Am I an AroAce or just awkward?

So… this is something I’ve been debating for a while. Since this community is open and friendly towards these topics I decided to ask…

I’m in my late 20’s and I’ve never been in a (romantic) relationship nor had any particular interest in pursuing one. I may have had a “crush” or two as a young teen but they were fleeting (and over a distant relationship no less!) I find dating people troublesome and sex makes me kind of uncomfortable. I like it in my imagination but not when it comes to real thing, you get what I’m saying? Some people may argue that maybe it’s just my appearance or lack of confidence but I feel like my opinion would remain the same even if I were more comfortable and confident in myself.

Yet this is the kicker… I like romance and sex in fiction, though it doesn’t get me “in the mood” like it does for most other people. It’s just “fun”, like a mental stimulation sort of thing.

Does any of this make me an aroace, even though I like romance/sex in fiction and my imagination? Or am I just a weirdo?


Sounds like this to me: Aegosexual | LGBTA Wiki | Fandom


Well, honestly, only you can really answer your own question. My advice is research it(there is a lot under the ace and aro umbrellas).

As for enjoying romance and sex in fiction… Well, I enjoy the horror genre(as an example), but I wouldn’t want such things found in it to actually happen in real life nor would I seek to copy them in real life. Same with fictional romance and sex. You can enjoy it in fiction, but doesn’t mean you have to like and want it in real life for yourself.

But you can also want and do romance/sex even as aspec.


Romantic attraction is such a difficult thing to pin down.
I’ve been in the same relationship for over a decade, and I’m still not sure if I feel it or not.

And I’m definitely ace, and probably some sort of aro, but I looove reading romance and even erotica. It’s not uncommon.

When you had ‘crushes’, did they involve a yearning to sleep with the person, or be in a relationship with them, or was it more a feeling of ‘wow, this person is so cool/nice, and I really want them to like me’?


We’re all weirdos here, in our own way, so hi :wave:

It’s fine not to know where you fall in the whole spectrum of romantic/sexual attraction, if at all. It’s up to you what you feel most comfortable with, and how long it takes you to come to a conclusion. (And if it stays on that, or changes over time.)

I identify as demi-pansexual nowadays, but honestly, I don’t have a clue. Attraction is such a sporadic thing to me that I was half-convinced I was asexual until I met my partner at 23, and even having a partner hasn’t convinced me that I’m not. I enjoy our conversations a lot more than basically anything else. Wishing each other a good morning. Gushing about stories and video games. That sort of thing.

I think with me the heart of the issue (if you can even call it an issue) is that it’s a lot easier to relate to fictional characters and their emotions than to build emotional connections with actual people. That takes effort, and with how unpredictable they are it’s difficult to determine if it’s actually worth the time and energy put into it.

Don’t know if it’s similar for you, of course. Not quite sure what I’m trying to say with it either. Maybe that you’re not alone in whatever you’re going through? In either case, best of luck to you, and thanks for sharing :yellow_heart:


This may be a slightly controversial opinion in these parts, but it really doesn’t matter. Putting labels on what you are is good for getting into one tribe or another, if that’s what you want, but there the helpfulness stops.

Today I’m what the society I live in calls heterosexual (though to be fair, that’s because where I am you’re heterosexual until proven otherwise). In a month I might go out and see someone of the same sex and be absolutely overwhelmed by sexual attraction. It’s unlikely, but it could happen. So what does that make me, really? Heterosexual? Homosexual but unaware of it? Am I actually asexual because various medical conditions I suffer from guarantee that real sex would be a horrifyingly uncomfortable experience for me? Was I asexual before I went through puberty? Maybe I’m aromantic to boot, since I’ve never felt the desire to enter into a romantic relationship, or maybe I’m panromantic and just never met the right person.

As far as I’m concerned, there are no meaningful answers. Boundaries are drawn and redrawn constantly when it comes to these things. I know what I am, without having to waste energy figuring out where I lie on some scale other people made up. If you’re just trying to figure this out because you find the process fun, don’t let me stop you. But if you’re thinking this will provide some important insight into your own nature… I’d advise you to stop worrying about it.


I am still finding what I am as well. Once was I was younger, I wasn’t. Aro or ace. But with reality hitting me hard and had horrible experiences with guys in my life. I stopped having desires and became what probably can be called Demisexual. But with years, I think now I have no desire whatsoever, so am I ace?

However, I am not eager to say if I am this or because I am not young, I am 34 years old, and probably I don’t fit in the categories younger generations use. And I don’t want to offend anyway.

Situations like mine are weird, as I feel I don’t belong to any collective.


Thank you so much for all the replies!

Honestly, had you asked me about it when I joined this community back in 2016 I would’ve just scratch my head because I never really thought about it that deeply before. I assumed it was probably just a “phase” mixed with my own awkwardness. Yet here I am, nearly 30 years old of age and my imagination is as active as ever, I just have little to no desire to act upon it or pursue it.

@geldar 's suggestion of aegosexual (and aegoromantic) seems the most accurate. Although I also agree with the notion that I shouldn’t worry about labels too much, outside of curiosity or when the situation demands it. I guess it was mostly me internalizing the thought that “this is what I am. Have been for years. Stop worrying and go with the flow.” Not so awkward when other people can relate.


Just helps at least for me, knowing that others are searching what their are as well.

Ordinary society wants to act like everyone has to be based on a very false and outdated patron. Thankfully, This is changing now.

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I used to feel similar and I’m almost 40, and identifying with the a(n)egosexual label helped me feel less weird about myself for a while, because at one point society does expect you to grow out of “daydreaming” and start having “normal” relationships like everyone else.
Taking breaks with colleague becomes a never ending song and dance of having to hear stories you can’t relate to, and trying to make yourself sound less weird when talking about yourself.
In my personal case the culprit turned out to be the fact that I was trans. Of course I felt uncomfortable dating while inhabiting a body I had carefully dissociated away from over the years. Of course things like interactive fiction were (literally) a different story, because there I could always be my true self.
I’m not saying you’re trans, just that there are countless reasons for sexual and/or romantic urges to die down or never having been there in the first place, but as long as you don’t feel like you actually miss out on anything and are happy with yourself, screw everyone else. Labels can provide a sense of community and make you feel more “normal” / accepted; it’s sometimes good to slap a name on it and know you’re not alone.


To add onto @hayden_winter commets. It is also entirely okay to only hold a label at some time.
Sexuality and gender feelings are a journey, and it is entirely okay to change, add or discard labels as you come to understand yourself more as your grow older.

The only thing I can say that your experience does map onto other aces and aroes experiences, but only you can say if the label fits and even if it fits now, it is okay it your later discover that it doesn´t.


I respectfully but strongly disagree that the only point of “labels” has to do with getting into “tribes.” I gave up believing there was a place for me in any “tribe” many, many years ago, and it’s still important for me to know who and what I am, the same way it matters to me what my name is even when I’m alone. As George Orwell knew, it’s almost impossible to think clearly about a concept you don’t have the language to articulate. “Asexual” is the word I needed but didn’t have when I was sixteen years old, wondering if there was something medically wrong with me. Every label I’ve ever embraced has been something I already knew about myself and was powerless over until I found a word for it.

And for what it’s worth - and this doesn’t apply to you at all, so please don’t take it personally - I’ve found that the more a person tries to talk me out of “labeling myself,” the more power they stand to lose over me when I have the power to define myself.


We clearly take a very different view on things; I am not really interested in definition, only description.

What I meant to convey with the word ‘tribe’ was not necessarily the sense of a group of people, although it could be. The ‘tribe’ could be a tribe of one, if the classifier so wished. I agree very much that language is very helpful in the thinking about of things, but the condensation of actual descriptions into convenient(?) labels is less so in my opinion.

I too prefer to know everything about myself, yet I confess that to me all this classification of sexualities (and many other things about ourselves) seems as unnecessary as saying that I am one of the decatoefolk, a group defined by the possession of human DNA and ten toes upon their feet altogether.

At the end of the day, definition is to some extent necessary to humanity, but it always leaves an unpleasant aftertaste in my mouth. It’s just another reminder that we are not omniscient beings capable of apprehending reality directly.

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It actually becomes very necessary if you are still living in a place where you don’t have the same rights as other people and are part of a minority because of your gender or orientation (just because you don’t label it doesn’t mean it’s not there). It’s also important with relation to medical treatment and health. Maybe not so much so with regards to aroace people (but I might be wrong about that), but others who fall under the LGBTQ+ umbrella.
This is another aspect of the importance of a label: The ability to form a group of people that can fight to make things better for themselves in the society they live in.
Even if you reject a label or simply don’t care about it, if society knows you’re, lets say gay, they will give you that label anyway and treat you accordingly. But you remain passive in this, so I think it’s healthier to actually claim the label for yourself instead of letting THEM do something to YOU.


Practically, of course, you have a point. I myself am forced to use the word ‘disabled’ when people start challenging me on whether I have the right to use the big public toilet with the wheelchair on the front.

Nevertheless, when I make reference to myself in my own mind, ‘disabled’ neither simplifies nor explains anything. If I want to think about my body, with all it can and cannot do, I just do. As far as I can tell, that is closer to the context in which the question of this thread was asked.

If someone needs to use a label to understand me, I don’t take it as them doing something to me, as you put it. Everyone is just trying to grasp reality in the way that they can. If the word ‘belongs’ to anyone, I think it must surely be to those who must use it or be lost, rather than someone who would be perfectly happy if it did not exist. Still, for better or worse, I do not think words can be owned.

Having labels for things also means you are able to talk/write about it without having to give a complete explanation of it, every single time. It helps make knowledge more accessible.

And yes, labels are descriptive not proscriptive so they are not - and should not be used as - a way to limit people, or determine how they should experience life.


Sexuality can be difficult.

If I was to explain my process, the closest term would be demisexual. However, on the same hand, I’ve had a few people call me WTFSexual (quoisexual, I think the actual term is) as I honestly have no idea where I sit and my view changes as I learn more about myself.

Most the time, I have no drive for other people though I do find people to be physically appealing to look at. If I find someone to be outwardly attractive, then that’s all there is to it.

Yet I really enjoy erotica as well. Too much, some would say. I prefer a good story over an actual person. :woman_shrugging: The stories are far more satisfying.

And when I have been in a relationship, the intimacy, more often than not, was more for my partner’s sake than mine. It was rarely a concern of mine. I’d much rather cuddle and watch a movie or go for a walk.

So, yeah, I get “weird.”

I’ve been called that so many times. Some people I know ask why I can’t just pick a “mode” and stick to it. Like it’s that easy.

Nowadays, it isn’t something I worry about as much as I did when I was younger. I give myself permission to feel as I will and not question it.

Makes life so much easier.


If it is just the case that you have never thought about yourself (or an idealised version of yourself) in a relationship, never felt sexually attracted to a character or a person, never been “in the mood”, the ace label fits.

The label doesn’t matter as much as whether you are happy the way you are.
You may just be the type of person who is perfectly fulfilled by other things in your life, and that’s okay. If your dream life does not include you experiencing romance or a long term relationship, more power to you.

I once briefly asked myself the same question, ace or a weirdo.
Weirdo here :raised_hand:t3: straight with a boat load of issues. Assigning myself that label would have been counterintuitive.
It’s best to try to figure out what it is you really want and go from there.

Because of how many options we have for escapism these days and how frequent indulgence can influence your real life expectations for relationships it can be hard to recognise when your expectations or goals become unrealistic or limiting.

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I think the problem with labels is not that they’re unhelpful, but that sexuality is so complex that there probably just isn’t one that fits you exactly without being too vague to describe you. Really you just have to consider whether the point of the label is to describe you to other people or to describe you to yourself. And those can be different labels. To most people, I’m just simply a gay man. To myself? I’m neutramale, specifically bigender male/agender, with the agender component being flux but not the male component, and I am attracted to masculine-presenting people, regardless of whether they identify as male or not.

Look, no one wants to be defined by their sexuality less than I do. And I think specificity in self-labeling can be taken too far - I feel no need to call myself aegosexual, even though I guess what it means applies to me. But not having access to the concept of “asexuality” (either within the privacy of my own head, or in conversation with others) has hurt me in ways I don’t feel comfortable, or even safe, sharing with you.

Imagine you’d been raised all your life in a society where people had six toes on each foot and they wouldn’t shut up about it. Imagine that everyone went barefoot or wore sandals all the time because they were proud to have all twelve toes on display. Imagine that your mother was devastated when you were born with only five toes on each foot, that she was constantly trying to get you to wear super-uncomfortable prosthetic toes so she could pretend, even to herself, that you weren’t a freak. Imagine that you were admitted to the hospital because you got salmonella from eating raw cookie dough, and while you were there, you had multiple trained medical professionals stare at your feet with their jaws literally agape. You’re going to be defined by the number of toes you have whether you like it or not. The only choice you get is whether to start using a word that means “yes, I have ten toes, it’s just the way some people are made.”