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aro_elise

Sexual orientation as related to romantic orientation

Sexual orientation as related to romantic orientation  

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i'm curious about your experiences with this, so please vote and comment!  i'm not sure how well i phrased the questions and options, though; you'll see why when i list and explain my own answers:

 

1. i've always been sure of my sexual orientation.  i've always identified as completely heterosexual, never questioned it.  even when i experienced squishes or aesthetic attraction toward girls but didn't even know what to call them, i correctly identified the feelings and didn't worry about it.

 

2. no.  i learned about aromanticism and the split attraction model at the same time, and essentially thought 'ok i'm definitely heterosexual, and i'd assumed i was heteroromantic, though not in those words...but could i be aromantic?'  and so it began.

 

3. separate.  i don't see how sexual and romantic attraction have anything to do with each other.  like, not just in my own case, but in general--i don't understand.  (i mean, i don't really understand romantic attraction in the first place, but...)  if i were asked to name my orientation in one word, i wouldn't know what to say, because i have two.  i don't even like when people call me straight, because that implies 'heterosexual and heteroromantic'.  you guys can, though--the rules don't apply to my fellow aros. 😄

 

so yeah, chime in, and feel free to ask more questions! ✌️

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1. I started questioning my sexuality when I was around 14 and I decided on bi when I was 15. There have been some periods where I thought I was lesbian but looking back on that now I think that that probably had to do with being aro. 

2. Im not sure whether discovering my sexuality had much to do with identifying as arospec but I did join the lgbtqa+ community because of my sexuality, which then led to the discovery of the term aromantic. But I realized I was aro 4 years after my sexuality so I'm not sure how closely related it is. 

3. Completely seperate for me. I don't really see how I would connect the two. 

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@aro_elise yeah, my answers are the same as your OP, pretty much word-for-word.

 

2 hours ago, aro_elise said:

i don't even like when people call me straight, because that implies 'heterosexual and heteroromantic'

 

Yeah, that's an interesting one! I did always think of myself as 'straight', but now I'm not so sure how well that works as a shorthand. One could argue that a homo-romantic gay person's experience of relationships is closer to traditional heterosexual (amato)normative relationship standards than an aromantic heterosexual person's. So, to say that only the former belongs under a broder non-straight/'queer' identities umberella doesn't quite seem right... So I guess I'd think of myself as 'straight-ish' or 'straight, but...' now, hah.

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i call myself straight, like in my head, but i'm hesitant to say it to others.  my friend--the only person irl who has my permission to call me straight--has called me "straight but not" as well as "queer".  she's gay btw.  i'd be interested to hear whether any aros have the same problems with terms like gay, lesbian, bi, or pan.

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1. I hadn't a real period of questioning, but sometimes I tried to felt sexual attraction to determine if I was gay, straight, bi... and failed miserably. When I discovered what asexuality is, it was an evidence.

 

2. Learning about my asexuality led me to discover what romantic attraction was. After a period of denial, I realized I was aro too.

 

3. I think about it as separate,  even if I am both ace and aro. As thought about these attractions as separate in general. 

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1 : I went through multiple periods of questioning/label changes.  I discovered my aromantism first. I was sure. Then i was questionning. Bi ? Pan ? ace ? Then i settled with "ace". It was good enough back then. Then i was thinking about grey-ace maybe. Now i don't even label it lol , i am just aro. With a blury sexual attraction.

 

2 : Unsure . Good question. Not sure i can answer. 

 

3 : Related for another reason . Well… i feel like "aro" is enough, so… It has something to do with me not using the sam i guess ? ^^ I mean, i feel like if i was alloromantic, it would be different (captain obvious, but i am speaking about my sexual orientation. Now i don't have one, no label. But if i was not aro? Hmm... )

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I've been through many labels before I realised I was lesbian (homosexual) for sure at 15, but I was questioning on and off for 2 years or so. I discovered it later because I didn't develop sexual attraction until I was 14, nearly 15 - definitely 15, before then I labelled myself as Asexual and I knew it was a temporary label (I have video evidence of me admitting this).

 

I just assumed that I loved girls romantically as well because I didn't know that romantic attraction could be separated from each other, or that Aromanticism existed (I didn't believe in Asexuality for a while bc I thought they were all just young kids who hadn't developed yet like myself). I learned about romantic orientations at some point last year, but it wasn't until I started looking into Aromanticism in the beginning of this year (info about it usually comes alongside info about Asexuality so it was probably something like that) that I began questioning my romantic orientation. I am still unsure about it.

 

I do see my lesbianism and possible aromanticism as separate things since they're nothing like. However, saying that, I do desire companionship, some affection and an emotional connection with girls only, I only ever have alterous, sensual and sexual attraction to girls, so in a few ways my lesbianism is always quite present. 

On 9/22/2019 at 11:42 AM, aro_elise said:

i call myself straight, like in my head, but i'm hesitant to say it to others.  my friend--the only person irl who has my permission to call me straight--has called me "straight but not" as well as "queer".  she's gay btw.  i'd be interested to hear whether any aros have the same problems with terms like gay, lesbian, bi, or pan.

I tend to feel that I am not 100 percent lesbian because I don't really experience romantic attraction to girls like other lesbians do; I'm not out to many people (only 2), so idk what people would think about it. I mean being Aromantic is Queer by definition, since it's very different from the norm.

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15 hours ago, nonmerci said:

I think about it as separate,  even if I am both ace and aro. As thought about these attractions as separate in general. 

interesting, i wondered whether there would be anyone like that.

 

you know, i was in this club in high school called spectrum, like a gsa.  one time, asexuality and aromanicism came up--i wasn't out, i believe this was during my denial period--and the club leader (student teacher, straight) asked the difference.  i tried to explain, talking about the different types of attraction, and she just said "to me it's the same."  and i was thinking '???'

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I think that for MOST people (allo) they are the same, and indistinguishable. At least that's how it's displayed in the media... At least that's my impression, and why it took me so long to figure out that I'm aro... 

I accidentally really insulted an ace couple once because of this... made me re-evaluate...

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On 9/26/2019 at 7:26 AM, aro_elise said:

interesting, i wondered whether there would be anyone like that.

Well, I discovered asexuality first and it was an evidence for me. But aromanticism wasn't, and I was in denial. Then I identify myself as greyro (now I'm questioning if aro would fit me better), but I never did for asexuality because it was an evidence for me that I never felt sexual attraction in my whole life.

 

Also, I don't really care of my sexual attraction, I don't see it as a huge part of my identity. But aromanticism is more important in my life. Probably because I always saw sex as a weird sport I don't want to practice, but I saw romance as a way of life (no offense to allosexual, I suppose you don't see things like that). I think that I would see sex differently if I was aro allo too. So it must leads me to view this as separate.

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Once I realised that all my previous experiences in relationships were related to me being aro and not necessarily ace made a big difference. I was putting down my repulsion to kissy kissy romantic belonging to being ace but now put it down more accurately to aro. Now as for my sexual attraction I know I'm at least demisexual, though it doesn't fully fit. I know it's definitely not obvious and I don't see anyone as "hot or sexy" and definitely not as others describe, but there's a definite "physiological interest" so not sure whether that's heterosexual or grey-heterosexual. I usually just say greysexual. It also doesn't help matters that I'm strongly panaesthetic, so much so that I actually thought I was gay at first because I have a particular attraction to the beauty of women (though don't want to sleep with or date them being realistic).

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I do relate to the difficulties with general labels also as none seemed to fit and just leads to people misunderstanding, though I'm using queer more and more. They are definitely different, though I can see why those with matching attractions can't distinguish, for example a heteroaesthetic heteromantic heterosexual hetero through and through will probably not see any difference for example, and the same for generally bi, gay or anything else, and I understand that. I have a much more identity with my aromantism and panaesthetic aspects though because they affect my day to day life most, which I think is the question that is relevant for how strongly someone identifies - it's relevant to how it affects day to day life and how different it is from the social "norm"

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On 9/27/2019 at 4:06 AM, nonmerci said:

Also, I don't really care of my sexual attraction, I don't see it as a huge part of my identity. But aromanticism is more important in my life. Probably because I always saw sex as a weird sport I don't want to practice, but I saw romance as a way of life (no offense to allosexual, I suppose you don't see things like that). I think that I would see sex differently if I was aro allo too. So it must leads me to view this as separate.

i see what you mean, actually, i don't consider my sexuality that important either.  being interested in guys is kind of like being moderately interested in other things, like, not my favourite things, but things i like.  your sport analogy works--for example, i like skiing but i don't do it often; it's not a big part of my life, but when i see a nice mountain i think i'd like to ski there.

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1) Other; My sister introduced me to the term 'asexual'. I thought I was "straight by default" beforehand, though.

2) Yes; discovering my sexual orientation helped me discover my romantic orientation.

3) I see them as related because they're similar.

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1. How did you come to identify your sexual orientation?

I went through many periods of questioning lmao. To put it simply for a while there I thought it was 'all' when in fact it was 'none' and so eventually I realised I was ace. And then I realised being ace didn't matter to me at all so I stopped identifying as such. And then I began feeling sexually attracted to people and decided queer was the right term for the job haha

 

2. Do you think your discovery of your sexual orientation is/was related to your identifying as aro-spec?

I'd say it was the other way around. I identified as ace long before I realised I was aro. The thing for me is that I wanted to feel sexual attraction (score one for me!!) and couldn't care less about romance. So I wasn't thinking about romance enough to realise I felt nothing for it. It wasn't until I was like,,, 'so I'm panro ace what does a relationship look like for me?' And the answer was a hard pass that I realised maybe I was confusing 'all' with 'none' again. I was firmly aro when I began feeling sexual attraction and actually that seemed to be separate from my aro identity. At least the journey I went on to understand what I was feeling did, because it was all these brand new emotions and thoughts that I wanted to ferret out. Only later did I start to look at them through an aromantic lens. Nothing changed in my life with the fluctuation and I think that's the kicker. 

 

3. What about currently? Do you feel that your sexual and romantic orientations are related (like two parts of one identity) or separate (like two identities)?

My identities, aromatic and queer, are absolutely related. They're the same set a feeling that I label separately to highlight different areas of nuance. Despite how messy the history of my identity is, the reality of it now is very settled and simple. I love my identity and the journey was well worth it.

 

--

Edited immediately after posting bc the font was SHOCKINGLY large lmao

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I'm an out lesbian but only recently discovered my aromantic identity. I think it took me so long (6 years since figuring out I was gay) to work out the aromanticism because I knew I liked girls and not guys but somehow it wasn't quite right. Now if I were to have a QPR I would only want one with a female so in some ways they are related but I don't really see it that way because although both affect any relationships I would have, they don't really affect each other. I see them as two separate things that work together to shape my identity.

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