I guess you would call this a coming out post. Doesn’t really feel like coming out. A lot of other people already know about my sexuality. For instance, I list myself as asexual on Twitter and Mastodon. But I’ve not really talked about my sexuality much here on the blog. Well, this week is Asexual Awareness Week, so it seems like a good idea to talk about what being asexual means to me. And the best way I can do that is by telling a story.
I’ve always known there was something different about me when it comes to sex. Every dude I’ve ever known has been obsessed with sex and romance since middle school. I wasn’t. I had the occasional crush, but I never fantasized about anyone sexually. Still, I felt tremendous pressure to lose my virginity. But this never happened. I never really asked anyone out, and the one time I tried to have a relationship, it was really awkward. Sex and romance just seemed so complicated and terrifying to me. I remained a virgin all through high school and into college.
At this time, I had no idea what asexuality was or that it was even an option. I knew gay straight, and bi were options, and I had had a couple crushes on girls, so I thought I was straight. I thought romance and sex went hand in hand. I had no idea there were people who didn’t feel sexually attracted to anyone. I didn’t really understand asexuality until I read Girls With Slingshots by Danielle Corsetto. One of the Characters, Erin, was asexual. The comic explored her romantic relationship with Jamie, a woman who was sexually attracted to men. The two of them ended up entering into an open relationship so that Jamie could continue to have sex without Erin having to be a part of something she didn’t want to be in.
Girls With Slingshots did a great job of introducing th subject of asexuality to me, but unfortunately also left me with the assumption that asexual people don’t like sexual contact of any kind, something that actually isn’t true. This in turn led me to believe that asexual people don’t masturbate, and that because I had masturbated before, I was disqualified.
Then, in Senior year, I had a bad episode of depression that lasted for several months and almost took me out of school completely. While i recovered from this, I decided that I definitely wasn’t ready for any kind of sexual or romantic encounter. I started referring to myself as “happily single.” Not long after, I got a job and was able to donate to artists via Patreon for the first time. I discovered the webcomic Beefpaper, which is drawn by Shane Sheenan, who is asexual. Not long after, I discovered Hoi Butt a comic by Shane’s then-partner-now-spouse Tasha Dancy, who is on the Asexual spectrum as well. More importantly, I began donating to shane on Patreon and, as a result, I got to hang out with him and Tasha online. Reading their comics and talking with them helped me to understand that Asexuality is a spectrum, and that there was room for me on it. They helped to dispel some myths, including the myth that asexuals don’t masturbate.
Discovering my asexuality helped me to understand myself better. It freed me from the trap of believing that sexuality is compulsory and put a name on the feelings I had been having all my life. And in the process, I had met people like myself, who I could relate to. I no longer feel strange or alone. I feel valid and real.
I wouldn’t have found this, however, if it hadn’t been for my habit of reading obscure comics. I didn’t know asexuality existed before I read GWS, and i couldn’t be sure I was asexual until I had talked to Shane and Tasha. Asexuality is very unrepresented in media. Many people don’t know it exists, and even when it is represented, it often is stereotypical in certain fashions. That is why things like Asexual Awareness week are so important: they help let people know that the asexual spectrum exists and that asexuality is a valid identity.
For my part, I’m doing what i can as an artist to change that.Nikos, the character I play on Quips n Crits, is Asexual. I made him that way specifically for the purpose of representation. He fulfills a few stereotypes, but he is based on myself in certain ways, so I feel he at least brings a bit of representation into the realm of D&D Actual Play. He won’t be the last character I make that’s asexual, either: I plan on putting quite a few asexual characters in my writing from now on. Expect to see a couple in some upcoming stories.
I hope sharing my story helps people to understand asexuality a bit more, as well as highlights the importance of representation in media. felling seen and valid is important to the human experience. Everyone deserves that feeling, no matter who they love – or who they don’t love, as the case may be.