It’s okay not to feel attracted Asexuality refers to individuals who feel little or no sexual attraction to others. Aromantic refers to someone who feel little or no romantic attraction to others. While one could be both asexual and aromantic, they could also be alloromantic-asexual, or allosexual-aromantic. In this article we will explore the diversity of the asexual/aromantic umbrella, discuss some symbols of the ace/aro community and introduce some well-known ace/aro celebrities.
The Asexual/Aromantic Umbrella
Not everyone who identifies as asexual/aromantic experiences it in the same way. Just using the terms ‘asexual’ or ‘aromantic’ doesn’t actually express an individuals sexual or romantic orientation. It simply places them under the asexual/aromantic umbrella.
☂️ Between Attraction and No Attraction
A person's feelings can’t always be divided into 0 or 1. There can be various intensities and patterns of attraction, even amongst allosexual/alloromantic people. Some people experience sexual or romantic attraction to others very intensely, some experience it more steadily over a long time, and others experience short and intermittent attraction.
The same is true of asexual/aromantic individuals. There are a variety of people, not without any sexual or romantic attraction at all, but in gray areas that are rarely or only sometimes felt, who experience a “demi-” attraction only when emotional bonds are built, or who are not sexually or romantically attracted to others but have sexual and romantic fantasies.
☂️ Spectrums and Umbrellas
The term 'spectrum' is also used to refer to this wide variety of identities. Just as there is a spectrum of all colors between black and white, there is also a spectrum between asexual/aromantic and allosexual/alloromantic, and many people sit somewhere in between.
However, it has been argued that the spectrum concept is insufficient for explaining not only the degree of attraction but also various attractions and related experiences because it can only represent points in a straight line. Those who agree with this compare asexual/aromantic to an 'umbrella' rather than a spectrum. It means that within a certain range, people with various degrees and aspects of experience can share the umbrella of asexuality/aromanticism.
Asexuality/aromanticism have only relatively recently become well-known and subject to discussion. As such, debate and reviews are still ongoing, new interpretations are freely appearing, and most of the symbols shared amongst asexual and aromantic communities have been developed through online forums. Let’s take a look at the ‘aroace’ flag, as well as the symbols of cake, black rings and playing cards.
💜 AroAce Pride Flags
The Asexual pride flag combines layers of colors, with black representing asexual individuals, grey for greysexual or demisexual individuals, white to represent allosexual partners and allies, and purple representing community.
The Aromantic pride flag is layered with green representing aromantic individuals, light green representing the aromantic spectrum, white representing platonic or aesthetic attraction and alternative relationships, and black symbolizing the sexual orientation spectrum.
A famous phrase amongst asexuals is that "Cake is better than sex". That's why cake images are often used as symbols of asexuality. Of course, asexuals who don't like cake, or enjoy sex for reasons other than sexual attraction, might not relate to this phrase or symbol.
💜 Black Rings
Some individuals wear a black ring on the middle finger or their right hand to signify that they are asexual. The location or color don’t have particularly significant meanings, but are simply a tool for self identification and recognition.
💜 The ‘Ace’ Card
Asexuality is often abbreviated to ‘ace’. Based on this the four suits of standard Western playing cards are often used to signify the AroAce umbrella. Spades represent the aromantic/asexuals, hearts represent alloromantic/asexuals, diamonds represent demisexuals and clubs (or clovers) represent graysexuals. The assigned identities for each pattern can vary and are not widely confirmed.
These People Too!
Former member of Kpop group TopDog, Hansol (currently a dancer performing under the name Navinci) came out via instagram about his asexuality. At the time, he was still a member of the idol group, making him the first case of an asexual Kpop idol. Keri hulme, an author who won the Booker Prize for her novel “The Bone People”, manga artist Yuhki Kamatani, who created the “King of the Ninja” series, and Tim Gunn, famous mentor on the fashion show “Project Runway” have all come out as Asexual.