Am I Asexual?

20140725-192406-69846364.jpgWell, probably not, but I’m starting to wonder whether I might fall somewhere on the asexuality spectrum. As I joked in one panel, “I think I have the gender thing figured out, so why not be confused about my sexual orientation now?” For me, the sticking point in the definition of asexuality is the meaning of “sexual attraction.” If asexual means not sexually attracted to others, and grey-A roughly means not very sexually attracted to others, or only in certain ways, then it’s important to know what sexual attraction actually is. Do we, like porn, know it when we see it?

Since I can’t be in anyone else’s body, I can’t know exactly what the norm is. I know that I feel excitement when I find a person attractive. I want to flail at them a lot and probably cuddle. But the idea of smushing our genitals together does not necessarily occur, and if we end up being sexual with each other, there is inevitably a conversation about how I would rather not engage in any of the typical sex acts, or might be down for a limited menu someday but there’s no guarantee.

Since I know from some awesome asexual educators that asexuality does not necessarily correlate to low sex drive, or to whether you masturbate, or to whether you’re willing to have sex with an allosexual person (someone who does experience sexual attraction), I wonder what it does require. And of course, labels are not essential, but they can be helpful sometimes. I find that folks who are ace or a little grey-A or demisexual or even educated on asexuality seem to have a better understanding of my particular sexuality than others.

Any thoughts? If you do experience sexual attraction, can you describe it? Do you typically think of having sex with that person/want to see them naked/etc or is it more “you! You’re a awesome!” and sex is icing?

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About Avory

Avory Faucette is a queer feminist activist, writer, and public speaker. Zie graduated from the University of Iowa with a JD in 2009, focusing on international human rights and gender/sexuality issues in the law. Hir current work focuses on queer identity, policy, and marginalized identities under the queer umbrella. As a genderqueer person, zie comments frequently on non-binary identity, transgender and genderqueer issues, and media coverage of these populations. Zie also speaks at colleges, universities, and events on transgender and queer issues and conducts trainings on related topics.

Posted on July 26, 2014, in sex and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I’m gray-asexual, and you can read one of my posts on why I identify that way here. Nobody can determine for you what your feelings are, but one thing I can tell you off the bat is that confusion about what sexual attraction means is pretty common among people on the ace spectrum, so if you’re thinking about it, I’d recommend looking into that possibility some more.

  2. This post is two months old, but maybe you’re still interested in perspective from an allosexual (thanks for sharing the word). Let’s see how articulate I can be about this and if it helps at all…

    If you do experience sexual attraction, can you describe it?
    Excitement, both emotional and physical, from anything from seeing to talking with the person I’m attracted to (whether through internet chat, by text message, phone call, or in person). Sometimes the attraction is associated with physical sexual arousal for me, especially with someone I’m newly attracted to (face getting warm, happy sensations in nether regions). I mentioned on Saturday that I was turned on for a good portion of the Guardians of the Galaxy movie – part of that was due to physical attraction to a few of the actors/characters.

    Do you typically think of having sex with that person/want to see them naked/etc or is it more “you! You’re a awesome!” and sex is icing?
    Both, depending on the situation. For me, it has to do with the novelty of the idea with sexytimes with the person, if there’s sexual tension that hasn’t been dealt with sexually. The former I feel if I have not had sex with someone that I’m attracted to, or only have a few times. The latter is usually if we’ve had sex already at least a few times, especially in the context of a romantic relationship. I’ve been partnered for a year and a half and though I’m very sexually attracted to my partner, it’s more the latter with him. I think this is since we’ve been together long enough that the initial novelty has worn off. I still love sex with him, but it’s less of a need and more of a bonus to the relationship. But when I look at other people I’m attracted to, whether there’s a chance of me having sex with them or not, I get more of the former *thinks longingly of Scarlett Johansson*.

    Hope that helps and feel free to ask followup questions; I have comment notifications turned on!

  3. Amanda Maloney

    To be totally honest, my sexual attractions sneaks up on me like a lioness on the prowl. It feels in my body like a tightening in my genitals, heat there and potentially other places in my body, a feeling of wanting someone inside me, etc. But I didn’t use to experience this – I had NO idea what sexual attraction was about for the most part. (Or at least, I wasn’t paying attention or able to feel what I feel now) It’s only changed in the last few months or so that I have approval for it. I used to have a lot of shame, growing up Christian. So that’s my experience.

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