Roo is one of the people who reached out to me when I first came up with the idea of starting an asexual blog. When I heard their story, I really wanted to learn more. That’s actually what gave me the inspiration for the whole face of ace initiative. So I hope you are just as excited about this interview as I am!
What labels would you use to describe your sexuality, and what do they mean to you?
Sexuality is complicated. I know that I’m attracted to people (so I’m pan… something…), but never in a sexual way. I only kind of experience romance so I’m grey-romantic. When I think of sex, I think of it kind of like someone describing going for a run. Some people sure do like running. Other people couldn’t even fathom the idea of running. I’m somewhere in the middle. I can imagine running, it looks kind of fun, but there’s nothing in the moment right now that is actively making me want to go for a run. Maybe if I have a friend that very much likes running and I want to spend time with this friend and make them happy then I could be convinced to go for a run. I might enjoy the run since it releases dopamine and kills time, but I’m not heading out to the streets looking for a running partner anytime soon.
How did you find out that you were asexual, and how do you feel about it?
When I was 12, my friends asked me who I liked. I was so confused. Was this the part of puberty where I’m supposed to start liking someone? And so, I had two different experiences growing up. I tried to make myself like people, and often that entailed staring at someone and imagining wanting to have sex with them. Obviously if I like someone then I would want to have sex with them, right? It’s probably not surprising that this never worked out for me, but actually did have almost crushes on people. Because I did have more than platonic (not quite romantic) feelings for certain people I didn’t realize being asexual was an option. I just assumed that the sexual feelings would come as I grew older and that I was just too young to be having those kind of kinds of feelings (let’s ignore the fact that I was well into my teens at this point). Acknowledging that I was asexual – that I am asexual is actually a more recent development. It’s more of realizing that I’m not like a majority of people and that it’s okay to not be like others. If all my friends have straight hair, it’s shocking but really relieving to realize that my curly hair just requires different things and that it’s natural and normal in its own right.
Have you “come out” to any other people in your life? Why or why not?
I come out to a few people but only my best friend really understands it. It’s probably because she is asexual herself. Everyone else kind of looks at me in a way where they’re trying to be reassuring when you aren’t asking to be reassured. The most common responses include “I didn’t experience sexual attraction until I was X years old” or “ I think everyone experiences sexual attraction differently and to different strengths”. And while they’re trying to be supportive, it’s usually more like “ it’s going to be okay; you’re not really asexual” as of being asexual is being broken or something that would resolve itself. As I become more comfortable in being asexual, I become more and more uncomfortable with these types of reassurances.
How has that changed the way you view the world and/or interact with others?
I’m definitely more cautious with how I interact with people. I’m grey-romantic (alterous) so, for me, I don’t experience romantic attraction to the full extent of most people but experience something between romantic and platonic feelings. I’m cautious because I know I won’t be able to offer a lot of people what they need to be fulfilled. The most I experience is a quiet fondness and feeling happy when I’m with the person. I want that kind of relationship where we’re best friends and we rely on each other and we support each other in everything that we do. I want someone with whom I could be the best of friends with. A committed friendship. A QPR. I wouldn’t mind if I could have multiple of these kinds of relationships and I don’t mind if these people seek other relationships because I know, especially if they are romantic, that I might not be able to give them everything that they want in a relationship. As long as we’re both happy and no one’s neglected, then that’s okay.
Have you ever tried dating as an asexual? What have your experiences been like?
Yes and no. Dating is awkward. The most I felt in terms of connection was when I was just hanging out with friends. On proper formal dates, I’ve always just felt awkward. Not the kind of awkward where you’re like “oh wow, here is this person I barely know and we’re at this place and I hope everything goes well”. It’s the kind of awkward where you know people are speaking another language and they’re probably speaking about you but you have no idea what they’re saying and so you politely wait for the conversation to be over while you’re also there in the room. It’s that kind of feeling. I’m definitely the kind of person who needs to be on friendly first before I could even entertain alterous feelings.