First published in Untold // Honeyfire Lit–
An article in The Atlantic wrote that “approximately 92% of the 174 songs that made it into the [Billboard] Top 10 in 2009 contained reproductive messages.” Sex is all around us and for any person that might be a good thing to hear. But for us “broken” individuals, it’s kind of tiring.
I am asexual.
I don’t experience sexual attraction. But like the Asexual Visibility and Education Network says, I still “have the same emotional needs as everybody else and [am] just as capable of forming intimate relationships.”
And I’ve grown up knowing that I was asexual.
The first time I developed a crush on the “bad boy” of the neighborhood, my father pulled me aside and said one day I’ll want someone to mess around with and eventually start a family of my own. I stood in the grass, barefoot and chin up, and told him I won’t ever have sex. He laughed and said I was young, I had time to figure it out.
My mothers favorite thing to do is watch children. She has a caring heart, took her first job as an assistant daycare worker, met my father, got married and had three kids of her own. Her second favorite thing is to bug about children, more specifically, when she can expect grandchildren.
We sat down at a window seat in an Arby’s restaurant one day and talked about our futures. I told her I was never going to have kids. She told me I would change my mind as soon as the right person came around. I told her no matter who walked into my life, I was never having kids. Not one, not ever, and nothing would change my mind.
She sat there and cried.
On dating apps, the first thing I make sure to write is “please do not match with me if being ace is going to be a problem.” I still have to go through fifty profiles and swipe left because they apparently don’t know how to read. And if I give them the benefit of the doubt, it never ends in my favor. Just gets me banned from Tinder for being a bitch. I’m sorry I turned down your sexual advances, not my fault you see a beautiful woman and immediately think she owes you her body.
I never understood everyone’s obsession with sex. It’s in the movies, the music, the books, the conversations my friends would have senior year of high school. I never felt like they did, happy for their first time, excited to try something new. I’d always skip the scenes, change the song, flip past the steamy chapter, tell them “good for you.”
I never felt bad about being ace, that is, until I did.
The world convinced me I was broken.
Go to a Google search bar. Type I am asexual. Tell me what your recommended searches are.
“am I asexual test”
“am I asexual or depressed”
“am I asexual or just anxious”
“am I asexual or traumatized”
Can’t I just be ace? Why does everyone I come out to expect a reason from me?
My family will tell me it’s because I was assaulted. Strangers who think their opinion matters will say it’s because I’m not attractive. Men who have grown up with their egotistical attitudes will say they can change me. My gynecologist will ask me why as if in her 20 years of practice she’s never met a single asexual.
We’re not broken, you know. We are a spectrum, from needing a strong emotional bond to “well, maybe only them because I love them” to not desiring it at all. As this Healthline article put it, “everyone has a different experience with being asexual, and asexuality can mean different things to different people.” I’m sex repulsed, I don’t like the idea of it, it just makes me uncomfortable the same way nails on a chalkboard would make others feel uncomfortable.
We are a diverse community and we are just as human as the rest of you, so why is it so damn hard to be accepted?
I am asexual, and no, I am not broken.