I’m an Ace/Aro writer, so I should write words about this, yeah?
I want to. The emotions are there.
Yet it’s an incredibly un-fucking-comfy thing to talk about.
Wait, wait, I know what you may be thinking, Kai, you write different stripes of romance, don’t’cha?
In short, it’s because I’m
The excerpts from this TIME book blurb (so much YES, for me, personally on this one)
I dislike the format, but the INFO is good here, PSYCH TODAY, OUR BODIES OURSELVES
Finding fiction words are so much easier for me than discussing anything resembling my real life. But. Here goes.
My first kiss… I was 12,
a reasonable enough age for the time and place, it excited me as a milestone… cause I’d been reading ’70s era romance (If you haven’t, don’t, it’s a feminist, racist nightmare). But it didn’t excite me, if you get my drift.
Between my monthly visits to the book mobile (lol, yeah, I’m old enough that the internet didn’t exist and to get books we went to the traveling library on wheels instead of the actual library because we lived too far away) the only things I had to read were either mom’s romance, dad’s dry as fuck civil war histories or the Encyclopedia Brittanica… wait, and the Oxford Dictionary,
which I’d read by the time I’d turned 9.
While I really enjoyed reading (page by page, I’m totally serious) the Encyclopedia Brittanica,
and the Dictionary, and the thesaurus too, come to think of it (what? I was a special kind of kid) and I enjoyed reading the romance… it left some rather strange ideas in my head.
Things like, well… of course, you’ll like and want to have sex.
I just can’t get over the expression on the deer’s face. It’s hilarious! But that said, yeah, it’s kind of how I feel about this overwhelming assumption that 99.9% of society has that well… OF COURSE… you’ll like and want to have sex, love, and romantic relationships, I mean, who DOESN’T???? Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.
Lot’s of people LIKE me?
Backing up a little, I tend to use the terms gray-ace, gray-aro or gray-aroace, though words are tricksy things. Most of the time, I’m pretty sure I’m demisexual, which is a sub-set of asexuality. I use the other terms more often than demisexual because it’s slightly more recognizable, and it’s not incorrect. Just not as specific.
So for me, personally, given the right emotional connection to someone, I can and do enjoy sex.
TMI? Just wait.
Did you know that Merriam-Webster as of the time I’m writing this post doesn’t have an accurate definition of aromantic or asexual as per human sexual identification? They have the biological term, they have ‘lacking sexual relationship’ (which really isn’t accurate for many of us), and nothing that I can find under aromantic. There’s been rather a lot of public outcry on this of late, and I’m hoping they change it… but, shrugs.
You can check their current responses here…
To put it bluntly. It’s erasure. Even though I’ve only understood that there IS an actual definition for my life experiences in regards to sex… for, maybe a bit over a year or so?
I’m getting sick of being erased.
And it’s everywhere.
Novels, especially romance novels (which, I really love to read and write, because while I don’t feel romantically inclined in real life, within the pages of fiction, it’s really nice.)
Our families, our world, it’s everywhere. An asexual or aromantic can’t go or do or see anything without being reminded that we’re different. That the rest of the world… if it doesn’t actively think we’re wrong, or that there’s something wrong WITH us…
they forget about us. YOU, forget about us.
It’s in all the little patterns of speech that we hear, from the time we’re little… the micro-aggressions.
Just a few that come to my mind…
You’ll want a husband someday.
Well of COURSE you’ll want sex/romance, it’s, it’s… normal!
It’s just a phase you’re going through because you broke up with someone, plenty of fish in the sea.
I think I was maybe 11 when my mom and one of her cousins were visiting while we kids played, they were listening to a song with one of the lyrics as ‘love makes the world go round’… I honestly didn’t understand it, and when I expressed that I’d be quite happy without a relationship, my family laughed at me. Uproariously.
Except, I could be. Now don’t get your panties in a wad, that’d be uncomfortable. Yes, I’m married to a man I’ve loved for over 24 years. Yes, I’m quite happy that fate thwapped me upside the head with a board and I actually did fall in love with someone.
But I wasn’t looking for it, and it came as a HUGE shock when it
happened. I was single, wasn’t really interested in romance, like, not at all. I just didn’t get it.
(never really have been interested in romance in any way other than fiction), or in sex. Sex with people just didn’t seem to do it for me, and it never had until I met my husband. I tried so many things, thinking that maybe this time, it’d work and I’d feel ‘normal’. (I’ve really learned to loathe the word normal… just saying.)
Lol, that makes me sound like I had relationships with non-humans. Nope, not that either.
Asexuals/aromantics can still feel sexual impulses, we can still desire orgasm and masturbation… depending on where exactly you fall under the umbrella of asexuality.
So… yeah, books and toys. I’ll stop there cause this is really going too far with the TMI.
But it’s important that if you don’t know about asexuality that you know we’re all people, and we all express in different ways.
There are asexuals/aromantics who don’t want sex ever, and who don’t feel sexual desire AT ALL. And that’s okay.
There are asexuals/aromantics who are interested in romantic fiction and have toy collections to rival the stag shop. And that’s okay.
Oops, wrong stag. (Not really, I just think I’m hilarious.)
There are asexuals/aromantics who want to live in an intimate relationship which doesn’t include sex. And that’s okay, too.
There are aromantics who ONLY want sex, no relationship, nothing… I mean… look at the existence of the Tinder app for proof of that. And that’s okay, too.
There are all kinds of asexuality and aromanticism, and we’ve existed from the dawn of time.
We aren’t new. What is newer are words to express who and what we are, how we feel. Ways that we can identify, to ourselves and to others.
Words that everyone needs to know and understand.
‘Cause, even as an adult with more than a little understanding of life, it still hurts to be utterly erased by everything around you.
The assumption that just because I find someone (regardless of gender or sex) gorgeous that I’d want to ride-that-ride.
That I’ll be ‘complete’ only if I’m in a loving/sexual relationship.
That I’m wrong or abnormal because I’m not passionately searching for relationships and sex and all the other things that seem to make up a lot of society. (We’re polyamorous, so being married doesn’t preclude that for us.)
You know, when I was a kid, reading those terrible romances (okay, they weren’t ALL terrible, but a lot of them really were.)
It would’ve been amazing to see asexuality or aromanticism mentioned… anywhere.
It would’ve been eye opening to see the massive amount of diversity that exists just under the ‘asexual’ umbrella, so that I’d know I wasn’t made wrong.
It would’ve been thrilling, downright awesome to read about a demisexual person during my formative years when I was being pressured by my then boyfriend, who I didn’t love, to have sex. I detailed more about that here…
That’s why we as adults need to be always growing and learning about… well, everything really, but especially this, we’re raising the next generation of asexuals and aromantics now.
I, for one, want them to see themselves everywhere, so they know they aren’t alone. That they aren’t broken. If we’re not doing that in our fiction, our music, our social media, the way we speak, our television…
Then we’re helping them feel broken…
In fact. We’re breaking them.
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