May. 24th, 2011

amredthelector: (Default)
I'd like to preface this post by apologizing for the length. However, this is something that I really need to say out in the open, so I'm not going to put it behind a cut.

I do not usually talk about my sexuality on my journal. I've had discussions about my sexuality on other comms, but I generally don't like posting about that sort of thing here. Probably because I do not sit and think about it unless prompted, by being asked about it or stepping into a conversation on it. I just don't have much to say in the way of my sexuality to be posting lengthy diatribes about it on my journal. That's not to say I don't think about my sexuality at all - it is a facet of my personality and life, and I research it, think about, etc. I just don't think that it's ever so important that I need to air it in my public journal.

Lately, however, I've been thinking a lot about it. There's been some drama online that I've looked over, and conversations I've had irl, that have got me thinking about my sexuality. And I've decided to go ahead and talk about some of the things I've been thinking about.

For those who may not know, I'm identify as bi-romantic asexual. This means that I am attracted to both men and women on an intellectual level, but I'm not interested in having sex with either.

As I've already said, I don't really talk about my asexuality unless prompted. Back in high school, I'm pretty sure only two people even knew about my asexuality, partially because I was still figuring it all out, and partly because they were the two people that had expressed sexual interest to me, and I felt I needed to let them know what I wasn't - and never would be - interested. No one else in high school asked about my sexuality or even seemed to care.

In college, though, I've found things to be quite different. Most people I've talked to are... kind of all up in my business. That's about the best way I can think to phrase it. My roommates last year kept trying to set me up with people, and when I told them I wasn't interested (which was actually less to do with my asexuality and more to do with me just not liking any of their friends) they would pry. And pry. And pry. And eventually, the condescending, concern-trolling, morally horrified "BUT BUT BUT... ARE YOU GAAAAAAY, AMRED?!?!" would start. To which I would answer no, that I'm bi-rom ace, but that I'm also not interested in dating.

I'd have preferred to leave everything at that, but my roommates had never heard of asexuality and wanted it explained. Okay, fine. I don't particularly want to have to educate people, but whatever. I gave them a quick explanation. Again, I'd kind of liked to have left it at that.

But... they couldn't just leave it at that. They had to keep prying. Again - fine. They'd never heard of asexuality. They were confused. Maybe I could point them over to AVEN and let them educated themselves - oh. Oh. They want to know about me. And that's when the questions started rolling in.

Am I sure I'm ace? Have I ever had sex? Did I just give up after some bad sex? Do I masturbate? Am I just claiming asexuality because I'm just claiming my bi-romanticism for attention and want to have an excuse for not wanting to have sex with girls? Etc, etc.

This could be... infuriating. I didn't ask them about their sexual exploits, why did they have to pry into my own lack of them? But really, it wasn't the worst thing about talking to people about my asexuality. It was curiosity born of ignorance, and my roommates generally caught on that the questions were a bit personal for me and stopped asking them. No, the worse thing came from a few internet friends who will remain unnamed.

All of these friends know that I am ace. And every single one of them made a sexual pass at me. Sometimes it was joking - like the one person who made a joke about me and him having sex after I'd told him that I'd walked in on my roommate and her fuck-buddy. A couple of people suggested that I was just repressed and needed to have more sex. One person in particular started going on and on about how he'd TOTALLY HAD SEX WITH SOME ACES and that they WERE SO ~*SATISFIED*~ THAT THEY TOTALLY TURNED SEXUAL! Questions about my sexuality, I can handle. This shit, though? Is creepy and gross, and makes me genuinely scared. It's shit like this that makes me afraid to talk about my sexuality openly for fear that some asshole is going to try to "fix" me.

This leads me to the point of this post. This is a list of do's and don't's for talking to aces... or at least me, based on my own experience.
DO feel free to ask questions about my sexuality - but if I say a question is too personal, drop it.
DO educate yourself on asexuality - I'd suggest AVEN
DO feel free to date/flirt with aces that share your romantic orientation, as long as you understand that they are asexual.
DO NOT ask aces if/how they masturbate. It's just rude.
DO NOT tell an ace that you can "fix them" or brag about "satisfying" other aces. Quite frankly, it's threatening.
DO NOT imply that aces just "haven't found the right person". I personally believe that sexuality can be fluid, but I also think it's creepy and gross to try to talk someone into something they aren't interested in doing.
DO NOT tell aces that they don't exist.

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amredthelector

July 2011

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