I have so many topics that I want to write about lined up on my Trello board. Reminders have been going off on my phone for the past few weeks.
Then I learned something new about myself. Well, no. I didn’t learn something new about myself. I learned of a new identifier to describe a part of myself I have always known. This revelation has me behind my keyboard excited to type this blog post and to share my newfound identifier.
I identify as aromantic. A girlfriend of mine, who is a sex therapist, was recently featured in an article where she talked about aromantics, and my mind was blown.
What is Aromanticism exactly? From the internet:
An aromantic is a person who experiences little or no romantic attraction to others. Where romantic people have an emotional need to be with another person in a romantic relationship, aromantics are often satisfied with friendships and other non-romantic relationships.
This is not to be confused with asexual. Asexual means that a person does not have the desire to have sex. Or it’s a minimal feeling. Aromantics feel the same way about the emotional side of things.
I still identify as a gay man. I am happily and proudly sexually attracted to men. Being aromantic just makes that experience different for me.
What really fascinates me about Aromanticism is that I have known this about myself for a very long time. Some of my blog posts and IGTV videos have alluded to my approach to relationships and why I am not in them, but I never had a name for it. Until now!
My friends and anyone who gets to know me has heard me talk about how I am not the romantic type and that I would be just fine with a companion, not a husband. My friends also have experienced my responses to their relationships, which I always support because I love them, but some of it makes me want to throw up. <shrug>
I am the kind of person that gets “drunk in lust” very quickly with other guys. There is something about the exchange of pheromones and physical chemistry between myself and a guy (or guys) that triggers the reward part of my brain hard. I’ll even say “I love you” and they say it back because it’s so intense. I get so lost in the chemistry and sexual attraction. It makes for an extraordinary sexual experience!
What tends to happen every time though, is once I come down from the high, I am over it. I don’t have emotional connections to those guys. I don’t feel comfortable when emotions get involved to that aspect. The idea of a relationship with another guy turns me off. That can even impact me sexually. If I start to feel that my encounter with a guy is turning emotional/relationship focused, I start to lose interest in bed.
I just like the sex part. The pure, animalistic and natural sex with no strings. I also believe that this is why I am into voyeurism and exhibitionism. It’s all physical. It’s all sexual. No intimacy or emotions are involved. Well, maybe some emotions, but not that romantic type.
This has also made me really reflect on my past relationships. The last time I had a boyfriend was 10 years ago. We dated for about 3.5 years. I always got in trouble for not being romantic with him. When I was, it was exhausting for me. I already didn’t like it anyway, but then it felt like a way to avoid punishment. I also struggled with the idea of not being able to mess around with other guys I was attracted to,
After that relationship I did a lot of self-reflection and figured out what I like and don’t like. Now I know who I am and what works best for me. I know that I get turned off by romance. I know that I love meeting new people. I know that I love letting physical chemistry lead the way.
Aromantic may just be a new fad term. Maybe it’s not. Some psychologists/therapists would probably want to dig deeper into why someone doesn’t enjoy emotional attachments from the romantic perspective. I can imagine that is probably a thing that aromantic people will have to deal with as people seek to understand this identity.
For now, Aromanticism has its own pride flag and it’s one I will happily rock at the next Motor City Pride in Detroit and any other Pride that I attend!
I have found a part of me and I don’t care what it’s called. I am even happier than I was before!
Questions? Comments? Want to chat about it? Hit me up!