TW: Swearing (f**k); mentions of aphobia and comments directed at grey/demi identities
So this feels like a weird post to be writing.
I’ll get straight to the point: for the past three years or so, I’ve identified as asexual. Ever since I found the word, and what it stood for, I just knew – that’s me. Not once had I felt sexual attraction to anyone, though I vaguely understood what it was supposed to be.
At the time, I said to myself (and others) “I’ll know it if I feel it.” And for those years, I felt nothing, despite being more than capable of it as an 18 year old.
Over the summer, I casually mentioned to a friend that I was feeling something, and described it to her. She instantly turned to me and went “Lost, normal people describe that as being horny.”
And if I’m being honest, I think she’s right.
This leaves me in a very bizarre state. Obviously if that’s the case, and I’m feeling this mysterious thing called ‘sexual attraction’, then I can hardly continue referring to myself as ace, because, well… I guess I’m not?
It’s not that I’m suddenly, magically “heterosexual” because I seriously don’t think I am. I rarely, if ever, feel sexual attraction, and it’s only ever been directed at one person out of the thousands I’ve met in my lifetime.
Last night I brought it up with my close friends at home, and I’m lucky enough that all of them are well-versed enough in sexuality to understand what I meant when I said “I don’t think I’m totally ace.”
I explained the situation (which in short is “I’m-only-attracted-like-this-to-one-person-whom-I-happen-to-know-well”) and one of them suggested that perhaps I’m grey-ace or demisexual, both of which could fit me well.
Plus, the terms are ones I’m familiar with, and I’m well aware that asexuality is a v a s t spectrum. It wouldn’t be unheard of for me to switch labels.
BUT there’s something that’s holding me back from them.
Maybe it’s the fact that a while back, one of my flatmates (who is normally the most open-minded and understanding of the bunch when it comes to this) scoffed at the idea of demisexual and said it was just a term for snowflakes.
Maybe it’s the fact that I don’t want to come out again. Explaining asexuality is exhausting enough, but grey-ace or demi? I’m not stupid. I know that all people are going to care about is “Ooh, but who’s the person you’re feeling this for?”
(Spoiler alert: it’s none of your fucking business.)
Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve seen aphobia first-hand. I’ve been told “Oh you’re just a late developer” and all that jazz and I just… I don’t want my experiences to reflect badly on the rest of the ace community? I don’t want people to be able to hold me up as an example and say “Look at this girl! She said she was ace, then decided she wasn’t when she grew up! She was just a special snowflake! Your identity is invalid!”
Absolutely fucking not.
Asexuality is a valid orientation, and just because my personal experiences have ended up this way, it doesn’t mean that all of us are the same. There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING wrong with ace people and you can fight me if you want to try and use me as an example to justify your shitty aphobic arguments.
Honestly? I think I’m just tired of labels. Ace is something I used to describe myself, because I fit into the definition neatly. Now things are more…messy. I don’t want to use a different label, because it means explaining everything to people all over again, and if I’m being totally, totally, honest…
…I just don’t want to get hurt.
I’m confident enough in myself to know how I’m feeling, and that what I’m feeling is valid. I’m aware that people are not static, and that people are allowed to experiment as they like, and that if I wanted to use a different label, I am perfectly within my rights to do so.
All it takes is one person to make an insensitive comment, or dismiss what I’m feeling, and I know exactly how heartbroken I’m going to be. Especially if it’s from someone I care about.
So where does this leave me?
Well, I think the right word to use here is “questioning.” I’m still learning a lot about myself, and all I know for certain right now is that the label of ace doesn’t quite fit me anymore, so I probably won’t be identifying as it from now on.
Will I tell my flatmates? Possibly. One of them will read this probably, so yanno. It’s bound to come up at some point. I’m just not entirely sure how to explain that something I’ve been so adamant about for so long has changed like this.
It’d be nice to hear other people’s stories about questioning, and if/how you went about letting people know – I know it’s kinda a long shot, but has anyone been through something similar?
Lots of love,