Jump to content
Powder

Thoughts on lack of (a)romantic orientation acknowledgement?

Recommended Posts

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?
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/11/2018 at 7:00 PM, 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. I think it's definitely necessary to start talking about romantic orientation in the LGBTQ+ community (ideally everywhere, but let's be realistic). There are so many people who are varioriented - it's erasure to not talk about or validate/normalize these types of experiences. 

 

2. Yeah, 100%. There's not enough awareness, and amatonormativity (and I don't know what the word is for sexual normativity) is a real problem. 

 

3. Not at all. I am a hypersexual person, so would feel uncomfortable in that kind of community - mostly out of concern that I would make other people uncomfortable. 

 

4. In my experience, no one knows that aromanticism is actually a thing until I show up and talk about it. I feel included/acknowledged afterwards though. But really, I feel like the issue is a lack of awareness in Queer spaces, and not intentional exclusion. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, ladyasym said:

1. I think it's definitely necessary to start talking about romantic orientation in the LGBTQ+ community (ideally everywhere, but let's be realistic). There are so many people who are varioriented - it's erasure to not talk about or validate/normalize these types of experiences. 

Even within many LGBTQ+ communities there is the assumption is that everyone is perioriented. It makes little sense for a minority group which comprises about 1/8th of the population to be so obscure and invisible. Even aros, who comprise at least 1/67th of the population, are fairly common.
Were you to extend the split attraction model to include the likes of sensual, aesthetic, etc. attractions/orientations, both primary and secondary, I'm sure there would be an even greater proportion of varioriented people.

 

4 hours ago, ladyasym said:

2. Yeah, 100%. There's not enough awareness, and amatonormativity (and I don't know what the word is for sexual normativity) is a real problem. 

That would be ‘heteronormativity’ whilst some can assume that amnantonormativity includes both heteronormativity and mononormativity Elizabeth Brake, who coined the term, seems to feel that they are separate though somewhat overlapping in effect.
 

4 hours ago, ladyasym said:

3. Not at all. I am a hypersexual person, so would feel uncomfortable in that kind of community - mostly out of concern that I would make other people uncomfortable. 

It's also possible that aromantics, even aro aces, might not feel comfortable in a space primarily for alloromantic people either.
There appears to be only one Aro Meetup, which an improvement from the last time I looked :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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?

1. Yes, there does need to be more discussion, mostly for varioriented people who need to hear it and so they feel included (do ace/aro people count as varioriented? I'd assume so). I feel there should be more discussion of the split attraction model too, keeping in mind it's flaws and not forcing it on anyone.

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

2. Yes, absolutely. There are different orientations than sexual or romantic, and they can easily be just as important to the individual. I don't really know too much about that, though.

Do you feel comfortable as an aro in spaces that are "for asexual people and also aromantic I guess"?

3. As an aro, no, not really. It prioritizes ace people while sort of shunting aromantic people as less important.

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?

4. I don't really know, as I tend to only really lurk in aro specific spaces. But as far as I know, aro experiences aren't acknowledged or included enough at all.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very good questions! Here's my take on them

 

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?

Yes I think so. It might actually be more important outside a-spec and the LGBT+ community, because there are certainly a lot of varioriented people there who don't even realize it. If someone is heterosexual and cis-gendered they probably won't even realize there are any other kind of variations and maybe struggle with understanding their emotions of for example romantic feelings for a friend, or lack of romantic love for a life partner. To understand that many people (maybe even all on some level) are on the spectrum of different scales of sexuality, romance etc could help them understand their experiences.

 

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

I don't often think about such orientations myself so I suppose it doesn't matter much for me. But I suppose as @ladyasym wrote it could be a way to get beyond the sex-normativity of our society.

 

Do you feel comfortable as an aro in spaces that are "for asexual people and also aromantic I guess"?

I've never really tried participating in such a space. I did create an account on aven a while ago but found nothing of interest when browsing around. So my experience is more that I'm not interested in that I've tried to participate and been shunned. I could see that maybe there would be a conflict between ace and aro spaces because in a sense an Ace-romo and a aro-allo is really the exact oposite to each other. I think it would be hard for them to find much to relate to in each other (beyond the general view that society needs to be less normative but that's something that can be shared between most social issue groups).

 

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?

I've not participated much in such spaces either. I feel kinda similar about LGBT+ comunities as I do about ace. That people participating their might not necessarily have more in common with someone aro. For example I have several friends who are lesbians and our concerns are very different. They are all in, or looking for, committed romantic relationships and thinking about the logistics of having children.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

that's a lot to talk about.  i'll do my best.

 

1. yes.  in general.  not only does it bring awareness to aromanticism, but to split attraction in general.  it would be helpful to a lot of people to know that their orientations may not align and that's ok.  romantic orientation, to most people, even allo/allos (though again, they probably don't recognize it as separate) is an equally important aspect of orientation/identity as any other.  i've heard some say more so.

 

2. i don't really consider any other type of attraction to indicate an orientation, like, i don't call myself panplatonic.  if others want to that's fine but i do think that more discussion and portrayal of non-romantic (and non-sexual, i guess) feelings and relationships in general would be a good thing.  it helps a-specs affirm the validity and importance of them and just be able to relate to something, and i think everyone should see that there's more to liking/loving people--and to life--than romance + sex (i phrased that like an equation on purpose).

 

3. i mean, i get the kind of mentality to which you're referring, and it is a little annoying to be thought of second if at all, even in a-spec contexts, but if we don't take the opportunity to insert aromanticism into the conversation, that won't change.  and we can be fairly confident that aroaces will be on our side. 

 

4. not a lot tbh.  i was a little nervous at pride and i saw no aro flags/anything besides the one on my shirt (but i didn't have any negative experiences).  as for discussion of lgbt+ topics, a lot of it seems to revolve around the whole "love is love" and "love is a terrible thing to hate" and stuff--and i could get into the dearth of assurances that romance isn't ever obligatory and should always be consensual, as compared to the rightly plentiful counterparts about sexual consent, but i've done that--and yeah, they're totally great sentiments, but...it's kind of wild how, as we said, it's always 'sexual orientation'--but then it's always 'love'.  i wonder how, for instance, lesbian aros feel about the term 'wlw'.  maybe i just notice stuff like that more, like, aces may well feel like there's excessive emphasis on sex in lgbt+ conversations, but i have seen overtly arophobic stuff.  from lgbt+ people.  again, i think this is largely this sort of paradox in which if aromanticism were better understood it would be included more, but it has to be included to be understood.

 

yeah.  we've got a ways to go, but i think we're on our way.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. I think it's important, not only for the split attraction, but because it could help a lot of couple : to remind people that love and sex are not correlated. When I see TV shows with plot like "he didn't want to have sexe last night, maybe he doesn't love me anymore", I think it would be cool if people that you can have love without sex, just like you can have sex without love. Plus, maybe, knowing that love and sex can be separated would help people to stop demonizing sex without love.

 

2. I don't really care about it myself, but as it must be very important to some people, why not?

 

3. Well, I don't go in those places, and if I don't go is because I don't care talking about my asexuality, so I suppose it kinda prove what these spaces are for? Plus, I don't really like how asexual spaces always want to include aromanticism as if all aromantics were asexual; or then the two orientations should have the same attention, and not "a space for asexuals, and let's create a topic for the aromantic guys" (on the French version, there is a topic named "aromantic topic" who turned into "explaining aromanticism and answering questions like "I don't understand how it is possible to not feel romantic attraction", as if it was not as easy that imagining that people can not feel sexual attraction…). Plus for what I saw, AVEN is a lot about talking about romantic relationship and the fact that they don't need sex to be happy, so I doubt an aro allo would feel at ease there.

 

4. Though I know LGBT+ people, I don't go in LGBT+ spaces, so I don't know; but I read some things from them that makes me think that they are just like anybody else : some are understanding and welcoming, some others don't.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/12/2018 at 4:00 AM, 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. Yes. I believe that romantic orientations affect people's lives more than sexual orientations do (at least in public).

2. Yes, please. Realizing that queerplatonic and aesthetic attractions exist, explained a lot to me. 

3. As an aro ace I feel uncomfortable when alloromantic aces idealize romantic love too much or complain that people assume they're also aromantic. It feels like aro ace people confirm a stereotype that is harmful to alloromantic aces (and I feel sorry about that).

4. I don't have much experience with such communities, so I don't have an opinion about it yet.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  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?

Yes, and yes, but also because the variorientated (mismatch of sexuality and romantic orientation) community is very, very new and needs work before we go out into the larger world and tell people that not only are some people aro and not ace and visa versa, but also some people have sex with men but love women. We need an icebreaker, essentially, since people wrap sexuality with love. 

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

?? What ??

  1. Do you feel comfortable as an aro in spaces that are "for asexual people and also aromantic I guess"?

No. I'm considering leaving AVEN. Almost didn't join the AASD server because it just had the ace flag on the little discord server circle thing. If Aro wasn't in the name I wouldn't have joined 

  1. 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?
  2.  

Sort of? The general trans community doesn't care, individual trans groups differ in opinion. One trans group I'm in had an aroace that helped me realize I was aro, but the two individual trans groups I'm in make me feel as if I'm the only aro at all (forget being allo aro), and have people that say things: like "you'll understand romance when you get older with experience" after I was questioning if romance even existed after reading the Wikipedia article and seeing if I was the only one; have another person say that they consider heterosexuality to include both sexuality and romance; and just today someone said they consider friends with benefits to be a type of romance (*how???*)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×