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Is your sexual or romantic orientation a bigger part of your identity?


Which is a bigger part of your identity?  

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On 07/07/2016 at 0:41 PM, Natkat said:

True even straight people can be somethimes attacked on the assumtion they are gay.

what im saying is I think aros in paticular may somethime be easier assumed to be gay (even if they arnt) because of lack of interest is seen as a proff that we arn't straight (so we must be gay), or the way we make friendships are somethimes out of the traditional friendships model that makes people questionate us.


This seems to be not uncommon. Especially amongst young people. I suspect part of this is not knowing any other term for "non normative orientation".

I can also see an aro hetero man attempting to form QPRs with women being misinterpreted as the way some gay men act.

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Both are equally significant, this combination keeps me on my toes.   Not really because I consider them significant personality traits, but because society reminds me quite often that the m

When you wrote "misplaced homophobia" I had this absurd image of giant cardboard cutouts of homophobic slurs scattered across the floor, on the shelves, on a dinner table, and a very frantic bigot run

I think I already said this in multiple other threads, but my aro informs everything else.  This makes it easier for me to put my sexual orientation on hold, since as long as I don't find another

19 hours ago, SoulWolf said:

Actually being agender (I think) has also had a pretty big impact in similar ways to being aro... the fact that most people actually identify with a gender of some kind also seems a bit alien to me. Things like "but you're a woman, therefore you should understand X" has been a frequent comment in my life, to which I just roll my eyes and sigh.


I get something similar with it being assumed that I will hold "male" views on everything. When depending on what X is my position could be more "female".
Since my genderqueerness is primarily in my head there probably isn't anything obvious to clue people in though.

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It's my romantic orientation since it means I don't fit well into society. (Including LGBT and poly sub groups.) The expectation of a romantic mindset appears all over the place.

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On 7 July 2016 at 7:41 PM, Natkat said:

what im saying is I think aros in paticular may somethime be easier assumed to be gay (even if they arnt) because of lack of interest is seen as a proff that we arn't straight (so we must be gay), or the way we make friendships are somethimes out of the traditional friendships model that makes people questionate us.

 

I think those are the two main reasons people assume I'm gay (or sometimes they ask, which I much prefer). Some people assume that if I don't show interest in guys I must like girls, which of course is stupid for obvious reasons. Then there's also people who observe my relationship with my best friend and come to the conclusion that I must have feelings for her. This one pisses me off not at the thought of someone thinking I'm gay oh course but the thought process that goes something like "affection = romantic feelings". It's like the complete opposite of the gal pals mentality. I mean it's either those two or the fact that sometimes I "act/dress butch" which I'd hope wasn't enough of a reason for someone to assume my (or anyone's) sexuality.

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idk actually. idk. I said romantic orientation was a bigger part of my identity. ok, yeah ok it is! my identity is more about the lack of romance. but when i imagine myself in a relationship. i'm more likely to "give in" to romantic needs than to sexual ones... but, i guess, it's important my partner understands the nature of my aromantic feelings for them as opposed to romantic ones, but i don't really care if they are sexual or ace or grey or demi if we work that out it doesn't matter to me. but with romance. if it is a romantic partner excited over limerance, sorry but ask again later when you aren't blinded by false assumptions lol. 

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I actually go back and forth on this. Some days I think the fact I don't have romantic feelings for others is more of who I am. And the next day it's because I'm not sexually attracted to anyone. It's really both equally. It just depends on the situation or the conversation that dictates the side of me I talk about in that particular moment. 

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For me they are equally important.  They don't "define" my identity in the positive way...in the way that I have no interest in relationships or sex and that DOES something in my life, but in a ""negative"" way (and I mean negative as in like a battery post as opposed to "a bad thing") in the way that these things are just glaringly absent from my entire life.  It means the vast majority of people around me have either been in relatipnships, married, divorced, or even (sadly) widowed and these things are just NOT in my life. 

When someone notices these things are just not in my life or interests, I keep it simple and tell people I have no interest in relationships or sex rather than pulling out a bunch of AVEN technicalities immediately because people around me usually don't have the patience to listen to those things.

EDIT and to add, just like Jughead above me wrote, it depends on the audience I'm dealing with and the topic of conversation which one comes up (ace or aro)...but I have to keep BOTH of these things in mind when talking to people at all times because either can pop up at any time, but they both equally contribute to feeling strange around other people because I just don't understand them.

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7 minutes ago, AroArtisan said:

It means the vast majority of people around me have either been in relatipnships, married, divorced, or even (sadly) widowed and these things are just NOT in my life. 

That's basically my story too. I have no interest, so it's something I don't really think about for myself.

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With sex I don't really care, and it is not unusual for many of the people around me to have a non-existent sex life or one so private that no one else knows about it, but romance is something I do sometimes get repulsed by, and not wanting to partner up is fairly unusual to the people around me. So my romantic orientation makes be feel different and it is something that I am not indifferent to most of the time, therefore it is more important. 

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  • 2 months later...

I definitely feel more connected to my grayromantic identity rather than my heterosexual identity. I prioritize my emotional connections over sexual needs, so my platonic relationships are usually extremely intimate, which is confusing for people when I tell them I'm straight. I was conflicted with my having sensual/intimate platonic connections with friends of all genders and whether that translated to my sexuality (being bi/pan); but I never felt lust with my female friends, just certain male friends/acquaintances. My sexual connections were always very specific and distinct from my fleeting alterous connections with male friends, and squishes/sensual relationships with female friends. My sexual identity always feel so limiting to me because it doesn't dictate who/how I love, it decides who I want to fuck and that's just not that important to me. 

 

My sexual life isn't something I am ashamed of, but I am very private about it because I know people will never understand how I compartmentalize sex in my life, and how different a long term sexual connection is from a long term platonic connection is for me. Most of the time some of  my closest friends don't know who I am in a sexual relationship with. But my closest friends know that I love (am in love, but it's hard to explain the aromantic/platonic sense of "in love") them. 

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Romantic 100%

 

I posted something similar to this in an Aromantic Asexual group to see if anyone else was similar. 

 

I'm a sex-favourable so really it's a no-brainer for me. I enjoy sex even though I'm ace. I question my sexuality sometimes because I just don't relate to other aces. I'd much rather have a sexual partner than a romantic one. I've not once questioned my romantic orientation once I found out about aromantics. I've had fwb-type relationships that I had to end because they were treating me like their girlfriend and not just a friend/sexual partner. Romance is a deal-breaker. 

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Ooh, this is an interesting topic :)

 

I guess I think of "heterosexual aromantic" as my identity (at least in this context) and for me it doesn't make much sense to sub-divide it further into separable heterosexual and aromantic identities. The aromantic part makes the heterosexual part functionally work very differently to how it would work for a typical alloromantic person (I'm far less likely to act on my sex drive, for example, as the likelihood of a mutually desirable outcome seems to be far lower than it would be for heterosexual alloromantics acting on their sex drives)

 

Similarly, the heterosexual part brings different sets of challenges to the aromantic part vs. what an asexual aromantic person might face. For example, I'm the sort of person that isn't naturally great at negotiating inter-personal ambiguity (I'm more of a things/systems oriented person than a people/relationships oriented person - not that I don't like people, they are just oftentimes confusing :P). So I like there to be reasonably clear sets of rules to follow in those contexts. Unfortunately for me, the reasonably clear (and almost universally) accepted social ruleset for entering into sexual relationships is to follow the romantic 'courtship' ritual. I'd venture to suggest that it takes a special effort (and I think some farily advanced social skills) to delibrately step outside those social norms in a way that remains clear, consensual and safe for all parties involved. Wheras an asexual aromantic simply doesn't need to worry about any of that! (Jealous! :P)

 

What do others think? :eyebrow:

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I haven't really figured out what sexuality I am yet, so I kinda don't have a lable when it comes to that which means that it's not a part of my identity. I do know that I'm aro though so I identify myself as aro and that's why my romantic orientation is a bigger part of my identity 

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29 minutes ago, Zorcodtoa said:

I'm here and not AVEN. In this relationship-mad world, we need somewhere to make sense of it all without getting lost or alienated.

What I find most maddening here is the way in which romantic relationships are considered to equate to relationships.
With other types of relationship being downplayed. Even those which are "queer platonic", "non platonic", etc effectively erased.

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5 hours ago, Josie said:

I haven't really figured out what sexuality I am yet, so I kinda don't have a lable when it comes to that which means that it's not a part of my identity. I do know that I'm aro though so I identify myself as aro and that's why my romantic orientation is a bigger part of my identity 

I definitely understand that. I identify strongly as arospec, and I have identified as heterosexual for my whole life; recently I've struggled with that identity as people mostly expect that you prioritize your heterosexual identity and so I know feel trapped in that identity because people don't get the separation. From my perspective, I don't think you should rush to label your sexuality if you don't want. 

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Oh, 100% my romantic orientation. Once I discovered aromanticism, my entire life made much more sense, and I have a much clearer view of what I want in life vs. what I was told I should want in life. My aromantic identity affects my approach to life, and every single relationship I have, or will have, while my sexual orientation is largely irrelevant. Sex is a pretty big part of my life, but my sexual orientation is what it is - it's not like I have any control over who I'm sexually attracted to. Kind of controversial, but even though I've identified as bisexual for a large part of my life, it's not something I feel like I need to be 'proud' of, or be super open about it - though I understand that most LGBTQA+ folk feel very differently. I mean, it only really matters if I'm trying to get laid, lol. Otherwise, why should anyone else care? That's just my own experience though. 

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On 04/12/2017 at 6:25 AM, ladyasym said:

My aromantic identity affects my approach to life, and every single relationship I have, or will have,

Very much so. I have no interest in being in a romantic relationship at all. Often I even find things like gossip about other people's romantic relationships entirely boring..
On the other hand I don't always want the purely platonic. Which it seems virtually everyone treats as the default alternative. Most definitely not with people whom I am sexually or sensually attracted to (with secondary attraction further complicating things).
I wish there was an easy was to say "Nothing romantic. Just about everything else is open to negotiation and the possibility of changed minds."

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This is a really great question. Interesting that most people here seem the opposite to me. Follow up Poll on how this relates to grey/demi-romo/sexuality and where the correlations are? (sounds very technical)

 

For me it is actually my sexuality. It seems more relevant to my life that I can be sexually attracted to all (or rather any) people. If I want to engage sexually with someone I simply make sure it's mutually un-romantic. If I were to encounter a situation where I particularly wanted to be with a person but they wanted something romantic, I would probably have a discussion around my general lack of feelings in that department, but would be willing to engage romantically for their sake (if that's what I wanted to do). Honestly I feel platonic bonds very strongly so it isn't so hard for me to 'fake' romantic action as I'm very tactile and affectionate with friends so to do so with a romantic/sexual partner wouldn't be difficult.

If I were to focus more on my romantic orientation I'd likely be keeping people at a distance that wouldn't allow for the strong sexual and platonic bonds I particularly aim for so would be counterproductive.

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i like this topic.  i've addressed it before, saying that overall it's definitely my romantic orientation: i identify more strongly with a- than with hetero-, if that makes sense.  like, among aro/aces, i'm pretty much like 'yeah, but guys are hot,' whereas among straight people (or any allo) i'm often like '...no.'  what with their romanticism (??), its interconnection with their sexuality (?!?!?), and often their monoamory (i'm poly), i don't even know where to start.  on the off-chance we're just talking about our sexual attraction to guys (in which case they could of course be bi/pan and it would make little to no difference), we're all good, but like, the other day, a group of acquaintances were talking about sex, and yet again i had nothing to say to even the straight girls, as i'm virgin.  i feel like i can sympathize with gray-aces in that respect: sex just isn't a big deal.  i know some of my fellow allo/aros have agreed on that here, too.  it's like, i've never questioned my heterosexuality, but it's a part of my life as insignificant as any other interest or hobby, less so than some, whereas my aromanticism is very present.  i think about it plenty, even now that i'm well past my questioning aka denial period, and as many of you have said, so do other people; if they're not asking about your romantic life/interests, they're talking about theirs.  a few times i've come out simply because i've been backed into a corner and it was easier just to do it than to keep blundering about with vague answers.  not that i mind coming out, usually; i just don't do it if i don't deem it necessary/helpful, because as i'm sure you know, it only brings on more questions.  romance and everything which comes with it is, as far as i can see, much more of a societal expectation.  so i think it comes down to 3 main points: 1. on a scale of sexuality (from a- to allo-) i'm about average, maybe a bit lower, whereas on the same scale of romanticism, i'm a 0.  aggressively aromantic, if you will.  2. sexuality and romanticism in general carry different emphasis and implications.  3. heterosexuality as opposed to homo-, bi-, pan-, or asexuality is like, whatever.  although i was rather surprised to see so many of you of the latter sexualities say they didn't carry much weight.  i guess that comes back to my second point.  clearly i have lots to say about this, so if anything was unclear or not covered, chime in.

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being aro affects me currently more than being aro, like in my social life and stuff. I'm still at an age where, you know, still only 50% or your peers have had sex, which means 50% havent, so its not as unusual for me not to have had sex.... but it is more unusual for me to have absolutely no interest in dating. So, I guess for me, they're equally as important in terms of my identity, but at the moment, outwardly being aro is more relevant.

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On 12/5/2017 at 7:40 AM, aro_elise said:

it's like, i've never questioned my heterosexuality, but it's a part of my life as insignificant as any other interest or hobby, less so than some, whereas my aromanticism is very present.

Yes, I'm very similar. I could write a 10,000 words essay of how I feel about the sex thing, but I'll just post an illustration here.

 

Now, there's likely some yet undiscovered area of interplay betwixt romantic attraction and sexual attraction (why otherwise would we see such a strong correlation between those two? Where heterosexuality is present, you're going to find heteromanticism etc. …). Therefore:

 

https://i.imgur.com/8nhiG8E.png

 

1. is “typical allo-allo”, 2. is one way to be aromantic-allosexual and 3. is like how I feel. If that makes sense.

 

The strength and frequency of sexual attraction seems sufficiently strong (indeed on some occasions I experienced it quite strongly) for me to not qualify as greysexual, but still it's simply not a that important part of my life. This is not sour grapes, I feel the same regardless of how much sex I have. And yeah, my sex hormones fall in the reference range  (long story how I got that extensive endocrinological test, but totally unrelated issue).

 

Oh, the thread topic, of course… my romantic orientation is a waaaaaaay bigger part of my identity. Most other people's life revolves around people of their “preferred” gender(s) to an absolutely absurd degree. They seem so much more “passionate”, it simply beggars belief. I'm reminded about this literally every day.

 

My aromanticism is noticeable for anyone who knows me, it's simply not hideable. With which sorts of people I have sex with and how often is pretty much hidden, nobody could infer that. If people talk about all their relationship stuff (oh, please change the topic) it easily gets embarrassing.

 

I don't know if I have weird friends, but nope no “locker room talk” there, so I guess it wouldn't make a difference if I was an ace virgin.

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On 14/12/2017 at 8:29 PM, DeltaV said:

Oh, the thread topic, of course… my romantic orientation is a waaaaaaay bigger part of my identity. Most other people's life revolves around people of their “preferred” gender(s) to an absolutely absurd degree. They seem so much more “passionate”, it simply beggars belief. I'm reminded about this literally every day.

 

Hah. I recently noticed this with a couple of people I sit near to at work. Seems like it's literally all they talk about to each other! (who they 'like', who they are currently in a relationship with and its status, who they are trying to get into one with next and their tactics to do so, etc, etc)

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This is truly interesting for me to think about having just recently realized I'm arospec. My sexuality has been fundamentally important because it meant being openly bisexual in a small town growing up. I was harassed by both adults and peers for it. Several teachers even expressed that they were uncomfortable having me in their classes because I was bi (I must mention this was 2006-07). Being bi politically motivated me. It's what drove me to seek out The Village in Toronto, to go to Pride, to join the NDP for a stretch, and to engage in activism. Being bi spurred me on to LGBT community involvement at large, and is what has made my social circles largely queer folk. My life has been IMMENSELY impacted by being bi, so right at this moment I must say that my sexuality has been bigger.

 

However.

 

Looking back on how much loneliness and pain and confusion I've endured all because I was aro and didn't know it is pretty huge. I've felt broken and incomplete for yeaaaars. I have already written an article for a kink site I've written for prior about how being aro impacts my involvement in Leather (though it may not get published, it still happened). It may be that being aro takes an equal footing with being bi on the direction of my life. 

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@Phobe i live in toronto, myself.  i'm not far from the village and unfortunately i just missed what would have been my first pride this past june, but i've heard it's great.  as far as i can tell, it's a pretty good city in which to be lgbt+.  there's ace toronto, too, but so far the only aro-inclusive meetup i've noticed (at a vegan restaurant, no less--i got my hopes up) was only for poc so i haven't been to any yet.  

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