Aro Community, Ace Community

This is a submission to the February 2019 joint Carnival of Aros & Carnival of Aces

Like many (most?) aro aces, I found the ‘ace community’ first, and I discovered the idea of ‘aromanticism’ via the ‘ace community’.

If you want to know what I thought about being aromantic vs. being asexual in the year 2012, I have an old blog post for you. And, aside from being more certain that I am aromantic, my thoughts on this have not changed much since I wrote that post in 2012. In particular, I still think that being aromantic has a greater impact on my personal life than being asexual.

To some extent, I’ve felt like I get ‘enough’ of my need to associate with aro people just by being in the ace community, as Sennkestra explains in this comment:

For example, when I first came out as ace, I *needed* those organized ace spaces in order to find peers with similar experiences, because at that point I didn’t know anyone who was out as asexual. When I started exploring aromanticism, though, I didn’t feel the need to seek out additional aromantic spaces just because there were so many active aros in the ace community with similar experiences that my needs for aromantic peers had already been fulfilled just by accident.

And yet, at the same time, I’ve wished that aromanticism could get more of its own dedicated space, rather than just being a sidenote to asexuality. At this point, I’ve read a ton of ace fiction, but I have not read a ton of aro fiction, and right now I find the prospect of binging on aro fiction to be a lot more enticing. And generally, I think that the ideas around aromanticism have not been fleshed out as much as the ideas around asexuailty.

But I think the number one reason that I would like to see aromanticism get more of its own dedicated space is that aromanticism does not always parallel asexuality. Sure, the concept of ‘aromanticism’ comes from the split-attraction model in which romantic orientations tend to mirror sexual orientations … except when they don’t. I think considering aromanticism independently makes it easier understand what aromanticism actually is rather than just what aromanticism is in relation to asexuality or other sexual orientations.

Most of the aro blogs nowadays seem to be on Tumblr, and I am bad at navigating Tumblr.

I am happy to see this Carnival of Aros thing get started. I know that it’s starting out as a parallel to the Carnival of Aces, but that’s okay, I hope it will organically develop at its own thing. I think it will help me navigate the aro Tumblr blogs and stimulate more blogging about aromanticism off of Tumblr. And maybe this Carnival of Aros think will inspire me to blog more about aromanticism myself. We’ll see.

6 thoughts on “Aro Community, Ace Community

  1. Do you know about Claudie Arseneault’s Aromantic and Asexual Database? Also, check out her list of Aromantic Book Reccomendations for a more specific list. And there’s this aromantic anthology on Kickstarter, which I’m super excited for!

    I’ve also recently begun to seek out more of a aro-specific community separate from the ace community, and have been finding connections on Twitter, so maybe that’s another avenue to explore?

    • Yes, I know about that database, I even suggested a few contributions to the demisexual fiction database run by Lynn E. O’Connaught before she merged it.

      Claudie Arseneault and I have some sharp differences of opinion and taste when it comes to aro and ace representation in fiction, which is fine (except in the limited cases when she says that some aspects of aro representation which actually do represent me or other aro people I know are ‘bad’ representation). It does mean I’m not going to be excited over a recommendation list curated by her.

      I have my reasons for liking Twitter even less than I like Tumblr.

      • For what it’s worth I think you might find that a list of her recs you would likely also agree are good, that’s my guess right now. It’s possibly more that what’s “bad” is what you two diverge on? Idk I agree with a lot of what both of you think and recommend… Not all but a lot lol

      • Oh, I would probably like at least some of the things she would put on a rec list, I just wouldn’t consider it much more seriously than a random list of aro fiction (or actually I would, because I trust her to only rec fiction which has actual aro content, whereas a random person may misunderstand what aromanticism is).

  2. Pingback: February 2019 Carnival Round-up: The Relationship Between the Aro and Ace Communities – The Ace and Aro Advocacy Project

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