Misc.

What it’s Like to be Aromantic Asexual

Hey, readers! I hope you’re having a lovely day. I’d love to share something personal about myself that I’ve recently been discussing on all forms of blogging and social media platforms.

My sexuality.

I identify as aromantic asexuality.

This may at first appear as just fancy liberal lingo, so if you’re new to this, let me break it down.

Aro • man • tic / n.

An aromantic person is an individual who does not experience romantic love or attraction, although this does not preclude them from feeling other forms of love or attraction, such as platonic love.

As for asexuality:

A • sex • ual / n.

An asexual is someone who does not experience sexual attraction. Unlike celibacy, which people choose, asexuality is an intrinsic part of who someone is. There is considerable diversity among the asexual community; each asexual person experiences things like relationships, attraction, and arousal somewhat differently.

While these are nice, clear definitions for someone who may not know much about us, these definitions only a portion of what it really means to be an aromantic, asexual, or an aromantic asexual.

So, now that you’re acquainted with the dictionary definitions, let’s move onto the more personal, emotional side of it, given by yours truly.

Disclaimer: all information written above or below is complied of things I’ve learned through personal discovery or a variety of aromantic / asexual safe spaces throughout the internet. What another aromantic and/or asexual feels may differ from what I feel. And that’s okay. We come together despite our differences.

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Additional sources regarding aromanticism and asexuality are listed at the end of the blog post along with sources used for proper extensive research.

Hope you enjoy ❤

Self-Discovery

Putting the “A” in LGBTQIAP+

Here’s my side of the story.

It’s easy to claim I’m making this up, I’m just repressing my romantic and sexual attraction. People ask, “How do you feel not. . .well, feeling?” And the truth is, I’ve never felt any sort of attraction, so I don’t feel like I’m less than a person, actually. I’ve wondered what it’s like to feel those urges, but I’ve never experienced them so I don’t know what it’s like to be without them.

perfect

As I commonly receive this question on social media, how did I know?

I’ve never experienced romantic love or attraction before. I’m seventeen years old, and I’ve never wanted a boyfriend (or girlfriend, or a partner in general), never held hands, never kissed, never wanted anything more but close, platonic friends. I’m old enough to want those things, but the thing is, I don’t.

Even people asked harmless questions such as, “what kind of boy would you date?” or “do you see yourself dating anytime soon?” or “is there anyone you’re looking at in school?” I always got irrationally defensive. Why were people so concerned with my love life? This must be the main thoughts of celebrities these days. And secondly, why was I so averse to answering these questions?

Yes, I sincerely believe and promote that the A in LGBTQIAP+ stands for aromantic and asexual, not for allies (Note: the A also stands for agender.) I appreciate allocishet allies, but the A doesn’t belong to you. There’s a lot of debate surrounding aro/ace people and whether they belong in the queer community (I am using queer, but not everyone the LGBTQIAP+ community identifies as queer.)

This is absurd to me. What makes us any less than the other members of the LGBQTIAP+ community? We’re real, we’re valid, and we deserve the support.

Coming “Out”?

I didn’t think I’d ever technically “come out” under official terms. I discovered the term aromantic asexuality and stuck to it ever since early 2017. I told Twitter and Instagram, and the results have been pretty great. And I thought that was enough. Who’s to say that I need to inform everyone in my life about this? No one. Only I do.

And allo cishet people don’t understand this: there’s no “coming out” that’s big and official. You come out every day, every week, every year. You meet new people, you wonder what they’ll think of you. Some people don’t always take you seriously, and it’s your job to not make coming out about you instead of the actual queer person.

Pro-Tip: You should never forcibly out someone. Don’t do it. It’s wrong. It’s unfair. Not everyone is ready to experience it or in safe circumstances to come out. Be mature. 

I told Twitter. I told Instagram (sorta.)  I told my friends. They were all listening.

My family? Not so much. (Won’t go into details, that’s a bit personal, but trust me I’m okay.)

It’s hard enough convincing myself I’m serious, so when I try to reach out and find an aromantic or asexual character, what I find is headcanons and misrepresentation.


Riverdale

Speak of the devil, Riverdale is evil and don’t support it. Simple. It’s one thing to not cast aromantic asexual characters in tv and movies, it’s another to take a canon (the official statement on Jughead’s asexuality is also debated) aro ace character and make them heterosexual. Don’t do that, that’s a shitty thing to do. #JugheadAroAceorBust

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I give that same look at people who try to spontaneously touch me 🙂

Mythbusters: Aromantic Asexual Edition

I’ve gathered a few common myths or misconceptions surrounding either aromantic and/or asexual people. Some that I found I’ve heard online, or I’ve even experienced in my real life. I can’t list them all, only what I consider to be the most common myths.

1. Aros and aces are not a part of the LGTBQIAP+ community. 

First off, all sexual orientations (and genders) should be welcome into the community. No question there. But the targeting of aces and aros only? Why? What is the point? Sure, we’re not #LoveisLove like everyone else, but we want to be proud of ourselves just as much as any of you. Being marginalized under the queer community doesn’t give you a pass to exclude others from the community.

2. Celibacy and asexuality are the same thing.

STOP. Stop this right now. Celibacy is sooo different. It is the choice to abstain from sex due to chastity, or saving yourself from marriage. Summed up, celibacy is a choice. In contrast, asexuals and aromantics don’t feel attraction in the first place. It’s very difficult to abstain when you don’t even experience those feelings.

3. It’s just a phase / You haven’t found the right person.

You could honestly apply this common statement to any person in the queer community. But in context to aros and aces, people (even members of the community) there are some people who actually think we’re just waiting for the perfect person to ride with us into the sunset and magically turn us allo and/or romantic. Yeah, I’ll pass.

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4. All aros are aces, all aces are aros

Not true. I’ve noticed on Twitter that people often confuse ace and aro, but while I’m aromantic asexual and tend to overlap my identities, but the truth is, they’re very different orientations. Aromantics can have flings, and asexuals can fall in love and get married. The orientations may be similar, but are definitely not the same.

5. Aro aces are emotionless and lack empathy

*screams* WHAAAAT? WHO MADE THIS? Sure, I don’t think I’ll ever fall in love and the idea of sex repulses me, I still love my friends and family. It means I can love them just as much, if not more, than an allo/romantic person. And building off, aro aces are often more passionate about their hobbies and interest. If I’m never in a relationship, I can put more time and passion into art, writing, and blogging. And rightfully so.


Aro/Ace Q&A 

These are a few questions I’ve gathered from my Twitter on the subject of aromantic asexuality. I’m going to give my honest answers, but my answers may be different from other aromantic asexual experiences, you know how it goes.

1. How do you tackle aro/ace in writing?

There is such little representation for aromantic and/or asexuals that there aren’t many do’s and dont’s for writing their characters. Write them like you would write any typical romantic/allo character (we are eople, too.) As for things to avoid, don’t make it a struggle that we’re burdened by our lack of attraction, don’t write us as emotionless, either. NEVER force romance on the character. As long as you avoid these mistakes, it’s not that hard to write aro/ace characters, save time by avoiding a messy love triangle! 🙂

2. Which stereotypes would you like to see less surrounding aro/ace people?

The most common stereotypes are: it’s just a phase, we’re “straight-passing,” are just celibate, haven’t found the right person, closeted gay/other sexuality, aces can’t fall in love / aros can’t have flings, aro/aces cannot experience familial love. . .I could go on. Summed up, people generally tend to think we’re pretending. I already busted these myths, so I recommend reading that for full explanation. Moreover, these stereotypes are created by ignorance matched with stubbornness to understand that aromantic asexuals are in fact very valid and not “faking it.”

3. Can you recommend some aro/ace books recs?

Unfortunately, I’ve only read 2 books so far that featured an asexual MC ~but~ I have found a few (with the help of book twitter) that are positive rep for aros & aces everywhere. My personal fave is Tash Hearts Tolstoy, and most people recommend Every Heart a Doorway for an ace MC, and Before I Let Go (Jan 2018) features an ace MC too.

Additional recs that I have only recently heard are: We Awaken, The Last Chronomancer, and Hello World. I haven’t read these myself, but you can find these and more on Ava’s blog post about queer books.

4. When did you discover you were aro/ace? Did you immediately identify with it or did you identify over time?

Even though I’ve identified as aro/ace since early 2017, I’ve always subconsciously known that I wasn’t exactly heterosexual. I was first exposed to the term aromantic asexual on twitter. I took quizzes don’t judge me I was desperate  and browsed tumblr “signs you’re aro/ace” posts, and it took a couple weeks for it to click completely. Once I snagged onto the terminology, there was no going back. (Note: this all occurred in the span of like, a month, too.) So the feelings have been there for a long time, but yeah, it didn’t take long for me to identify as aromantic asexual.

5. How did you come to the realization? When did you start thinking about it?

As I said above, I didn’t look into my sexuality until Feb/Mar 2017 on twitter. I used many references from tumblr, twitter, asexuality.com, to any aro/ace I could find. Most convincing were posts on tumblr labeled “signs you might be aromantic asexual” and I identified with most to all of them??? I’ll link one post here.  And here. From then it was only a matter of time before it was obvious that I was aro ace.

6. What is the difference between dictionary definitions + actually being aro/ace? 

Dictionary definitions can only tell you so much. When I answer messages on Instagram, I tell them that I do not experience romantic or sexual attraction. That means I don’t: kiss, date, have sex, etc. But the dictionary doesn’t tell you that aces marry and/or have children, or that aromantics are very content with just their friends and family. It varies for each experience but aro/aces live fulfilling lives, we are in no way burdened by our lack of attraction.


Well, you reached the end of my post! I want to thank you lovely readers, for, you know, reading! Whether you were clueless about aromantic / asexuality, or just learned something knew about us, I’m glad you stopped by. Below are some specific sources I used to add to the research of this post.

Asexual Wiki

Aromantic Wiki

GayStarNews: Asexual Myths Busted

Everyday Feminism: Asexual Myths

For further research, I suggest:

Ask an Asexual

Asexual Forums

Aromantic Forums

Attraction Explained


Thank you so much again for stopping by! Hopefully I taught you something new about my (and many others’) identity 🙂 If you’d like to see more personal posts than bookish, leave a comment! I adore hearing your feedback ❤

xoxo,

Jill

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24 thoughts on “What it’s Like to be Aromantic Asexual

  1. Can I just say that this is a brilliant post! I’ve never come across an ace character that I can relate to. But it’s also been incredibly interesting to see another persons view on this sexuality. I hate the fact that so many people don’t view us as a part of the community, surely the community faces enough hatred outside why give even more to the rest of us! Definitely going to check out the recs some point soon

    Like

  2. This is such an awesome post! I think I get what aromanticism is better now. I’d love to see more personal books like these!

    Also, if you’re looking for another book with ace rep to try, I’d recommend Blank Spaces by Cass Lennox. Obviously, I’m not ace, so I can’t say for certain whether it’s accurate or not. I thiiiink it is, though?? Either way, it’s something to keep in mind if you’re looking for more books with ace rep.

    Ellie | On the Other Side of Reality

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  3. Great post Jill! I’m always thankful and happy to see such informative posts like these, the book community owes a lot to people like you, who help make it a more inclusive place to be! ❤️

    Like

  4. This is such a beautiful post! Thank you for putting your time and energy into writing it. ❤

    Also, there's good demi or gray ace rep in Chameleon Moon but I'm not sure if that's what you're looking for.

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  5. Finally got the chance to read this, and honestly, thank you for this Jill. I’m so happy I’m able to understand this sexuality, and even you, a little bit more. Much love!💗💗 (hope everything is alright with your family!)

    Like

  6. Thanks you so much for writing this post! Now i’m only ace and demiromantic not fully aro but seeing representation of people (almost) like me is very important to me.
    The main character of the all for the game series is demiromantic if you are interested (you may wanna search for trigger warnings first; it’s a pretty dark series)
    (also sorry for spamming your blog with comments)

    Like

  7. I am so glad to meet someone who is sort of like me. I just identified myself as a romantic asexual, and these terms finally make me understand myself better because at first I thought I was odd. I will definitely check these recs! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m reading this much later than you posted, but this is great, thank you so much! I’m doing research for a fic I’m writing where I want to feature an asexual aromantic character (and I’m alloromantic), so this has been a lot of help.

    Thank you!

    Like

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