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i saw someone use the term 'aromantic sex' to mean sex without romantic attraction/outside of a romantic relationship, even if they're not aro.  i wondered what you guys thought of that.  i say it's equivalent to referring to bi/pan people having 'gay sex' or 'straight relationships,' which i do feel is a little off, though of course my opinion doesn't much matter.  in this case, i'm not really sure how i feel...i might prefer allos to call it 'non-romantic' or something, but it's certainly not a big deal.  i wonder too whether you think it's any different from 'casual sex'.  to my mind that includes not just hookups but like friends with benefits, where they surely like each other, it can be relatively long-term, but it can't be exclusive, right?  so that sounds pretty much the same.  clearly this is all inconsequential, but i have to wonder whether one day we'll start to hear more people use 'aromantic' synonymously with 'non-romantic'--to describe the nature of an interaction rather than a person's orientation.  (aros can go on aromantic dates, but can allos?  you see the can of worms i'm hesitating to bust open.)

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Does the person know what aromantic is? If not, I'd say it's a reasonable term to come up with on their own, without knowing better. If they do know what it means... 🔪

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Same thought here, that if that person hasnt heard of the term aromantic it sounds like a reasonable term to make up. 

As for the idea of casual sex being different to, say, nonromantic sex I suppose they could be viewed as the same but to me the term casual has always implied a sort of lesser status. like casual as in informal, not really putting much care and attention in. There is a bit of me that prefers the idea of talking about nonromantic sex because in my head it seems like it better understands that I see friends with benefits as genuine friends, people I care about and am in a (nonromantic) relationship with.

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i don't know whether they knew about aromanticism but i assumed so, so i suppose my question was how would you feel in that case?

12 hours ago, roboticanary said:

As for the idea of casual sex being different to, say, nonromantic sex I suppose they could be viewed as the same but to me the term casual has always implied a sort of lesser status. like casual as in informal, not really putting much care and attention in. There is a bit of me that prefers the idea of talking about nonromantic sex because in my head it seems like it better understands that I see friends with benefits as genuine friends, people I care about and am in a (nonromantic) relationship with.

i see, for me the sexual part of a relationship and whatever other part there may be, like the friendship part, are totally separate, so casual sex doesn't necessarily mean casual relationship overall, but i see how many people would interpret it that way.  similarly, when people say 'sex without feelings,' i assume they mean romantic feelings, but even if they didn't, that would still be an accurate description in my case, even if there were feelings of affection present during the rest of our time spent together--the difference is in whether the definition is no feelings of affection toward the person at all, or just none involved in sex.  but i'm sure most allos (and some aros, i guess) can't relate to these sentiments and so could easily misinterpret my meaning.  not that i talk about it much.  

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On 1/20/2021 at 8:36 PM, aro_elise said:

i see, for me the sexual part of a relationship and whatever other part there may be, like the friendship part, are totally separate, so casual sex doesn't necessarily mean casual relationship overall

I agree. For me sex is sex and it's a physical act. Whether or not I have sex with someone doesn't have any bearing on what my emotional relationship with them is. And it doesn't make sense to me to describe the act of sex itself as being somehow a different act depending on whether the person I'm having sex with is a friend or stranger or whatever.

 

As for "aromantic dates", mate dates are definitely a thing even among alloromantic people.

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On 1/20/2021 at 9:36 AM, aro_elise said:

for me the sexual part of a relationship and whatever other part there may be, like the friendship part, are totally separate, so casual sex doesn't necessarily mean casual relationship overall

Ah, looking back I suspect my thought connecting casual sex with thoughts about the relationship itself was less about what I think or want and more just years of culture telling me that. Its really cool to see people talk here about casual sex without expectations on what any other part of that relationship is like.

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I agree with what everyone has said, about it being reasonable to some up with the term if they didn't know what it meant, and all that. 

But I've read and watched and heard so many Hollywood stories of casual sex turning into something more, or one catching feelings, and that is my WORST NIGHTMARE. Which is why I think it's probably best if aromantic sex refers to people who identify as part of the aromantic spectrum.

But I also think the idea of calling it casual sex or non-romantic sex is important, and we as a society need to separate romantic attraction and sexual attraction. 

I don't know, that's just what I think :) 

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On 1/28/2021 at 11:35 AM, ScarfOfSexualPreference said:

But I've read and watched and heard so many Hollywood stories of casual sex turning into something more, or one catching feelings, and that is my WORST NIGHTMARE.

same!  like i don't understand how sex and/or friendship would lead to romantic attraction (well, i guess i don't know what would) but i hope it doesn't for anyone in any such relationship with me. 

On 1/28/2021 at 10:40 AM, roboticanary said:

Its really cool to see people talk here about casual sex without expectations on what any other part of that relationship is like.

i feel like it makes sense for aros to be a very sex-positive group overall.  love that for us.

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On 1/28/2021 at 5:35 PM, ScarfOfSexualPreference said:

But I've read and watched and heard so many Hollywood stories of casual sex turning into something more, or one catching feelings, and that is my WORST NIGHTMARE. Which is why I think it's probably best if aromantic sex refers to people who identify as part of the aromantic spectrum.

👍 yeah

Speaking about Hollywood... it's not uncommon for actors playing a couple to end up as an actual couple! Playing a pre-written script of "I love you" blah, kissing in front of the camera, .... if that is already enough, I suspect your nightmare of one catching feelings has a high probability of becoming real.

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On 1/29/2021 at 3:05 AM, ScarfOfSexualPreference said:

Which is why I think it's probably best if aromantic sex refers to people who identify as part of the aromantic spectrum.

My first though when I read 'Aromantic Sex' was exactly this. Aromantic people have aromantic sex, so saying you have 'aromantic sex' sounds like a way of coming out as aromantic. 

I have been thinking that 'non-romantic sex' is probably the best alternative term for 'friends with benefits'. Non-romantic implies there is another connection, like friendship that bonds the people. It is annoying that it has to work off of an implied assumption when 'friends with benefits' is directly accurate. Darn Hollywood and women's magazines for stealing the term 'friends with benefits' before we could claim it and use it more accurately! 

So non-arospec people should not use 'aromantic sex' because the majority(?) of us are incapable of catching feelings, while 'non-romantic sex' sounds like it has the possibility of becoming 'romantic sex' if/when catching feelings happens. Same word usage can work for dates, living together, or any other situation where two or more people are. Though if I see someone use 'aromantic sex' I will just congratulate them on coming out and share several aro flag arts and invite them to Pride. 

On 1/28/2021 at 2:56 PM, eatingcroutons said:

As for "aromantic dates", mate dates are definitely a thing even among alloromantic people.

Wow, the 4 different definitions are really different! I know non-romantic dates also as 'friend time' 

Edited by Apathetic Echidna
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On 1/31/2021 at 8:20 PM, DeltaV said:

Speaking about Hollywood... it's not uncommon for actors playing a couple to end up as an actual couple! Playing a pre-written script of "I love you" blah, kissing in front of the camera, .... if that is already enough, I suspect your nightmare of one catching feelings has a high probability of becoming real.

This really should be recognised as a problem. At least lack of professionalism or, possible, mental illness.
Which would probably be the case were actors playing enemies were to then turn into actual enemies off set.

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On 1/31/2021 at 12:20 PM, DeltaV said:

Speaking about Hollywood... it's not uncommon for actors playing a couple to end up as an actual couple! Playing a pre-written script of "I love you" blah, kissing in front of the camera, .... if that is already enough, I suspect your nightmare of one catching feelings has a high probability of becoming real.

My one and only dating experience was with a guy who played the Eric to my Ariel in middle school. My theory is that I fabricated feelings for him onstage, so I did the same for offstage. I'm super wary of anyone who plays a romantic counterpart in any show now... 

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On 2/5/2021 at 5:23 PM, Mark said:

This really should be recognised as a problem. At least lack of professionalism or, possible, mental illness.

Could be. The only idea I have that looks favourably to the actors is that the sort of people who show great chemistry while acting might be fairly well suited to each other. And maybe that gets picked up during casting.

I'm really stretching there though, I suspect you are right that it is a problem.

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