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HotRamen

How can I make my aro/ace discussion group more friendly to allo aros?

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So I run an aro/ace discussion group within my college’s queer center, and I want it to be a place where allo aros feel welcome too, I don’t think there’s any allo aros in the group currently I don’t know if they just aren’t in the area or if they feel unwelcome, I feel like there’s a pretty good balance between discussions about aromantic things and ace things, we don’t really have conversations about sex/sexual stuff tho because some of the members are sex repulsed, although I’m all for a topic like that, I usually go with what the members who attend want to talk about/ do. In addition to what I wanna talk about, it feels kinda strange to have a conversation about allo aros without them being there, although when we have discussions about aromanticism we don’t conflate it with asexuality, is there anything else I could be doing though?

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I think you could scout the are and see if there are any allo aros who would enjoy attending the group and having those discussions! 

Also have a word with your group, ask them how comfortable they'd be discussing allo aro topics, especially those who are sex repulsed.

 

I think you're doing really well in trying to include everyone and being mindful of their limits, hope it all goes well!

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Make it explicitly clear in your advertising that allo aros are welcome. People are a lot more likely to show up if they're certain that it's an aro group where they're wanted, not just like,  an aroace group where they could potentially sneak in on a technicality.

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I would say you have to mention them in your advertizing. Also, that maybe be just me and I am aro and ace so not concerned, but eveytime I read ao/ace group I read aroace group, and think you have to be both… Maybe a-spec would be better? Just a suggestion. As I say, I'm not all so I could be wrong (Jot-Aro, what do you think about it?).

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I agree with Jot-Aro and Nonmerci. If you explicitly include non-ace aros in the group charter/advertising/whatever, it would go a long way... If you don't explicitly include that concept, **I**, at least, would assume that I'd be tolerated, but not really a full member... 

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5 hours ago, nonmerci said:

I would say you have to mention them in your advertizing. Also, that maybe be just me and I am aro and ace so not concerned, but eveytime I read ao/ace group I read aroace group, and think you have to be both… Maybe a-spec would be better? Just a suggestion. As I say, I'm not all so I could be wrong (Jot-Aro, what do you think about it?).

 

I think it depends. For some people there is that connotation, however there are also some people who don't know what "a-spec" means or dislike the term for some reason, so it really depends on the person. Granted, most people I've heard from who take issue with the term "aspec" are ace and to some extent more involved with the ace community than the aro community, so idk.

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Ya I’ve thought about changing it to a-spec but there are some people in there who don’t know what it is so that term can be inaccessible to some especially if they don’t engage in any a-spec communities online. I haven’t really done much advertising that’s something the queer center does but mostly people find out about it by actually going inside the center, I haven’t made flyers or anything, I do plan on making pamphlets or just using aureas and making a nicer looking aromanticism 101 poster to hang up in the queer center though. 

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1 hour ago, HotRamen said:

Ya I’ve thought about changing it to a-spec but there are some people in there who don’t know what it is so that term can be inaccessible to some especially if they don’t engage in any a-spec communities online. I haven’t really done much advertising that’s something the queer center does but mostly people find out about it by actually going inside the center, I haven’t made flyers or anything, I do plan on making pamphlets or just using aureas and making a nicer looking aromanticism 101 poster to hang up in the queer center though. 

 

Hmm, if people are mostly only finding out about it by asking, that could be an issue in itself. Many allo aros shy away from the wider queer community due to exclusionism/general fears about being seen as Evil Predatory Sex Maniacs Who Don't Care About Anyone, and I can't imagine cishet aros would be going in at all unless they're involved in activism as allies.

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21 hours ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

and I can't imagine cishet aros would be going in at all unless they're involved in activism as allies.

Yeah. I'm cishet and my concerns around engaging in (or being seen to engage in) forms of cultural appropriation would make me quite wary about entering such spaces :/

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On 1/29/2020 at 4:54 AM, HotRamen said:

So I run an aro/ace discussion group within my college’s queer center, and I want it to be a place where allo aros feel welcome too, I don’t think there’s any allo aros in the group currently I don’t know if they just aren’t in the area or if they feel unwelcome, I feel like there’s a pretty good balance between discussions about aromantic things and ace things, we don’t really have conversations about sex/sexual stuff tho because some of the members are sex repulsed, although I’m all for a topic like that, I usually go with what the members who attend want to talk about/ do. In addition to what I wanna talk about, it feels kinda strange to have a conversation about allo aros without them being there, although when we have discussions about aromanticism we don’t conflate it with asexuality, is there anything else I could be doing though?

Do you have conversations about romance/romantic stuff?
If so how do you address that some of your members may be romance repulsed?
 

On 1/29/2020 at 4:54 AM, HotRamen said:

although I’m all for a topic like that, I usually go with what the members who attend want to talk about/ do. In addition to what I wanna talk about, it feels kinda strange to have a conversation about allo aros without them being there, although when we have discussions about aromanticism we don’t conflate it with asexuality, is there anything else I could be doing though?

There's a guide here.
 

On 1/29/2020 at 4:01 PM, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

Make it explicitly clear in your advertising that allo aros are welcome. People are a lot more likely to show up if they're certain that it's an aro group where they're wanted, not just like,  an aroace group where they could potentially sneak in on a technicality.

Including using the likes of  "allo aros" or "aromantics of all sexual orientations" in your publicity.
 

On 1/30/2020 at 1:15 AM, HotRamen said:

Ya I’ve thought about changing it to a-spec but there are some people in there who don’t know what it is so that term can be inaccessible to some especially if they don’t engage in any a-spec communities online.

Some who have engaged with online may have concluded that "a-spec" means "ace".

 

On 1/30/2020 at 1:15 AM, HotRamen said:

I haven’t really done much advertising that’s something the queer center does but mostly people find out about it by actually going inside the center, I haven’t made flyers or anything, I do plan on making pamphlets or just using aureas and making a nicer looking aromanticism 101 poster to hang up in the queer center though. 

The only people likely to see this are those who are visiting said "Queer Center".
Which is going to exclude hetero aros. Likely the largest aro demographic.
(An issue I have with much of the AUREA material is an over focus on QPRs.)

 

On 1/30/2020 at 2:24 AM, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

Many allo aros shy away from the wider queer community due to exclusionism/general fears about being seen as Evil Predatory Sex Maniacs Who Don't Care About Anyone, 

Even without direct exclusionism allo aros could find the wider queer community to be too romantic/matrimanial/couple focused.

(IME this seems especially to be the the case for lesbian aros.)

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On 2/1/2020 at 5:27 AM, Mark said:

Including using the likes of  "allo aros" or "aromantics of all sexual orientations" in your publicity.
 

I like "aromantics of all sexual orientations"

 

On 2/1/2020 at 5:27 AM, Mark said:

Some who have engaged with online may have concluded that "a-spec" means "ace".

 

I interpret "a-spec" as "the asexual spectrum", So, "a-spec" includes gray-asexuality and demisexual, but not allosexual aromantic. 

 

 

I kind of wish that there were two terms: as-spec and ar-spec... Then we could talk about a*-spec.... but that isn't the language we have...

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On 2/3/2020 at 3:06 PM, LBMango said:

I kind of wish that there were two terms: as-spec and ar-spec... Then we could talk about a*-spec.... but that isn't the language we have...

Virtually all "aro language" appears to have been coined by ace-spec people. Thus never considered allo aros.

This is notable in the liberal use of "platonic" to mean "non romantic" rather than "non sexual/physical". (Especially outside of the USA.)

I think this can hinder awareness and advocacy of aromanticism in spaces where allo allos are in the majority. e.g. LGBTQ+, polyamory, BDSM.

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21 hours ago, Mark said:

This is notable in the liberal use of "platonic" to mean "non romantic" rather than "non sexual/physical". (Especially outside of the USA.)

But wasn't it the case well before the ace community? I remember that always thought it meant that, when I was a child, and that I was very confused to discover it doesn't (and just thought what it meant for Plato and what it meant to day are completely different).

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On 2/6/2020 at 8:50 AM, nonmerci said:

But wasn't it the case well before the ace community?

I'd never, previously, come across it meaning other than "non sexual" (or "non physical"). 

 

On 2/6/2020 at 8:50 AM, nonmerci said:

 I remember that always thought it meant that, when I was a child

I'd be interested to know where "platonic" is used to exclusively mean "non romantic", without any implication of it also meaning "non sexual".

Especially if that predates AVEN (2001).

 

On 2/6/2020 at 8:50 AM, nonmerci said:

and that I was very confused to discover it doesn't (and just thought what it meant for Plato and what it meant to day are completely different).

If base things on Plato's writings then romantic relationships are rather "platonic" :)
I suspect that a cause for confusion is that many dictionaries reference Plato. (Interestingly Collins Dictionary gives different definitions for the US.)

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outside of the ace/aro communities, I think romance and sex are conflated, so "platonic" means "not that". 

within the a-communities, it seems (from very little evidence) that "platonic" means "the part that I want, without the part I don't understand".  Which I don't find to be a useful definition personally...

 

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I don't really have an article or what; I think I probably must have heard it in tv show or thing like that where characters were claiming to have a platonic relationship but they had a lot of sexual tension between them. So my childish mind had to interpret that as "sexually attracted but not dating"... even if the characters probably mean both non romantic and sexual and saying they were "friends".

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On 2/1/2020 at 9:27 PM, Mark said:

Do you have conversations about romance/romantic stuff?
If so how do you address that some of your members may be romance repulsed?

I was about to ask/suggest exactly this. Presumably you have mechanisms in the group for accommodating romance-repulsed people, while making space for discussions about romance. You can apply the exact same principles/mechanisms to manage discussions about sex! 

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