Per the author’s request, I am keeping the author of this article anonymous. Hopefully, this person’s experience with asexuality can help you understand sexual orientation on a broad spectrum instead of the boxes we are taught sexuality should be placed in.
About two years ago, I discovered there was a color everyone could see that I was blind to. You can imagine my frustration, growing up uncomfortable surrounded by this color everyone loved. People described it as so beautiful and incredible, and I thought maybe I would see it when I got older and was ready.
But it was everywhere—in books, movies, and TV. This “something” everyone was experiencing that I couldn’t see surrounded me. I noticed people obsessed with it, exploiting it, seeking it where they shouldn’t, bringing it into every conversation, and flooding reality with its shades. Eventually I wondered if I even wanted to see this color. But I’m realizing and trying to accept that I will never see it, even if I wanted to.
The color is one on the sexuality spectrum. The color is sex, and I’m asexual. I discovered this word two years ago by chance, and I’ve been trying to figure it out ever since.
My sexuality, or lack of one as I like to say, seems to come up in my life more than I thought it would. This can sometimes be exhausting since it is a constant reminder of what I’m missing. However, sometimes I appreciate this reminder of my uniqueness and value the time I have to think deeply about it. This piece of me shows itself in some of my favorite things including how I see my body, the clothes I wear, music I listen to, and my interactions with others.
Fashion and body image
Fashion is one of my top interests. I often think about how my style and sexuality correlate, especially now that my sexuality has opened up so much freedom for me in how I present myself. Growing up uncomfortable with sexualized female clothing options, I would be so lost in finding clothing that I could wear and feel comfortable in. It was really disappointing as someone growing into a woman, something so sexualized everywhere. That fact was a daunting threat lingering deep inside of me, waiting to inevitably come out when I went to the pool as a third grader in a one-piece and shorts when everyone was wearing two-pieces. I had always wondered why girls stuffed their bras while I tried to hide my body under sweatshirts.
I never understood why I hated my body so much until I realized I was asexual. When I came to this realization, I was liberated from the world owning my body. It was then that I realized my body wasn’t inherently sexual. It was then that I responded with a confident, “I love having small boobs,” when my friends complained theirs weren’t big enough. And this freedom found its expression in my style as I fortunately became confident enough to not give a damn. I figured if I’m not ok with how sexist fashion can be, I would do my own thing and see clothes as free as I am. I use my clothes to express my artistic style, whether that means wearing a thrifted funky men’s long sleeve shirt, or a shiny party dress. I would describe my style as gender-neutral and free. Asexuality sounds as weird and different as my style looks.
Music is a huge part of my life. It’s how I connect with people, and one of my favorite hobbies is finding new artists and sounds. That being said, it is very clear to me as an asexual person that a lot of music is about love. However, as our society becomes more sexually free, music is too, which makes a lot of today’s music about sex. I’ve given myself room for confusion on this subject. For example, I will allow myself to feel that uncomfortableness listening to intensely sexual song lyrics around a catchy beat, and choose not to listen them. I also let myself sing loud and enjoy my favorite songs, even if they’re clearly about sex. At that point, I think it becomes less about the meaning and more about the sound.
My best friend once told me the simplest fact that love does not equal sex. I think this is true, but I do understand that people generally expect that level of intimacy at some point in their romantic relationship.
I think it takes a level of respect and maturity to be with someone who is asexual. It forces you to get to know the person for everything else they are. It forces you to be extremely unselfish and patient because being asexual doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll never have sex.
Basically, 99 percent of the population is custom to something I’m not. They see a color I can’t see, which is a struggle I’m going to have to deal with and work to try to get over. I’d be lying if I said this was easy, and the truth is I haven’t accepted myself for this.
This is a strength of mine when it comes to my friendships. Since I place so much value on friendships, I put a lot of effort into being a strong loyal friend. Being the way I am has given me a lot of freedom to give genuine love to my people, and I’m grateful for that. My friends are among the most important things in my life and I would do anything for them.
If you’ve made it this far, welcome to my inner contemplations. I definitely don’t speak for all asexuals. However, I love sharing my experience while I figure out myself.