mentally ill character (usually depressed or alcoholic, in the 1930s-60s movies i watch) is seen as mysterious and melancholy and intriguing--the other character sees it as a sort of challenge to uncover their secrets and fix them. like no, you want intrigue? read a mystery novel. want a project? clean your house. i feel like it's similar to how aros are seen, like "oh, they're cold, probably afraid of falling in love, but i can get them to open up and trust me--" stop. want a challenge? run a marathon. i am not something to be overcome by someone who wants me but not the way i am. getting off-topic but i mean to say that it supposedly works both ways--the depressed/aro character gets "cured" and the other one gets entertainment and achievement. and it leads to people thinking like that in real life.
  31. 3 points
    That's a good one! Also, "aurea" specifically translates to golden, which is cool because yellow/gold is kinda an aro color (since yellow symbolizes friendship and also is in the aro allo flag). It's also cool because I think a lot of people like AURA because it sounds nice and this sounds similar to that but would likely be a lot easier to search.
  32. 3 points
    Summary of Suggestions: ANREA (Aro-spec Network for Recognition, Education, and Advocacy): Is a unique acronym but is a bit long, hard to pronounce, and kinda awkward feeling. AAN (Aromantic Advocacy Network): Is concise and the words are relevant, but it cannot easily be pronounced as a single word ACARE (Arospec Community Alliance for Recognition and Education): is slightly long and less intuitive; focus on recognition & education is a bit specific whereas advocacy is more open ended. Might be hard to search for since auto-corrected in "a care". ACURE (Arospec Community Union for Recognition and Education): Similar issues to ACARE, but "a cure" has bad connotations/can comes across as ableist. AURA (Arospec Union for Recognition and Advocacy): Is relatively concise and clear; is a recognizable word which has a good aesthetic BUT it also makes it harder to search for. ASAC (Aromantic Spectrum Advocacy Coalition/Center/Community?): similar to AAN but can be pronounced aloud; also emphasizes spectrum more; last word for "C" is unclear. (switching out Network to avoid overlap with ASAN). ARENA & ARNA ( @running.tally what did people suggest these stand for?) Overall People like the word "Advocacy"; it is clear, relevant, and broad Factors to consider: clarity & conciseness, acronym being pronounceable, acronym being recognizable and easily searchable People seem to prefer AAN, ACARE, and AURA the most...I also think ASAC is a good one to consider (I don't know how many people noticed it/it hasn't been commented on).
  33. 3 points
    @Jot-Aro Kujo Definitely! A few of us here were inspired by the recent chats from the Carnival of Aros and formed a group chat in Discord about the need for something to happen. We have peeps from these forums, mods from some blogs on Tumblr (e.g., aromantic-official and other active participants in discussions), for example. We can let y'all know the core roster once we figure that out. We are only a few days in and are working on the logistics before we make any official announcement (i.e., figuring out what the costs would be and how much manpower is needed to address the concerns we've seen on Tumblr, these forums, and the Discord). We're going to be reaching out to people who we've seen be active activists (lol alliteration) and who we think have unique skills we would need for a core team! We want to make sure we don't overload anyone with responsibilities (especially those who are already quite busy with blog stuff or IRL stuff) and that we have people who work well together to launch the site. Once those little things are set up, we're going to make an announcement everywhere we can (here, Discord, Tumblr, prob Dreamwidth and AVEN as well) and ask for more community input before everything goes live. Then once we launch (hopefully smoothly) we can begin the call for more volunteers. Constant feedback is something we want to have because the core team we're trying to keep small so it's manageable.
  34. 3 points
    Can I ask who exactly is involved in making this site? The reason I ask is because I haven't heard any like... community-wide discussion of starting an aro advocacy site, and considering the thing with TAAAP needless to say I am uh. Currently a little wary of unknown individuals just up and starting projects like this out of the blue, yknow.
  35. 3 points
    As much as I think we need more visibility, I don't think anyone should feel like they have to come out to promote the visibility of their orientation. It wouldn't be a bad reason, but I don't want anyone to feel pressured to come out, for any reason. That being said, I'm out to most of my friends, and some of my acquaintances and I won't lie, the reason I tend to be so out while at school in particular is in part because I'm an education major and my classmates really need to know this stuff. They rarely know anything about my sexual and romantic orientations especially, and I figure if they're going to be aphobic, they might as well do it to someone like me who can tell them why they need to stop, and not to one of their future students.
  36. 3 points
    There do appear to be some very different standards when it comes to unwanted romantic vs sexual attention. An obvious example being shown in this news story. Whilst half of the people surveyed think his behaviour is "creepy" there's a fifth who see it as "romantic". He was stopped by a member of the public after several hours. I'm sure had his actions been sexual he'd have been stopped by the police a lot sooner. (A possible factor here is the "sex is private" whereas "romance is public" situation.) There would also be the situation of a welcome sexual advance combined with an unwelcome romantic advance. There are very different standards when it comes to consent, content warnings, classification and restrictions between sexual and romantic. The likes of motion picture content rating systems being rather useless to many romance repulsed aros. If anything romance which is clearly non-sexual may be more likely to be considered acceptable by mainstream society
  37. 3 points
    Deffinatly agree with everyone above, if he was making it hard for you to work then you did the right thing. This is a really good point, and actually I might end up writing someone or starting a thread about romantic harassment at some point because that's deffinatly something I've exsperianced and it might be helpful for other aros if that discussion was started
  38. 3 points
    I wholeheartedly agree with everyone above. The key thing here is that consequences like these are based on behaviour, not intention. I'm sure we"ve all been in situations where we've gotten in trouble for saying/doing something, even if we didn't mean it in a bad way. Getting in trouble doesn't make you a bad person, just someone who was in the wrong in the situation. What is important is controlling the situation for who was hurt first, before then addressing others. He did try but it wasn't enough, so this outcome will be good for both of you.
  39. 3 points
    I think many people like this equate romantic love with having feelings, and that only this kind of love can inspire your art. One way to address this (without explaining aromanticism for two hours) is to point out poets who were single all their lives and wrote beautiful poetry. You could also say that many other feelings can inspire poetry: love for others (family or friends or nature or animals or whatever), joy, excitement, sadness, anger (i'm thinking of slam poetry for example). Also, doing art isn't necessarily romantic. It can be for advocacy, for protest, for expressing your feelings in many other ways. I think arguments like those could help! It sucks you had this experience but it's definitely amatonormativity (and sexism honestly) at work!
  40. 3 points
    When I come out, I use the word "aromantic", because it is the only way it sounds like an orientation. Or maybe say I am not attracted to people. But not "I am not interested" because it sounds too much like what a single allo could say if he is confortable in his situation. And what I said when I thought I just haven't fin the one yet. I don't feel that I am coming out if I don't make it clear that it is an orientation.
  41. 3 points
    my friend (possibly ace-spec) asked about different types of attraction and i explained them and QPRs. 😊
  42. 3 points
    As I said in the original posts, the best way to deal with ingroup drama is to have people who can act as mediators within the group As for drama with other queer and aspec groups, this is advice for people within a leadership role, and when you're in that role, maintaining relationships with other organizations does often require more finesse than just talking it out. When you're in charge your actions reflect not just on yourself, but on your entire group, so you have to be aware of how you're presenting yourself. In the context of coalition building and working with other groups my advice on avoiding drama is: - Separate the personal and professional, it's okay to work out issues with individuals from another organization in a personal setting, but there's no place for that when collating with their group -Don't bad mouth other organizations to other queer community leaders or during official group meetings. You never know who things will get back to. -If you have a friendly relationship with another group then be open to doing projects or having shared events with them when possible because this builds goodwill between your organizations. You might think this stuff is all really obvious, but I can tell you from watching things play out in my own local community it isn't for some people. Play well with others if at all possible because it will help you gain credibility and make it easier for your group to access needed resources.
  43. 3 points
    Humm, actually now that you've edited your definitions a little bit I think a better solution than having a whole new model is simply acknowledging upfront that people will frequently mix and match these models to fit their needs. I don't necessarily fit into just one of the models mentioned above, but "Mixed composite and axial orientations" would actually be a pretty good description of how my orientations work. I think the reason I didn't feel like I fit any of these models at first was that it was being explained in a way that made it seem like you had to use just one.
  44. 3 points
    When I think about gender preference I can only think of the fact that I desire friendship exclusively with other women. I don't know how I feel about calling that platonic attraction though but since I'm aro ace this is the only aspect of myself that feels oriented at all.
  45. 3 points
    wow, there's a lot of discussion around stuff i haven't really thought about. i'd say i'm the second one, where i like to specify my romantic and sexual orientation... like, if someone asked my orientation, a lot of the time i'd say "aromantic heterosexual". aro comes first because i identify more strongly with it, as in, i'm very straight as well as very aro but aromanticism is more significant to me. both labels are perfectly accurate, and both are important but especially aro. (i have no problem with 'heterosexual aromantic' but since i have to say one word before the other, i might as well make a strategic choice. 😄) if we were specifically talking about a certain type of attraction, though, i wouldn't bother to mention my other one, like on here if the question was just where am i on the aro spectrum, i'd say aro, or if an acquaintance asked my sexual orientation i'd probably just say straight. i realize many people use 'sexual orientation' to mean 'orientation as a whole' because for them that's what it is (i may not have phrased that the best way but you know what i mean). and sometimes i just couldn't be bothered to come out, you know, like i don't try to hide anything; it just doesn't always seem important to mention. but if someone knows i'm aro and chooses to call me straight, i will correct them. only one person besides me has my express permission to call me straight. so yeah, it can be a bit less certain in terms of communicating my orientation, but as for how i personally identify, 'aromantic heterosexual' is perfect. i'm not sure i actually answered your question...ok yeah, i think you've basically covered how different people may feel about labeling their orientation, but even within one 'group' not everyone will have the same experience, of course, so i kind of don't think it matters...like you said: to me it's just interesting to hear various people's experiences, which we are doing.
  46. 3 points
    (hey, it's odannygirl7, from your blog post. I guess I sort of ranted here instead of making my own post like a reasonable person) Part of, I think, some of the huge-ish problems is even beginning to untangle the knotted up mess that the tumblr discourse caused to a lot of this identity/attraction/whathaveyou model work. (like attraction and orientation being conflated in "Split Attraction Model" ... pre-discourse there was talk about mixed/match orientations and separated attractions, but because tumblr is one big game of telephone, where half of it is just hatefully not listening and subbing in your own words, instead of a nuanced discussion about how this is one way to describe divergent orientational directions which can happen if someone feels separate attractions (and how the aspec community talks about this model a lot because many in the community experience it) we get, I don't even know, the aspec community forces everyone to feel attraction separately, I guess?) It's the same reason why sexual and romantic attraction is heavily prioritized and why there's almost no discussion about orientation language around the other attractions (if they're even brought up). There was little chance to reinforce the idea that this was a model and that there was a model for those with "one" orientation (or whose attractions either lined up where there was just "attraction" that could not be, or didn't want to be, separated out) it was just unnamed because it was what everyone was already generally working with. Varioriented and perioriented was a step to work that into being named, but, well. Like, obviously, now mixed and matched isn't enough, or doesn't capture the full picture, but I think we'd be a lot further along with things like... "oriented" aroaces. But it's hard to basically... dismiss? ignore? all of that. Like, massive debugging of what everyone thinks. ...I don't know if it's about going back to, like, attraction/s as a thing, orientation as a thing, and, idk, something like (I don't want to say relationship goals, lol), but relationship preferences? ?? as a thing? (this is a thing I see where it's, like, whether an "attraction" is there or not, an idea of a preferred relationship. like, I, personally, am not attracted to anyone, but I could see myself, would I be in a position for a relationship, to open that opportunity to anyone of any gender, whereas someone else might only ever want to be open to only one gender. ...like, I've played around with the term pan affectionate, for myself, not as an attraction based orientation, but as a prospective relationship sorta-orientation. This might also account for people who are, say, "technically" bi (to use a tired trope, lol) but "choose" to be gay.) None of this helps those who want to nope out of all or it tho.
  47. 3 points
    I don't consider these "tertiary" attractions. I don't subscribe to that model of... ranking attraction types I guess? Honestly I'm not really familiar with it, and I probably wouldn't group all those that you listed together under one category. For me, this cluster that I described is the primary way that I experience attraction. The things outside of it... aren't really best described as attractions. This cluster of attractions, in combination with other factors, is how I determined that I am bi (but not biromantic). It's not that I feel pressure to label these types of attraction, but that I feel pressure from people questioning why I say I'm bi in addition to ace, when I also don't ID as romantic, to explain that. In other words, I'm not going to let people take away my bi card, just because I'm not allosexual or alloromantic. I've been IDing as bi since I was 13, and the bi part didn't go away just because I realized I'm also ace (and now also kind of aro). I wouldn't. Ideally, I would never describe them at all. The reason that I do so is because I strongly do not relate to the way that other people describe them. I define them differently and it just... is a very different experience than the way others describe it. So I put it out there last year because I wanted to broaden the discussion and give anyone who might have a similar experience to mine a chance to see it out there in the world, and maybe take less time than I did to figure it out. It did get quite a lot of responses, so I think it was worth doing for that reason.
  48. 3 points
    ...I have stared at this for days trying to figure out how to apply it to myself, lol. I think I just don't fit well in any of the groups you listed. So, my problem with SAM isn't with the idea of multiple orientations. I have 2.5 - 3 distinct orientations (asexual, bi/pan/whatever, and ????grayromantic/aro-ish????). What chafes is more the idea of "splitting" all of my various attractions. I would say that most of them are convergent, though not cohesive. But not all of them. There's a closely-connected group of attractions that for simplicity's sake, I've come to just consider various forms of sensual attraction (yes, my definition of that is very different from the most common one—EDIT: and for the curious, see here, here, and here), and it's sometimes easier to refer to all of it at once with just the top-level label without getting into a detailed explanation. Or talk about aesthetic attraction or tactile sensual attraction specifically, if those are the relevant parts. The distinguishable components of kind of look like this: Sensual attraction = Aesthetic Visual Aural or Sonic (sound) Dynamic (movement, mannerisms) Stylistic (fashion sense, similar taste in art etc.) Tactile (wanting to touch, hug, cuddle, kiss, etc.) Olfactory (scent) ...and there are other (less frequent) components or sub-categories in there that I'm not going to pick out for purposes of this post. But these all tend to co-occur in various combinations, fluidly, as kind of a big interconnected cloud. I'm not saying that every component will always occur at the same time. But what I'm saying is that there will often be multiple categories happening at the same time and it's rather difficult to distinguish each and every factor that is present in any given case. It's more of just a feeling of liking someone, but figuring out why I like them takes quite a lot of effort. I guess to borrow your fruit metaphor from before, it'd be like carefully dissecting a fruit to count and label all the seeds/parts or something. As you can probably tell, aesthetic attraction is the most common and easiest-to-distinguish part of this for me, but also keep in mind that I've had MANY MANY YEARS to think about this and gradually come up with this understanding. The process of figuring that out has been somewhat unpleasant, as it's counter to what I would naturally want to do. I'd rather just eat the fruit. Complicating all of this, I also experience repulsion in every one of these categories! (To clarify, I mean repulsion as in very simply "the opposite of attraction"—imagine the way a magnet pushes away from another magnet's matching polarity—and most of the time it is a pretty mild "oh, no thank you" but it can sometimes be a lot stronger.) This is also very frequently co-occurring with any attraction I feel, creating a lot of conflict, very much a push-pull effect. So that is why I would not call my attractions "cohesive" in any way, even though they are strongly integrated. If I did experience sexual attraction, it would be melded in with all of this just as much as everything else, I'm pretty sure. I think this is why it took me a long time to figure out that there isn't a sexual component in there at all, although there was once a feeling kind of like "water with a tiny bit of soda in it" as an anonymous person once described what gray-asexuality can be like (I'm paraphrasing, see page 38 of The Invisible Orientation for the original quote). That feeling is gone now, though. All of this is not even considering personality or emotional compatibility factors, which are a very much separate thing for me. And over the years I've realized that attraction is... just not how I would describe any of my experiences related to that at all. I'll write more on that later, in a blog post. Sooo... I guess if you want to add another group, maybe Convergent pieces, multiple orientations? I think "axis-specific" is unnecessarily wordy and confusing, tbh, so you could drop that.
  49. 3 points
    hmmm.....well for one, I think the expectation to specify both romantic and sexual orientations goes for both aros and aces? Like, if someone says they're ace I'm generally curious what their romantic orientation is too, so I understand why people might be curious about sexual orientation if I just say I'm aro. Generally, if someone only says they're bi, people assume both biromantic and bisexual unless otherwise stated. Perhaps part of the problem is our abbreviated versions already incorporate which orientation axis it is, and we can't really abbreviate to just "a" and have it make sense, so an abbreviated form of "does not experience attraction" which doesn't specify type of attraction might be useful. Getting to your actual question, I don't consider it an obstacle? In general, I like the ability to communicate clearly so I understand why people might be curious and I am comfortable answering. It's mainly that I want to emphasize that I'm aro.
  50. 3 points
    I went to a convention last weekend and two of the stalls with pride flag products had aro stuff! i got a cute pin and if i can find the card i took from the table ill post it so anyone who wants a pin or something can buy one
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