I first realised I was asexual in February 2020. I always knew there was something just a little bit different about me. It didn’t matter as much when I was in primary school because all anyone was particularly interested in was hoping they were home in time for SpongeBob SquarePants or whether their mother had remembered to buy more Dairylea Dunkers. What your sexuality was had no place in the rose-tinted, care-free world we called home at that age. Sadly, child-like wonder is never permanent.
By the time I entered secondary school, I had already experienced my first love so I was sure I could feel romantic love, although the idea of a varied sexuality was still completely unknown to me. It wasn’t until I was around 15 that my sexuality (or lack thereof) started to become clearer to me. At first, I wondered if I was bisexual as I felt the same sexual attraction for both boys and girls (albeit none). I also began to wonder if all of this was due to my depression and whether it was blocking these feelings. I spent around 3 years trying to make sense of why pretty much every other person around me seemed to be in happy, mutually satisfying relationships and I seemed to be getting nowhere. I did have a couple of people want to sleep with me but none of those relationships occurred until I was left sixth form in March 2020 due to lockdown, and of course I already knew I was asexual. Beforehand, I believed I was nothing but undesirable and have suffered body image issues since which were not helped by a decade of bullying.
What made it click for me was when a girl I was friends with in sixth form revealed that she was asexual. I had never heard of the term before, and my love of learning and research took over and I just had to see what it meant. When I began to read the hundreds of articles and studies, I felt like a mirror had been held up to my face. I felt a wave wash over me; I finally knew what was different about me. It was so amazing; for the first time in years, it all made sense. I now had a solid answer to why I had never had the desire to have sex. I wasn’t sure whether I was repulsed, neutral or positive but now I believe I may just be fluctuating between all views.
The only issue now is the vast amount of acephobia both in day-to-day life and in the dating world. It is so degrading to go out into the world and not get a date or at the very least be treated like a person. I have had people tell me all sorts of things in response to being informed of my asexuality. I have heard all the classics that I am sure many asexuals can relate to; all of them from “You just haven’t found the right person” to “You can’t get anyone to sleep with you so you’re making it up to hide it.” It is so frustrating to hear such ignorance in our world. At first, the latter phrase made me stop and think about it. Maybe they were right? Luckily, after plenty of thought, it became clear that they were not.
I embraced my asexuality once I had a word for it. The first thing I did to represent my new findings was to purchase a black ring which I still wear on my middle finger. When I put that ring onto my finger, it felt I finally had the answers I so desperately hoped for; it was even better to know I had something physical to show for it. I also coloured a piece of paper from my memo pad to match the colours of the asexual pride flag. The mini flag remains pinned to my noticeboard so I can always be reminded that this is who I am and that I am not ashamed of it. I have also built a sizeable collection of pin badges of the pride flag colours. I love gathering ace symbols such as dragons, cake, garlic bread and of course literal aces from packs of playing cards. The dragon is absolutely my favourite; I would love to have on as a pet.
I am partially out as asexual. I only told my mum because she saw me holding a plush cat I had made by an independent artist. She asked me about the colours so I decided I may as well tell her. It took some time to fully explain to her what exactly being asexual meant. It was frustrating but we got there. I have also told a couple of people at work but that only happened as they couldn’t work out why I hated it when they talked about their sex lives.
The good news is that after so long being confused, I was able to discover this whole new part of my identity. I have sometimes been asked what if it is like to be asexual and if there were any ways to describe it to someone who is not asexual. Honestly, the best way I can describe it is ‘Asexuality and acephobia is like being born without a sense of smell. Everyone is trying to force smells onto you and when you tell them you can’t smell them, they tell you that you just haven’t found the right smell yet or that you will smell something one day.’ It can be annoying, but we get through.
Thank you for reading and I hope you feel that you have learned something; whether it be about asexuality itself or discovered something about you or someone you know.
Check out some of our awesome Asexual t-shirt ranges here.