Question of the Month: July 16th, 2019.

Did you know you were ace right away or did you go through a questioning period?

I’ve heard a lot of people who identify as gray-asexual describe a questioning period or time after they heard the label when they were still figuring things out. I assume this is also true for some people who identify as asexual, but I hear it less. I wonder if that’s a coincidence or that there’s something about being gray that resonates with people who are questioning.

I remember the first time I heard asexual being used as a sexual orientation I knew it referred to me. It gave words to describe experiences I knew I had but had never articulated. It changed things but also simultaneously felt like nothing had changed.

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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9 Responses to Question of the Month: July 16th, 2019.

  1. unicornduke says:

    I read about asexuality from a link to someone’s post about a topic other than asexuality but related. So I heard the word, got a brief description and then went on my day, thinking it didn’t apply at all. Months later, I came back to it on a random thought, read about it on a blog that described both asexuality and what sexual attraction was as a contrast, which I found by doing a lot of research and then spent two weeks contemplating if I actually knew what sexual attraction was. I did this by, no joke, spending a week watching men and a week watching women, to see if I felt anything when I looked at people. I did not, so clearly I was ace. I haven’t questioned since that although it isn’t so cut and dry anymore haha.

  2. kaikiky says:

    I’ve known for as long as I can remember that I was not interested in physical intimacy or sex and that I had never felt sexual attraction to anyone, and I thought I was the only one. Then when I discovered “asexuality” and “asexual” in college, I instantly knew that’s what I was and it was super easy to adopt as language to describe myself.

  3. Nihonhistory says:

    I identify as asexual, not gray, but when I first came across the term I didn’t pick it up right away. One reason for that was, that I didn’t understand the difference between sexual and romantic attraction or knew that there was a difference. So I thought “I have had crushes on people, I can’t be asexual.” Another reason might have been, that English isn’t my first language and so I might have misunderstood a few things or had trouble understanding what asexuality was supposed to be, I had not heard the term before. A third reason was, that I was afraid of what that would mean for me and my future. For a long time I had thought I was straight and than later bi and had always imagined that I would eventually have a relationship and kids. I didn’t have that many friends that were in relationships, so it wasn’t so much that I felt like something was wrong with me. My friends didn’t have boyfriends or girlfriends either, so I wasn’t really bothered by that, but I always assumed that it would happen later in life.
    So for all those reasons it took me some time and soul-searching to start identifying as asexual. It wasn’t like this light bulb moment once I heard the term for the first time or anything.

  4. Siggy says:

    During my “questioning” period I identified as aromantic asexual, and sometimes entertained thoughts of being aromantic demisexual (an idea that was unheard of at the time). Later I identified as gray-asexual, and stuck with that.

  5. Vago says:

    When i first discovered asexuality, at muy 16, i had no doubt, but i keep it mostly hidden because there was not much acceptance of it, or even awareness.

    However, when i figured out i was a Sort of Demisexual, around 2-3 years ago, i entered into a new discovery phase. The grayness área has a lot of surprises, AND i don’t think i ever stoped questioning What u am exactly since then

  6. LJ Conrad says:

    I first heard about asexuality when I was a teenager – not because of myself, but because I guy I liked said he wasn’t interested in dating and when discussing this with others, that term came up. I recall the mother showing me an article (probably in the Daily Mail so certainly not a very educational or open-minded source!) by a woman who identified as asexual. Everything about it just sounded sad and loserish. It wasn’t until I was about 30 that I looked into asexuality again. I was desperate to work out what was ‘wrong’ with my sexuality because none that I read about seemed to fit me, and I was finally coming to terms with the fact that I didn’t ever want a sexual relationship. This time I read proper educational sources and yeah, it clicked instantly. I am 100% sure I am asexual and have always been asexual. Unfortunately I went through 15 years of questioning due to lack of understanding, education and support about the subject.

  7. DasTenna says:

    When I first discovered the term “asexuality” and read a few personal experiences, it was a few years ago while doing research to find out what it was that made my novel´s protagonist so “different” from “the stereotypical male” when it came to sexual interaction. Many things I read about resonated with me but first I denied that it could be since I had sexual relationships with men because men were sexually interested in me which I believed meant that I couldn´t be but heterosexual. It took me about a month to realize why calling myself “heterosexual but not really and somehow doing it wrong” felt not at all like an adequate description 😉

  8. Owen Michael says:

    Kind of a questioning period before and after a lightbulb moment that made me go “looks like that’s me”? I remember reading the term in Science of Doctor Who I think about when I started secondary school and identifying with that, and then at about fourteen assuming having a libido meant I wasn’t without really thinking about it, then it coming up again reading fanfiction when I was about eighteen and me occasionally wondering, especially after realising romantic and sexual attraction weren’t necessarily the same, then first reading that some asexual people had a libido and wondering a lot more for the next few weeks before a comment on my 21st birthday suddenly made me realise that most people’s libido was directed at other people (ironically in a conversation started by the other person basically assuming I was out as asexual….) and mentally going “yeah, that’s not me”. Still questioning after that, but the more reading I did the more it seemed to confirm my asexuality.
    Honestly in hindsight I’m pretty sure I had a better intuitive understanding of my orientation aged twelve than twenty, I just didn’t have the terminology (though I came almost aggravatingly closer than most people would have for me…..) and spent years trying to bash the square peg of myself into round holes I was told were available when honestly, something as basic as the AVEN FAQ at a young age would have had me basically knowing from the start (I think. Obviously I can’t know).

  9. luvtheheaven says:

    I went through a long questioning period. I think this post of mine is one of the ones I’ve written that best describes how and why: https://luvtheheaven.wordpress.com/2016/08/30/when-someone-learns-a-word-but-it-will-take-a-lot-for-them-to-grasp-the-concept-it-describes/
    (Note: I’m not gray in regards to my asexuality.)

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