Hello, I'm an amoeba
Hello, I'm Shannon (as I assume you know already) and I identify as asexual.
The brief explanation is that asexuality is an orientation (or perhaps lack thereof) that involves not experiencing sexual attraction.
However, the brief explanation is boring and quite possibly not so helpful, as asexuality is something of an invisible orientation, and it's quite probable you've never heard of it before and don't really get what it entails.
Also, the brief explanation doesn't let me ramble. And well. That's just terrible.
So let's start again.
There's this thing called sexual attraction. Some people experience it towards guys, others towards gals, or both, or whatever. But there are also people that just don't experience it in general, towards anyone. No, I'm being serious. Don't worry if you don't get it--I admittedly struggle with the idea of sexual attraction on a regular basis, and I honestly don't really get it still. But you don't have to "get" things like how airplane wings work to admit that they can get a giant airplane off the ground, and all I'm hoping for is that by the end of this you can admit that asexuality is a perfectly viable orientation (and that it's the one I believe fits me).
I've heard a bit about asexuality around the Internet for a while now (two years maybe...?) but I figured for a long time that I was "normal" and that most of the sexual...things in society were simply exaggerated. Imagine my surprise when I mentioned my lack of interest in kissing (it's...kind of unappealing to me. a lot.) and was informed that this is apparently not normal for most eighteen-year-old girls. Huh. Who knew? I didn't.
So that was the first time I really considered asexuality as an orientation to apply to myself. I guess it wasn't such a huge step. I was already playfully known as asexual among a couple of my friends (I split in half each year but my clone ends up dying from lack of sufficient cereal in our household). I spent a few weeks lurking around an asexual forum and reading up on FAQs and information, and about six months ago I tentatively stuck an "asexual heteromantic" sticker to my mental checklist of Things I Am.
Hold up, what's this heteromantic thing? Basically, in the same way that there is sexual orientation, there's a romantic orientation that can be used to describe which gender(s) you're romantically attracted to. Because yes, some asexuals do want to have relationships with people--we just aren't interested in the sexual part. Being asexual heteromantic means that I can indeed get the occasional crush on a guy (occasional in this context meaning about once a year) but I don't get these feelings in a sexual context and am not sexually attracted to anyone.
I suppose that is a factor in my general disinterest in the idea of having a relationship. Sex and sexual attraction is just such a huge part of 99.9% of relationships, and it's a part that quite frankly doesn't appeal to me (and actually repels me a little). Even if it's agreed to wait until marriage to have sex, it's expected at some point. And while there are asexuals that don't mind sex or can even enjoy it (remember, the important bit is they don't experience sexual attraction) I am not convinced that I am one of them, and even then a relationship with a sexual can be problematic, with the sexual feeling hurt that the asexual isn't attracted to them or willing to initiate sexual encounters. Finding an asexual boy that I'm romantically attracted to would be nice, but asexuals are such a small portion of the population (something like 1%) it's fairly unlikely, and I'm currently not interested in putting forth the time or effort to seek out a relationship.
I suppose there will always be some people that think that asexuality is just a result of a late bloomer, never having tried sex, or just not finding The One, and so is simply a phase that I will grow out of. To these I just want to say:
+I'm nearly nineteen years old (well past the age people start to experience sexual attraction). There are also many asexuals that are in their thirties (at least) and to peg them as people who still haven't "bloomed" is...a little silly.
+Virtually everyone experiences sexual attraction before their first sexual encounter.
+If sex was a prerequisite to deciding orientation, nobody could claim they were heterosexual until they also had sex with someone of the same gender (because how else would you know you wouldn't like it if you haven't tried it...?).
So...yes. TL:DR no sextiems for me please.
CONTRIBUTOR: Shannon "Eto"
DATE ADDED: 2010-10-17 09:25:19
ITEM TYPE: Document
CITATION: Shannon "Eto", "Hello, I'm an amoeba," in HACKGENDER, Item #78, http://hackgender.org/items/show/78 (accessed December 8, 2013).
About the Work
- Shannon "Eto"
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