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Aromanticism and local culture


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One thing I have mentioned a couple of times recently is that my aromanticism was effected by the cultural ideas about where I am from. I am from a place called Essex which has a reputation for being a bit lacking in class and the idea that the people are very promiscuous (this is usually said in a less diplomatic way).

In my case this local culture came head to head with catholic schooling which meant a lot of pushing towards the good traditional romantic relationship. It also meant that it took me a while to figure out I didn't want romance because I thought all the lads where I was were the same, wanting sex but not romance and when I was a bit older I would start wanting a more relaxed, traditional relationship. As you can imagine, that didn't work out.

So I was wondering if anyone else has any stories of local culture or ideas about where you are from that impacted your understanding of aromanticism?

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  • 1 month later...

My culture is one that is very sexual and romantic. I spent all my life through college on Puerto Rico, an island on the Caribbean. We have music and dances that are represented very romantic. (Ex. Salsa). Because I was raised in a very romantic environment, I went to dances, danced, I felt good but there was no connection between me and my dancing partner. For me it was just dancing, having fun, just doing something cultural but no attachment whatsoever to it.

Because of that, I didn't really understood I was aro until my early twenties. How could I, if everything I was consuming was from a romantic and sexual point of view. I did felt broken, because heteronormativity and amatonormativity, that I couldn't connect with anyone on a significant level. It was because I was living alone, outside of the influences of my environment that I was raised, that I began to understand my romantic identity. It also took me quite a while to come to terms that I was also ace. That is my story when it comes to the intersection between culture and my romantic and sexual identity. It had a lot to do, since it kept me from discovering I was aro for a while and even more to discover I was ace.

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I don't know if this counts, but in my life I haven't really heard people talk about romance and sex. it just never happened. I don't know why. so, I didn't have anyone to compare my feelings too. it's possible it took me so long to realize I'm not into tese things because of that. I had to be in a relationshi with someone who desired me to see that I was experiencing something different. 

 

but, even then, I thought se just wasn't a good match for me. so really I had to find (a)sexuality and aven to discover who I was. 

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I grew up in a mix of muslim, christian, ex-christian, and atheist environment. Which is to say, I grew up in the poorer area of my city, with a bigger percentage of immigrants and multicultural stuff, and more muslims. My country is culturally (lutheran) christian, so that was very much present too; my mam grew up christian and (her words) broke up with Jesus when she was 15, so she is that particular ex-christian atheist; and my dad grew up in an atheist family.

As well as that I was brought up by feminist and otherwise leftist parents. As such I think I've been extremely lucky? I've been exposed to many different ways to view (romantic) love and sex, both religiously and otherwise - I don't know why this is, but my area also has a higher amount of parents who are either divorced, never married in the first place, or single parents. I've seen many combinations of families through my friends growing up: parents who got married at 19 and are still together, people who co-parent their child but the child was a result of a one night stand, divorced parents who still have sunday dinner together every week and bring their new partners. And less blissful ones too. My parents never pushed me nor my sister into thinking we HAD to get a partner. Even now, when my sister has been in several committed relationship and I have been in none, and I've never straight up told them my orientation, they've never questioned me about that. 

So while I've still felt that pressure of finding romantic love (I don't know anyone else IRL who are aro, AFAIK), I've been incredibly lucky in not having just one example of life - husband and wife and two and a half kids, like. It took a while for me to realise and accept that I am aromantic, but I've always felt surprisingly fine not dating and finding an SO. 

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2 hours ago, Ashe. said:

I don't know if this counts, but in my life I haven't really heard people talk about romance and sex. it just never happened. I don't know why.

That certainly counts.

It is very interesting to me that there are some backgrounds where romance sems to appear far more or less often than others. I guess while my experience growing up focussed on romance quite a lot the other side of that is that I had some comprehension that I was different (even though I hadn't learnt about aromanticism)

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I was homeschooled.  Two of my best friends were queer, the other one was straight with a hint of bi.  I talked with the girl member of our little friend club about romance a lot.  That said...I thought I was lesbian at the time.  So that may color things.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 9/25/2021 at 6:02 PM, Ashe. said:

in my life I haven't really heard people talk about romance and sex. it just never happened. I don't know why.

I relate a lot. I did have one friend (she's still one of my closest friends) who was constantly head over heels in love with someone, but the rest just never talked about it. So I thought she was just a special case and I'm just not that into romance.

I got into the lgbtq+ community through the art community and learned about asexuality and aromantism that way. That's how I found out quite early.

Interestingly I also live in a conservative catholic family, but somehow they never talked about either sex or romance to us, or at least very, very rarely.

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On 9/25/2021 at 5:53 PM, Blake said:

Because I was raised in a very romantic environment, I went to dances, danced, I felt good but there was no connection between me and my dancing partner. For me it was just dancing, having fun, just doing something cultural but no attachment whatsoever to it.

Partner dancing is one of those mysteries to me… what’s it for? What you’re supposed to feel? I simply do not get it. I do not get it all!! I mean we all learn that it is deeply entangled with romo stuff. Also that it’s supposed to be a “launchpad” for romo stuff. But how often is this the case exactly? I mean allos sometimes must also just dance for fun without any romo motives.

But more importantly why is there this connection to romance in the first place? You’re physically a bit close and you’re moving around and that is enough?!? That takes quite some imagination! Do allos regularly develop romantic feelings to e. g. their physiotherapists? I guess / hope not!

I also do not understand the strong connection of dancing and eroticism; it’s a bit more understandable, but I think you must have a rather wild imagination, too…

I’m always amazed about this convoluted romo culture which combines maximal complexity with maximal shallowness.

We were forced to do partner dancing in school. I found this completely unnerving. /rant-end

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