Puzzling through

Anonymous on being asexual in a sexualised world.


Sexual attraction is messy. There’s a multitude of things that complicate it, turning the mere act of wanting someone into a minefield. Naturally, the assumption is that since asexuality is defined as the lack of sexual attraction, it is easy.

There is nothing easy about asexuality.

My experiences are nowhere near a definitive guide to asexuality, however I truly do hope that they help shed some light on why asexuality should be wholeheartedly recognised and accepted as part of the LGBTQIA+ community.

I like sex. I like the idea of sex, watching sex, reading sex. I like sex up until the point where it concerns me, because then it gets weird. Then I don’t like sex, the same way I don’t like raw tomatoes. It’s not up for discussion. When I say I don’t like raw tomato people usually just leave it. We all have preferences, after all. It’s no-one’s business that I avoid some foods.

When I say I don’t like sex, suddenly it becomes people’s business very quickly. I’ve been told I haven’t found the right person, as if a wave of someone’s magic dick will change me. I’ve had people look sadly at me, lamenting how I’m missing out on a wonderful experience. Since sex is about as appetising to me as a raw tomato, you can see why this sentiment is tiresome. I’m hardly missing out on something if I couldn’t care less about it.

Then there’s the people who have the audacity to tell me I will never have a normal relationship, that I’m selfish. These are my least favourite kind of asshole, because I adore being in a relationship. I love being kissed and held and taken through the whirlwind experience that is romantic attraction. I love it so much that I am unequivocally terrified of fucking it up with my inability to want sex like a “normal person”.

I don’t appreciate being told that I will, due to my unchangeable sexuality, destroy any potential relationship. It’s a ridiculous notion, but it’s pervasive. It’s pervasive because it’s easier to say that since I’m sexually untouchable, I must be unloveable. Sex without love seems common enough, but love without sex? Endlessly scandalous.

It was for this reason that I felt like a liar for the entirety of my last date. What if she wanted more than kissing? I couldn’t do more than kissing. She really liked me, I really liked her, but what if after this everything was ruined and messy? Each time she kissed me I felt like I had cemented my fate, as if sharing saliva automatically equalled sex. It doesn’t, but it doesn’t help that society emphasies every relationship as ending up in bed together. I know it doesn’t, but what if nobody else does? Their expectations shape my own and it makes for a very tedious cycle.

Being asexual is difficult. I navigate a sexualised world, one that pressures me to conform in order to replicate a strict formula on what a relationship should be. Sexual attraction is by no means easy, but not experiencing it and not wanting sex are just as unique and troublesome to puzzle through.

Vice Chancellor Michael Spence.

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