The first time I heard the term asexuality was in 8th grade. A girl was taunting me about my current middle school boyfriend, claiming he was an asexual. When i had asked her what that meant she said “It means that he is only attracted to himself”. For a while I had the misconception that asexuality was about being attracted to yourself, but it isn’t, (that term is called auto-sexuality). I had been taught for years that sex was the best and theres nothing better in life than doing ~it~. Passing by the covers Cosmo that read “top 10 sex positions to get the best orgasm in your life!” was misleading to me in finding my sexuality. It just never pieced together when i was younger. Everyone and everything was saying that sex was 1) An experience you’d never forget 2) something special to save for someone special 3) a natural thing.
Asexuality can be a term hard to grasp for non ace people out there, (ace is short for asexual). It’s obvious that our world is sexually charged…hell I just watched a commercial where a woman is caught sleeping with an M&M. Companies are so desperate to sell you products by using sex as a luring device that they will do almost anything. Thankfully those tactics do not work on me. Sure I still find people attractive, but not to the point where i can imagine myself being sexual with them. Asexuals still have eyes and can recognise attractiveness in others, they also still have working emotions. While sex is not something i crave in my day to day life, i’m still a very intimate and romantic person. In fact, asexuals can still have relationships and many want to be in a relationship. Being asexual does not exclude you from the normal range of human emotions, it just means you lack sexual attraction to others. Yet asexuals can still want sex. This is getting a bit confusing, but bare with me.
Dealing with my own sexuality is sometimes a battle. I want to be close to people, i want them to want me and i want to experience attachment and romance but sometimes it seems that all people are in it for is sex. Can’t I have a relationship where there is nothing to be expected of me sexually? Sometimes I even find myself falling for friends or acquaintances because I am so mentally romantic, but so opposite when it comes to sexual attraction. Dicks horrify me, vaginas aren’t as scary and i’m more use to them because I have one, but man oh man! Sex is just horrible for me, it’s so horrible and being ace i have no doubt that i could live without it in my life forever. But sometimes i really want to kiss someone. Not because I want to have sex with them or anything, but because I think a lot can be said with a kiss that words cannot say. So does this mean that maybe i’m not asexual? I don’t think so.
Asexuality is a spectrum ranging from “Sex? Who needs it? Not me.” to “Sometimes i’m horny but then i’ll go 2 years without having a single sexual attraction and I won’t care.” You can also be asexual and want sex out of curiosity, out of pleasure, or anything. Asexuality isn’t about the action that takes place, it’s about the attraction. While i am an asexual i’ve encountered sex multiple times, it felt more like a chore than anything else. An unwanted workout. If you are an asexual and you’re in a relationship that is sexual, it’s very important to tell your partner about your sexuality. They need to respect that you are not (sometimes) down to get down. As an asexual you do not owe any kind of sexual favours to your partner, there is no compromise in asexuality. If your partner makes you do something you do not want to do then that is sexual abuse.
Being asexual often feels alienating, especially now that i am in college and mostly everyone is focused on getting their dick wet. I just want to make art, write and be mentally stable. Also there is a myth that asexuals are smarter because they don’t focus on sex/dedicate their time and energy towards it and that is just not true. Just cause you don’t like sex doesn’t make you a genius, it just makes you asexual. For now i am asexual but who knows what the future holds, i could find someone who i am extremely attracted to sexually. Sexuality is fluid, everything can change.
Words by Sarah Cohen
Illustrations by Harry French