Absence and substance

If being on the asexual spectrum means never or rarely feeling sexual attraction, then what is there? I’ve had my first conversations with strangers about asexuality. I was delighted with their honest curiosity, and puzzled by their bafflement, because they kept coming back to that question.

I don’t understand, how does that work? Then what do you feel? What is there, then, for you? What do you have, if not sex or sexual attraction? But that’s not fair, where does that leave you? I can’t even imagine… What do you do? How do you date? Can you have relationships?

That clashes, hard, with the affirmation and enrichment I feel having adopted a demisexual identity and participating in the asexual community. But… it’s a difficult question to answer.

A great question to consider too: what is there? Specifically, what is there for you?

For each member of the asexual community, that answer will be different. If you do not feel sexual attraction, you map out what attraction you feel on other levels. If you desire sex, you explore exactly what you will and won’t want to do. If you don’t desire sex, you explore where your limits lie. If you wish for a relationship, you need to define exactly what options are open for you. If you have a partner, it’s good to look together what you wish to do together, based on both your desires.

What does the community offer?

Articulation, first of all, with its greater lexicon of -sexualities and -romanticities it’s made far easier to explore what exactly is true for each of us concerning sex, love, sexuality and relationships. Belonging, from basic affirmation, “others like me are out there” to platforms for expression, information, communication, commiseration, activism, research, activities, socialisation… community is such a huge boon. Diversity, the asexual community is rife with people with different gender identities, ethnicities, sexual and romantic orientations, ages, experiences… and that’s a breath of fresh air if your sexual identity makes you feel otherwise invisible or excluded.

What does the orientation offer?

A space where sex nor romance is compulsory and it exists in various shapes. Common landmarks, such as not comprehending sexual advertising, sex scenes, etc. Such as not feeling attracted to strangers, not talking about sex with friends or family, being bothered by dating or people harassing you for not wishing to have sex, no really, not at all. The option to have a sex drive, or not. To have sexual fantasies, or not. To perform sexual acts, or not. To appreciate beauty, without feeling desire. To wish to cuddle and touch and kiss, without ever going beyond first base. To have a significant other, a serious relationship, a marriage, without ever consummating it and being perfectly happy with that. To have only platonic relationships or friendships, and being perfectly happy with that.

In short, the asexual community and asexual spectrum and demisexual identity are to me a cornucopia of options for being not/partially “sexual” from which I choose what I actually am without having to conform to any expectations. And then being able to talk about it and act on it without censure or erasure.

Sexual freedom, freedom of choice, speech and action concerning sex and sexuality.


Posted on August 2, 2015, in Personal reflection, What others say and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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