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Greeley

playing with labels

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This is more of just a post to get my thoughts out, but if anyone else has something to add then obviously that's fine too.

I've identified as aroace for several years now, but honestly at this point, I don’t even know if I want to call myself ace. Like, I am, practically speaking, but at the same time it really hasn’t been a part of my /identity/ for a long while now, not really. And don’t get me wrong, I really appreciate how much that identity label has done for me, but also I don’t feel at home in it or the surrounding community as much, even though I still don’t expereinece sexual attraction and highly highly doubt I ever will. I've also realized that I’ve been gradually shifting my involvement in the aspec community out of ace spaces, and even out of aroace spaces to a degree, into more fully aromantic ones. On insta, I mostly follow aro specific accounts, same goes for Tumblr, and there’s a reason that I have an account on arocalypse and not on AVEN- I just don’t really connect with the community anymore. I think in large part this is due to how much more my aromanticism affects me on a daily basis, how much bigger an influence it has on my experience of the world and how I fit in to it, more than my asexuality ever has. Partially, of course, this is also due to the issues I've seen within the (online) asexual community, the transphobia and arophobia in particular were hard to deal with as someone who is both trans and aro, but just the general toxicity that becomes hard to ignore at a point. And I really don’t mean this as shade on the ace community, these are just things that I haver personally experienced in my years being involved in it. So I think I’ll just be calling myself aromantic, for a while at least, to see how it feels. Maybe I’ll play around with labels like non-SAM aromantic or archaro and the like, but for now, im just aromantic. Maybe I can just call myself a very sex and romance repulsed aromantic. No need to really define sexual orientation. I’m aromantic. I happen to also be sex repulsed. I do not call myself ace, and that is alright, at least for now.

Edited by Greeley
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I can totally understand! I've identified as Aro/Ace for two years but the discourse surrounding the ace community is hard to take in. I wish you luck on your label journey and just want you to know you are 100% valid

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I also understand completely!

You basically describe why I consider myself ace (as I don't feel sexual attraction) but not part of the ace community (because I don't care and don't really relate to it). I hope you will enjoy being "just" aromantic! If it makes you feel better, this is good.

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I wasn't interested in asexuality when I first found out about it because it was quite soon around the time of me experiencing sexual attraction, flash forward a decade or so and I rediscover asexuality yet I still didn't think it fit me because I had those experiences, plus the ace community was pushing the 'aces can love' line, which was in line with all the gay marriage support slogans that were EVERYWHERE. Apocalypse was a real escape from that. Then some instances of gatekeeping and general disrespectful behaviour on ace platforms had me quite alienated. I just hung around until I could find myself an ace-adjacent microlabel that I liked. Then I fully dropped ace spaces and never looked back. I don't even really use my sexuality label, once I found something I basically got bored with it and now I seem to be basically ace anyway. 

Personally I think SAM is useful as a basic tool rather than an actual descriptor. I found it useful to separate out my attractions but when you say 'I'm a SAM aroace' or a 'non-SAM aro' really very few people will understand, especially not if you expect them to understand your exact meaning/understanding of it. 

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Thanks for sharing. I'm curious what makes people identify more with their aromantic side than asexual and vice versa. Aside from being met with disrespect from some of the community like you were @Greeley
I guess that if I went on Aven I would find several aro ace that states their asexual identity is more important to them.

Personally I also don't really feel Ace. Even though I've not had sex for nearly a decade now and don't miss it. I think it's because I still feel sexual feelings sometimes. And I'm also positive to sex, I like seeing sex on tv and movies. So I suppose I feel very different from aces who find sex gross.

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9 hours ago, Holmbo said:

Thanks for sharing. I'm curious what makes people identify more with their aromantic side than asexual and vice versa.

Personally, I just don't care about the ace part. My reaction when I read the definition of asexuality was "wait, this is just that? then I am!", and after a few reasearches it was just "yeah, whatever". On the contrary, being aro leads to more questioning and denial at first. I think it's link of how I view sex and romance. For me, sex is just an activity, and if I don't do it, I don't care. But I see romance more as a way of life : it implies to live together, to make plan together, etc. So I see the lack of attraction for that has more impact in my life than the lack of sexual attraction. I suppose allo aros and allo aces don't think like that because society link sex to romance anyway, and if I lived in a society where I was expecting to have sex while not in couple, I would probably think differently too. Also, I know that their are aro aces for who this is as or more important than romantic attraction for them. Because you still have the pressure of society to feel sexual attraction, that some people talk about it all the time... And I'm not saying it has no impact on my life neither. But if I compare to what aromanticism is for me, well, asexuality is less important.

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Even if a label technically describes you, you shouldn't feel pressure to actively use it, and it's okay to prioritize other labels. Especially when it comes to discourse, I understand that it may feel tiring to constantly see debates about your identity. But whatever your reasoning is, it's okay. Not everyone has the same relationship with their asexuality or aromantism. 

I am arospec and non-binary, but I don't feel a strong connection to those labels and choose to use them because I know they accurately describe my feelings and experience. And I choose to post on this forum just because I enjoy being around like-minded people, but I don't engage with the LGBT+ community aside from it. 

(ah, sorry for using the word 'label' so much)

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For me, my pansexuality is far less important than my aromanticism for the same reasons that @nonmerci described. Being pansexual doesn't really impact my life as much as being aro. Having sex is just another activity for me, but who I want to spend more than a day with is far more important. Also, more on the topic, I like to use my label of aromantic because it holds more weight for me than my sexuality. Being aromantic makes me choose more things than being pansexual, like how I speak around people I barely know, cuz then they can think I am flirting, which is annoying.

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On 5/30/2020 at 1:14 AM, Kallie said:

choose to use them because I know they accurately describe my feelings and experience.

this is exactly why I felt so driven to find a microlabel. I wanted to find something that accurately described my experience so that I would have that label as a shortcut word to throw at people if they started making assumptions about my sexuality because I am aro. I don't want to tell every random person about my experiences, but having a label as a shorthand version of that was a very attractive option. Too bad almost no one knowns what that label means, but then it is not something they can make random assumptions about because I identified with it so random internet definitions are good enough to give them an idea. 

TL;DR: I found myself a microlabel because people shouldn't assume I'm ace or allosexual because I don't identify with either of those experiences

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