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Powder

Thoughts on lack of (a)romantic orientation acknowledgement?

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Media is starting to have more characters that are not straight. Usually gay or lesbian, but sometimes bi, pan or asexual.

 

People are starting to include information about orientations other than heterosexual, gay, lesbian and bisexual on their LGBTQIAPN+ pamphlets, flag lists and pride month art.

 

However, a lot of these resources still insist on only talking about sexual orientations. Or on only including sexual orientation labels. Because romantic orientations, or orientations of other kinds, are still considered too niche, or "modifiers". Because most people are used to definitions of sexual orientation that include romantic orientations within them. Or considered too superfluous, and so on.

 

Most communities don't seem to mind being lumped together, they at most complain about how, say, multisexual isn't as inclusive as multi or m-spec because non-multisexual multi people exist. But I think aro and ace communities are different in this regard.

 

For instance, we usually consider that a lot of things we (a-spec people in general) experience aren't based solely on a lack of attraction, but specifically on a lack of a specific kind of attraction. Pressure to find a single true love? Aromantic issue. Pressure to have sex as an important milestone in life? Asexual issue. Difficulty to find a story that has no romance in its plot? Aromantic issue. Being uncomfortable with the assumption that everyone cares about sex and wants to see naked people? Asexual issue.

 

Of course, these do not only affect aromantic or asexual people, but they are things that come to mind when talking about navigating society as aro or as ace.

 

And then we have controversies surrounding aro being lumped within being ace: see that recent convo with positiveaspec, which indirectly led me to message the admin of asexual.space because there is inclusion of aromantic in one line or another while the name of the instance is asexual space, it has an ace flag as a header and the example used tells about cis heteroromantic aces but not about cis heterosexual aros.

 

So, yeah. I'm not saying everyone just doesn't care about romantic orientations, but that things like these are really common. What I want to discuss is:

 

  1. Do you think it's important to talk about romantic orientations as well as sexual ones? Do you feel like this is necessary but only within the context of being a-spec, as our experiences tend to be more varied?
  2. Do you think that it would also be nice if people acknowledged kinds of orientations that are not sexual or romantic more often?
  3. Do you feel comfortable as an aro in spaces that are "for asexual people and also aromantic I guess"?
  4. Do you feel like your experience as an aro is acknowledged/included within other orientation communities (eg. lesbian, pansexual, asexual), or within LGBTQIAPN+/IMOGA/queer communities, if you participate/lurk at those kinds of spaces?

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10 hours ago, Powder said:

However, a lot of these resources still insist on only talking about sexual orientations. Or on only including sexual orientation labels. Because romantic orientations, or orientations of other kinds, are still considered too niche, or "modifiers". Because most people are used to definitions of sexual orientation that include romantic orientations within them.

The oddest  thing is that a large minority >10% of people are varioriented. Yet that term along with the split attraction model is very obscure.
Even amongst perioriented allos it must happen that only sexual (or only romantic) attraction towards someone happens.

 

10 hours ago, Powder said:

For instance, we usually consider that a lot of things we (a-spec people in general) experience aren't based solely on a lack of attraction, but specifically on a lack of a specific kind of attraction. Pressure to find a single true love? Aromantic issue. Pressure to have sex as an important milestone in life? Asexual issue. Difficulty to find a story that has no romance in its plot? Aromantic issue. Being uncomfortable with the assumption that everyone cares about sex and wants to see naked people? Asexual issue.

There's also the issue of erasure at work here.
Namely that lack, a very specific kind of, attraction does not imply lack of attraction in general.

 

10 hours ago, Powder said:

Of course, these do not only affect aromantic or asexual people, but they are things that come to mind when talking about navigating society as aro or as ace.

It's also rather likely the experience of aro ace people will differ from both aro and ace people.

 

10 hours ago, Powder said:

And then we have controversies surrounding aro being lumped within being ace: see that recent convo with positiveaspec, which indirectly led me to message the admin of asexual.space because there is inclusion of aromantic in one line or another while the name of the instance is asexual space, it has an ace flag as a header and the example used tells about cis heteroromantic aces but not about cis heterosexual aros.

Even in aro forums there often appears to be an over representation of aro aces.
 

10 hours ago, Powder said:
  1. Do you think it's important to talk about romantic orientations as well as sexual ones? Do you feel like this is necessary but only within the context of being a-spec, as our experiences tend to be more varied?
  2. Do you think that it would also be nice if people acknowledged kinds of orientations that are not sexual or romantic more often?
  3. Do you feel comfortable as an aro in spaces that are "for asexual people and also aromantic I guess"?
  4. Do you feel like your experience as an aro is acknowledged/included within other orientation communities (eg. lesbian, pansexual, asexual), or within LGBTQIAPN+/IMOGA/queer communities, if you participate/lurk at those kinds of spaces?

1: Definitely. If anything romantic orientations matter more since they affect how people relate in public.
2: Yes so long as the problematic term "platonic attraction" is avoided.
3: No, I feel erased in ace centric spaces.
4: Most often there is complete ignorance as well as much lionisation of romantic relationships.

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On 7/12/2018 at 4:00 AM, Powder said:

However, a lot of these resources still insist on only talking about sexual orientations. Or on only including sexual orientation labels. Because romantic orientations, or orientations of other kinds, are still considered too niche, or "modifiers". Because most people are used to definitions of sexual orientation that include romantic orientations within them. Or considered too superfluous, and so on.

Well, traditionally romantic love is defined by the sexual element – it's assumed to be included in the concept or to follow necessarily from the nature of things (like something which is green all over cannot also be red). If we go around and claim that (completely contrary to this firmly entrenched tradition) romantic love is sui generis and only usually related to sex (that is, in a contingent way)… that's not easy.

On 7/12/2018 at 4:00 AM, Powder said:

Do you think that it would also be nice if people acknowledged kinds of orientations that are not sexual or romantic more often?

What would be an example?

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4 hours ago, DeltaV said:

What would be an example?

 

As in, how those other attractions/orientations can be acknowledged?

 

Fictional stories, pamphlets/informative posts about orientations, articles focusing on specific identities, explicit inclusion at communities that are for specific orientations that include, say, not only bisexual people but also biromantic people who are not bisexual.

 

As for examples of usefulness:

 

Some aro and/or ace people use sensual, alterous, queerplatonic and/or aesthetic orientation labels as "bases" for seeking relationships and/or communities;

Some people can better understand their attractions after learning about sensual or aesthetic attraction as separate from sexual or romantic attraction;

Some people use queerplatonic or alterous orientations to be able to communicate the gender(s) their queerplatonic/alterous partners can be, or if they are able to be interested in those kinds of relationships at all.

 

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