coming out as ace (asexual)

It’s been quite a while since I last posted, and that’s mostly because I’ve had a pretty confusing time recently. For the past month or so, I’ve been coming to terms with the fact that I’m not actually pan/bisexual (like I stated in a previous post), but rather a pan/biromantic asexual.

I cannot describe the relief I feel at finally having a label for my sexual orientation that accurately describes me. Where I used pan/bisexual to describe me before, I was never really convinced that it fit properly, but I just picked it up as ‘close enough’ and wore it slightly hesitantly. That being said, it has also been pretty frightening to come to terms with because I identify with the label so strongly. While I was not 100% comfortable with my previous label, I could deny parts of it, deep down, to myself. I could tell myself that I didn’t have to feel responsible for telling people about my orientation, that I didn’t want to tell people in case I confused them (because it confused me), and that I could just ignore my sexual orientation most of the time because there didn’t really seem to be a description that applied to me. I think I came out to maybe three people in the three or so years that I identified as pan/bisexual.

I’ve come out to more than that about my asexuality in the past week alone. Why? Part of it is that I really want people to understand me better. I’m a pretty closed off and confusing/confused person, so if I can find a label that carries with it an entire description about me, I want to use it. Granted, most people don’t really know anything about asexuality or its description, but I’m not opposed to explaining it if I can pull up a page on the internet to back me up. Here are some of the questions I have prepared for. I have been asked some but not all of them (yet).

What is asexuality?

Asexuality is the lack of sexual attraction to anyone. I am not sexually attracted to anyone regardless of their gender, age, ethnicity, or appearance.

So, you’re against sex?

Personally, I am not against sex or repulsed by it. I actually enjoy it. This is not true for all asexuals, and there are many who are repulsed by sex, or are simply not interested in it.

But if you have sex, how are you asexual?

Sex drive/libido and sexual attraction are two seperate concepts. I have a pretty average sex drive, which means that sexual activity is common and important for me. I am just not sexually excited or aroused by people in general. Again, there are many asexuals who do not have sex. There are also many people of other sexual orientations who do not have sex. There are many reasons why people do or do not have sex and they may be completely unrelated to sexual orientation.

But you’re in a relationship…?

Yes, I am. I love and care deeply for my boyfriend despite lacking sexual attraction. I am romantically attracted to him and our relationship is extremely important to me.

What is romantic attraction?

Romantic attraction is the desire to be emotionally involved in a relationship with someone. I enjoy cuddling and dates and being emotionally involved in my partner’s life. For me, this is more than enough reason to be in a relationship. I feel it is important to note here, that just like sexual attraction, not all people experience romantic attraction. People who don’t are aromantic, and may or may not choose to enter into relationships – romantic, sexual or otherwise.

What is pan/biromantic?

The pan- and bi- prefixes work with romantic orientation in the same way as they work with sexual orientation. So a panromantic person is someone who experiences romantic attraction to people regardless of gender. A biromantic person is someone who experiences romantic attraction to people of the same gender as themself, as well as another gender (or other genders).

Well, which are you? Pan- or bi- romantic? 

It is often assumed that biromantic people are only attracted to men and women, but there is disagreement on the exact definition. I use biromantic because the bi-prefix is more well known and understood and doesn’t require an in-depth explanation about gender identity. This is especially important if I’m talking to someone that I don’t really want to know about my own queerness with regards to gender. Depending on the definition used, biromanticism does fit me since I do experience romantic attraction to people of a variety of genders. Panromanticism also fits me though, and possibly fits me better, because my romantic attraction to people is not really affected much by the gender of the person.

So this has really been central to my thoughts for the past month or so. I did have one panicked moment where I doubted everything I’d realised and thought “what if I’m not actually ace and I’ve just lied to all those people I’ve told and they’ll never believe me again and aaaaaah~” but when I took a moment to calm down, I realised that I’ve never really been interested in sex or anything sexualised in the media, or in shops, or in stories/movies/tv.

I had a friend who once told me that sexual release is like breathing – it’s natural and necessary and something that people just need to do every now and then. I don’t know how true his statement is, but I feel like it applies quite well to me. Sex, to me, is just a bodily function and I never really understood why society and the media seem to want to focus on and revolve around sex so much. I realise now that it isn’t really the act of sex that they’re focusing on, but rather the sexual attraction and playing it up. But that’s a topic for another post.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to ask any questions and share your thoughts and opinions (especially if I have made any mistakes! This is all new to me).



1 Comment

  1. Pingback: a grey area of asexuality | silently queer

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