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Black, White, and the Spectrum Between

Freedom Requires Wings | by on




There are many combinations of romantic and sexual identities.

How's it going, Internet? I'm Carly, one of the newest members of the Freedom Requires Wings team. Very glad and excited to be here! 

I guess I should introduce myself: Like I said, I'm Carly. I'm a 20-year-old designer and student living in Maine. Currently I'm in my Junior year of art school, majoring in Graphic Design with a minor in Art History. (If you have any questions about typefaces or Rococo paintings, I'm your gal.) 

But you're probably not here to learn about my life. Except for one specific portion of my life: my sexuality. So I will not deprive you of this information any longer. I am a panromantic asexual.
Now, I know what you're thinking: Holy terms, Carly! What does that word vomit mean?! 

For those unknown to the world of romantic orientations, and wondering what the hell a panromantic whatever is, have no fear; I shall explain it all.

A panromantic asexual such as myself is an individual who does not experience sexual attraction (ie: asexuality), but is capable of experiencing romantic attraction to any and all genders or sexes (ie: panromanticism). 

Many people new to the realm of asexuality generally assume one of two things: 
  1. Asexuals reproduce by budding. 
  2. Asexuals are people who simply dislike others in general. 
This is untrue. First, let's get the budding out of the way: I cannot bud. I've tried, and it simply does not work. Very disappointing. As for the "dislike of everything ever" portion, this is far from fact. I do not hate people--in fact I love people. People fascinate me. I love getting to know everyone, from their thoughts to their sexuality to their views on life and The Universe and everything. People are amazing in their complexity, and I honestly believe that we all have merits and values worth exploring and sharing. And, by valuing other people as such, I am very capable in romantically loving people. 

Now, some people argue that how can you romantically love someone without wanting to have sex with them? How can I be romantic and asexual; romance is connected with sex! 

Well, this is not the case, actually. Love and sex are not innately connected. A person can love someone romantically and not wish to have sex with them; likewise, a person can have sex with someone and not love them. There are many ways to express ourselves sexually and romantically, and we are oversimplifying things by saying, "ROMANCE EQUALS HAVING SEX WITH PEOPLE YOU LIKE." 

Because some people, like myself, have differences between who they want to sleep with and who they want to love, the newfangled concept of romantic orientations has emerged. Basically the point of romantic orientations is to ensure people that it is okay to want romantically like someone and not want to sleep with them. For me, I love relationships but I hate sex. I don't want sex, I don't desire sex, and I generally hate being touched. So the identity of "ASEXUAL" covers the sexual attraction part, but it does not mention the romantic part, which is a large portion of my identity. So adding the romantic orientation gives me the freedom to relate to people sexually in one way but romantically in another. There are many combinations for romantic-sexual orientations, ranging from matching orientations (homoromantic homosexual) to mixed orientations (biromantic heterosexual). The glory of this concept of romantic orientations is the freedom to say, "Hey, it's okay to love someone one way and someone else another way. Things are not basic and simple, and we can all be different. Everyone is correct in their identity."

If there is one thing I plan to get across in my writing it is that things are not black and white. While we choose to identify with labels to describe our sexuality, very few people can wholly identify with preexisting labels, and it is up to individuals to interpret and label their desires. Humans are complex and changing; we evolve intellectually and sexually over our lives, and how we identify can change as we grow. So we should give ourselves the freedom to grow, and understand that sexuality is fluid. 

Change is okay. 
Differences are okay. 
We're all okay. 
I promise. 

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