Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Traumarama? Not!

People often ask why an "asexual identity" is necessary. I always thought it was important for the purpose of finding others like ourselves. Sharing an identity makes this possible. And it was a gut feeling, too. Not identifying as asexual made me feel like I was in massive denial. Like an attraction you can't resist, I had to give in to it. I'm glad I did.
But I just realized that there's another reason why I'm glad I decided to identify as asexual. I can finally be honest about things in my life without being embarrassed. When I thought I was heterosexual, I was mortified that I'd never kissed anyone. Now, I can say with absolutely no embarrassment that I haven't kissed anyone in about 4 years (I once had a friend bemoan the fact that she hadn't made out with anyone in 2 months-- I felt pretty dern left out of that conversation). I haven't had a crush on anyone in about 4 years either (sadly, those were not the same people) and I've only been on 2 "real" dates. I've never had a boyfriend or girlfriend, etc. It's because I'm asexual, not because I'm the universe's idea of a bad joke. It isn't a personal flaw. I'm not a "bad heterosexual", I'm something else. And hopefully, being able to be open about this will help convince younger folks that, asexual or not, there's absolutely nothing wrong with their never-been-kissed selves.

9 comments:

pretzelboy said...

I know what you mean. Since identifying as asexual, there is a sense of freedom in being able to admit things and not feel like we need to be ashamed of them. I particularly like being able to find many sexual jokes simply not funny (or that I don't have to pretend like I understand the joke, in some cases) and not feel bad about it. I also think that one thing asexuals have to offer to everyone else is the message that non-asexuals shouldn't feel like there's something wrong with them if they've never kissed someone, had a significant other, had sex, etc.

The Impossible K said...

So true, so true...

I remember when a friend told me she'd never been kissed (we were both 21 at the time) and instantly thinking "Cool! Me too!" - but before I could get too giddy, she started complaining. I didn't understand why- and suddenly I felt alienated all over again.
When I found AVEN, I got that giddy feeling back - I finally feel like there are people who understand - and that is one HUGE advantage to identifying as asexual. I don't have any problem being myself, but it definitely helps to feel like you can express that without getting weird looks.

Ily said...

Woot! I'm glad y'all can relate.

Mary said...

Erm . . . there's nothing wrong with a heterosexual (or a homosexual or a bisexual or a lemonsexual) who's never been kissed. It doesn't make them "bad."
Honestly, I think everyone should have sex once--under the right circumstances, of course--just so they know that it's honestly no big deal. When you've never had sex, it's built up into this huge cultural neurosis where you DO feel bad, flawed, unnatural, yadda yadda. Truth is, you're the exact same person whether you're getting it on or not--it doesn't make you cooler, prettier, smarter, or more sophisticated.

birdnerd said...

Once again, you've said it very well - I used to feel like a "bad heterosexual." And agreed on not having to find sexual jokes funny. Although I'm at a point now where I'm out to enough of my friends that my asexuality is part of the joke too. They don't mind my queering things up, and there's a sort of freedom in not having to clam up in those situations to "prove" that I'm different.

And those who have never been kissed, don't worry. You're not missing much. If it never happens again, I'll die happy.

Ily said...

Just wanted to clarify to Mary: I don't think not being kissed makes you "bad"! No no no!...those things should never be related. But when sexual stuff is built up, like you said, as such a major rite of passage, people are made to feel badly when they haven't had those experiences. Now that we're older, we know better. I don't think sex should be some big deal, either. But as a teenager, I thought not being kissed (I wasn't even thinking about sex) was this horrible thing. No one should have to feel that way, I think.
I can't agree that everyone should have sex-- most aces are indifferent to it already. Sexual people freaking out about it might be a different story, I don't know. But I agree that you should do what you can to diffuse all the hype around it. As I like to say, if you're just having sex for research purposes, you're probably asexual. :-)

Mary said...

I don't think at all that people who don't want to have sex should--doing it just to have done it would probably be boring at best and traumatic at worst. But like I said, it just ain't that big a deal. (Of course, easy for me to say . . .)

Ily said...

Ha, Mary, I thought that was the case...I know you're a sensible sort. I think we're finally on the same page. :-)

Superquail said...

When I was in eighth grade and my sister was in high school, my mother made fun of us for not having boyfriends. She made it clear that she saw this as a failure on our part. Then we got boyfriends, and she called us sluts.

My mother is a bitch, but she is also a manifestation of the society at large. When it comes to sex, the puritan in us all says "Never do it ever or you're a bad person!" but then the marketing side says "If you're not fucking every day of the week, you're missing out on all the fun!"

So what gives?

Whatever a person's orientation or sexuality, peace of mind will only come when you accept yourself the way you are and by your own definition, and not by anyone else's.