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Life as an ace

One of the most talked about subjects at the moment is sexuality. Though varying sexualities are highlighted a lot in the media, be it through shows or films, it’s difficult for me to relate to a lot of the love stories that I come across, whether they be reality-based or fictitious.

Since I was about 19 years old, I started to identify myself as an Asexual. It was a confusing time for me and I didn’t understand why I didn’t feel physically attracted to anyone. Everyone else my age was being sexually intimate, experimenting, but the whole concept of sharing my body with someone frightened me. I put it down to nerves and assumed it was ordinary. Yet, whenever peers would mention how hot a celebrity was, or how cute the emo boy who walked by in his MCR hoodie and eyeliner was, I would feel disjointed. I didn’t know how to join in with the subject. I felt odd. I felt weird. It left me with a lot of insecurities and an urge to just ‘be normal’.

For a lot of my youth I was pressured into kissing someone, however I refused to give into peer pressure, but the feeling of being abnormal and different was still there. My first kiss wasn’t until college and I’m pretty sure it was just to get that first stage of something intimate out of the way. My first ever sexual experience was void of kissing and was with a female. During this time I thought of myself as a lesbian. Yet, it still did not make sense to me. I still did not feel that sense of belonging. I felt odd. My attraction wasn’t looks based, I noticed. I developed affections for those who were close to me, to those I was friends with. I didn’t care what they looked like, on any scale. To me they were the most beautiful thing I’d ever come across.

As quickly as I came out of the closet, I soon entered it again. I had no idea what to associate as. Why was this important? Because it made dating hard. I couldn’t automatically connect with a potential partner and when they would lean in to kiss me I would pull away. I was making people feel rejected and it was becoming increasingly difficult to explain that the reason I didn’t find them attractive (thus had no urge to kiss them) was because I didn’t know their personality. It was slightly easier to associate as bisexual, but again, dating was still difficult.

As I got older, the feeling of loneliness and further isolation would bother me. I was diagnosed with anxiety as the desire to fit in, yet not be able to do so, deeply affected me. I longed for companionship, for romance, but didn’t know how the go about it. The ability to self please was not within me either (no pun intended). I remember a conversation with the doctor and the same one with the counsellor, begging to be fixed. Begging to be normal. It wasn’t until I had explored the internet that I finally found a label I could place on myself, a society of which I could belong. My desire to have sex was based on pleasing my partner, I had to have that emotional connection there.

To be exact, I fit within the realm of demisexuality, which falls within the spectrum of asexuality. I do have a sex drive, but it can only be fulfilled once I’m attached to someone and only by that person to which I’m attached. I’m sure that this is considered a taboo subject by many and I still suffer jokes about not being able to reproduce by myself and therefore not being a true asexual. I struggle to find inclusion within the LGBT community. My first sexual experience with a male wasn’t exactly voluntary and people are quick to jump to the conclusion that that is why I am ace. But sexuality is not a choice and no traumatic event can alter it to that degree.

I have dated people who have associated themselves as heterosexual, bisexual and lesbian, yet with each one it has been a struggle to get an even playing field, or even the absolute understanding that is needed to make a relationship last. As sweet, or endearing as some of them have been it’s been difficult to get the appreciation of just how my sexuality works across. It’s emotion-based and when I’m hurt I feel it more than I think most people do, since the entire relationship for me is completely based on feelings.

Even now, despite all the education, the persistence of ignorance in a generation that has the Internet at its fingertips, identifying as asexual can still feel as lonely as hell.

Comments

  • Amy Tocknell says:

    Thanks for sharing Rosemarie. This was a really eye-opening article and it makes me wonder if any of my friends were going through anything similar as we grew up.xx

    • Rosemarie Gibson Rosemarie Gibson says:

      Thank you! I know that even as an adult it can be difficult trying to identify with a sexuality, and it seems more prominent of an issue if you actually long for romance and companionship. I’m sure there are many people who felt similarly when growing up, as I’m sure some young un’s feel even now – even more of a reason why I find it significant to highlight asexuality and those of which fall upon the spectrum :)

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