In the spirit of Queenie’s teeny tiny linkspams, such as the one on greyness, here are a few links about or related to the experiences of tri-orientation aro aces — thoseidentifying as gay/lesbian/bi/het(or some other orientation) while also identifying with both the ace & aro umbrellas.
Some of these links are about identifying with an orientation label in a way that’s not (or not entirely) about romance or sexuality. Some of these links are about nonromantic or ambiguously-romantic partnership. Some of these links are direct personal narratives about tri-label identities, such as gay aro ace or bi aro ace. So as you can see, some of the connections are more direct than others, but hopefully you can find something you’re looking for.
In the aromantic community, not everyone accompanies their romantic orientation label with a sexual orientation label. The same is true in the reverse in the asexual community, as well. People in these communities who feel alienated by the community norm of the Romantic/Sexual Orientation Dyad have what I’ve been referring to as non-rosol identities — and where the topic comes up in aro blogging, I’ve noticed some distinct and specific patterns, some of which have even surprised me.
Going back to old, old stuff…. I’ve gotten to thinking about this more, the implications of this idea… a definition of straightness that suggests, if not requires, an explicit hierarchy of straightness. All straights are straight, but some straights are straighter than others.
That’s what comes of a working definition of straightness that depends on absences & on what is *not* experienced (re: patterns of desire, attraction, unwilled feelings, etc.), without any dependence on what *is* experienced (re: patterns of desire, attraction, unwilled feelings, etc.), deliberately shaped to include pathologized experiences off of that list, as long as they meet the given absence criteria.
I just wanna say — it might actually be workable, for all I know, but there’s a couple things I haven’t seen addressed.
Yeah my attention span is zip right now so I didn’t read all of this, but, uh, I’ve been feeling a lot of this again lately. Excerpt:
I’m also at a point in my life when most of my friends are partnered while I remain singled. I have never felt incomplete or alone without a romantic partner, but I am beginning to feel particularly singled. When I think about the benefits of romantic partnerships as exhibited both in popular culture and my own observations via my friends’ romances, I recognize that these benefits are not purely financial or physical. They are about daily and mundane interpersonal interactions of reciprocity. In short: investment, and care.
Thing is. Over the span of however much time, ranging from months to minutes from instance to instance, my thoughts keep cycling through this sort of general feedback loop that’s like… I should try to accept the fact that, realistically speaking, dating is just not viable for me… I should just stick to making friends and maintaining friendships… which I focus on, up until I start getting jealous because people are prioritizing other people ahead of me… which I can’t get mad at them for, it’s just that I’m reminded that I want to be someone’s someone that they prioritize ahead of everyone else, I want to be that important to someone, I want to be the one who comes first, and do the same for them… and the one other primary constant, that I observe, in the relationships that evoke these I-want-that feelings, seems to be sex and romance… and so I think to myself, if that’s what I want, then realistically, it can only be attained by dating someone… so I should try to get into dating… and but wait, no, here are all these reasons why dating is just not viable for me…
I never argued for doing away with the terms you proposed entirely — I simply don’t think they are sufficient to act as a REPLACEMENT for what “aphobia” already covers, which is the subject of this discussion.
…but while anti-aro acts and anti-ace acts do have overlap, sure, I still don’t think a combo-term (1) deserves to be used to the exclusion of specifics (as I’ve seen some people doing — using “aphobia” in all cases instead of using more specific terms like compulsory sexuality, amatonormativity, etc. as the case may warrant) or (2) does what Sangram says it does, re: “solidarity.” A non-aro-spec ace using “aphobia” doesn’t communicate anything to me as a quoiro and doesn’t do me any good on that front, so I don’t know what model of solidarity we’re using there. And anyway — being able to label amatonormative junk that goes on in the ace community is more important to me than having a term that homogenizes aces and aros in a way that doesn’t distinguish where populations and experiences diverge. I mean, maybe that should be important to me, but right now it’s not really.
…So it’s actually quite fascinating to me to see “a-spec” proposed as something that could mean “a spectrum of nonattraction, unspecified” (or as James puts it, “a specific phrase meant to emphasize inability or lack of desire to distinguish one’s own aro and ace identities as separate pieces rather than a composite whole”) as opposed to its current meaning of “aro spectrum and ace spectrum combined as one umbrella for all.”
She was talking to me today about topics for her new blog, brainstroming questions to ask people.
“Are these questions like for a poll or for an interview?”
“It’s for a blog. You know what a blog is, right?”
She tells me she’s changing directions from what she used to write about, broadening her subjects to three main things: the local job market, “inspiration,” and dating and relationships. She acknowledges that I may not have much experience with the first one, being that I’m just out of college, but — she looks at me, and with *such dead certainty*, she says, “I mean, you– I know you’ve dated.”
So I try to keep a very plain tone of voice as I’m put on the spot to reply, “I haven’t, actually. I know that’s weird.”
Which had me immediately thinking, now she’s going to want to know why. She may not ask, because she’s nice, but the moment you fess up to something like that people are going to want to know why.
It was an awkward expectation to have to confront, but! I’m glad this was just a totally abnormal crazy random happenstance and that no other aces have similar stories of their dating history becoming salient in casual relationships like with acquaintance coworkers! So glad this is the Only and the Worst of how I’ve been affected in my daily life in regards to romantic and sexual issues (lol)! So glad that people who assume these kinds of things are completely rare and unheard of! What a relief that this is definitely the *only* time that my orientation has impacted my interactions with someone I’m not dating! And anyway how dare I even describe mundane and minor events in my life such as this because as we know, as long as I’m not presently in the process of being physically assailed, nothing that happens is worth acknowleding! Aaaaaaaaaaaaa and I’m sure I have no reason for this post to turn so suddenly bitter because no one ever tries to gaslight aces at large about these exact things! That never happens either!
Right or wrong, I always get the feeling somebody’s about to say something cruel or inaccurate whenever they use the phrase “cishet aro/aces.” To me it just seems fundamentally bizarre and misguided as a phrase and as a conceptual grouping, because it’s (according to the usage I’ve seen) lumping in aro heterosexuals with hetrom aces, and… if someone doesn’t already have the cultural context to know what’s weird about that, I don’t expect them to have nuanced and informed opinions on aros or aces. ‘Cause even though from an abstract vantage point, “aromantic heterosexual” and “heteroromantic asexual” just look like flipped versions of each other, in practice… the aro community is way smaller and looser than the ace community. I don’t know if it’s just what channels I expose myself to, but aro non-aces are like… barely there or barely vocal. Maybe I just haven’t seen it yet, but to me it seems like they’re just not involved in identity politiking the way hetrom aces are. So I’m confused why you would even bring up aro heterosexuals at all. Do you think the aro and ace communities are one big merged evenly-mixed blob, and that when you address one, you’re addressing the other? Do you think hetrom aces and aro heterosexuals occupy interchangeable social positions? Why is this a thing?