So today, when I went to gym, one of the employees who swiped my card seemed to find me attractive. He gave me a big smile and I’m pretty sure later on, he was checking me out from a distance. He was actually pretty cute, and I rarely say that of anyone. Tall, broad-shouldered, clearly in good shape, nice face.
And it got me thinking about how different life is for me as a celibate asexual, than it would be if I were straight.
If I were an ordinary heterosexual woman and I found him attractive enough, that brief encounter with the guy could’ve been something. It could’ve led to a date or just sex. Hell, it could’ve even led to some ongoing romantic relationship.
Likewise, if he were asexual and there was some way for me to know that on sight, it might’ve turned into something. A new friendship at the very least, maybe something more involved.
Instead, like every time I interact with a stranger who finds me attractive, it involved me immediately sensing that in the other person and subsequently avoiding direct eye contact, saying as little as possible, etc. I obviously made no effort to invite him to find out who I am. There’s always some level of discomfort for me when I come into contact with somebody who’s clearly sexually attracted to me, and I have to assume the average male stranger who notices me in a public place is heterosexual because statistically, that is the likeliest thing.
I guess my point is that being a celibate asexual suddenly eliminates all of these social possibilities. If I were a heterosexual woman or even a queer woman, most of the world would be available to me for intimate relationships, for love, for sex, for affection, etc. As a celibate asexual, 99% of mankind is automatically off limits. Everywhere I go, I have to assume I’m the only person of my kind in the room, and that every stranger I meet or see is sexual, with a completely conventional view of human relationships, because realistically, most of them are.
I just can’t imagine being surrounded by opportunities for significant relationships everywhere I go. I can’t imagine even having the full list of people in any given dating website to choose from.
I rarely find anyone’s looks noteworthy, but this guy at the gym—while not impressive or breathtaking or anything—was certainly cute. I don’t even like the word cute, but I think he qualifies. Yet even if he’s good-looking enough to attract me aesthetically and even if he’s a wonderful human being with a personality perfectly compatible with mine, it doesn’t matter. None of that matters because he’s straight and I’m a celibate ace and there is only one conclusion to that combination: failure.
And I can’t help but wonder how many times in my life I’m going to have encounters like that: with somebody who, if I had been born sexual, I could’ve had some kind of connection or relationship with, but instead is no serious possibility for the sole reason that they want to fuck and I don’t. How many people could I have dated or fucked in college? How many people that I’ll meet by the time I turn 30 in eight years could I have dated or fucked if I were straight instead of a celibate ace? Hundreds? Thousands?
Then, I have to sort of wonder how I might meet the asexuals who are right for me. I have to assume that asexual visibility will improve over the course of my lifetime and that even ten years from now, when I’m in my early 30s, the scene will be a lot better for asexuals everywhere. More people come to identify as ace. Hopefully, there will be more websites, more meet-ups, more everything for us. I don’t really want to worry about meeting the right people for me—both because I won’t be devastated if I never do and because worrying doesn’t help—but I honestly have no idea how that’ll happen, if it’s going to happen. It’s not something I can make happen. I can’t go actively looking in the world, the way I could if I were sexually available. I can’t walk around with a sign that says “Celibate asexual looking for another celibate asexual to love!” I have very little control over how often I meet other aces, at this point in my life. And it’s something I have to make an effort to do. If I were a sexual person, the only effort I’d have to make is leaving my house. Or registering on a dating site.
And the other thing I have to think about is some people are asexual but don’t know it, some are asexual but they won’t come out to anyone, some are asexual and they won’t come out until they know a person really well. So it’s entirely possible that in life, I will meet other asexuals and never actually know that they’re ace because they won’t tell me and unless I’m given a specific reason to think otherwise, I’m going to assume they’re sexual people because a 99% majority is pretty damn dominant. How many lost opportunities will happen that way? (This is one reason why I myself aim to be pretty aggressively out.)
I’m not saying I envy the average romantic-sexual person for the abundance of relationship opportunities they have in life. I’m glad I have a built-in prevention mechanism to decades of conventional dating and conventional marriage because all of that shit is such a mess, I’m better off on a day to day basis not being involved. I guess what I am saying is: I’m a celibate asexual who does want serious, meaningful, intimate relationships, and the fulfillment of that desire rests pretty much entirely on the whims of fate and the Universe and whatever. All I can do is live my life and hope that someday, somehow, without any contrivance on my part whatsoever, I meet a celibate asexual man and an aromantic asexual woman who are not only compatible with me in the area of sexuality but compatible with me in every other way too.
Meanwhile, I live in a state of constant separation and disconnect from everyone around me because I am fundamentally different from them. Not only can I not form the sort of intimate relationships I desire with them, I can’t even talk to them about what I want or how I feel or how I experience love or how I view the world, because most of them don’t even know what the hell asexuality is, much less how someone can be a celibate asexual who wants serious relationships. They can’t sympathize with me, they can’t help me, they can’t relate to me at all. And I can’t relate to them. I’m “other” everywhere I go, whether strangers know it or not, and it’s weird to think about.
It’s also weird to know that this will never change. As long as I live. No matter where I am. How old I am. I’m part of a 1% minority. I’m part of an even smaller minority within that minority, an asexual who won’t have sex. I might as well be from another planet, another universe. That’s how far away I am from almost everyone else on earth.
I feel like this is even worse when you’re a celibate aromantic asexual. :/ There’s not even a possibility of romantic relationships there.
This really resonated with me.