Gay/Lesbian Issues/Aromantic or what?

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Question
Hi, I am an eighteen year old girl and even though I have found androgynous celebrities/singers attractive and I have met people I find attractive, (very rarely though, androgynous people can be hard to find), it's a strange thing that happens with me. It's like, no matter what gender they are man or woman, I can find them physically attractive but when I talk to them, all attraction dies and I can only see them as a friend. I've never had a crush before on someone that wasn't a famous model/singer and even with those, it's more fangirlling over how attractive they are and their interviews. Other than that...if I were to meet them in real life, I can only see it ending the same way it has for other people I've been attracted to. Either they'd be seen as a friend or an acquaintance and nothing more. I don't get it, I don't know if I am aromantic or what. I do have a fear of sex, but that only applies to men and not women; I am pansexual, but I learn more towards women a bit. I still like men they just have to be flower boys, pretty boys, androgynous as in they look like a women with little to no trace of masculinity there. Anyways, I'm confused at this phenomenon I have. I don't know how to classify myself romantically when it seems I can never feel any romantic at all but still have an appreciation for physical attractiveness. Would I be considered aromantic or one of the spectrums of aromanticism? Just as a side note: I have never dated because I find dating to be pointless and a waste of my time. I'm not interested in anything long-term or serious with another woman/androgynous man, but would be open for something casual, if that makes sense. Other than that, dating and relationships are pointless to me.

Answer
Hi Aria,

Thank you for sharing a bit of your journey with me. Sexuality and identity can be incredibly complex. Trying to figure out the combinations; what applies and what doesn't apply to you, identity labels, attraction, desire... etc. There are so many aspects to us!

What you're experiencing, your attractions to those androgynous isn't uncommon. Non binary attractions can be a beautiful thing especially since our world is so restrictively gendered. For you to not be attracted to someone after meeting them is also very common. Maybe they don't fit your expectations for a relationship. Maybe your life isn't in a place to be in a relationship/date. Maybe there's a bit of fear and/or anxiety. Myabe what makes sense for you now is to be in short term or casual encounters. Maybe a combination of these and others? Nonetheless, it's your right to be or not be in a relationship/date and to not be judged (or self judge) by your decisions. Whatever makes sense to you know, what feels right now, is valid and true to who you are and what point you are in your life.

In terms of a romantic identity, perhaps you may fall within a panromantic sphere or an aromantic-pansexual sphere of identity. Only you can determine your identity and even that being said, it's important to know that identies can be fluid so what may kinda fit now, may kinda not fit later. I can understand that it may feel confusing but know what you feel is normal, natural and while not as common, indeed exists. Have you checked out asexuality.org? There's lots of information on the site. A couple of years ago, I attended the International Asexuality Conference and was honored to have met so many people with diverse romantic and aromantic attractions. All normal and natural.

I hope that this message gives you some solice and grounding. Yes, it can feel really isolating especially if you don't have access to a community (or individuals) where you feel safe, included and not judged. I invite you to think about contacting with the asexual community through blogs and forums in case you feel super isolated.

I wish you all the best with your journey.  

Gay/Lesbian Issues

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Reece Malone

Expertise

I can answer questions on sexual orientation, gender identity, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and transsexual sexuality (youth and adult), coming out and disclosure, transgender and gender-non conformity including transition process, how to support a partner of someone GLBT, sexuality and faith/spirituality/religion, safer sex and harm reduction, comprehensive sexuality education, and questions from service providers working with LGBT individuals and families.

Experience

I'm currently a full time sexuality educator and facilitator specializing in sexual orientation and gender identity. I hold the positions of the Education Program Coordinator at the Rainbow Resource Centre (supporting LGBTTQ individuals, families and allies) as well as clinical sexologist at Four Rivers Medical Clinic in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. My roles include: sexuality education, counseling/therapy, media spokesperson and consultant. I have sat on several non-profit sexuality organizations as well as been a consultant to the World Health Organization/Pan American Health Organization as well as the Public Health Agency of Canada. For more information visit: http://www.reecemalone.com

Organizations
American Association of Sexuality Educators Counselors and Therapists, The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, The American College of Sexologists, The Canadian AIDS Information Treatment Exchange, The Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health, The Sexual Health Educator's Network (Manitoba), The International Society for Sexual Medicine.

Publications
Malone, R. (2010). "ShoutOut Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Transphobia and Heterosexism." Rainbow Resource Centre. Winnipeg, Canada. Malone, R. et al (2010). "Your Questions Answered. Gender Identity in Schools." Public Health Agency of Canada. Ottawa, Canada.

Education/Credentials
Undergradate degree in sociology - specialized focus on human sexuality Masters of Public Health (Sexology) Doctorate of Human Sexuality

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