Imagine you’re at an all-you-can-eat buffet. Everybody and their mother is lined up, eager to fill their plate up with food. You finally get to the front of the line, only to realize that absolutely nothing looks appealing and you don’t even feel hungry. There’s a line of people impatiently waiting behind you. You try to tell them you don’t want anything, and you hear murmurs of “you haven’t even tried it” and “you’ll change your mind and regret it later.” That’s what it’s like to date as an Asexual person.
(To be Asexual is to experience little to no sexual attraction. It is a spectrum of sexual attraction, with Asexual at the lower end, and Allosexual at the higher end. There are many different levels on the spectrum.)
Up until I was 20 years old, I was active in the church. I was a youth group volunteer, on the sound team, and volunteered in Sunday school. I initially thought I was just a good Christian girl. Little did I know… It was only when I was 25 that I even realized I was Asexual. For the longest time I thought something was wrong with me, because I wasn’t sexually active and couldn’t be bothered with sex as a whole. It was strange to hear my friends talk about being horny, and even stranger to think that they could be influenced to buy things because of a sexy person in an ad.
When I finally realized I was Asexual, I thought it was going to fix everything. I thought it was going to make dating easier, and less confusing. I was wrong. In the age of hyper-sexualized dating apps and hook-up culture, most of my matches end up asking me what Asexuality is. I truly felt like a sex education teacher. I mean just a few days ago I encountered an experience with having to reject somebodies sexual advances while I was working. I made sure to make it clear that I was Asexual, as I find it lets people down easier. Twenty minutes later, I was finally finished being berated and yelled at; told that sex with this person would cure me.
It hurts. It really does. To hear that your sexuality isn’t respected, and viewed as invalid just because someone feels entitled to sleep with you. I’ve found it really difficult personally to date people that aren’t also Asexual identifying, simply because it feels like a waiting game. Waiting for them to grow tired. Waiting for them to find somebody that wants sex. It’s also a little debilitating personally. The thought that I am only worth something if I put out.
It has gotten a little easier though. I’ve noticed a lot more people over the years being understanding and accepting of Asexuality. This is purely because of an increase in visibility and representation. More and more people are seeing Asexuality on the big screen, whether it’s through Netflix’s Heartbreak High, The Imperfects, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, or Bojack Horseman to name just a few.
As an Asexual activist, my career is dedicated to continuing that increase. Whether that’s writing educational and personal articles or consulting on TV scripts with asexual themes, like I just did with a pilot called Girl Riot. I’m excited to see what’s next in store, and how that will trickle down into my own personal dating life and the lives around me.