Asexuality and Aromanticism - The Basics

As time goes on, people are becoming more aware of sexualities other than straight and gay. But, how well do people know asexuality?

After being openly part of the Ace/Aro community for a few months now, I've found that it's not very well known compared to allosexual identities. From what I've found out, it seems that the group of people who are most aware are those who have friends who are part of the community and/or are a part of it themselves. So, I'd like to do a series of blogs on the kind of information on asexuality that most people should know:

The basic definition of asexual is someone who doesn't feel any sexual attraction. It's not the same as celibacy (since that's more of a choice) and it is possible for people who identify as asexual to do typically sexual acts anyway, though this will vary from person to person.

However, as well as asexuality being considered an orientation, few people realise that it is also a spectrum. Normally, we view a sexual orientation spectrum as having heterosexual at one end and homosexual at the other. However, if we add asexual and gray-sexual identities, we are more likely to get a spectrum like this:

At one end of this would be asexuality, while the other end would be allosexuality. This refers to people who are able to feel sexual attractions. In between the two would probably be what we call "gray a-sexuals", or "gray-sexuals", who are those who feel somewhere between the two. Even these are umbrella terms, since each of them consists of various identities which are more specific, but I will likely do a separate post focusing on them.

Another thing which isn't commonly known is the idea of the Split Attraction Model. This isn't limited to the Ace/Aro community, but is a common factor of it. The Split Attraction Model is the official name for the difference between different types of attraction. While many people may be asexual (the don't feel any sexual attraction), they could also be alloromantic or aromantic, which describes how they are romantically attracted. There are lots of different types of attraction, but the three that most people focus on are sexual, romantic and platonic attraction, since they are the ones that affect people the most. A common misconception is the idea that if you fall under the asexuality spectrum, you can't be in a relationship and do romantic things, but it is possible to, since the person may feel romantic attraction or simply want to be in a relationship anyway.

So, those are the two main sections I wanted to start with. I'm hoping on also doing sections on Coming Out, Types of Orientations, Common Symbols and Terms, etc. If there's any topic you would like me to focus on, feel free to suggest it, or if you have any particular questions, I will try to answer as best as I can!

Thanks for reading!

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