Tag Archives: romance

on relationship boundaries and monogamy

Here is a post I saw today about how defining monogamy becomes tricky with aro spectrum and ace spectrum folk in the mix.  Go read it.  It’s got interesting points and I don’t have much to say on it, besidessss in response to this part added by paradife-loft:

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AA: “Just Mad ‘Cause You’re Single”

[major spoilers for Steven Universe ahead!]

Anonymous wrote in:

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Romance, Sex, and Christmas

I don’t get why Christmas is seen as romantic.  an ornament on an evergreen tree

Alright, allow me to clarify: I do get why Christmas is seen as “romantic” in the classical sense of “an idealized version of reality,” what with the sparkling trees and the spirit of generosity and chestnuts roasting on an open fire and all that.  I even associate the idea of Christmas with the idea of snow, even though I’ve never experienced snow during Christmastime once in my life (I live in Texas, so this is to be expected).

What I don’t get is why Christmas is seen as romantic, in the sense of kisses and dates and amatonormativity.  And by “seen as”, I’m referring to everything from the romantic-sexual Christmas songs on the radio (from the uncomfortable “Santa, Baby” to the even more uncomfortable “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”) to all the Christmas romcoms that exist for some unholy reason.

Admittedly, the mistletoe thing may have a big part in it.  But according to my cursory research, the symbolism of mistletoe used to be more broad as well.

The Christmas holiday is not all that ideologically important to me, I should note, so this isn’t much of a bother besides the heterosexuals throwing their stuff in my face yet again.  I just find it kind of mystifying.

Why not Easter, for example?  I hardly ever hear of people romanticizing/sexualizing Easter, even though it’s traditions are ripe with potential.  It has pagan origins as a fertility festival, for Pete’s sake.  Rabbits and flowers and eggs as its symbols?  What do you think all that is about?

Easter hasn’t made as much of an imprint on the American imagination, however.  Granted, out of the two, Christmas is the holiday that’s easier to monetize (“celebrating the giving of gifts” vs. “celebrating new life”).  But does it necessarily follow that what’s easier to market becomes that which is given more cultural precedence becomes that which becomes more romanticized and sexualized?

You might also argue that it’s because Christmas is in the winter (in this hemisphere), and cold weather inspires people to huddle together and share warmth.  In the context of a culture in which personal touch is heavily coded as sexual and/or romantic, the entire idea of winter itself could be romanti-sexualized.  But we equally sexualize the summer when it’s expected for people to show more skin and wear less clothing, for similar reasons.  So why isn’t the Fourth of July, a summer holiday in America that encourages spending, given a similar treatment?

The romantic discourse swirling around Christmas may be intuitive on some levels, but it remains strange to me, not only because its current rendition is so far removed from the shabby Mediterranean birthday story it’s supposedly based on, but because I and so many others associate Christmastime with family time, for better or for worse.  That doesn’t mesh naturally with dating and romance, from my point of view.

You could say I’m overthinking it, but it remains pretty dang weird.


Equating Sex with Love is Rape Culture

I came to a startling realization the other morning.

It’s long been acknowledged in the asexual community that romantic relationships don’t have to feature sex, that people shouldn’t be censoring the f-word with the word “love” as a replacement, and that loving someone doesn’t necessarily mean having or wanting to have sex with them.  However, it seems like whenever the false equivalence between love and sex is criticized, it’s usually pointed out as simply inaccurate rather than as wrong.

This is not a post about how aces (esp. in the context of romantic relationships) feel pressured into having sex, a subject which has been covered well by others elsewhere.  This is a post about “love” as rape apologism.

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What To Do If You Think Your Partner Might Be Asexual

So you’ve come to the conclusion that your husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, datemate, sweetheart, smooch, or life partner of some sort… might be asexual.  If you’re in this situation, it’s very important that you be careful as you proceed.  Here’s what you need to do.

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