The Aromantic Spectrum in the Ace Community Survey

by René Mellema & Tristan Miller

Recently, there has been a lot of discussion about the interaction between the asexual and aromantic communities.  Following our review of extant aro community surveys, we contribute to the discussion by reviewing the information we have about aromantic and aromantic-spectrum respondents to the 2017 Ace Community Survey.

Main Findings

Although our survey recruits from asexual communities rather than aromantic communities, we are able to gather information about people on the aromantic spectrum, including some allosexual people. Some of our important findings are as follows:

  1. Compared to aro community surveys, our survey finds a larger number of gray-(a)romantic, demiromantic, lithromantic, and quoiromantic people as compared to aromantic people.
  2. Among our respondents, people on the aromantic spectrum were more likely to be non-binary.  Allosexual people (regardless of romantic orientation) were more likely to be men.
  3. People on the aromantic spectrum, especially those who were also on the asexual spectrum, were less likely to have had romantic relationships.  Allosexual people on the aromantic spectrum were more likely to have non-romantic significant relationships, and to be polyamorous.
  4. Both the asexual or aromantic spectrums are negatively correlated with sexual activity.
  5. On average, allosexual people have a higher sex drive, and higher frequency of sexual fantasies, masturbation, and porn consumption, regardless of romantic orientation.

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Extant Aro Surveys

“Aromantic” is an identity that is often defined as lacking romantic attraction.  There is also an aromantic spectrum (often shortened to “arospec”, “aro”, or occasionally, “aromantic”), which includes many aromantic-related identities such as greyromantic, quoiromantic, and lithromantic.  While aro people have long existed in ace communities, in recent years there has been growing interest in the aromantic spectrum as an independent entity. In particular, there are communities that are centered around aro identities, and which strive to include aromantic people who are not on the asexual spectrum.

The Ace Community Survey Team is interested in serving aro communities, especially where our existing infrastructure makes us uniquely capable of doing so. However, we must first recognize the survey work that aro communities have already done. Our goal is to: a) highlight notable aro community surveys that have published results, b) state some of the basic results, and c) identify topics that interest the creators of these surveys.

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