Tag Archives: sexual orientation

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

23 Feb

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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:

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And this:

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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.

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