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Sexual orientation as related to romantic orientation


Sexual orientation as related to romantic orientation  

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The thing is : I usually use "aro" for me. Just that. The farthest i will go is "aro allo". My sexual orientation is vague... and i could not give you a clear label (like bi, pan, "attracted to feminine" , etc...) but somehow i feel like this is tied to my aromantism so ?‍♂️

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1. Once I found out not all people like women (I'm a ciswoman) and just decide to be with men because pregnancy I found I was bi and never questioned. I had times when I dated more women or more men but that was usually because of all the hate I got from lgbtq+ community for being bi, or having had bad experience with men

2. In secondary school (14yo) I thought I loved a guy I was in relationship with. It started being fwb and he pushed on relationship because he was a possessive piece of shit. In the end I realised I kept getting addicted to people who show me any kind of attention and hug me.

Then I dated a woman and I never thought about it, it was just sex for me as we didn't even know each other. We broke up because she thought I was using her.

And finally being 22 I realised you can get sex and hugs without romantic  relationships and I settled for aro label, which I was never sure about because what if I fall in love with a good friend one day?

3. Completely separate. I'm a highly sexual person and love hugging, which is sexual for me.

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  • 2 months later...

I have questioned both my romantic and sexual orientation separately for years. Wow this is going to be very long.

I've always had a really strong aesthetic attraction, but it isn't tied to any other orientation. There's just this loose, vivid aesthetic attraction that makes me appreciate visual beauty, but it doesn't form into anything else. It doesn't make me want to pursue people, it doesn't make me want to get close to them at all. I just like visuals, I'm a visual person.

So I remember finding people pretty in my teens, and I remember that it was usually aimed at women and feminine people. I was way more picky with men and masculine people, and often preferred them more feminine. 

This paired with me developing a "crush" for one of my female internet friends, led me to believe that my orientation was aimed at women. Mind you, at this point I had absolutely no knowledge of the existence of the split attraction model or non-binary gender for that matter. I was however open to idea of liking men, but I wasn't sure, because that feeling I felt for my friend, I had never felt for any man before. 

This feeling, I wrongfully believed to be romantic, because that's all I knew. I thought, people can either be friends, and when they fall in love with each other, they get into a romantic relationship. I always viewed sex separately, I knew you could have sex without love, but at that time I did think that all people in romantic relationships would eventually have sex. So I guess I didn't realize that one could feel sexual attraction, I just thought it was something people do either because they love each other, or just because they want to have sex.

I got introduced to the term aromanticism fairly early. It resonated with me, because I always hated romantic movies, and was (still am) repulsed by how romance is portrayed in media. However, I knew I could feel intimate feelings for people, and I desired intimate relationships, so I quickly ruled out the option of being aromantic, and just thought that I wasn't a super romantic person instead.   

I unconsciously knew that I didn't actually want to be nor feel intimate with the kind of people I like aesthetically, but still I couldn't actually grasp this concept.

Somewhere along the course of time I learned about the prefixes pan- and demi-, also I noticed that people were referring to their orientations as 'sexualities', so I thought that one's romantic orientation was their sexuality, still utterly oblivious to the split attraction model. Also still utterly unaware that the thing I was feeling wasn't even romantic. 

At this point I still hadn't felt intimate feelings for a man. But still the demi- and pan- labels resonated with me in the sense that I needed an emotional bond, and didn't really care about gender. I knew I was attracted to people's personalities, despite simultaneously having really strong aesthetic attraction. At this point, I really should've put two and two together, but alas. 

So far, I have had no physically intimate relationships, and basically no desire for them. All my relationships were online, and I'd only ever felt intimate feelings for this one friend. I knew other people were more preoccupied with dating and such, but I just thought again "I wasn't a very romantic person". 

Later I did end up developing feelings for a guy. It felt similar as what I felt for that girl years back. So now I had confirmation gender didn't matter to me. I'm pretty sure I identified as pansexual at this point. It felt accurate, I could develop intimate feelings for any gender, and I aesthetically liked any gender, it made sense for it to be my sexuality, right? 

I'm really not sure at what point it started clicking for me that sexual attraction was separate, and for awhile I also just kind of gave up at trying to understand my orientation. When I finally did get introduced to asexuality, it didn't resonate with me like aromanticism did. Because, despite not having had much sexual desire at all, I did have sexual fantasies, and had some sexual interest in the people I had intimate feelings for. Although, I'd never actually had sex, and I had trouble envision myself actually having sex. So at the least I was demisexual, I thought.

Now, being pan didn't really feel right anymore. Because I knew I visually liked all genders, but couldn't really imagine myself having sex with any person, but I also wasn't asexual? I kinda gave up again.

At some point I got introduced to the split attraction model, of sexual and romantic feelings being different, and can be split for some people. After asking advice, many people told me I'm supposed to identify as demisexual and panromantic, but it just did not feel right! I had a hunch that it was something else that I was feeling, cause romantic just didn't sit right. Previously I'd lumped all attractions into my 'sexuality', but having my supposedly romantic orientation highlighted like this, just made me want to tear my skin off.

I think I just started identifying as queer at some point, because it was all too confusing. 

Started questioning being ace again, after realizing I really just had no desire for sex like in real life at all? Well, sometimes I kinda flux on the idea, but generally just don't want it. So I tried to look up more information about asexuality, and join communities. After having conversations on an ace discord, I had a better grasping of splitting my sexual and romantic feelings. But I still didn't realize that I felt no romantic feelings. I still mistook my intimate feelings as romantic. However I did finally realize that my demi orientation applied to my intimate feelings, and not my sexuality. 

It all clicked when I finally found out the full split attraction model. Not only could sexual and romantic attraction be separate, but there wasn't just those! When I saw the term queerplatonic, I knew this is what I had been feeling all along. It didn't take long for to finally piece together, I'm aro after all. I just want a close emotional friendship and be life partners, not a romantic relationship with r o m a n c e. So yea I'm demi and pan queerplatonic. That took a whooping decade. 

Now my actual sexuality had to be sorted out? I started to realize that I never actually like to include myself in sexual fantasy, so this one was a lot easier, after splitting my intimate  queerplatonic feelings and non-existent romantic feelings from my sexual feelings, I could finally understand that I am aegosexual. I don't want to personally be involved with sexual acts, but I do enjoy sexual acts in thought. When I'd have sexual thought about people I found attractive, or people I had intimate feelings for in the past, I would always make myself look not like myself, or completely remove myself all together and insert a different person(s) instead. I didn't really know I was doing this cause I guess I didn't grasp the concept of using your real life self in sexual fantasy because that seemed unnecessary to me.

Lmao idk what else to include.

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  • 2 years later...

thanks for bringing this thread up :D

1. I'd say I went through multiple periods of questioning, but I never seriously considered to have another sexuality. Like, it always felt wrong. But I thought about heterosexual, lesbian, bisexual, gay (yeah, I guess this was an early signs of not-being-cis) 

(after I discovered that I'm able to feel strong sensual attraction i started to rethink if there would be another label to suit me and for a time I thought about pansensual which changed more into bisensual by now but actually I'm fine with not labelling it or just labelling it as queer)


cn aro-erasure
2. yeah. Totally. I used to think I discovered being asexual first but actually this only happened bc I thought about being aromantic (even if I didn't know so back then). like, I didn't google "why don't I feel sexual attraction", I did google "why can't I fall in love". I think it shows a lot how much aromanticism and asexuality are unnecessary connected and how much we have to work on to make clear they are separate that I discovered the term asexual before the term aromantic even if I was searching about FALLING IN LOVE. actually, it sucks!

for me it worked since I am both, aro and ace, but sometimes I ask myself how long it would have taken me to discover what aromanticism is when I was allosexual. 
as it's a few years since I googled that stuff it may be that it changed a bit and I REALLY HOPE it did and that persons who google "can't fall in love" find out about aromanticism before they find out about asexuality.



when I discovered I am aroace I used to see it as one, but this changed a lot. also, I always felt like my asexuality would be connected to my aromanticism while I never felt my aromanticism would be connected to my asexuality. weird

Now I say: My romantic and my sexual attraction are separate. Totally.

Edited by Acecream
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1. I have been flipflopping from lesbian and bi and everything in between (and I mean EVERYTHING) basically since I first realized I was queer, through realizing I was aro. I've gone through periods where I'm pretty confident about one or the other, but I always end up questioning again the end

2. Like.... maybe? I definitely discovered that my sexuality was queer because of my aromanticism, but other than that I don't think they've really interacted

3. Definitely separate. They really don't interact much, to me I'm aromantic, and I'm also ????likesgirls????????. Those two parts of my identity are completely separate

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Seeing as I no longer identify as demirose, I'm gonna re-answer these.

1. It took years to finally settle on asexual/grey-asexual/lithsexual. I used to think sex was something I wanted. Being lithsexual, there certainly are times it sounds appealing. But I prefer the fantasy rather than the reality, despite never having experienced the reality.

2. Not really.

3. I guess I see it as "two parts of one identity" in a way. Aroace is a label I do claim for myself.

8 hours ago, AromanticAardvark said:

1. I have been flipflopping from lesbian and bi and everything in between

Oh damn, same. I currently identify as lesbian, but I used to identify as bi. And maybe you could argue that since I once had some kinda romantic thing for a man at one point in my early life, that I am bi. I prefer "homo-flexible" over "bi", but that's under the bi umbrella too.

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16 hours ago, AromanticAardvark said:

I have been flipflopping from lesbian and bi and everything in between (and I mean EVERYTHING) 

sorry, i hope it's okay to ask😅 what do you mean with "everything in between"? other m-spec labels?

Edited by Acecream
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2 hours ago, Acecream said:

sorry, i hope it's okay to ask😅 what do you mean with "everything in between"? other m-spec labels?

Yep exactly! I identified as gynephilic (being attracted to femininity as a concept, so for example feminine dudes, feminine-looking genderqueer people, feminine girls... just feminine people really) for a while, then unlabeled for a while, pan, omni for a little bit I think, all around the m-spec!

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  • 2 weeks later...

1. Always knew I liked guys, questioned if I was bi for most of my life. Only thing that kept me from saying I was bi was the fact that I didn't find the idea of being in a romantic relationship with women appealing. Despite learning about aromanticism sometime around 20, I didn't think to question if I was romantically attracted to guys until I was 26. Realized it felt the same as my feelings toward being in a romantic relationship with women.

2. Yeah, If I hadn't realized I was aromantic I probably would still be questioning if I was Bi. It was like everything clicked into place when I realized it.

3. Not sure. I don't feel like being bi and aro are particularly related for me, but it's important to me / my identity that I'm recognized as both bisexual and aromantic.


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