Asexuality as a label

I think asexuality is something that dawned on me very slowly over the years. I knew that I didn’t like the idea of relationships. I didn’t hate sex, but I hated everything that went with it, especially dating, relationships, and all the emotional stuff involved with it. I was vaguely annoyed at other people, who seemed like they made bad decisions because of being caught up in things like relationships. Other people seemed to base their whole lives around these things, and I didn’t see the appeal. The idea of having to deal with somebody, day in and day out, and tell them I loved them and put up with their crap, and maybe have kids and have to deal with them everyday, all of this sounded nightmarish to me.

I don’t much care that relationships are important to other people; I just don’t like that people seem to think they should be important to me, or that, because they aren’t, there must be something wrong with me. No, I just value different things. Seeing as there are lots of unwanted kids out there, it would be silly to expect every adult to go on having kids, even if they don’t want them. I don’t understand why anyone should feel obligated to have kids or be in a relationship. If they are in a relationship or want kids, then great, they should have kids. I don’t see a problem with the idea that folks who don’t want kids may choose not to have them, though. The expectations of family and society just don’t make a whole lot of sense to me most of the time. “When are you going to get married?” people ask me. Or, “When are you going to have kids?” The answer to both of these questions is “never.” And furthermore, it’s because I don’t want to, and would be profoundly unhappy with the situation if I ever did either. People often fail to realize that, just because they want something for themselves, doesn’t mean every other person on earth wants the exact same thing.

Labels can be problematic, but the label of asexuality has been very liberating for me. Suddenly, the way I feel about things makes sense. Other people feel that way, too. I have a libido, albeit a small one, but it’s just not directed at people. I’m not attracted to men or women physically. I can find them aesthetically pleasing, but seeing them naked does not turn me on. Likewise, I am not romantically attracted to men or to women. I don’t want anything but friendship from either. Actually, I don’t like gender binaries so I don’t even like saying that. I don’t want sex or a relationship from anybody. I always figured I was transgender but heterosexual, but heterosexual relationships annoyed me, I just wasn’t good at the emotional part. The idea of a guy best friend was great, but the idea of having to tell him I loved him was irritating to me. And I never felt “sexy.” For a time I thought this was low self-esteem, but it interfered with sex and relationships. I didn’t have low self esteem, though. I just didn’t feel “sexy” or “feminine.” The idea struck me as silly and uncomfortable.

The biggest way I feel liberated by asexuality is societal expectations. It always seemed like everyone on earth expected me to conform to a life-model that didn’t appeal to me at all. And because I had no way to describe how I felt to them, it confused and scared me a bit. Why didn’t I feel the need for romantic relationships? Why didn’t I want kids? Why did I enjoy being alone? Was I straight or gay? I knew I wasn’t attracted to women, but everyone seemed to think that, since I wasn’t adequately attracted to men, either, that I must be gay and in the closet. I questioned it, too. I now realize this was absurd. It’s very hard for most people to accept that your only choices are not “gay/straight/bi.” These are legitimate choices, but so is “none of the above.”

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