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Why is asexual so much more represented than aromantic?

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Hiya! So, just a question that was on my mind - why is asexual so much more represented that aromatic? No shade at all towards asexual people I promise (I’m pretty sure I’m also asexual) but basically what I mean is that, like - here’s an example. I have a hunch of lbgt+ stuff on my Pinterest, and there will be things for lots of different orientations/gender identities, like for example one of them was pride-colored cacti. I’m gonna say that probably 95% have asexual included (which is wonderful - I’m not saying that’s a bad thing at all) but only like, maybe 10-15% have aromantic. Like I said, no shade at all towards asexuals, but to me personally, my Aro-ness is a much bigger part of my identity and more greatly affects my day-to-day life than my Asexuality. Asexuality is a wonderful thing, and I‘m very happy to see it so represented! I’m just curious as to why aro is all but non-existent in things like that. As always, thank you! -aroscorpio💚

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Honestly, I think it's in large part because romantic love is seen as intrinsically human. Do you remember how a big part of ace activism was convincing others that they (as in, allo-aces) weren't unfeeling robots because they can still fall in love? 

And I don't think this is intentional on their behalf, at the very least not in those "early" days (when asexuality became more widely known, thanks to the internet). 

A lot of humanity and the definition of being human and the human experience revolves around romantic love, in my experience. Finding "the one" to spend your life with, romantic love as a powerful feeling in stories, all these dating apps and pressure to find someone. I think a lot of people can wrap their mind around not feeling sexual attraction, but they cannot even begin to imagine living without romantic attraction. 

1 hour ago, aroscorpio said:

my Aro-ness is a much bigger part of my identity and more greatly affects my day-to-day life than my Asexuality.

i said this in another post on here as well (i think my introduction post?) and i've found that this is true for lot of aroaces! it's very fascinating, and worth discussing - for funsies, between us aroaces, not as a ~discourse~thing, lol.

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Posted (edited)

Agreed about identity politics and "humanity" playing a lot into it. Romance is everywhere in a way that sex isn't. Hell, think about this: One of the nastiest ways asexuals are often treated is infantilization, where they're compared to children because they- like children, supposedly- aren't interested in sex. But kids are still people, right? After all, even kids fall in love. Everyone knows tales of puppy love, of the childhood friends who have been together for as long as they can remember... But who doesn't want romance? Well... In the eyes of society, no one, not even kids. Which isn't to say that the infantilization of asexuals isn't mega fucked up, but the point is, alloromantic aces hit closer to the target for "considered emotionally human" than aros do.

It also largely has to do with the fact that the queer community at large is used to being able to just tack "-sexual" onto any word and there you've got your orientation. God forbid people acknowledge that sex without romance is a thing, right? Or that attraction is nuanced, and sex and romance aren't a package deal?

EDIT: Also, if you want to help with this issue and show support for allo aros, I strongly advise NOT putting things on your pinterest that include every flag other than the aro flag, and definitely posting things that do include the aro flag. Try reaching out to artists and asking them to include the aro flag, too.

Edited by Jot-Aro Kujo
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I’d also say that there are probably very few of us who know we’re aro.  And people who might be but don’t know because the term isn’t as widely known just makes it a vicious cycle. 

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Posted (edited)

Whether we like it or not, humans tend to draw comparisons of an unknown thing to something we already know about to make it make sense. It's easier to do it for asexual than aromantic, simply because the comparisons, however flawed, are more plentiful. Think abstinency or religious figures like priests who don't have sex. Comparisons like this that help allosexuals bridge the gap between what they already know to asexuality are few and far between when it comes to helping alloromantics make sense of aromanticism.

I think this is a contributing issue to a lot of aromantic struggles, representation included, because why would alloromantics represent something they can't understand? Living with a different relationship to romance, or none at all, is so foreign and almost unbelievable to alloromantics. I think that's also the reason I (anecdotally) have seen a lot of aroaces say that their aro-ness affects and shapes them way more than their ace-ness.

Edited by emmafriendly
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1 hour ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

It also largely has to do with the fact that the queer community at large is used to being able to just tack "-sexual" onto any word and there you've got your orientation. God forbid people acknowledge that sex without romance is a thing, right? Or that attraction is nuanced, and sex and romance aren't a package deal?

what i was going to say.  like, someone who identifies as 'bisexual' (and nothing else) is most likely also biromantic, but the former term is meant to encompass the whole attraction thing.  we generally don't see specific reference to romantic orientation unless it differs from sexual, for example i believe the most common combination is bisexual heteroromantic--i have encountered a few people who have identified themselves as such.  that being said, outside of the a-spec community, not a ton of people are aware of split attraction, so when someone includes ace representation, in their mind, they're not excluding aro--they may think that the two necessarily go together, or they may not think of it at all. 

among those who are familiar with aromanticism as a separate orientation and (essentially purposely) exclude it, i don't know.  maybe it has to do with them not seeing it as valid, either as part of the lgbt+ community or at all.  

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3 hours ago, nisse said:

Honestly, I think it's in large part because romantic love is seen as intrinsically human. Do you remember how a big part of ace activism was convincing others that they (as in, allo-aces) weren't unfeeling robots because they can still fall in love? 

And I don't think this is intentional on their behalf, at the very least not in those "early" days (when asexuality became more widely known, thanks to the internet). 

A lot of humanity and the definition of being human and the human experience revolves around romantic love, in my experience. Finding "the one" to spend your life with, romantic love as a powerful feeling in stories, all these dating apps and pressure to find someone. I think a lot of people can wrap their mind around not feeling sexual attraction, but they cannot even begin to imagine living without romantic attraction. 

i said this in another post on here as well (i think my introduction post?) and i've found that this is true for lot of aroaces! it's very fascinating, and worth discussing - for funsies, between us aroaces, not as a ~discourse~thing, lol.

Yeah! I’ve had what I used to think were crushes in the past but now I’m almost certain they were just squishes, because 90% of them were on fictional characters and the other 10% I never even thought about dating or kissing - I just got giddy and excited when I saw or though about them and I wanted to talk to them more and befriend them. Doubly certain because hearing about how alloromantics generally feel about romantic love is “I need it, I want someone to share my life with! My dream is to find ‘the one!’” Like, I guess it could be okay maybe but it sounds more like a burden to me. I thought I had crushes like I said, but apparently crushes go in a way different direction than what I felt. I’ve never once thought that I want to “spend my life with someone.” That’s what my friends are for, ya know? I’m still actually figuring all this out though, and it can be hard. I’m pretty certain I’m aroace, though.

2 hours ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

Agreed about identity politics and "humanity" playing a lot into it. Romance is everywhere in a way that sex isn't. Hell, think about this: One of the nastiest ways asexuals are often treated is infantilization, where they're compared to children because they- like children, supposedly- aren't interested in sex. But kids are still people, right? After all, even kids fall in love. Everyone knows tales of puppy love, of the childhood friends who have been together for as long as they can remember... But who doesn't want romance? Well... In the eyes of society, no one, not even kids. Which isn't to say that the infantilization of asexuals isn't mega fucked up, but the point is, alloromantic aces hit closer to the target for "considered emotionally human" than aros do.

It also largely has to do with the fact that the queer community at large is used to being able to just tack "-sexual" onto any word and there you've got your orientation. God forbid people acknowledge that sex without romance is a thing, right? Or that attraction is nuanced, and sex and romance aren't a package deal?

EDIT: Also, if you want to help with this issue and show support for allo aros, I strongly advise NOT putting things on your pinterest that include every flag other than the aro flag, and definitely posting things that do include the aro flag. Try reaching out to artists and asking them to include the aro flag, too.

Pretty much, yeah! I’d agree with you. I don’t understand why romance is such a part of ‘humanity.’ Like, I love to see other people happy but I’ve never once looked at a couple and thought, “I want that.” ya know? Honestly I don’t even know if they attractions are separate for me personally because I started identifying as ace just a few months after I started iding as aromantic. But as for the Pinterest thing I definitely should reach out to them! Especially if they make something I really like and wanna see more of, but wanna see aro represented in it.

2 hours ago, ScarfOfSexualPreference said:

I’d also say that there are probably very few of us who know we’re aro.  And people who might be but don’t know because the term isn’t as widely known just makes it a vicious cycle. 

Exactly! I was never interested in romance but I thought I was just a “late bloomer” for the longest time.

1 hour ago, emmafriendly said:

Whether we like it or not, humans tend to draw comparisons of an unknown thing to something we already know about to make it make sense. It's easier to do it for asexual than aromantic, simply because the comparisons, however flawed, are more plentiful. Think abstinency or religious figures like priests who don't have sex. Comparisons like this that help allosexuals bridge the gap between what they already know to asexuality are few and far between when it comes to helping alloromantics make sense of aromanticism.

I think this is a contributing issue to a lot of aromantic struggles, representation included, because why would alloromantics represent something they can't understand? Living with a different relationship to romance, or none at all, is so foreign and almost unbelievable to alloromantics. I think that's also the reason I (anecdotally) have seen a lot of aroaces say that their aro-ness affects and shapes them way more than their ace-ness.

Precisely! I always hear people talking about how “he’s so hot” or “she’s so sexy” and that just doesn’t make sense to me. I can find people aesthetically appealing, but I don’t think I’ve ever looked at someone and thought that they were ‘hot’ and that I’d like to go out with them. On that note - fricken dates’ man! I don’t really get the point. Way cheaper for someone to just chill at home with their romantic partner, right? And why would you pay for food for someone you hardly know? Also, this in regards to my ace-ness, do people really look at someone and think “yeah I’d f that” cause that seems horrifying and dehumanizing to me.

51 minutes ago, aro_elise said:

what i was going to say.  like, someone who identifies as 'bisexual' (and nothing else) is most likely also biromantic, but the former term is meant to encompass the whole attraction thing.  we generally don't see specific reference to romantic orientation unless it differs from sexual, for example i believe the most common combination is bisexual heteroromantic--i have encountered a few people who have identified themselves as such.  that being said, outside of the a-spec community, not a ton of people are aware of split attraction, so when someone includes ace representation, in their mind, they're not excluding aro--they may think that the two necessarily go together, or they may not think of it at all. 

among those who are familiar with aromanticism as a separate orientation and (essentially purposely) exclude it, i don't know.  maybe it has to do with them not seeing it as valid, either as part of the lgbt+ community or at all.  

Yeah I suppose that makes sense. I guess when people genuinely mean well, but I’d still like to see more rep, ya know? Also for a long time I thought asexual meant not attracted to anyone at all, so I do think that’s a big part of it. But yeah people who say a-spec aren’t LGBT make me want to bash my head against a brick wall.

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Posted (edited)
On 8/4/2020 at 3:17 AM, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

Agreed about identity politics and "humanity" playing a lot into it. Romance is everywhere in a way that sex isn't.

Some of these ways include "being safe for work", acceptable to any age along with a general lack of concern in respect of appropriateness or consent in terms of romance.
There's also ways in which romance is more "public" than sex such as getting "in a relationship", engaged or married being announced and celebrated.
 

On 8/4/2020 at 3:17 AM, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

One of the nastiest ways asexuals are often treated is infantilization, where they're compared to children because they- like children, supposedly- aren't interested in sex. But kids are still people, right? After all, even kids fall in love. Everyone knows tales of puppy love, of the childhood friends who have been together for as long as they can remember... But who doesn't want romance? Well... In the eyes of society, no one, not even kids. Which isn't to say that the infantilization of asexuals isn't mega fucked up, but the point is, alloromantic aces hit closer to the target for "considered emotionally human" than aros do.

There are situations, such as religion,  where non-sexual romantic relationships amongst adults can be considered acceptable.
Which is not the case with non-romantic sexual relationships. 
Thus the situation of aros being dehumanised can be more extreme for allosexual aros, (Assuming aro aces don't get lumped with other aces and infantised.)

 

On 8/4/2020 at 3:17 AM, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

It also largely has to do with the fact that the queer community at large is used to being able to just tack "-sexual" onto any word and there you've got your orientation. God forbid people acknowledge that sex without romance is a thing, right? Or that attraction is nuanced, and sex and romance aren't a package deal?

It can be the case that queer communities are more interested in questioning heteronormativity than amantonormativity. Similarly kink and non-monogamous communities can question sexual norms whilst endorsing romantic norms.
The effect of this "package deal" is to assume that all aces are also aro and that all aros are also ace., IME the ace community is better at challenging and debunking the former than the aro community is with the latter.
I've even a fair few "relationship anarchists" conflate sex and romance.

Edited by Mark
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I don't have anything insightful to add but I just wanted to say that this is a question that has puzzled me for a long a long time and I'm happy to see people talking about it. :) 

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12 minutes ago, Mark said:

Some of these ways include "being safe for work", acceptable to any age along with a general lack of concern in respect of appropriateness or consent in terms of romance.
There's also ways in which romance is more "public" than sex such as getting "in a relationship", engaged or married being announced and celebrated.
 

There are situations, such as religion,  where non-sexual romantic relationships amongst adults can be considered acceptable.
Which is not the case with non-romantic sexual relationships. 
Thus the situation of aros being dehumanised can be more extreme for allosexual aros, (Assuming aro aces don't get lumped with other aces and infantised.)

 

kinIt can be the case that queer communities are more interested in questioning heteronormativity than amantonormativity. Similarly kink and non-monogamous communities can question sexual norms whilst endorsing romantic norms.
The effect of this "package deal" is to assume that all aces are also aro and that all aros are also ace., IME the ace community is better at challenging and debunking the former than the aro community is with the latter.
I've even a fair few "relationship anarchists" conflate sex and romance.

I haven’t been out for a while so I haven’t been infanticised or discriminated against yet - but I do think that aromantics would likely suffer the same kind of infanticizaton in the sense of “You’ll understand when you’re older,” “You just haven’t found ‘The One’ yet.” Or “You’re just a late bloomer.” In the same way that asexuals do. I feel like it would be worst against aroaces, that’s just my opinion though.

7 minutes ago, Planet said:

I don't have anything insightful to add but I just wanted to say that this is a question that has puzzled me for a long a long time and I'm happy to see people talking about it. :) 

Yes! And welcome to the discussion! 😆

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18 hours ago, aroscorpio said:

Like I said, no shade at all towards asexuals, but to me personally, my Aro-ness is a much bigger part of my identity and more greatly affects my day-to-day life than my Asexuality.

Same here! I'm glad I'm not the only one.

I think it's because what everyone is discussing here—romance is a far more universal part of life than sex. Sex is seen as NSFW, something to discuss behind closed doors. Romance is not, it's expressed openly and publicly. Therefore it's a much bigger aspect of everyday life. 

35 minutes ago, aroscorpio said:

Like I said, no shade at all towards asexuals, but to me personally, my Aro-ness is a much bigger part of my identity and more greatly affects my day-to-day life than my Asexuality.

I'm not out to most people I know either, but I still heard the dreaded "you'll understand when you get older" when I ever expressed disdain for romance in any capacity. Part of the reason why I believed I was straight for such a long time as a kid was because of all these things people told me. When you're a kid, you haven't learned to question the beliefs of the adults around you. I discovered my aroace-ness when I was 12, almost 13. And it was all thanks to a book at my local library, The ABCs of LGBT+ by Ash Hardell. If I hadn't found that book or Ash hadn't included ace and aro-spec identities I would probably still be unsure about myself. Or maybe not, since a friend of mine mentioned asexuality once after I had discovered it. But even though I was still very young, I could've found my identity a lot sooner if I heard less of that. Mind you, I was a kid, but people should be encouraging children to explore their identity, not discouraging it.

This infantilization is not exclusive to aces. Regardless of whether someone identifies as aro or not, society treats anyone who isn't looking for romance as having something wrong with them. Sex is an important part of our culture, yes, but romance even more so. And being aro has taught me that whenever you try to form a definition of humanity, you're going to leave somebody out. 

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1 hour ago, Violet Stars said:

Same here! I'm glad I'm not the only one.

I think it's because what everyone is discussing here—romance is a far more universal part of life than sex. Sex is seen as NSFW, something to discuss behind closed doors. Romance is not, it's expressed openly and publicly. Therefore it's a much bigger aspect of everyday life. 

 

I'm not out to most people I know either, but I still heard the dreaded "you'll understand when you get older" when I ever expressed disdain for romance in any capacity. Part of the reason why I believed I was straight for such a long time as a kid was because of all these things people told me. When you're a kid, you haven't learned to question the beliefs of the adults around you. I discovered my aroace-ness when I was 12, almost 13. And it was all thanks to a book at my local library, The ABCs of LGBT+ by Ash Hardell. If I hadn't found that book or Ash hadn't included ace and aro-spec identities I would probably still be unsure about myself. Or maybe not, since a friend of mine mentioned asexuality once after I had discovered it. But even though I was still very young, I could've found my identity a lot sooner if I heard less of that. Mind you, I was a kid, but people should be encouraging children to explore their identity, not discouraging it.

This infantilization is not exclusive to aces. Regardless of whether someone identifies as aro or not, society treats anyone who isn't looking for romance as having something wrong with them. Sex is an important part of our culture, yes, but romance even more so. And being aro has taught me that whenever you try to form a definition of humanity, you're going to leave somebody out. 

It’s good to hear of someone who get the same way about all of this. If I’m being honest I’m even still questioning some about my identity in regards to aro-aceness. If you’re interesting in that you can read my other threads but it’d be a lot to reinstate in one comment. 😂 But I may check out that book, actually! Do you know where I could read it?

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51 minutes ago, aroscorpio said:

It’s good to hear of someone who get the same way about all of this. If I’m being honest I’m even still questioning some about my identity in regards to aro-aceness. If you’re interesting in that you can read my other threads but it’d be a lot to reinstate in one comment. 😂 But I may check out that book, actually! Do you know where I could read it?

Hmm... you could probably find it on Amazon, bookdepository, Barnes & Noble... pretty much any place where books are sold. It shouldn't be that hard to find. It is VERY in-depth and comprehensive, even going so far as to discuss romantic orientation as separate from sexual! I would highly recommend it!

 

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When I mentioned infantilization of asexuals, what I meant was a little different from what aromantics get. I was talking more about the "Ohhhh you're such a naive innocent baby uwu" kind of infantilization. Yes, aros are often treated as if it's a phase we'll someday grow out of- But nobody's ever treated me like I'm innocent and naive for not dating. I hope that makes sense?

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46 minutes ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

When I mentioned infantilization of asexuals, what I meant was a little different from what aromantics get. I was talking more about the "Ohhhh you're such a naive innocent baby uwu" kind of infantilization. Yes, aros are often treated as if it's a phase we'll someday grow out of- But nobody's ever treated me like I'm innocent and naive for not dating. I hope that makes sense?

Oh no no yeah I hope it didn’t seem like it came off that way! I totally get what you’re saying completely. And also I haven’t been out as aromantic for a long time and I’m still not out as asexual, so I’m sure you know more about it than me!

3 hours ago, Violet Stars said:

Hmm... you could probably find it on Amazon, bookdepository, Barnes & Noble... pretty much any place where books are sold. It shouldn't be that hard to find. It is VERY in-depth and comprehensive, even going so far as to discuss romantic orientation as separate from sexual! I would highly recommend it!

 

I will definitely check it out! Thanks for the recommendation!!

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2 hours ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

When I mentioned infantilization of asexuals, what I meant was a little different from what aromantics get. I was talking more about the "Ohhhh you're such a naive innocent baby uwu" kind of infantilization. Yes, aros are often treated as if it's a phase we'll someday grow out of- But nobody's ever treated me like I'm innocent and naive for not dating. I hope that makes sense?

Oh yeah I guess I just interpreted it differently lol.

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On 8/4/2020 at 5:18 AM, aro_elise said:

what i was going to say.  like, someone who identifies as 'bisexual' (and nothing else) is most likely also biromantic,

Periorientation both describes the majority of people as well as being the default assumption.
 

On 8/4/2020 at 5:18 AM, aro_elise said:

but the former term is meant to encompass the whole attraction thing.  we generally don't see specific reference to romantic orientation unless it differs from sexual,

You can even find "-sexual" used where "-romantic" could be a better description as well as being used to effectively mean "-romosexual".
 

On 8/4/2020 at 5:18 AM, aro_elise said:

for example i believe the most common combination is bisexual heteroromantic--i have encountered a few people who have identified themselves as such.  that being said, outside of the a-spec community, not a ton of people are aware of split attraction,

It's possible that someone who was "overlapping varioriented" may not even realise they had differing sexual and romantic orientations. It also must happen that peri-allos experience split attraction...
 

14 hours ago, Violet Stars said:

This infantilization is not exclusive to aces. Regardless of whether someone identifies as aro or not, society treats anyone who isn't looking for romance as having something wrong with them. Sex is an important part of our culture, yes, but romance even more so. And being aro has taught me that whenever you try to form a definition of humanity, you're going to leave somebody out. 

The effects of non-compliance with amantonormativity differ between allo aces, aro allos, aro aces and allo allos who choose to remain single. Infantilisation (along with pathologisation, including dehumanisation) is common way to avoid questioning social normativities. 

9 hours ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

When I mentioned infantilization of asexuals, what I meant was a little different from what aromantics get. I was talking more about the "Ohhhh you're such a naive innocent baby uwu" kind of infantilization. Yes, aros are often treated as if it's a phase we'll someday grow out of- But nobody's ever treated me like I'm innocent and naive for not dating. I hope that makes sense?

There might also be a difference between "you'll grow out of it..." aimed at allo aces to "you need to grown out of it" aimed at aro allos.
A likely related issue is that Infantilisation often comes with desexualisation included. Which may well be a non-issue to asexuals whilst being a huge one to allosexuals.

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Posted (edited)

Theres some really good ideas on here that I never thought of, just to add some thoughts of my own.

It could be that asexuality turns out to be more common. boring answer I know but if that were true it would in particular mean more people to push for media representation, more people organising events, more people asking artists to include ace rep.

the other idea I was thinking is that romance seems more nebulous to describe than sex. defining sexual attraction is not that easy but I would wager it is less of a confused mess than romantic attraction. Even asking someone who experiences romance to describe what it means is like trying to get blood out of a stone. It could be that less people realise they are aro than ace because of that. hence less people to push for representation.

Edited by roboticanary
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22 hours ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

When I mentioned infantilization of asexuals, what I meant was a little different from what aromantics get. I was talking more about the "Ohhhh you're such a naive innocent baby uwu" kind of infantilization. Yes, aros are often treated as if it's a phase we'll someday grow out of- But nobody's ever treated me like I'm innocent and naive for not dating. I hope that makes sense?

It remembers me when friends of mine passed a not serious "test" to know how "pure" they were. Most of the questions included sex, fantasies, the rest was about alcohol and drugs I think. One of my friend told me if I passed the test, I would be the purest of them... and that was true because of all the questions about sex.

But being asexual doesn't mean I am naive or innocent. Ask my family : they are shocked sometimes because I have no shame and if their is a sexual joke to be made... count on me lol.

 

On 8/4/2020 at 5:54 AM, emmafriendly said:

think this is a contributing issue to a lot of aromantic struggles, representation included, because why would alloromantics represent something they can't understand? Living with a different relationship to romance, or none at all, is so foreign and almost unbelievable to alloromantics. I think that's also the reason I (anecdotally) have seen a lot of aroaces say that their aro-ness affects and shapes them way more than their ace-ness.

True. That's why I care more about my aromanticism. My reaction to being asexual was : ok, no sex for me, no big deal. But being aro changed my life plan. Getting married and all... I'm not saying sexuality is not important, in particular for aro allo. But for me as an aro ace, aromanticism is more important to my identity. 

Now that being said, I don't know if asexual is more included because of how people view romance and sex. I think that people are juste un-educated. As people said before me, split attraction model is not well known. People, including LGBT people, probably think that asexual means asexual and aromantic. So they don't include us because they think they did... except, they didn't. Because this is not the same.

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Posted (edited)

People here have said things about how lacking romantic attraction is less acceptably human, so I want to add to that and say that I think this is a pretty deeply rooted subconscious association that actually has more to do with society than a literal perception of us as robotic. It’s something I’ve dealt with internally as someone who’s both aro and ace. I agree with the sentiment that my being aro affects me more, partly because for a long time I only identified as ace and I can see now it was an excuse not to deal with the fact that I was aro. I would find myself getting uncomfortable in a romantic situation, and think, “oh it’s because I’m ace,” even though there was nothing sexual happening so that didn’t really make sense. But I didn’t want to think about my lack of romantic attraction because that was a scary idea, that I might have to chart the course of my life with different kinds or relationships. None of my worries were about being less than, only that I didn’t know what to do about it. I see this similar train of thought a lot here, where people panic about being aro because there’s no societally defined path for us. So when an allo person registers that same fact, and says something about how romantic attraction is basically human, I think what they’re really reacting to is the fact that there is no roadmap here, so they default to indignation. 

All this to say that the more we lift up the value of various platonic relationships or forge our own paths “alone,” the less this perception will come up. It takes time but I’m sure we’re headed in the same direction as the ace community and the lgbtq+ community at large.

Edited by treepod
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On 8/4/2020 at 8:08 PM, Violet Stars said:

I think it's because what everyone is discussing here—romance is a far more universal part of life than sex. Sex is seen as NSFW, something to discuss behind closed doors. Romance is not, it's expressed openly and publicly. Therefore it's a much bigger aspect of everyday life. 

Discussing romance can even be an expectation. In contexts such as celebrity gossip or "shipping" fictional characters.

20 hours ago, treepod said:

I would find myself getting uncomfortable in a romantic situation, and think, “oh it’s because I’m ace,” even though there was nothing sexual happening so that didn’t really make sense. But I didn’t want to think about my lack of romantic attraction because that was a scary idea, that I might have to chart the course of my life with different kinds or relationships.

It's very much a normative to conflate sexual and romantic. With aro aces being just as likely to do this as other perioriented people. A part of this is that even with issues such as "marriage equality" the language used tends to be "sexual orientation".

The experiences of aro aces are likely to differ, substantially,  from those of either allo aces or aro allos.
That we tend to have "ace communities" which tend to favour allo aces and "aro communities" which very much favour aro aces is another possible reason for greater asexual visibility and awareness.

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On 8/5/2020 at 9:16 PM, roboticanary said:

Even asking someone who experiences romance to describe what it means is like trying to get blood out of a stone.

Yes, I mean who amongst us hasn't heard - in real life or in media - "how do you know when you're in love?" -> "you just know!" like gee thanks! very cool & unhelpful! i wouldn't be surprised if there are quite a few aromantic people just waiting to fall in love, bc they'll know (realising falling in love and romantic attraction isn't necessarily mutually inclusive, but it illustrates this a bit i think). 

i've a feeling, too, that it is in a way easier for aces to figure out if we're aro as well or not. hence, i think, the over-representation of aroaces within aro communities @Mark mentions. i wouldn't be surprised if it's substantially harder to nail your aroness when you're allo-sexual, and maybe even feel even more "broken" (HEAVY quotation marks) than us aroaces. just because i think when you've figured out aceness, you've kind of passed that hurdle - not to say we don't have that internal struggle as well, i know i had a MUCH harder time accepting my aroness than my aceness, which is partly why i identify so much more with that part of me now, it took so much energy from me. but i hope my thought process here makes sense?

i don't want to speak over aro-allos here, and no experience is uniform, but i wouldn't be surprised if this was the case for many.

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4 hours ago, nisse said:

Yes, I mean who amongst us hasn't heard - in real life or in media - "how do you know when you're in love?" -> "you just know!" like gee thanks! very cool & unhelpful! i wouldn't be surprised if there are quite a few aromantic people just waiting to fall in love, bc they'll know (realising falling in love and romantic attraction isn't necessarily mutually inclusive, but it illustrates this a bit i think). 

i've a feeling, too, that it is in a way easier for aces to figure out if we're aro as well or not. hence, i think, the over-representation of aroaces within aro communities @Mark mentions. i wouldn't be surprised if it's substantially harder to nail your aroness when you're allo-sexual, and maybe even feel even more "broken" (HEAVY quotation marks) than us aroaces. just because i think when you've figured out aceness, you've kind of passed that hurdle - not to say we don't have that internal struggle as well, i know i had a MUCH harder time accepting my aroness than my aceness, which is partly why i identify so much more with that part of me now, it took so much energy from me. but i hope my thought process here makes sense?

i don't want to speak over aro-allos here, and no experience is uniform, but i wouldn't be surprised if this was the case for many.

That was the case for me. I was involved in the LGBTQ+ community as a young teen, and well aware of asexuality during that time, but no one ever told me it was possible to be aromantic and not asexual. I knew I wasn't like everyone else, but I couldn't nail how. Whenever I tried to look for answers, whenever I said I didn't get crushes, I was always just told that meant I was asexual. But I knew I experienced sexual attraction, so I couldn't have been ace. I assumed I was simply nothing, that something was wrong with me for not falling in love "yet", that maybe I had some sort of mental illness. I believed I was a monster and that I would never fit in anywhere.

It took me until I was 18 or so to figure out I was aro. I knew from such an early age that I didn't feel the same kinds of feelings as everybody else, I knew from such an early age about asexuality and demisexuality and demiromanticism and greysexuality, and for all my teen years I believed I was a broken, heartless monster. Because the one thing no one ever told me about was allosexual aromanticism.

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@Jot-Aro Kujo and this is why the "asexuals aren't broken, we feel/fall in love" line chafes SO MUCH. it may not be in use anymore, i honestly don't know, but it definitely was when i figured myself out around 2011/2012/2013 (i am extremely bad at remembering years and what happened when,  but i was ~15 when i started having inklings), and that isn't that long ago. i really wish there was a bigger push for aromantic awareness within the ace community, considering how big it is and the reach it has now, with AVEN and all. we really do need the reach and influence they have, if we want to be visible to kids (and adults!) in the situation you were in.

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On 8/9/2020 at 7:43 PM, nisse said:

@Jot-Aro Kujo and this is why the "asexuals aren't broken, we feel/fall in love" line chafes SO MUCH. it may not be in use anymore, i honestly don't know, but it definitely was when i figured myself out around 2011/2012/2013 (i am extremely bad at remembering years and what happened when,  but i was ~15 when i started having inklings), and that isn't that long ago. i really wish there was a bigger push for aromantic awareness within the ace community, considering how big it is and the reach it has now, with AVEN and all. we really do need the reach and influence they have, if we want to be visible to kids (and adults!) in the situation you were in.

Agreed!

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