In honour of this year’s Asexual Awareness Week, Loud and Alive is bringing you different perspectives of different people, all of whom identify as asexual.
Today’s the last day of this year’s Asexuality Awareness Week, and we at Loud and Alive want to make sure that we bring you stories from those who are asexual, and know what it’s like to live as one. Today, we have three stories, and spoiler, they all talk about the same thing: that they’re proud.
Pride in yourself and in your sexuality are two very important things; it affects our daily lives and changes how we act, and how we see ourselves. We’re thankful that the lovely people who agreed to send in their experiences of being asexual are proud of themselves – because they deserve to be.
Kayser: When I was asked to write about my experiences being asexual, I was surprised. I never saw myself as someone who could make an impact in the community. That is, in part, due to that fact that coming out to my family would be too much of a risk for me to even consider. So I’ve only ever spoken about my sexuality online and to the few close friends I can trust.
Discovering that I was asexual can’t be pinpointed to any specific point in time. It was a daunting process, more of a journey, that forced me to challenge the beliefs I had been surrounded with growing up. No one I knew shared these experiences, although their encouragement meant everything to me. It’s still hard, not being able to tell people about how proud I am to be asexual.
But I am proud. So proud to be a part of a community that is slowly but surely making itself known.
Michelle: The ‘A’ stands for Asexuality, Ya’ Assholes
I recently figured out that I am asexual (which you can read about here wink wink) and I’ve already experienced acephobia.
Wow, thanks supposedly very progressive liberal arts school, thanks so much.
Let’s have a little spelling lesson, shall we?
The initialism goes on, but I’m just going to stop it right there for our purposes.
It doesn’t stand for ally. Ace people get their identities erased by people calling them straight all the time – the initialism doesn’t need to do it too.
Moderator, can I get the definition please?
ASEXUAL: a person who does not experience sexual attraction.
Asexuality is a spectrum all on itself, people’s comfortableness and willingness with sexual acts varies from person to person.
But do you know what it’s not?
It doesn’t mean I’m a plant. It doesn’t mean I’m broken. It doesn’t mean I haven’t found the right guy.
Masturbationality is not a synonym for asexuality. Just. Just what the fuck. How was the a word that just came out of another person’s mouth?
And no, weak guy with fragile ego I made out with once, stop being offended by my sexuality because you think I’m “insulting your capabilities.” Your lack of performance is all on you, hun. And no, you can’t “give me another go” to try to “prove me wrong.”
I’m asexual. The A in my initialism stands for asexual. In yours? You’ll figure it out.
Helga: I’m asexual and I’m damn proud of it. It took me a very long time to get there though. For the longest time I always had this gut feeling that I wasn’t entirely straight, but I could never find the words for it. I imagine figuring out your sexuality is confusing at the best of times, but as an asexual? It’s… well, complicated. Everything is defined by attraction, so how do you figure out something you don’t understand? Something you’ve never experienced?
In my admittedly short life, I have had a lot of misconceptions about my own sexuality. There was the period where I thought I must just be a very passionate ally and that was why I cared so much about all things lgbt+ community related. I mean, I didn’t really want to be with girls, so what else could I be?
Then there’s the time in my teens when I started to realize that I didn’t get feelings for people the same way most people seemed to do. Of course, I was heavily depressed at the time, so that had to be it, right?
Then I went through a short time of thinking I was gay as I was starting to realize I wasn’t sexually attracted to men and then later I figured I was bi because I appreciated how women looked just as much as men did.
At no point during this did the word asexual appear anywhere, or the possibility that some people just don’t experience attraction at all, so after awhile I just gave up. I told myself that I didn’t need labels. I liked who I liked and that was fine, labels weren’t needed. I was very wrong.
You see, what I didn’t know at the time is just how amazing it is to finally have the word that perfectly describes your experiences. That word that helps you understand yourself and by extension, the rest of the world. The word that lets you relate to others, lets you find others who know exactly what you have gone through and how you feel. For me, that word was asexual and honestly, it might just be my favourite word ever (I especially adore the word my native language, icelandic, went with when translating. Tell me you don’t think eikynhneigð [a-kin-huh-neigh-th] doesn’t sound badass af.). And I’m a language major with a love for linguistics, I know a lot of awesome words, but asexual is special.
I was at a university freshers party when I first discovered it, for real. I had stumbled on it on tumblr before of course, but I didn’t give it much thought at the time. But at this party, I met this girl. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve actually spoken to her since that party, but boy am I grateful every time I see her post something on facebook. I don’t remember the particulars of the conversation, but she casually slipped the fact that she was asexual into the conversation, like it was no big deal. We didn’t talk about it at all, but after that, my thoughts started gathering. Meeting her made me realize that this was a real thing, that people can be asexual, people can simply not experience sexual attraction. If it hadn’t been for her, I don’t know if I’d be writing this today. I don’t know if I’d ever managed to come to terms with my sexuality, because meeting someone in real life is huge. Online friends are amazing and it’s wonderful to be able to commiserate over shared experience with people from all over the world, but something about this person standing right there in front of me, this person who went to my school, made it seem far more real than the internet had managed.
I wish I could say that from that point on, I loved myself for who I was, that I was proud of myself and happy with everything, but unfortunately life isn’t that easy. At first I was heartbroken, I was convinced I would be alone for the rest of my life because how could I possibly find someone who could be okay with dating an asexual. After all, sex is always made out to be an essential part of any healthy relationship. I slowly came to terms with it however. At first, I convinced myself that I didn’t mind being alone, I would spend my life maintaining amazing friendship and surround myself with family, friends and animals. Sure, I’d be sad that I didn’t have a Partner™ in life, but I’d be fine… Then I thankfully realized that asexuality wasn’t some sort of death sentence. It’s entirely possible to find someone fantastic who accepts you for who you are, but I also realized that I don’t particularly want a romantic relationship and I definitely don’t want a sexual one.
Maybe I’ll eventually change my mind. Maybe I’ll find someone who changes my mind for me. But honestly, I love who I am. I cannot wait to spend my life with my friends and filling my house with every shelter dog I can possibly fit in there.
I’m asexual and I love it.
A massive thank you to everyone who contributed to our Asexual Awareness celebration this week!