On relationships, squishes and zucchini

Esta entrada es una colaboración para el carnaval de blogs sobre asexualidad y relaciones. Escribo en inglés porque es el idioma de este carnaval.

When I read that this round of the carnival was about relationships, as an aromantic, I thought I had to write anything in order to avoid that we were invisibilized under the assumption that relationship means romantic. For those who still don’t know it, in the asexual community we use to separate sexual and romantic orientation, having for the latter heteroromantic, homoromantic, biromantic and aromantic in the same way I told in Spanish for sexual orientation. I must add that there are non-asexual aromantics, and probably most aromantics are heterosexual because of the great proportion of heterosexuals.

In the same way asexuals are a minority in the society, aromantics are a minority among asexuals, and we have to bear being invisibilized inside the asexual community by the “love without sex” voices who deny us the ability to love only because we lack one of the kinds of love they present. They are actually ignoring the relationships of other kinds they have, and diminishing their non-romantic loving relationships. Most people would agree that family is kind of non-romantic loving relationship, especially from the mother to the children, but friendship and companionship may be more important than romantic partnership even for some romantic people, and they would recognize it if the society hadn’t brainwashed them.

Not only love is not exclusive of romance, but even infatuation. For the latter, the asexual community coined the term squish for an asexual aromantic crush. Deniers pity us for not lacking the feeling of falling in love, but I still cannot get in what is a romantic crush better than a squish. Contrary, I see in what a romantic crush is worse, since a romantic crush is easier to be unrequited, while squish doesn’t need to be reciprocal. A squish expects from its target much less in return, not reciprocity. At least this is what happens with my squishes.

The asexual community has recently coined another word: if squish is an aromantic crush, zucchini is an aromantic platonic relationship. As I was out of touch with the asexual community when it was coined, I don’t feel it as a word of my vocabulary, contrary to squish, and I don’t recognize any of my relationships as such. If I do not, it’s because I don’t fully understand the concept, but I have my candidates. In both cases I used the term “best friend”. I am so unused to the word zucchini that I called the vegetable courgette, even when I deliberately prefer American to British English. Well, now not only I know how to name that vegetable in both varieties of English, but even in French and Italian for free.

It seems that the zucchini was chosen at random, but it is curious that squash means both squish and zucchini. I think that the choice is very bad for porting to Spanish, because this plant is idiomatically related to relationships, and in a bad sense. Giving gourds to one who has asked you out is a negative answer. Moreover, and this is independent of language, a courgette is a phallic symbol, so it could be understood as friends-with-benefits relationship. I think this is even worse than choosing the amoeba as a symbol of asexuality, because in Spanish it is the symbol of the lowest intelligence.

Anyway, I think that coining a word for aromantic partnerships is a good think because it is a defense against the deniers and it may help, for instance, to consider a breakup as it deserves, defending against diminishing it for its non-romantic nature. I value true friendship very high, but for those who are too influenced by the phrase “just friends”, a specific word may help to value their relationships.

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5 Responses to On relationships, squishes and zucchini

  1. […] Isaac (from Mundo Heterogeneo) should definitely translate into Spanish his post on squishes and zucchinis (apretaditos y calabacitas?) […]

  2. Catherine dice:

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  5. It's Complicated dice:

    It seems like you’re using the terms a romantic when you mean asexual, at least in regards to squish and zucchini. There can be romance in those relationships, and even more physical contact and cuddling than you would have with just a close friend. These terms represent that space between friends and lovers, much more than a friend, and no goal or desire of sex as with lovers. A squish is like a college roommate that you picked and got to know based on an admiration or attraction of some kind, not at random. A crush to the extreme. A zucchini is like that same person, but stronger to the point where you want them in your life so much you try to live in the same town, travel or vacation together. A squish to the extreme. The translated term should not be used in Spanish, because crush…squash…squish…zucchini as wordplay doesn’t translate well.

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