April 6th was International Asexuality Day, and this year marks its 3rd year of recognition. I don't know how long Asexual Awareness Week has been around, but these events have left me really ecstatic. However, deep down...I'm also pretty bitter, despite being an asexual person myself.
I've been wanting to talk about my feelings about these asexuality awareness events for a while, but never really found the right place to write them down. Tumblr and Twitter are a bit too public, and there are also plenty of users who are quick to judge and accuse others of gate-keeping or being any kind of "-phobic" under the sun. Writing my feelings down in a private journal should have helped, but I feel like I'm forced to stay silent about topics that are important to me. So...Neocities it is! This will either end well or in scorching flames, but we'll just have to see!
Short history lesson about myself. I am Catholic, and as such, I grew up in a conservative but relatively open-minded household. My parents encouraged my sister and me to practice abstinence. My sister, like every normal teenager, had a difficult time resisting these urges. Me? I was fine. I remember my sister pointing out that once I reached her age, I'd have those urges too. I was 18, and she was 20. Years passed by and I still never had a sexual partner, engaged in any sexual activities at all, or had any interest in having sex. I pretended that I was proud to be different, but deep down I felt like something was wrong with me. Fast forward a few years and I find out about "asexuality" and that it fit me to a "t". To be specific, I realized I was a sex-repulsed (different from sex-negative) asexual person.
I felt pretty validated for a while until I would I recently saw people adding "UMMMM ACE PEOPLE HAVE SEX, TOO!!!!" whenever a post is written about asexual people. I'm sure there were good intentions for this since, for a long time, there were assumptions that asexual people never have or want sex which is, of course, untrue. There's a reason why it's called the "ace spectrum" after all. Heck, it's because of these comments that I learned that asexual people can indeed engage in sexual activities if they wanted to. They are still ace and no one should say otherwise. However, I feel like constantly adding in "ace people have sex too!!!" not only throws sex-repulsed asexual people under the bus, but also contributes to a relatively harmful mindset of what a "normal" sexual lifestyle should be. If gay, sapphic, bi, pan, and even asexual people can and should have sex...where does that leave me? Is there really something wrong with me?
Of course not, but seeing these additions so frequently certainly made me feel like it, and I'm not the only one who noticed it either. My wife once made a post before deleting it of how adding in these statements so often made her feel like she's not a real asexual because she doesn't like sex. Some agreed (including myself) and some disagreed. Those who disagreed (including one of my good friends) accused her of gate-keeping. In fact, that very same friend accused me of gate-keeping and blocked me without any question. No civil discussion between two adults, despite us having known each other for nearly 10 years.
That left us pretty depressed and bitter for a while. Needless to say, we felt like we were outcasts...in our own community, no less! For a community that strives to be accepting and welcoming to every one with all kinds of sexual lifestyles, I guess an asexual person not having or wanting a sexual lifestyle at all would get their asexual card revoked? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
It's gotten better since we were able to talk to some other good friends who listened and understood what we went through. Some of our friends weren't even in the ace spectrum, but they still supported us. It might take us a while to fully overcome this bitter resentment, but hey, some progress is better than no progress! I hope to be able to fully embrace my identity as a sex-repulsed asexual.
That's it for now, thanks for reading! I want to make it clear that if you are asexual and you do engage in sexual activity and enjoy it, you're valid and amazing. But...maybe you can also show your support to those who don't engage in it at all? That would be nice. :'3