Asexuality Is A-Ok

Sex is quite versatile. There’s breakup sex, makeup sex, vanilla or kinky sex, and I could go on. Now while sex might be important between some romantic partners, for others it might not. It’s possible in fact, that the way we glorify and normalize sex can be damaging. As children, most people learn they’re crushing on [x] gender and as teenagers graduate that to a sexual attraction. Some of those, like me, grow up in the confines of heteronormative reason. An example of this is when I was younger I ‘knew’ there were set genders and mine was girl, and girl was attracted to boy, so I didn’t realize when I sang along with Jesse McCartney the reason I related to his songs over Mariah were because I could see myself singing them to a girl, not that I wanted a guy to sing them to me. A few years ago when I sang them again with gender and sexuality studies under my belt I had a tear-jerking realization for younger me who had no idea what genderqueer was. The same thing happened with my sexuality, and I worry it might continue with others if we don’t keep talking about sex. Although this is relevant to many sexualities, today I’d like to give the stage to asexuality.

You may be thinking, wait, asexual means the lack of sexual desire, what are you talking about? Well, you’re right, but it doesn’t demand the lack of sexual activity it just excludes that desire. Asexuality isn’t synonymous with celibacy, which is choosing not to participate in sexual activities. Asexual persons don’t have the desire for a sexual relationship, or feel sexual attraction, but can still appreciate what those mean to someone. If they have a partner who doesn’t share the same sexuality they might still want to satisfy their partner, and they probably think their partner is attractive like everyone else. Being able to gauge and appreciate the beauty of someone’s face, or body (or mind!) does not disqualify you from being asexual. It’s just that the appreciation and knowledge doesn’t lead to a tingling sensation that ignites in your loins and says ‘hey, I want to show this person some intimate physical affection.’ Even when it comes to affection, asexual persons might kiss, and cuddle their partner and that’s a-ok. Asexuality has some elasticity, as do many other aspects of the LGBTQIA+ community.

The community has this acronym LGBTQIA+ to include all the various gender and sexual identities, the last letters being recent additions of intersex and asexuality. All of the terms you’ll find in the LGBT+ community are being studied continuously, so we could wake up tomorrow and have expanded again. That little plus sign shows the community members not listed like demisexual, and pansexual, or the gender identities. The important thing is while we remember research is going on, we spread around the possibility someone doesn’t want sex. That way while friends gush about how gratifying sex is, how they can’t wait to achieve that goal, the person who found romance without sexual attraction doesn’t think they’re broken. Another thing to be aware of is asexual people are subject to that familiar accusation of being confused. Obviously, if you’re a girl in love with another girl but aren’t interested in having sex with her you’re just straight and curious, or you’re afraid of men. If that’s not the case you don’t really know what being in love is and you just think this is a romance when really it’s just a good friendship. I won’t pretend like those aren’t possibilities, that sometimes different sexualities and genders aren’t hard to differentiate because if they were why would we have things like the Resource Center to help us out?

So, it might not be straightforward but that’s why we talk about it and that’s, say it with me, a-ok.