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Eklinaar

Coining a term for affectionate aros

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I feel like a core part of my aromantic identity is that I'm very affectionate, I want lots of affection in all my close relationships, and the way I experience affection is fundamentally different from allos.  My desire for affection in general and affection within my established relationships is a core part of my identity.  A lot of the affection I enjoy is culturally coded as romantic, but I experience intimate affection as neither romantic nor platonic.  My friendships that don't feature hugging, kissing, cuddling, and other kinds of intimacy feel "incomplete" to me, and the boundaries that allos set between romance and platonic friendship seem bizarre and arbitrary to me.  My affinity for affection also sets me apart in some ways from other aros who are disinterested in affection, so that we have very different experiences of being aromantic, but I still feel far more kinship with them than I do with allos, even affectionate allos.  I'd like to coin a term for this since I've met several other aros who feel similarly.  I started with the term "amorous aromantic" but folks in our Discord server pointed out that using "amorous" as an identity label conflicts with the established usage of "nonamorous" as a relationship model, and they mean different things.

 

So, anyone have any ideas for words or roots that could mean "aromantic people who have a strong affinity for affection" as an identity label?

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This is a really good discussion that I think we need to have. Thank you for bringing it up!

 

I might suggest "adfectuous" or "affectuous," which is similar enough to "affectionate" to derive that meaning from it without overtly using "affectionate," since that word already has regular use in the English language with varying connotations. Might be too many As, but it's a Latin-inspired word, which is similar (in origin) to other coined words we have in the community. It might also be too difficult to spell, but that's my start! "Adfectuous aromantic" or "affectuous aromantic."

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Why don't you like "affectionate"? 🤔 (English is not my native language, so maybe I miss some connotations that don't fit.)

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18 hours ago, Eklinaar said:

I feel like a core part of my aromantic identity is that I'm very affectionate, I want lots of affection in all my close relationships, and the way I experience affection is fundamentally different from allos.  My desire for affection in general and affection within my established relationships is a core part of my identity.  A lot of the affection I enjoy is culturally coded as romantic, but I experience intimate affection as neither romantic nor platonic.  My friendships that don't feature hugging, kissing, cuddling, and other kinds of intimacy feel "incomplete" to me, and the boundaries that allos set between romance and platonic friendship seem bizarre and arbitrary to me.

I see these a definitely non-platonic. Which can be an issue with certain parts of the aro community.Due to lionisation of the term "platonic".
 

18 hours ago, Eklinaar said:

My affinity for affection also sets me apart in some ways from other aros who are disinterested in affection, so that we have very different experiences of being aromantic,

At least some of these appear to be "affection repulsed".

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@November A lot of people I know use the term "affectionate" to mean "romantic" and that is why I want to shy away from it. Of course I think that the meaning of "affectionate" is much wider - to me, it just means showing love to people in various overt ways - but I know that many other people see it as something only present in 'very important relationships' (i.e., romantic relationships)

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I came across the term "alterous" a while back, that basically defines attraction that is neither strictly romantic nor strictly platonic. That's a bit of a broad definition that seems like it would differ from person to person, but it might fit what your describing. I saw one person refer to the person you're alterously attracted to as that friend you wouldn't mind dating/doing romance coded things with. I think alterous could probably be used as an orientation alongside romantic and sexual orientations with prefixes added on so you could theoretically be bialterous, heteroalterous, homoalterous, etc. It might be an unnecessary extra label, or it could be a good alternative to the term affectionate that people seem to be having issues with.

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@lonelyace I use alterous as a term! :D But I think of it as different from being affectionate. It's a type of attraction to me, like platonic or romantic or etc., whereas affection is more like a behavioural tendency (similar to touch like touch-averse folks describe their experiences), if I understand @Eklinaar right.

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Yeah, alterous is a term that refers to an experience of attraction or a relationship that is neither primarily romantic nor platonic, and what I'm trying to come up with is a term that means aros who have a strong preference or need for deep intimacy, because I feel like that need shapes being aromantic in a particular way.

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I think you might have to borrow a word from outside the English lexicon to accurately describe the phenomenon that you are explaining. Non-romantic hugging, kissing, hand-holding and like activities are common in certain parts of the world. The word that immediately comes to mind is skinship (an english approximation of the Japanese word sukinshippu). In the Japanese context this word can mean to share a bath with someone in a non-romantic way, or it can also mean close non-sexual/romantic physical relations between friends or family.

 

In the Korean use of the word, it means a person who engages in close non-sexual/romantic physical intimacy with their friends, generally of the same sexual identity, but not necessarily so. Young males are especially "touchy-feely" in Korea, and commonly show non-romantic/sexual physical affection towards each other.

 

A funny blog post on the subject:

https://randomkorealife.wordpress.com/2014/07/15/you-touch-my-what/

 

With that being said, the word skinship fits kind of awkwardly with other aromantic identity labels. Maybe make some kind of a derivative of it ie. skinmantic.

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Interesting question. Wouldn't it by usefull not to limit the term to only aro people though? I've met allo people that crave a lot of physical contact and intimacy with close friends. I'm not sure what word to use.

If you just want one for aros though I feel like affectionate aros work well.

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I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who feels this way. No one around me understands... I wish we had a recognized word to define ourselves. Affectiomantic? Affectio-Aromantic? Affectio-Aro? (Affectio is apparently Latin for “affection”) 

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