Queerplatonic friendships are not solely restricted to asexual individuals.
In fact, it doesn’t even make that much sense to say asexual rather than aromantic, where at least aromantic individuals may be more naturally inclined to pursue queerplatonic relationships. Aces have no obligation not to have a romantic relationship.
So why do people always assume that if you’re in a QP relationship or interested in one = you must be asexual? I’m not, thanks. There’s nothing wrong with being ace, but I’m not ace, and that’s that. And it’s a little disappointing that my fellow romantic sexuals can’t grasp the idea that a platonic relationship might be the most important one for someone even if they have the option of a romantic/sexual one.
Note that I am romantic and sexual.
However, I’m always amazed at the concepts and ideas that ace & aro folks think are only for aces or aros. It’s like, uh, I have sexual desire and romantic desire, but I think that ABC is a great idea, or I sometimes feel XYZ (or DON’T feel XYZ), or I have a friendship like blah-blah-blah. I think aces and aros aren’t as different as they think they are. In fact, sometimes they do stuff that we do too (but that society doesn’t traditionally put emphasis on), or sometimes they’ve come up with a great term for something we didn’t have a term for.
Queerplatonic relationships? Awesome. Romantic friendships? Also awesome. Moirails/non-romantic soul mates? Hell yeah! Friendship dating? One could apply that term, possibly, to the relationship I have with 8T. But these things SERIOUSLY aren’t exclusive to aros & aces. Granted, romantics and sexuals may not use these terms (because we didn’t know them), or see these relationships in these ways, or (sadly) value these relationships as much, but we can & do have this kind of stuff. It’s the aces & the aros making up these terms and bringing them to the forefront and doing all of this work examining relationship structures (kinda like poly folks have done) and I think it’s fantastic!
Also, frankly, I think a number of people think they’re ace or aro because of what they’ve been taught or what they’ve figured out about sexuality or romanticism, and since it’s not that way for them, they think they’re ace or aro. Not to tell anyone how to define themselves, but I’ve known some ace folks that told me why they’re ace and I’m like “uh, why do you think that way of feeling means you’re not sexual? Who told you that? Just because you don’t feel desire XYZ way, but you feel it ABC way doesn’t make you asexual. It just means your sexual desires are different.” I’m sure there’s aro folks that are the same way. I think their ideas of what makes sexual desire or sex at all (or romantic desire or romanticism) are sadly constricted because of what they’ve been told or read or saw. (NOTE! This is not ALL ace or aro folks.)
But, yeah, misconceptions abound. The more we open up our definitions of sexuality and romanticism, the more people will see that they, too, belong to the larger whole.
First thing - I definitely agree with this. It’s awesome when new terms and conceptions expand beyond their birthplaces like this. I think it also relates to the ‘end of normal’ post right before this one - even when parts of your life fit the mainstream paradigm, looking at them from a perspective where this is one possibility among many, and not the only one possible, can be a very great thing.
Second thing - as an asexual myself, I wanted to note that in general, asexuality is about not feeling sexually attracted to anyone, as opposed to not feeling sexual desire. I am in fact one of the ‘don’t feel desire XYZ way, but you feel it ABC way’ people - but I’m ace, because it’s sexual attraction that I don’t have.
As per the 2nd thing, this is where I would like to beg to differ. I’ve been told by someone that because they don’t feel sexual attraction to human beings, but they feel it towards other things that they are asexual, but not a-libidinous. I agree with the not a-libidinous part, but there are tons of people who are sexual and fetishists who feel sexual attraction only to their (non-person-based) fetish and they are still considered sexual. I would posit that someone who feels/has ANY kind of sexuality is, indeed, sexual, and not asexual. Perhaps a different term needs to be made that means “not attracted to people”, but I feel the term asexual does not encompass that reality.
I guess what we really need to define here is the word “sexual”. I think that defining “sexual” as “attracted to human beings” or even “attracted to people” places sexuality into a small, narrow box and doesn’t recognize the myriad and diverse ways that human beings feel attraction & sexuality. (Note: I separate “human beings” from “people” as I believe “people” encompasses all sentient beings… aliens, robots, holograms, etc.) As someone who studies human sexuality, and more specifically, fetishes, I see time and time again folks who don’t require other human beings or people to be turned on (now, some of these folks ARE turned on by human beings or people as well, so that would make them different from those who don’t get turned on by people.)
I think part of the problem is the small boxes that people(?)/society(?) puts around sexuality.
Now, the trick here is: a number of people are invested in their identity as asexuals, even if the definition of what makes an asexual gets changed around them to be more accurate but no longer includes them. I know how bad it is to tell someone “no, you can’t label that way” but I also think it’s doing folks a disservice to make them think they’re outside of the mainstream or wrong or even just different when they’re not really, just a different variation within the same. (I’m also kinda a stickler for accuracy in definitions and word usage. I try to beat it back with a stick when it comes to self-identification, but it’s hard.)
I’m certainly not saying that asexuals don’t exist, but what I am saying is that I think sexuality is broader than we give it credit for & that we need more words and more accurate words to really describe the entirety of people’s sexual (or not) experiences.