"The brief relationships I had, once people realized
there was no sex, they lost interest fast."
Mark from Asexuals Project
I have a sexuality
Asexuality is a sexual orientation where a person does not experience sexual attraction. The purpose of this journal though is a little broader than asexuality and, as the title has clued you in, is noting that many of us have our own sexuality; don't assign someone else yours.
In January, I posted Asexuality: I am louder than who I say I am, a journal to raise awareness to issues surrounding knowledge and confusion related to asexuality. I brought up asexual stigma, what asexuality is defined as and that misconceptions and not caring to know of a sexual orientation is in and of itself, damaging. The comments reflected their support of awareness and showed a healthy, strong, resilient crowd of asexuals and allies on deviantART.
I myself am an asexual aromantic. This means I am not interested in having sex— with anyone— and am not seeking a relationship beyond being friends with others.
Don't assign me yours
Recently I was asked this question by DramaticPerson.
Do you think asexuals are having a tough time being accepted in society today?
I had this to say.
Yes, but only on a person-to-person basis or conversation; what judgement we do face in society, while milder than other groups, has often been associated with several stereotypes such as the man who can't get laid, the guy who is a loner, the girl who is sexually uptight or repressed from some emotional damage or the woman who is waiting for the right guy to come along.
I think society as a whole accepts that there are people out there who identify as asexual and I believe that most people honestly don't judge us or the idea that we exist, but when we materialize in front of them, all of their knowledge they may have had of asexuality tends to scatter and they want to know WHY we aren't interested in sexual relationships. The problem with this is twofold:
- Like being gay (for sake of analogy), asexuality isn't a choice, and there isn't an identifiable cause as to why we are asexual.
- People want to know WHY we are and WHEN we knew because they want to find a reason to explain it.
But If it was a choice and there was a reason, then all asexuals should be considered celibate. It's almost like my epilepsy in that there is no cause, it's just a part of me, I didn't choose to have seizures, but I do. If there was a cause for my seizures, then it could be treated. Too often people confuse the idea that people can have positive or neutral human characteristics (asexuality, synesthesia) just as naturally as people have negative aspects to themselves (epilepsy, ASD). People look in the wrong places or with the wrong method when they search for the reason why people are who they are. If you were a psychologist and were with a patient who experienced a substantial amount of trauma and abuse, you would not look at his/her DNA sequence for their history to help them overcome their fear of trusting people. If people were interested in truly finding out why they would take an informative, professional, and scientific approach instead of encroaching on someone's personal life.
You have yours too
Don't look for a label that fits you to settle into. Because it's not about the labels of sexuality. It's about you. I was looking for a label for me for the longest time and even when I found out about the term 'asexuality' and it clicked it took me a while to become comfortable with the idea that I was calling myself that and gradually I did, but looking back, I had had a hard time identifying who I was (I was having a bit of an identity crisis at the time) because I wasn't trying to identify myself to me, but to others.
You have a sexuality: don't let anyone assign you theirs.
Resources and Further Reading
Asexual Visibility and Education Network
Asexuality: The 'X' In A Sexual World
swankivy (asexual activist)
and a special thank you to mormonbookworm who helped me realize
what I wanted to say this time around.