The asexual spectrum
When you think of asexuality, do you think of what you were taught in Science classes? Asexual reproduction - a type of reproduction by which offspring arise from a single organism, and inherit the genes of that parent only. Or perhaps you think of us – the asexuals, butt of plant jokes and master of puns. As an asexual myself, I feel as if society does not know what Asexuality is in the LGBTQA+ community and it's time I helped clear things up.
Asexuality is defined as “having no or lacking of sexual attraction towards other people”. We do not feel sexual attraction and this means our opinion on sexual activities varies. Some may be repulsed by sex, some may enjoy sex, others may be indifferent or do it for their partner. This is also similar for aromantics – having no or lacking of romantic attraction towards other people – and the subject of romantic activities. This means, as an example, an asexual may enjoy kissing and cuddling but be repulsed by sex, or perhaps an aromantic asexual may not enjoy either. But it may also be a case of an asexual enjoying both sex and general kissing – just not feeling any romantic or sexual feelings out of it.
However, Asexuality is not simply defined as “having sexual/romantic attraction or not”. In fact, it broadens into a whole spectrum. This includes several identites such as greyasexual (experiencing sexual attraction but not often, or on specific circumstances) and demisexual (only experiencing sexual attraction after establishing a close bond first). These can also be for romantic attraction.
My own experience of Asexuality has been a tough one. I am an asexual demiromantic which means I experience no sexual attraction and only experience romantic attraction with those I get attached to. My first boyfriend broke up with me because of this – though neither of us knew it at the time. Because I was not “romantic” enough, he ended the relationship with me. (It's all a happy ending though because it turns out he's gay!) I discovered my asexual label after being given a sex talk from my LGBTQA+ Support Group, and realised sex was not a thing I enjoyed.
It brought me down, to be honest. We live in a society that is centred around sex and love. Our movies have soppy romance scenes and sexy times; our posters have naked men and women kissing with a grayscale filter; we don't ask “Have you gotten laid?” but rather “How many have you laid?” The very fact that I can't fall in love and date as many as others, and the fact I can't understand why sex is such an exciting thing for everyone, makes me feel depressed and alienated from society. But I am learning to accept who I am.
Those who identify as asexual are not “broken”. They are not “scared”, or “frigid” or “prudes”. It's not a case of “you'll change your mind” or “you just haven't found the right person”. And, in the case of the LGBTQA+ community against Asexuality, it doesn't mean we're “basically straight”. We're valid for who we are, and part of the community.
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The articles here are written by guest writers or previous TWE members.