Sexual attraction: Sexual attraction is the desire to partake in sexual activities with a person. Basically, sexual attraction is when you want to develop a sexual relationship.
Romantic attraction: Romantic attraction is the desire to partake in romantical activities with a person. What those romantical activities entail depends on the person. Whatever activities, thoughts, and feelings you think of when you consider what is “romantic,” those are what you’d think about, feel toward, and want to do with someone you are romantically attracted to. Basically, romantic attraction is when you want to develop a romantic relationship.
Sensual attraction: Having a desire to engage in sensual acts with a certain individual (kissing, cuddling, hugging, hand holding, etc).
Aesthetic attraction: An appreciation of the appearance or beauty of another person(s), disconnected from sexual or romantic attraction.
Platonic: A strong desire to get to know and spend time with someone in a non-romantic and non-sexual way.
Alterous attraction: An attraction best described as wanting emotional closeness without necessarily being (at all or entirely) platonic and/or romantic. An attraction that is neither (entirely/completely) platonic or romantic.
mod fitz here. I have noticed that we have been getting a lot of asks that basically all go “I am (or my [potential] partner is) greyro, and I am maybe interested in being in a relationship, but how would that even work?” So I decided I would create a masterpost on defining the relationship in non-amatonormative relationships.
So let’s start with types of relationships. A typical romantic relationship is just that–a typical romantic relationship. It is what you see in the movies, what society pushes in your face constantly as something you need to have to be “complete.” The most common type of non-romantic significant relationship is a QPR, or queerplatonic relationship (quasiplatonic for those who do not wish to use the word queer).
The basic idea of a QPR is that it is something that goes beyond what you consider normal friendship, but it is not romantic in nature. What exactly a QPR is can be tricky at first, especially if you don’t have any real examples to base your understanding on (thank you amatonormativity). Really the idea behind QPRs is that they deviate from typical narratives of both friendship and romance, or in other words, they are “queering” what we think a significant relationship entails.
Another type of relationship is a soft-romo relationship, which is somewhere in-between a QPR and a romantic relationship. These often occur when one partner is romantically attracted to the other and the other is not, or when one or both partners have fluctuating levels of attraction or tolerance for romantic activities, or boundaries that make a typical romantic relationship not realistic.
While communication is important in any relationship, amatonormative relationships have a script to follow, which helps greatly. (A DTR talk may be as simple as, “so are we doing this?” or “would it be okay if I called you my boyfriend?”) Those who desire QPRs or soft-romo relationships do not have this tool, and often at least one of the people involved do not have the language to even begin defining what it is their relationship is, which can make defining the relationship a daunting task.
So here I am to give you some tools to use to help you define the relationship you want or the relationship you are currently in!
One of the simplest is a Want Will Won’t list (adapted from this video from sexplanations on Youtube). Basically what you do is create three columns on a piece of paper. One column is “Want,” or what you want from the relationship (ex: I want cuddling, hand holding, kissing (not mouth-to-mouth), commitment, emotional intimacy, understanding and patience with my mental illness). The next column is “Will,” or what you would be willing to do if your partner wanted, but aren’t necessarily driven to it yourself, or it isn’t important to you (ex: I would go on dates, closed-mouth kiss on the mouth [maybe some tongue, ask first], call you my boyfriend/girlfriend/datemate, sex [maybe, definitely ask first]). The last column is “Won’t” or what you do not want from the relationship (ex: no tongue kissing, daily texts, sleeping together, nudity). As you can see from my responses, the Want and Won’t parts are relatively cut and dry, but some items in the Will column may need some explanation. Once you make your list, compare it with your partner’s. You can make this in post-it notes if you think your feelings may change over time (which may be especially helpful for aroflux people).
Another post that may be helpful is this post
which lists many activities a significant relationship may entail,
which may be helpful if you are having trouble thinking about what you
can put on your Want Will Won’t list, or you can just use the post by
Another option, especially if when I described QPRs and soft-romo relationships your reaction was, “What?!” is queenieofaces‘s Five Factor model of relationships
The Five Factor Model relies on five factors (thus the name) to
categorize relationships: commitment, intimacy, time, exclusivity, and
Go check out Queenie’s original post if it looks like this may be the model for you. Queenie linked to a few more similar models, and I am going to link them below with the different factors they explain:
The Anatomy of Relationships: Sexuality, Touch, Limerance, Emotional vulnerability, Thought-sharing, Resource sharing, Commitment, Prioritization, Time, Common interests, Group membership, Exclusivity, Negotiation.
David Jay (part 1, part 2): Time, Feelings, and Promises [this one is really simple and quick and geared towards how to make the relationship progress, especially in part 2]
EDIT: I just found this post which discusses the Sternberg theory in relation to aromanticism. Check it out!
I hope one of the resources provided on this post helps you figure out your current relationship or what you desire from a future relationship.
Full disclaimer: I do not have any personal experience with actually defining the relationship with another person (hence why I am only quoting others), these are simply tools I wish I had in the past and tools I currently use to help think about what types of relationships I may potentially want to be in.
I get frequent asks about what “ace discourse” is, and these asks usually sit in my ask box for a while because – really – there are dozens of answers I could give that define what “ace discourse” is and what it has been, but the common theme in “ace discourse” I have seen is the use of what appears to be social justice rhetoric to undermine the value and experiences of asexual people to the point of manipulating people into viewing their anti asexual attitudes as socially just, which is – in an ironic twist – contrary to the goals of social justice.
When I was younger, the most common “ace discourse” was about whether or not asexual and ace-spec identities inherently slut shamed women and that asexual and ace-spec women were suffering from internalized sexism. This was around the time “sex positivity” was a big thing on the internet, and asexual and ace-spec people were thrown under the bus during this movement as if our goals were completely contrary to sex positivity and we were a threat to the liberation of women.
So, I find it sketchy when people try to pin “ace discourse” down to one single argument (i.e. “asexuals are/are not inherently LGBT.”) In doing so, a lot of issues relevant to asexual and ace-spec people are framed within an argument that has nothing to do with what is being discussed. For example, many times an asexual person will discuss an issue relevant to the asexual community which will be followed by reblogs going “this is why asexuals are/are not LGBT” when that isn’t relevant.
This ignores the historical arguments that have arisen against the existence of asexual and ace-spec people, and weaponizes current issues (such as feminism and LGBT rights and representation) and the investment people have in them to position asexual and ace-spec people as an inherent threat despite the fact that the goals of asexual and ace-spec people can very much coincide with these current issues. This also works to alienate and silence asexual and ace-spec people from issues that immediately effect them.
In addition, by continually positing one’s hatred towards asexual and ace-spec people within the framework of current events and issues, people also position their hatred towards asexual and ace-spec people as a matter of social justice instead of as a virulent hatred for an intrinsic part of one’s identity that does not inherently harm anyone. They also boost voices of asexuals who do hold harmful attitudes in order to prove that their hatred of asexuals is socially just, while ignoring people within their movements who cause as much harm.
“Ace discourse” has been and will be many different things. It is not a single issue. “Ace discourse” is the persistent villainization and derailing of asexual narratives and experiences to suit a particular agenda.
“Ace discourse” is built on flawed ideas of asexuality, and involves an excessive use of logical fallacies to treat asexuality as inherently harmful and contrary to “progress.” We need to think of it as separate from intercommunity and intracommunity discussion which is productive and helpful to us.
So apparently last year the National Park Service in the US dropped an over 1200 page study of LGBTQ American History as part of their Who We Are program which includes studies on African-American history, Latino history, and Indigenous history.
Like. This is awesome. But also it feels very surreal that maybe one of the most comprehensive examinations of LGBTQ history in America (it covers sports! art! race! historical sites! health! cities!) was just casually done by the parks service.
I found out that in matthew 19:12 in a version of the bible that my grandma had (I can't remember which one) said "for some do not marry because they are born that way" and that sounds like asexuality or aromanticism to me
This is actually a really interesting section, it begins with the Pharisees asking Jesus about divorce and him spouting the verses that homophobic christians love to spout at us about being created ‘male and female’ and how it’s good for a man to leave his parents and become one flesh with his wife, never divorcing her.
But here’s the kicker, the disciples are like “woah if this is so high stakes and we can’t divorce at all, it’s better not to marry, right?”
Then Jesus basically says “yo everything I just said only applies to some people” it reminds me of the “people are gay, Steven” meme. Here’s the verse.
But he said to them, “Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it.”
Matthew 19:11-12 ESV
(Fyi eunuch was a term for a man who had been castrated, so the phrasing here that some were born with their private parts already cut off is confusing, suggesting a deeper meaning or a translation issue)
Anyway so yeah you bring up a section that’s a good bit to think about, and in my opinion helps validate many members of the lgbtqia+ community, especially ace spec people.
Thanks for sharing, I love you lots and so does God! Lemme know if you need anything and have a great day!
aceflux: similar to genderflux in that how asexual you feel tends to flux in and out in intensity. some days you may feel apathetic toward sex, then others you might feel entirely sex-repulsed, and some days you’re just like sex? yeah. cool.
aroflux: similar to genderflux in that how aromantic you feel tends to flux in and out in intensity. some days you may feel apathetic toward romance, then others you might feel entirely romance-repulsed, and some days you’re just like romance? yeah. cool.
There is something special when a word is added into the dictionary. It notes when something has been made official, a definition that will last for centuries, and is given recognition.
It happened when marriage was changed to include same-sex couples, and in recent years seen additions like gender-fluid and cisgender. And now, ‘asexual’ is the latest word to be added to reflect the ever-growing understanding of society’s view on sexual minorities.
I wanted to create a short, simple guide to the history & origins of the pride flags and get people to learn more about the symbols of our community.
I know this isn’t the complete list, but I wanted to start this off with these 7. Hopefully, in the future I will update and add some more. This has been a long research & creation process. I’m open to suggestions.
DO NOT REPOST. DO NOT DELETE THE CAPTION. And please don’t leave hateful comments.