queerplatonic

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So I know this isn’t a concept, but I wanted to update you guys! This is Jordan. She’s my QPP. Yesterday I went with her to get her first tattoo! She’s been planning to get this tattoo for months. And then after we left the tattoo parlour, Jordan treated me to dinner at an Asian cuisine restaurant called Lily!

THIS IS ADORABLE HAYDEN THANK YOU!!!

~mod lynn

anonymous asked:

hi!! i asked about queerplatonic relationships a little while ago. i just wanted to tell you that i talked to my friend about it and she said she feels the same about our relationship!!! and i'm so happy!!!!! i didn't even know i would feel this happy i just sort of asked her out of curiosity but god i just love my friend so much

This is so great!  I’m so glad things worked out well!  Thank you for sharing this with us <3

-Quinn

Every time a post on queerplatonic relationships makes its way around tumblr, the comments are inevitably filled with a flood of “IT’S CALLED FRIENDSHIP” or “WHY DO YOU NEED A WORD FOR THIS.”

Do you honestly think society regards friendship as an acceptable substitute for romance and marriage?  The thing is, most aros would LOVE if it could just be called friendship.

Because that would mean a world where:

  • Friendships are considered equal to or sometimes *SHOCK HORROR* more important than romantic relationships.  This is not an exceptional occurrence.
  • Romantic partners know that they might not be their datemate’s Most Important Person and are not bothered by this.
  • People commonly plan major life events around their friends up to and including housing, finances, employment, ect.
  • It is common for people to be in their 30s, 40s, 50s, hell even old age having lived with friends that entire time and no one has ever asked them why they’re not married.
  • It is common for people to have a committed lifelong partnership with their friend and no one bats an eye.
  • Having a life friend is considered something that can be regarded as equally close to marriage.  It is also taken just as seriously.

Until the day that those are true, friendship is unfortunately not an accurate word to convey the types of relationships we’re talking about. 

The “romantic-sexual/platonic” love dichotomy leaves no room for the real emotional nuances people experience in their attachments, and I think that it often causes us to live with simplified relationships not because we want to or because we have simple desires and feelings but because we have no experience, cultural context, or language to accommodate a complex social life or set of relationships. This is why language is so important. This is why words and labels matter. How can you have the kind of relationships you want with anyone, if you don’t even have the words to accurately express how you feel? Hell, half the time, people don’t even understand their own feelings and relationship desires because what they feel is not simple at all, but the only relationship framework they know makes everything seem simple and clear cut: romance and sex go together, friendship is separate from both of those things, couplehood/primary partnership is exclusive to romance and sex, etc.

But if we are to accept the possibilities and realities of asexual romance, primary nonsexual/nonromantic love, nonromantic sex and sexual friendship, romantic (nonsexual) friendship, queerplatonic nonsexual relationships and sexual relationships, etc…. we have to drop this way of thinking and speaking about relationships and love in a romantic-sexual/platonic dichotomous way. None of those “complex” relationships fit into that model

Non-Sexual Intimacy

One thing I’ve found that many allosexuals have a difficult time comprehending is the concept of intimacy outside of sex; or rather how an asexual or aromantic individual can maintain (and find fulfilling) a partnership where affection isn’t ever expressed in a sexual manner. So, because I am asked about this quite often by those outside of the asexual and aromantic communities, I’d like to make a quick post detailing some examples of non-sexual intimate acts and partnerships. 

Forgive me if I’ve missed anything.

Aromantic/Platonic/queerplatonic dating checklist

And here’s a rebloggable version.

This can be used by anyone I suppose, but is made specifically for people with a queerplatonic/platonic/non-romantic partner. You could use this with friends, too! 

Kissing (forehead, cheek, etc):
Kissing (mouth):
Hand holding: 
Cuddling: 
Hugging: 
Other affectionate touching:
Hugging in public: 
Cuddling in public: 
Kissing (forehead, cheek, etc) in public: 
Kissing (mouth) in public: 
Hand holding in public: 
Other affectionate touch in public:  
Eye gazing:
Crying on: 
Being cried on:  
Massage (giving): 
Massage (receiving): 
Hair brushing (giving): 
Hair brushing (receiving): 
Nail painting (giving): 
Nail painting (receiving): 
Shaving (giving): 
Shaving (receiving): 
Bathing together (with bathing suits): 
Bathing together (naked): 
Seeing my partner naked: 
My partner seeing me naked:
Feeding my partner: 
Being fed by my partner: 
Tickling (being tickled): 
Tickling (doing the tickling):
Terms of endearment: 
Being called “best friend”: 
Being called “partner”: 
Being called romantically-coded words (boyfriend, girlfriend, etc):
Me having other platonic partners: 
My partner having other platonic partners: 
Me having other romantic partners: 
My partner having other romantic partners:
My partner doing romantic-coded things with someone else: 
Me doing romantic-coded things with someone else: 
My partner doing sexual things with someone else: 
Me doing sexual things with someone else:  
Touching my partner sexually: 
Being touched by my partner sexually:
Having sex of any kind with my partner [specify if yes]:
Sexual kink with my partner [specify if yes]:
Non-sexual kink with my partner [specify if yes]: 
“Romantically coded” gifts (flowers, chocolates, etc): 
Dancing: 
Bed sharing (non-affectionate): 
Bed sharing (cuddling):
Tucking my partner in: 
Being tucked in:
Living together: 
[Platonic] marriage: 
Raising children together:
Having pets together:
Other stipulations/concerns:

I think that covers everything. If it doesn’t, please let me know and I’ll add it!

 And the categories could probably be “yes”, “yes, but ask first”, “yes, but with certain restrictions”, “no”, “maybe; ask first”. 

Hello! Recently, I was surprised by the amount of people who come into our askbox asking about how to start a QPP with someone. Usually, the answer is “I don’t know! It depends on the person.” But this might help those of you that are shy and are not sure where to start. It can also serve as an ice-breaker.

I tried to be as broad as possible on a tiny sheet on paper. Feel free to edit it, make changes, etc. :) I have a higher-res PNG version if you need it. Just contact me! (chekhovandowl)

Half of fandom: “These characters are totally in love with each other!”

Other half of fandom: “Ugh, stop sexualizing everything, can’t we appreciate a beautiful friendship?”

Aromantics and asexuals: “Hey, could we include some queerplatonic relationships? Or romantic non-sexual relationships that aren’t considered inferior? Or maybe even some sexual non-romantic relationships that aren’t considered shallow and unfulfilling?”

Fandom: *crickets chirping*

Romantic Relationships vs. Queerplatonic Relationships

(Please note that for the purpose of this post I’m using “queerplatonic” to mean “committed platonic relationship” as I know not everyone is comfortable with this term. I am talking about my own experiences, and for my own experiences queerplatonic is the word I enjoy using, although I know this isn’t the case for everyone.) 

A very close friend of mine recently was questioning their romantic orientation, and asked me what the difference between a committed platonic relationship and a romantic relationship was. This gave me pause, and it’s also a question I get here at Aromantic Aardvark quite often. Usually I answer with “it’s self-defined, no one knows how you feel but you”. I still agree with this sentiment, but while talking to another friend of mine - also an aro in a committed platonic relationship - I think I came up with a definition, or at least one that works for me personally. Please note that I am not saying this definition works for everyone, however.

My idea was that queerplatonic relationships were sort of the ‘mix and match’ of relationships, which is why it’s so hard to define and articulate. If you ask twenty aro spectrum people who experience these feelings what this word means, you will get about twenty different answers. With romance, even though some of the things may vary within specific relationships and everyone has a different experience with it, there is still a narrative that is generally followed and things that are expected in a romantic relationship. For example, bed sharing, hand holding, cuddling, kissing, etc. One or two of these things might not be present in the specific relationship, of course, but there tends to be certain things that are expected in a romantic relationship before it is simply considered platonic. Likewise, there are certain things expected in strictly platonic friendships - in most friendships, if you kiss or share a bed with them, it would generally be considered unusual. 

Queerplatonic to me means the breaking down of narratives. It means no rules. It means doing, essentially, whatever you are comfortable with. If you want to be best friends for all intents and purposes but also get married, that’s okay. If you want to kiss sometimes but don’t want to feel obligated, that’s okay too. This is why every person in a relationship like this has a different definition of it, because there are no rules. Queerplatonic means forging your own definition, saying “neither platonic or romantic is right”, and just doing whatever feels comfortable in the moment. It means making your own structure, mix and matching what you and your partner feel comfortable with. And I think trying to strictly define a queerplatonic narrative defeats the whole purpose of it. The purpose of it is to forge your own definition, to say “none of these words fit, so I’m going to make my own”. Queerplatonic is the breaking down of boundaries, or at least, that’s been my experience. It’s uncharted territory that has no societal bounds, that has no one making a strange face at what you do or don’t do in your relationship (or at least, not from people who understand the concept). Queerplatonic means mixing and matching, saying “I want to do this platonic thing, and this romantic thing, but not this romantic thing”.

That is, fundamentally, the most important part of a queerplatonic relationship. Breaking down boundaries, blurring the lines between platonic and romantic. The specifics may be different depending on the specific relationship, but that’s one thing I’ve found that all have in common. 

Hey guys, just wanted to remind u all that queerplatonic relationships are more than ‘just friendships’
Queerplatonic is a word used to describe a deep emotional connection between two ppl tht transcends friendship but is not romantic in nature
QPR’s are most often found among aromantic ppl but othr lgbtqiap ppl can nd do have queerplatonic partners
QPR’S are vry real nd valid nd theyre all wonderful
So next time u wanna harrass an aromantic person for “not knowing what friendship is” , shut the fuck up

honestly a qp relationship would be so great like you’re my best friend and we do best friend things but you’re like more than my best friend because I love you with all my heart but platonicly and we don’t have to do romantic stuff but we totally can if you want it’s chill and we can cuddle and tell each other everything without it being weird and we can eat ice cream and sing at the tops of our lungs and annoy the people around us with how in platonic love we are with each other and we can just hang out and find comfort in each others company even if we don’t say a word to each other like all day and I know you’re there and you know I’m there and we’ll just help each other and support each other and ugh qp relationships

Challenging Societal Expectations of Friendships & Relationships: Queerplatonic Relationships

Imagine: Bobby and Billy Joe are your very rad neighbors. They live together. They hold hands when they walk down the street. They pay their taxes together. Sometimes, they kiss. You would probably assume that they’re in a romantic relationship, but why is that? Holding hands is not inherently romantic. Neither is sharing a house, and neither is kissing.

But that’s what we’ve been taught to think. Our society holds very specific expectations for what a committed relationship should look like. The relationship should be romantic in nature. It should be monogamous. It should be central to our lives and should take precedence over platonic relationships. It should involve kissing and holding hands. It should involve saying “goodmorning” and “goodnight” and “I love you” to each other. It should involve sex and living together and marriage.

We also impose very specific expectations for what a friendship should and shouldn’t look like. Kissing would be strange; the friendship should not be as important or central as a romantic relationship; living together makes sense until the friends find romantic partners; marriage is out of question.

These black and white ideas about friendships and relationships are so ingrained that it’s difficult to question them without sounding or feeling stupid. “Why should kissing my friend be perceived as romantic?” may appear to have an obvious answer (that kissing is what people in romantic relationships do?), but that “obvious answer” usually does not have a strong basis besides that it is what people have been telling us. Kissing can be romantic, but is not inherently so.

We as a society also perpetuate the idea that platonic relationships are lesser than romantic relationships. For example, people often toss around the phrase “just friends,” implying that friendship is less important and less committed than romantic relationships. We are taught to throw away friendships for romance. We are taught to spend a good chunk of our lives searching for “the one”—a central, romantic relationship to whom we devote all or most of our physical and emotional intimacy. Why is romance the deciding factor of the importance of a relationship? As Kaz (one of the initial people who identified feeling a type of emotional attraction that was neither platonic nor romantic) puts it, “From a very young age, we are taught The Relationship Hierarchy. Which is something like: blood ties and marriage ties trump other sorts of ties. Sexual relationships trump non-sexual relationships. You have only one partner, who shall be your sexual partner and your lawfully-wedded spouse, and no other partners, and they trump all other relationships. Marriages that produce children trump non-procreating relationships, but Thou Shalt Not Be A Single Parent. ‘Family’ and ‘Friends’ are distinctive sets of people, and ‘Family’ trumps ‘Friends.’ ‘Friends’ should mean only people of the same sex, but otherwise, same sex friends trump other sex friends. You shall be emotionally intimate only with same sex friends, unless you are a man, and then Thou Shalt Not Have Emotions.”

In reality, though, there are many different kinds of relationships with many different nuances. But often, these nuances are colored over in an effort to fit societal molds of what a relationship should be. Two friends may want to kiss but won’t, fearing that it makes their relationship romantic. Two people may not experience romantic attraction for each other but may, because of sexual attraction, mistake their attraction for romantic, because sexual attraction is portrayed as an integral part of romantic relationships.

But what if you don’t want to be confined by typical definitions, ideas, and expectations of what a committed relationship should look like? What if you could have a serious, committed relationship without defining it as romantic or otherwise? Romantic love is portrayed as the ultimate and all-fulfilling type of love that we should spend our lives searching for. But here’s a plot twist: it doesn’t need to be.

The term “queerplatonic relationship” was coined to describe relationships more intense and intimate than what is considered common for a friendship, but that also don’t fit into the traditional romantic and sexual couple model. A queerplatonic relationship is characterized by a strong and significant bond or emotional commitment that is not romantic in nature.

Note that the “queer” in “queerplatonic” does not refer to identifying as queer/LGBTQIAP+, but rather the “queering” (challenging/deconstructing) of traditional notions of relationships. People of any gender, sexual orientation, or romantic orientation (and lackthereof) can be in a queerplatonic relationship. (Also, there are a ton of other terms that refer to relationships that are neither friendships nor romantic relationships. The important part is the self-defined aspect of the relationship.)

This broad and encompassing term questions the traditional model of a relationship and breaks down societal expectations of what a committed relationship should look like. It functions on the idea that people can do whatever they want in a relationship and shouldn’t need to fit their relationship into the binary “just friends” or “romantic partners” system. Depending on the specific relationship, people involved in the queerplatonic relationship may consider themselves partners, a couple, a triad, or any other term that implies commitment and intimacy. Queerplatonic partners can choose to live together, celebrate their anniversary, kiss and cuddle, and do anything they want to do. They can also choose to do none of the above. As Aromantic Aardvark describes it, “It’s uncharted territory that has no societal bounds, that has no one making a strange face at what you do or don’t do in your relationship (or at least, not from people who understand the concept).”

Since queerplatonic relationships are all different from each other, they are best described by (a variety of) people with personal experience. Here are some insightful perspectives on queerplatonic feelings/relationships:

  • I’ve stopped classifying things as “love” or “friendship” according to arbitrary superficial details—the feelings I share with certain friends are so intimate, so beautiful, that it’s ridiculous that I don’t call them lovers just because we don’t sleep together. It’s fucking absurd that sex should be the dividing line between our relationships, between which ones take precedence, between who we play with, live with, sleep with, who we take care of first, who we die with at last. (Darling)
  • The more commonly known types of relationships: “…may cause a lot of pain that’s not obvious looking in from the outside. It does not work for me. At all. In fact, sorting my relationships into these categories simply does not work for me. At all. The types of relationships I want? The types I already have? Are too cool for your puny boxes…friendship doesn’t have to be “just”, and that there are more options than friendship or romance.” (Kaz)
  • Queerplatonic is a word for describing relationships where an intense emotional connection transcending what people usually think of as ‘friendship’ is present, but the relationship is not romantic in nature … The ‘queer’ is a reference to the idea of queering relationships and ideas about relationships, not for describing the orientations or genders of anyone in a queerplatonic relationship. (Smith)
  • Love is not inherently, exclusively romantic. A primary partnership is not definitively romantic. You can have sex with a nonromantic partner, you can be committed to a nonromantic partner, you can kiss and cuddle and hug a nonromantic partner, you can live with a nonromantic partner, you can raise kids with nonromantic partners, you can mutually put each other first in a nonromantic relationship. Everything and anything you could possibly do or feel can be experienced in friendship and nonromantic partnership, except for romantic attraction. (The Thinking Asexual)
  • A commitment to live together forever, to raise a family together, to put each other first just like any pair of primary partners would, sharing the highest level of emotional and/or physical intimacy you’re willing to share with anyone, spending more time with each other than you do with anyone else, buying a house together, signing on as each other’s power of attorney in case of medical emergencies, pooling finances, etc., are all things that ordinary, common friends don’t do because they’re doing it all with their respective romantic-sexual partners instead. A pair of common friends in adulthood generally don’t live together, don’t share a great amount of physical intimacy, don’t go to each other first for financial support/emotional support, don’t have any expectations of each other that go beyond talking on the phone or getting together for coffee or whatever. A pair of common friends have a mutual understanding that they’ll drop each other in favor of their own romantic-sexual partner, if they have to or want to—in big ways or small ways—and this is especially true if one or both friends is married and/or seriously committed to a long-term romantic-sexual partner. “Friendship” is an inadequate word to describe nonsexual-nonromantic relationships that function as primary partnerships or otherwise go far beyond common friendship in expectations, emotions, and behavior.
  • No behavior is inherently romantic. In a perfect, free world, you could be romantic monogamist but still have physically affectionate/sensual friendships with people you are not romantically interested in but do love, even while participating in a monogamous romantic relationship. You don’t have to want to fuck someone, in order to want physical intimacy and closeness with them. If you do want physical closeness with a friend, you don’t have to feel obligated to fuck them in any way, if you don’t really want to. Or date them. Ever.
  • The “romantic-sexual/platonic” love dichotomy leaves no room for the real emotional nuances people experience in their attachments, and I think that it often causes us to live with simplified relationships not because we want to or because we have simple desires and feelings but because we have no experience, cultural context, or language to accommodate a complex social life or set of relationships. (The Thinking Asexual)
  • Queerplatonic to me means the breaking down of narratives. It means no rules. It means doing, essentially, whatever you are comfortable with. If you want to be best friends for all intents and purposes but also get married, that’s okay. If you want to kiss sometimes but don’t want to feel obligated, that’s okay too. This is why every person in a relationship like this has a different definition of it, because there are no rules. Queerplatonic means forging your own definition, saying “neither platonic or romantic is right”, and just doing whatever feels comfortable in the moment. It means making your own structure, mix and matching what you and your partner feel comfortable with. Queerplatonic is the breaking down of boundaries, or at least, that’s been my experience. It’s uncharted territory that has no societal bounds, that has no one making a strange face at what you do or don’t do in your relationship (or at least, not from people who understand the concept). Queerplatonic means mixing and matching, saying “I want to do this platonic thing, and this romantic thing, but not this romantic thing”. (Aromantic Aardvark)

Sources:

Kaz. “Discretion Advised.” Discretion Advised. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2015.
Aromantic Aardvark. “Aromantic Aardvark.” Aromantic Aardvark. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2015.
Darling, Gala. “Infinite Relationships.” Gala Darling. N.p., 04 Apr. 2009. Web. 01 Dec. 2015.
The Thinking Asexual. “The Thinking Asexual.” The Thinking Asexual. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2015.
Smith, S.E. “Word of the Day: Queerplatonic.” Wandering Stars. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2015.