When I was in high school, it eventually became apparent that I was a lot less interested in pursuing romance and sex than my peers. While they were moments when I thought ‘hmmm, I wonder why I am not as interested as my classmates’ I never thought that there was anything wrong with myself, that it was most likely a natural and harmless variation in my sexuality, and that I had absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. Actually, it was a bit of a relief, because I had a lot going on, and pursuing romance or sex seemed like it would have been a great bother.
Ironically, I think this delayed me identifying as asexual.
Because I didn’t see a problem, I didn’t look for a ‘solution’. I don’t quite remember when I first stumbled on AVEN, but when I did I at first thought ‘hmmm, that sounds a bit like me’ then I promptly put it out of my mind and continued to identify as het.
Then, in a conversation, somebody mentioned that 1% of the world population is asexual and ‘that’s a lot of people’. That time, it was not a thing I casually discovered on the internet, it was something that somebody else brought up spontaneously. I thought ‘you know what, I think I am asexual after all’ so that prompted me to look at AVEN again. I thought ‘yep, that sounds like me’ and then … I put it out of my mind a SECOND time, and continued to identify as het. But this time the notion was not as thoroughly dislodged from my consciousness, and when I claimed that I was het, I would wonder in the back of my mind if that was actually not true.
Then, a (non-ace) blog I happened to read linked to several in-depth discussions of asexuality. Reading those discussions made it clear to me that I had more in common with these aces than with heterosexual people. That started a cascade of ace-blog-reading.
Now, why do I say that feeling that there was nothing wrong with me delayed me from identifying as asexual? Well, I grew up in a culture of heteronormativity, even though being in San Francisco and my parents open-mindedness filtered out the most extreme forms of heteronormativity. Therefore, people who feel like they are in place must be het (unless they are obviously gay/bi, but I was certain that I was NOT gay or bi). I did not feel like I was out of place, so I was het.
If I had lived in a generation before the internet disseminated asexuality awareness, I would have probably been able to happily identify as het for my entire life. Realizing that I was asexual did not bring relief, or make me realize that I was not broken (I never thought my sexuality was broken). The realization does, however, help me understand myself better, and that is valuable in its own right.
To the extent possible under law,
the person who associated CC0
with this work has waived all copyright and related or neighboring
rights to this work.
Pingback: Linkspam: January 25th, 2013 | The Asexual Agenda
Pingback: Clearing Up Doubts by Reading About Others’ Experiences | The Notes Which Do Not Fit
Pingback: Mention Asexuality | The Notes Which Do Not Fit