0. ACES AND AROS (a 2012 perspective)
Asexuals (Aces) have no desire or wish for sex, and Aromantics (Aros) have no desire or wish for romance.
People can be either, both or neither.
Aces and Aros are currently starting to be Out.
We write this is recognition and support :)
Summary concerning Ace/Aro by the Trevor Project
Additionally, some Aces and Aros consider these aspects of ourselves to be not discrete but a continuous spectrum: some people consider ourselves to be Grey Aces and/or Aros.
A different case is that of Demi (Demisexual and/or Demiromantic), who are capable of, respectively, sexual and romantic feelings, but only toward people with whom they have already formed a deep connection.
Once again a reminder that one can view oneself at ours in discrete or continuum terms but is not to attempt to impose any such considerations upon any others.
In that and other ways Greys and Demis are explicitly welcome at ours :)
Some of us Aces and Aros, whether or not Grey or Demi, have experienced a lot of prejudices, many of which remain widely unknown.
Bear in mind that some of us have been massively affected by such.
1. Aces and Aros
[From a more modern-era Ace than those who wrote our Ace Awareness page, which is shortly to be expanded with links to these Ace Articles.]
I also noticed that on the page about asexuality on the CakeFaerie website (which is amazing, it's lovely to see less-represented identities supported!), it says that aces have no desire or wish for sex, and aros have no desire or wish for romance.
From what I've seen though, usually asexuality and aromantic-ness are defined as a lack of sexual or romantic /attraction/ to other individuals, because some aces and aros do want to have romantic/sexual relationships and may still have a sex drive (and of course there are also aros/aces who are indifferent or repulsed by these things).
I just wanted to suggest this because I think in the aro/ace community we prefer to define it in terms of attraction, not the desire for a certain kind of relationship, and so that definition might be more inclusive to different types of aros/aces and more helpful to people trying to self identify :)
But it's so wonderful you have a page on aces/aros in the first place, thank you!!
2. Some words Aces commonly use
Among Aces, "Cuddlebuddy" is a common word and notion. This is the word many Aces use in the context of 'my partner'.
Aces can have 'crushes' too. Except that we tend to call them "squishes", i.e. wishes to know someone considerably better, and spend time with them.
These words are used in particular by Ace-Aros: Aces who are also Aros, including by Total Aces: who are 'A-everything else' too.
3. Ace relationship issues
4. Ace relationship issues
5. Asexuality and Consent Issues
6. Quite a lot of Aces are Anactivistic
Click on the below Anacondalicorn :) button to read about what this means!
7. AceFluidity is a kind of Fluidity
GenderFluidity is the most widely known form of General Fluidity; aside from AceFluidity, some other examples are OrientationFluid, SAxFluid (Social Anxiety) and Switch (a type of KinkFluidity) :)
At least some Demisexuals consider ourselves to be AceFluid.
Some Grey Aces consider ourselves to be on an Ace Spectrum, including in some cases in a time dependent way, by which some of us consider ourselves to be AceFluid.
One's sense of gender deriving (in a few cases!) from how one socializes some kind of manifestation of Ace/Aro, or of spectral versions thereof, such as Grey or Demi? This is however not clear-cut.
Some Aces consider Aceness to be innate, whereas some AceFluid people are e.g. Traumatic AceFluid. In essence, it is quite common for a Survivor who was Allosexual before their ordeal to become Asexual for a number of years afterward. In some cases, the change may be permanent. In other cases, the person may eventually revert to their pre-ordeal sexuality (or possibly to some other sexuality). While these things conform to many wider descriptions of 'Grey' and 'Demi', some such people did not feel accepted even in the notably accepting Ace communities. As such, AceFluid is not the same as Grey or Demi, and it includes specifically Traumatic AceFluid as a subcase, one, moreover which may not be innate. For sure, one should never assume Aces are Survivors, or that Survivors will necessarily act asexually for a long time after their ordeal. None the less, some people do find themselves on the Ace spectrum (whether permanently or not) as the result of becoming Survivors. These deserve our sympathy, respect and awareness, much as everyone else does :) Some Properties of Survivor can also in practice look and feel very similar to Ace/Aro/Grey/Demi. So people who are Survivors don't necessarily think in Ace/Aro/Grey/Demi terms.
8. Ace-Aros may be Total Aces or Kink people
It is possible that some Aces are e.g. Dominant or Submissive. If an Ace is Aro and moreover Adominant, Asubmissive etc... to the extent of being A-everything (so far as they know, or want to know), then they are a Total Ace :)
The above link also describes `Hyper' as a bigger opposite to `A' than `Allo' is. As in e.g. Hypersexual being a bigger opposite to Asexual than Allosexual is, and with other notions such as Hyperdominant and Hypersubmissive introduced.