Japan[ese],  Q&A

Q&A: “I’ve explained to my mom a couple of times what asexuality and aromanticism are and how they differ…”

buffintruda said:

I’ve explained to my mom a couple of times what asexuality and aromanticism are and how they differ but she can’t remember. She’s very supportive of me being aroace so I don’t think it’s purposeful. Japanese is her first language so it might be better to explain in Japanese, but I can only speak English. I understand if you’re busy, and this isn’t too important, but if you have the time and energy, could you link a website that fully explains it or write your own explanation? Thank you!

hi! sorry for taking so long to respond to your ask. i’ve decided to respond to it publicly because others may find the information in it useful, but i will gladly take the post down if you’d so prefer. just let me know.

i don’t know whether your mom will find this easier to understand or not, but this site has the simplest and most concise explanation that i could find in Japanese. not only does it explain what it means to be aro ace, it debunks the common misconception that aro aces are emotionless or cold, touches ever so briefly on the distinction that is often made among English-speaking aces between sexual orientations, romantic orientations and even aesthetic attraction (without actually using the latter word)– it even points out common challenges that aro aces face thanks to amatonormativity and heteronormativity in society (again, without using either of those words specifically).

that said, the explanation isn’t without pitfalls.

as is common in Japanese, the site uses the word “asexual” (アセクシャル) to refer to what we call “aromantic asexual” in English. as mentioned above, there is mention of the fact that sexual orientation and romantic orientation are differentiated in English, but there is no clear explanation as to how and thus no mention of aromanticism. the only relevant distinction that the site makes is that of the difference between aromantic asexuals and (allo)romantic asexuals using the Japanese equivalents アセクシャル (”asexual”) and ノンセクシャル (”nonsexual”) respectively…

so while the linked site above may help your mom better understand you as an aro ace, it may further confuse her about the difference between asexuality and aromanticism…

you could, perhaps, supplement the above link with the wiki page on romantic orientation? there’s also this comic by Chii-san that briefly explains the difference between English and Japanese terminology, but as usual i find Chii-san’s commentary under the comic itself incredibly lacking……… showing your mom the comic on its own would probably be a lot more meaningful, imho.

anyway, sorry for not writing up something original to try and help your mom understand. i figure it might be much more meaningful for your mom personally if she were directed to an established website like Wikipedia and other sites written by native speakers of Japanese for native speakers of Japanese. such sites may also serve as the gateway that your mom needs to begin researching things more thoroughly for herself.

if you’d like help with anything else or have any questions, feel free to ask! i can also be reached via Tumblr’s messenger, email or other means.

best wishes!

YouTuber and Blogger, Vesper is an American expat currently living in Japan.

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