5 things you should never say to an asexual person
If you have gone through high school biology, you have probably heard the term “asexual” in the context of plants. You know, the plants that reproduce asexually, where the offspring is genetically identical to the parent plant. However, as much I’d like for the bio minor in me to get carried away with that, I’m actually going to tell you about humans who are asexual. Fun fact – the “A” in LGBTQIA does not stand for ally, it stands for “asexual.”
So, what does asexual mean (in the context of humans)? An asexual person is someone who does not experience sexual attraction. However, that does not mean that they aren’t capable for forming intimate/romantic relationships with others. As an asexual person, these are some of the things/top 5 things I hear way too often, that I’d rather never hear again.
“Are you sure you just haven’t met the right person?”
This is the one I hear the most often, and it can come off as quite condescending. The right person would respect my identity and accept the fact that I don’t feel sexual desire towards them. My orientation is not a challenge, nor is it a conquest.
“With that attitude, you’ll end up alone. FOREVER.”
First, it’s not an attitude. I didn’t wake up one day and choose to be asexual. It’s something I have known as an instinct for a long, long time. It’s a part of me. My worth is not defined by potential partners. Just because I don’t feel sexual attraction doesn’t mean I can’t form deep meaningful relationships with others. Platonic love is alive and kicking, folks.
“How do you know if you haven’t tried it before?”
Well, I know lead will kill me if I ingest it, but I don’t need to swallow it just to make double, triple sure.
“You want attention! You’re making it up!”
Throughout history, people have been oppressing asexual communities and other orientations through measures like corrective rape. With progression through time, many people now feel safe enough to come forward about their identities. Just because you’ve never heard of asexuality and don’t happen to feel that way yourself, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
“So you’ve never had sex?”
Without getting too complicated, I’ll tell you that within asexuality, there are people who consider themselves sex-repulsed, sex-positive, and sex neutral. The person you are talking to can fall under any of those umbrellas, but won’t necessarily tell you which, nor is that information owed to you. That’s private information, and it’s incredibly rude to ask about their experiences — so please, check yourself before asking about the private lives of people who choose to come out to you as asexual. That’s trusting you with a lot of information, as it is.
Needless to say, this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. I don’t speak for everyone, because I have other axis of identity that influence my experience (such as being a desi woman). However, we can all benefit from more understanding and less ignorance. Human beings are complicated and nuanced and while sexuality is a part of our identity, it does not define us.
Hridi Das is a young millennial who is in denial that she is technically a legit adult. When she isn’t figuring out her future, she can be found teaching herself something new every day. She is a herbal tea addict, pop culture nerd, makeup junkie and will never hesitate to give her 2 cents. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr.