Or not. Actually, let’s talk about Asexuality. It’s a topic I find interesting, and one that is either not talked about very much, believed to be fantasy, or just not known about plain and simple. Even in the LGBT+ community there is this stigma surrounding Asexuality not being a legitimate orientation.

When people come out as ‘Ace’, they are faced with dismissive reactions – a personal one of mine was being told I wasn’t ‘old enough to know’ at the age of 20. If 20 isn’t old enough to know whether or not I experience sexual attraction towards other people, when everyone else seemed to be having sex and talking about all these people they were attracted to, then I don’t know what is. Another example of a dismissive reaction has been the ‘how do you know, if you’ve never tried’, and the best response? Well, that person will know whether or not the thought of sex appeals to them. Ask them, ‘do you want to have sex?’ and let me tell you, the answer is probably yes. It’s a bit like asking a gay person how they know they’re gay if they’ve never tried having sex with the opposite gender. Again, just turn around and ask them how they know they’re straight if they’ve never tried having sex with the same gender? Watch the cogs in their brains turn, they’ll come around. (Unless they’re a homophobe, of course, at which point you just turn and run the other way).

Now, Asexuality is a simple enough concept to come to understand. It is, in its simplest definition, the lack of any sexual attraction towards another person. When non-aces see someone they find sexually attractive, they might think about how they would ‘fuck’ them, maybe even get turned on, who knows, it’s never happened to me. For an Ace on the other hand, we can look at someone, maybe find them aesthetically attractive, but the thought of sex never once crosses our minds. There is differences between each one as well; Aces can have sex if they want to (say they find a partner they love and want to be close with, one they want to share that close intimate bond with), Aces can have a high libido and no libido at all, they can masturbate, Aces can be sex-repulsed and find the idea completely uncomfortable. Literally the only requirement to being Asexual is the absence of sexual attraction.

Of course, as I’ve been told by people before, maybe I’ll ‘change my mind’ (a ridiculous statement, simply because that implies that sexuality is a choice and it’s not) but I don’t generally fight against a statement such as that, I might actually agree. I’ll tell you why – because sexuality and gender is fluid. Since two years ago, my sexuality has shifted in fact – I’m much more attracted (aesthetically, more than anything) to women now, than I am men. Some people might stay the same for their entire lives, but others will fluctuate. I might be Ace now, but one day that could change. We don’t know, life is a mystery after all, but that doesn’t change the fact that right here and now, I am Ace. It also doesn’t devalue the legitimacy of my sexuality, or anyone’s for that fact.

Asexual people have the same emotional needs as anyone else, and like in the sexual community we vary widely in how we fulfill those needs. Some asexual people are happier on their own, others are happiest with a group of close friends. Other asexual people have a desire to form more intimate romantic relationships, and will date and seek long-term partnerships. Asexual people are just as likely to date sexual people as we are to date each other.

Sexual or nonsexual, all relationships are made up of the same basic stuff. Communication, closeness, fun, humor, excitement and trust all happen just as much in sexual relationships as in nonsexual ones. Unlike sexual people, asexual people are given few expectations about the way that our intimate relationships will work. Figuring out how to flirt, to be intimate, or to be monogamous in nonsexual relationships can be challenging, but free of sexual expectations we can form relationships in ways that are grounded in our individual needs and desires. Asexual people have the same emotional needs as anyone else, and like in the sexual community we vary widely in how we fulfill those needs. Some asexual people are happier on their own, others are happiest with a group of close friends. Other asexual people have a desire to form more intimate romantic relationships, and will date and seek long-term partnerships. Asexual people are just as likely to date sexual people as we are to date each other.

Sexual or nonsexual, all relationships are made up of the same basic stuff. Communication, closeness, fun, humor, excitement and trust all happen just as much in sexual relationships as in nonsexual ones. Unlike sexual people, asexual people are given few expectations about the way that our intimate relationships will work. Figuring out how to flirt, to be intimate, or to be monogamous in nonsexual relationships can be challenging, but free of sexual expectations we can form relationships in ways that are grounded in our individual needs and desires.” - http://www.asexuality.org/

I was in a relationship not long ago with a sexual person. I told them right at the beginning I was Ace and that I’d probably never want sex, and they said that that was okay, that it’d didn’t matter. It gradually crumbled and became a problem because sex is seen as such an important and vital part of a relationship – and they felt that way as well. It was heart-breaking, having to end what had been a two year relationship because of something like that, but there was no point in sticking with it when both parties would have been unhappy. But I know it’s possible for an Ace and a non-Ace to be in a relationship, with or without sex, because there is so much more to a relationship than sex. People seem to forget that.

Published by Bethany Osguthorpe