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Have any of you taken longer to figure out your sexuality than being aromantic?


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I'm curious if anyone else has had this experience. I say this because in general it seems easier for most to figure out ones own sexuality first, than their romantic orientation. I can't recall reading anyone having the reverse happen to them.

 

I'll share my own experience with this:

I thought I was on the ace-spectrum until fairly recently, since I wasn't really that interested in having sex. But I realised this lack of interest was not caused by lack of sexual attraction, instead it was mainly because of being both touch-averse and socially anxious. I can desire sex - it's just hard to meet the right conditions to the point I would be comfortable enough to act on those feelings. It was easier to believe I was ace so that I didn't have to confront it.

It also took me a long time to reach this conclusion partly due to my confidence in being aro, it was easier to assume my romantic/sexual orientations were aligned. And because I had no interest going into romantic relationships, I didn't really have an accessible way to explore my sexuality in a hands-on approach (I'm way to nervous to try anything with someone I don't know).

Oh, and one more contributing factor is that I discovered aromanticism through asexuality - I had connected with the idea of being ace first, thus I did not think of going back to re-evaluate until much later.

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I resonate with your experience. I also discovered aromanticism through asexuality- it was then that I realized that what I thought was due to asexuality was actually due to aromanticism. After learning more about aromanticism, I felt a lot more sure about that than my sexuality. I still find my sexuality a bit ambiguous and hard to describe whereas my aromanticism feels concrete, which is why I identify as aroqueer. 

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I discovered aromanticism through asexuality, however I first labeled myself aromantic before taking the label of asexual. For me, being aro was a solid thought and I did not question it a lot. However, before using the ace label, I was using the pansexual one and changing from pan to ace ha been quite an experience for me because I question myself each day. I know deep down that all my experiences relating to gender, sexuality and romance can be explained through the aro label. But that leaves me questioning my ace identity (is personal thing and does not pertain your qestion ^^). So yh, aro label I embraced it from the start, ace label is giving me more work.

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2 minutes ago, DivineCyst said:

I had discovered aromanticism through asexuality but i had definitely labeled myself as aro before ace so now im questioning lol.

Yeah, I want to not question who I am but it is what it is, heteronormativity and family issues are my main reason. Society holds romance and sex as top priority and taking away that notion takes time when it was everything that I heard from early age.

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I totally agree with you about that. Hilariously, the only reason I'm really questioning now, because before I was focused on figuring out where on the aro spectrum i was, is because my friends keep calling me gay lol. i say no but then my best friend hugs me so it contradicts :/ but that's life. now im thinking about it.

no offense to anyone.

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I definitely relate to this. I've known I was aromantic for a while, but had phases of thinking I was asexual as well and still am not sure exactly about my sexuality, whether I'm demi or gray or just regular gynesexual but turned off by dehumanization and the idea of random hookups.

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1 minute ago, DivineCyst said:

I totally agree with you about that. Hilariously, the only reason I'm really questioning now, because before I was focused on figuring out where on the aro spectrum i was, is because my friends keep calling me gay lol. i say no but then my best friend hugs me so it contradicts :/ but that's life. now im thinking about it.

no offense to anyone.

Maybe your friends don't know all terms (I always give the benefit of doubt). Since "gay" is used by heteros (mostly) as an umbrella term and not as a specific name. Also, for me, the term is used as an insult so I don't like it at all. Is up to you in trying to educate people or just ignoring them altogether and they usually stop. But if you feel uncomfy with the term you can always ask them to drop it. ^^ 

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Yes I realize that. I believe they know some terms but it is simplest to use the word "gay" between us in passing at school or at lunch. We both know what we mean by the term so it is not insulting to us, but i fully realize it could be insulting to others, and I would not use it near them if they thought it was an insult to them. 

It doesn't make me uncomfy specifically, but it makes me think about it. I believe that they use the term because it is short and we are usually just passing by in the hallways. 

Sorry for using it so much. 

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2 minutes ago, DivineCyst said:

Sorry for using it so much. 

No no, it is completely fine if you both know and are comfortable with it. I was giving an example of a bad situation since where I am, Puerto Rico, queer people in general are called gay, faggots and other mean words on purpose by hetero people. So even though my culture uses it with a bad connotation, I know it is not the case for everyone. By all means if you like it, or your friends like it or helps you pass then use it. ^^ did not mean to impose anything, we all are free to choose.

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2 minutes ago, Blake said:

No no, it is completely fine if you both know and are comfortable with it. I was giving an example of a bad situation since where I am, Puerto Rico, queer people in general are called gay, faggots and other mean words on purpose by hetero people. So even though my culture uses it with a bad connotation, I know it is not the case for everyone. By all means if you like it, or your friends like it or helps you pass then use it. ^^ did not mean to impose anything, we all are free to choose.

ohhh ok. I am sorry that is where you are or how that word is used there. I hope the culture there improves when using those words! ^^

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Oh yes, though I don't have it so bad because I don't divulge anything about my personal life to family members. I only get the ocassional " You need to look for a partner/ get married" but nothing beyond that for now. Thanks and may we both (and all here) find what we want to find ^^

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I realised that I’m ace first and then I started wondering if I’m also aro. I’m pretty sure that I am, but I’m not 100% sure

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I found out about aromanticism and asexuality around the same time, three or four years ago. Aromanticism clicked instantly.

It took me around three years of thinking I was just a picky, socially anxious bisexual or maybe a lesbian until I realized I'd never really had genuine sexual interest in anybody. On top of that, it took me another year to come to terms with being some sort of ace. (I'm still so confused.)

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I stil haven't fullt figured out my sexuality. I have decided that it's not that important though. I have a low libido and I'm fine with just abstaining from sexual activities. It just seems easier than to get into the murky waters of gray sexuality.

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Yeah, I figured I could be aro about a year or a year and a half before I figured out I was bi. But honestly, I think that I never would've been able to come to terms with my bisexuality if I hadn't realised I was aro first. I'd be so confused about why I was interested in women but interested at the same time? So it only made sense that I had to define my lack of romantic attraction before I could define anything else.

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I figured out I was ace first. And then thinking about moments I referred to my asexuality I realised that I can’t “only” be ace bc being alloromantic would lead to different experiences... so i figured out I had to be aro too

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Woah, woahwoahwoah. 

I think I just had a sexuality crisis from this post, so that's fun...

It's just almost unimaginable that I could have an experience with sex that doesn't also involve emotional connection, and sex feel so vulnerable and unsafe and scary. I definitely feel ace-spec, though, since I don't I've ever looked at someone and seriously thought 'I want to have sex with that person.'

Not sure what I'm going to do with this newfound information, but thanks for bringing it up. 😅

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I understand what you mean. Personally, I struggled with labeling my sexuality for a few years, until I kinda just gave up and said "queer" and that's it. With aromanticism, it was much easier to label myself. I found the word and promptly started using it.

Also I totally relate about not being able to figure out sexuality because you can't actually experiment with it since you're socially anxious. I've questioned being ace-spec, but I know that it's mostly just me being too scared to think about sexuality with someone I don't already trust, and honestly that's a little hard to find outside of romantic relationships. 

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  • 2 months later...

Yes, very recently figured out I’m a lesbian at 27 years old, but I’ve known I was on the aromantic spectrum for years. Compulsory heterosexuality and amatonormativity are terrible.

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