I’m doing a Q&A with questions I’ve either been asked or assumed people wanted to ask about my sexuality. So read on!
Wait, what is Asexuality?
Asexuality is a sexuality…sort of…basically it’s an umbrella term for those of us that experience sexuality a bit differently than most of the population. The prefix a- negates the word that follows it; making a-sexual mean basically non-sexual. I know, I know, it’s weird to define yourself with the negation of something else but, hey, we do the same with atheists. Since it’s a non-normative sexuality, the existence of the term really highlights the diversity in what people experience.
Generally speaking, those of us that identify as asexual (or ace for short) don’t really have the same sexual urges or desires as other people have. We (mostly) don’t look at someone and think “I like that. I want to touch that.” However, asexuality, just like any other sexuality, exists on a spectrum. Some people are completely against the idea of sex and want nothing to do with it. Some people may not have their own interest, but will have sex to please their partners. Some experience sexual attraction, but only after having an incredibly deep emotional connection to others. It’s complicated and everyone who relates to it has the right to use the term if they find it helpful, no matter what others say.
So it’s like celibacy, right?
No. Celibacy is the choice, often for religious reasons, to abstain from sex. Asexuality is a sexuality, like heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, etc. As such, it is not a choice. It just is. While some ace identifying people may also choose to not have sex, there are also many reasons someone under the ace umbrella would have sex.
Are you going to be single forever?
Maybe, maybe not. Some asexual people date, get married, etc. Some don’t. I don’t know what I want from my life right now.
Were you abused or assaulted? Are you just afraid of sex?
Okay, first of all, that is a very personal question that you shouldn’t just casually ask someone when the topic of sexuality comes up. It’s happened to me a few times, and it always takes me aback. Don’t ask about someone’s potential trauma. If they want to talk about it, they will bring it up.
And now on to the actual answer: just like people from any sexuality, some people have experienced sexual trauma. It may even be the source of their sexual identity. That is totally fine and valid. However, many people who identify as ace have had no sexual trauma. We just aren’t that into it. It can come from fear, but it doesn’t have to. Either way is valid and people with any background should feel comfortable using the label if they want to.
But seriously, don’t ask this. If someone had experienced sexual trauma in the past, or maybe even someone nearby, it could trigger them. Not cool buddy. Not cool.
Maybe you’re just not doing it right. Want my help?
Oh yes. I’ve gotten this one. From a friend’s boyfriend actually. No thank you. I would not like your help. We don’t need to have sex to help me determine whether or not I’m actually asexual.
Why identify as ace at all?
This is something I’ve even asked myself. Since asexuality inherently doesn’t really involve others (usually), many people question whether they should use the term or “come out” as ace. Obviously that’s a very personal choice and no one should feel pressured one way or the other.
Realizing that asexuality existed came as a huge relief to me. For a while, I just thought I was a late bloomer. Then I thought I was broken. Now I know I’m ace. I’m still figuring out my romantic attraction and what I want from life, but the term and community has been highly beneficial to me. That’s why I identify as ace. Others may have other reasons.
Will you be ace forever?
Yes? No? Maybe? IDK? All answers are acceptable. Sexuality is fluid, y’all. I assumed I was straight until the knowledge of asexuality came into my life. I’ve had a crush on people of more than one gender. But right now, I highly doubt I will identify as anything other than asexual. Even if I choose to have sex later, I still don’t have the same level of sexual attraction that my friends seem to have.
What’s with all the cake memes?
Who knows? If you search the ace tag on tumblr, you’ll find lots of jokes and memes. The most common is the cake meme. I think it has to do with the joke that many ace identifying people find more pleasure in the idea of eating cake than in having sex. I’m more of a brownie person myself. Mmmm brownies. (Mostly I just wanted to end on a lighter note.)
So that’s all for now folks! I hope you’ve found this PSA and Q&A informative and enjoyable. Wanna (respectfully) ask something else about asexuality? Hit me up in the comments. Either way, I’m sure I’ll be posting about ace-related topics more on from now. There’s already a few percolating in the back of my mind.