My name is Aislynn, but my friends call me Ace. It’s kinda funny, because I got that nickname long before I knew the word asexual (many asexuals refer to themselves as ‘Aces’, as an abbreviation). I discovered asexuality.org about 3 months ago.
Allow me to clarify: an asexual is someone who does not experience sexual attraction. For me personally, I identify as hetero-romantic asexual. This basically mean’s that I am completely capable of falling in love with a boy, but I have no desire to express that love sexually. When I discovered asexuality.org and AVEN, I read every article, website and blog I could find about asexuality. It was like I had finally found home after being lost for so long.
I never struggled with my sexuality, or lack thereof, but it has put me in some weird situations. Our culture is so wrapped up in sex and sexuality; in my opinion, it sometimes complicates relationships in unnecessary ways. When I think about love and romance, I don’t think of sex as a necessary part of that equation. It’s a difficult concept for many people to understand. Because my brain separates love and sex as two different things, I often fail to represent myself fairly, because what is all very innocent in my head, might come out as completely inappropriate to a sexual person. This sometimes gets me in trouble, but so far, it’s made for some comical stories.
For a long time, before I had the words to articulate the fact that I am not interested in sex, many friends and family members just assumed that I was repressing homosexuality. When I was younger, I was really bothered by this assumption, mostly because no one talked to me about it; they just talked behind my back. Now I’m older, I don’t care so much. Admittedly I am not a girly girl, and I find it difficult to meet guys. Also, I totally don’t pick up on signals that I’m being hit on.
Like I said before, being asexual has caused me to accidently get into some awkward situations; I guess I’m a bit naive at times. For example, one night I went to meet my sister at a concert. The show was being held at an outside venue that was the back yard of a restaurant. I got there really early, so I decided to get some food before the show, while I waited for my sister. There was a girl sitting there waiting for a table. They called her name first, and she asked if I’d like to join her since we were both alone. I said yes, thinking to myself “this is why I love Austin, Texas – everyone here is so friendly”.
Much to my chagrin, I had unwittingly agreed to a dinner date with a lesbian. Ooops! I can laugh about it now, but at the same time I feel bad for unintentionally being a tease. I had to have an awkward conversation during the meal, explaining that I wasn’t interested in being anything more than friends. Thankfully she was very kind about the whole thing.
I am not ashamed of being asexual. I don’t feel broken or like anything is wrong with me. I am careful how I approach that with different people. There are a lot of negative stereotypes and misconceptions about asexuals, but we aren’t weird, anti-social cat ladies or anything like that. I love hanging out with friends, going to concerts, and movies in the park. My social calendar is actually really full. I am not currently dating anyone, and it’s complicated trying to find someone who is ok with being with an asexual. That’s not to say that asexuals don’t have sex, but it’s just not a priority and that can be problematic in this highly sexual culture we live in. I hope that one day my prince will come, but until then, I am really happy with my wacky life.
For more information on asexuality, see www.asexuality.org
Words and images: Aisylnn Giotis