How asexual and aromantic people observe a day dedicated to love

·2 min read
Valentine's Day-themed chocolate typically goes on sale on Feb. 15, which has been adopted as a day of bonding for the asexual and aromantic community.
Valentine's Day-themed chocolate typically goes on sale on Feb. 15, which has been adopted as a day of bonding for the asexual and aromantic community.

(David Horemans/CBC)

Love and sex aren't for everyone. That's where the terms aromantic and asexual come from — they describe people who have little or no interest in romantic relationships, sexual activity, or both.

Those feelings can make the annual celebration of love on Feb. 14 challenging, which is why activists have adopted the day after Valentine's Day and given it the unofficial title "Chocolate Day."

On Feb. 15, members of the asexual and aromantic community will head to stores to buy discounted heart-shaped boxes of chocolate and take the opportunity to bond with one another.

"We are often, by definition, outside of a heteronormative model of relationships," activist Justine Munich told CBC's The Early Edition host Stephen Quinn.

"So what we end up doing is we get together and talk to each other about how we experience attractions and relationships, or the lack thereof."

It's not uncommon for people to identify as both aromantic and asexual, but there are people who identify as aromantic and have some kind of sexual orientation, and vice versa. Munich, who identifies as asexual, is very romantic.

"I really love corny dates and the whole nine yards," Munich said.

Erica Mulder, who identifies as aromantic, likens aromanticism to a political point of view, and the rejection of something that is socially constructed — romance.

"I personally don't experience crushes. I don't go on dates with people. I don't want to, nor have I ever really had a boyfriend or girlfriend or a non-binary romantic partner of any variety," Mulder said.

Although awareness and acceptance of asexuality and aromanticism is on the rise, there is still a stigma toward the community, according to Munich.

"Particularly around those who might be aromantic but sexual — if they happen to be male or masculine presenting, they can come off as players, or female or femininely presenting can sometimes come off as sluts," Munich said.

The best way to learn more about asexuality and aromanticism, Munich said, is talk to people with lived experience, and supplement those conversations with online research.

To hear Stephen Quinn's interview with Justine Munich, click here: