What does it mean to be both romantic and asexual?
Aromantic means having feelings for someone other than yourself. They are not just for your partner or spouse but they include all others including family members, friends, lovers, pets, etc. Aromantics have no sexual desires at all. Most of them are married with children and live happy lives without any problems whatsoever. Some of them even become priests or nuns!
Asexuality is defined as being unable to experience sexual attraction. There are many theories as to what causes a person to be asexual.
One theory says that it could be due to genetic factors such as the lack of certain genes which may cause infertility or it could be due to psychological reasons like low self esteem, fear of intimacy, shyness, social anxiety disorder (SAD), depression and so on. Another theory suggests that it might be due to hormonal changes in the brain.
There are some people who are romantically attracted to others and there are some people who are sexually attracted to others. However, most of them do not feel anything towards anyone else.
For example, if you were a lesbian and had same-gender attractions then you would probably still prefer men over women because you feel more comfortable around men. It’s a lot easier for you to fall in love with a man because you share the same interests as them.
People who are asexual may or may not have romantic attractions. If you were an asexual lesbian then you might prefer women over men, but it would be because you like their personality rather than their physical appearance and not because of sexual desire.
It would be hard for an asexual person to fall in love with someone else, however it is still possible.
It is important to remember that asexuality and aromanticism are two different things. According to Wikipedia, “Asexuality is a lack of sexual attraction, while romantic orientation is defined by the gender(s) one is attracted to.
Both definitions are independent of one another and are not reliant on one another.” It would be possible for an asexual person to be romantically attracted to someone of the opposite gender or the same gender.
So, what does it mean to be both asexual and romantic?
Well, that’s a complicated question. Aromantic asexuals are people who do not experience sexual attraction but they do experience romantic attractions. In other words, they feel the need to find a life partner or someone they can settle down with but they are not sexually attracted to anyone else at all. If you were an aromantic heterosexual then you would only be romantically attracted to members of the opposite gender. If you were an aromantic homosexual then you would only be romantically attracted to members of the same gender.
It’s a lot easier for most people to understand how sexual and romantic attraction are two different things because most people experience both sexual and romantic feelings towards others at various points in their lives. For example, a straight man will often feel sexual attraction towards women (and possibly men) and they will also experience romantic attraction towards women (and possibly men).
So you could say that a straight man will feel sexual attraction towards one gender and romantic attraction towards the other.
Most people do not experience both types of feelings towards the same gender, however there are some exceptions to this rule. Bisexuals tend to experience both sexual AND romantic feelings towards multiple genders.
A heterosexual man would only experience sexual attraction towards other men and not romantic attraction. A homosexual man would only experience romantic attraction towards other men and not sexual attractions.
As for asexuals, most do not experience sexual attraction at all. There are two types of asexuals when it comes to romantic attractions: those who do experience romantic attractions and those who don’t.
The type that do not experience romantic attraction are often referred to as “Romantic Asexuals” or “Aromantic Asexuals”. Those that do experience romantic attraction are sometimes referred to as “Sensual Asexuals” or simply “Aromantic Sexuals”.
Sources & references used in this article:
Coming to an asexual identity: Negotiating identity, negotiating desire by KS Scherrer – Sexualities, 2008 – journals.sagepub.com
Stories about asexuality: A qualitative study on asexual women by E Van Houdenhove, L Gijs, G T’Sjoen… – Journal of sex & marital …, 2015 – Taylor & Francis
There’s more to life than sex? Difference and commonality within the asexual community by KS Scherrer – Understanding non-monogamies, 2010 – Routledge
Methodological issues for studying asexuality by M Carrigan – Sexualities, 2011 – journals.sagepub.com
Asexual scripts: A grounded theory inquiry into the intrapsychic scripts asexuals use to negotiate romantic relationships by AC Hinderliter – Archives of sexual behavior, 2009 – Springer