We are an asexual couple. We’ve known each other for three years and on 21st July we got married! Yes, you read that right. M-a-r-r-i-e-d. Now, a lot of people tend to get confused by the fact we are not only a couple but that we are in a same-sex relationship. Surely that’s not what being asexual is about. Surely all asexuals are cold, unlovable amoebas who dislike social interaction? Well. Let us shatter those illusions right now…
Asexuality isn’t really something that you simply define as a word. Being asexual is so much more than a definition to so many people who come to discover this as their “identity”. In its most basic description, an asexual is someone who does not experience any form of sexual attraction or desire to have sex with anyone. Not to be confused with celibacy – where those who do experience sexual desire and attraction make a CHOICE not to act upon these feelings or urges. Being asexual we don’t get these urges in the first place.
Asexuality has a spectrum; there are so many identities which fall under this spectrum that being asexual isn’t just a ‘one size fits all’ way of life. Such examples include:
Greysexual: Those who have occasional feelings of sexual attraction but mostly do not experience this feeling.
Aromantic: Those who do not experience either sexual or romantic attraction. In many respects these individuals are happy with their own company and preferably without a great deal of close physical contact either. Of course, this is also down to personal preference.
Demisexual: Those who only experience sexual desire or attraction once a strong bond has been established between two people.
So how did we know we were asexual? Here are our stories…
Steve: I discovered asexuality about four years ago. Originally, I came out as bi at the age of fifteen, then came out as gay around the age of seventeen. I was quite happy looking at aesthetically-pleasing individuals for the simple purposes of having any form of close contact with someone I found myself attracted to, but letting it simply stop at a kiss and a cuddle and then falling asleep. I discovered asexuality when I came across a ‘Gaydar’ profile from someone who identified as ace and is now a very good friend, and who was in fact my best man at our wedding.
Thom: I discovered asexuality five years ago following a year identifying as gay. I knew quite soon after coming out as gay that I had misjudged my desire to go out with guys as I was unaware how sexual people’s expectations were. I discovered and joined AVEN and later came out to friends and family. I knew it was the right community for me as suddenly there was no pressure to conform to sexual ideals.
But what’s it like dating as an asexual person, you may be thinking. Well…
Steve: My first experiences before I identified as being asexual and dating a sexual or “allosexual” person (a person that does experience sexual desire and attraction) are those that I have pushed to the very back of my mind mainly down to how I felt through the whole process. Because that’s what it felt like. For the whole time that I was seeing this person/these people I cannot recall as many of the pleasant experiences that I am having currently, simply down to the fact that I was always forward thinking about what would happen when we were in bed, or what I would be expected to do when I was there and how I was supposed to “act”. This was something that dominated the majority of my day(s) when I was with these people which essentially is none of their fault. It is safe to say that all of my previous relationships genuinely ended on that terrible cliché of “It’s not you, it’s me” – and that’s being truthful, it really was me!
Some people may be thinking “how is this different from just being best friends?” So, what is the difference?
Steve: Best friends – Friends with benefits – Friendly Sex? I have close friends but I am not romantically attracted to them. I don’t want to take them out and share a romantic experience with them as I don’t feel that way towards them. This is essentially the same way that a straight guy or girl would have friends of the same gender and experience a closeness to them in friendship form but would not want to do anything either with them as they are just not attracted to them in the same way, e.g. not gay/lesbian. The same can be said for those individuals who identify as straight, gay, or bi and have friends of a particular gender they should be attracted to but that simply isn’t the case as they don’t experience that attraction. I don’t believe that anyone’s identity should be defined by who they want to have sex with. Surely there is more to an individual and a person than that!
Thom: Not many people would do all the things they do in a relationship with their best friend, even if you exclude sex. The physical contact, the shared life experiences, even just meeting family and appearing at the dinner table every Christmas goes beyond what most best friends provide.
So, there you have it. By getting our message out to as many people as possible to include some of our personal accounts and stories we hope we’ve brought some hope to those people who find themselves currently in a place that many of us found ourselves in before we discovered our asexual identity and help to remind these people that they are not broken, there is nothing wrong with them, and they are not alone. They are people just like everyone else and they have our support to be part of a community that can identify and understand what they are currently going through and can help.
So the point is, if you’re asexual, you’re never alone. 2017 is the best year yet in terms of asexuality, as the community is connected across the globe like never before. And the great thing is, it’s only going to get better. We hope by showing people that two asexuals can be married without having sex, that people can see that there is hope for them too.
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