I don’t normally do this stuff. I try to keep my blog kinda impersonal other than venting. But it’s Asexual Awareness Week, and the “ace discourse” is still somehow going on, so… here. Maybe this will help someone.
The first crush I ever remember having was on a boy in 5th grade. I think his name was Lee. We both liked Animorphs and he was a sweet kid, and we had a secret santa kind of thing in my class so I bought him the latest Animorphs book at the time, #25. I had a low-level crush on him until he moved away later that year.
By the time I was 13, my mom asked if I was gay. I was able to say confidently that no, I wasn’t. Despite all her assurances that she didn’t care, I continued to not tell that woman a damn thing about any crushes I had, relationships I tried, or anything vaguely related to my love life. Which, as far as I was concerned, was non-existent.
Throughout school, I’d been considered That Weird Girl Who’s Probably A Lesbian, so I got… a lot of flak for that. No outright bullying, but mean comments, ostracization, etc. The usual. My lack of pining after boys combined with my friendships with girls meant that obviously I was gay.
Other than crushes, I had zero interest in relationships. Romance seemed as much a waste of time as sex. When the hormones kicked in they basically kicked the door down, but I still had no interest in anyone. I dated a boy briefly in highschool long enough to get him to take me to a sex shop when I turned 18, bought a dildo, and broke up with him (as gently as 18 year old me was capable of) within the next week. I became sexually curious with another boy who lived in a different state and we basically had webcam sex. That was fine since it was essentially interactive porn.
So, since you’re seeing a pattern here, I’ll spell it out. As far as I knew at the time, since I had crushes on boys and was not physically attracted to girls, I had to be straight. I considered myself straight.
College happened and freshman year I had to turn down 2 men who wanted to date me and I watched another who lived in my hall who I didn’t quite have a crush on but an attraction of some kind. I couldn’t say it was aesthetic - he wasn’t conventionally attractive by any means - but something about him caught my attention, so I considered him my only real college crush.
THEN, my roommate and friend took me to the college’s… GSA? I don’t know what it would qualify as. They called it ANGLES. And I think it was the first or second meeting when they had everyone sit in a circle and say where they fell on the Alphabet. Which confused the hell out of me since I’d never heard of it, but figured it out pretty quick.
Then that guy I had my eye on, that I was weirdly drawn to?
He said “A for Asexual” and it was like a literal lightbulb.
I still wasn’t sure what that meant, really, so I said “A for Ally”, but the thought stayed with me.
It wasn’t a big deal for me. I had never felt broken, or out of place. I just… existed. I wasn’t sex-repulsed, so maybe I wasn’t actually asexual. I kept casually dating. Going out once or twice, then losing interest. Eventually I figured I just didn’t want a relationship. I’d be single forever, and that was alright. I’d call myself asexual in lgbt+ spaces, if asked, because that’s what seemed to fit best, but it wasn’t an identity for me yet. It took me a long time to settle into it.
If I had known about the split-attraction model then, I would have considered myself heteroromantic asexual. One of the maligned “het aces”. It’s part of why I participated in the ace discourse on tumblr the way I did.
Meanwhile, people still absolutely considered me a Secret Lesbian. I know because they said it to my face.
I started a friendship online with some chick on the east coast. We eventually talked almost constantly, mockingly sending cutesy messages to outrage each other, venting, the usual friendship stuff. She mentioned that she was asexual too. Eventually we met up at Botcon 2009. Still friends. I decided to move out there to Florida, America’s Filthy Wang, to move in with her and get my adult life started. She flew out and helped me drive across the country to the place she had just bought. Still friends.
Somehow within a year we were cuddling on the couch together. We got married last year. I still don’t know how the hell it happened, but I’m happy that it did.
Since we’ve been together, the asexual thing has actually come up more often than less. Friends don’t believe we’re not having sex. New people (usually friends-of-friends) getting visibly excited and happy when they assume we’re lesbians, only to become obviously disappointed, dismissive, and surly when corrected. It’s not just straight dudes - the most obvious one was a bi woman.
This past year, my parents cornered me and asked if I was in a relationship with her. I said yes, and they’re fine with it, but it was still a confession under duress and I’m still uncomfortable with it. They don’t know I’m asexual. I have no plans to tell them, because I don’t feel like dealing with their confusion, and also because I’m worried that it will make them think of our relationship as somehow less valid. And while I don’t need their approval in the least, I would like to keep relations friendly for the time being. This is one of those cases when being considered a lesbian is actually less risky than being out as asexual.
But I’m happy. Ridiculouly happy. There’s so much I can do now that I couldn’t do on my own, and so much I love sharing with her. I lucked out because she’s also ace, but honestly that’s just the cherry on top of my Awesome Relationship Sundae. We have a house, and a dog, and we’re doing good. That’s more than a lot of people have. And we’re not missing anything just because we don’t have sex. Would I be happy on my own? Sure, I think so. But not this happy. And now that I have her, I can’t be happy without her.
So all my little ace and aro cousins out there - keep your chins up. You’re not broken or weird. You’re part of this human kaleidoscope of experience. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re less than amazing.
everyone has that one thing they were obsessed with learning about as a kid that never goes away like it could have been years since you last looked something up related to it but the passion is still there man
do me a favour and reblog with what your childhood obsession was like I am so curious about everyone else’s because it can be the most specific thing and it’s amazing