Posts tagged romance
Posts tagged romance
I do find it funny that lesbians are perceived as man-hating but gay men are not perceived as woman-hating, and in fact are often illogically shielded from accusations of misogyny simply by being gay
I’m interested in both the actual and ideal relationship conduct of cross-orientation allosexuals: people whose romantic and sexual orientations don’t match.
Just to review, cross-orientation sexual identities include but aren’t limited to:
- heteromantic homosexual
- homoromantic heterosexual
- biromantic heterosexual
- biromantic homosexual
- homoromantic bisexual
- heteromantic bisexual
- aromantic heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual
- heteromantic pansexual
- biromantic pansexual
- homoromantic pansexual
- panromantic bisexual, homosexual, or heterosexual
I imagine that the most common practice amongst these allosexuals is to still have conventional romantic-sexual relationships with others because that’s the normative behavior and lifestyle, and perhaps some cross-orientation folks don’t mind being in these functionally normative relationships, even though they’re not actually experiencing one form of attraction to their partners while participating in the relationships.
But there must be some cross-orientation allosexuals who really would prefer to keep their romantic and sexual relationships separate. Who want nonsexual romance and nonromantic sex and to have that separation happen in the most seamless way possible.
I figure the biggest problem for cross-orientation allosexuals is invisibility, like it is for asexuals. If you’re a cross-orientation allosexual person and you meet another allosexual who isn’t—one who just experiences romantic and sexual attraction the same gender or genders—trying to communicate that you’re romantically into them but not sexually into them or vice versa is hella difficult because they just don’t know that such a thing is possible or that cross-orientation sexuality exists. And we live in a culture that says romance doesn’t exist without sex and ongoing sex without romance is the behavior of somebody “afraid of commitment” or “afraid of emotional attachment” or somebody who’s a slut and just wants to have sex with multiple people rather than one person they’re dating.
But in a perfect world, where everyone in society knows that cross-orientation sexuality exists and where everyone is open-minded enough to accept nonsexual romance and nonromantic sex and the coexistence of a sexual partner with a romantic partner who are two different people involved with the same person, would the average cross-orientation allosexual set out to form romantic relationships without sex and sexual relationships without romance and say “fuck it” to combining the two forevermore?
Are there already cross-orientation allosexuals who have managed to form these separate relationships in their lives? How’s it going?
And what about aromantic allosexuals? I’m guessing they’re the cross-orientation types who are most easily demonized, when other allosexuals actually hear about them. What’s an aromantic allosexual’s first choice lifestyle? Regular sex and otherwise no life partner, living alone, having friends? Sex with people they’re attracted to sexually and a nonsexual/nonromantic life partner who’s the emotional center of their lives? For aromantic allosexuals who want a life partner, does gender matter? Do some aromantic allosexuals want more than one partner? A kind of nonromantic polyamory?
I’m a celibate asexual with no romantic identity, but I’m really interested in cross-orientation allosexuals and their experiences and the possibility they represent of a diverse society where nonsexual romance and nonromantic sex are practiced as commonplace, accepted, supported lifestyle choices. I can understand wanting love without sex, and though I don’t desire sex, I have always perfectly understood and supported sex devoid of romance.
I think cross-orientation sexuality needs to become visible. I think it needs to be discussed openly. I think it needs to have a presence in our media. I think cross-orientation allosexuals should be able to separate their romantic relationships from their sexual relationships as they desire, rather than having to settle for romantic-sexual relationships just because those are the norm and most allosexuals don’t think nonsexual romance and nonromantic sex are acceptable.
I just want to live in a world where everybody understands that you can love someone romantically and not feel sexually attracted them, you can want to fuck someone silly but not feel a shred of romantic attraction to them, you can want romantic relationships without sex and sexual relationships without romance, and you don’t need to sexualize a romantic relationship to make it real or romanticize a sexual relationship to make it appropriate.
definitely a thing, and an important concept to have!
Sometimes I question my aromantic-spectrum identity for the reason that I have no idea what romantic attraction would even entail for me, if I were aware of experiencing it as such.
Then I remember that I have no idea what romantic attraction is or feels like other than being told “you know it when you feel it,” and I am certain again that I don’t experience it. If I have no awareness of having a certain feeling, I can’t be experiencing that feeling at all.
I think the “you know it when you feel it” phrase isn’t as accurate as people like to think.
There are definitely times when romantic attraction hits you like running into a brick wall, but it is a complicated feeling since it’s more like a collective of feelings rather than just one. So for some (many?) people there are times where you may get some of those feelings & aren’t sure if it’s enough to be considered romantic or they may not even be as intense as expected & may not even really notice them.
When I’m talking about feelings though I’m basically referring to infatuation since that’s how romantic attraction manifests itself for me & many others. I don’t get the “I wanna date/be in a romantic relationship with you” thoughts at some point like most people do, but that’s because I don’t like how clingy they seem & interpersonal attraction normally doesn’t overlap with it.
I guess the conscious interest in romance with someone is enough for someone to tell they’re being romantically attracted to someone, I’ve seen it personally & don’t really get it myself though, but as far as the “romantic feelings” everyone talks about I’m pretty sure that’s infatuation.
….wow that was rambly.
[Text: ”Maybe when you meet the right person, he/she will fix you.” asexualproblems.tumblr.com]
You know, I thought about this reply & it has some very disturbing implications when you think about it.
According to them, Mr/Ms Right is just about the “one” who ends up turning you on, who you want to have sex with, who makes you “normal”….but they say nothing about how they treat you as a person.
Lets say Alex here has never been sexually attracted to someone before. They know this, but doesn’t know anyone else like them even exists & may not be aware that it’s ok. So Alex is kind of worried about it explains this to someone & that someone gives them that line we just love hearing, “That will change when you meet the right person”. So Alex thinks “Ok, that makes sense…I guess.” Some time goes by & for whatever reason, be it sexual fluidity, “late blooming”, being grey - A or whatever, Alex does meet someone who they’re not only infatuated with, but also sexually attracted to. Even better, they find out this “Right” person’s feelings are mutual. So they decide to date & for a while it all seems to work out.
Of course Alex is thinking at this point that maybe it was true, maybe they just really needed the “right” person for their feelings to change….but then it slowly starts to dawn on them that Mr/Ms Right is actually a very manipulative/abusive/control freak of a partner. By the time Alex realizes how bad it is, they have no idea how to get out of it. And to make things worse, the “right” person over here knows the impact they have on Alex….
“You can’t leave me, I’m the one who made you normal……you’d be a freak of nature if it wasn’t for me….you would just be a waste of flesh. I’m the one who fixed you..”
Maybe it is unlikely that a scenario like this will happen, but I see no reason why it can’t.
You know something is wrong when what makes the “right person” just that has nothing to do with how they treat you, but rather is defined by the fact you must be sexually drawn to them. I’m sure they didn’t mean it, I’m positive it didn’t even cross their minds when they said it….partially because nobody likes to think about it, but it sounds like being “fixed” is more important than having a sense of self-worth, security & an overall healthy, functional relationship….even if that relationship meant no sex.
The bottom line: As far as I know, we don’t have a word for romantic-abstinent. And we don’t have words for people who choose not to participate in romantic or sexual activity due to a lack of interest.
(First real post, what?)
So, along with a lot of posts about “mixed relationships” between…
Somebody once suggested “amnolite” when this issue was brought up on another blog. I think it works so it would be nice to get it out there. I think celibate can still work for the lack of interest in sexual activity part, if only we could just cut out “abstain” format the definition & just replace it with something more vague like “avoiding” to be more inclusive. I mean if you want to be clear you’re abstaining form sex just say you’re practicing sexual abstinence. I mean, sexual abstinence is already a word/phrase, so why do we need 2 words to say the same exact thing? Give one of them some leeway, guys.
Dr. Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist, has conducted extensive research using fMRI scans to study the human brain in lust and romantic love. The above link is a video of a lecture she gave in 2010 on her work in this area.
The reason I want to share this with you is because of how groundbreaking her findings are in connection to nonsexual love and romance (and also, perhaps help people confused about romantic attraction understand what it is, in a way?): Fisher discovered that sexual lust, romantic love, and attachment are three separate and different chemical processes in the brain. While she has framed these as consecutive stages of romantic-sexual pair-bonding, she also acknowledges that each of these brain systems can operate individually, without the other two. This scientific evidence can support the experiences of nonsexual romance and even nonsexual/nonromantic attachment (nonromantic sexual attraction is nothing new to anyone, of course). Her work is proof that sexual attraction and romantic attraction are two separate functions, on a basic neurological level, even when they’re happening at the same time. Because sexual attraction and romantic love are two different neurological processes, there’s an easily available explanation for romantic asexuals, aromantic sexual people, and mixed orientation sexual people, on a scientific level. If the romance system activates when a romantic asexual falls in love but the lust system doesn’t or if the lust system activates in the brain of an aromantic sexual person but the romance system doesn’t, we can thus scientifically confirm these experiences. We should also be able to study the brains of mixed orientation sexual people and see a consistency of the lust system lighting up for one gender (or both genders) and the romance system lighting up for a different gender. Another thing these separate systems/reactions suggest is the potential for a person to feel romantic feelings toward someone that both exist without sexual attraction and that exist contrary to the person’s romantic orientation (ex: a heteromantic heterosexual man developing romantic nonsexual feelings for another man).
In the future, I would love for scientists to study the brain chemistry of self-identified asexuals and aromantics, both for the purpose of analyzing how romantic asexuals experience romantic attraction in the brain, in the absence of sexual lust, and what goes on in the brains of aromantics who love a person or people in a primary way. Is romance in the brain of an asexual any different than it is in the brain of a romantic-sexual person? If the romance center of the brain and the romance chemicals don’t act up in aromantics, what does love look like in their brains? Do they skip right to the attachment brain system that is responsible for emotional bonding in long-term romantic relationships or is there something different going on? What goes on in the brain of a person who feels intense nonsexual, nonromantic love? How different is that reaction from lust or romance, chemically? What if it isn’t very different at all?
For a succinct breakdown of the brain science behind the stages, visit the science of love.
To the lovely people who post in the Ace Tags:
Greetings. I am Fiish and I am a gray-romantic (gray biromantic to be exact) asexual. For shorts: I am asexual.
What this means is that I do not experience sexual attraction!
Being asexual is not:
- A “get out of drama” free card for relationship…
- Something you can just “become” when you are having relationship problems
Being asexual is:
- Simply not experiencing sexual attraction
Asexuality does not:
- Fix your relationship problems
- Make your life easier
- Make u supr kewlll
- FIX. YOUR. RELATIONSHIP. PROBLEMS.
You cannot “become” asexual just because you are going through things. You can, however, become celibate. Or you could just not focus on relationships.
Please note that asexual people using these tags may call you out on your shit.
We’re really tired of having our sexual orientation used in this way.
Please don’t turn it into some magical, fix-it-all cure for relationship drama.
Because it isn’t.
This desperately needs to be reblogged. Over & over again.