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About NullVector

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    male ones
  • Romanticism
    probably aro
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  1. 3 drives: sex, romance, attachment

    @cute kitty Meow! Mewo! Wow, you ask a lot of questions - I like it! I think the way she's looking at it is as the drive being the underlying cognitive machinery or process (the motor, as she puts it in the talk) that results in the experience of certain neurological states (emotions) in response to certain stimuli (like observing a beloved person, or hearing a certain song on the radio, for example). So the drive is everything that makes the emotional experience happen, rather than the emotion itself, if that makes sense. Probably the book(s) would go into way more details about neurotransmitters and receptors and hormones and such forth. Also, bear in mind I'm not a neuroscientist - not even close That's interesting. I guess I've always thought of it as applying to romantic infatuation towards a person rather than pure sexual mesmerisation or fascination with a thing (like, say, a particularly neat equation from theoretical physics ). I've had what I now call 'sexual crushes' in the past, where I would get obsessed over a particular person, but not in a way I'd categorize as limerent. I would daydream up many variations on the theme of their general sexiness() but certainly not imagine our perfect future together forever, or anything like that. I think limerence comes with distinct expectations of personal redemption and salvation built up (artificially and unrealistically) around it - see for example this description from Alain De Botton's book The Course Of Love: The above is totally alien to me (and actually a bit horrifying ). I've honestly never experienced anything like it and find the description super hard to relate to. I mean, how can a person you don't even know (have never in fact even spoken to!) possibly save you and hold the key to your very existence (yeah, I'm aware that it's totally missing the point to try and rationalize it!) I guess it's these 'personal redemption and salvation' aspects of limerence that can make people willing to kill and die for romance, accounts for much of the possessiveness and jealousy (they were put on this earth to save ME not YOU!) and makes it a stronger drive than the sex drive (which was briefly touched on in the talk I linked). Yeah, I think so. And that would probably be typical for sexual aros. For instance, I'd expect to feel a warmth and affection towards a sexual partner similar to what I'd feel towards a close friend, but without any typical limerence aspects manifesting. But I don't know for sure. Well, I think the way Helen Fisher was categorising things, limerence and attachment would be regulated by two separate (but inter-related) brain systems, one for a romance drive and one for an attachment drive. For most people the romance drive would 'tee up' the attachment drive to then progressively take over in the context of long-term monogomous pair-bonding relationships for childrearing in humans. With evolution having selected for various drives for satisfying different functions associated with mating behaviours (as she described it,the sexual drive to cast a wide net for initial attraction, the romance drive to focus that attraction to a particular mate and then the attachment drive to set something less volatile up for subsequent childrearing). But aros would not follow that typical pattern! I don't know about 'separate dopamine system' - we would probably need to read the book(s) as well to get more details around that sort of thing, beyond what was just outlined in the talks
  2. 3 drives: sex, romance, attachment

    For an introduction the the 3 different drives, I'd start with this talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/helen_fisher_tells_us_why_we_love_cheat
  3. Has anyone else here seen/read any of Helen Fisher's talks/books? I've been listening to a few talks and podcasts by her this morning. I like that she regards romance and sex as very distinct and separable 'drives' and is finding a basis for that in brain data (incidentally, she also thinks that the romance drive is more powerful than the sex drive, which I would agree with). But I'm particularly intrigued by this idea of the brain having evolved three distinct modules/systems of circuits and neuro-chemisty for experiencing three (not two, as with the split attraction model) distinct 'drives': 1. Sex drive (lust) 2. Romantic love drive (limerance) 3. Attachment drive (for a long term partnership/companionship 'team'). This seems to me like a very helpful way to categorise things. It strikes me that aromantics might be missing some key bits of brain circuitry or neuro-chemical responsiveness for 2. but could still have all this for 1. (in the case of sexual aromantics) and/or 3. (in the case of aromantics in or seeking QPRs). Actually, when I've read descriptions of QPRs, they've basically struck me as sounding a lot like long term married couples, where the romance (limerance) has long since fizzled out, but there is a deep affection and companionship remaining that took many years to build. I think I'd be entirely capable of being in a 3 type of relationship (although not necessairily with an exclusive partner) : it's just that most people (allos) would expect (and need?) to get to 3 only via both 1 and 2? (I definitly have the brain circuitry for 1, lol, and I think also 3, but 2. apparently got left out of my brain somehow). The drives could also feed into one another: 'casual' sex partners going on to develop romantic attraction to each other (1 feeding into 2 - an example mentioned in one of the talks) or demisexuals developing sexual attraction as a result of a deep attachment (3 feeding into 1) are a couple of examples that spring to mind. Missing 2 out from the feedback loops entirely could make aro brains (and relationships) function and develop in quite unique and interesting ways, no? Helen Fisher and team should put some aros in an MRI machine for their next study Thoughts?
  4. Haha. YES. And for me the "I'll just try again in a few years, I'm still young" excuse/procrastination has lasted into my 30s (unfortunately I'm not ace. oh well)
  5. Is asexuality sinful?

    What's the position taken on divine beings? (I don't know my catholic theology very well, lol) Do any of the angels, say, feel desire towards carnal acts but are completely free of sinful intent and therefore don't act on these desires? Or, are they completely free of such carnal desire in the first place? If it's the latter, perhaps asexuals are of a partially divine nature? Yeah, it's the aromantic sexuals who are the real sinners - probably @DeltaV was just projecting here
  6. Aromanticism and depression

    @aro_elise Thanks for sharing. "it's like i'm too tired for life" is relatable to me, but it's like I only catch a flavour or hint of that feeling rather than the full blown thing. I don't want to trivialise other people's experiences of depression by comparing them with my (much milder, I think) feelings. That's good. I hope things can keep getting better for you. I don't know if this is a thing for dysthymia in general, but for me I've noticed that changes are very gradual. I feel like I'm slowly getting back to my old "normal", but over a period of years, not weeks or months. Perhaps with "major" depression the changes are more sudden? I just kind of one day noticed I wasn't as happy as I used to be - but a bit like the parable of the frog in the pot, the change in emotional state was too gradual for me to notice at the time (again, I don't know if I have dysthymia / some quite mild and manageable form of it, and don't want to trivialise your experiences with it. I was just sharing in the hope of saying at least something helpful or useful)
  7. Aromantic comic

    Thanks @Treehugger it was nice to read that again (I think I've seen this comic somewhere before. Not sure if it was posted here or I just stumbled across it online?) The part about being a "lukewarm second best" really resonated with me and reminded me of this post by @Kojote, which I related to a lot. And yeah, my feelings can be a confusing mess (black scribbles, lol) sometimes (I also thought I wanted romantic partners; but then didn't when the possibility presented itself ) Plus, I think that throwing sexual attraction into the emotional mix (this is for me, not Kotaline, I guess) only makes romance repulsion feelings even more confusing
  8. Aromanticism and depression

    Hmm. Although I've never had anything approaching serious depression, nothing that has ever required any intervention, I do identify with some descriptions of dysthymia that I've read. Like taking less joy in things than I used to, relying more on coping behaviors and just generally feeling a bit numbed-out and "flat", you know? For me I think the combination of a few things lead to me feeling this way, but one of them was probably something like what @Holmbo touched on above, about society not really being set up for aros and a big network of friends being less readily and casually available as I got older (so in that sense being aro may have contributed, for me). Is there a time you remember emotions feeling less "dull" @aro_elise? I think that's the case for me, but not really sure what to do about it? (I am trying to change some things to gradually move away from full time work and rebalance my life more around the sorts of friendship interactions I had more of back at university, but that'll take time) I suppose I'm "coping" fine, really, but there ought to be more to life than just "coping", right? I was reading the novel Station Eleven recently and this part really stopped me in my tracks (and could it describe a dysthymic person?): He was thinking of the book, and thinking of what Dahlia has said about sleepwalking, and a strange thought came to him: had Arthur seen that Clark had been sleepwalking? Would this be in the letters to V? Because he had been sleepwalking, Clark realised, moving half asleep through the motions of his life for a while now, years; not specifically unhappy, but when had he last found real joy in his work? When was the last time he'd been truly moved by anything? When had he last felt awe or inspiration?
  9. I don't experience romantic attraction. And that's it....

    Hi, welcome Here, have some ice cream: Some of the stuff out there (on, say, tumblr) can be a bit (how to put this not too unkindly...) Over-simplistic? Stereotyped? Cliched? The reality of the experience for individual aros (or aro-spec) can be rather more complex and nuanced. I'd encourage you to read around more on this site and discover some of the more in-depth threads (the "you might be aro if" thread is fairly "light" by the standards of some of the other threads on here, IMO - no offence meant to anyone who's contributed content there) Nah, I'm pretty sure you'll be able to find people here that feel similarly. There is the term cupioromantic, have you heard of that? Maybe it would fit with what you're describing here? Or romance favourable aromantic? People in (or seeking) QPRs could probably also relate. I think you've already hit the heart of the matter: you don't experience romantic attraction. I think that's all that's necessary to identify as aro. Me too. I enjoy some music and books with romantic themes. It interests me to have art that explores diverse human experiences and emotions, including those I don't. It doesn't disqualify you from the "club" (as I recall one of our other members remarked elsewhere: "I enjoy murder mysteries, but I wouldn't want to actually be in one" ) Me neither. I do identify with other members' descriptions of romance repulsion, but that only applies when the romance is directed at ME. I feel fairly neutral towards other peoples romance. If it makes my friends happy then that makes me happy as well. And sometimes you don't feel like explaining, I guess? There is this thread started by @Holmbo So, um, yeah. It's really not like it's a competition here to be the aro-est aro of them all . Just enjoy your time here and be yourself and you'll most likely find some other folks that you can relate to and connect with. We have a fairly diverse group of people here
  10. Libido versus attraction

    Haha "voynich manuscript". I'm always learning about interesting new curiosities from your posts And yeah, that's a pretty good analogy to romance! (for aro cryptographers trying to make sense of it!) Self-authored? Have you considered an alternative career as a cult leader?
  11. Aro/Ace puns

    Haha, that's amazing. You must be The One, sent to free us from the romo-matrix.
  12. Libido versus attraction

    Yes, I think this was a major issue for me for a long time. All my adult "role models" were in serious, comitted, monogomous, romantic relationships, so I picked up the idea early on that sex ought to happen only in this context - if one was behaving morally, like a decent and responsible adult. It should have been an early clue to my aro-ness that the sex scenes in tv shows and movies that turned me on the most were those where sex happens between friends. With ZERO romantic connotations. That seemed very "natural" as you put it. In contrast, sex between romantic partners left me a bit cold and I felt distanced from it. It seemed unnatural, to me (like, surrounded by this slightly sickening "supernatural aura"). But I was aware I was "supposed" to prefer the latter to the former as part of that "ideal self image". But I'll stop there: better not turn this thread into another therapy session P.S. I got "shockingly saintly" on your test 😇 (I dislike manipulative behaviours very much)
  13. What Are You Listening To/Post A Song

    @DeltaV Best song from Halfaxa? I've had this stuck in my head all day!
  14. Dealing with wanting physical intimacy

    It's not quite the same, but could taking up a hobby where touching other people is a frequent, expected and normal part of the activity help? What about trying out dance classes or massage classes for example? I haven't got around to trying massage classes yet - I'd like to some day - but I have done some dance classes. Some styles of dance would be better than others. I tried some bachata classes and liked it - it's a very slow and close dance, so there is a lot of contact with your partner. It's nice . Yeah, I'm very touch-starved as well . So you have my sympathies there.
  15. Libido versus attraction

    @aro_elise Yeah, this. I think, for instance, I would find constant little reminders that my way of showing affection was not 'the right way' extremely emotionally draining! Even if those 'reminders' were (mostly) unintentional and involuntary responses to things I did (or didn't do).