It took me a long time to actually be okay with saying that I was asexual. Maybe because I was trying to come to terms with it, or maybe because I was scared. I still am. I haven’t come out to anyone that isn’t an online friend or acquaintance.
I’m someone that flirts a lot without even realizing it. I’m someone that makes a lot of sex jokes. Yes, it’s possible. We exist.
Since I was around twelve, my friends started to date people and participate in, apparently, normal teenage things, while I was way more interested in, well, anything else. Even the grass that grows on the sidewalks was more interesting than the conversations they had sometimes about some things they wish to do (sexual things).
I decided then to learn the most I could about sex, to be able to joke around with them as if I wanted to do those things. I didn’t. It got to the point where I searched porn. I hated it. I do read smut, some that doesn’t make me want to curl up into a little ball on the floor.
I thought that maybe I was just not old enough, or mature enough to want that. That may be when I was older I would understand them.
At fourteen I heard the term asexual. It wasn’t online or anything, it came out of the mouth of a friend. Yes, friend, because it was supposed to be a joke and I took it as that. I laughed too, at the time, not understanding that maybe he was right without even knowing. The word came up because I said I wasn’t interested in that sort of thing because I allowed myself to forget for just a moment that not everyone is like me, that most of them were already interested in sex.
It took about two more years for the term to appear in my life again. This time online. I decided to read more about it because I was curious. And that was when it clicked. It made so much sense.
That was me. I wasn’t a late bloomer, it was normal for people to just not be interested. I wasn’t broken, I was normal. Which was, for the first time in about four years, something I felt. I felt normal.
I kept that to myself. That term was mine to know, and only mine, and I was afraid that if I told someone,they would make jokes, tell me there was no such thing as asexuality. That I should see a therapist.
I think that keeping quiet hurts more than not knowing. Or maybe it hurt just the same. Either way, it was complicated and hard for me to keep my identity just for myself. Just the year before I had thought I was bisexual and told an online friend (that was super supportive) and all of a sudden I realize that maybe I was ace. I changed my label after finding out about it, and I changed it again recently when I realized that I was demiromantic. And all those times, finding out about myself, it wasn’t just something that made me happy, it also terrified me.
What if people break up with me because I don’t want to have sex? What if I lose the person “I’m supposed to be with” because of this?
I eventually told that same online friend of my discovery. She took it super well and told me to talk to someone that was also asexual about it. Which was what I did.
All of them took me in and made me feel even more comfortable about this. Telling someone I trusted and talking to other people who felt like I did make that fear of not being able to find someone in the future diminish. It was still there, it is still there, but it’s not as much as it used to be.
If I could go back in time and tell twelve-year-old me what I know today, I don’t think I would. Because that would mean she wouldn’t go through all that “oh, that’s me” phases I went through, she would skip right to the “should I tell people about this?” and I don’t think that would be fair. Because to this day, when I’m feeling down, I remind myself of the day I found out that was asexual. That happiness that lasted for a long time, that makes me so happy.
I went through a lot during those years of thinking I was just not old enough or mature enough to want what everyone else seemed to want. I was sad, and hurt myself because I thought I was broken beyond fixing. But no, there was a name for what I felt, for who I am.
So maybe that’s what I would tell twelve-year-old me. That everything will make sense one day, that what she should be worrying about is school and that math test that she’ll have Thursday. Because it was around that age that my grades started to get worst because I was too worried about other things that weren’t school. Sometimes, fixating on labels or not knowing what we’re feeling makes it so hard to focus on something like school. This sort of thing should be taught in schools so that students could understand that if they feel different it doesn’t automatically mean they are late bloomers. It can mean that, but it might not be that.
And that’s what I would like people to know. You’re not too young to question who you are. If you are ready to question your sexuality, then you can use whatever label you want. If you feel comfortable with that label, use it. If you feel that label suits you, use it. It doesn’t matter how old you are. You can be twelve, eighteen, twenty-five or forty or even older.
My experience doesn’t define everyone, obviously. Some asexuals have sex, some are repulsed by it, there are also people in the spectrum that only feel sexual attraction when they have a bond with that person. Everything is okay.
And maybe today you feel like one label suits you, and tomorrow or any other day you feel like it doesn’t suit you anymore and you want to change. Then do it. You don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. Maybe an asteroid is going to wipe us out as it did with the dinosaurs. So why not use a label that you feel is you. Do it. That’s basically my life motto. I go by it.
And it changed my life. It can change yours too. :)