Welcome! It’s the first day of Asexual Awareness Week and we have a daily post planned for it. There’ll be some interviews to come, and talks about books, so stay tuned!
But we thought we’d start with the personal things first, and talk about our own experiences with asexuality.
I’d never been interested in sex, and my friends discussing it always made me a bit uncomfortable. Society sells us sex like something we all need to survive and be fully humans, and now I know that’s not true; but being uninterested in sex among some people and conversations wasn’t fun for me.
I think I first read about asexuality in a piece of fanfiction of all places, and from them I set myself to learn as much as I could. For a while, I struggled with the label, because I thought I could be placed somewhere in the asexual spectrum, but I couldn’t find the place that really *fit*. Until I read this wonderful interview and came across the term autochorissexual. And something in me just clicked. Suddenly, I had a label, I place where I fit, a place were I wasn’t broken and there was nothing wrong with me. That made all the difference for someone who had spent all her life feeling as an outsider. I’ve been more comfortable in my own skin ever since, and I can’t tell you how much that really means to me.
Similar to Laura I just wasn’t interested in sex. I don’t mind it and am not disgusted by it, but I also don’t need it. I might see someone and think “Oh they look beautiful/handsome/great, but I won’t want to climb them like a tree.
So when people were talking about who they’d want to sleep with I couldn’t understand why. And I didn’t understand why I felt this way. For a while really hated that I just couldn’t be “normal” and interested in sex, because it made me different and I had no one I could relate to.
Even now asexuality is barely mentioned in media, and if there was an asexual in a movie or TV show it was always so that at the end they would be “cured”. I recently binge-watched Dr. House and there’s an episode with an asexual couple. Of course I was excited when I saw that, despite the disgusting comments made by House. But it didn’t take long until the woman confessed that she only said she was ace to be with the guy and the guy wasn’t really ace either, he just couldn’t have an erection because of a tumor on his spine. So yeah, it’s hard to figure yourself out when you don’t know that a word exists that describes you and there’s no positive portrayal of you out there.
The first time I heard of asexuality was in a book I read, Coffee Cake by Michaela Grey, which features an ace character. But it still took me a couple of months to admit to myself that I was ace. I Just didn’t think I really fit the portrayal in the book and didn’t know that there was a whole spectrum of asexuality out there. Once I realised that there’s no one way to be asexual, it clicked. I have a label for myself that isn’t “straight” and knowing where I belong feels great, because it’s easier meeting other people with the same experiences now.
If you want to know more about asexuality or have questions, we’d advice you to check out AVEN. The Asexual Visibility and Education Network, which we found really helpful.