If I was clicking through TV stations and flicked on to an episode of Pride and Prejudice, I’d probably skip straight past it.
I know a lot of people love the show, and some find it incredibly important to their lives and lifestyle – and all of that is fine – but, personally, I just never really found it that interesting. Sure, one day I might watch it if I had company who really enjoyed the series and wanted to share the experience, but it wouldn’t change the fact that I’m never going to feel the urge to sit down and watch the show of my own accord. To be honest, I’d be quite happy living my life without seeing the it at all – if it watch it, I watch it, but if I don’t, then I don’t.
Now, this seems like an odd way to start a blog, I know. At this point you’re probably saying – wasn’t there something to do with sexuality in the title? That’s what I clicked on it for, so what’s all this about Pride and Prejudice?
Before you click away, though, let me do one thing – I’m going to repost the second paragraph, but I’m going to switch all references to Pride and Prejudice to something else entirely:
I know a lot of people who love sex, and some find it incredibly important to their lives and lifestyle – and all of that is fine – but, personally, I just never really found it that interesting. Sure, one day I might become sexually active if I had a partner who enjoyed it and wanted to share the experience, but it wouldn’t change the fact that I’m never going to feel the need to have sex with someone. To be honest, I’d be quite happy living my life without having it at all – if it happens, then it happens, but even if it doesn’t, I’m still fine.
Hi. I’m Emily. The purpose of that example was to try and link my experiences back to something that almost everyone can relate to – though an estimated one percent of the population will have similar feelings to mine (231,092 people in Australia alone!), for the other ninety-nine percent, the non-urge to have sex is sometimes a little confusing to understand. Hopefully, by the end of this blog, you’ll be better informed. You can even brag about your new knowledge to your friends! (Which is my sneaky way of saying, ‘spread the word!’).
‘Asexuality’ (‘Ace’, for short) is an orientation where people don’t experience sexual attraction. In its absolute basic form it means that I’m not going to look at someone and go, wow, I’m turned on by them. It’s just not happening. As for having sex, well, some asexuals do and some asexuals don’t. But behaviour doesn’t equal the orientation! Some asexuals have partners and are happy to make them happy by engaging in it. Or having sex could still feel good to them. Some asexuals would prefer not to have sex because they don’t see the point, or they just don’t like it: all fine. What we share in common is that we don’t have little urge in the back of the head that goes: I must seek this stuff out. For some sexual people, that’s probably a big urge. Whatever floats your boat – just make sure not to sink anyone else’s.
Now, I’ve mentioned partners up there as well, and I’m sure there’s a few of you reading this right now who are going ‘but how can you have a relationship without sex?!’ (extra exclamation points optional). Well, some asexuals are happy having sex in a relationship, so that’s one answer. For those who’d prefer not to have it, I’d say the two main points are love and communication. Quite a lot of asexuals will divide their experiences into two camps: we will identify as asexual, but also with a romantic orientation. Much like sexual orientations refer to who we find sexually attractive, romantic orientations refer to who we fall in love with. Sounds pretty easy, right? In the broadest of strokes, and deepest apologies to those I’ve left out, they’re along similar lines to sexualities – there’s homoromantic, heteroromantic, biromantic, and so on. Some groups will fall in love with one gender, some with multiple.
So how does that work? Well, sex isn’t the only thing to hold a relationship together. If it is for you – awesome! As long as you’re happy with it then I’m glad that works for you. But I think I can safely say that, for most of us, having a partner isn’t dependent on what they’re like in the bedroom (or other venue of choice). Romance is also the day-to-day stuff, the things that you’d think of when you think of couples generally – the kissing, the hand holding, the cuddling, etc. But it can also be entirely up to the two people (or more) in the relationship. There’s no right or wrong way to share your life with someone – as long as both (or all) people in the relationship are happy then you’re doing pretty well. Sometimes, even the romance is optional! If people are planning on being partners for life then it really becomes down to how they work it out between themselves. Sex or no sex – and both options are absolutely fine and absolutely normal, no matter how you work it out – the main thing is that everyone is both consenting and comfortable.
I know I’ve just dumped a lot of new info on you all and in a short amount of time, but people’s experiences are so diverse that trying to describe it all is a bit hard. If you’re going whoa, what, I can’t even process this at the moment, then just take a moment…
Ready to continue?
If you’re interested in diving in and find out more about this orientation – or you think you might be ace yourself and want some more information and support, because oh goodness suddenly your feelings makes sense – check out these links below.
– The Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN for short) is the ‘internet home’ for a lot of the asexual community and it’s the website where you’ll find the most resources and support. It also comes with a handy FAQ section not only for people who think they might be ace, but also for friends and family who have questions about the orientation.
If you check only one link on the list, then check this one Asexual advice. Much like an advice column for asexuals, people write in to get opinions on how to navigate relationship issues, on ‘coming out’ as ace or [option]-romantic, and how to make asexual to sexual partners both comfortable.
They also have an awesome and incredibly informative FAQ page!
he Asexual Agenda is a diverse blog focused on asexual experiences, outlooks, and representations in the media. A great all-around website to dive into.
I hope that, no matter what (or who) you do, you have the best of experiences. Stay awesome!
Also check the related topics:Sex Sexuality & Gender