[This is for the Carnival of Aces August 2016 hosted this month by valprehension with the topic of “Naming It”]
When I was 25 I had successfully paid off my school loans and was looking for a full-time job when I paused my job search to ask a very important question, “Why have I never dated? Is that normal?” My boss, who was a 35 year old woman minister, had mentioned offhand that she waiting for Mr. Right and I realized I hadn’t ever thought about dating, not really. I’ve been asked twice in my entire life and both times it was by complete strangers so I said “no”. People say “introvert” like it’s an insult, but social distance in the US is a four foot radius so my person bubble is standard, thank you very much.
But I digress. By some miracle when I typed in my search I was lead to a couple of blogs on asexuality. I’ve retyped my search several times this past year and each time it pops up some bull on how it’s “perfectly normal to be single at 25” and how that means you’re a “strong woman” and “Prince Charming” will come eventually. I don’t know how, but when I did the search the first time I had found a blog post by an asexual man, something of a rarity as I would come to learn. The magic phrase that turned the light-bulb on in my head was he said he thought he was “straight by default” and I was blown away. I had said nearly those exact words to my mother in passing. I’m not attracted to one so I must be attracted to the other right? I knew about gay/lesbian and bisexual, but I had never heard of asexuality until that moment.
My first reaction was to freak out. I live in a conservative area where sex ed is “abstinence only” and nobody even talked about gays/lesbians out loud. Seriously, people talk about it in innuendos like it’s a swear word or something, so for me to not be straight was freak out worthy. It took me about a week to calm down.
During my freak out week I did as much research as I could. I looked at personal blogs, wikis, podcasts, and AVEN. This was when I really got into tumblr as well so I could access the help blogs there. As each story unfolded I felt like I was reading about myself and I actually started to feel almost normal. I finally had a reason why I didn’t oogle shirtless people of either sex. I had a reason why I had never been interested in meeting people for dates or going out to meet strangers. I was quite happy with my little bubble and it was only the curiosity of why I wasn’t living out everyone’s fantasy of the white picket fence that I began to worry if something was wrong.
It felt good to have a name for my feelings and I don’t regret learning my identity. I wish I had known about asexuality sooner so I could have spent my emotional teen years waving pride flags like I was going to war and being an obnoxious ranting teen about everything asexual. Better late than never, but since I discovered asexually later in life I treat it as more of a private thing especially after my parents told me I just “haven’t met the right one”. With Google popping up blogs and pages that say the same thing I’m not surprised they think that. I wish I had saved the post that showed me the light. We need more blogs like that so people like me know we are what we are and it has a name: Asexual.
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