Bejawa

Explaining Asexuality to Others

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Bejawa

I wanted to start a discussion about some successful ways we have related our experiences to others.

I have noticed in my own life, on other asexual media and on this forum that often times people need a explanation about the absence of attraction.

So basically this is to collect the diffrent ways you or someone you know has explained asexuality ( or other attraction types and combinations of)

They can be some really effective ones or maybe funny or maybe just a really bad way to share. I just figured it would be an interesting topic to see how those us here have explained it before.

 

 

Here's some of the ways I have described my experiences

• "I think lillies are very pretty flowers and I frequently find myself admiring them. I don't want to touch hold or otherwise interact with said flower. Same thing with  women for me."

(astetic attraction explained to a friend who jumped on me being gay when I made a comment about a cute woman. Didn't bother going in to romantic atraction here)

 

• "I think our cat is very cute and I really love cuddling with her and petting her. I don't want to have sex with our cat though. Same with people I meet." (Asexual explanation. although it has hints of sensual attraction in there as well I wasn't intending that when I was explaining.)

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MichaelTannock

I don't have any analogies, I've always used the direct approach, which involves saying I'm Asexual, and then that it means I'm not sexually attracted to anyone.

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RiddleMeThisTom

For aces and sexual attraction, one could say that sex is like ice cream. The world loves ice cream. The world tells you that you need to love ice cream. But you've never wanted ice cream. For some of us, the idea of eating ice cream makes us sick. For some of us, eating ice cream would actually make us sick.  And some of us, even though we never get the craving to eat ice cream, do occasionally and enjoy it.

Using food as an analogy is really weird but really relatable because everyone understands that everyone likes different things. 

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Biblioromantic

I typically explain it like this:

Asexuality means someone doesn't experience sexual attraction. (They give me that WTF face.) Attraction is a spectrum in a lot of ways, but spectrums typically have a bell curve, right? (Sometimes it takes them a minute to remember back to high school math class, but they typically agree.) Most people you know probably experience some type of sexual attraction, right? (They quickly agree.) And you probably know one or two people you'd consider hypersexual, right? (They quickly agree again.) Doesn't it make sense that there might also be people who don't experience it at all? (They usually give me that "oh, I get it" face this time.)

 

I like to explain it that way because it says nothing about anyone else and gives absolutely zero value judgements. I'm specifically not asking for them to reveal their sexual/romantic orientation, habits, preferences, practices, experiences, or beliefs. I'm not revealing anything about my sexual habits, preferences, practices, experiences, or beliefs, not even my romantic orientation. It doesn't trigger anyone by talking about sex itself. It just places an unfamiliar concept in context with what they already know and understand.

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Bejawa
10 minutes ago, Biblioromantic said:

I like to explain it that way because it says nothing about anyone else and gives absolutely zero value judgements. I'm specifically not asking for them to reveal their sexual/romantic orientation, habits, preferences, practices, experiences, or beliefs. I'm not revealing anything about my sexual habits, preferences, practices, experiences, or beliefs, not even my romantic orientation. It doesn't trigger anyone by talking about sex itself. It just places an unfamiliar concept in context with what they already know and understand.

I prefer that approach as well and I strive for that approach when explaining asexuality as a concept. 

 

I should say, my above responses I gave were explaining my experience to those who didnt understand how one couldn't experience attraction or could experience attraction separate of sexual interest, not asexuality as a whole.

 

I realize I maybe didnt make that clear now 🙃 😅

Obviously though explaining asexuality as a concept also needs to happen.🙂

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The Dryad

I'm not officially out as asexual, but I did sort of explain it to my mom, as "Hey you know how Jughead from the Archie comics you used to read liked hamburgers more than people? Well yeah he came out as asexual a few years ago..."

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Biblioromantic

I'll just mention that I don't like the use of analogies. They're just a cover for saying the same, old invalidations.

 

Take the ice cream example above. 99% of people hearing that are going to say some variation of

- Have you tried eating ice cream? How can you know you don't like ice cream if you haven't eaten it?

- Maybe you haven't eaten *enough* ice cream. Only trying one/two/twenty flavors doesn't really tell you if you like all the flavors of ice cream or not.

- Are you on a no-ice-cream diet? The only reason people don't eat ice cream is because they're choosing to diet.

- Maybe you just haven't found the right flavor. What flavors have you tried?

- Have you had a bad experience with ice cream in the past to make you not like it? Are you afraid of eating ice cream?

- I make super, duper triple chocolate brownie ice cream with whipped cream and sprinkles. If you haven't had *my* ice cream, you're missing out.

- You should have the doctor check your taste buds. There's something wrong with people who don't like ice cream.

 

No! I shouldn't have to give excuses, and I shouldn't have to explicate my sexual history. First, unless I'm interested in a sexual relationship with someone, they have zero right to even ask me about that stuff. It's not their business. Second, asexuality is not *about* history or behavior. It's not about what the other person likes or doesn't like, does or doesn't do, or thinks is right or wrong. It doesn't mean that there's something wrong with me or that I've been abused. It's not a choice I've made at all. It's about *attraction,* so I talk point-blank about attraction.

 

Covering up the topic with analogies like ice cream or cake or doughnuts or pizza or flowers or... doesn't help. It just rehashes the same invalidations.

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Nick2

Just say there are these bees and birds and they could care less about each other.

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Sally

Why tart it up with all sorts of analogies?   Just "asexuals don't want to  have sex with any other person."  

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AceOfHearts_85

If I tell someone I'm asexual and they ask what it means I usually say, "My brain doesn't tell me to desire sex or go seek out a partner for the purpose of sex."

 

The baffled look of sheer confusion that comes over their face is immediate, and they're temporarily rendered speechless before replying with something incredibly ignorant.  That unfortunately is the usual response I receive.

 

Fantastic.

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Alejandrogynous

"You know that feeling, when you want to have sex with someone? Yeah, I don't."

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Jrupp

I try to explain it in a way that uses someone's non-attraction to someone. You straight? Think about how you feel about members of the same gender. You can think they are pretty sometimes or want to spend time with them but not want to have sex. I just feel that way about everyone.  I also just tell them to think of a person that they care about but don't want to have sex with. Thay way you feel about that person? I feel about everyone. 

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