CW: mentions of (theoretical) sex
As with all identities, every asexual person is different. Some are also aromantic, some are alloromantic and some are in the grey area. Some aces are sex-repulsed, some sex-favourable. I’d like to talk about what asexuality means for me – to be clear, this is my personal experience and other asexuals may be very different.
I do not experience sexual attraction, ever. When I see someone, I may think they are attractive in an aesthetic manner, but I do not want to have sex with them, I only like the way they look in the manner one may like a painting. If I get to know someone I may want to be in a romantic relationship with them, but the physical terms of that relationship would need to be restricted – hugging yes, anything involving genitals no.
I am homoromantic; I am romantically attracted to women. I have never been in a relationship, but I want to be, or I think I do. It is not a priority. I don’t find any of this to be a contradiction; when I’m in an exam I might want cake but I’m hardly going to run out the exam to eat cake – it is not a priority, even though I want it.
I do not want to have sex with anybody ever, but I wouldn’t call myself sex-repulsed. This is because I am totally fine with discussing sex and seeing sex scenes on TV (not full porn, but the stuff in normal 18 movies). I also make a ton of sex jokes, which are often more funny to me simply because I have no interest in actually doing it myself. I would call myself sex-averse instead, with my aversion only to having sex myself.
I can’t guarantee, of course, that at some point in the future I won’t want to have sex. Ten years ago, the idea that I would be politically active and voluntarily make speeches in public would have sounded absurd to me. The future is equally unclear to the present. But I cannot at this point in time imagine myself feeling that way.
As things stand, I feel really uncomfortable in nightclub style environments, and not just because of my oversensitivity to noise. I dislike being in such sexually charged environments where many people there are aiming to find sexual partners. People will hit on me in ways I find really uncomfortable and make inappropriate comments.
People have called the way I dress prudish, especially on the few occasions I have attended such gatherings, which actually has nothing to do with my asexuality – I wear many layers because the more skin showing, the more skin that can be covered in germs. I do not like germs as I have no pain tolerance so I become nonfunctional when I am ill and I don’t have time for that.
While I like hugging and some kinds of massage, I generally avoid most forms of physical contact. I’ve done kissing with tongues three times and I didn’t like it on any of those occasions. Generally, things involving the mouth or genitals are off the table for me. I find it curious and a bit gross when people who have colds kiss – surely you are just getting germs off your partner? Why would you want that? If I was ever in a relationship and my partner became ill I wouldn’t touch them until they got better nor would I sleep in the same room.
With regards to platonic and romantic attraction, I often find it difficult to tell what I feel for some individuals. I sometimes think this is alterous attraction. I believe I can form a very strong purely platonic bond with some people – I have had friendships end before that have devastated me more than the end of some others’ relationships have them.
I do not believe that romantic relationships are inherently stronger than platonic relationships. I do believe that some relationships are stronger than others – but I do not believe that this scale is strictly platonic to romantic. I would suggest that there is a stronger link to both time and number of common interests than there is to how platonic or romantic the relationship is. I’d study this hypothesis further but it’s not my area of expertise nor one of great interest.
For me, asexuality is just one little part of my identity. It’s a part of me, that I give that label because it is the most accurate, but everyone who claims that label will have different experiences and different views, because we are all different people, and however similar some of our parts may be, the whole will always be different.