Question of the Week: October 24th, 2017

Was questioning or uncertainty ever a big part of your identity? 

As soon as I read the word asexual I said “that’s me” and moved on. In the almost ten years since other people have questioned if I’m asexual, but I never did. Questioning and uncertainty has been a big part of my identity in other areas: romantic orientation, the type of relationship I want, and my gender. Those areas of my identity always seemed fluid and open to transformation and unfolding while asexuality was a solid touchstone.

For a while I thought I was wtf/quoiromantic, which is all about uncertainty. I’ve never heard about wtfsexual (and I can’t tell how many of the few Google search results on it are serious), but maybe that’s because gray-a is big enough to include all of the uncertainty and questioning some of us might have about being ace. Or is it? I had a friend who questioned if she was gray-a and I’m sure others have as well.

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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6 Responses to Question of the Week: October 24th, 2017

  1. Elizabeth says:

    I think pretty much anyone who ever read my blog prior to 2014 already knows my answer to this question is yes, lol.

    I don’t know if right now I would describe it as uncertainty anymore, but I still exist in a space of liminal ambiguity and fluidity wrt various kinds of attractions and being somewhere on the aromantic-ish side of the spectrum, but exactly where I leave intentionally undefined. I’m certain that for me, it’s not really worth dissecting that, and that I want to resist the impulse (to some degree, pressure) to categorize myself as one or the other publicly. So yeah, quoiromantic/wtfromantic works for me, and so does greyromantic, but it’s probably more about resisting the binary framework (and the focus on the minutiae of experiences of attraction) than being all that uncertain about it now, in my case.

    (And one day, maybe I will finish that damn post about all this.)

  2. Rivers says:

    I’m with you in knowing pretty much from the get-go that I was ace. Same with being aro. However, I’ve had a lot more complicated time with figuring out more subtle parts of my identity (such as my demisensuality) and my gender. My gender is rather fluid, and I have a lot of internalized prejudice about it, being raised conservative in a conservative community where you aren’t supposed to talk or think about it. It’s still something I’m questioning, and only something I’ve been able to see with an open mind over the past few weeks.

  3. luvtheheaven says:

    My recent piece in The Asexual journal describes yeah, my story which people familiar with me already know pretty well:
    And questioning was a big part of that. One of my paragraphs starts:
    “I’m grateful I found the word “asexual” when I did. It took me a few months—and a lot of attempts to fit inside a heteronormative mold—before I finally accepted that I’d never feel sexual attraction, desire, or arousal.” That condenses my questioning into just the few months I was struggling to figure myself out with the possibility of asexual, with the knowledge that I must be gray-asexual at the least, slowly boiling up, but ignores the significant chunk of time before that – years? – when I’d learned the word and pushed it aside not even questioning, not even consciously considering yet that it might be me. And (a)romanticism I questioned for even longer. Doubt was a bigger part of the romantic orientation I’d settled on for a while and to some extent even now. I wouldn’t necessarily call my questioning if I was asexual a big part of my identity. It was an in between stage in my identities, between being wrong but sure enough I was straight and before settling on a truth I felt confident of, and in that period I was unsure of what to identify as. My identity itself was in flux, not solidly on questioning or doubt.

  4. Seth says:

    “Those areas of my identity always seemed fluid and open to transformation and unfolding while asexuality was a solid touchstone.”

    Same. For a while, I was like, “How long do I have to go without experiencing limerence before declaring myself to be aromantic rather than demiromantic?” I’m still not experiencing limerence (a huge relief to me, since I mostly just experienced the negative facets), but back to calling myself demi on the basis of strong emotional connection.

    The neutrois label clicked with me as soon as I found it – I very much wanted to bring my testosterone levels down and be rid of my sexual characteristics, but felt no need to feminize – but I’m not so sure anymore. Something changed in my body chemistry last year, and my dysphoria jumped to unbearable levels. I’m on spiro and paxil now, and that’s been helping, but not enough for my liking. I’ve been doing more research and re-evaluating, and I intend to start on estrogen soon (pretty sure I’m almost done with the gatekeeping). I’m definitely not confident that it’s going to have a positive effect on me, and the prospect terrifies me, but I feel that I need to try it.

  5. Cracticus says:

    I found myself questioning for after realising demisexual wasn’t the right term for me. I struggled for a few months over it. At the time my main way of connecting with the ace community was though the AVEN forums, which at the time had a fair amount users expressing anti-grey-A sentiments. I guess a fair amount of that period of questioning wasn’t so much not knowing what I was, but learning to be comfortable with identifying as grey-A. At the same time I was struggling with feeling broken for being sex repulsed. I thought it was something that would go away once I met the right person. Discovering the term sex repulsed greatly aided in helping me realise I didn’t actually want that part of me to change.

    For the past few months I’ve been questioning my romantic orientation. It’s less stressful than when I was questioning my place on the ace-spectrum, but more complicated. Instances of being attracted to women have been so few and far in between and so short lived, that it’s hard to draw any conclusions apart from that its different to how I’m typically attracted to men and questionable as to whether its romantic or aesthetic attraction. I’m not sure if those sorts of feelings are strong enough to form a relationship and since I’m in a monogamous relationship with a man, I don’t know what to do if I ended up concluding I’m bi. Part of me wonders whether all of this is just so I distance myself from the idea of being a “heteroromantic invader” in queer spaces.

  6. Rachel says:

    For my asexuality and aromanticism, I latched on to and assimilated these terms almost the minute that I managed to put two and two together. Doubt and questioning were never a serious part of my journey in that regard. All in all, a pretty angst-free and simple experience.

    But also being quoigender, doubt and uncertainty have been an uncomfortable constant. In contrast to my orientation, which is very stable, my gender is a big pile of “…???.” It has taught me that it is much easier to be comfortable with your identity when you at least know what it is. The comfort and strength that I get from being certain of my aro aceness does not extend to my gender. I struggle a lot with self-acceptance due to that lack of surety, especially because everyone and their mom expects/requires that you have gender and identity along its parameters (Just like how everyone is supposed to have sexual/romantic attraction. Funny that.). I struggle with whether I;m “just a cis woman in denial” or “a real NB” and that lack of a solid foundation makes me feel like a faker.

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