Aroace is short for “aromantic asexual”, and refers to a person who has no interest in neither romantic, nor sexual relationships.
It is an umbrella term for anyone who is on the “aroace” spectrum, also including “demiromantics” and “demisexuals”, AKA someone who is partially interested in sex or romantic relationships, but only after a strong emotional connection.
It is a common misconception that “aroace” people are not interested in relationships at all, but this is generally wrong.
Although “aroaces” don’t experience conventional forms of attraction between people, they may feel other forms of attraction. Examples are “queerplatonic” attraction, meaning that they seek out a committed relationship, but it doesn’t involve romance, or “sensual attraction”, meaning that they do not have interest in sex, but want to feel the other person with their senses, generally touch.
Made up of “aro”, short for “aromantic”, and “ace”, short for “asexual”. Adding the prefix “a-” to both terms indicates that it is “not” what comes after.
The term “aromantic” appeared during the early 2000’s, however, “asexual” has been around for at least a couple decades longer. Already in the 90’s you could find websites for “asexual” people to communicate and support each other.
The combination of the two, “aromantic-aroace”, was defined in the early 2010’s, and the shortening “aroace” was created for convenience.
Spread and Usage
Just as many other sexual orientations and identities, “aroaces” have their own pride flag. In fact, they have at least 11 to choose from.
One of the most used ones is made up of 5 horisontal stripes, ranging from dark orange, to yellow, white, light blue and dark blue. It is a combination of both the “aromantic” flag and the “asexual” flag. This version was posted by user Aroesflags on Tumblr in 2018.
The term is mainly used in the LGTBQ community, and among societies of either “aroaces” or one of the two. Many mention it to people early in their relationships to let them know that they are looking for platonic relationships, not romantic nor sexual.
An “aroace” slang, “squish”, is the aromantic-asexual equivalent to “crush”, meaning a person you have strong platonic interest in.
- LGBTA Wiki – Aroace
- Healthline – What Does It Mean to Be Both Aromantic and Asexual?