In between digging and travelling, the last few months have also sent a few asexuality-related media and writing opportunities my way. Two have just been published – a piece over at Mamamia which I wrote after being contacted by one of their writers, and a piece for the Observer written by Alex Preston, for which I was interviewed. I also wrote a piece back in June for Role Reboot, which I’ll link to as well, for anyone interested in seeing what I’ve been up to in other spaces.
Mamamia contacted me wanting to do a piece on asexuality, and were kind enough to let me write my own piece for publication. Kudos also for finding an ace-friendly sex therapist for the advice section below the main article!
But there I was, 19 and now in university, and still not getting how it was all meant to work. I felt like I was meant to have all these feelings – attraction, romantic love, desire – that I just didn’t have or understand. I felt like there was something wrong with me.
And so I found myself in my dad’s study well after midnight, panicked and combing the internet for an answer. It didn’t even take long for me to find the one word that made everything fall into place: asexuality.
How the British changed their minds about sex – Alex Preston for The Observer
Writing on the results of the 2014 Observer sex survey – a very interesting read. There is a section on asexuality near the end, in which I am quoted. From the end of the article:
We still find traces of this in current discourses around sexuality – the wish to identify deviations from normative behaviour and treat them as symptoms of some underlying sociocultural malaise. Instead, perhaps we should recognise that sex long ago stopped being about procreation, and most models of sexual activity that circulate at a societal level are woefully outdated when it comes to what we actually do with each other when the lights are out. From aromantic asexuality to anarchic polyamory, from fart fetishists to frotteurs, our sexual identities are as vivid and various as our selves, and this wild profusion is a thing to be celebrated.
A piece I wrote a few months ago, which Role Reboot was happy to publish.
One of the central ideas that asexual people like myself question is the conflation of sex with love and romance, and the way that sexual relationships are celebrated and privileged above all others. I like to think about it this way: Most people are taught that sexual attraction is just one part of a whole package that also includes aesthetic, romantic, and emotional attraction, like a big ball of string where everything is tangled up in each other. But the threads that make up that ball of string can also be disentangled. So someone can be romantically attracted to someone else without desiring a sexual relationship with them. People can form deep and meaningful relationships that include romance but not sex. And people can form committed platonic relationships that aren’t based on romance at all, but on deep emotional connection.