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Figuring out my label

Guest Nika


Hello! I've been considering reaching out to people to talk about this for a while now, but im very nervous so decided to stick to a forum.

Some important info before i get to the main part - Im 25 years old, and touch adverse (it ranges from being jumpy on contact to getting a sickly, feverish feeling) Doesn't matter if its a stranger, best friend or my mum whom i love very much. It gets better if i spend a lot of time around that person, but still resurfaces at times. It's a bit better if i brace myself and initiate contact myself.

I've considered myself panromantic/demisexual for a very long time, but for a couple of months now i've been feeling really confused. I sticked with the pan label since my early teens, because i knew identity would never play a role if i liked someone. But years passed, and i have never, ever felt attracted to anyone - I've had people confess/show interest in me as a partner, and i always felt extremely uneasy and had to decline, which lead to me feeling extremely rotten for hurting their feelings. I just thought that "it's not clicking/i don't see them that way" even if they were best friends that i have known for years/found them really attractive aesthetically. Everytime i would just have this voice in the back of my head saying "not again", because i knew i would have to decline.

Last year i entered a relationship with a person that has been a good and really accepting friend for a long while - they knew a lot about my feelings about this kind of stuff ("mush", as i like to call all relationshippy stuff). I've been comfortable and happy, but it haven't really felt any different than if i were living with a best friend - movie nights, wrestling for fun, being silly. I found out i absolutely DESPISE kissing, and told my partner i would prefer to avoid it - it was hard because they really enjoyed it and i felt bad, but they understood, and we limited it :) I was sexually active, but felt close to nothing - no excitement, i wasn't turned off by it but it was mostly just treating my partner; I was happy to make them feel good, and THAT was what really gave me satisfaction. The only times i would really feel my heart swell was when they told me that i make them feel like life is worth living and that i made them a better person - i experienced that feeling with my best friends before, so i really cant say it was unique. It's just a wave of love for that person, and understanding we both care for one another. The idea of a perfect date/outing for me is rockhounding, visiting a museum or going on a hike, the aformentioned "mush" is a turn off and to be completely sure a bit beyond my understanding.

Now, these are my main issues with the situation:

  1. It feels very strange to me, living with a certain label most of my life, then learning about the gray spectrum and suddenly feeling like i got shaken by someone. Im just really confused, and hoping someone here can help me out.
  2.  I always really enjoyed fandom and shipping characters! I have a (really dead) libido, and to be honest? Most of my crushes growing up were fake people! Not really ashamed of it, it was always really fun, still is. But i feel like it might be invalidating my real life feelings/outlook on relationships. I don't know if it should - it is fiction, and most things i like in fiction i would never enjoy in real life. I can't deal with conflict and violence! But i enjoy horror and super hero movies.

Im really sorry for any grammar errors - im not a native english speaker. Also sorry if its too much information, i just wanted to clarify my situation best i could.

Honestly hoping for someone to help me figure this out, am i aro/ace? Demi/ace?

Best regards, and thank you if you read through all of this!




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You sound aro ace to me but I could mistaken. You don't sound like you love your partner romantically or like you had crush on people. You can Mike shipping and still be aro, that the same thing as liking a horror movie as you said : you can enjoy the movie but would certainly not enjoy being part of it.

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Ok, I agree with nonmerci that you sound aro ace.

Remember, being happy that a partner is enjoying sex is completely compatible with asexuality, as is libido (for a comparison I do experience sexual attraction and it doesn't matter what my libido is currently doing). Also you sound like you have formed a strong (though not romantic) bond with someone but sexual desire has not followed. I may be wrong and this is not what I know much about, but I would say that sounds ace rather than demi, although if you want more detail on that it might be worth going to a forum dedicated to ace stuff and seeing if other responses agree.

Your experience of your relationship certainly sounds aro to me. You say you have not experienced romantic attraction so you definitely fit the bill. Also your analogy of horror movies is brilliant. Liking fictional relationships doesn't invalidate your aromanticism. for example here is a fairly big thread on shipping: https://www.arocalypse.com/topic/346-shipping/ , and here is a short thread on using shipping as a way to cope with aromanticism:  https://www.arocalypse.com/topic/3740-does-anyone-else-use-shipping-to-cope-with-not-experiencing-attraction/?tab=comments#comment-51096 . So it is completely fine to like relationships in fiction and still be aromantic. I'm sure there are other threads here which make similar points.



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Thank You both so much for the kind and informative responses! Im going to read through the linked threads, this really helps a lot with better understanding and calming myself. I tend to overthink, so hearing that it's not unheard of to still like fandom activities like shipping is reassuring :)

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