Inside My Mind
I realize some people have been responding to this tumblr post as if it were the asexual version of 'The Nice Guy'. That is not at all how I read and interpreted it. I saw it as an example of one of those times people think they're all speaking the same language, because they're using words they think each other recognizes, but in actuality the definitions are completely different, and thus the language is different and thus misunderstandings, hurt feelings and more occurs. This is the short version of what that tumblr post inspired in my brain: I have friends and I have people I care about very deeply in a myriad of ways, and most of the time only one of those myriad ways intersects with the way society tells me I should treat people who are not blood family.
The Long Version:
I wrote out a longhand post on this, and if you had a clue of how painful I find longhand writing, it should tingle to you just how much the above post knocked on the doors of my mind and set wheels turning. I'm not sure I can just word for word retype what I did longhand, since I've had time since then to think on things even more.
And it all seems to sum up to this: I can love certain individuals deeply and it totally not fit into how society, or western/American society (of which I am incredibly immersed) deems platonic. I can also fall totally head over heels in love with someone, and it not trigger any needs within me for things to be either romantic or sexual. I can feel romantic for someone and love them deeply and have no desire at all for sex - which is quite possibly how I feel about either men in general as possible intimates or how I feel about the possibility of a male intimate.
The truly important component is where I fit on someone's hierarchy of needs; what my importance is in relationship to them, and how comfortable I am with it (and how comfortable they are with it). My boston wife? I could quite happily be her (or one of her) non-sexual, secondary priority partner(s) for the rest of my life. Her importance to and in my life is HUGE. There is no one who could replace her in any way shape or form. I am who I am today because of her; because of her joy and caring and patience etc... Which when you think about it, it is the sort of phrasing some people make vows out of.
Whereas there is someone else in my life for whom I feel no sexual attraction at all as well and I'm fairly certain I feel no romantic inclination towards her either, but she's hugely important to me and is a damn high priority mostly due to shared emotional intimacy.
There's a third person in my life for whom what I feel I can easily and quickly identify as a deep platonic friendship that crosses friendship, not into family (which is a term I think I reserve for blood and certain shared parental experiences) but who is Clan, which is my term for Intentional Family/Self Created Family/Self Chosen Family; people I would save from the alien invasion right off the bat if given a choice.
None of these relationship are mere friendships or just friendships. And I don't seem to believe a romantic or sexual relationship should or could ever supplant them. That's just not how it goes for me.
And thus it has me thinking of how I'm poly and why I'm poly and how and why I believe one person cannot and should not and could never be everything to another person. Maybe I don't believe one's romantic partner should be one's best friend - a friend, yes. But I'm not sure I'd want my romantic partner to carry deep friendship alongside romantic relationship. That seems burdensome. Heavy even. What I need and expect from my friends is different.
Maybe that explains why (for a while at least) my ex and I were much better friends than we were lovers. When the expectations were different, she could give more. And I could give in ways that seemed not to burden and frighten and overwhelm her. And then of course we ran into society (and her current SO's) feelings about how our bond should be lesser and insignificant in comparison; there's always comparison and jealousy etc. There'd been on my side as well, things I expected but didn't get when we were together, which she didn't think was important because she was doing xyz according to society's dictates of what my needs were(must be)/my requirements, her obligations. But I didn't have a speck of a clue back then to try and articulate it - I just kept trying to explain she was sharing intimacies in ways that made me jealous and uncomfortable and she kept saying she wasn't sleeping around and it was. a. mess.
The post I linked to, what I will walk away from it remembering, is the concept of speaking in two different languages; same words but different definitions and thus the conversation never meets up and clicks and there's hovering expectations and disappointments and intimacies one side thinks has been articulated but the other side hasn't a clue. And I think it's how I've felt for a good long part of my life - maybe it's a multiple thing; thus it's me being asexual, aromantic, biromantic, queer and more all at once. But I feel or rather it seems logically possible that maybe relationships have been defined very narrowly and people have been following a pattern and maybe it works for many people, or it's worked so long in terms of building a sense of civilization, that other people just end up being considered fringe thinkers and hippies and weirdos and free-love whatevers. Then again, once you recognize colonialism and Victorian attitudes etc in the mix - who knows. My thoughts get fuzzy on other concepts of family and love in such a much, much bigger picture; historical context, political context. It puts many more layers in the personal is political and the political is personal.
I'm just left going hmmmm. And pondering the concept of priorities and my own concept of boundaries and who gets close and who doesn't and why and how and how I relate to other people and how the heck that's going to work for the rest of my life.
Anyway when I originally wrote this out longhand, I walked away with this:
I can love blood family deeply; blood family equals shared experience, shared history and a strong sense of only we together understand everything we've been through. No one else will ever be close like that.
I can have chosen family; people I think of as my clan, who I want to protect and who I feel safe letting protect me.
I can be head over heels giddy in love; and it have nothing to do with sex or even romance. It's my enjoyment of that person.
I can want romance; cuddling and touch and intimacy.
I can feel sexual.
Not a one of the last three needs to combine in my head.
And outside of those three, I can still have individuals in my life I feel a deep emotional connection to, who I think of as priority individuals in my life.
Yup - this post is getting shown to Dr. Yoda.
PS: Huh, maybe this is why I freak some people out. They don't expect certain levels of emotional intensity from 'just a friend'. Then again, I'm also just weird.
Next up (hopefully); posts on Haven & Dr. Who & (new)Thundercats