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.