I don’t know if a lot of you know this or not but I’m asexual.

So, I read something troubling on tumblr about asexual people and I guess in the ace tag, there’s a whole lot of hate for us. I didn’t actually check out the tag because it’s super early in the morning for me and I need to sleep–I didn’t want to end up sickened or outraged by what I might read there. Why put myself through that turmoil, anyway?

Anyway, the subject got me thinking about it, though. About asexual people and their role in the whole LGBTQIA+ movement. It seems like a lot of people (and I’m talking people in that spectrum, not just a bunch of straight people) don’t want to include us in everything and on the shallow end, I can sort of see why. It’s not like we have to suffer the same way that they do. I never had to “come out” to my family or anything. I like to cut my hair short and I’ve been mistaken as a lesbian more times than I can count but I’ve never suffered for it. I was teased a lot but I wasn’t hurt or persecuted or threatened.

I can get married if I want to because I’m dating a man and I’m a woman, so I don’t have to rally and fight for the right to be married. I’ve never struggled when I looked in the mirror and saw a girl’s face staring back at me. I’ve never felt like I don’t belong in my own body, that it doesn’t represent who I am inside.

But it still upsets me when I hear there’s such hate toward us or that even people in that spectrum say rude and hurtful things about us when they should understand more than anybody that it can hurt to have your life trivialized.

I can’t speak for all asexual people everywhere but for me, it hurts my feelings when people scoff as if asexuality isn’t really a thing or say things like they can’t believe how we have no interest in sex, that it’s unnatural. That we need to be put on medication or see a sex therapist to open ourselves to the idea.

Why should we? I don’t want to change who I am. I am just fine without sex in my life. I don’t want it, I don’t need it. I will admit that I do struggle sometimes with my lack of sexuality because my fiance is a sexual person. Sometimes, I worry that he won’t love me anymore because I can’t feel for him sexually or provide for him sexually. I love him so much but I can’t do that, not even for him. Some asexual people do and I understand that. But I have no will or drive to do so and it makes me extremely uncomfortable when other people judge me for not wanting to, for lacking any desire to do anything like that.

I’ve been told by my own family to just get over it and do it, just grin and bear it and I’ll get through it. I suspect both my grandmother and my mother are asexual, too, but they did it because it was expected of them. When I see my doctor and have to admit that I’m not sexually active, I feel like a liar, even though I know I’m not lying. I feel from some people, that I’m judged because I don’t do it, like I’m a prude.

I promise you, I’m not a prude. I talk about it. I’ve seen porn. It generally doesn’t faze me. I feel nothing when I see two people having sex. I’m not turned on. Sometimes, I admit that I want to be, but I’m not.

But how do I write smut, people ask. Same way anybody who doesn’t/hasn’t had sex does. I know what sex is. I know how it works. I know how it feels, for the most part. It’s not that hard to write about something you don’t do or are not. I write sexual characters, I write gay characters. I write characters who don’t share my ethnicity. I write religious characters. I am none of these things and I can still write about it. How many people who have written about sword battles or magical anime fights or starships have actually DONE any of those things? I have every right to write about something as commonplace as sex, especially if it’s a large part of who two characters are.

Anyway, this turned into something of a rant but I wanted to share my thoughts, jumbled as they are at 5AM and see what others thought.

Rachel Aseltine

R.A. Aseltine is an author and roleplayer living in California with her husband, guinea pig, and five cats.

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