The general response I get when discussing my place on the asexual spectrum is incredulity. Often well-meaning, but the barrage of questions are laid at my feet as a challenge and I am expected to take on the burden of countering those attacks which are veiled within curiosity. As a group, we are expected not only to defend our non-heteronormative sexuality, but also the reality of our existence, even within the queer community. After all, why should our “lack of a sexuality” matter?
"Asexuals, demisexuals, and aromantics are just late bloomers and lonely virgins whining for attention. They don’t face any of the struggles like the real queer community—”
- Asexuals are expected to prove a negative to be considered valid. Until we have met every single person in the world, we are told that there is the possibility that we will “find the right person.”
- Demisexuals are told that their sexuality is irrelevant once they’ve “found the right person” and that they were gay/straight/bi/pan all along.
- We are constantly told that we are doomed to be unhappy without another (as if sex is necessary for romance and as if a person cannot live a worthwhile life without romance. Or, in the case of aromantics, that sex without romance is something amoral and unfulfilling).
- "What a shame—", "What a waste of a beautiful woman—", "You don’t know what you’re missing—", "You’re just picky—" STOP.
- If we are not sex-repulsed, we are told we are not asexual.
- If we are sex-repulsed, we are told that we are broken or traumatized.
- If we were traumatized, we are told that our asexuality is something that we should seek to fix.
- ^^^Take a moment to reflect on that trinity of bullshit.
- Asexuals can be victims of “corrective rape" and other forms of sexual assault due to the idea that we can be fixed with sex and that our bodies’ arousal response overrides the validity of our sexuality and the need for consent. This is an assault not only on our bodies, but on our right to an identity.
- When I revealed my sexuality to an inebriated friend, he just thought I needed to be kissed properly to be “fixed.” Luckily, he took “no” for an answer.
- Asexuals are told that we are outside the queer community even though heteronormativity tells us that we are alone in our lack of sexual interest. It isolates and intimidates us with pressure to conform. We are all harmed by it.
- Before learning about asexuality, I was convinced that my complete disinterest in sex and lack of reaction to porn meant that I was a prude or was somehow less human than my peers. My younger self could have benefited greatly from the ace community.
Finding a name for my identity gave me a sense of peace, rightness, and validity. It’s not just a trendy name, it’s a label with resonance. That’s why so many people are “suddenly” coming out as asexual. It was the term that we didn’t know we needed until we heard it. Our terminology may be new to the mainstream, but does not make us any less real.