Fair warning: this is a mess and has no discernible point. (Well, there is a tiny bit of a point at the very end.
I rediscovered this about a week ago, and was reminded why I thought it was helpful. There was a whole big long debate on this back in February between The Thinking Asexual and Nina of princeofraspberries.tumblr.com, which I only became aware of a week ago. TTA also submitted a post on this to Asexual Advice, which, combined with Kiowa’s (and other mods) frankly invalidating, prescriptivist, and gatekeeping attitude, has finally convinced me to unfollow them.
I would, however, like to address something that Kiowa apparently thinks – that cupioromanticism and cupiosexuality are a combination of a “behavioral choice” and an orientation. Well, yes, a romantic relationship is a set of behaviors. She’s not entirely wrong about that. But wanting to engage in a set of behaviors is not actually a behavioral choice. Me wanting to have a romantic relationship is not the same thing as me saying “aromantics in romantic relationships are this”.
Also, I fail to see how my wanting a romantic relationship undermines other people’s not wanting them. I am in no way saying that romantic relationships are superior, or that romantic relationships are necessary. I’m just saying that I want one. (I do realize that the majority of society says that romantic relationships are superior and necessary, and I do, to a certain extent, understand how it could be problematic that a subset of aromantics want romantic relationships. But I don’t think that my wanting something most aromantic people don’t invalidates all of them.)
About getting rid of amatonormativity (i.e. activism): I am disabled. I am depressed. I am constantly in pain. The only thing I want in life is to be happy and in relatively little pain (because being pain free is never going to happen). You (this is to anyone and everyone) do not get to tell me what I should be doing with my life. You do not understand where I am coming from1, and you absolutely may not dictate to me. If I want to be an activist, I will damn well be an activist. If I want to be a stay-at-home mom (which is basically the main thing I’ve wanted since I was at least three years old, and probably even before then, so don’t even tell me that my desires are a result of conditioning, because I have incredibly accepting parents who let me play with whatever I wanted) I will damn well be a stay-at-home mom, and nothing you say will stop me from wanting that or actually doing that.
Besides that, I think there are bigger problems with society than amatonormativity. The fact that so many people are in poverty, for example. If I was going to be an activist, that’s (probably) what I would choose. Not anything to do with amatonormativity, asexuality, or aromanticism.
Before I found the cupioromantic identity, I didn’t have a word to describe what I feel. I’ve been wondering if I’m aromantic for several months, and when I mentioned this to my mom, who is my usual sounding board, she basically said that since I’ve been in romantic relationships in the past, I couldn’t possibly be aro. (This is obviously wrong, as attraction and action are not the same thing, but her response made me think more about it and eventually come to the conclusions I have reached.)
I always thought that I was just really practical. Like, I would (and still do, actually) think about and consider people as romantic options. Like, here is a set of criteria for the future partner I want (e.g. Catholic, politically similar, wants to live in Seattle, etc.), what available people fit into this? And then I would convince myself that I was romantically attracted to them (i.e. had a crush). But, as far as I know, this is not actually romantic attraction.
(I am all for platonic cuddling. One of my best friends from home, S, and I would cuddle and watch Netflix all the time over the last two years. And it was pretty much always the highlight of my day/week/month. Because I crave that kind of close relationship. But I also crave romantically-coded [at least to me] things, like kissing, et al. [And yes, I realize that actions that code romantically for me do not code romantically for everyone.])
Everyone’s situation is unique, and it’s really shitty that in a space for people who understand what the effects of being hated on by society are, there are people who turn around and hate on other people. I know that it’s hard, but we need to be better people, to be more understanding. If all we do is end up replicating the problems that society has for us, nothing will ever get better.
1 – as far as I know. I have never met anyone, online or not, who has had a similar life experience to me.