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Lokiana

being aro and bi

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so my boyfriend is writing a book and i have convinced him to write in one of the characters as explicitly aro and bi (she was kind of headed in that direction, but to make it official)

he's amazing and wants a lot of my input on it, because he and i are both bi, so it's really easy for him to write from that perspective, but wants to make sure he captures the aro part as well.

anyone have specific thoughts on how your aroness affects your bi-ness and vice versa?

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I'd definitely say that in writing, you need to have the character show that they aren't interested in a relationship, but instead, are attracted to people. Maybe have them get really close to someone and when the other wants to date have them shy away, or have inner thoughts avoid thinking about spending time with someone (romantically) and instead more sexually/platonically.

Disclaimer: I've never felt attraction of any kind, I've only had it relayed to me, so you might be able to be better at the bi side of things 

Hope this helps!

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2 hours ago, Trebela Fortissimo said:

I'd definitely say that in writing, you need to have the character show that they aren't interested in a relationship, but instead, are attracted to people. Maybe have them get really close to someone and when the other wants to date have them shy away, or have inner thoughts avoid thinking about spending time with someone (romantically) and instead more sexually/platonically.

Disclaimer: I've never felt attraction of any kind, I've only had it relayed to me, so you might be able to be better at the bi side of things 

Hope this helps!

...With all due respect, I would... Possibly avoid trying to give advice on how to write bi aros if you've never felt attraction. I know you mean well, but I would say that's not really accurate to the experience. That being said, here are some ways my bisexuality and my aromanticism affect each other:

-Because I don't experience romantic attraction, I often struggle to relate to other bi folks, and avoid larger LGBTQ events or resources unless they make it very, explicitly clear that they're welcoming to aros, which few do. However, because I do experience sexual attraction, I often feel disconnected from the aro community as well, as there is a large emphasis on aroaces + lack of attraciton in general. Still, there's a lot I do relate to in both communities, and both are important aspects of my identity.
-Weirdly enough, I find I'm actually more selective about personality when it comes to interest in folks? Like... I've noticed that alloromantic folks tend to develop crushes and then just kind of, go with it even if the person isn't terribly compatible with them, for some reason. With me I'm like, yeah he's hot, but his taste in anime? Horrible. 0/10 would not bang
-I tend to be affected very negatively by the intersection of aro and bi stereotypes. "Heartless, manipulative player who doesn't care about anyone and uses people for sex" is a stereotype that's very commonly associated with both bisexuals and aromantics, and pushback against these stereotypes from both communities can, unfortunately, often result in throwing actual bi aros under the bus. It's very easy to feel like you're a traitor to your orientation by just being yourself, which can be hard to deal with.
-Despite the stereotype that allo aros have lots of sex, and the stereotype that bis have "more to choose from" or whatever, for a lot of allo aros it's actually very difficult to access sex. If you're romance repulsed, not the sort of person who likes parties or bars, and don't use hookup apps, there's really very little opportunity for sexual encounters, and a lot of allo aros have never had sex at all even at ages when most other allosexual folks would have. Many allo aros also are extremely selective about who they hook up with, for fear of the possibility of their partner """""catching feelings""""" and then blaming them for not reciprocating- Even when a relationship is explicitly agreed to be only sexual, not romantic, there's still sort of a societal expectation that if one party changes their mind, the other party has some obligation to accept this.
-Sexual attraction to men and women can feel different, and some bi folks may be attracted to one gender more than the other. Without romantic attraction, aesthetics may play a larger role- And I don't mean if someone's "ugly" or "hot", I literally mean aesthetics. I tend to be attracted more to women because women are generally more creative in how they express themselves aesthetically, whereas dudes in general kind of fluctuate between "t-shirt and jeans" and "blazer and button-up" which is a pretty boring range of looks, and I'm just too dramatic for that. I don't care what your face looks like but if you have the same haircut as 70 other guys at my school I'm probably not all that interested, hon
-The constant struggle between bi purple and aro green vs. the knowledge that people see purple and green paired in a pride context and assume it means aroace...
-Fictional characters are often more attractive than real people, because there's just so much less trouble involved. A cute girl might fall in love with me, or ditch me for a romantic partner, but Mai Valentine and her hot motorcycle have never and will never do me wrong 🤝
-When you're young it can be easy to mistake sexual attraction for romantic attraction, or to start dating someone because you feel like it's what you're "supposed" to do. This can lead to a lot of discomfort if romance repulsion arises, and, eventually, possibly messy breakups. There may be a long period of time between realizing you don't love someone and actually breaking up with them, either due to fear of negative consequences for not doing the "socially correct" thing by having a partner, or due to hope that you might develop romantic feelings eventually.

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Trying to add to this from a slightly different, but still aro and bi perspective:

- in my case, I already was attending monthly meet-ups for a bi group when I figured out I was aro, and knew the group's generally rather determined to be welcoming - also to ace(-spec), trans and enby folk. So I just kept attending those meetings, as well. I am currently default-aro-person there. Also Unofficial Hugger. One day, I'm going to figure out how to talk about this intersection to this group. They're interested in listening. I am also the default alloaro person in the ace aro group where I attend meet-ups. So... uh... I get a lot of Default Person With This Intersection?

 

12 hours ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

-I tend to be affected very negatively by the intersection of aro and bi stereotypes. "Heartless, manipulative player who doesn't care about anyone and uses people for sex" is a stereotype that's very commonly associated with both bisexuals and aromantics, and pushback against these stereotypes from both communities can, unfortunately, often result in throwing actual bi aros under the bus. It's very easy to feel like you're a traitor to your orientation by just being yourself, which can be hard to deal with.

- the bi group whose meetings I attend has Opinions about slut-shaming and a lot of poly folks attending, including most of the orga team, as well as me loudly complaining about this intersection of stereotypes, which - helps against me being affected, a lot of the time, but sometimes, this is still something I also feel.

 

12 hours ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

-Despite the stereotype that allo aros have lots of sex, and the stereotype that bis have "more to choose from" or whatever, for a lot of allo aros it's actually very difficult to access sex. If you're romance repulsed, not the sort of person who likes parties or bars, and don't use hookup apps, there's really very little opportunity for sexual encounters, and a lot of allo aros have never had sex at all even at ages when most other allosexual folks would have. Many allo aros also are extremely selective about who they hook up with, for fear of the possibility of their partner """""catching feelings""""" and then blaming them for not reciprocating- Even when a relationship is explicitly agreed to be only sexual, not romantic, there's still sort of a societal expectation that if one party changes their mind, the other party has some obligation to accept this.

Seconded. The thought of someone else liking me romantically and getting blamed for not reciprocating when all I wanted was to be friends quite literally can make me shiver in fear, not even because of romance repulsion, but simply because I get attached and losing people over something like that is a horrible thought. I also don't deal well with noise and the thought of being vulnerable to a stranger is nightmare-inducing. Although those are issues that come from stuff that has nothing to do with either my sexuality or romantic orientation or me being trans. Although me being trans probably makes casual sex even more of a potential nightmare-I-won't-bother-with.

- My bi-ness often doesn't seem to... affect my day-to-day life because while the attraction is there, it's not something I really feel comfy acting upon, most of the time? Which might or might not change. That said, it's still an important part of myself.

 

12 hours ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

-Sexual attraction to men and women can feel different, and some bi folks may be attracted to one gender more than the other. Without romantic attraction, aesthetics may play a larger role- And I don't mean if someone's "ugly" or "hot", I literally mean aesthetics. I tend to be attracted more to women because women are generally more creative in how they express themselves aesthetically, whereas dudes in general kind of fluctuate between "t-shirt and jeans" and "blazer and button-up" which is a pretty boring range of looks, and I'm just too dramatic for that. I don't care what your face looks like but if you have the same haircut as 70 other guys at my school I'm probably not all that interested, hon

I have barely more than no knowledge of aesthetics and also - well, I strongly suspect that if I feel any aesthetic attraction towards humans (I can confirm I find soap bubbles really interesting to stare at, as well as falling snow and dust), then it's much, much less connected to my vision than to my hearing. So - aesthetics don't play a large role for me. (I also can't see more than blurs when something's more than ten cm from my face if I'm not wearing glasses, and tend to use my ears to navigate situations at least as much if not more than sight, so. I have no idea how much that plays into this.)

 

12 hours ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

-Fictional characters are often more attractive than real people, because there's just so much less trouble involved. A cute girl might fall in love with me, or ditch me for a romantic partner, but Mai Valentine and her hot motorcycle have never and will never do me wrong 🤝

- I do not get attraction towards fictional characters at all and never have. I also have never understood people being long-term attracted to celebrities instead of occasional flashes of attraction. The closest I've come was someone with a really, really hot singing voice, alternatively long-term "I want to read everything this person has written. Ever." (which is probably a very different sort of attraction if that's the right word, even.) It's just. I don't feel this and it feels fake, but other people say they're experiencing this so often I'm just going to assume it exists? 

 

13 hours ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

-The constant struggle between bi purple and aro green vs. the knowledge that people see purple and green paired in a pride context and assume it means aroace...

- I just run around with ALL THE BUTTONS in a pride context. All the flag buttons for everything that describes me and also some more self-made ones and a few extras for good measure. (I like buttons.)

That said, I was wearing 30+ on a single shirt, so. This is kind of only an option if you're willing to clink a bit? Is the character in question willing to clink a bit?

I also have a baseball cap with both aro and bi button placed right beside one another, slightly overlapping...

13 hours ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

-When you're young it can be easy to mistake sexual attraction for romantic attraction, or to start dating someone because you feel like it's what you're "supposed" to do. This can lead to a lot of discomfort if romance repulsion arises, and, eventually, possibly messy breakups. There may be a long period of time between realizing you don't love someone and actually breaking up with them, either due to fear of negative consequences for not doing the "socially correct" thing by having a partner, or due to hope that you might develop romantic feelings eventually.

Seconded. There also can be a disconnect between what you want and what the other person wants that's - well, if one person wants a Buddy To Talk About Stuff To (and also hey, sexual attraction!) and the other wants A Perfect Romantic Partner Who Behaves According To Stereotypes, then. Well, this disconnect is going to get messy. (Neither of what was wanted would have resulted in a very functional romantic relationship on its own, but I still maintain that wanting a Buddy To Talk About Stuff To would have at least worked for a functional relationship of some sort.) 

Other stuff:

- The attractions that actually play a role in my day-to-day life are platonic attraction (potential friend!), sensual attraction (I will headbutt friends until they start playing with my hair. It is very effective. Also I tend to offer hugs to people a lot. I also want to and tend to ask a lot whether I'm allowed to lean on people/dig my fingers through their hair/cuddle them/etc) and I-have-no-name-for-these like "I want to listen to this person's lectures forever and have them teach me everything about maths/ancient history/etc". If we're counting attraction towards not-people, then aesthetic-"staring at snowfall/soap bubbles/drifting dust" and "I want to learn this"/"Mathematics is so beautiful I love it I wanna do this forever this is great." Those are the ones I tend to act upon. I suspect the exact list is different for everybody (I have the feeling my mathematics-experience, especially, is very far from universal)l

- Potential therapist as well as people in queer contexts telling me either that aro people don't exist or some lovely variations on us being cold-hearted and unfeeling have happened. They're annoying. It gets worse when it's a bloody conference for queer organizations. (One of the topics was asexuality and aromanticism, I was one of the people speaking from our group, and while most of the room was asking good questions and was generally very supportive… not everyone was?)

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18 hours ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

-Fictional characters are often more attractive than real people, because there's just so much less trouble involved. A cute girl might fall in love with me, or ditch me for a romantic partner, but Mai Valentine and her hot motorcycle have never and will never do me wrong 🤝

Amen to that.

 

4 hours ago, Crimson Square said:
18 hours ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

Despite the stereotype that allo aros have lots of sex, and the stereotype that bis have "more to choose from" or whatever, for a lot of allo aros it's actually very difficult to access sex. If you're romance repulsed, not the sort of person who likes parties or bars, and don't use hookup apps, there's really very little opportunity for sexual encounters, and a lot of allo aros have never had sex at all even at ages when most other allosexual folks would have. Many allo aros also are extremely selective about who they hook up with, for fear of the possibility of their partner """""catching feelings""""" and then blaming them for not reciprocating- Even when a relationship is explicitly agreed to be only sexual, not romantic, there's still sort of a societal expectation that if one party changes their mind, the other party has some obligation to accept this.

Seconded. The thought of someone else liking me romantically and getting blamed for not reciprocating when all I wanted was to be friends quite literally can make me shiver in fear, not even because of romance repulsion, but simply because I get attached and losing people over something like that is a horrible thought.

Interesting to hear about this from a demi-bi perspective, because I'm also super picky about who I have sex with because for most of the reasons stated above, and I'm in a romantic relationship.

 

4 hours ago, Crimson Square said:

My bi-ness often doesn't seem to... affect my day-to-day life because while the attraction is there, it's not something I really feel comfy acting upon, most of the time? Which might or might not change. That said, it's still an important part of myself.

And that's on why it took me forever to realize I'm bi.

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I don't ID as bisexual simply bc the beautiful word queeeer exists but I fit all the descriptors for it and so much of what bi people say resonates with me.

Case in point @Jot-Aro Kujo I second literally everything you said, even the bit about Mai Valentine. My brother is rewatching the YuGiOh series atm and I watched an episode or two for the sake of nostalgia and Mai came on and omg dream girl.

Did you want to hear my thoughts @Lokiana? I have a few. What's the book about too?

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1 hour ago, Scoop said:

Did you want to hear my thoughts @Lokiana? I have a few. What's the book about too?

Of course! I’d love to hear them!

It’s futuristic, somewhat post apocalyptic Sci fi- a lot of the technology was destroyed by a massive wave of computer viruses...in the scavenging afterwards, someone broke open a lab that held viruses (I’d like to point out he wrote this before corona)...basically, there’s only small pockets of humanity left, and a bunch of travel via airships. The main character is a badass who repairs the technology that keeps the airships running, and it goes from there. 

 

(I’ve read all 150+ pages and love this book, seriously. It’s kind of awesome.)

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13 hours ago, Lokiana said:

Interesting to hear about this from a demi-bi perspective, because I'm also super picky about who I have sex with because for most of the reasons stated above, and I'm in a romantic relationship.

I am... not demi-bi? I just have a plethora of issues that make acting on sexual attraction not something I'm willing to chance, a lot of the time?

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2 hours ago, Crimson Square said:

I am... not demi-bi? I just have a plethora of issues that make acting on sexual attraction not something I'm willing to chance, a lot of the time?

I’m demi bi, so it’s interesting to hear about your experience from my perspective. Sorry for the non clarity. 😊

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That sounds like a really spooky world and a cool as main character. I bet those airships are talked about lovingly and I'd read it just for that alone!
 

I wanted to talk a bit more about this:

On 4/19/2020 at 2:40 PM, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

Weirdly enough, I find I'm actually more selective about personality when it comes to interest in folks? Like... I've noticed that alloromantic folks tend to develop crushes and then just kind of, go with it even if the person isn't terribly compatible with them, for some reason. With me I'm like, yeah he's hot, but his taste in anime? Horrible. 0/10 would not bang

I feel the same way. When I first meet someone I know whether I'm attracted to them or not right off the bat, then as I get to know them my attraction will either grow or fade depending on whether I like them as a person. It's like their personality either enhances the attraction or kills it lol. This probably isn't a uniquely alloaro feeling, I would assume alloromantic people are more likely to overlook flaws/incompatibilities bc of amatonormativity whereas we don't believe in those same stakes. 

In terms of how I experience attraction to different genders I find that for women and nonbinary people it's more of a flat feeling of yes or no when I see them whereas for men I will have that feeling and find myself thinking like 'he's hot' or 'i like the shape of him'. What I think this means is that I'm much more comfortable/experienced when I comes to conceptualising my attraction to men, which isn't surprising with this heteronormative world. Its only later once I get to know women and nonbinary people that I find my attraction takes form in words and sentences. That isn't too say I couldn't string a sentence together for women and nb people in the beginning, I'd just have to think about it unlike for men where its comes easily. 


I also find that being aro and queer means a lot of lies of omission. I cannot say I'm attracted to a man without (straight) people assuming I want to date him and I then need to explain why I don't want to date him and potentially also why I don't date in general. So I don't say I'm attracted to the man/any men. And in my experience as a woman not talking about men makes people assume you're a lesbian and people like to drop comments, usually teasing ones sure, but they also put me on the spot. Every time that's happened I find myself thinking not "should I come out?" but "/how/ should I come out?" And I freeze. I'm not telling straight people I'm aro, I'm not interested in becoming a teacher or a lesson or a debate. I could tell them I'm bi, but I don't ID as bi so that feels wrong to say. I could rightfully tell them I'm queer but unfortunately, straight people tend to hear queer and think gay. So I don't come out and I don't talk about being attracted to people and its an imperfect solution.

I do wish I could talk more freely about my attraction to people but I'd have to jump through so many hoops first and have the same conversations so many times, I'm just not sure it's worth it for whatever boring response straight people would come up with. There's another conversation here about the majority of my friends being lesbians and/or asexuals and how I feel like I'm imposing on them when I talk about being sexually attracted to men, but that disinterest is much easier to swallow than anything straight people would throw at me. I am thinking about it now actually and its all cool and good for them to talk about men being in love with men from media. Is the difference there that the men are abstract as in fictional, only interested in other men, and/or distanced and I'm their queer "just like them" friend suddenly talking about sex with men? Hmmm.


Also for me I found when I was younger if I was attracted to a person and realised I didn't want to date them then I assumed I wasn't actually attracted to them at all. Because romance and sex are the same you know! *sigh* It's so easy to doubt your attraction. 

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On 4/18/2020 at 9:40 PM, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

-Weirdly enough, I find I'm actually more selective about personality when it comes to interest in folks? Like... I've noticed that alloromantic folks tend to develop crushes and then just kind of, go with it even if the person isn't terribly compatible with them, for some reason. With me I'm like, yeah he's hot, but his taste in anime? Horrible. 0/10 would not bang

On 4/30/2020 at 6:08 AM, Scoop said:

I feel the same way. When I first meet someone I know whether I'm attracted to them or not right off the bat, then as I get to know them my attraction will either grow or fade depending on whether I like them as a person. It's like their personality either enhances the attraction or kills it lol. This probably isn't a uniquely alloaro feeling, I would assume alloromantic people are more likely to overlook flaws/incompatibilities bc of amatonormativity whereas we don't believe in those same stakes.

Yeah, I agree with this. It's weird to me when people act like sexual attraction is just about looks. That's definitely part of it but there's more to it than that. Personality traits are a big factor in sexual attraction to me. Finding out that someone I thought was hot is actually an asshole can kill the attraction, and realizing that someone I didn't initially find super attractive is really cool or has certain traits I like can make them way more attractive to me. Some of the people I've been most attracted to were people I didn't initially think were hot, but they had the kind of personality I'm drawn to and it changed the way I perceive them.

 

On 4/18/2020 at 9:40 PM, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

Without romantic attraction, aesthetics may play a larger role- And I don't mean if someone's "ugly" or "hot", I literally mean aesthetics. I tend to be attracted more to women because women are generally more creative in how they express themselves aesthetically, whereas dudes in general kind of fluctuate between "t-shirt and jeans" and "blazer and button-up" which is a pretty boring range of looks, and I'm just too dramatic for that. I don't care what your face looks like but if you have the same haircut as 70 other guys at my school I'm probably not all that interested, hon

Yes! Same here. I'm honestly way more attracted to men than to women when I do find one I like, but the way most men present themselves is so boring that it took me a long time to even realize I was into men. It didn't seem real when the only guys I liked were anime characters lol, but when I did start noticing real guys who caught my interest it was much more intense, to the point that I thought I might actually be gay, but at the end of the day I'm still attracted to women too. It's just different.

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I get irritated in front of cliché characters. It would be good not stay into the clichés that nourished my internalized bi and arophobi.  Bisexuals don't just click with anyone and aromantics are not superficial people only looking for one night stands.

On 4/19/2020 at 6:40 AM, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

Despite the stereotype that allo aros have lots of sex, and the stereotype that bis have "more to choose from" or whatever, for a lot of allo aros it's actually very difficult to access sex. If you're romance repulsed, not the sort of person who likes parties or bars, and don't use hookup apps, there's really very little opportunity for sexual encounters, and a lot of allo aros have never had sex at all even at ages when most other allosexual folks would have. Many allo aros also are extremely selective about who they hook up with, for fear of the possibility of their partner """""catching feelings""""" and then blaming them for not reciprocating- Even when a relationship is explicitly agreed to be only sexual, not romantic, there's still sort of a societal expectation that if one party changes their mind, the other party has some obligation to accept this.

On 5/25/2020 at 1:14 AM, felinelicks said:

Some of the people I've been most attracted to were people I didn't initially think were hot, but they had the kind of personality I'm drawn to and it changed the way I perceive them.

Amen to that.

On 4/30/2020 at 3:08 PM, Scoop said:

Also for me I found when I was younger if I was attracted to a person and realised I didn't want to date them then I assumed I wasn't actually attracted to them at all. Because romance and sex are the same you know! *sigh* It's so easy to doubt your attraction. 

Sound like the story of my love life... This is a very pragmatic reason why I did not have lots of sex.

 

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