Tag Archives: attraction

What’s Important

20 Jul

During my last semester of undergrad, my roommate had the habit of bringing five or six people over to our room and having very loud conversations about … stuff. Eventually she stopped that because I kept getting annoyed and asking them to move somewhere else so I didn’t have to step over people to get to my printer or books (i.e. literally two feet to the left in our suite’s private living room).

There was one particular person who was over all the time who had a wide array of offensive opinions — and who I found out later, even my roommate didn’t actually like. Since she lived in our suite, though, it was kind of hard to get rid of her. Most of the time I just tried to ignore her. Especially since she rarely talked to me. But it’s hard, when someone is sitting three feet from you on the other side of our room, to ignore everything they’re saying.

Warning for questioning the validity of relationships, specifically relationships without sex.

One of the times that made me the most uncomfortable was when there were, again, five or six people in the room besides me. A couple of people were on the bed, someone had my roommate’s chair, and everybody else was on the floor. (Our room was literally too small to pull an extra chair in there.) One of these people was a guy, I’ll call him Guy. The person who liked to talk, I’ll call Speaker.

Speaker was waxing lyrical about Guy’s long-distance romantic relationship. From what I gathered, Guy was not very close friends with Speaker. Not, then, someone who would confide in her and ask her advice. He had just been talking about his girlfriend when Speaker had to jut in and tell him how she didn’t think this person was really his girlfriend.

Basically her speech boiled down to (with interjections from Guy along the way):

“I know you’ve met offline and then she had to go off to school. But all you’re doing now is writing, talking on video, and talking on the phone. You aren’t touching! You aren’t having sex! It’s not a real relationship. You can’t expect me to treat you like you have a real girlfriend. You can’t have a real relationship if you’re not touching or having sex. That’s just being friends. I can’t believe you’re satisfied with that.”

I’m pretty sure Guy is straight, not asexual, but he was understandably upset. He kept trying to talk to her about how he felt about his girlfriend, and she was just ignoring him. And I was sitting in the corner seething and feeling dizzy and sick and a little scared of Speaker.

This is an assumption that everybody who isn’t in a “normal” romantic relationship has to face. If you’re not having sex, it’s less genuine. Speaker even worked off the assumption that distance and the inability to touch (in any way) dissolved a romantic relationship. I wonder whether a certain type of sex would also be considered necessary for a “real” romantic relationship.

This assumption is also just one of the reasons that I feel like ace continuum people could really contribute to the overall discussion about relationships, and I don’t just mean romantic relationships. While the ace romantic perspective could make people reassess what they count as “real” romantic relationships, I think the aromantic/demiromantic/grey-romantic and just overall ace continuum perspective could make people reassess what kinds of relationships they allow to be counted as important.

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Being in an ace/sexual relationship

9 Apr

This is a long post, but Girlfriend, otherwise known as Ashley, offered to have a conversation with me about being in an asexual/sexual relationship, and we found a few things to discuss. Lots of this is, of course, unique to us. But since the number of available accounts are so small, any addition to the conversation helps build a wider picture.

A vague overview of what we talked about: how we experience romantic attraction, how she experiences sexual and aesthetic attraction, how we experienced our friendship with both of us being in love with the other but not knowing, and not having the cultural sexual cues to work off of, navigating sex and consent, and a question from Maddox about how we ‘came out’ to each other in regards to sexuality and gender. Also, we occasionally lapse into sap.

You know me, but I thought I’d introduce you to Ashley. Ashley is also a student, and preparing to major in East Asian languages and religious studies in college. She’s recently started Hermeneutism, where she plans to discuss philosophy, religion, gender, sexuality, and fashion, among other things. She’s a polysexual (attracted to many genders, but not all) genderqueer femme, and we’ve known each other for several years now. She enjoys discussing politics, cooking, and assures me her attraction to Stephen Colbert is no threat to our relationship.

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