Asexuality is full of contradictions – but it’s still simple to understand.
Asexuality is when someone doesn’t feel (or feels very little) sexual attraction. That’s a fairly easy sentence to comprehend, right?
But then you start thinking, what is sexual attraction and why is it I still have crushes on people? Or at least that was my thought process at fifteen.
I actually figured out I was Asexual before I had my first major crush on someone. Still not sure if that was a blessing in disguise.
The problem with that was when I realised how much I liked this person and that I wanted to kiss them, was that I doubted whether I was Ace.
Because if I want to kiss someone, doesn’t that mean I want to have sex with them?
No. It doesn’t. But fifteen year old me struggled with that differentiation.
I still do, actually. This is why I try to reassure myself by following Ace creators on Instagram such as Yasmin Benoit or Ace Dad Advice. I try to allow myself to be my own person, one that doesn’t need to follow labels. That’s harder than it sounds, by the way.
The internet loves labels and definitions and boxes to shove said labels and definitions in. It’s surprising then that it was the internet that made me realise I was Ace in the first place.
It was fandom spaces on Tumblr and Instagram that helped me put a name to my identity; spaces that are made out of people simply stating their thoughts about a character. I thought if I related to that character, maybe there was a reason.
However, those spaces also suck.
People have this awful habit of only being able to show people are in love if they’re having sex. A drunken fling is how they realise they have romantic feelings for each other, or a character deals with a breakup by sleeping around.
My past relationship is proof you don’t need to be having sex if you don’t want to. It doesn’t make you like each other less.
To me, Asexuality is full of contradictions.
Ace people can have sex, if they’re sex favourable. Ace people can have dirty humour, even if they never do the deed. Ace people can express their sexuality, since that has nothing to do sexual orientation.
It’s these contradictions that not only make me doubt myself (I’m a very pedantic person) but also, in my opinion, is why more people don’t realise that they’re Ace.
There’s also the fact that society is so heavily sexualised; from the language we use day to day to the songs we hear to the ‘funny sexy’ cards that are sold.
It’s hard to cope with sometimes, even if you aren’t a sex-repulsed asexual. It’s society pointing out that you’re different. That there’s a part of you that can never really understand all of those experiences.
University is a time when we grow, adapt, and expand our knowledge of culture and diversity, so why aren’t Ace people included in that?
Why is it that people can write whole essays about medieval Scotland or understand commercial law but not even google Asexuality once? How does Descartes’ “I think therefore I am” make more sense to people than someone simply having no desire to have sex?
For Asexual Sexuality Awareness Week (October 23-29) how about you try to lessen your sexualised language and make life a little bit more comfortable for that closeted Asexual you might know.
Featured Image Credit: trollhare on Flickr