Tag Archives: romantic orientation

Don’t Make Me Choose

Now that I’ve talked about what happened at the event, I want to work through a few things I would have liked to have said in the TAAAP Pride Chat that was supposed to make space for “people who object to there being a binary.”

[Crossposted to Pillowfort. Preview image by Matteo Magro, licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.]

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A Quoiromantic Perspective on Compulsory Romantic Orientation

Romantic orientation: some people identify with one, some people don’t — but the problem comes in when everyone is expected to have one. This post spells out my (quoiromantic) perspective on compulsory romantic orientation by sketching out a few different ways this expectation can manifest in certain contexts. Note this post is largely just rehashing things already familiar to my regular readers; for everyone else, the goal of this post is to serve as an introductory primer on the topic.

[Preview image by Nccmrm97, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.]

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The Call (to Abandon Card Suit Sorting) is Coming from Inside the House

This month we’ve got yet another case of somebody over on Tumblr trying to revive card suit sorting, plus even more people claiming it was only abandoned because of the anti-ace brigade. I’ve put this post together just to explain that, in actuality, this narrative is false. The call to get rid of that junk isn’t some hostile outsider perspective. The call is coming from inside the house.

In this post, you will find what I mean by “card suit sorting,” how it’s not quite fair to fellow aces, and how this connects back to larger problems of absolutist thinking within the ace community.

[Crossposted to Pillowfort. Preview image by Poker Photos.]

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Relationships to Orientation Language Norms

This post is just a summary of some ideas introduced in a previous post, now with a diagram and more in-depth use of examples. Because I have qualms about the reclamation of the term “split attraction model” to categorize people as SAM vs. non-SAM, I’ve put together some alternative scales to introduce more nuance. This post is simply an explanation of those scales (and can be considered a culmination of the conversations held here, here, here, and here).

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Romantic Orientation and the “Split Attraction Model” are not the same thing

[Edit: If you’re reading this post in the year 2021 or later, I would recommend An Actual History of The Term “Split Attraction Model” for a quicker, shorter read.]

A few days ago, when I mentioned on Pillowfort that I wanted to write something about the development of the “romantic orientation” model, I was helpfully pointed toward this post on the “split attraction model” at Historically Ace. I appreciate that, and I think it’s a handy collection of information. However, I have a problem with that post: it’s not actually a history of “the split attraction model” as a term itself. The phrase “split attraction model” appears in the post only three times, two of those times being as introduction and the other solely to specify that something else would not be considered an example of it. The timeline of that post ends at 2007, which is actually before the phrase “split attraction model” even entered into circulation in the ace community.

For comparison, I think this is like if I had written “a history of relationship anarchy” and then only, solely charted examples of the use of queerplatonic — which is to say, maybe it’s not wildly-off base, but it still falls short of what it actually promises. As related as they are, and as much sense as it makes to discuss the two alongside each other, the history of one is not the history of the other. A history of the “split attraction model” still remains yet to be told.

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Quoiro / WTFromantic: a brief timeline of disidentification with & personal rejection of romantic orientation

[Note: this post has been crossposted to Pillowfort. Updated 3/19/19. Preview image by Darkday, CC BY 2.0.]

Since I’ve been thinking lately on the topics of those-who-struggle-with-labels and the process of getting new terms to take root, I decided I’d put together a brief timeline of one specific subset of that: disidentification with and personal rejection of romantic orientation.

Featured in this post: the coinage and meaning of wtfromantic, the subsequent coinage and meaning of quoiromantic, some discussion over competing definitions, and a sampling of personal reflection posts on the topic demonstrating its continued relevance over the past eight years. Formatted by year, with select text excerpts in blockquotes.

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Different Aces -> Different Priorities

This seems like a good time to remind everyone to go read a very relevant post from two years ago (during another ace controversy flare up) about different types of aces valuing different parts of their identity differently.  What Queenie talks about there was true then and is still true now, and I could stand to see more acknowledgement of the fact.

Go read the full post for Queenie’s take on four (4) distinct groups of aces divvied up by how they each prioritize their romantic and sexual orientations:

  • Group 1: Aces who consider their romantic orientation more important than their sexual orientation.
  • Group 2: Aces who consider their sexual orientation more important than their romantic orientation.
  • Group 3: Aces who consider their sexual and romantic orientations equally important or who prioritize different orientations at different times.
  • Group 4: Aces who don’t identify with a romantic orientation and thus consider this whole categorization system boring and pointless.

Fun fact: a lot of the bickering I’ve seen made 200% more sense to me once I realized that it was a lot of mainly Group 1 vs. Group 2-3 (with Group 4 mostly disregarded — hi! we’re here too!).

Listen, it’s fine to be in any of these groups.  It’s fine if one part of your identity means more to you than another, and it’s fine if it doesn’t, and it’s fine if different people with the same nominal identity prioritize different parts of it for themselves.

It makes sense to me to argue interpersonal policy, what hurts people, etc., but it doesn’t make sense to me to argue that romantic or sexual orientation should/shouldn’t be the bigger deal to someone personally, and that’s actually a significant share of what I’ve seen people doing.  So check out Queenie’s words, yeah?


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.


Asexuality as Stasis

Alternatively titled: “Where do asexuals come from?” Part 2.

[content notes: talk of flibanserin junk, the aces/q***r debate, parsing aces by romantic orientation, internalized heteronormativity, and related nonsense]

On the one hand, when you’ve been in the ace community a while (and paid any attention), it’s easy to see what’s wrong with the Flibanserin rep’s statement that “Asexual individuals are not distressed, and therefore would not be a candidate for treatment with Addyi.”  But it didn’t occur to me until much later what assumptions like that have to do with some of the assumptions in the aces & q***rness conflict, which has been coming and going in waves for years.

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origin of the “romantic orientation” model?

Question!

So I’ve seen some tumblr conflict going on over whether the idea of separate romantic & sexual orientations promotes homophobia (don’t ask; I’m not going to link anything because I can barely remove my palm from my face long enough to type this) and in response… I’ve seen people saying that the idea of romantic orientation was created by ACES for only ACES to use and NO ONE ELSE, and, uh.

  1. I support allos having access to that model if it’s useful to them, which it can be, and
  2. Is that even true?  I vaguely remember being told that the concept — then called “affectional orientation” — actually originated in the bisexual community.

Anyone have any more information on the exact origins?