A dear friend of mine recently introduced me to the word “queerplatonic.” Most simply put, queerplatonic refers to the deep, intimate, emotional connections sans a sexual relationship. It’s more than friendship, and different from a sexual, and sometimes romantic, relationship. The word zucchini is used to describe someone one’s queerplatonic, committed (perhaps life) partner. You can read about its meaning and subtleties at these links:
And, from the fyeah blog:
“Can we stop using “intimate” as a synonym for sexual?
Yes. Please. There are other kinds of intimacy, after all!
- romantic intimacy
- physical but non-sexual intimacy (hugging, cuddling, etc.)
- emotional intimacy
- intellectual intimacy (where you can freely share your ideas and interests with someone)
- activity-focused intimacy (where you do fun things together)
- the trust that develops when you’ve known someone for a long time or been through hardship with them
- probably some others I forgot”
I love distinguishing between different kinds of things- there are so many layers, even using words that seem so obvious. I’ve talked about that with regards to monogamy before, and the word intimacy is another that deserves investigation and interrogation.
I appreciate the use of the word queer in the word queerplatonic, as it speaks to the process of queering relationships. Let’s just upend everything we know, toss it around, and create something new and beautiful and conscious, shall we?
I’ve tried to think if I have felt “queerplatonic” feelings toward anyone in my life, and I am trying to think very specifically of someone that I have deeply loved in a heart-achey kind of way but didn’t desire sexual closeness with… I haven’t remembered anyone yet. I think I can pretty much say that anyone I have felt deeply connected to I’ve wanted to fuck, minus family. And the love I feel for long time vanilla friends seems like it might be a different feeling. And the human love I have felt deepen when a relationship has changed from a FWB to a non-sexual relationship also seems different. And now I’m thinking: Wait! There’s someone! Yep, that might be it. I could say that relationship is queerplatonic. Interesting.
There are just so many different kinds of connection, it’s hard to really name and describe and classify all of it.
Do you have any zucchinis in your life?
My life has been very full, and very blessed, recently. J and I are now looking at buying a house, with the help and support from our families. It has been an exciting, at times stressful, process. But I feel so grateful that we are able to do this together.
The process has brought up the ideas of people who are Aspirers, Partners, and Lovers (from The Sex Diaries Project, which I loved). J and I tend to settle out as Partners- we love doing things day-to-day together. However, I love being Lovers with him, and making my sexual experiences centered around what we explore together as a couple (with exceptions of course). All of this working and house business has brought the Aspirers piece up to the forefront, and I think it is the first time in our seven years together that we have really had this relationship function come up. We have saved money together to get a dog and go on vacations and to make sure we are both comfortable living month-to-month, but it’s never been a huge conversation because neither of us had full time paid work until now. And now that we do, we can actually make longer-term goals together. It’s an adjustment, and reminds me of the idea that we wear different hats at different times.
All of this also speaks to this idea of a Life Partner. When J and I decided that that’s how we wanted to refer to one another, we decided that we could see staying with one another for as long as we could see, and therefore wanted to combine our Stuff in real ways: getting married, joint finances, buying a house, supporting one another if and when one of us works and the other doesn’t. Getting to now experience more goal-planning and actualizing reminds me of how grateful I am to have such an intelligent and motivated life partner.
We can be different things with our partners at different times, depending on the context and circumstances. But what if we can’t or won’t or don’t want to? It is awesome to me to have a life partner who I can not only Partner with day-to-day and be a Lover with at various times, but who I can also Aspire with. Sometimes, though, there are parts of our lives that we want to share with others, whether that’s having a ski buddy or a tea buddy or a massage friend or someone to have casual sex with. I am thankful to have a life partner than I can share so much with, and it’s also important for me to remember the dynamic nature of our relationship and the flexibility we both have to fulfill all of ourselves in ways outside of our relationship.
This article was recently posted in my FB Open group, and it sparked a number of thoughts for me:
1. Having a bunch of people that I can be physically (but not necessarily sexually) close with sounds really lovely. Luckily, I feel like I have that. I feel like I have a number of people I can hold hands with, sit close next to, hug, and massage. I love that.
2. I don’t need to “combine stuff” in order to be sexual with someone (I know my regular readers/friends who read my blog already know this about me). But this article again brought up this question for me: What is it about sex for some people that necessitates so much integration with another person before you can have sex? I have theories about individual experiences with sex that could produce this conclusion (insecurities, trauma, personal philosophy, etc.), but this train of thought just doesn’t really resonate with me.
-There’s also the distinction between combining practical life “stuff” (finances, living space, etc.) and intra/interpersonal “stuff” (cognitive, emotional, spiritual, etc.). My perspective still holds, regardless of which “stuff” we’re talking about- that is, I don’t need to be able to “combine stuff” to have a meaningful, enjoyable, satisfying sexual relationship with someone. (Although I understand that for various reasons, some people need to combine various “stuffs” to make their sexual relationships meaningful, enjoyable, and satisfying.)
3. To me, this article was written by someone who values very deep one-on-one interactions with others. Not all of us have the same value structure in our lives around relationships- some of us (and I suppose I am talking about myself here) value a mix of relationships- deep, close, more superficial, casual, etc- in our lives. Each type of relationship adds something important to my life.
4. Also for me: love is present in all of these types of relationships. The intensity varies, the meaning of the relationship varies, the ties I feel to each relationship varies. But love is always there.
What are your thoughts?
Today is our 7 Year Anniversary!!! And I feel so happy (and old, haha) saying that. Happy Anniversary, J. I love you to the moon and back babycakes.