Let me tell you a story about what a pretentious fuck I was.
I started talking to this person. This wonderful, kind, sweet, loving, adoring person bless their beautiful soul. I found myself drawn to them and before I knew it I was falling for them, like crushing big time. I ignored it for as long as I could but eventually I couldn’t deny it anymore. I liked this person, they had become precious to me and I wanted a deeper relationship. It took me a long time to admit this to myself (because I am a turd when it comes to dealing with my crushes). I kept trying to convince myself that I wasn’t developing romantic feelings for them, and I kept making up excuses for why it wouldn’t work out. One of those excuses (and I am so ashamed to admit this) was because they’s asexual.
I’m pansexual myself, and have always considered myself very sexually active. I like sex, I like being sexually pleased and pleasing my partners. I like the intimacy of sex and the feeling of being desired. The thought of being in a relationship where that might not be an option seemed absolutely absurd to me. Like mentioned before, there were other excuses for why I refused to acknowledge my feelings. Distance, age gap, fear of rejection… but for some reason their asexuality seemed for some mind-boggling stupid reason to be my biggest issues.
I didn’t consider myself acephobic. I respect and acknowledge asexuality, but I was just not interested in ace people. I was not attracted to them because they were not available… but that was wrong. Gay men were unavailable to me as well, but that did not stop me from being attracted to them. Yes, I did not act on my attraction, but I wasn’t denying the attraction either purely based on their sexuality. So why was it different with asexuals? Why was I willing omit this whole demographic from my list of potential partners? Why did the prospect of a relationship with potentially no sex scare me so? Was I being acephobic?
In my experience when you start to question whether or not you are being racist, homophobic, transphobic, acephobic ect. you usually are.
As a genderfluid person I would happily date a person who identify as gay if my feelings were being reciprocated, but I was excluding asexuals because of their sexuality. I was being a prejudicial fuck, and that was not acceptable!
I did some soul searching. Was sex being off the menu really that big of a deal? So I made a mental list of what sex is to me:
- physical pleasure
- a way for me to show my attraction to my SO
- stress reliever
- a way to feel close to my SO
- a way to measure my worth
…a way to measure my worth. Ufff. That if that isn’t a wet towel in your face then I don’t knkw what it. The reason why a relationship with the potential of no sex scared me so was because it took away the only thing I have used to measure my worth in a relationship. Emotional support, encouragement, companionship, love was all something I believed my partner could get from friends and family. Sex was however the one thing only I could provide. Sex had become my equivalent of my worth to my partner. First of all, that is a sick way of thinking about yourself. It is not okay to base your self-worth on others’ sexual desire for you. Secondly, that is a very unhealthy attitude to sex, by all means DO NOT adapt this attitude. Your worth should never be based on someone’s perception of you!!
My past relationships have not been great. They have all been a lethal cocktail of equal part mental abuse and toxic codependency. They have also all started with me sleeping with someone and then several fuck sessions later been labeled as a relationship. Not one of them have started as mutal romantic attraction. Which might explain my relationship with sex and my distorted basis of self-worth.
So now I knew why asexuality was such an issue for me. Because my warped perception of self was making it impossible for me to imagine myself in a relationship with an ace.
I eventually came to the conclusion that I was being absolutely ridiculous. That I was letting fear rule me. That I was denying myself feelings for a person because I was uncomfortable with facing a truth about myself.
I made another list. A list of reasons for why this person might want to be with me if not for a regular supply of sexual intercourse.
- They feel comfortable around me
- They seek my companionship and enjoy my presence
- They genuinely care about me as a person
- They want a relationship based on mutual feelings and respect
I liked this list. This seemed like a much stabler foundation for a relationship than purely sexual attraction. The more I thought about this the more I realised I wanted it. Sex was never an issue, my own insecurities were. And once I acknowledged them I was able accept my flaws and move past them. I still have a lot of work to do (this is an issue you don’t dismiss overnight) but I was able to free myself from a hurtful mindset and admit to myself that I liked this person. I really, really liked this person. And although I loved our friendship I wanted more. I wanted to be closer to them, I wanted to confess my feelings, I wanted to share a special bond with them.
However when it all came down to it I was to chickenshit to do anything about it. I was too insecure and too afraid of rejection (remember how I said that my issues are not fixed overnight).
Luckily for me my partner had more courage and asked me out. We have been dating for a couple of weeks now, and I have loved every single moment of it. Never have I been in a relationship where I have felt so safe, supported, and loved. Never have I felt such a strong connection to another human being. None of it is forced and it all feels so natural.
And to think I almost denied myself this happiness because I was a closeminded scared little coward.