There are some hard truths about asexuality that we get in the Fuck Yeah Asexual ask box. It’s such a high volume. But we do our best to answer them all like a one on one conversation with someone. Occasionally, they there’s a curious statement. And if I’m really lucky, it will rattle a bigger thought forward. Something so big, and in need of a conversation.
Today, I introduce the #BelieveAces mini-series. Its goal is to show the endless amount of ways that people are not believing the community. That’s one of the first truths about asexuality you learn.
We have an FAQ, but there’s a question not on the list that’s just as popular. “People keep using this script when they talk to me. If I say something off book, I’m dismissed.”
It’s enough to fill a bingo card. “Oh, you haven’t met the right one.” “Oh, you’ll want kids someday.” “The abuse you face was caused by something else.” “Maybe you are just lying about what happened in the first place.”
The fact that abuse victims are not believed. Mixes in with the fact that bisexuals and asexuals have the highest rates of abuse. We must also consider the fact that ace communities over-index in having trans people.
There’s a culture of disbelief of our community from outsiders. That’s the hardest truth of asexuality.
The demands placed on asexuals and the wider queer community are so often an arbitrary bar. They demand that sexuality become performative. “Be out how we say. With the words we declare are okay.” Aces are told they must simultaneously have had sex. And abstain in order to know if it’s for them. Abuse, or mental illness, or anything that doesn’t make us a gold star individual is further used to not only undermine personally. But us as an identity. By treating asexuality, and being out, as a spectacle we will lose and have lost, so much to erasure.
People rarely discuss the reasons asexuals have sex. The occasional article about it usually frames the topic as a compromise for an allo partner. But still does not dig down to the why of the behavior. And there’s a ton of whys. I know my mods and I do our best to point out every reason. Including boredom. But widely? It’s a good day if asexuality isn’t treated exclusively as life long virginity.
The seemingly contradictory facets of asexual lives make it hard for aces to see themselves. It isn’t because aces aren’t diverse. It’s caused by disbelief on a large scale. The general social unawareness that asexuality is one thing. But there’s a culture of not pathologizing those who do.
Aces who marry are omitted. Historical figures with any known sexual history are excluded. Those who stayed chaste their whole life are still excused away. Some of this is done in bigotry. Some isn’t. That is why sharing our stories, and sometimes even the complications in facing compulsory sexuality and abuse are so important.
Even recent history is too easily forgotten is another one of those hard truths about asexuality.
Every single ace story has something important to add to the conversation. Each with their own intersections that connect us to others.
The spark of this article was an ask that said: “I think asexuals are more present than others.” On the surface that can find sound like the 1960s line: “If we give up men, we will have more time for the revolution!” But one of the hard truths about asexuality, it’s context had a spin on the idea that put a spotlight on the assumed.
A highly specific and particular ace point of view that unifies every ace. A-spec people aren’t really playing at anything in social situations, at least not the same love games as everyone else.
This isn’t a problem either. An asexual point of view can actually help people be more present in certain moments. The harmful lies of heteronormativity, compulsory sexuality, and amatonormality can be further disproved by our existence at the table already.
Not only does this help asexuals be aware of their choices when navigating through their own lives, a feat more distracting than it is a time-saver, but our collective possibility helps to point out that falsely assumed. Asks people to throw away their social scripts of harm systems, and may allow people to become more fully present in their own choices in the hopes that their life is liberated. That it becomes lived by their own design.
Maybe A stands for more than our identities.
It as easily could be for Anarchy. For that’s the accidental call of any a-spec person. The last of today’s hard truths about asexuality. Live your life without needing any authority besides your own wishes. Find your absolute freedom of self. This is not a truth unique to our community, but the heart of any revolution.
– Roses from a digital typewriter
Start reading Part Two: The Refusal To Accept Labels