So, unofficial coming out day in the country I’m living in currently. Here goes?
I obviously can’t and don’t speak for everyone who is asexual. This is just my personal experience.
explaining asexuality to people is difficult. And I mean difficult in the same sense you’re trying to get a stain off your not-so-nonstick-nonstick pan, and it won’t come off no matter how hard you scrub. So I usually grumpily go with “I’m bi” because they understand that better.
Still. Let’s begin, shall we?
1. Asexual = I don’t like sex. Some ace folks are very active. Some find it utterly repulsive. For me, it’s about as exciting as wallpaper. You’d think growing up in a conservative environment was amazing for an ace, eh? Don’t have sex til you’re married! Easiest thing ever. But no. The problem was that everyone assumes that you have the self-control of a monkey on crack. Not to mention sexual liberation rhetoric is quite funny on this, you know. Because I have a low drive, I’m somehow less liberated (same deal when you consider women who like feminism to say they can wear more clothes, and that’s a free choice too!)? Then you go to secondary school and then your friends become interested: Why aren’t you dating? Who’s your crush? What do you mean you don’t have one? Oh, busy studying, are you? Don’t worry, there’ll be someone to put you right! Put me right? You mean someone has to come along and stick a magic penis to me and that’ll make me better?! “I’m not interested” became “I’m not interested… yet” and that’s been a mantra for me whenever anyone asks about my love life. I’m stubbornly sticking to it, especially in my current environment.
2. Asexuals = oppressed. I can’t police people’s definitions of queer, but I personally think that a-/hetero- ace folk face sociocultural marginalisation (look at all the emphasis on finding a mate!), and homo-/bi-/pan- ace folk face institutional oppression on top of said sociocultural factors. Yesterday I encountered someone who said aces had FSD and so didn’t have sex (because the only reason you’d not have sex would be cuz you’re ~disabled). I constantly have to pass for straight, which is stressful for both my aceness and bi-ness. Being thought of as invisible, or aberrant, that’s not privilege. It’s a problem.
3. Asexual = alone. If I say I like a person, people instantly assume I’d like to hit zie. Not all your relationships have a sexual factor. For an asexual person, a mate would just be a very good friend that you could occasionally kiss and cuddle. And maybe sleep with, if you managed to work things out. (Though marriage itself comes with a lot of issues, but that’s really a whole other post.) One of the things I enjoyed about my aceness was that I didn’t have to fit into a gender box, after all, I wasn’t planning on attracting anyone.
4. This is just a phase/choice. and/or You must’ve had a bad experience in the past. I disengage at this point, because they’re making a big deal out of it and I have no energy to explain this to people. No, it’s a phase. No, I haven’t had a bad experience. People don’t choose to be stressed out by everyone else thinking they need to be fixed, somehow.
5. Meaningless Questions like “Do you masturbate?” Oh, because queerness is an auto-doorway into my private life, dontcha know. Why should I answer a question about my practices when I am clearly trying to explain my nature? Go away.
Well, there you go. That’s all I’ve got for the moment, now that I’m ‘out’. There’s obviously things I missed, and if you have any questions I’d be happy to answer them.