Concept Awesome

redbeardace:

Throwing this out to the world.

Let me know if you have any feedback, in particular, if you have any better ways to respond to some of these comments.

I’d like this to be a living section of the site, with new additions from time to time.

hello hello again, queenie! it's still the same not-quite-het-ace anon from before :> thank you so much for answering! it was really really helpful <3 (esp the touch adverse and hanging out part) i, um, decided i probably do have a crush on her. (it's probably stronger than what i felt for a guy before. sort of being hit by a small planet) and now how do i deal with this? i don't know if there's a possibility of her being into girls, and i definitely don't want to ruin our friendship ><
Anonymous

Hey there, not-quite-het-ace anon!  I’m so sorry for the slow response; I’ve had a lot to deal with the past few days and have not been particularly on top of my correspondence.

First things first, take a deep breath.  This is a tough situation, but you will make it through it; I know you will!

Second of all, oh boy, do I know those feels.  I’ve compared getting crushes to having someone randomly dropping a pallet full of bricks on my head—not quite hit-by-a-small-planet levels of feelings, but the sentiment and I are intimately acquainted.  I also am painfully familiar with having a crush on a girl and not knowing whether I should say anything because I don’t want to ruin our friendship.

Before I give you any advice, though, I’m going to remind you that I don’t know this girl, and so if anything I say makes you go, “But my situation isn’t like that at all!” just ignore it.  I’m trying to cover all bases here, so I might be hitting some stuff that you’ve already thought of or done or that is not applicable.

Also, this is joint advice from both me and my fabulous girlfriend, who gives far better advice than me and is also probably better at wooing girls.  (She managed to successfully woo me, after all.)

I guess the most pressing question is what do you want out of this?  Do you want to date this girl?  Would you prefer to have her as a super close friend that you have planet-sized feelings for?  Would you be okay with the universe where she’s aware of your feelings even if she doesn’t reciprocate?  Or would you prefer that if there’s no chance of reciprocation she just never knows?  I’m sure you’ve thought about this some, but it’s probably good to have some idea of what exactly you want before diving in.

If you want to know whether she’s interested in girls, you can always bring it up obliquely.  If you don’t know whether she’s LGB-friendly, I would bring up a same-gender pairing in fiction—maybe in a book you’ve both read or on a TV show you both watch or even in fanfiction and see how she reacts.  I’ve done the awkward “queer, yes/no?” dance with many a friend, and multiple times it’s turned out that both of us are…pretty lacking in straightness, and extremely thrilled to find another person who has had similar experiences.  Other times I’ve brought up, for example, asexuality in fiction, and gotten an extremely negative, borderline vitriolic reaction and gone, “…okay, well then, backing the heck up.”

If you get a “yes, I am totally okay with non-straight people!” reaction, then it starts getting trickier.  I’m not sure there’s really an easy way to differentiate “yes, I totally support girls who are interested in girls!” from “yes, I am totally interested in girls”; in most cases, I’ve just been talking to friends about things and it’s come up naturally.  I really don’t recommend asking her in front of other people or demanding to know her sexuality or anything like that, because that’s A. rude and B. potentially dangerous for her.  I’m sure you wouldn’t do anything like that, but I figured I would remind you since I’ve had people do that to me, and it is the epitome of not cool.

Once you have a better idea of A. whether she would be okay with you being attracted to girls and B. whether she’s attracted to girls, you get to decide whether or not you want to do the whole confession thing.  Talking about your feelings for another person is terrifying!  I didn’t tell a girl I had a crush on her until last year; trust me when I say I know how terrifying it is.  Deciding to stay quiet is not a sign of cowardice and it doesn’t mean that you’ve “lost.”  It’s ultimately your decision to make, and I know that whatever decision you make will be the best decision for you.

That said, if you do decide to confess to her, girlfriend recommends that you think about her preferred communication style.  For example, I prefer that people are straightforward and upfront about their feelings, but I think a lot of other people would find that kind of clear declaration really intimidating.  Some people would prefer to be given a letter or an email so that they have time alone to formulate a response.  Other people would prefer to be told in person rather than over the phone or via text message.  Etc. etc. etc.

Also, if you do decide to confess, make it clear what your expectations are.  If you’re confessing just so that you can be clear about your feelings and not because you expect anything to come of this, be clear about that.  Nothing will make a friendship more awkward than if you confess to her and she doesn’t reciprocate but feels like telling you that will destroy your dreams.  Also, think about what will happen if you’re confessing to her in the hopes that she’ll date you and she rejects you.  If you feel that a rejection would destroy your friendship, you might decide that staying quiet is the better choice for preserving your friendship.  Or maybe you’ll feel that a rejection won’t change your relationship substantially except that you’ll feel that you can be honest with each other.  There are a lot of ways that this could go, and since I don’t know a whole lot about the situation, I can’t give exact advice.

Phew, that was a wall of text.  You are rad, anon, and I really hope things work out for you and your planet-sized crush.  As someone who has had massive crushes on multiple (female) best friends over the years, my inbox is always open if you need someone to talk to or if you just want cute cat pictures.  Also, if anyone else has advice for the lovely anon, please feel free to chime in!

hello hello queenie! uh, i have a problem. i've identified for het-ace for a really long time, but rn i'm not so sure. how do you tell if you have a crush on a girl? how do you tell if it is a crush?? i'm so nervous and scared and confused and gAH
Anonymous

phoenixsempai:

queenieofaces:

Hello, hello, anon!

First of all, take a deep breath.  You will be okay.  Feelings are hard and confusing, but you’ll get through this, yeah?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a crush litmus test.  (If there was, it would have made my teenage years a lot easier to understand.)  I can’t tell you whether you have a crush on a girl or not, but here are some questions you can ask yourself:

  • I assume that, since you consider(ed) yourself a het-ace, you’ve experienced romantic attraction toward a guy.  What was that like?  Is what you’re experiencing now similar or completely different?
  • If you haven’t experienced romantic attraction toward a guy, what made you think you were a het-ace?  Note: There are no wrong answers here!  Sometimes you think you’re one thing and turn out to be another, but that doesn’t mean that past!you was terribly wrong forever.
  • Take away the “crush” terminology for a second.  (“Crush” can seem like a really imposing word, especially if it means that you’ll have to reconsider your orientation.)  You have feelings for a girl?  Well, what do you want to do with those feelings?  Do you want to date her?  Do you want to hang out with her?  Do you want to braid flowers into her hair?  Do you want to kiss her and cuddle her?  Do you want to heckle bad movies with her?

I’ve written up a little list of differences between romantic attraction and platonic attraction here as well as a longer piece on what romantic attraction is like for me here.  Maybe you’ll find those helpful.  It’s worth noting, though, that romantic attraction seems to vary pretty widely from person to person, so if you read those and you’re like, “What?  That’s not what romantic attraction is like for me at all,” it probably just means that your romantic attraction and my romantic attraction don’t have much overlap, not that you have to reexamine everything you ever believed to be true about yourself, attraction, and the universe as we know it. (If you want to do that, though, go for it!)

Feelings are complicated, especially when they might make you reconsider your orientation, but don’t be scared!  If you think of this as an opportunity to learn more about yourself, maybe that will keep you from being so nervous.  (I have way too many gamer friends so of course my first thought on how to frame this situation was: You just unlocked the secret side quest with new feeling power-ups!  You’re discovering new attractions!  How awesome is that?)

I hope that helps somewhat, anon, and lemme know if there’s anything else I can do for you, yeah?

[read phoenixsempai's full response here; snipped because Queenie is confused by how read mores work]

# QUEENIE FEEL FREE TO LINKSPAM ME IF ANY OF THIS SOUNDS FAMILIAR TO YOU

Oh boy does it.  You might find some reading on wtfromanticism or greyromanticism (as a whole) helpful.

I’ve linked a bunch of things on greyromanticism here and by “a bunch” I mean “everything I know about” which actually means “really not that much at all.”

For wtfromanticism you have a lot more variety of writings, but just some links to start out with: massive linkspam on different terms for wtfromanticism, this post (and associated responses), a lot of Writing from Factor X (writingfromfactorx can probably give more specific post recommendations than “all of it”), and others I’m probably blanking on.  Wtfromantic followers can also probably give more specific recommendations.

For the record, I can understand having “really interested in you and ”a normal amount of interested in you" settings, and to some extent I feel fairly similarly.  I’ve just picked a semi-arbitrary point on the "interested in you" scale and decided that everything beyond that point makes sense for me to label romantic attraction.  But I know other people who have similar scales of "interested in you" and don’t pick a dividing point for platonic and romantic attraction, and instead just call themselves wtfromantic or one of the other terms on that linkspam.

hello hello queenie! uh, i have a problem. i've identified for het-ace for a really long time, but rn i'm not so sure. how do you tell if you have a crush on a girl? how do you tell if it is a crush?? i'm so nervous and scared and confused and gAH
Anonymous

Hello, hello, anon!

First of all, take a deep breath.  You will be okay.  Feelings are hard and confusing, but you’ll get through this, yeah?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a crush litmus test.  (If there was, it would have made my teenage years a lot easier to understand.)  I can’t tell you whether you have a crush on a girl or not, but here are some questions you can ask yourself:

  • I assume that, since you consider(ed) yourself a het-ace, you’ve experienced romantic attraction toward a guy.  What was that like?  Is what you’re experiencing now similar or completely different?
  • If you haven’t experienced romantic attraction toward a guy, what made you think you were a het-ace?  Note: There are no wrong answers here!  Sometimes you think you’re one thing and turn out to be another, but that doesn’t mean that past!you was terribly wrong forever.
  • Take away the “crush” terminology for a second.  (“Crush” can seem like a really imposing word, especially if it means that you’ll have to reconsider your orientation.)  You have feelings for a girl?  Well, what do you want to do with those feelings?  Do you want to date her?  Do you want to hang out with her?  Do you want to braid flowers into her hair?  Do you want to kiss her and cuddle her?  Do you want to heckle bad movies with her?

I’ve written up a little list of differences between romantic attraction and platonic attraction here as well as a longer piece on what romantic attraction is like for me here.  Maybe you’ll find those helpful.  It’s worth noting, though, that romantic attraction seems to vary pretty widely from person to person, so if you read those and you’re like, “What?  That’s not what romantic attraction is like for me at all,” it probably just means that your romantic attraction and my romantic attraction don’t have much overlap, not that you have to reexamine everything you ever believed to be true about yourself, attraction, and the universe as we know it. (If you want to do that, though, go for it!)

Feelings are complicated, especially when they might make you reconsider your orientation, but don’t be scared!  If you think of this as an opportunity to learn more about yourself, maybe that will keep you from being so nervous.  (I have way too many gamer friends so of course my first thought on how to frame this situation was: You just unlocked the secret side quest with new feeling power-ups!  You’re discovering new attractions!  How awesome is that?)

I hope that helps somewhat, anon, and lemme know if there’s anything else I can do for you, yeah?

One of the things I keep thinking about is writing about how demiromantic IS my romantic orientation. Like, pan or bi or whatever is secondary, since gender identity comes second. Even the "no cismales" thing is subsumed under that, since I'm not friends with straight cismales. So for me it's not accurate to say demiromantic is sort of secondary, like, "Oh I'm pan, but I'm also demi." Like... I'm demi. First and foremost. So maybe you could write about how those things sort of interact for you?

southpawscopic:

Oh that’s a good idea! Thank you. :)

It’s the same way for me, actually. I used to consider the demiromantic part secondary, but I’ve come to realize that- I don’t really have a primary romantic orientation? It’s nice that there are lucky people out there who know that they’re hetero/homo/bi/pan/whatever romantic, but I don’t have a concise “term” for mine. ‘Cause romantic orientation isn’t so simple and easily put into a particular box or label and that’s okay.

Yeah, we can both be “no cismales” romantic too. =P 

Heeeeey, I’m the same.  That’s part of the reason why I’ve just started calling myself queer.  If someone pushes me, I’ll probably say I’m bi/panromantic (I lean toward using biromantic, for a variety of reasons, but am not particularly attached to either), “some kind of polyromantic,” or “I dunno, people with genders, sometimes?”

Also, I remember when I was talking to demi folks to write my "Visualizing Demisexuality" piece, there were a fair number of people who didn’t identify with a gender-related sexual orientation (on top of demisexuality).  So it doesn’t seem to be uncommon for people who experience [whatever] attraction extremely infrequently to not necessarily have a gendered sense of which way their attractions lie.

I was actually talking to a friend (who isn’t demiromantic) the other day, and she said that although the number of people she’s had crushes on isn’t particularly large, there’s a lot of gradations of attraction before she gets to the crush, whereas I get all those little bits of attraction pretty much simultaneously.  So she’s experienced a lot more little bits of attraction to random people than I have, and thus has a much larger data set of people she knows she’s vaguely interested in.

On Dating as a Demiromantic

southpawscopic:

Queenie keeps not-so-subtly hinting at me to write more about demiromanticism, so I thought I’d give it a shot? I’m open to suggestions for topics, by the way, because “Demiromantic 101” is kinda boring. Which is why I’m gonna write about dating!

I don’t date.

Not in the “conventional” sense, anyway, I suppose. I’ll go on dates with people I’m already in romantic relationships with, sure! And I’ll go on awesome friend dates (Ink and I went to fondue last week and spent the entire time critiquing our food as if we were Gordon Ramsay- I have a lot of feels about Master Chef lately okay no judgement). But I don’t go on “dates with people with the assumption that we’re both trying to become partners if we’re compatible by the end of this date” dates.

That was a lot of dates in one sentence.

Also I keep thinking about the fruit.

I don’t date in the “conventional” sense because then people are going to expect something from me and that feels soooo contrived. I know I’m not going to magically develop romantic attraction to someone I’ve just met. And supposedly the person I’m on a date with will have some expectation about my feeling at least romantic (if not sexual) attraction towards them, if things work out well. Is that how it works? Right? People are expected to feel romantic attraction towards each other? See, I don’t even know. Do situations in romantic comedies actually happen in real life? Do some people actually fall in love at first sight? These things are so foreign to my world view, as someone who’s demiromantic.

I also don’t date because when I’m not experiencing romantic attraction, I’m pretty much aromantic. So. I don’t feel any reason or motivation to date. Because I don’t want a romantic relationship. That’s my experience with demiromanticism, which isn’t to say it’s everyone’s experience. For me, it’ll be like- oh I want a romantic relationship with this specific person*. But otherwise, nah. I’m good. 

*and as for “this specific person” for me that’s always someone who’s a good friend, whom I’ve known for some amount of time. I think the shortest amount of time I’ve known someone whom I’ve subsequently developed a crush on was 6 months? My dating pool is “the friend zone.” =P

Is it possible to be sex repulsed and not asexual? I am pretty sure I experience sexual attraction, but at the same time I really don't think I want to have sex.
Anonymous

Yes, it is!  I know of a few people who aren’t ace and are sex-repulsed, sex-averse, or just not really that interested in doing the sex thing.

Unfortunately, I’m not aware of any resources for non-ace sex-repulsed/sex-averse people, but maybe my followers do?