What have other people said about your asexuality?
Oh god here we go…
"I feel sorry for you!"
"It’s too bad you can’t experience real intimacy.."
"You just haven’t found the right person yet."
"Sure it’s not…like…repression of some sort?"
"Are you sure it’s not because you were raped?"
"You need to see a therapist."
"You need your hormones checked."
"It’s because you’re depressed."
"If you tried anti-depressants, I’m sure that would clear it up."
"No, you can’t be asexual." (said my therapist)
"Ohhh stop! You know you want me!" (said my dimwitted ex-girlfriend, who never acknowledged the "Stop. No, I really don’t" that always came after her comment.)
"You could change someday!" (I really don’t take kindly to this one. Sexuality is fluid for some, but it’s really not for others. Sometimes people just don’t have the words to describe what they’re feeling, so when they do find the words it APPEARS to be fluid. It’s definitely not fluid for me. I do not experience sexual attraction. I have never experienced sexual attraction, I just didn’t have the language to communicate that till college. I’m sick of people pushing the "fluidity" thing on me. There is NOTHING wrong with fluidity, but A LOT of people are not fluid, and telling them "oh you’ll change" is a big, invalidating insult.)
"If I were your girlfriend, I would’ve dumped you by now for not having sex with me."
"Good luck trying to find someone who’s actually willing to date you."
"But you masturbate!"
"I could have swore I’ve heard you calling girls hot before.." (this one is always said by people who believe everyone has fluid sexuality. Oddly, their logic doesn’t apply here. #allosexism)
"She’s asexual." -said by literally EVERYONE when another person is asking them about my romantic orientation. Because apparently, asexuality is now a romantic orientation- despite the fact that I have explained the difference to literally every person who says this. Nothing wrong with being aromantic of course- they just always seem to imply I’m asexual RIGHT IN FRONT OF girls I find interesting.
People also like to say this when others ask about my identity, but they never mention my romantic orientation. Honestly, I’d rather tell people that I’m gay. I have a stronger connection to my homoromantic identity than my asexual one. I have more history with my gayness. It offends me when people completely disregard a part of my identity I feel so strongly connected to.
So yeah, that’s the list I could immediately recall from memory. No one I know (that lives here in Cedar Falls/Waterloo) understands me. The only one of my friends who has even came close to understanding me is a lithromantic pansexual girl I’m really close to. That’s it, full stop. Not even my best friend gets this shit the slightest bit. I don’t understand what’s so fucking hard about understanding asexuality, or reading a goddamn article when you don’t get it, or not constantly saying microaggressions against me. Asexuality is so simple and people are so…dense. /rant.
What does being asexual mean to you?
It means that I don’t feel sexually attracted to anyone- ever. I’m also not terribly fond of sex most days. I really wish I could just never have it for the rest of my life, but that’s not quite possible if I want to get married.
Do you believe there should be asexual pride? What do you imagine it being like?
Yes, because if we had pride we would have visibility- which would lead to more understanding of the asexual community. I think that the asexual community should be considered a part of the LGBTQ community, and therefore be included in their pride festivities.
At this point we don’t seem to have a solidified culture, since the asexual community (as we know it) is so new. I think we should have parties, maybe with spoken word poetry or performances about asexuality. I think it should definitely include cake.
Who’s your favorite Doctor? (Or, do you have a favorite asexual character?)
I’m really not that into Doctor Who. I watch it when my best friend (who I consider to be a queerplatonic partner) has it on in the living room, but I don’t go out of my way to watch it.
However, I do have a favorite asexual character: Misty Day from American Horror Story: Coven. I was fackin’ excited when I heard Ryan Murphy announced she was asexual, because she was already my favorite for that season :)
Have you faced oppression because of your asexuality, whether institutional or societal?
I wouldn’t necessarily call it “oppression,” though I have had some very negative experiences with it. My therapist told me I “couldn’t be asexual,” My friends said some really rude and hurtful things out of ignorance. I have a lot of examples, but it’s a very long story that is best summed up in my Queer Monologue (which will be posted at a later date).
Tell the story of the first person you came out to.
Honestly, I don’t remember who they were because they were strangers. I told all my friends I was demisexual, then gray-ace first because I thought they’d take it a lot easier. I used Cedar Valley Pride Fest as a practice ground for coming out as ace. The first person I came out to as asexual was a woman managing a sexual health information stand at Pride Fest. She told me “feel free to take some condoms” from their stand about sexual health, and I told her “no thanks- give them to someone who needs them. I’m asexual.” She accepted that at face value and said “oh okay!” No questions. Nothing.
People should be more grateful that I can even give them a carousel ride, because I can barely stand.
Woulda stayed home, but my boss won’t let us call in sick without a doctor’s note. If we call in sick without one, we get written up. She decided to make that rule one day when she had to come into work on her day off. My coworker had Crohn’s disease and was in the ER due to complications related to it.
So I hope she catches my illness, because fuck her.
Do you identify as a part of the queer community? What communities do you identify with?
Obviously, the homoromantic part of me identifies with the queer community. However, I think that asexuality is inherently queer. Asexuals deviate from heteronormative standards- even the heteroromantic asexuals. A lot of people think that you must experience institutional oppression to be considered a part of the queer community, which is really demeaning to the queer community. Queerness is about experiencing love or gender differently than the rest of society. To be queer is to be brave and love who you are. I hate when people reduce queerness to institutionalized oppression.
I also identify with the feminist community and the femme community. I used to identify heavily with the lesbian community, but ever since I have came out as asexual I feel very estranged from it. Even though I’m homoromantic, I don’t feel like I can qualify as a lesbian. Lesbianism is very sexual, and about sexual attraction- which I don’t enjoy or experience.
(Please note that for the purpose of this post I’m using “queerplatonic” to mean “committed platonic relationship” as I know not everyone is comfortable with this term. I am talking about my own experiences, and for my own experiences queerplatonic is the word I enjoy using, although I know this isn’t the case for everyone.)
A very close friend of mine recently was questioning their romantic orientation, and asked me what the difference between a committed platonic relationship and a romantic relationship was. This gave me pause, and it’s also a question I get here at Aromantic Aardvark quite often. Usually I answer with “it’s self-defined, no one knows how you feel but you”. I still agree with this sentiment, but while talking to another friend of mine - also an aro in a committed platonic relationship - I think I came up with a definition, or at least one that works for me personally. Please note that I am not saying this definition works for everyone, however.
My idea was that queerplatonic relationships were sort of the ‘mix and match’ of relationships, which is why it’s so hard to define and articulate. If you ask twenty aro spectrum people who experience these feelings what this word means, you will get about twenty different answers. With romance, even though some of the things may vary within specific relationships and everyone has a different experience with it, there is still a narrative that is generally followed and things that are expected in a romantic relationship. For example, bed sharing, hand holding, cuddling, kissing, etc. One or two of these things might not be present in the specific relationship, of course, but there tends to be certain things that are expected in a romantic relationship before it is simply considered platonic. Likewise, there are certain things expected in strictly platonic friendships - in most friendships, if you kiss or share a bed with them, it would generally be considered unusual.
Queerplatonic to me means the breaking down of narratives. It means no rules. It means doing, essentially, whatever you are comfortable with. If you want to be best friends for all intents and purposes but also get married, that’s okay. If you want to kiss sometimes but don’t want to feel obligated, that’s okay too. This is why every person in a relationship like this has a different definition of it, because there are no rules. Queerplatonic means forging your own definition, saying “neither platonic or romantic is right”, and just doing whatever feels comfortable in the moment. It means making your own structure, mix and matching what you and your partner feel comfortable with. And I think trying to strictly define a queerplatonic narrative defeats the whole purpose of it. The purpose of it is to forge your own definition, to say “none of these words fit, so I’m going to make my own”. Queerplatonic is the breaking down of boundaries, or at least, that’s been my experience. It’s uncharted territory that has no societal bounds, that has no one making a strange face at what you do or don’t do in your relationship (or at least, not from people who understand the concept). Queerplatonic means mixing and matching, saying “I want to do this platonic thing, and this romantic thing, but not this romantic thing”.
That is, fundamentally, the most important part of a queerplatonic relationship. Breaking down boundaries, blurring the lines between platonic and romantic. The specifics may be different depending on the specific relationship, but that’s one thing I’ve found that all have in common.
"so what are your plans for after college?"
i will dismantle the establishment board by board
There is nothing more rewarding than watching someone who judged you for sobriety choose the sober path themselves.