Part 2 of the SexED: Discovering Alternative Sexualities
The sound of the word probably draws up a mental image of giving someone a warm tight hug. Or a fluffy puppy wagging its merry tail as it struts past you.
However, there is more ‘cuteness’ to this word than meets the eye.
A squish also stands for a strong desire to know someone better. Aromantically.
“Okay. Just like a crush, but not quite. How?”
Let’s explore what a crush means.
Having a crush is seen to be natural since around puberty people mature to the stage when their sexual development kicks in. Teenagers begin to understand attraction, with an intense desire to know a love-interest better, to have them closer to themselves.
The romantic component is the core of a crush, with sexual attraction being a strong undercurrent.
Characterized as an infatuation, the excitement, the anticipation, the attraction, the fantasies, whatever we associate with the ideal of love, it all comes flooding in with a big happy rush in a crush.
(Hey, I rhymed. Even talking about crushes makes one do good things.)
“So, what is different about having a squish on somebody?”
At many junctures in life we have often been overwhelmed with a burning desire to know someone intimately. Not romantically, not sexually, but platonically. In a more friendly fashion.
This sort of aromantic attraction towards someone has come to be known as a squish. Having gained currency among the asexual community, it has expanded to stand as a nomenclature to denote intense platonic attraction. About time, don’t you think?
I remember having grown up feeling drawn to the personalities of so many people, men or women, young or old, personal acquaintances or celebrities. Craving to know them intimately. I have been aroused intellectually and emotionally by their presence, and been delighted to discover their lives.
I never wanted to touch them, nor go on ‘dates’ with them.
You see, it’s different than being aesthetically or sensually attracted to someone. And just like crushes, the intensity wore off with time. I even don’t remember why I was affected by some of them.
That’s me talking from my personal experience.
Haven’t you ever experienced something similar too? Been really interested in some people, but had no idea how to categorize those feelings?
“Hmm… Maybe. I might be starting to get a hang of this.”
A lot of time, a Squish may even be mistook as a crush, because the concept of being capable of having an aromantic crush remains widely unknown. Intimacy as we understand in regular terms incorrectly subsumes a romantic or sexual fascination. But the asexual community recognized that greater than average fascination to know someone intimately can be completely platonic too.
“So, having a squish would mean I am an asexual?”
Absolutely not. Regardless of sexual orientation, we are capable of both romantic and platonic feelings. Therefore, regardless of origin, it is not restricted to asexuality. This is how one user defines it at asexuality.org:
“Yep, it’s possible to have a squish on anyone. More than anything, the squish is characterized by being interested in a person and wanting to spend time with them and form a close, though not romantic, connection with them.”
“Do squishes become best friends?”
As important a component as friendship plays in this platonic attraction, it cannot be emphasized enough that having a squish only means a higher degree of emotional involvement.
So yes, you more than often tend to be best friends with your squishes, if they reciprocate that interest towards you over a long period of time, sustainably.
But you may not be best friends with them, yet feel as violently invested in them. Think platonic crushes for celebrities or role models.
Don’t let that disappoint you. Attraction works on various levels, and therefore, manifests differently among everyone.
Got it? Great! Now, whom have you been squishing on today?
Read the First Part of The Series: