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Fitzsimmons ♡

Aromantic asexual girl interviewed on Italian magazine "TuStyle"!

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Fitzsimmons ♡

A few days ago, a very nice interview was published by "TuStyle" magazine (typical popular woman/fashion magazine).

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The main interview is lovely, in my opinion :) There's a little box with a psychologist opinion at the bottom of the article, but it's from a different journalist. I talked to a psychologist friend of mine, and she told me she knows this other one who was included in the article. She says she's a good doctor, but clearly unaware of asexuality as an orientation so her misinformed opinion comes from ignorance and not malice. (I plan to work on educating professionals with this friend of mine, so be patient ;) ). I also don't know where they took the 3% figure, it's not the first time I see it though.

Translation for you all:

No sex, no love. I live (happily) this way.

Maddalena is a very normal girl, who studies and has lots of friends. But she has never felt erotic urges nor physical attraction. Proud of being asexual, she only has one problem: telling her parents.

by Marina Roveda (photo by Marco Scarpa)

The first time I realized I was different from my girl friends was during puberty. In the afternoons we used to spend together, they'd talk for hours about the boys they were attracted to, something that used to bore me to death. So, not to feel awkward, I'd often just throw a random name, and their curiosity would be placated. However, since at the time we were still very young and shy, the fact that I didn't care about boys at all didn't seem like a big deal to me.

NEVER HAD TRAUMAS

The real break was in the first year of high school (14-15 y-o in Italy - ith's note). My friends were discovering sex, unlike me; I had no curiosity at all for that aspect of life. Since then, there's been like a gap between me and the other girls that has just gotten larger with time. Thinking about it, I think I've always known I was completely asexual. It's a part of my personality that I have with me since childhood, but I can't really say why: I don't know if it's biologically innate, or an inclination that developed through the years. It certainly does not stem from the education I received. My family has always been very open, I was 3 when I already knew that children aren't brought by a stork. Plus, my parents have never been particularly religious, so no one has instilled any prudishness in me.

I grew up in a peaceful environment and I never had any traumas, abuses or similar. It's just that the idea of having sex doesn't interest me. Not just that, but when I read sex scenes in books, or I happen to see porn pictures or fragments of porn movies, I feel uncomfortable because it seems like it's primitive, senseless and rough actions and positions. Even if I try really hard, I can't understand the pleasure people find in it. I'll try making a parallel: have you ever tried keeping a snail in your hands? It's something you can do, it certainly doesn't hurt you and it won't change your life. But you can't say it's really pleasurable... Well, to me making love is the same thing.

I DON'T WANT LABELS

Up until today I've had two boyfriends, but I've never been in love. What I liked about them was their intelligence and their being fun, but I've never been attracted to either of them. I've always loved my friends more, and I've often given them priority, maybe because I struggle to discern the feelings I have for a boyfriend from the ones I have for a friend. I know that nowadays there are more and more people who identify as "asexual". I, however, am also "aromantic". There are people who don't have sex, yet maybe have a partner. I, instead, do not desire a long term relationship with someone.

There are also asexuals who have sex to have a child: I don't plan on having a family nor children. My first boyfriend? I was 16. He was older, but he never asked me to make love. So I thought it was normal that neither of us felt the deisre to have sex. I imagine that he interpreted my unwillingness as a factor related to my youth and inexperience. Maybe he thought that it was right "not to do it" at my age and didn't want to shame me. However, I don't know why, we never talked about it openly. We didn't date for long, though.

With my second boyfriend, I told him straight up that I didn't care about sex. His reaction, at first, seemed understanding. Too bad that in our conversations it was always implied "You probably hadn't met the right person, me" and this bothered me so much. No need to say that our positions about this were incompatible and for this reason we broke up.

Now, if anyone asks me out, I make it clear that I don't want any serious relationship, but I don't specify that I'm asexual. If I did, I'm sure I'd start endless debates, which I have no interest in. Even without romance or an active sexual life, I don't feel lonely at all. I have lots of friends I hang out with on a regular basis, and lots of acquaintances in the college world. As of now, I'm very satisfied with my social life. Sure, I don't go around sticking posters saying I'm asexual; someone knows, and maybe many suppose it. What I like about my friends is that they know me and accept me as I am, they don't feel the need of putting any labels on me.

MY PARENTS DON'T KNOW

I haven't told my parents that I'm asexual. I haven't because I fear their reaction a little: I'm looking for the right moment and the right words. I don't know how they'd take it if I told them that, in my future, I plan on achieving success only with my studies and career, and that love and kids don't interest me. It's possible that one day I'll change my mind, I don't rule that out, especially regarding kids. But one thing I'm sure of: the idea of childbirth horrifies me to the point that, if I ever wanted to become a mother, I could only adopt! And maybe, who knows, that'll be the lovestory of my life.

Sentimental anorexia: when you're afraid of loving

According to AVEN (www.asexuality.org/it), a forum "born" in the USA in 2001, counting more than 70.000 users, asexuals make up 3% of world population. But for how many of them this is a real choice rather than a getaway because of fear? We asked psychologist and psychotherapist Maria Rita Parsi. "Asexuality in young people like Maddalena, the protagonist of this story, can be a form of sexual and sentimental anorexia, an extreme way of protecting yourself from the fear of loving. Uncnsciounsly, sexual and/or romantic attraction become a threat to psycho-physical integrity. Young people who identify as asexual and aromantic, like Maddalena, try their best to remain children, with the fear of actually entering the adult world, which they don't feel up to. Stuck in their fantasy of wanting to go back to a prepubertal phase of development, these kids feel like "disconnected", they hold back from the possibility of expressing themselves through their body".

L.M. (unknown person who signed this box - ith's note)

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Kanenas

Bene, grazie - Great visibility effort! Thank you for translating. My Italian is almost good enough to understand cooking recipes, but that is it :lol:

Personally, I don't care whether what the "expert" said stems from malice or ignorance. It is hurtful towards both education and personal feelings and the exact reason why I roll my eyes before even reading things of that nature.

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Manly Ace
Sentimental anorexy: when you're afraid of loving

According to AVEN (www.asexuality.org/it), a forum "born" in the USA in 2001, counting more than 70.000 users, asexuals make up 3% of world population. But for how many of them this is a real choice rather than a getaway because of fear? We asked psychologist and psychotherapist Maria Rita Parsi. "Asexuality in young people like Maddalena, the protagonist of this story, can be a form of sexual and sentimental anorexia, an extreme way of protecting yourself from the fear of loving. Uncnsciounsly, sexual and/or romantic attraction become a threat to psycho-physical integrity. Young people who identify as asexual and aromantic, like Maddalena, try their best to remain children, with the fear of actually entering the adult world, which they don't feel up to. Stuck in their fantasy of wanting to go back to a prepubertal phase of development, these kids feel like "disconnected", they hold back from the possibility of expressing themselves through their body".

What a piece of sh**.

Romantic and/or sexual life is not what defines the adult life...at all. There's nothing adult about "love".

Sense of responsibility, consciousness, empathy, thinking by oneself...are the true characteristics of adulthood.

Actually, few people are really adults.

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Satin

But for how many of them this is a real choice rather than a getaway because of fear?

So some people choose asexuality for the right reasons and others don't? Asexuality is never a choice, that's the whole point. And as for that psychologist... it sounds like she simply tried to come up with an explanation for something she clearly doesn't understand/hasn't heard of before. Why ask someone who ha no idea what asexuality is for an opinion anyway?

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Adogg

i don't see how there can be any ace expert when there's so little research that's been done.

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All.Is.ONE.Is.All

Completely ignoring the pointless drivel at the end, I COMPLETELY AGREE WITH EVERYTHING MADDALENA SAID! A girl after my own heart. It makes me so happy to see other people whom I can relate to. :3

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Maelstrom_17

Yeah.. I think it's because people think that you don't have a purpose in life if you aren't into romantic/sexual relationships, etc.

I don't get why she'd have a fear of loving if she wasn't under any abuse as indicated in the article.. that psychologist is trying to cover up her ignorance.. :(

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thylacine

I find the comment by the so called "expert" to be highly offensive, that asexual people just want to remain children. Most of the "sexual" people I know are way more immature, despite all their "conquests." Though they have multiple "experiences," many of the people I know, and most people I know are sexual people, just won't take responsibility for themselves, financial or otherwise. Who cleans up their mess at the end of the day? I do, for pete's sakes. I think the definition of a person who is an adult is someone who is responsible, emotionally stable, and such. I don't know why the "experts" define as adult a "person who has sex."

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scottsummers

i recently came out to my best friend and she, despite being very nice about it, said it was because I was immature. Now I understand that, because I do like to behave like a child sometimes. I'm just not sure if that's why I'm ace. In fact, I'm very confused...

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Satin

i recently came out to my best friend and she, despite being very nice about it, said it was because I was immature. Now I understand that, because I do like to behave like a child sometimes. I'm just not sure if that's why I'm ace. In fact, I'm very confused...

I highly doubt that. Please do not assume your asexuality is related to things like this based on some not well thought through comment of a friend. Besides, behaving like a child sometimes does not automatically make you immature. You obviously can reflect your behaviour, therefore tell the difference and choose to act different if you want to - this alone makes you much more mature than some other people I know (very sexual people by the way).

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LevanaMoon

Why would they interview an ace/aro girl and give her visibility and the chance to educate people, and then have some "expert" paint her in a such an ugly light?? It's a tad counter-productive, no? Non capisco!

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thylacine

Believe me, not having sex or "being ace" does not make you immature. 99.9 % of the people I know in my real life (not online) are sexual (of course, what else) and a good percentage of them are immature. There is no age limit, either, that I find in their immaturity. Many of them brag about their sexual conquests or multiple partners, then exhibit immature behavior, such as blaming others for their problems, not being financially responsible / running up debt for items they don't need, driving under the influence, having childish tantrums, stealing stuff (like jewelry, had it happen to me, by a so-called friend)... the list can go on and on. So, no, being a sexual person does not add to your maturity in any way. I am not saying asexual people are more mature, or better, but I am just saying sex does not make a person a real grown up. Maybe from a certain point of view, they think it makes them grown up, like how some kids think that drinking and smoking makes them grown up.

Like I said, most people I know are sexual, and it never stops to surprise me how immature so many so called adults can be.

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Ziggy_G

I hate what that psychologist said so much. Its hard enough to be asexual aromantic in this world without shrinks calling us scared little children on top of everything. I guess they would prefer it if I went against everything that felt natural and give up the idea of having happiness in the future and be as miserable as I can physically be instead, cos that sounds way more healthy.

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kassafrass

Thanks for pointing out this article OP! It is so called experts such as the one in the end that is propelling me into the field of sexuality. It would be fantastic to have an actual expert to back up these things. With 3% of the world identifying (which means there may be more!) s asexual that is definitely significant enough to have someone interested in it enough to research further. We'll get there! This highlighting of an asexual in the media is just the beginning.

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Heart

Thanks for pointing out this article OP! It is so called experts such as the one in the end that is propelling me into the field of sexuality. It would be fantastic to have an actual expert to back up these things. With 3% of the world identifying (which means there may be more!) s asexual that is definitely significant enough to have someone interested in it enough to research further. We'll get there! This highlighting of an asexual in the media is just the beginning.

I'm really curious where you got the 3% identifying as ace thing from. I don't think I've heard that before... Would you mind elaborating? Cheers :)

Edit: It's from the article, right? Silly me, I even read the thing too :P the psychologist says that we're the ones claiming 3% of the world's population is ace-identifying though :blink: That can't be right... Where in the world did this come from...?

Edited by Heart

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Satin

Considering this so called expert is making up explanations as to why aromanticism/asexuality as a sign of immaturity, I wouldn't be surprised she took the number from a completely unrelated topic and pretends it's legit. :P

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Corretto

Thanks for that eye-opening article!

It describes a very similar sexual orientation to my own; but by a very dissimilar childhood up-bringing.

The same destination is reached, but by taking a very different route.

It endorses something that we already know...the orientation we've adopted is unique to ourselves.

Not something the psycho-analyst foot-notee would understand. Ciao

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Fitzsimmons ♡

The 1% figure isn't the only one that comes up from research on asexuality. Higher (even much higher) figures have come up, but the 1% is the most famous and most cited because it spread from Bogaert's studies. The 3% figure could be either one of the other studies' results, or the one coming from Roselli et al on asexuality in the ram population, I'm not sure.

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