My first steps in the asexual and aromantic communities

22 febrero 2019

This is my contribution for the February 2019 joint edition of the Carnival of Aces and the Carnival of Aros.

When I learned of asexuality, some terms like “allosexual” were not coined yet; we said plainly “sexual.” However, the split attraction model was developed, though unnamed, and the terms “heteroromantic,” “homoromantic,” “biromantic” and “aromantic” were in common use in the forums. I had my reservation with respect to being asexual, since I still hadn’t gotten the concept of sexual attraction, but the concept of aromanticism immediately made me identify with it, despite romantic attraction being a trickier concept than sexual attraction. For me, the split attraction model makes a lot of sense, even generalized to splitting also platonic attraction. I know that the attraction may be entangled for some people, like demisexuals and demiromantics, or even unsplit, but for me it works very well and we should not get rid such a useful tool.

I joined the asexual community with my reservations and, for a long time, there was no room for aromantics outside asexual spaces. We admitted there might be allosexual aromantics in the same way there are romantic asexuals, and even had our intuitions on how these people could be, but they were so unaware of their aromanticism as asexuals were of their asexuality before the community arose. They might deem themselves regular allosexuals of their own sexual orientation. They could be seen as heartless and commitment-scared by the romantic allosexuals, assuming universality of romance, but they didn’t have a community.

I remember a protest in AVEN for a space for aromantics in the same way the romantics had their own, which resulted in broadening the scope of certain subforum. Later there appeared forums for aromantics of all the sexual orientations, but I am still unaware of specifically aromantic in-person groups. In my experience, I meet other aromantics through the asexual community. It’s true that this way I meet aromantics that have more in common with me than aromanticism, but aromantic asexuals are still a minority within a minority. I still find denial of my aromanticism by romantic asexuals because of my platonic feelings. I still don’t know if asexual aromantics could feel alienated in general aromantic spaces if they evolved to not overrepresent the asexual because of historical reasons. I hope that initiatives like this new Carnival of Aros help the aromantic community.