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Is aromantic vocabulary unconsciously amatonormative ?

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This is something I've thought about for so long, and after being inspired by this thread, I decided to make it a thread as well.

http://www.arocalypse.com/forums/topic/216-importance-of-platonic-relationships/

The article mentioned "friendship affairs". When a bond is emotionally deep, people feel the need to compare it to romance. 

But the thing is that this isn't something only romantic people do. Aromantic vocabulary is full of comparisons with romance, and therefore unconsciously implies that our friendships are actually romance in denial. What are "queerplatonic", "platonic attraction", "passionate friendship", "squish / friend crush" implying at an unconscious level ? People who are skeptical of the nature of deep friendships are jumping on the occasion. We're using romantic vocabulary ! We're implying that everything is made of attraction, of desire for passionate intimacy. This is confusing to say the least. Isn't the aromantic community involuntarily taking a wrong direction with using words that constantly make references to romance and other relationships based on attraction and desire rather than "plain" affection and fondness ? To make it short, isn't current aromantic vocabulary dangerously amatonormative ?

Isn't it the time now to reclaim the right word : giving a deeper meaning to friendship, affection, love, a much more serious and deeper meaning than what society wants to enforce, and being proud of it ? 

I'd like to know what others are thinking of the current situation, and if there is indeed a problem, or not.

 

PS I'm sorry if the thread seems a bit asexual-centered, but I haven't taken the time for implications on romantic references with FWB situations, and I'd like to hear an aromantic sexual perspective too.

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I've spent a large part of my life thinking of "plain" love and affection as the real thing, and being annoyed at romantic people for ruining the meanings of these words and many other concepts.

 

I like thinking of love as water. There's pure water, and there's water with added minerals, flavours, contaminants, whatever. Pure unconditional love is the meaning of love as it was originally intended. Then there's all these other "types" of love that people talk about, which are basically just extra additions on top of pure love (I'm pretty sure it is there in most cases, even if it's hardly noticeable).

 

I've ranted many times about people contaminating the meaning of love, but no matter how much I explain it, most people still don't really get it.

 

How would we go about reclaiming these words, though? I think retaking the words would be really, really difficult though, considering how much of a tiny minority we are... but it'd be awesome if we could.

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Same thing with love. I've had the same comparison or almost, with food and spices.

About the words, I still think it's possible to reclaim them. After all, the LGBT+ community successfully managed to reclaim "queer", and despite being relatively invisible right now, I don't think that being aromantic is that rare, so I'm more optimistic about the future and giving some words a more positive meaning as well :)

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1 hour ago, SoulWolf said:

 

I've spent a large part of my life thinking of "plain" love and affection as the real thing, and being annoyed at romantic people for ruining the meanings of these words and many other concepts.

 

Yeah, I was thinking the same, but romantic people would always argue about "true love" being a romantic thing.

 

For the aromantic vocabulary, I prefer to use terms like appreciation and complicity to describe my feelings and friendships. "I appreciate that they are this, this, and this. We have a good complicity when it comes to that, etc." 

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I feel that this terminology was designed in attempt to prove to amatonormativists that far not all aros are 'heartless robots'. In so doing, aros erase themselves by likening their experiences to romance so that they look more like the majority.

 

This looks quite similar to rom aces' proud claims that they can love 'like everyone else'.

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Disclaimer: This got really long. Oops? I'll put a tl;dr at the end in case you don't wanna read the whole thing.

 

I think the problem comes from -- and correct me if I'm wrong -- the tendency of many aros and non-aros alike to use the word "queerplatonic" as meaning "like a romantic relationship without the romance" or a "soft romo" or "romance light" so to speak, instead of using it as I believe it was originally coined, to refer to bonds of friendship that are different from what many romantics see as friendship. Because we can pretty much agree that many romantics view friendship as a far more casual, less exclusive or less important thing than many aromantics do (obviously I'm generalizing here, but if we're looking at it from a broad perspective).

 

We have words like "queerplatonic" and "squish" to emphasize that platonic feelings are of value and importance and that platonic bonds can be very strong and deep. It's to show romantics that when we think of friendship, often we're thinking of something stronger than the more casual acquaintanceship that many romantics consider friendship. Because we all feel stronger bonds to some people than we do others, no matter what kind of bonds those may be, and words like "queerplatonic" establish that strong bonds don't have to be romantic, that there isn't an invisible ceiling between friendship and romance, that they are two separate things.

 

And "queerplatonic" shouldn't even be reserved for partnerships. Who ever said you had to be someone's partner to have strong platonic feelings for them that don't fit the mold of what romantics call friendship? We all define words differently, and I personally define queerplatonic as really strong platonic feelings/love/attraction that's different from casual friendship. That's just me. But regardless of how we define it as individuals we can't confine it to this box of being basically dating without the romance, because that's really ignoring the vast spectrum of different types of bonds people can have and the forms they can take.

 

The problem arises when we start to use these words not to describe something unique but to instead defend ourselves by trying to make ourselves seem more "normal" to romantics. It is not our job to conflate our experience with theirs in order to make them more comfortable with our existence. None of this "I'm aromantic, but I can still form queerplatonic relationships which is like dating without romance!" Being aromantic is beautiful, not something that has to be made up for by trying to act like we're anything like romantics. Let's change that to "I'm aromantic, and sometimes I form really strong platonic bonds with people that are unlike casual friendship. Sometimes we call that 'queerplatonic.'"

 

tl;dr yeah, in some ways we dig ourselves into a hole by using these words, but not because of the words themselves, but because of the way we use them to conflate our experiences with those of romantics, instead of using them to define something all our own. We can combat unconscious amatonormativity by embracing our experiences instead of trying to make them seem worthy by comparing them to romantic ones.

 

Because being aromantic is nothing to apologize for.

 

EDIT: For some more reading about amatonormativity and queerplatonic friendship, this article sums it up pretty well, and is where I got a lot of my inspiration from for all of the above.

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On 21/07/2016 at 1:31 AM, paporomantic said:

I feel that this terminology was designed in attempt to prove to amatonormativists that far not all aros are 'heartless robots'. In so doing, aros erase themselves by likening their experiences to romance so that they look more like the majority.

 

This looks quite similar to rom aces' proud claims that they can love 'like everyone else'.

 

On 21/07/2016 at 4:59 AM, techno-trashcan said:

tl;dr yeah, in some ways we dig ourselves into a hole by using these words, but not because of the words themselves, but because of the way we use them to conflate our experiences with those of romantics, instead of using them to define something all our own. We can combat unconscious amatonormativity by embracing our experiences instead of trying to make them seem worthy by comparing them to romantic ones.

I think it's a combination of these sorts of points, and also the fact that permanent evolutions to sections of a language take time so if English is going to become less amatonormative it's probably going to take a while.

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To begin with, I'd like to admit that I am quite self conscious about my identity, and I try to avoid coming out unless I have to. It's just very difficult to word it right and people usually don't really get it. I have started to use descriptions instead of just labels for concepts. I guess that is the opposite of what you were talking about here... But to me it feels liberating, not having to go into a half hour discussion about what I mean by 'friend' or 'love' or 'relationship'.

I'm not really comfortable with alloromantic-coded terminology

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Was recently pointed this direction off of another thread, so I hope folks don't mind me sharing some thoughts here.

 

On 7/20/2016 at 2:34 PM, Rising Sun said:

What are "queerplatonic", "platonic attraction", "passionate friendship", "squish / friend crush" implying at an unconscious level ?

 

...While I don't know that the words themselves are implying anything (although there's a case to be made there, for some of those, I think), I can point towards where I think some "aro vocabulary" (none of this is aro-specific vocabulary it looks like, but I'll borrow your category term here) is being defined in ways that are amatonormative. That's why I posted this post on different definitions of "friendship" right after my series on definitions of queerplatonic, for instance. On the one hand, I don't think "queerplatonic" has to be an amatonormative word (although I personally dislike its two components). But definitions like "more than friendship"? Yeah, I think that's worth taking a second look at, at the very least. Based on some similar issues that have cropped up around definitions of alterous and so on, I'm... inclined to say there's still work to be done in how nonromantic relationships are talked about even by people you'd expect to know better. 

 

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it's definitely hard for alloromantics to understand our experiences without comparison to their own.  we may describe a qpr as "like a relationship, but not romantic," or a squish as "like a crush, but not romantic," and they equate "not romantic" to "less than".  they see friendship, sexual relationships, or other non-romantic relationships as a step down, so we're kind of backed into a corner when we try to explain their significance to us, and using words like "more," "stronger," or "deeper" just makes them think "closer to romance" (and further contradicts the notion that purely platonic relationships, for instance, can be quite meaningful).  they have this idea of a sort of hierarchy of love/relationships, where romance is at the top--often monogamous, lifelong/married, sexual and romantic relationships--this is amatonormativity.  so as for other types, like just sexual, just romantic, just platonic/queerplatonic, or the latter in combination with either of the others, is seen as less complete or meaningful, when (aside from the fact that any given relationship could be more so than a traditional romantic one) the point is that they can simply be different.  no comparison of value or anything else is necessary.  so when i explain my attraction or relationships, i may make comparisons to something they'd understand, but i add that it's a separate thing and that my experiences won't be the same as every other aro/spec person's.  for some, a qpr may be between a friendship and a romantic relationship, and/or more important than "regular friendship" and that's ok.  everyone should be able to conceptualize and describe their experiences in whatever way works for them.  so i guess my best solution is just to emphasize this, and that there's no inherent hierarchy.

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On 7/21/2016 at 4:34 AM, Rising Sun said:

Isn't it the time now to reclaim the right word : giving a deeper meaning to friendship, affection, love, a much more serious and deeper meaning than what society wants to enforce, and being proud of it ? 

One of the things I struggled with most when trying to understand concepts like QPRs was precisely that explanations seemed to be contrasted against a much more restricted understanding of "friendship" than my own. It wasn't until I found the original discussion where the term "queerplatonic" was mooted, and discovered that it was explicitly defined in contrast to a fairly conservative USAmerican view of limitations of the term "friendship," that I felt I understood where people were coming from with it.

 

I have no problem with people calling their relationships queerplatonic if that feels right for them, but am also very, very much in favour of standing by the idea that "friendship" encompasses far more than that narrow, conservative definition of what's allowed between "friends". My "friends" include the person with whom I've been wearing matching rings for over 15 years as a symbol of our promise to stay connected forever. They include the married couple I've been discussing buying a house with. They include quite a few people that I regularly have sex with, including one partner from a different married couple that I have an open-ended agreement with. In my view the definition of "friendship" absolutely extends to every one of those situations, and an awful lot more. 

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On 3/19/2019 at 1:59 AM, Coyote said:

While I don't know that the words themselves are implying anything (although there's a case to be made there, for some of those, I think), I can point towards where I think some "aro vocabulary" (none of this is aro-specific vocabulary it looks like, but I'll borrow your category term here) is being defined in ways that are amatonormative.

I wonder if these terms might be better described as "aro ace vocabulary" since they appear to have been coined prior to there being a separate "aro community" without any obvious input from allosexual aros.
Certainly terms such as "sexual friendship" and "Friends With Benefits" which describe sexual non-romantic relationships appear absent from the original list. Though the latter is often understood very differently by aros and allos. I wonder how aces, allo or aro interpret the term.

 

On 3/19/2019 at 1:59 AM, Coyote said:

That's why I posted this post on different definitions of "friendship" right after my series on definitions of queerplatonic, for instance.

The term 'queerplatonic' appears to have ended up with multiple meanings. Around the same time period 'platonic' has also acquired multiple meanings. Some of them, potentially, mutually exclusive.

 

On 3/19/2019 at 1:59 AM, Coyote said:

On the one hand, I don't think "queerplatonic" has to be an amatonormative word (although I personally dislike its two components). But definitions like "more than friendship"? Yeah, I think that's worth taking a second look at, at the very least.

There's this definition:

Quote

A queerplatonic (or quasiplatonic) relationship is a relationship that is not romantic but involves a close emotional connection (platonic) beyond what most people consider friendship. The commitment level in a queerplatonic relationship is often considered to be similar to that of a romantic relationship. People in a queerplatonic relationship may be of any romantic or sexual orientation. A partner in a queer platonic relationship is called a zucchini.

Which describes 'more that friendship' somewhat indirectly.
(It also might not have been such a good idea to use a fruit which has at least three different names in English as term for a QPP.)

 

On 3/19/2019 at 1:59 AM, Coyote said:

Based on some similar issues that have cropped up around definitions of alterous and so on, I'm... inclined to say there's still work to be done in how nonromantic relationships are talked about even by people you'd expect to know better. 

I'm wondering if there are factors such as trying to explain things in terms alloromantics understand or 'respectability politics'

 

On 3/19/2019 at 2:34 AM, aro_elise said:

it's definitely hard for alloromantics to understand our experiences without comparison to their own.  we may describe a qpr as "like a relationship, but not romantic," or a squish as "like a crush, but not romantic," and they equate "not romantic" to "less than". 

IME alloromantics seem unable to understand that others can have different worldview from this, rather strict, hierarchy. Though an aro could see non-romantic relationships more desirable than romantic.

Hence you see the likes of "Where romantic people have an emotional need to be with another person in a romantic relationship, aromantics are often satisfied with friendships and other non-romantic relationships.".

Rather than "Aromantic people tend to seek a wide variety of non-romantic relationships. Which can include those which are sexual, sensual, affectionate or platonic, depending on the individual. Where as alloromantics tend to seek either romantic relationships, often monogamous and following the 'relationship escalator' or platonic friendships."

 

On 3/19/2019 at 2:34 AM, aro_elise said:

they see friendship, sexual relationships, or other non-romantic relationships as a step down,

One way I've observed this is the idea of "friends first" where there's an expectation of friendship, be it platonic or sexual, is expected to be a step (on the escalator) towards a romantic relation ship. Which can get very messy where such an allo encounters an aro who actually wants this long term.

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21 minutes ago, Mark said:
15 hours ago, Coyote said:

While I don't know that the words themselves are implying anything (although there's a case to be made there, for some of those, I think), I can point towards where I think some "aro vocabulary" (none of this is aro-specific vocabulary it looks like, but I'll borrow your category term here) is being defined in ways that are amatonormative.

I wonder if these terms might be better described as "aro ace vocabulary" since they appear to have been coined prior to there being a separate "aro community" without any obvious input from allosexual aros.

 

I'm not convinced.

Queerplatonic has a mixed history, not a specifically aro ace history.

Squish was actually originally coined with somewhat amatonormative language by someone contrasted them as less intense than crushes. It's not clear to me though how that person identifies.

 

Quote
15 hours ago, Coyote said:

That's why I posted this post on different definitions of "friendship" right after my series on definitions of queerplatonic, for instance.

The term 'queerplatonic' appears to have ended up with multiple meanings. Around the same time period 'platonic' has also acquired multiple meanings. Some of them, potentially, mutually exclusive.

 

Oh gosh the word "platonic" has always been a mess. Best I can tell, the original use of it (in the 1600s or so) was basically a big "no homo," deliberately ignoring the homoerotic implications of Plato's writings. I can get into this more if people want but it's a bummer.

 

Quote
15 hours ago, Coyote said:

Based on some similar issues that have cropped up around definitions of alterous and so on, I'm... inclined to say there's still work to be done in how nonromantic relationships are talked about even by people you'd expect to know better. 

I'm wondering if there are factors such as trying to explain things in terms alloromantics understand or 'respectability politics'.

 

If so, I don't think it's working very well.

 

21 minutes ago, Mark said:

IME alloromantics seem unable to understand that others can have different worldview from this, rather strict, hierarchy. Though an aro could see non-romantic relationships more desirable than romantic.

 

Even if there's different affordances there, I'm wary of this kind of talk, because it sounds like it's getting into the territory of aro elitism (i.e. allormantics are inherently shallower etc.). ...It also sounds like you're splitting the world into aros and alloros here, which is a false binary.

 

21 minutes ago, Mark said:
15 hours ago, aro_elise said:

they see friendship, sexual relationships, or other non-romantic relationships as a step down,

One way I've observed this is the idea of "friends first" where there's an expectation of friendship, be it platonic or sexual, is expected to be a step (on the escalator) towards a romantic relation ship. Which can get very messy where such an allo encounters an aro who actually wants this long term.

 

Here's a post Jo wrote on the Relationship Escalator, sounds related.

 

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1 hour ago, Mark said:


Certainly terms such as "sexual friendship" and "Friends With Benefits" which describe sexual non-romantic relationships appear absent from the original list. Though the latter understoon very differently by aros and allos. I wonder how aces, allo or aro interpret the term.

 

 

Honestly, as an allo aro myself I fucking HATE the term "friends with benefits". My friends are a benefit in themselves! I don't need any "benefits" to my friendships, friendship is already top tier for me, and it's not some sort of business transaction. I can't stand language that puts down friendship like that. Nobody is a lesser friend just because they're not interested in having sex with their friends, and the only "benefit" in friendship is all the wonderful ways my friends make me happy, with or without sex.

Personally I would love to have a term for "friend who you also have sex with in a purely non-romantic way" that doesn't make other friends seem lesser.

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18 hours ago, Coyote said:

Queerplatonic has a mixed history, not a specifically aro ace history.

I've looked through your "A Genealogy of Queerplatonic".
Within it  I see many mentions of asexual/ace Including "Carnival of Aces",  AVEN forums, asexual flags, aces of spades. Though a few of the people, such as Aromantic Aardvark, have their sexual orientation unmentioned.
The first time you get any clearly non ace comment is in 2016. With this arocalypse thread, where it's contrasted with the term "Friends With Benefits". Certainly my opinion at the time was both of these are are poor terms to describe sexual relationships which are non-romantic.
With the issue of if the term is somehow amantonormative having been brought up several times on Arocalypse. 
The Aromantic Wiki entry specifically claims that it's aro ace in origin.
Ditto for A New Relationship Dictionary.
This tumblr thread also says "aro ace". Even going further to say "often asexual first and aro second". Together with extremely hostile towards allo aros. Even without any malice involved an environment made up mostly "asexual first, aromantic second" would be unlikely to attractive to "aromantic first, asexual second", "aromantic and asexual not separable" or "aromantic and allosexual". This would definitely look like a subset of the "ace community"...
The more recent Tumblr stuff seems to be primarily about alloromantics (especially asexual ones) using the term. 

 

20 hours ago, Coyote said:

Oh gosh the word "platonic" has always been a mess. Best I can tell, the original use of it (in the 1600s or so) was basically a big "no homo," deliberately ignoring the homoerotic implications of Plato's writings. I can get into this more if people want but it's a bummer.

Interesting, considering the term "homosexual" dates from the late 19th century. At least two centuries later.

 

20 hours ago, Coyote said:

This is an ace narrative. Different issues would tend to arise for aros.
The description of "relationship escalator" appears to have been altered. Most obviously 6 rather than 7 steps.
The article covers sex and physical touch quite extensively.
Interestingly it does bring up non monogamy in an aro ace specific section. Are aros less attached to monogamy? Be it sexual, emotional, social or activity.
Also interesting is: 

Quote

In the escalator model, non-romantic relationships usually only take the form of familial relationships and friendships, both of which are inherently different to partnered, capital-R relationships.

The article, then,  fails to mention what these relationships tend to exclude in terms 'romantic coded behaviours and activities'. Even those which are non sexual.
 

 

 

 

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On 3/19/2019 at 2:49 PM, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

My friends are a benefit in themselves!

 

Yes.

 

8 hours ago, Mark said:

I've looked through your "A Genealogy of Queerplatonic".
Within it  I see many mentions of asexual/ace Including "Carnival of Aces",  AVEN forums, asexual flags, aces of spades. Though a few of the people, such as Aromantic Aardvark, have their sexual orientation unmentioned.

 

Yes, it definitely emerged in the context of the asexual community, (initially) among people who all identified as ace. It's not exclusive to aces by any means, and anyone who tries to police it like that would be wrongheaded, but yes, those roots are something I would acknowledge. What I meant by "mixed" -- I should have clarified -- was "mixed" as in "not all sharing a romantic orientation," i.e. not all "aro ace" specifically. It was more a mix of types of aces. Calling them all "aro aces" would be reductive and contrary to how some of them identify.

 

8 hours ago, Mark said:

The Aromantic Wiki entry specifically claims that it's aro ace in origin.
Ditto for A New Relationship Dictionary.

 

That's not exactly accurate of them then.

 

8 hours ago, Mark said:

Interesting, considering the term "homosexual" dates from the late 19th century.

 

Yes, that was some anachronistic wording on my part. For the curious: the "chaste" or whatever use of "platonic" apparently comes from a 1600s interpretation of the Symposium because of "the kind of interest Socrates took in young men, which originally had no reference to women." ...Yeah. I haven't read the Symposium, but I have read the Phaedrus, and... for one thing, Socrates is flirting with another dude the whole time. But also? Plato's ideas expressed there about "love" (eros, so kind of a sex-romance composite) are not at all aro- or ace-friendly.

 

8 hours ago, Mark said:

This is an ace narrative. Different issues would tend to arise for aros.

 

Not mutually exclusive, but sure. Sounds like a good topic for another post.

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On 3/21/2019 at 1:30 AM, Coyote said:

Yes, it definitely emerged in the context of the asexual community, (initially) among people who all identified as ace. It's not exclusive to aces by any means, and anyone who tries to police it like that would be wrongheaded, but yes, those roots are something I would acknowledge. What I meant by "mixed" -- I should have clarified -- was "mixed" as in "not all sharing a romantic orientation," i.e. not all "aro ace" specifically. It was more a mix of types of aces. Calling them all "aro aces" would be reductive and contrary to how some of them identify.

My point remains that to describe 'queerplatonic' as an 'aro term' is misleading and inaccurate. Though 'ace term' wouldn't be accurate either.
If not 'aro ace term' then what? 
Did ANY of those involved identify as '(definitely) not asexual', 'allosexual', 'heterosexual', 'homosexual', 'lesbian', 'gay', 'bisexual', 'pansexual', 'polysexual'. etc?

This whole thing looks like, yet another, example of aro treated as a subset of ace?

 

Do similar issues apply to the likes of 'squish' and 'platonic attraction'?
 

On 3/21/2019 at 1:30 AM, Coyote said:

Not mutually exclusive, but sure. Sounds like a good topic for another post.

Mutually exclusive issues between alloromantic asexuals and aromantic allosexuals are highly likely to occur with the relationship escalator.
 

Quote
  1. Making contact. Flirting, casual/occasional dates, and sex (possibly).
  2. Initiation. Romantic courtship gestures or rituals, emotional investment (“falling in love”), and almost certainly sexual contact (except for religiously or socially conservative people).

With the former being concerned about sexual flirting and contact. Whilst wanting romantic flirting and rituals.
Compared with the latter being concerned about romantic flirting and rituals. Whilst wanting sexual flirting and contact.

 

Whilst parts of the aro ace section of the article might translate to aros this is not the case for all of it.
Intersectionality means aro aces (however they identify) can have a (very) different experience of 'aromanticism' compared with aro allos.

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Interesting topic. I think we talk a bit about it somewhere about wanting or not a QPR. I think that some of our language are a bit amatonormative. When I first discover our vocabulary it sounds like "we don't have romantic feelings but we still can form special bonds with people". The way some people talk about QPR makes me feel as alien than people who talk about romantic relationships.

 

I think that romance is everywhere, so it's difficult to escape it, even when we try.

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13 hours ago, Mark said:

My point remains that to describe 'queerplatonic' as an 'aro term' is misleading and inaccurate.

 

Huh? I agree with you on that. I would never call it that.

 

13 hours ago, Mark said:

If not 'aro ace term' then what? 

 

Does it need to be labeled with a personal identity label? I'd rather use a full sentence, like "This term was coined and popularized by aces, some aro and some not, to be used by anyone who finds use in it."

 

13 hours ago, Mark said:

This whole thing looks like, yet another, example of aro treated as a subset of ace?

 

Why would it be? Sciatrix is wtfromantic and Kaz has a romantic orientation of "divide by cucumber." I am insistent on not treating them as simply "aro" when that doesn't completely reflect their self-stated relationship to (a)romanticism.

 

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On 3/19/2019 at 1:47 PM, Coyote said:

Oh gosh the word "platonic" has always been a mess. Best I can tell, the original use of it (in the 1600s or so) was basically a big "no homo," deliberately ignoring the homoerotic implications of Plato's writings. I can get into this more if people want but it's a bummer.

 

I'd like to know more about this. I've been uncomfortable with many of the terms used in the aro community. Typically I frequent asexual spaces where aromantic conversation seems to center around the "search for a QPP" and issues along the lines of "my spouse is viewing me too romantically, what do I do?" Often when I try to explain the feelings I have for my two closest friends people jump on me saying I obviously have a squish or that I should ask them to be my partner and the very thought of any of that sounds bizarre to say the least. 

 

What I did happen upon about a year or so ago were some things in reference to Plato that in summary were describing how friendship in that time period wasn't viewed as casually as it is today. I'd only seen an excerpt of it (I can't remember the title of the book) but it was a book essentially about same sex relationships throughout history.

 

I only thought about it again because only a few days ago I came across Aristotle's "three types of friendship" being:

- Friendships of utility

- Friendships of pleasure

- Friendships virtue

 

In reading about this I quickly discovered that my two closest friends I definitely think of as "friendships of virtue." I think in general people recognize that these types of friendships are a thing but they're often dismissed because I don't think they're all that common.

 

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25 minutes ago, Galactic Turtle said:

I'd like to know more about this.

 

Aight. Some of it's what I said above to Mark, but to elaborate:

 

One of the writings by Plato I've read is called the Phaedrus dialogue, and it's written in script format as a conversation between the character of Socrates and the character of Phaedrus. First off, the tone of the whole piece is very uhhhh... flirty, between the two dudes (complete with a "is that a scroll under your toga, or are you....?" type of joke). In context this is pretty normal, since pederasty between teachers and students was the expected thing and that's basically the dynamic here. The actual content of their conversation is mainly on the topic of love and, abstractly, who it makes sense to get with (or "extend favors to," that is, bang): the person who's in love with you or the person who's not. They kinda go back and forth on this, but Socrates ends up giving this long poetic speech about how love (eros -- so, romantic-sexual passionate love) is "divine madness," caused by catching a glimpse of True Beauty (where, in context, this is also framed as basically a religious revelation), and that divine insight inspires people to bond and enrich each other and to pursue philosophy together and to soar closer to the Truth and... It is not an aro- or ace-friendly piece.

 

So yeah, on a personal basis I don't like the word "platonic relationship" for friendships or companionate partnerships at all. 

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On 3/23/2019 at 9:52 PM, Galactic Turtle said:

I'd like to know more about this. I've been uncomfortable with many of the terms used in the aro community. Typically I frequent asexual spaces where aromantic conversation seems to center around the "search for a QPP" and issues along the lines of "my spouse is viewing me too romantically, what do I do?" Often when I try to explain the feelings I have for my two closest friends people jump on me saying I obviously have a squish or that I should ask them to be my partner and the very thought of any of that sounds bizarre to say the least. 

I've never really liked terms like 'squish', 'platonic attraction' or 'queer platonic'. As well as wondering if they were terms which made more sense to asexuals. Especially considering that the common colloquial meaning of the term is "without sex".
The term 'lush' makes far more sense, to me, as a 'crush analog'. With terms like 'philia' and 'ludus' being a far better ways to describe attractions I have which are not sexual, sensual or aesthetic.
 

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7 minutes ago, Mark said:

I've never really liked terms like 'squish', 'platonic attraction' or 'queer platonic'. As well as wondering if they were terms which made more sense to asexuals. Especially considering that the common colloquial meaning of the term is "without sex".
The term 'lush' makes far more sense, to me, as a 'crush analog'. With terms like 'philia' and 'ludus' being a far better ways to describe attractions I have which are not sexual, sensual or aesthetic.
 

 

Yeah, I prefer just close friend. Feelings around friendship in modern culture seem to have been dulled down by the concept of "facebook friend" or "twitter follower" or whatever. There's lots of levels to friendship and I'm fine with there only being one word to encompass it all to avoid all the extra terminology that all seem to have romantic equivalents. I just get annoyed by the looks people give me when I say I'm happiest with friends and family only and they just say "why would you just want to have friends?" Like, excuse you, what is so trivial about friendship? Even if it's odd to verbally express affection for one's friends, I am fine keeping it to myself. I believe they feel it in my actions which is enough. 

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2 hours ago, Galactic Turtle said:

Yeah, I prefer just close friend. Feelings around friendship in modern culture seem to have been dulled down by the concept of "facebook friend" or "twitter follower" or whatever. There's lots of levels to friendship and I'm fine with there only being one word to encompass it all to avoid all the extra terminology that all seem to have romantic equivalents. I just get annoyed by the looks people give me when I say I'm happiest with friends and family only and they just say "why would you just want to have friends?" Like, excuse you, what is so trivial about friendship?

Terms like "just friends" and "more than friends" imply some kind of hierarchy in terms terms of relationship types. Which is very much an integral part of amantonormativity and romantic culture.
I can be tempted to use likes of "just romance" at times :) 
In the case of this definition of queerplatonic

Quote

A queerplatonic (or quasiplatonic) relationship is a relationship that is not romantic but involves a close emotional connection (platonic) beyond what most people consider friendship.

There is the same notion of hierarchy.
 

Quote

The commitment level in a queerplatonic relationship is often considered to be similar to that of a romantic relationship.

Why not call it "queerromantic", "quasiromantic" or "pseudoromantic".
Moreover "commitment level" is an attribute which can apply to any type of relationship, independent of type. Those with low (or unbalanced) commitment levels tend not to last long, even romantic ones.

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2 minutes ago, Mark said:

Terms like "just friends" and "more than friends" imply some kind of hierarchy in terms terms of relationship types. Which is very much an integral part of amantonormativity and romantic culture.
I can be tempted to use likes of "just romance" at times :) 
In the case of this definition of queerplatonic. 

There is the same notion of hierarchy.
 

Why not call it "queerromantic", "quasiromantic" or "pseudoromantic".
Moreover "commitment level" is an attribute which can apply to any type of relationship, independent of type. Those with low (or unbalanced) commitment levels tend not to last long, even romantic ones.

 

Yes I agree with all of this! That's probably a big contributing factor to why I find it all so uncomfortable.

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