Far More Intimacy, Outside the Lines
Defining what intimate relationships people desire outside the norm seems to be hard. For asexual-spectrum people in general, because the lack of sexual attraction somehow demotes both their desire and actual relationships in status. For aromantics in particular, because romance has come to be a surrogate for sexual attraction, in redefining relationships to fit asexuals. Diversity in the asexual community makes it harder still to get a handle on what we could want, rather than what we should want like “normal people”.
Tradition dictates four load-bearing walls for what I call “intimate relationships” in these posts, outside of family (including family-of-choice):
- Romance, the infatuation and attendant gestures to signal the presence of a love and desire for a relationship that differs from the affection felt for family and friends.
- Sex, the act that serves as hallmark for such relationships, for pleasure, duty or procreation.
- Marriage, the ritual that serves as the crowning public declaration and permanent contract for such a relationships.
- Children, the product of the sex, usually preferred after the marriage and aside from creatures in their own right, also the concrete product and immortalisation of such relationships.
Usually, marriage and children serve to hold up the construct. Western society prefers romance and sex. What asexuality implies is that relationship between people itself is all that is needed. The truth everyone ignores is, the four walls, even if all of them are present, would be a hollow construct without it.
That doesn’t help in quantifying relationships, but at least we can shovel some bullshit aside, this way.1
1. I started reading the webcomic “Shades of A” because it looked like a hilarious parody of Shades of Grey. I finished reading it and its sequel because it’s a good and vivid exploration of what it means to have an asexual relationship without all the comfortable limits of a ‘normal’ relationship.