Question of the Week: July 31st, 2018.

Do you ever think or worry about one day not being ace? 

There is some discussion in the community about people who were allosexual before, are now ace, and how that is a totally valid identity. Maybe there’s not enough discussion about that kind of experience. While the original Anthony Bogaert study defined asexuality as a lifelong lack of sexual attraction, our community recognizes many more ways to be asexual. Sexuality can change and that’s completely okay.

I rarely see us talk about people who were ace before, become something else, and see both identities as valid at the time they had them. We’re understandably critical of ace being seen as just a phase, but I’m curious about people who shift out of being ace without seeing it as a mistake or misunderstanding; being ace is just an experience the person no longer has. This experience would rarely come up because these people would presumably leave the community, but what if they’re still here? I’m reminded of a few accounts I’ve read by heterosexual trans men lingering in lesbian spaces because they used to identify as a lesbian. Is there something the community could do that would benefit these previous members on the fringes?


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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8 Responses to Question of the Week: July 31st, 2018.

  1. Satsuma says:

    knowing older queer people who’d been out for decades was so important to me when I was younger, and I’ve always found it sad that baby aces couldn’t have that experience in the ace community. So what I’m saying is, even if I suddenly started experiencing sexual attraction (which I find unlikely, but you know, i suppose its possible) I’d probably stick around the ace community just to fulfill my role as a community elder

    It’s hard to say though, right now I’ve never experienced sexual attraction, so I can’t really predict what it would change if I did

  2. Seth says:

    I’m on HRT and haven’t gotten the full effect yet, and it wouldn’t be the first time something about my sexuality shifted, so yeah, that possibility is definitely something I think about occasionally (although moving into the grey zone seems far more likely than going full allo).

  3. I have thought about this, yes. It’s usually in the context of imagining my response to someone telling me, “But maybe you haven’t met the right person yet!” My imagined response is along the lines of “Yeah, maybe there’s someone out there who I’d be sexually attracted to, and if I ever meet that person I’ll figure out what new label applies then. It doesn’t make me any less ace now.”

    I used to identify as bisexual, and now asexual. But I feel strongly that my sexual orientation hasn’t changed, only my understanding of it. I think that will stay true. (My romantic orientation, on the other hand, I think has actually shifted.) It is weird to imagine my sexuality actually changing—becoming allosexual, for example, rather than just finding a new place I on the ace spectrum to match a new understanding. I think it would be difficult to come to terms with.

  4. sashablogsacestuff says:

    My sexuality has shifted again and again over the last seven years. Things are still in flux for me and I have no idea what’s going on tbh. I might end up allo, though right now I can’t imagine it. Personally I’ve found it very valuable to learn that there are many different ways to be ace (in fact, that’s why I’m dipping dipping my toes into the community again after some years of avoiding it). So I’d be glad to hear from previously-ace allo folks.

    I also think that it’s useful to “keep your identity small”. Which doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make up ten words for it; by all means, do that. (I certainly will…) What I mean is…identities are made to serve us, not the other way around. It’s usual for humans to want to stick with labels they’ve used for themselves, but when those labels don’t fit anymore, I think it’s good to let them go and find new ones. If your label makes up a large part of your you-ness, it may feel harder to let go.

    What a fitting first comment from me, ha. I hope this wasn’t too OT!

  5. demiandproud says:

    I worry about not being to able to be demisexual or asexual outside of my own mind, someday. Even in Holland, things are taking a turn for the more conservative (though I admit I am SO BIASED by my move to where I live now).

    I have talked to people, open-minded, otherwise liberal, kind-hearted, lovely people who honestly believed that all people are either heterosexual or “living the wrong lifestyle” and… well… (And okay, they also don’t acknowledge the existence of queer folks beyond “those homosexuals” and people who “are confused whether they’re man or woman”, but… yeah… so I’m erased rather than rejected. Go me.)

    If this was X-Men, I’d be a mutant who can pass for human. The temptation is there, already, to just… pass.

    So yes, I fear that the misconceptions will overcome the scientific truth like a big ole returning tide, in the future, and there will be no space for me, certainly within travelling distance, to be not-heterosexual. To be accepted as not-heterosexual. Or even, to be among people that accept that I might’ve been born not-heterosexual. And I will not even have a choice, that outside of my own head, I will be heterosexual, just ’cause I happen to be a) single or b) in love with a guy or c) not in love with a girl where they can see it.

  6. Zoe says:

    The question of if I will stop being ace one day brings me only anxiety and an unpleasant slimy feeling on my skin. I never want to find out that I’m not ace. I can’t imagine it happening, for one, and, for another, that would effectively invalidate so much about my struggles up to this point. Those people who say “You just haven’t found the right (insert whatever will cure your aceness here)” are the scum of the earth and them ever being right about me when I know in my bones it isn’t true just grinds my gears.
    I used to identify as bisexual, but, even now I’ve largely dropped that label, I still hang in some bi spaces. The now allo can hang around the community if they want as far as I’m concerned, they’d probably have some interesting insight so long as they don’t become double scum. I’ve met a few in real life who identified as ace and then moved to pan or bi and now claim the rest of the ace just need a good lay or to get over their fears or what have you. It’s sickening.

  7. This actually pretty much happened to me. I’m one of those people who “just had to find the right person”. But that doesn’t invalidate my identity as asexual at all – I’m still on the ace spectrum. I identify as demisexual now, but am basically asexual with an exception. I don’t really know whether I “actually” was demi all along or whether my sexuality changed, but either way I don’t feel like it matters. I did not experience sexual attraction for the first 22 years of my life so at that time I was asexual, even if I am not now. And if I would ever become allo (which I highly doubt), I would classify that as an actual change in sexuality so that would definitely not render my previous identities invalid or a mistake.

  8. Siggy says:

    I don’t worry about deciding I’m not ace, because over the last decade, I’ve seen plenty of precedent. Many years ago when I was on AVEN, there was a respected allo member, whom I think was formerly questioning. In the early days of ace blogging, there was a well-known blog whose author had decided she weren’t ace. TAA has had a blogger who decided she wasn’t ace. I also know of an activist colleague who stopped identifying as ace.

    Most of these people stopped being active in the community afterwards. But they didn’t lose what they gained. I believe they were able to apply their insights from the community to whatever they did next in life. Also worth noting that plenty of people enter and leave ace communities without changing their identities, and that participation in ace communities isn’t a forever thing anyways.

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