Friday, September 18, 2009

I Think We're Alone Now

One thing I learned from being asexual is that you're not the only one. No matter what it is, you're not alone in it. Since I realized this, I've been able to be more open (for better or worse) about how I feel and what I experience, because I know that someone, somewhere (if not the person I'm directly talking to) is just waiting for that subject to be shared.

But I also learned that you can still feel isolated even while you know you're not alone. After I realized I was asexual, I found many other groups of people that showed me I wasn't the only one. I found everyone from people who share my obscure learning disability to volunteer coordinators just as frustrated and neglected as I am. I found all these people through the internet, books, and in one case, a story from a third person: "Yeah, this guy I lived with graduated from your school, and sold used cars but hated it, so he quit and now he's been unemployed for a year...". It's interesting how at least in my experience, discovering these "people like me" is a big comfort in the beginning. But over time, as I rarely or never actually meet these people, it fades. Unless I do real-world, concrete stuff with them, their impact on my life (and presumably, mine on theirs) will become negligible with the passage of time.

It's easy to find people just like you online, sometimes in great numbers. But at least for me, these people have the least presence where I need them most-- in (what Douglas Rushkoff calls) "the former real world". As far as asexuality goes, I'm sure that comparatively, I see more asexuals in FRL than most. But am I committing some cardinal sin (like a sort of relationship-based gluttony) by saying, it's not enough? To me, seeing other asexuals is still a special, out of the ordinary experience. Can my asexuality ever seem totally normal and everyday as long as that remains the case?


Tomatl said...

I totally feel you sister. Cake? (If only that helped).

pretzelboy said...

With regard to meeting asexuals in RL (or FRL), I think it will remain "out of the ordinary" as long as...well, as long as it's something we have to go to great lengths to do and don't do often.

But really, we probably meet other asexuals more more often than we think--we just don't know that they're asexual and they don't know that we're asexual. Before I discovered asexuality, I figured that there had to be others "like me" (though I wasn't really sure what that meant), and I figured that there was a good chance that I had met plenty, or at least some. But, like me, they probably just kept quiet about it for fear of misunderstandings or disbelief, or because they simply didn't have the vocabulary to describe it.

Ily said...

Mmm, cake! *chomps*
It's definitely true that we encounter asexual people without knowing it. But the probability of having someone close to you, even a acquaintance (versus passing a stranger on the street) who is randomly asexual isn't that great, unless asexuals attract other asexuals. If we're really 1, 2, or 3 in 100, you'd have to be acquainted with a lot of people in order to get to another asexual. I've only encountered two, maybe three people over the years that set my a-dar off (whose sexuality I didn't know). I guess taking all this into account it's a wonder we've been able to connect as much as we have.
Okay, long comment :-)

Noskcaj Llahsram said...

I Think its great that you're able to find those like you where you live, where I live, it the most small townish big city I can think of, I am constantly surprised by how normal everyone is, forget asexuals, there's hardly anyone that does anything out of the normal, only like 12 people actually do Parkour, maybe another 12 play warhammer, and forget a sport other then Hockey, football, soccer, baseball, basketball, lacrosse, and skateboarding (and similar). There's practically no local music 'scene', only derivative and contrived stuff. Its so frustrating sometimes to feel like the only unmedicated nut in the asylum. It just feels like there should be subculture, of any kind, to a city this size

.::STELLA*DELLA::. said...

Well Im 20 and i havent had sex with a male or female and ive began to wonder if im an Asexual. I would love a relationship, but I know no man or woman would stick around with me and there is no sex. Not another Asexual, but a normal gay or bisexual or heterosexual person. Ive been reading your blog and this is great stuff. I really am feeling a lot clearer on it and thinking I may actually be one. Ive just never met another in real life. I used to think people just said that to be funny until i was like 17 and I saw a special on it on the A AND E Channel.

I dont have any Asexual friends that I know of. Everyone has sex but me it seems and they all wonder why I dont but Its a few reasons, but mainly, Im not ready for that and I dont want to deal with the thought of it.

Email me sometime LLy.


Ily said...

Hey Della! I was 20 when I first found out about asexuality, too. I never (knowingly) met another asexual until I went to an AVEN meetup. It's not like asexuality is something that often comes up in conversation, so it can be really hard to meet other asexuals unless you look for them specifically. You're in Raleigh? That's not exactly the middle of nowhere, there would probably be some others from your area on AVEN. I think it would be awesome to date another asexual person, but I don't know how to find a sexual person I'm compatible with, let alone an asexual person! If you want, you can email me at sanfranciscoemily [at] gmail [dot] com.