Tag Archives: queerplatonic

Queerplatonic Ambiguity is a Feature, Not a Bug

In all of the talk on QPRs over the years, I’ve run across some occasional disagreement about whether or not “queerplatonic” as a term has room for ambiguity — with both implicit and explicit attempts to define it as a narrow and rigid concept, while treating those definitions as the way it’s always been. Simply put, that’s wrong, and here’s why.

Crossposted to Pillowfort. Preview image: Smoke Plume by William Warby, licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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Reading Elementary as a Nonromantic Love Story

CBS Elementary centers on a close friendship between a man and a woman that accomplishes something unique: it stays that way. More than that, it tells the story of the evolution of their relationship from initial animosity to collaboration to exceptional intimacy, to the point of treating each other as the most important person in their lives, all while keeping sex and romance out of it. In light of that relationship and the characterization of the main leads, this analysis presents aro reading of Elementary in order to highlight what it can look like to tell a nonromantic love story.

Crossposted to Pillowfort.

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Where Did the Word “Queerplatonic” Come From? (Infographic)

A QPR infographic for the word’s 11th anniversary. Early drafts were shared with Kaz and s.e. smith, and I have confirmed the accuracy of this account with them both. Much thanks to all my Pillowfort mutuals who helped with feedback and revisions.

This image is free to repost and distribute. If you do so, I would prefer if you linked back to either this post (which has a transcript) or to this genealogy of queerplatonic, which links to all the relevant sources.

[Crossposted to Pillowfort, and reposted to Twitter and Tumblr.]

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QPR Misinformation Is Not an Appropriate Vehicle for Aro Advocacy

A post about the history of QPRs, why people are arguing about it, and how I learned that’s not what they’re actually arguing about at all.

In this post, I’m going to be tackling this topic in three parts:

1) What are people saying? 2) How is that misinformation? 3) How is that a proxy?

[This post has been crossposted to Pillowfort and linked to on Arocalypse. Preview image by Soheil Koushan, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.]

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A Mini History of Different Types of Attraction in the Ace Community

A short list of when/where some different pre-2015 terms can be traced back to. Many of these terms, as you can see, are both older than and separate from the creation of the term “split attraction model,” which has its own separate history derived outside of the ace community.

The following timeline lists the earliest uses that I or others have found:

  • 2003 – emotional & romantic attraction were mentioned on an early version of the AVEN FAQ, and they most likely had been discussed even earlier than that. [See also romantic drive in 2002 on HHA]
  • 2005 – aesthetic attraction came up in this NSFW AVEN thread, and ditto above.
  • 2006 – sensual attraction was added to the AVENwiki, and ditto above.
    [Read more about different definitions of sensual attraction here]
  • 2007 – squish (or friendship crush) was coined on another AVEN thread.
    [Read more about platonic attraction and related concepts here]
  • 2010 – queerplatonic attraction was first described on Dreamwidth.
    [Read more about the trajectory of queerplatonic as a concept here]

Most of these terms had more or less entered standard ace parlance by 2012, and I even wrote a post about Differentiating Types of Attraction in 2013 (that I now cringe to reread, but whatever). Different names for subtypes of attraction — or attraction subtyping — never went by any particular name, itself.

The term “split attraction model,” meanwhile, does not appear to predate 2015, and it comes from Tumblr users outside the ace community.

Crunching the Umbrella and Spinning the Reinvention Treadmill

[Note: This post has been crossposted to Pillowfort.]

Back on March 8th, the day before I published my Genealogy of Queerplatonic, Siggy published a response of his own to the whole discussion, titling the post as “Death of the coiner” (an allusion to Barthes’ “Death of the Author”). In Cor’s addition onto that post, co wrote:

my main response is that it’s useful and arguably necessary for us to document and continually notify people of the pattern of semantic drift in words having to do with rejecting models and how they are reinscribed within those models to be less threatening

This post is about the same thing and that same dynamic: the pattern of ambiguous gray areas and umbrella words getting crunched into narrower redefinitions, leaving the need for their original ambiguity unmet, and paving the way for others to come along and try to reinvent the wheel.

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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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Strategies of Defining QPPs

I’ve recently seen some posts in defense of queerplatonic and alterous again (sorry, didn’t save the urls), and it’s made me think some more about different strategies people use in queerplatonic apologetics — that is, in making the case for why words like queerplatonic are worthwhile to have.  I think of them as operating under two main modes.

(note that I dislike the choice of components for the word “queerplatonic” for various reasons, but that’s not the point of this post)

One of these modes, as I was saying, describes queerplatonic partnerships in terms of a romance without certain attributes associated with romance.  For example, lacking romantic feeling, or not based on romantic sentiment, or some other absence of something romantic.  In this mode, a qpp is not a friendship.  It may be a semi-romance, or not a romance, but the key element of this mode is that the emphasis on “NOT friendship.”

The other mode describes queerplatonic partnerships in terms of a friendship with certain attributes not associated with friendship.  For example, going on sensual dinner dates, sharing a bed, kissing, planning a day of celebration for the relationship, getting legally married, raising a child together, or the relationship otherwise being accorded more value, commitment, or importance than friendships are typically “allowed.”  A relationship doesn’t have to involve marriage or the like to be qp, but that’s a frequently cited example to demonstrate the depth of divergence from friendship norms.  To me, the concept of “queerplatonic” isn’t (or doesn’t need to be) bound to a specific relationship narrative or set of practices so much as a personal choice on behalf of the partnering individuals to demarcate their relationship as somehow distinct from their other friendships + from what they’ve been told a friendship should be.

The first mode stakes the relevance of “qpp” on the relationships it describes being “NOT friendship,” i.e. not “reducible” to “friends” or “best friends,” for which there are obviously preexisting terms.  In doing so, it typically involves a metric in which qpps, being mutually exclusive with friendship, are also ranked as “more” than friendship, necessitating that an upper limit boundary be placed on the intimacy/importance/commitment of friendship.

The second mode, on the other hand, would suggest that such an upper limit boundary is bullbutter.  If a qpp can be described — incompletely, but accurately — as friendship, then defining that exceptional friendship as queerplatonic proclaims a resistance to that arbitrary cap on what “friendship” can mean.  It says — that cap is fake, and here’s your living proof.  It says friendship is many-splendored and diverse, even in the face of relationship norms that would contest otherwise.

The first mode counters qpp-mockery by defining “friendship” as too inaccurate to contain qpps, which it accomplishes in turn by defining friendship as shallow.

The first mode counters qpp-mockery by highlighting a political/ideological difference between the labeling of “qp partners” and “best friends.”

A post brought to you by my impatience with what queerplatonic apologetics has become.

Aro/Ace Word Origins Ref

  • demisexuality was coined by sonofzeal and popularized by OwlSaint on AVEN; gray-a was coined by KSpaz there as well; Hezekiah (pianycist/metapianycist) has a nice summary of that history here
  • Hezekiah is also the one who coined allosexual during some musings on whether going on testosterone would affect their (a)sexuality
  • its romantic counterpart, alloromantic, was coined-slash-popularized by Queenie (queenieofaces)
  • lithromantic was coined by Ian (stopanthropomorphizingme), who itself identifies as Stone, to describe its partner
  • wtfromantic was coined as a snide joke by Sciatrix (writingfromfactorx), which you can read about here and here
  • quoiromantic was coined as a synonym/alternative to wtfromantic by Cor (epochryphal), and you can read more about it in cos #quoi and #quoi bloggin tags (I recommend this post, this post, and this post for summaries)
  • sex-favorable was coined by Talia, and you can read their reflections on it here
  • allosexism was coined by lunasspecto [note: don’t consider this an endorsement of the term (see here and, more recently, here). I’m just including it for documentation purposes]
  • autochorissexualism was coined by sexologist Anthony Bogaert
    • aegosexual was suggested by eridanamporadefensesquad as an alternative
  • queerplatonic and zucchini were both coined by meloukhia, the latter being somewhat tongue-in-cheek
  • arcsexual originated with Kisten Sadi’s arcsexuality blog
  • squish was coined by Raisin on AVEN
  • recipromantic was coined by Brooke (cameoes)
  • amatonormativity was coined by Elizabeth Brake
  • the #actuallyasexual tag was suggested by Hezekiah, an autistic ace (see notes here)

Feel free to add on!  I’ll update this post with whatever y’all give me.