Sex and love are not the same thing. For some people, at some times, sex is an act of intimacy already felt. For some it’s a chance to connect. For some it’s self-expression, or just good fun. For some, it’s not fun at all.
As a demisexual, I straddle the line between allo- and asexual. In fact I’ve only ever been sexually attracted to one person so far. I know what it’s like to be dying to touch someone and be close to them, but more often than not I know what it’s like to say “Yeah, she’s pretty” and have no further interest than that.
First off let me say, if you want to have sex, honey go for it. You have every right to go into the world and have a good time and make connections and enjoy yourself. If you’re being safe and consensual, you have EVERY RIGHT to explore and live in your body. Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise.
Now my aces, my sweet sweet aces and demis, there’s a chance you’re feeling pressured to have sex. Or being made to feel weird for not wanting it. Or wondering why you don’t want it.
I know I was. While I think it’s important not to get too hung-up on labels, before I learned about demisexuality I thought I was just devestatingly shy about sex, and that’s why I wasn’t doing it (I was also just figuring out I was gay). I felt so much shame about never having had sex. I felt estranged from my friends and peers. The word “frigid” would send me into a downward spiral, even if it was in reference to the weather. Just discovering the word demisexual made me feel like I belonged, like everything I was experiencing made sense. I wasn’t a freak for not feeling any attraction to all the people around me, and I wasn’t a freak for being insanely attracted to my then-girlfriend.
She, coincidentally, was discovering she was asexual. Asexuality, as I understand it, refers to an absence of desire to touch another person in a sexual way. Some aces don’t mind sex, some like it; they just don’t feel that draw towards sexual activity with any particular person. But if you are an asexual who doesn’t like sex, or doesn’t ever want to have sex, know sweetheart you are still perfect just as you are and you are still worthy of love.
And if you’re an ace who wants a romantic partner and is scared you’ll have to have sex to have love, let me remind you, sex does not equal love. There are plenty of non-sexual ways to be physically intimate, and lots of ways to be intimate that aren’t physical at all. Please don’t do something you don’t want to do in an effort to make them happy, honey. Honour yourself enough to speak up about your boundaries and concerns. Honour the other person enough to be honest with them and believe they can handle it. Even if it’s hard, tell the truth. Give them a chance. Give yourself a chance to have an authentic connection based on trust and openness. That’s love. You deserve that, dear one.
We live in such an overly sexualized world, permeated with porn culture, which can leave us with warped ideas about sex and relationships, and make us think there are all these expectations for us. But the only true expectations are the ones you place on yourself. You can have a rich, beautiful romantic relationship if that’s what you want. And not wanting that is equally as wonderful.
You will find your place; you will find your people.
I’m sure of it.