A lack of experiencing sexual attraction is the only thing that all asexuals have in common. That s what the definition of asexuality is. But that definition doesn t help people who are trying to figure out if they re asexual. It s a definition through negation, which isn t useful if you re not sure what s being negated. It s like saying You re unxonoxian if you ve never seen a xonox. How are you supposed to know if you ve never seen a xonox, when you have absolutely no idea what a xonox is? Maybe you ve seen one, but just didn t know that s what it was called. So you ask someone how to know if you ve seen a xonox, and the best answer they can give is Well, if you ve seen a xonox, you d know.
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Because of this, figuring out if you re really asexual can be a challenge. How do you know if you ve never felt sexual attraction when you re not sure what sexual attraction even is, and no one can satisfactorily explain it to you? What I ve found is that most asexuals don t come to the realization that they re ace from reading that definition. Instead, they read what someone else wrote on a blog or in forum posts, or they see a news article or YouTube video on asexuality and think, That person just described me. Even though a lack of sexual attraction is the only thing all asexuals have in common, there are clusters of shared experiences, similar things that some asexuals have felt.
It s these shared experiences which often make people come to realize that they re asexual. In this series of posts, I m going to explore some of them. (Please note: These aren’t universal ace traits, so don’t worry if you don’t fit into them all. I haven t even experienced all of these myself.
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This shouldn t be looked at like a checklist or “Am I Asexual? ” test or anything like that. You can still be asexual even if you ve experienced none of the things on this list and you may not be asexual even if you ve experienced most of them. There’s no diagnostic test to confirm if you’re asexual, there’s no twenty-seven point checklist, and you don’t have to pass an initiation or be referred by someone who’s already in the club. The only person who can truly diagnose your sexual orientation is you.
Also, I want to note that these thoughts or experiences should not be taken as some sort of manifesto of the unquestioned and unified belief system of all asexuals. They re not necessarily the right experiences or the wrong experiences, and certainly, some of them may be misguided or born out of ignorance. I am writing about them here because some asexuals have passed through these thoughts on their way to discovering their identity, and I felt it was important to mention them for those people still making the journey and who may currently be thinking the same thoughts. )In this first installment, I m going to talk mostly about personal thoughts, thoughts about yourself and your identity. When thinking about activities you d like to do with a romantic interest, sex rarely makes the list.
You might not catch the punchline to a dirty joke, because you re not operating in that frame of reference. When other people start talking about sex, you have to take a second to remember that other people think about that sort of thing. When you hear that old statistic that people think about sex every seven seconds, you only think about how wrong that statistic is. You realize that everyone else thinks about sex in a completely different manner than you do. One day, I was talking with a friend about some sex scene on a TV show I d seen the day before.
I was trying to figure out the positioning and mechanics of what was supposedly going on because it didn t make sense to me. As the conversation went on, it became apparent that I was focused on the wrong thing, that it wasn t meant to be about the impossible and/or uncomfortable contortions required to make the scene believable, it was meant to be about the sex.