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Queasy_Attention

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Posts posted by Queasy_Attention

  1. Well, since I use the term myself, as an aroallo, I guess I'll chip in with my two cents. 

    I don't personally see the term allo as anything more than a neutral identifying word, just like "cisgender." And much like "cisgender", it's used to label something that, for the most part, is a societal given. Usually identity terms exist to label things that deviate from societal norms, such as lesbian, gay, transgender, asexual, aromantic, etc. But there's nothing inherently wrong with having a label for something that is already widely accepted. I'm allosexual and I see nothing wrong with that term. I'm happy to use it because it's an accurate definition of how I experience sexual attraction.

    1 hour ago, El011 said:

    to group gay and bi people with straight people on the basis of sexuality

    Well... in this context, yes- gay, bi, and straight people alike would all be together if they were all allosexual and alloromantic. That's not equating their struggles, it's just a literal fact. If a gay person, a bi person, and a straight person can all feel sexual attraction and can all feel romantic attraction, then they would all be allosexual and alloromantic. I'm just as allosexual as my straight friends. There is nothing wrong with sharing the same label as another group with whom you don't identify.

    1 hour ago, El011 said:

    -in a way that doesn't pretend asexuality or aromanticism are oppressed identities

    I won't pretend that being aromantic (or asexual) comes with the same exact oppression as other queer identities such as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or trans. At the same time, if you grow up asexual or aromantic in a society that, yes, normalizes the idea of alloromanticism and allosexuality, you can definitely experience hardships unique to aromantic and asexual identities. That sounds like a bunch of mumbo jumbo, but what it means is that on the most basic level, society assumes that most or all people experience sexual attraction and experience romantic attraction. So if you grow up with that message, it can be difficult to figure out who you are or what you want. Plenty of asexual folks talk about growing up and forcing themselves to have sex when they don't really want it. Sex is so normalized and advertised that being unable to feel sexual attraction can make people feel broken or wrong. Being aromantic can mean forcing yourself into relationships that you don't really want, unintentionally hurting other people or yourself, or in extreme cases wondering if you can love at all. Love is seen as a fundamental human experience, so being unable to feel it could absolutely cause someone confusion and pain.

    Of course these problems aren't on the same level as having the right to marry denied to you, or the love you experience criminalized. But they are still prevalent problems nonetheless. In a way, I think dismissing the unique problems the ace/aro communities face as not being "oppressed" actually falls into the "us vs. them" mentality. One-upping each other's suffering or saying that one person's hardships are more valid because they are objectively (or subjectively) worse is not a healthy way to view the world.

    1 hour ago, El011 said:

    -in a way that doesn't shame or alienate people for having sex or romantic feelings

    I honestly struggle with this one too. I spend a lot of time in the aro subreddits, and a majority of people that post there are aroace. A lot of them don't differentiate between asexuality and aromanticism, so I see a lot of ace posts that don't really belong in the aro subs. And yes, it feels a little invalidating to see commentary that frames sexual attraction as something negative or, indeed, alien. And at the same time, it probably feels constantly invalidating to see positive depictions of sexuality in almost every piece of media ever produced. The ace/aro spaces online, even if they get mixed up, are (and I say this literally) safe spaces for those of us who don't have anyone else who understands or agrees with our points of view. I try to keep that in mind when I see, say, a post about how shipping characters is cringy or bad, and keeping them friends is actually much better, and why do people always want to see characters bone and yadda yadda ya-- I don't agree with that, and it might feel invalidating to me, but their emotions and opinions are just as valid as mine. I have the whole internet to agree with me, they don't. It's not a black-and-white thing. I agree with you that shaming and alienating people (indirectly or not) for having sex or romantic feelings does wind up with some people feeling invalidated and hurt. I also think that asexual and aromantic folks are likely to be shamed or alienated simply for being who they are. 

    In short, I think it's a bit like being white, or cisgender-- though, as you say, not on the same caliber as race or sexuality. It's a label to describe something that is already societally understood to be normal and correct (though, obviously, "normal" and "correct" do not and should not apply to someone's gender identity, romantic identity, sexuality, race, etc.) These terms can make people upset because usually when we label something, it's to differentiate it from something else that we consider normal- so when people use it to define something like being straight or cis or allosexual, it can sometimes feel like they're labeling those things as "alien" or "different" or "worthy of shame." And sometimes these things are framed like that- whether in a satirical or sincere context. Think "down with cis" or "ugh, straight people" or garlic bread memes. I choose to see those opinions as targets not to individual people who use those labels (like cis, straight, or allosexual), but rather to the societal norms that say anything that deviates from those labels should be seen as lesser. On a very small scale, saying that garlic bread is better than sex is a revolutionary statement, because it rejects the idea that sex is a universally positive thing- because to some people, it isn't. I know the word "revolutionary" feels like overkill here, but on a very basic level that's what it is.

    I'm not really sure how to wrap this up, but I just wanted to chime in with my opinion. It's hard to reconcile the fact that aro/ace struggles don't always feel as important or legitimate as the struggles the rest of the queer community goes through with the fact that they are still real and legitimate struggles. Just because they aren't on the same level as the fight for queer and trans rights doesn't mean that they are invalid problems. They're just different. And as a member of the queer community I feel responsible to see that difference and give it the voice it deserves.

    • Like 6
  2. Ha, same here. I'm definitely not asexual, and I'm also definitely aromantic. A lot of the "symptoms" of sexual attraction and romantic attraction overlap, so sometimes it can be difficult to differentiate what type of attraction you're really feeling. It took me a really long time to realize that while I was attracted to people, I wasn't comfortable with a relationship-- and that's okay!

    I also agree that aces and aros are often lumped together with no distinction. I can see how this is a problem on both sides: us aroallos (aromantic, allosexual) don't like the assumption that we're ace, and I can only assume alloaces (alloromantic, asexual) don't like the assumptoion that they're aro. I think part of the problem is that media puts so much focus on both relationships and sex that aces and aros alike can get overwhelmed. And when we create spaces for ourselves specifically where we can feel free to reject those ideas, it can feel invalidating for someone to come in and say that they like those things. So if an aroace is viewing an aro community and sees a post that mentions sex positively, it might feel invalidating to them. And if an aroace comes to an ace community and sees posts that mention falling in love or relationships in a positive way, it might also feel invalidating. 

    However, it feels invalidating for aroallos and alloaces to see posts condemning sex or relationships in our spaces, if those are things that we have no reason to reject. I see posts in the various aro subreddits that exclusively relate to aces, and I'm sure there are anti-relationship posts in ace spaces that don't necessarily mention sex. 

    It's complicated lol!

    • Like 1
  3. Oh man, that's a hard one. I've felt the same impulse, honestly! I kind of want to tell my two exes that I found out I was aro, but I don't know if it's a good idea (in my case, anyway.) The first relationship ended years ago and we're not really on speaking terms, plus I don't really care what he thinks about me- so I don't feel a particular desire to start opening up to him about this private detail that only, like, 3 other people know about. The other one... we dated for a year, and I was really into them. But I've only now realized that I was feeling really intense platonic attraction. Our relationship felt really special because making friends has always been hard for me. We're also not on speaking terms, and they live halfway across the country, so... I have other, more important people with whom I want to share my identity. Those people are out of my life now, and I'm ok with that. I think I'm just gonna try to be true to myself from this point onward.

    I also love romance in media! There's tons of other stuff I love reading about that I don't like in real life. I love the character trope of "asshole on the outside but heart of gold on the inside" with a dash of "only character flaw is that he hates himself", but those people are GODAWFUL irl. I like scifi but I would NEVER go to space. I love regency stuff but I'd never want to live in that time period. And I love me some well written romance, though I don't want a relationship for myself. It's all good!!

    Anyway, welcome to the forum!! Hope to catch you around :)

  4. 4 hours ago, nonmerci said:

    But to take the example of @Queasy_Attention with colors, there is yellow, green, blue, etc, on a spectrum. And there is a lot of different blue. Some are even close to green. But at the end of the day, they still share some thing in common : they are all blue. That's the same things with allo people. They may be all different, not feel attraction in the same way, and that's ok because we never say they did. It doesn't change the fact that they are all allo in the end.

    I think this is really interesting! It's like a spectrum between being totally aro or totally allo- if you fall somewhere on the spectrum, then you're free to describe yourself as part of either category. I just think colloquially, "not allo" identities (aka greyromantic, frayromantic, cupioromantic, demiromantic, aromantic, etc) are collected together because the fact that they are not the "norm" (alloromantic) is significant in a society that doesn't enthusiastically acknowledge the existence of anything but the norm.

    But that's just the way I've understood it! Of course individuals are free to identify themselves in whatever way makes them the most comfortable!

    • Like 2
  5. 1 hour ago, El011 said:

    What is 100% allo? And how are most people expected to feel that way?

    I don't know if it needs to be said, but obviously I don't agree that one way of experiencing romantic/sexual attraction is "correct."

    "100% allo" in my eyes would be the societally "acceptable way" of experiencing attraction, as in completely. As in, the way nearly all (American, at least) media depicts attraction. Romantic attraction is widely considered an inherent human trait, we are all "expected" to feel it, etc etc. Asexuality is becoming more of a mainstream idea, but there is still an underlying societal assumption that everyone experiences sexual attraction. Obviously, both of these attractions are felt on a spectrum, and labeling one side of the spectrum as "normal" is not a helpful way of looking at things-- and it is also the way that the world looks at things. "Normal" (or, until very recently, "correct") means allosexual/alloromantic.

    You can see how most people are expected to feel that way by pretty much every step of the way. Baby onesies say things like "watch out, I'm already breaking hearts" or "hey baby, your crib or mine?" Books written for preteens and teens often throw in romantic subplots because they believe it to be an excellent marketing tool for their demographic. So, so, so many books/movies/shows that are written about high-schoolers practically revolve around relationships and/or sex. Questions like "when are you going to find a boyfriend", "when do you want to get married", and "who do you like"  are constantly prevalent from the moment you emerge from puberty. The entire concept of virginity! Society is built to support an allosexual, alloromantic world.

    Being allosexual or alloromantic is obviously not a bad thing. But the narrative that the "norm" is to be so can be hurtful. I'm allosexual and I can still understand that it's a very sex-centered world. I feel for my ace friends; it can't be easy to realize that you don't relate to what feels like a central part of the human experience. It's similar to realize you're aromantic.

    • Like 4
  6. Well the "norm" is being 100% allo. I'd say that If you don't experience sexual attraction or romantic attraction in the same way that most people are expected to (aka "normally", aka completely), then you are different from that normal and therefore belong in a different category: namely, under the asexual or aromantic umbrellas.

    ^Obviously "normal" doesn't exist and everything's a spectrum etc etc etc, but the way I see it is like, I dunno, a color spectrum. If the whole world was "supposed to be" blue, and some people were green or shades of teal, you would categorize the green and teal people together as "different from blue", since blue is the cultural norm and green and teal are both deviations from that norm. Green and teal are obviously different from one another, but the more important distinction is that they are both "not blue". 

    • Like 2
  7. On 10/18/2020 at 8:03 PM, roboticanary said:

    (honestly if i was honest i would just list every Pratchett book and let this comment stretch for miles)

    I've been trying to get into Pratchett, but I have no idea where to start-- it seems like all his books are sort of one-off stories set in the same universe. Which of his books do you think could serve as a good intro to that universe?

  8. On 11/24/2020 at 4:37 AM, birbsRus said:

    I’m a pretty big shipper, and I love romance! (Or at least, the idea of it?) I find it incredibly sweet - the thought of finding someone that complements you, having a partner you can rely on and care for (and vice versa). Domestic romance fiction? Yummmm. Slow burn passionate enemies/friends to lovers?? Yessssss!! It’s all just. Great. Although this usually just applies to fanfiction; sometimes when a tv show wastes ages on a romance subplot I get annoyed because I feel like it’s unnecessary and forced when they could be happily friends without all this drama?? 

    Yep yep yep! All of this, yep! I've been shipping for years, I love sappy romance novels, I love recycled fanfic tropes. And I also feel you so hard on TV romance subplots, god, they're so boring!! Just make these characters friends!! I think for a relationship to work for me, it has to appeal to the types of attraction that I do experience: sexual and platonic. If the platonic attraction is interesting (they have an unlikely friendship, they fit really well together-- or they don't fit really well together and it's intentional) and/or the sexual attraction is interesting (the characters have chemistry, or sexuality is a prominent plot point (aka forbidden gays) then I'm all for it! Otherwise it falls a bit flat for me. 

    On 11/24/2020 at 4:37 AM, birbsRus said:

    But at the same time I love the idea of having a partner that I can just. vibe with??? I don’t care about having some ~romantic spark~, I just want someone I can watch tv series on the couch with and cuddle, ramble about our interests together, talk about actual feelings with??!?

    Aaaah yes!! Give me a good snuggle buddy!! IMO, casual platonic touching and intimate conversations should be much more mainstream with platonic friendships, but especially in America those things are pretty much exclusively tied to romantic relationships or non-platonic/sexual relationships. I think it's perfectly natural for people to want these things, and I also think that the desire for physical touch and intimacy is not always inherently romantic. 

    On 11/24/2020 at 4:37 AM, birbsRus said:

    a lotttt of aros seem to not like physical affection, or they cannot understand (or enjoy) romance at all, they hate PDA, they don’t notice romantic tension, etc., and it’s all just the complete opposite of me

    Tbh it's a mixed bag for me. I love physical affection (I'm not ace, and my sexual identity has nothing to do with my romantic identity lol). And while I don't "get" romance, I still enjoy it a lot in my media-- though my tastes are perhaps a bit more picky than other people's. I notice romantic tension... sometimes? I'm pretty bad at it- but I honestly don't attribute that to my aromanticism, I think that's just me. Idk, I think these things are less like a checklist of rules for being aromantic, and more like a list of possible signs/symptoms. Not all aros are the same, and not all of us like/dislike the same things- just like most other groups of people. We're diverse! There are even aros who want and will willingly enter romantic relationships! (I believe the term is cupioromantic) (and sidenote, these relationships are perfectly fine and healthy if there is enough communication involved. Think of it like a sex-neutral or sex-positive ace: while they don't feel sexual attraction, they might be willing to have sex for the sake of their partner. An aro might be willing to enter a relationship with a close friend even though they don't feel true romantic attraction.) I think you could definitely still be aro- though you don't have to be, obviously. It took me a few months before I was confident enough to say I was.

    The important thing to remember is that at its core, your romantic identity is about how you, personally, experience/don't experience romantic attraction. It can affect, but is not defined by, the way you view romance in your media, the types of relationships and social activities that you want, etc etc. Being aromantic is not about hating romance, it's not about being uncomfortable by romance, and it's not always about not wanting a romantic relationship, believe it or not. It's about whether or not you experience romantic attraction. And no one else, not even the most experienced aromantic out there, is going to know exactly how you feel: only you can know that.

    It might take some time to figure out exactly what you do feel (or what you don't), so I encourage you to do some deep thinking about this stuff! What kind of a relationship do you want? What would make you comfortable? What would make you uncomfortable? When you feel attraction (whatever kind it is) towards someone, is it guided by the desire to be in a relationship? Or is it guided by the desire to be close friends, or to be sexually intimate with that person, real or fictional?

    Anyway, hope this wall of text had at least a couple points that could help you! If you're looking for any other labels, here's a good resource for you! Specifically, here is a list of identities, and here's a list of relationship terms. You might not fit any of them perfectly, but it's a good jumping off point if you're feeling stuck. And in any case, welcome to the forums!! Hope to catch you around :)

  9. 22 hours ago, Rony said:

    the very first aro character I created to my story was an allosexual aromantic man.

    Yoooo 😭😭😭 I wrote aroallo dudes all the time-- I thought I was being so clever, subverting tropes. See, see, instead of having the normal personality trait of being all nervous about sex and needing to go slow with someone they trust, I'd do it backwards-- my characters would be totally comfortable w/sex, but then the moment actual dating came up they'd get all uncomfortable and have to go slow. TURNS OUT THEYRE JUST ARO LOL WHO KNEW

  10. 40 minutes ago, Elle28 said:

    I do not find that my interest in romantic media has changed since realizing I'm aromantic. Actually, I think I find myself searching for it more because I just really enjoy the idea of it

    Interesting! I think I'm a bit the opposite. Part of why I liked reading romance before was that I couldn't quite pin down why I liked some romances better than others. When one hit, it was really exciting because it was unexpected. Now, I know what I like and what I don't, so I know how to look for it better but it doesn't surprise me anymore. 

    41 minutes ago, Elle28 said:

    Lots of reading/show watching has been done over quarantine since there really isn't anything else to do lol.

    Holy shit, cheers to that. I burned through so many old YA books the week before election week-- and during election week, too. Twilight, Percy Jackson, Beastly (which was that good kind of awful, I highly recommend it), Warriors, etc. It's a good escape, though I will say that rereading the first Hunger Games book was a little depressing.

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