Friday, 15 October 2010

An explanation, if not an apology

Here’s where I actually spend just a little bit of time doing more than wailing at a computer screen. I can do that, you know. I keep a blog so I can join the exciting asexy discourse, not so I can go “WAAAAA, I HAVE NO FRIENDS, EVEN THOUGH I ACTUALLY HAVE A HANDFUL ALREADY AND HAVE ONLY BEEN HERE THREE WEEKS, WAA!”

Thought number one- this is exactly why I don’t want to join the LGBT. If I was proud and asexual, I would demand acceptance, but I’m not. I really hate that questioning implies ‘straight, maybe bi/gay’, possibly ‘cis, maybe trans’, and can never mean ‘asexual, maybe whatever’. So for now, I want to lick my wounds and concentrate on how to actually negotiate my sexuality, not just all the idiots who want to use it as their political victim. Screw them.

I want to explain my last two posts to you. Some of you may already know exactly where I’m coming from, but it’s those people I need to address most of all.
I don’t know what aromantic means. Romantic attraction as a concept seems nebulous to me. I don’t know if I am aromantic through and through or if I’m just too cynical, but this fact remains:
I am almost sure that I could not happily be in a standard romantic relationship.

That’s not to say I couldn’t have a relationship with the exact same structure as a romantic relationship, from the handholding and the kissing to the long-term living together and babies prospects. But each of these would have to be genuinely negotiated to be what we, as a couple (or triad, etc), thought was truly best for us.
I couldn’t pick a partner, do the wooing, buy flowers on valentine’s day and spend years being their ‘person-who-makes-me-not-single’ while they are mine. Literally could not do that, without living a huge and destructive lie.

What I have here is potential. I can tailor-make truly exceptional relationships. I can live by David Jay’s new guides, rip up the rulebook and really make things happen.

But there’s a lot that you miss when you give up romance. A lot that you don’t realise until you’re in that position. Sometimes, I think of romantic relationships as celebrated kidnappings, holding just one person in the crowds and making your needs their responsibility (see what I mean about cynical). Which is sort of... irresponsible. Especially if you then abuse that by expecting and assuming left, right and centre and never communicating. Your needs are your own. Deal with them.

That’s what I’m doing. Every need, out into the light, figuring out how to meet it. And it’s scary. I’m scared. I can see why people don’t do this if they have a choice.

I wish I had a choice.

So that’s why I talk about friends. Because they’re what’s important to me, friend relationships are my primary relationships. And I reckon this blog’s going to get seriously self-indulgent. I don’t know how long for. Stick around. Especially if you’re going through the same questions about romantic relationships as me. Learn with me.


  1. On the questioning thing--oh, yeah. It's also really nice that you're sort of presumed straight until you decide otherwise, too. Heteronormativity for the lose!

    I can really relate to the fear and uncertainty that trying to form close relationships while aromantic brings, especially when you don't have any models to really build on. I hear occasionally that it's a really great thing to be able to redefine intimacy, and all that, but what I think some people forget is that you have to have two people to build a relationship. If everyone is caught up in the dominant romantic-centered paradigm of connecting to each other, you're not going to have anyone to build those close friendships with. And sometimes it seems like aromanticism is even harder than asexuality to find. Which means that you get to worry that you're viewing friendships as ultimately more permanent and important than the other party does...

    Besides which, redefining relationships is a cool goal, but it's not fun to have to throw all one's intimacy-related eggs in an experimental basket.

    For what it's worth, I'd enjoy reading more about your self-indulgence. I'm a couple of years ahead of you in terms of university, and it does get better after the terrifying first couple of months. Or it did for me. But... hell, I could have written large parts of this post. Now or two years ago, when I started university. I feel like it's important to connect on this sort of thing.

  2. "redefining relationships is a cool goal, but it's not fun to have to throw all one's intimacy-related eggs in an experimental basket."

    Exactly. It sounds a wonderful idea, until you find yourself cut off from all other options, and realise, fuck, this experiment is actually my LIFE!

    And, to be honest, university's not going badly. It's just been a catalyst for making me think about friendships, how to get them and how deep they go.