Tag Archives: amatonormativity

Notes on the Nuclear Family

Be advised these are not proper “notes” but more like a slapdash pileup of sources on the subject, loosely categorized, and sprinkled with the occasional quotes and bullet points. I figure they can be a starting point for anyone interested in investigating further. More or less a response to this conversation. Crossposted. Updated 9/17/19.

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On “single”

[This post has been crossposted to Pillowfort.]

In the midst of other inter/intracommunity discussions going on, here’s something I want to put back on the radar: There’s some unspoken assumptions underlying some of how the ace and aro communities discuss “relationships,” and I think that needs to be addressed. For the purposes of making this point, though, I’ve decided to come at the issue by discussing the word “single,” specifically in relation to recent developments in my own life.

This is a post which has been exceptionally difficult to write.

But for now, here is where it starts. The word “single,” for describing a state of not participating in a romantic relationship, has certain limitations — limitations which have been addressed by aromantics before. In short, they would say, the word “single” implies too much. Those observations have weight, but personally, my problem with the word is the opposite: that it doesn’t convey nearly enough.

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Frameworks of Visibility vs. Acceptance

As a followup to my previous post on “visibility,” this (crossposted) post features what I should have started with in the first place: diagrams.

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Bonus Round: Queerplatonic-Adjacent Concepts

Originally, my Genealogy of Queerplatonic (Part 1) was going to have multiple sections, but due to length I ended up cutting a lot of extra links I’d collected on other different-but-related concepts. I’m now sharing those links here, in their own post. In other words, even though this post mostly isn’t about the concept of “queerplatonic” by name, you can think of this post as a kind of Part 2.

Featured in this post: a set of smaller link compilations on relationship anarchy, platonic orientations, alterous attraction, and more.

[Note: This post has been crossposted to Pillowfort. Edited 4/28/19.]

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A Genealogy of Queerplatonic

This post is a sampling of links charting the etymology, development, and controversies of the term “queerplatonic” from 2010 to 2019. The concept has been back on my radar again, so to speak, and I’ve been thinking about saying more about it, but I’ve realized that in order to respond to certain patterns, I’d need to document them first. This post represents my effort to do just that.

Accordingly, I’ve tried to refrain from building toward any particular argument or central claim. Instead, I leave most of that to you. However, I am wary of this post being linked or cited in any way which outright contradicts my understanding, and so I have provided a couple paragraphs of summary down at the end, to pick out some of the most distinct patterns I have observed. If you are linking this post and need to condense it into a shorter summary, please make use of those paragraph in some way.

[Note: This post has been crossposted to Pillowfort. See also Part 2. Preview image from Rawpixel, CC BY 2.0.]

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Living Situations & Relationship Expectations

I feel lied to.

I had heard, from sources I don’t remember, never to move in with people you consider friends.  I don’t know how widespread this advice is, but it’s definitely a thing that I’d heard and was on my mind, right at the time that a friend asked to become my roommate, several years ago.  And so it became the cause for hesitation and ambivalence.

Because what I’d heard was: don’t move in with your friends.  You don’t want your friends as roommates.  Just because you’re friends doesn’t mean you’ll live well together.  You’ll end up annoying each other in petty roommate ways and it will destroy your friendship.

I didn’t want to destroy my friendship.

I was terrified of that happening.

So I dragged my feet and thought about declining what ended up being a really, really, really good deal.

Here’s my experience: moving in with my friend didn’t destroy my friendship.  It made every night feel like a sleepover party.

As of the end of last month, I’ve done it again — moved in with another friend.  I was worried about it this time, too.

I guess that advice has really stuck in my mind.

I even saw someone giving the same advice this week.

You know what I realized, though?  Not once, ever, have I ever seen someone say, “Don’t move in with your romantic partner.  It will destroy your relationship.”

What I see, sometimes, instead, is talk of “when” is the “right time,” the right stage, the right passage of time before it makes sense for two romantic partners to move in together.  When.  Not if.  And certainly not “never.”

I’ve seen talk of moving in before getting married being potentially detrimental, but blanket generalizations of “never”?  Never seen it.

It’s accepted to warn people of the dangers of moving in with friends — yet also believe those dangers dissipate in the case of romance.

I feel lied to.


Friendship doesn’t (and does) mean anything.

A post spurred by this conversation on nonromantic attractions & relationships.

First of all, “platonic” is, etymologically and descriptively, kind of a terrible word, and I still wish it would go away.  A decent replacement would be nice.  But it would also be cool if we could agree on whether that replacement means nonromantic, nonsexual, or nonromantic-nonsexual.  Or we could just… use the words I just listed there.  *shrug*  It would solve a few problems, that’s all I’m saying.

But to get into the meat of the matter: when folks are talking about nonromance, I’ve been seeing a lot of claims, enthymemes, and entire concept models that are wonky, confusing, and clash with my own experience.  I’m going to talk a bit about the latter.  So here we go:

In my experience, friendship doesn’t mean anything.

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AA: on “ending up alone”

The copilot sent:

Can you please write a post about “ending up alone?” That is all.

Well, I can try.

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Another Weird Assumption by Demi Critics

The logic goes like this.  You may feel asexual when you’re single, but when you’re in a romantic relationship, you’re as allo as everybody else.

This is a case that was made to me during an online argument a few months back.  As best I can figure, it relies on at least three unspoken requirements:

  • Strong emotional bonds only form within the bounds of romantic relationships.  No one forms strong emotional bonds with their friends.
  • Demis experience sexual attraction to 100% of the people they’re emotionally invested in.
  • Demis start experiencing sexual attraction as soon as a romantic relationship begins.  The exact moment that they update their Facebook relationship status, a switch flips and their partner is now sexy.
  • Bonus: aromantic and nonamorous demisexuals don’t exist.

on the subject of -norms

In the course of all this making fun of “The Discourse” (which is a really nondescript and homogenizing term so???), in which there’s been some good points and all, I’ve also seen someone mock the concept of “amatonormativity” like it’s useless and irrelevant BS, and yeah, that makes me wonder how they even heard about it,

but I’ve also seen a post where someone was like “you know, something that I’ve realized is that there are a lot of similarities between amatonormativity and heteronormativity… for example–” and I just wanted to lay my head down on my desk and stay like that forever because wow, come on.