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6 Ways to Support a Friend Who Recently Came Out As Asexual

8 Mar

ACE Friendship“Maybe you should see a sex therapist,” one of my closest friends suggested, after I told her my boyfriend and I were having trouble with my asexuality.

“I’m asexual, Cammie. It’s a sexual orientation. It’s not exactly something you can fix–”

“Well, I don’t think you’re trying hard enough,” she said. “How do you expect him to work this out with you if you’re not even willing to try to solve your problem?”

I didn’t feel like protesting any more after Cammie’s last remark, so I gave up and changed the subject. She wasn’t the first to suggest I seek professional help. A few other friends felt my “problem” was psychological, and could be worked out with several trips to a therapist.

I was tired of people telling me there was something wrong with me and hated the reminder that I wasn’t like everyone else.

So I stopped telling friends about my asexuality after that talk with Cammie, but I still needed advice on how to handle my relationship with my allosexual boyfriend. Without bringing up asexuality, I mentioned to another friend that my boyfriend and I were having trouble because of our mismatched levels of sexual desire…read more at Everyday Feminism. 

Hey Fam! I’ve been wanting to publish on Everyday Feminism for years. I was recently hired as a contributing writer there, and will be covering topics related to racism asexuality and more. The full text of this article is there, so  check it out. Thanks for your support!

Photo courtesy of Lionel Fernandez Roca via Flickr.

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Coming to Terms with My Sexual Orientation: An Ace’s Journey

23 Feb

Ace Flag 1

There’s something I’ve been meaning to share with my family, friends, and readers for a while now. But I needed some time to come to terms with it for myself. Then, I needed more time to procrastinate writing this blog post (y’all know I was slacking last year and didn’t post as much. But I’m back to posting regularly this year… so stay tuned).

Anyways, for a while, I’ve known that I’m not like everyone else. I used to think I was weird or that something was wrong with me. But now I know that I’m just different.

I am asexual.

No, that doesn’t mean that I can reproduce without a partner.

Asexual (aka “ace”) is a sexual orientation that includes people who experience little to no sexual attraction and/or desire. Asexual people make up approximately 1% of the population. We are the “A” in LBGTQIA+.

Basically, it means I don’t have a desire to have sex with anyone.

The concept of asexuality baffles a lot of people because sex is literally everywhere. On billboards, in the music we listen to, on every magazine stand, in our favorite TV shows, etc.

And while people who are not asexual cannot fathom living without sexual desire, I can’t even begin to guess what it means to live with it.

For the life of me, I couldn’t relate to Olivia and Fitz’s sexual tension. During every episode of Scandal I was like, “They’re having sex again?!! Didn’t they just do that?!” When friends tell me that they slept with someone because “it just sorta happened/ they couldn’t resist,” I wondered what that felt like. I NEVER “just have to have it.”

It took me a while to realize I was asexual. Three years ago, I’d had a feeling that I was, but I didn’t want to believe it. When I published “I Shouldn’t Need an Excuse to be a Virgin,” an article I wrote about virginity and feminism for XO Jane in 2013, a few aces tapped me on the shoulder in the comments section like, “Hey girl, you sound like one of us.” But I ignored them. I searched for alternative explanations for why I didn’t have desires that everyone else seemed to have. But after a long while, asexuality made a lot of sense.

My accepting of my asexuality was not an instant “sigh of relief.”  For a while, I pretty much balled my eyes out whenever I thought about it. I didn’t want to be asexual. I felt like I was missing out on something the rest of the world was enjoying. I was worried my 3-year relationship with my boyfriend would perish. I was scared I would never have a successful romantic relationship. I felt broken. To tell you the truth, sometimes I still have those feelings.

But after finally admitting it to myself, I was able to find a support system. Ace communities online post things like this:

 

This:

Ace2

And this:

Ace1

People shared their stories learning to cope with and become proud of their asexuality. And when I found a group of black asexual people, I started to feel a bit more at home (No offense to the white aces, but some of you all are ummm… very white).

Joining conversations with asexual communities online, reading more about my sexual orientation, journaling, and praying often, I came to terms with my asexuality.

To learn more about asexuality, visit the Asexual Visibility and Education Network. They provide a robust amount of info on asexuality.

P.S. Before commenting on this post, please read this list of myths about asexuality. I’m tired of people trying to fix my “problem.” Let’s get one thing straight: I’m not broken, I’m asexual.

7 Unexpected Travel Destinations to Learn About the African Diaspora

12 Jan

Globe

After studying abroad in Argentina for several months where black people are few and far between and the porteños point, stare, and want to touch your skin because it’s much darker than their own, I was desperate to find a face that looked like mine. There weren’t many in Buenos Aires, other than the study abroad students like myself and a few Brazilians here and there. However, I did find blackness in the mammy figurines in a few restaurant kitchen windows. This made me curious about the countries past and relationship with people of African descent.

Since then, when traveling to a new place, I’m always on the lookout for black history. Whether we see immigrants, descendants of slaves or historical artifacts, black travelers can land on almost any continent and find hints of people of African descent.

Here are a few unlikely places to look… read more here. 

Hey friends. This post was originally published on Blavity. Read the rest there.

This post was originally published on Blavity, read the full text there. Hope you enjoy!
Photo courtesy of  Whatsername? via flickr.

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