Question of the Week: April 12th, 2016.

Did you ever identify as anything else before you realized you were asexual?

Until I was 17 I assumed that I was heterosexual. I quickly knew I wasn’t attracted to girls. Before I knew about asexuality crossing girls off the list meant all that was left was that I had to be straight. I distinctly remember even calling myself boy crazy; I plastered my entire high school locker with pictures of boys from electronica bands (probably much to the chagrin of my unfortunate locker partner). I had elaborate fantasies of liking them for them. To me that meant that I wanted to marry a guy from a band because I liked who he was as a person, which was a convenient way to dismiss my complete lack of sexual attraction. It wasn’t until I realized asexuality existed as a term that I put my supposed heterosexuality in perspective and noticed that it had never fit.


About Talia

Talia is an asexual, nonbinary, vegan-feminist that drinks a lot of coffee and stays up very late playing Blizzard video games and writing fiction. They are working on a PhD in Environmental Studies where they think a lot about oppression as intersectional and impacting identities differentially. Talia has a particular fondness for asexuality, fandom, and Critical Animal Studies. Their personal blog is
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16 Responses to Question of the Week: April 12th, 2016.

  1. queenieofaces says:

    I identified as a ???lesbian??? for a little bit and then bisexual for a couple of years. I knew I was attracted to women–I just assumed that interest in sex would come along at some point in the future (I think at one point I was essentially operating under the assumption that I was demisexual, although of course I didn’t know that word then).

  2. Light Red says:

    I thought I was het for a very long time. I was attracted to boys, altought I mostly liked the way I felt when I saw them and never wanted a romantic relationship with them. Then I began to like women, and I believed I was bi. But I never wanted sex with anyone and I just assumed that I eventually will meet a person who provokes me sexual desire… but never happened. I knew the asexual definition, but I didn’t analise what it could mean for me, until one day I just started reading a lot about it and I realised I indentify myself with it. It was a great relief.

  3. Seth says:

    I also made the default assumption that I must be straight, but I never made any attempt to embrace that identity. It always felt like an imposition to me. I’d have said that of course I was straight, but I didn’t want to be.

  4. Victrix says:

    I identified as hetero until I started questioning and then bounced around a bit in consideration possibly thinking I was bi or less often gay but nothing really sat well with me until I started considering I was asexual.

  5. Yoonede says:

    I knew there was something “wrong” with me from adolescence because I wasn’t experiencing attraction like my peers, and from time-to-time I questioned whether I was gay. I would explore this in my mind for a bit and quickly conclude that I was not attracted to my own gender–so that had to mean I was straight, right? So I identified as straight, and assumed I had a lot of problems. So I guess my answers to this question is that I identified as straight, but with Sexual Aversion Disorder.

  6. TreePeony says:

    The default assumption of heterosexuality was made before I was even old enough to know that there were other orientations, of course, but as soon as I found out I was different (when I was 16+ and realised that having gone through puberty without ever developing a crush on a boy was not at all the definition of heterosexuality), I did my research and discovered bisexuality. I’d never heard of asexuality even then, so figured I must be bi, since I’ve never favoured/sided with anyone just because of their gender/sex, and somehow got the impression that “unbiased by gender = bisexual.” Of course I didn’t know that romantic and sexual orientations are separate things – that knowledge I gained ~2 years ago.

  7. Sciatrix says:

    No, actually. I found asexuality fairly soon after I began trying to figure out what sexual orientations were and how I identified. I was a pretty sheltered kid, and for example I didn’t know what “lesbian” even meant until I was about eleven, much less figure out how it applied to me. (I know I didn’t know what that word meant because another kid threw it at me as a slur, and I reacted to the implication that it was a slur rather than the content itself. Oops.)

    I’m fairly sure I would have gone on to identify as gay or lesbian rather than straight once I finished reading and thinking about possible identity options. I’ve always been pretty straightforward (heh) about my lack of interest in guys.

    • Coyote says:

      “I was a pretty sheltered kid, and for example I didn’t know what ‘lesbian’ even meant until I was about eleven”

      …that …that counts as *sheltered*? ……….Oh.

    • queenieofaces says:

      I didn’t learn the word “lesbian” until I was in my early teens, I think, and I learned it in the context of the parents of a friend laughing about how her daughter didn’t know the difference between lesbian and gay. >.>

    • luvtheheaven says:

      I’m 100% sure that sometime close to my early teens I learned the word “Lesbian” thanks to the TV show Friends or a show like Will & Grace perhaps mentioning it, the same way I also figured out what heterosexual sex (intercourse, etc) was, etc — learning by osmosis. My mom watched these shows and they were certainly my first exposure to the fact that people could be gay at all, but also to the idea of a different word for women being gay, etc. I didn’t really get romantic-sexual relationships when I was younger than 11, and it took me a lot of time to grow into fully understanding them. I wasn’t that sheltered, never was lied to about where babies came from, I just never thought to even ask some of those questions, and knew no out gay people – nor rumored as closeted gay people – until my teenage years of my life.

  8. Writer Ace says:

    I thought I was straight (rather/more than heterosexual, I think) actually well into realizing I was asexual. That really only started to go away once I realized I might also be biromantic. A large part of it for me is that I had two (long) relationships with guys, and I honestly thought I was just bad at being straight. I’m also autochorissexual, so I had sexual fantasies that just…didn’t include me, and so I thought people just didn’t fantasize about themselves or their partners or anyone else they knew or interacted with (which meant it got very confusing when my boyfriend talked about his fantasies, but also reinforced my idea that I was straight but just doing it wrong).

    I did briefly have the thought I might be gay when I was thirteen or so, but dismissed that because I didn’t want to have sex with girls, either.

  9. Alex Black says:

    I grew up in a very Christian household, and between between being taught that you’re only supposed to have sex with a person of the opposite sex that you are married to, and being an aro ace who mistook opposite sex squishes for crushes, I thought I was straight until my mid twenties. Sex was always this far away thing that doesn’t happen until marriage, and I was so busy being “good” for not having the sex I wasn’t interested in, that I didn’t even realize I wasn’t as interested as I was supposed to be.

  10. Elizabeth says:

    There was never much of an assumption of heterosexuality for me. I mean, it was of course strongly pushed on me as a child, but I was a tomboy and I liked shows with lesbians in them (Sailor Moon, and then Utena), so I guess my mom just assumed I was a lesbian, and so did many of my peers. I already IDed as bisexual as young as 13, and alternately called it bi- or pansexual after I learned that word (depending on who I was talking to). At 15 I recall joking that I was really more asexual (or non-sexual?), but I hadn’t heard of asexuality as a real thing yet. It wasn’t until I was 17 that I realized asexuality was legit and I could call myself that for real.

  11. My main sense of myself in regard to sexuality was “not interested”. I never strongly identified as “straight” even when I assumed I ought to be by default, but I didn’t have any other label to use. At one point, I thought “I’m not into dudes, does that mean I’m a lesbian?” but then I decided I wasn’t into ladies either, so I returned to “not interested”.

  12. Pingback: Identidades pasadas en la comunidad asexual – Chrysocolla Town

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