OPINION: Biromanticism, a delve into nonsexual attraction

By Summer Hoagland-Abernathy, Copy Editor

Maddy Asma

The year is 2014. You, a teenage girl, and your gal pals are crowded around your favorite table at Starbucks, each clutching a variation of a pumpkin spicelatte. You say Winston is your favorite male “New Girl” character. Anaya says she really likes Schmidt for some reason you cannot fathom. But Julia pipes up next, “Have you guys ever heard of a ‘girl crush’? It’s this thing I saw on Tumblr. I like Cece the best, but, like, as a ‘girl crush,’ not like an actual crush.”

No, at that age you had not heard of a “girl crush,” but you did know that you really liked Jess, a female, more than any of the men on the show.

The year is 2016 and you’re inches away from your best friend’s face in a game of Twizzler chicken, a “Lady and the Tramp” style competition, where you either kiss your opponent or break away and lose. You close in. You’re not giving up. But neither is your best friend. Your lips brush, everyone “oohs,” you bite off the Twizzler and back away laughing, but here’s the thing—you didn’t hate what just happened.

When people tell me stories like this, I always have the same, simple, three-word answer: “Maybe you’re biromantic.”

“But I’m not gay,” is often the response. And despite what many may think, not all attraction is defined by sexual orientation.

Biromanticism is the romantic attraction to two or more genders and does not concern sexualityhence the term ‘romantic’ rather than ‘sexual.’

Medium, an online publishing platform, explains, “How romantic attraction is defined remains relatively amorphous, yet clearly strays from sexual attraction, and is frequently entwined with a desire to be in a romantic relationship with another person(s). Romantic attraction does not have to be in congruence with sexual attraction.”

The Conversation, a self-proclaimed global network of newsrooms, stated in a 2014 article, “A ‘girl crush’ presents a form of ‘lesbian-lite’ that is stripped of its sexual or emotional meaning. It’s as if all heterosexual women can participate in a ‘girl crush’ without the stigma of genuine lesbian desire.” The article goes on to infer that the “girl crush” label actually can be a “form of veiled homophobia,” similar to the “no-homo” label used by some men wanting to distance themselves from being seen as gay.

Some may view this as only seeing attraction through a sexual lens.

To me, this sounds more like: “You can only have a crush on this person if you want to have sex with them.

Bringing asexuality and demisexuality into this conversation adds another reason why this is an illogical argument.

As a demisexual person, I exist in a gray area of the sexuality spectrum between asexual and sexual that says that I am generally not attracted to someone without first forming some sort of bond. For me, this is a romantic bond, so I am certain that romantic attraction outside of sexual attraction is possible.

But still, the question might surface, “I’ve never heard of this biromanticism. How common can it really be?”

Though there are few statistics, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation states approximately half of the people who are gay or lesbian also identify as bisexual—and with the close link between biromanticism and bisexuality, a safe assumption would be that biromantic statistics do not stray far from this number.

So maybe you’re biromantic. Maybe you don’t break away during a game of chicken on purpose. This does not have to change your dating life unless you want it to. Your biromanticism is yours, and no one else can define it for you.

Hey, if you’re biromantic, that just means you have all the more love to give.