Let's make something absolutely clear. My identity is however I identify. I don't give a fuck if you don't, can't or refuse to understand when I tell you I'm asexual. What I expect is for you to take me at my word. Because otherwise, you're calling me a liar, and I really don't appreciate that.
That said, I'm taking the time today to educate you. Again. So pay. attention.
I am a hetero-romantic, sex positive asexual. There's actually a lot in that sentence so let's go through it shall we?
First, let's start with asexuality. To Google!
without sexual feelings or associations.
"she rested her hand on the back of his head, in a maternal, wholly asexual, gesture"
(of reproduction) not involving the fusion of gametes.
a person who has no sexual feelings or desires.
A demisexual is a person who does not experience sexual attraction unless they form a strong emotional connection with someone. It's more commonly seen in but by no means confined to romantic relationships. The term demisexual comes from the orientation being "halfway between" sexual and asexual.
Anyway, you might have had the realisation that human sexuality is weird and complicated and NOT ALL LIKE YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE. Go figure.
Think of my sexuality like this:
There is a spectrum. At one end is complete asexual. They get no sexual feelings whatsoever, never, not once. At the other end is, for want of a better description, hypersexual. These are your nymphs who feel sexually attracted to literally everyone always. It's not accurate, but I'm trying to keep it simple.
Most people exist on the spectrum around about the middle there. But others, not as many, exist closer to one end or the other. I'm one of the ones sitting super close to the asexual end.
Because demisexuality is such a pain the arse to explain to the bloke at the bar asking for my number, I use asexual as an identifier. It saves me a lot of hassle, and helps him to manage expectations.
Are we clear here? No? Well go out and research on your own. I don't have time for this shit. For everyone else who is keeping up, let's move on, shall we?
THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT SO PAY ATTENTION TO THIS BIT
Asexual does not mean aromantic. Sure, there are some asexuals who are aromantic. There are some sexuals who are absolutely aromantic. There are some asexuals who are most definitely not aromantic. I'm the latter.
Being hetero-romantic means, simply, that I am romantically attracted to men. It doesn't really have anything to do with sex. Once again, to Google! (Seriously, it's so fucking easy to look it all up. Why haven't you?) From asexuality.org:
A person who is romantically attracted to a member of the opposite sex or gender. Heteroromantic asexuals seek romantic relationships for a variety of reasons, including companionship, affection, and intimacy, but they are not necessarily sexually attracted to their romantic partners. Most heterosexual people are also heteroromantic.
You see, I developed crushes on people. But here's the weird thing. They had nothing to do with sex. I thought they were supposed to. Hell, pretty much everyone thinks they're supposed to. So I grew up feeling like a freak show because I didn't feel things I was supposed to feel. So I pretended. A lot. Sometimes I got caught out, and felt even more a freak, but I got pretty good at pretending I was "normal."
NB: Asexuality is a perfectly normal, if infrequent and often erased, sexuality.
It's a thing. Calm your tits.
Lastly, let's look at sex positivity. To Google!
- having or promoting an open, tolerant, or progressive attitude towards sex and sexuality.
"I grew up in an extremely liberal, sex-positive environment"
As long as what happens happens between consenting parties, then I'm totally cool with it. Are you vanilla? Sweet. Into BDSM? Awesome! Want to have sex with men? I totally get it (I'm mean, I don't totally get it)! Want sex with women? I mean, they're gorgeous! Sex with all possible permeations of gender and biological sex? Go for it! At the same time? With props? Fuck, you're athletic, but you do you, boo.
I honestly believe that there is a very strange stigma around sex and sexuality. Bizarre puritanism has taught us that sex, and everything that surrounds it (including attraction) is wrong, shameful and should never be discussed, studied or understood. It seems to have gotten to the point where even mentioning that someone is attractive could land you in very hot water.
Before we move past it: Yes, I have issues over being told to my face that people find me attractive. Part of that is emotional baggage, more of it is because the telling of it is laiden with the expectation that I must, for some reason, return the sentiment, or must, for some reason, agree to date said person. Y'all are going to be very disappointed if that's how you approach it.
But SONIA, HOW CAN YOU BE BOTH ASEXUAL AND SEX POSITIVE?!
If the idea that such a thing is possible makes your head feel like it's going to explode, then you have a fundamental misunderstanding of asexuality. Go read the first part of this post again.
Just because I don't feel sexual attraction doesn't mean that I think sex is gross, or wrong. I don't think there is anything wrong with attraction, or expressing it, either. I don't have some sort of sex dysfunction. I'm just asexual. That's all.
What I do have a problem with is when physical attraction is used as the only marker making a person worthy, as is often the case with women: when the value as a person is tied directly to and judged entirely on how physically attractive they are. A woman's worth, in other words, is not tied to whether or not she gives you a boner, m'kay? This happens far more with women than men, but yes, men can be objectified as well.
I also take issue with people using sex to demean others, particularly women; calling women "whore" for example, as if the ability to attract lots of mates is something to be ashamed of...? Jealous, much? I mean, really!
Lastly, and this is really the crux of the matter, if someone identifies as some sort of orientation or sexuality, it's not your job to question them on it. It might change for them as they grow and change. It might not. That's up to them. Your inability to understand, or more frequently, your refusal to, is not their problem. It's yours. Fix your shit, and stay out of theirs, please and thank you.
If you're still struggling, may I suggest buying this game:
Seriously though, it's a fantastic game to learn all about human sexuality and biology. And it's more complex than you could ever imagine.