Question of the Week: June 20th 2017

Have you ever been hit on in public like while at the gym or getting groceries? How does it make you feel?

I feel a mixture of confusion and wariness the rare time I get approached or flirted with in public. From my being nonbinary but being read as female to being asexual and also throw vegan in, I feel like a faker. This person has no idea who they’re hitting on! It makes me self conscious and then annoyed that I’m self conscious about perfectly fine qualities. At least when someone flirts with me on a dating site they know who I am. They’ve read information about me and then went yes, this is a person I want to know. In person flirting feels like this awkward hiding where revealing anything is too forward and intimate for such a casual interaction. Similarly, I don’t flirt with people in public because I don’t know anything about them. Someone’s hot. So what? What’s their opinion on feminism or queer people? I’m sure you can imagine I do pretty badly on Tinder.

 

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 petuniaparty.tumblr.com
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5 Responses to Question of the Week: June 20th 2017

  1. TreePeony says:

    Never, which I think is probably one of the few benefits of being aro ace in an ultra-conservative country — unless you go to places specifically for picking people up or are stupid enough to go to an unsavoury part of town, it’s very rare to be approached like that.

    As for why it never happened in school/tuition classes/university, my friends theorise that it’s because I’m “attractive enough but give out a weird and forbidding aura, which probably turns [guys] off.” They say this pityingly and I pretend to be sorry just to keep up appearances, but in actuality I’m pretty happy about it. Being “odd” has its benefits sometimes.

  2. swimbfly says:

    I have had this issue and it was the weirdest thing. Actually it resulted in me going on an accidental date…I’ll explain later.

    A few months after I finally started feeling comfortable using asexual as my idenity but while I was still trying to figure out what that means for me I was interning in DC, on a Naval base, surrounded by men. However I didn’t think anything of it, low self esteem, lack of dating, never really being hit on before or probably more likely never realizing I was being hit on before etc so when a sailor hit on me even giving me his number. I felt extremely uncomfortable, I was there to work not to date, I was only going to be there for a summer so what was he expecting from me etc etc. I felt that I couldn’t turn him down so I accepted the number and ghosted him, yeah asshole move but I figured its a big base I won’t run into him again. I did which made this even more uncomfortable. I really did not know how to deal and was not in any place to be dating at the time so it just was awful.

    As for the accidental date thing there was another intern that I got along with and thought we were friends and a week before all of the interns had went out for drinks after work, (DC’s happy hour is the best!) I worked away from the other interns so when he found me and asked if I wanted to go out after work that day I had assumed that we were going to be meeting the others. Yeah…no it was a date. Very awkward and even more awkward as I had to keep running into him the rest of the summer.

    So personally I try not to flirt although probably do not realizing (see above) and almost never realize when people are hitting on me (again see above). Due to my own mental BS and self esteem issues when someone hits on me I am constantly overthinking it and it makes me really uncomfortable.

  3. Rivers says:

    It’s kind of funny that being ace or aro/ace can either make you hyper aware of this or completely oblivious to people trying to flirt with you. I wouldn’t say I’ve never been hit on, though most of those experiences happened when I was younger (that I know of, I can be pretty thick). The older I get, the weirder flirting seems to me, since it’s really hard for me to pick out the non-platonic aspects of it unless it’s blatantly spelled out for me. It also scares me that someone can ask someone out on a date without specifically spelling it out as a date, and how the word “date” can actually have a different meaning for different people.

  4. Jess says:

    I have been hit on when out, moreso when I was younger/before I knew I was aro ace. And honestly, usually it happened when I was feeling particularly vulnerable OR I was in a new situation and trying to be friendly/more outgoing. A few times it led to one-off dates, but every time (whether it led to a date or not) I felt the same thing, to different degrees: a brief feeling of being flattered and feeling ‘normal’ (and even feeling somewhat giddy at that ‘normal’ feeling, because it made me hope that perhaps I WAS actually normal – i.e. straight), that quickly turned into discomfort and wanting the whole thing to be over and me avoiding the guy who hit on me/asked me out until he left me alone.

    Since I’ve started feeling really comfortable with my aro-/ace-ness though, I feel like I project a vibe that other people unconsciously read as ‘no.’ I don’t feel like I NEED to be ‘normal’/straight/anything other than what I am, and I think that’s something that comes through in all my interactions. I think people can (usually) sense things like that; if you’re not receptive to that kind of thing, most people will pick up on it. Makes for a lot less awkwardness and discomfort on my side.

  5. luvtheheaven says:

    http://squiddleprincess.tumblr.com/post/147495245839/that-aromantic-feel-when-you-start-worrying-that – anyone?

    Lol in all seriousness… I relate a lot to some of these comments.

    I don’t get what being “hit on” even really means though and am probably oblivious most of the time. I think the male coworker roughly around my age who I rarely interacted with, and these days never see who told me I reminded him of the actress who was in both Nurse Jackie and The Walking Dead made me worried he may have been flirting, but that could’ve just been a friendly thing and I mean we were at work so I’m just overly sensitive probably. It was partially that I reminded him off that based on a combination of looks and personality I think, or maybe just looks, which is why I stated tu get that vibe. Why is he thinking that much about how I look? Lol I’m totally overreacting though I’m sure. The Uber driver in Las Vegas who I came out to as asexual seemed to then be almost hitting on me in a creepy way, because of how insistent he was that I probably just hadn’t tried sex/kissing enough times, or with the right person.. but he was all over the place thinking I might be a lesbian and stuff too, anything but accepting asexuality could be real… and again probably wasn’t really hitting on me. I don’t usually feel hit on. Idk whether I’m oblivious or what. There was the one time I was asked out on the Washington DC metro, while on the train, he wanted my phone number after I was making brief friendly conversation that he must’ve interpreted as flirting and I was flattered and surprised and wondered if wearing makeup that day for one of the first times ever was making me pretty enough to actually be wanted in that way for once, even though I felt like I had no idea what I was doing with the makeup and it was both minimal and pretty poorly done… then I wondered also about the makeup if I just held myself differently and more confidently that day in general because of it… I told the dude immediately that I was actually on my way home, by metro train, from an asexual meetup and used my asexuality as an excuse to not give him my number without explaining at all what asexuality was. I guess I just assumed he wouldn’t be interested if he knew I was ace and in a split second I turned him down even though I probably could’ve given dating him a chance. I was just. I don’t know. I went into instant “ah alert likely regular straight dude who wants sex” so … no I didn’t react positively. I was like 25 then, I think.

    I’m 27 now and these are like all the total instances I can think of. If a random stranger I’m never gonna see again is friendly but doesn’t ask me out, I’m probably going to just find it pleasant and not categorize it as flirting or hitting on. I’m back to pretty much never wearing makeup and… I’m overweight and I’ve never gotten compliments on my looks while outside of the context of a dating site by any men (or really any people at all) who seem interested in me in that way. And I’m grateful for that. As I wrote about here: https://luvtheheaven.wordpress.com/2015/11/19/an-exploration-of-not-wanting-to-be-sexy-and-of-never-feeling-sexy/

    I mean… idk. I appreciate platonic seeming compliments from people who I know, people of any gender or age… compliments on my clothing or jewelry or nail polish. I like feeling pretty. But yeah…

    I’m asexual and gray-aro, and I’m interested in finding a new partner (or two!) to foster and/or adopt children with who is cool with never kissing me. The chances of a stranger in public — who is drawn to me because they are attracted to what is likely just my appearance — wanting that life with me? The chances seem astronomically low.

    Besides, I have half-written off ever partnering with someone who finds me sexually attractive because I’m not sure I could ever feel comfortable in that scenario ANYWAY! (Especially if said person is a cis, straight, man.)

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