Department or Program

Gender and Sexuality Studies


Centering asexuality and aromanticism challenges romantic and sexual norms related to intimacy and desire. In my thesis, I use an autoethnographic approach to examine how my understandings of intimacy and desire shifted when I realized I was aromantic and asexual, or aro-ace for short. Drawing from written conversations, journal entries, and memories, I unravel the effects of amatonormativity and compulsory sexuality as normative structures that shaped my perceptions of intimacy and desire. I consider the ways romantic and sexual norms interact with the institutional power of schools, media, and marriage. I also explore the ways asexual and aromantic, feminist, queer, and anarchist communities challenge and resist these norms. I demonstrate the usefulness of asexuality and aromanticism as analytical lenses. I also argue that asexual and aromantic perspectives reveal the extensive, often oppressive, influences of normative structures and institutions on interpersonal relationships.

Level of Access

Open Access

First Advisor

Rand, Erica

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Components of Thesis

1 pdf file

Open Access

Available to all.