I was at an Ace meetup and, after listening to my dating travails, someone asked me, “Hey, why don’t you start a blog on Ace dating?”
So here I am. Why am I doing this?
I’m a thirty-five year old woman who discovered she was asexual three years ago after reading this Washington Post article. I knew I wasn’t interested in sex and dating the way people are supposed to since high school. But I didn’t know how to articulate what I was feeling or that terms actually exist to describe my experience. During the ensuing years, I regularly attended my local Ace (a slang term for asexual) Meetup group and become an event organizer. I became interested in asexual activism. I now identify as a bisexual, demisexual woman who does want to be in a relationship one day.
I want to focus on my dating (mis)adventures here with minor diversions now and then (like posts about my family and friends). I hope that I can educate the general public on what it’s like being an Ace person seeking a relationship and help other Aces by sharing my story.
This is a conversation that I had a couple of days ago on OkCupid:
Him: I seriously had no idea what demisexual meant and looked it up. Your profile has led me to some education, good luck with your search 🙂
Me: Thank you! I appreciate you telling me that
Him: No problem. I just thought there didn’t need to be a word for it honestly. I mean when it comes to women their sexual enjoyment is 98% linked to their emotions to begin with as far as all the women I’ve ever spoken to were concerned
I didn’t engage with him any further. I wonder if I should have engaged the man to educate him in some way, especially considering that I am an advocate/activist in real life. But I don’t want to fight all the time. I just want people to understand me.
One of the things that has to change is people’s urge to question the way others chose to identify. Isn’t it a cliche that the absence of labels equals invisibility? I wonder if this is a red line for me- like I won’t even bother considering being with you unless you’re woke.
I feel like this makes me sound like a flaming liberal. Politically, I’m a progressive. But I’m very much an institutionalist and conservative with a small “c” in the sense that I believe that social institutions should be upheld and change has to be made incrementally. I’m inherently suspicious of radical change, even if I do agree with the overall principal. So I’m often the “suit” in the room full of activisty types.
Returning to the personal, I sometimes feel like every act I take is political in some way because I exist with multiple marginalized identities. So I wonder whether my preferred way of handling my personal matters will advance the asexual community (or other communities that I identify with). This is… exhausting. And I don’t know if I’m doing a good job.
While writing this post, I was listening to Lady Gaga’s Born This Way and Heavy Metal Lover.
This is a guest post written by Patience in response to June’s Carnival of Aces topic- demisexuality and greyasexuality.
I identify as demisexual and sometimes that can be quite confusing. Especially with regards to my relationship with sex. I mean, most of the times my sex drive is pretty much non-existent, I don’t think about sex with myself as a participant very often and I do nothing whatsoever to pursue it. My ex-boyfriend even expressed surprise that I never masturbate. Of course, this could be due to societal pressure that tells us that masturbation is wrong and something you should not engage in. However, I think it has more to do with me being demisexual. For me, part of that is that any kind of sex simply doesn’t hold any appeal to me, unless it’s with a partner that I’m attracted to and care about. And since I have only ever been sexually attracted to one person, sex plays a very little role in my life and I am completely fine with that.
But every now and then, my sex drive will poke its head up as if to show me that it’s still there. This sometimes happens because of outside influences, such as New Adult romance novels. I discovered this kind of book two years ago when I was still in a fairly typical relationship and I mostly liked what I read. Some of them are not very good, but I found them at a time where I felt that YA were sometimes too childish and the New Adult books’ focus on college-age characters fit what I wanted. The romance novels also tend to focus a lot on sexual relationships and as I had an active and mostly satisfying sex life myself, it didn’t bother me.
Today, with no sex life to speak of, it still doesn’t bother me, although I sometimes find myself rolling my eyes when it becomes too clichéd. In spite of that I still sometimes find myself wanting the kind of simple sex life that is depicted in those books. My relationship to sex has become complicated since I realized that I was Ace and I know that my life will likely never look like that. But even so they turn on some sort of vague sexual urge that I don’t really know what to do about.
For the moment I like being single, but at some point I would like to have a partner again. On a very theoretical basis I sometimes think about the kind of relationship I want to have and most of the times the conclusion is that I probably would be fine with a relationship without sex. But then in those periods with vague urges, I find myself thinking that I would also be fine with sex in smaller amounts.
My ex-boyfriend had a high sex drive so I ended up having a lot of sex that I didn’t exactly want, but once or twice per month might be okay with the right partner. And this leads to me not always feeling like I am a True Ace™. Logically I know that I am free to identify as whatever feels right for me, but I don’t often see myself reflected in the blogs I read. I love what I read and I know how difficult it can be to include everyone. But the lack of writings on demisexuality (that I know of) means that I don’t have much of a framework to reflect my own experiences against and I am grateful to this Carnival for focusing on demisexuality.
This is a roundup of all the posts submitted in response to the June 2018 Carnival of Aces, which was hosted by myself Dating While Ace. I would like to thank all of the contributors for their hard work! Here is the list of submissions:
- Ky wrote a post about their thoughts on sensual attraction.
- Alex wrote a post about the stigma attached to using labels such “demisexuality.”
- Demiandproud’s post about wanting Asexual and demisexual representation in Christian communities.
- Ace Film Review’s post about being demisexual and feeling sexual attraction (sometimes) and the ensuing complex emotions that arose like shame.
- My own post on marriage and the desire for children.
Someone asked me whether or not they can submit a guest post in response to my call for submissions, even though it’s technically late. I responded, “Sure, why not?!” If you are interested in guest posting in response to June’s Carnival of Aces or about Ace topics in general, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide a summary of the topic that you want to write about. I would like to reserve the right to lightly edit people’s work (i.e. fix typos, fiddle with formatting, etc.) with the understanding that I will give you a heads up if I want to make substantive changes.
While drafting this post, I’ve been listening to Sarah Brightman’s songs Winter in July, He Doesn’t See Me, and Who Wants to Live Forever.
This is my submission to June’s Carnival of Aces, which is being hosted by yours truly!
My sister is getting married next month. I’m happy for her but can’t muster enthusiasm for the wedding itself. I’ve never been one of those women who fantasized about her ideal wedding growing up. I don’t want to offer an opinion on things like flowers and hair styles because 1) I tend to have more conservative taste than my sister and 2) I think the choices are up to her to make.
If I ever do get married, I just want to get married in the courthouse or have a very small ceremony. I want to have a larger party later to celebrate. My mom visited a psychic a long time ago and the psychic said that I’m going to get married late in life and one child. She seems to be convinced that this is correct. I’m a little tickled by the idea but we’ll see if things turn out that way.
I always wanted children but I felt a little hazy about wanting a partner. I’m thirty-five and little children are very cute to me now, when I wouldn’t have noticed as much before. I guess the biological clock is a real thing! As much as I want kids, I know that being a single parent is incredibly stressful emotionally and financially. I don’t want to have kids until I have a romantic partner or a platonic co-parent.
I felt like there were a couple of people who I would’ve asked to be my long-term partner so that I can have children. But I’m still looking for the special someone. And it’s taking me a lot longer than the normal person because of my demisexuality.
If time passes and I can’t have children biologically, I don’t know if I’ll resent being asexual. I probably will be disappointed at a minimum. I can always adopt. But the possibility of having a biological child is very alluring to me, even if I rationally know that I have alternative options to raise a family.
I also wonder if I’m going to be a good parent if I have children. I think I’ll be the kind of parent who tries hard to provide intellectual stimulation and a loving and structured home. I won’t be able to abide by children who act out. But this is all theoretical.
Realistically, I’m probably going to remain single and childless. But I want to have what others have too.
I’ve been listening to the following songs while writing this post:
Park Hyo Shin’s Beautiful Tomorrow and Happy Together
What does love and romance mean for an Ace person? I don’t know exactly….
For some reason, I always believed that everyone has a soulmate or a couple of people who they’ll be compatible with no matter what. Maybe I consumed too many romance movies and books and became sentimental as a result.
However, I can be practical as well. Lust does not play a role in my calculation in whether someone is attractive. I can be aesthetically attracted to someone… but it matters only in the sense that the person knows how to present themself in social situations and won’t embarrass me. I care a lot more about the other person’s education, job status, views about money, whether they use drugs, etc. I find the feeling of doing the “right” thing to be comforting.
I previously mentioned that I love being of service to people. I feel like this is my preferred “love language”. Instead of verbalizing my affections or buying crazy gifts, I tend to do things for people I love. My love for my family means I will wake up early on Saturdays and make pancakes for breakfast. I will always return a friend’s message or phone call. This isn’t really romantic. But I feel like it’s something you should do for someone day-to-day that shows that you’ll be there. Of course, I can appreciate all the other love languages like touch and verbal affection.
I feel like I haven’t really gone through the stereotypical romantic relationship with anyone. I’m not sure if I want to. I want to define what it means to be in a relationship for myself and try not to hew too much to what I’m supposed to do.
While writing this post, I was listening to:
Sting’s Sacred Love, A Thousand Years, If I Lose My Faith in You, and Brand New Day.
The last week has been interesting since Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain’s suicides were in the news. In the same week, the CDC also released data stating that suicide rates are increasing.
I was a fan of Anthony Bourdain ever since his book Kitchen Confidential came out. I read most of his books and watch most of the episodes of his travel shows. So I was surprised as anyone when I learned that he died. I really admired his wit and observations about the world around him.
Continue reading “I have a confession”
I think I’m totally done with Amir*. I told him so last week and I think it’ll stick this time. There’re several reasons why I don’t want to be with him any longer. For example, I never saw him as a romantic partner to begin with. I just appreciated being desired by someone. But that is obviously unsustainable. And he seemed unsure about how to handle me as an Ace person, especially since I panicked the first and only time I stayed at his apartment. I got angry at one point and I wanted to yell at him that I wanted to be treated like a fucking normal person. But it’s quite fortunate that my default setting is to sublimate my negative feelings. Or I would’ve said something I’d regret later.
I’m not sad or anything which indicates that he really meant nothing to me. In fact, I feel kind of relieved. I’m obviously glossing over several problems but I don’t want to reveal too many personal details here. I can admit to feeling like I’m unburdened. I’d rather be friends with him, not a romantic relationship.
* All names in this blog are fictional to protect individuals’ privacy.
Today I’m listening to:
Andrea Bocelli- “Sogno d’amore”, “Liberta” and “Il mistero dell’amore”