Hello everyone! Welcome back to Let’s Talk About Asexuality – my five day blog series all about asexuality! I kicked off the series yesterday by introducing the blog series and talking about several terms you will hear in relation to asexuality. I highly recommend you check out that post by clicking here before continuing on with today’s post!
As you can tell by the title, Day 2 is all about my personal experience with asexuality. Since I will be joined by guests sharing their experiences on days 3 and 4 of Let’s Talk About Asexuality, I wanted to share mine as well. I’ve never shared all of this at once with anyone so I am a bit nervous, but I’m mostly excited!
In case you’re new to my blog, let me start with a quick introduction. Hello! My name is Brooke, I’m 21 years old, and I started Brooke’s Books in April of 2015. I’ve been an avid reader all my life and I’m extremely passionate about books. If I wasn’t involved in the online book community (in particular Twitter), I probably wouldn’t have known that asexuality is a thing and that I’m asexual myself. At the very least, I would have gone longer without knowing this vital part of myself. I created this series because I want to spread awareness of asexuality to people who may fall on the asexual spectrum and don’t know it yet and also to help people who aren’t asexual understand what asexuality truly is.
Like I mentioned earlier, I’m going to be having a lot of ace-spec guests on my blog this week to share their experiences and thoughts as ace-spec people. Since they’re going to be sharing, I wanted to make sure I talked about my experiences as well. Like I mentioned yesterday, I first heard of the word “asexual” as a sexual orientation last year during Asexuality Awareness Week. Apparently I follow a lot of ace-spec people or allies of ace-spec people, because my Twitter timeline was flooded enough with people talking about asexuality that I got curious and started researching.
When I first saw the definition of asexuality (“someone who doesn’t experience sexual attraction”), I didn’t have an AH-HA! moment like so many other people seemed to have had. I was just mostly confused. I remember thinking I couldn’t be asexual because I have had crushes all my life. And right there is one of biggest misconceptions people (like my naive self) have had/still have about asexuality. There are many types of attraction – sexual, romantic, aesthetic to name a few – and the only thing you’re required to not experience (or rarely experience) in order to identify as asexual is sexual attraction. But at that point, I didn’t know that.
So for the next few months, I kept researching and thinking and researching and thinking. I followed a lot of ace people on Twitter and read their threads about asexuality, I watched videos on Youtube of people talking about their experiences, I spent a lot of time reading blog posts and forums and articles, etc. Still, even after all that, I wasn’t 100% sure if I was actually asexual. Finally, after literally having a dream where I yelled “I’m asexual!” at someone, I came out to myself in February of this year. That dream was my true AH-HA! moment. I finally understood that I’ve never actually experienced sexual attraction – it was all romantic and aesthetic attraction.
After coming out to myself, I knew I wanted to come out on Twitter. The book community on Twitter (for the most part) is extremely wonderful and supportive. I knew the best place to come out first would be there. To test the waters, I first came out to my friends in our DM group chat and they were so supportive and amazing that I felt comfortable enough to add my sexual orientation to my Twitter bio. Since then, I’ve been very open about being asexual on Twitter and I love connecting with others on the ace spectrum!
Following this great experience, I knew I wanted to come out to my best friend but I didn’t know how. When I came out on Twitter, all I had to say was, “I’m asexual.” But with my best friend – who I was 99.9% certain had no idea what that asexuality is – I would have to have a longer discussion. I knew she was very supportive of the LGBTQIA+ community and I was pretty sure she would accept me, but I was just nervous about having to explain things and I was worried she wouldn’t truly understand. While I don’t think she completely understands what being asexual is really like – only because she hasn’t lived it herself – coming out to her went extremely well! She was SO supportive and understanding!! I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders and I went to bed that night with a huge smile on my face (I know that’s pretty cheesy, but it’s true!). This was the first and only time I came out to someone in real life and it took place about 4 or 5 months after I realized I was ace.
When it comes to coming out to anyone else in real life (i.e. my close family), I don’t really know what I’m going to do about that yet. I feel very conflicted. While my aceness is a huge part of me that I want to share with the people I love, I don’t think anyone in my family would really understand it. I feel like they would say things like, “You just haven’t met someone yet” or “You’re still young. You’ll change your mind.” But me being ace and also disinterested in sex is something that influences a lot of my decisions, thoughts, and viewpoints. For example, a big part of why I don’t want to get pregnant “the natural way” is that I’d have to have sex to do so (which I really, really don’t want to do). I have shared with my family members that I have no interest in being pregnant, but I’ve only shared a different (but still true) reason why. Another example is how uncomfortable I feel whenever anything sex-related is talked about in relation to me. For so long this has made me extremely uncomfortable, but I didn’t know why. Now that I know that’s just how I am and that it’s normal, I just want to blurt it out to the person so that they’ll stop making me feel uncomfortable. However, I’m worried they won’t understand and they’ll make me feel strange or abnormal. So, I’m pretty much in a lose-lose situation.
I definitely do want to eventually come out to my mom though because she and I are very close and she knows pretty much everything else about me. But, I know she doesn’t understand many LGBTQIAP+ related things. She understands what lesbian/gay means but the other letters? She’s pretty much lost. So if I do come out to her, it would be an extremely long vocabulary explanation and at the end, she still might not understand. I’m worried it might make our relationship different or make her feel differently towards me.
Seeing Myself in a Book
I didn’t know how much I needed the ace part of me to be represented in a book until I read Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee in June of this year. It was so amazing to read about Tash, who is asexual and disinterested in sex just like I am. Tash and I shared a lot of the same thoughts, feelings, and worries, and it was so validating to see someone else experiencing the same things as I am and thriving! Another reason why I’ll be forever thankful for this book is that seeing how supportive and understanding Tash’s friends were about her being asexual gave me the extra push I needed to come out to my best friend! I probably would have gone several more months without telling her, but Tash Hearts Tolstoy gave me the courage to come out shortly after finishing the book!
While I’ve had some worries about what being asexual might mean for me, I’m overall ecstatic that I’ve found this other wonderful part of myself that I didn’t know about! I love that there’s an awesome, supportive community of people just like me and I absolutely loved seeing a character like myself in a YA book.
Stay tuned for Day 3 of Let’s Talk About Asexuality where I’ll be joined by several people from the book community to learn about their experiences with asexuality!
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