Saturday, December 10, 2016

How To Love

Despite the last few posts, the issue of my identity is still a thorn in my side from time to time. As it is indeed the thick of "cuffing season" and I realize literally everyone around me is in a relationship and I am again the single friend, the issue this time is my relationships, or lack thereof.

Especially in the midst of finals week, when I'm stressed and something is bothering me, I tend to spiral, ending up unproductive and in a mental dump until I figure out what's wrong. This particular issue came up during dinner with my freshman year roommate, who was adamant that most people are not asexual and therefore I'm going to end up forever alone, or with very slim chances of finding a successful relationship (not actually what she said, I'm hyperbolizing to get the point across). That bothered me, because I've never considered sex to be an important part of a relationship and cannot fathom how it is for some people. But I don't want to be forever alone based on that fact solely.

Because I'm so far removed from thinking about sex and sexual attraction, the issue of sexual identity has never been relevant. I think it's a common realization among asexuals to not care about sexuality, or to feel like they don't have a sexuality; to label the absence of something is just awkward. Having to "come out" as asexual this summer to a group of coworkers, it was just a weird experience because I don't strongly identify with that label.

While the label is still odd to accept, I have no problem being asexual. I've always thought of it as a lack of preference like any other, like not enjoying Brussels sprouts or tea. But given that sex seems to be such a big deal to most other people, it's hard not to feel broken. In my conversation with my roommate, while she was well meaning for the sake of being informative, hearing that I could be unwanted based on not wanting sex really broke me down.

I was surprised to find my relief in the form of a Youtuber, Ricky Dillon. I don't subscribe to his genre of video, but in desperation tonight, I searched "asexuality" on Youtube and found this:

Youtube has long been a space where people have been comfortable expressing themselves and coming out as gay, bi, lesbian, so on and so forth — but I've never been able to relate to those videos. For a while I thought I might be bi because I didn't have a preference for one gender over another, but I realized that it wasn't an equal interest for both genders, it was more of an equal disinterest for both genders.

While I understood this technical definition of asexuality, I still found it difficult to relay how I feel about relationships to other people. It's so hard to explain, and I imagine that it's still difficult for someone who isn't asexual to understand what he's talking about either. I however, resonated strongly with a lot of his points and found myself vigorously nodding along to nearly everything he was saying. Some of the things that stood out most were like how he doesn't "have" or define himself by a sexuality because it's not something that is relevant to his identity ("if I had 100 words to describe myself, my sexuality would not even be one of them"). Also, before watching this, I didn't know how to reconcile still having crushes and being asexual. Hearing him say that he still does have crushes was reassuring, as it was based on being attracted to someone's personality, not in a sexual way, which I find to be true for myself as well.

Another thing I related to in the video was loving being alone, loving being independent. But it's nice to know that I'm not alone in being asexual. I am comfortable with who I am, but hearing that validation from a somewhat mainstream pop culture figure was incredibly soothing. Where I'm not sure if I differ is that it sounds like Ricky Dillon is aromantic in addition to being asexual. I think eventually I'd love to have a romantic partner, a mutually "best" friend, to share my life with, but until I develop that friendship, I don't care for a deeper relationship. I can't imagine being sexually attracted to anyone; I've never felt it; it is a concept that is as foreign to me as asexuality is to my former roommate. While I'm don't subscribe to his channel, I am incredibly thankful that he decided to make this video and I hope he never takes it down. Now, I can breathe a huge sigh of relief, and go back to focusing on studying for finals again. It feels so good to rant on this blog.

No comments:

Post a Comment