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fragglerock

Does asexuality feel clean to you?

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fragglerock

This post is about some of the nice things that can come with asexuality. I'm not antisexual or taking an elitist approach - many of the people I most respect and admire are allosexual - but I felt like talking about some of the upsides to asexuality, the things I'm grateful for as a result of being the way I am. It's obviously not something I can easily talk to allosexuals about or that they'd relate to.

 

For me personally, the thing I most appreciate about asexuality is the sense of cleanliness I get from it. I know this feeling isn't universal but I figure some people here share it.

 

I don't mean a purity, especially not a moral or spiritual purity. I mean a kind of lifestyle cleanliness. So many things I don't have to worry about or be distracted by or spend time working on. To a lot of allosexuals this sounds like I'm "just not getting laid" and it's sour grapes. It's nice to have a place where people understand that really isn't the case.

 

Edited to add: I'm not saying that asexuality is easier, or better, or that all asexuals have it better than some allosexuals, or that some asexuals have it better than all allosexuals. Nor am I saying the opposite of any of that. This post is just about some things that I personally appreciate that I don't have to deal with, and hearing from others who share or don't share feelings like this.

 

Some of the things that make asexuality feel pleasantly "clean" to me:

  • Not having to apply willpower or effort to resist sexual temptation
  • Not being distracted by sexual thoughts and feelings
  • Not having to spend a huge amount of time on personal appearance and buying clothes and going out to bars or spending time on Tinder in order to get a physical need met. I'm romantic so there can be similar motivations for pursuing romance but I don't also have sexual needs that I need to constantly fulfill. Anecdote: I easily overheat with close-fitting clothes so I told a roommate I prefer boxers to boxer briefs. He said "yeah, but women really like boxer briefs" and I chuckled and said that was fine. (If I got into a relationship and they cared I could switch but I don't have to worry about turning off a casual partner.)
  • Not worrying about career damage or blackmail (probably a fanciful concern) from private sexual activities coming to light. I suppose asexuality can harm a reputation a little but I don't have to worry about people having pictures or recollections of me hiring sex workers or having affairs. (I realize that not all asexuals are celibate or have been, I'm not antisexual and I don't think less of people for sexual behavior unless they're being immoral with it, but I'm guessing most asexuals never have to worry about this.)
  • Never feeling temptation to (sexually) cheat, and being able to offer security to a partner that it's never going to happen.
  • Possibly a contentious point, but not feeling sexual shame. I know some people are ashamed of their asexuality but it's worth remembering that a lot of allosexuals are ashamed of their sexual feelings. I've known a lot of allosexuals who've really struggled with that.

 

I'll end with a little ditty I've always liked and I find widely applicable to life in general:

Quote

 

I hate peas.

And I'm glad I hate peas.

Because if I liked peas I'd eat them.

 

And I hate them.

 

 

Edited by fragglerock
1# Grimalkin's feedback, 2# from conversation with Firefly8
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CBC

I'm sexual and I haven't experienced most of that stuff and I'm uhh... clean? I don't even know what you mean by that. 
 

Edit: why not choose a word like 'complicated' if that's what you mean? What's with 'clean'?

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Grimalkin

Meh, I dunno. Sometimes I'd like to experience all the passionate mess that is human sexuality. I'd love to be swept away in it the way my partner is sometimes. 

 

Also, let's not forget about emotional cheating! Aces can still cheat, even if it's not sexual. 

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fragglerock

@CBC Sorry for any confusion. I don't mean clean as a person. I mean that when I think about what it sounds like to be allosexual some part of me appreciates not having all that extra stuff in my life, or all that extra stuff going around in my head. 

 

@Grimalkin Yeah there's definitely some downsides to be asexual. I felt like making a post about some of the upsides, or to be really technical, at least the perception of upsides.

 

And yeah good point about emotional cheating. I guess it hasn't come up for me, but at least the absence of sexual cheating means one less way to worry about cheating.

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Firefly8

I don't feel that way, no. I think because I don't assume most sexual peoples' lives would feel, in their perspective, any more or less complicatetd. I get that for an ace or demi that when imagining those feelings they would assume them to be confusing or a burden, but I don't think if you really had them it would be that way at all.

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CBC

I edited my first post to add (and maybe you missed it, not your fault), why go with 'clean' then? Why not something like 'complicated'? (And of course, complicated in only that one specific way; obviously asexuals can face all the other same complications in life that sexuals do. And being asexual comes with its own complications.)

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fragglerock

@Firefly8 In my experiences of talking with allosexuals, many of whom I've had deep conversations with about relationships and sexuality, they often have found their sexuality to be complicated and very messy. They still wouldn't get rid of it if they could because it's worth the trade-offs for them, but they're often at least somewhat conflicted about those feelings. For a non-personal example, the characters in Bojack Horseman get into all kinds of tough situations because of their libidos. Admittedly that's a show that focuses on messy situations, by and large, but it's also a show that's frequently applauded for its realism.

 

@CBC Well "less complicated" is the word I would use when talking to allosexuals (or non-asexuals? not sure if the meanings are any different). I would say "less-complicated" because it's more abstract and it carries a minimum of emotional and value connotations, and usually when describing psychological phenomenon that's the tone I go for. 

 

In this case though it seemed a rare (for me) opportunity to talk to other people who actually share the feeling and for whom I don't have to be merely technical, I can also convey my personal feelings about it. And to technically describe why it feels emotionally "clean" to me I'd say it's for the simple reason that my ace lifestyle doesn't have a lot of things that I don't want it to have. To wax philosophical this seems to be what people mean by clean generally: there's usually nothing actually wrong with the things that make something "not clean". People don't mind dirt they just want it in their garden or on the bottom of their shoes, not the top. A stain on a shirt is just soup or coffee - things people like - they just didn't want them on their shirt.

 

So to recap, I quite agree that "uncomplicated" would have the same meaning without connotations of feeling, and if you're thinking that saying "clean" is a little exclusionary, I suppose I'd agree with you. But...there are so many ways that allosexuals can be exclusionary and often are (not saying you're being that way), and everywhere in life I'm careful not to offend allosexuals by implying there's anything nice about the way I'm different. Always having to act like there's nothing I like about being asexual because that would make people uncomfortable and because it's more palatable to society if existence in some weird minority is merely a curse, without any blessing. Right now it would be nice to have this conversation face to face because in text it probably sounds like I'm ranting or angry or even just upset but actually...how to describe it...I'm really at peace with things, I'm sympathetic to the allosexual viewpoint, but...well "wistful" is a good word to describe my feelings about this. Wistful about the difficulties of being able to say "hey here are some things I really like about this".

 

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Firefly8

@fragglerock  I think it depends on the individual person: their life circumstances and how they deal with things. There are many sexual people who are very happy with their relationships and lives. There are also many asexuals that have complications in their lives because of that. I'm going with the idea that it's all relative. 

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fragglerock
Quote

There are many sexual people who are very happy with their relationships and lives.

Definitely, for sure. I don't mean to imply that asexuality is easier, or better, or that all asexuals have it better than some allosexuals or some asexuals have it better than all allosexuals. I just mean that personally I appreciate that there are some things I don't have to deal with. Maybe I can edit my original post to make that more clear.

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theV0ID

... no not really. My life is plenty complicated regardless, and I'm kinky so I have to worry about the ramifications to my career of that getting out even if it doesn't involve sex. Also I'm not going to assume that sexual's lives are all that complicated and full of temptation anyway.

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CBC

'Clean' still seems odd to me. Many different areas of life come with complications, and I bet 'clean' wouldn't be the word of choice for all of them. Having children, for example. That comes with all sorts of stuff that people who are childfree don't have to deal with. Honestly I'm super duper repulsed by reproduction -- and it's fine for me to feel that way, just as it's totally fine for repulsed aces to feel how they do (not saying you're repulsed, just making a point). But if I say that my life is somehow more... clean... than that of people with kids, and assuming I'm not being literal and talking about dirty diapers and spilt food, 'clean' sounds pretty odd, yeah? Then why use the term for sexual vs. asexual?

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fragglerock

It seems like it's hard to convey this and maybe I tried to convey something overly personal for this format. I'm not endorsing the description "clean" for asexuals, or even really arguing that it fits or that others should think it fits (though I can see how it could seem that way). I'm saying that this is the word that comes to mind to me privately, that my mind just gives me without me choosing it. Or rather it's the best word that seems to fit my feeling, and the feeling isn't chosen.

 

With respect to your question then actually I feel like clean could fit in the same way I mean it here. As in, it could be offensive if you told people with kids that you feel like your life is cleaner for not having them, and it would definitely be offensive if you bragged about it. But, privately, it might still be how you feel.

 

We might also have different connotations around the word clean. With legitimate curiosity, what words do you think would better fit the kids vs kid-free dichotomy? Some words that come to my mind with similar meanings: unburdened, free, unrestrained, unfettered, orderly, tidy, simple.

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fragglerock

I also meant to add a quotation from Antoine de Saint-Exupery, "Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away". Of course most allosexuals don't want to become asexual and most people who have or want kids don't want to take away their desire for kids. And in the same way I don't want to replace my demisexuality with allosexuality. Because my desire is to not have things that I don't have, it is an enjoyment of absence, an enjoyment of something not being there. Which to me is a similar feeling to enjoying having a tidy room or a clean window. 

 

I also meant to convey with the ditty about peas ("I'm glad I don't like peas because I'd eat them and I hate them") that I'm not applauding asexuality any more than I'd be applauding someone not liking peas. 

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Zagadka

I feel "clean" in my interpersonal relationships. It has always been relieving to not really give a damn about romance or sex. I make friends and don't worry about the rest.

 

Sometimes it is like a whole huge segment of worries and problems just don't happen for me. I have enough things keeping me up at night, but i see so many people driven to bad places by worries, concerns, or hurt that is just foreign matter to me. And that is both emotional and physical - there are things that I just don't have to worry about. I guess I'm thankful for that aspect of my psychological makeup. It is weird watching people get into so much trouble in their lives over romance and sex without connecting to those situations. Especially sex, people get into so much bullshit trying to hump.

 

It isn't like missing the highs and the lows, though, like I'm just in the middle lacking connection, like a robot. My highs just don't go up that high, i guess, The lows are still there. I'm still happy with my relationships.

 

I'm lucky that I do not have any romantic attraction and I don't really feel lonely with just platonic friends. Being demi or gray is rough.

 

I could use more close friends, though, so I do miss people that way. I am lacking a figure in my life I can have a close friendship and hug and cry with. It isn't as burning feeling, but I could use someone in that position. Unfortunately, that isn't something people really do around the age of 40, especially men, so meeting that need is a long shot. i still have friends from earlier I could connect with like that, but they live scattered around.

 

And the side note that I'm not knocking anyone's way or life or saying my way is better, it is just how I'm configured right now. I know other people's needs are different, but mine are different, too, and this is just where I'm at. I wouldn't even want to get into a messy relationship, I just don't feel the joy in that, though i know it exists. But I see people like my sister and my cousin and my friends who are all married happily, and I'm not jealous a bit as long as we can still hang out and be friends.

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GlamRocker

@fragglerock Well, I'm big into dressing for my moods, so my personal appearance is regularly dramatic and there's always some new whim striking me. Also, I've tried what seems to be a pretty diverse smattering of sex stuff, looking for what I liked since nothing was really clicking lol... if I ran for office and they found any "dirt" they could make me look like WHORES ARE US!

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fragglerock

@Zagadka That's interesting to me that you feel lucky about not having romantic attraction and think that being demi is tough. I'm also happy to hear that because I'm demi and thought I had it pretty easy so I'm glad to hear you're just as happy with your sexuality as I am with mine. I guess I'm basically alloromantic and now that you mention it that used to cause a lot of suffering because I had a hard time finding a partner (for reasons mostly unrelated to sexuality). Eventually it got both easier to find a partner and I got more patient about waiting for someone I actually connect with, so I've been happily single for a decade. 

 

I expect you've thought of this but have you thought of using a dating site like OkCupid for finding local friends? OkC seems particularly suited to doing that, the way the site is built, maybe more so than finding romantic or sexual relationships. I think it's a nice resource for that but few people think to use it that way. But a lot of people list "new friends" as something they're looking for and mean it, even if they aren't manually searching for friends.

 

@GlamRocker Hah. Sounds like you're content with it which is good. Society gets too hung up on that stuff anyway. And it sounds like you've been into kinky stuff rather than anything actually wrong, like pressuring subordinates for sex. And I expect over time society will mind the former less even as it (correctly) takes more issue with the latter.

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Zagadka

@fragglerock Weird how things can look from the outside. i see a lot of asexuals very afraid and frustrated about being alone. I get that, I just don't feel it - so I consider myself lucky. It looks like being demi etc is hard because it is so much inertia to get over to start a relationship going when you aren't really actively trying.

 

I've looked at several ways of meeting people, but not a site like OKCupid. Meetups and other junk, yea... hobbies... as one gets older, excuses to meet other people dry up really quickly. At my age, people tend to meet through work or other friends. Trying a dating site... seems an interesting choice... I don't know how comfortable I'd be with meeting someone to become a friend, though. It seems... unnatural. But probably better than the whole nothing I'm doing right now.

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fragglerock

@Zagadka I definitely think there's some natural inertia in using OkC to find friends. Probably helps some that it seems to have a ton of really open-minded people who aren't very concerned with societal expectations. I suppose I should add I haven't actually tried this yet; I found some interesting people but I'm planning to move to a new city and I'm not there yet so I haven't reached out to them yet.

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Moony's Boy Child
6 hours ago, fragglerock said:

Never feeling temptation to (sexually) cheat, and being able to offer security to a partner that it's never going to happen.

Cheating emotionally isn't good either, though, and romantic asexuals can still cheat in that way.

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fragglerock

Huh, yeah Grimalkin brought up the same point which is why I added "(sexually)" in parentheses to try and say it's not the only form of cheating. Definitely not saying any kind of cheating is okay.

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Philip027

If you mean "clean" in the same sort of way you might say "uncluttered", then yeah, I feel like it is in that sense.

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Skycaptain

I would say that there will be very few areas where one orientation differs from any other. If in a relationship most people aren't looking to get a second helping of oats somewhere else. Most people I know, whether dating, on the pull, or not interested, dress and present themselves how they want, and feel comfortable in. 

About the only difference between asexuals and sexuals is that the number of people with the same bedroom compatibility is less. 

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Nowhere Girl

I definitely appreciate not being inclined to deal with all these sexual issues. Which still doesn't mean that I have none of them because I have a libido, I'm just a person who says an Absolute "No" to partnered sex.

When I see the word "clean", I think about one more thing: sex itself is messy. Self-pleasuring can be a little messy too, but it depends on methods and certainly for me as a woman (with no ability to "squirt") it's less messy than for some other people. So also from this point of view I'm happy to desire no sex.

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Cole's Username

I think it's great to be able to take any sort of pride in who you are, especially with asexual awareness week just around the corner~ Personally I like that I no longer have to worry about if being in a relationship will cause drama for my friends, and I can just focus on being a good friend instead of "do I like this person? What about my other friend? Do I need to ask them out?" I also like that now that I'm more aware of asexuality I'm able to unironically (and have a lot fun with) posting to an internet forum in 2019! How many people can say for that themselves nowadays?

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nijikazegirl

Yeah I agree it does feel cleaner. Not to mention I can occupy my mind with other things and not have such things be a distraction to me. In some ways it takes a few complications out of life and you can't be tempted by what you don't have any interest in in the first place.

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Anthracite_Impreza

Not really, I'm in no way innocent or free of other issues and vices; they just aren't sexual ones.

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GlamRocker
15 hours ago, Moony Lovegood said:

Cheating emotionally isn't good either, though, and romantic asexuals can still cheat in that way.

Maybe it's cuz I'm an asexual, but this is the ONLY way to cheat in my book! Thou shalt not give thy deepest affections to anyone but ME!! I couldn't care less who you're banging.

 

(Don't worry sexual peeps, I've learned that the way sexual people feel about sexual union is not fairly represented by the word "banging." I only refer to it like this because that's how I personally feel about sex, explaining PERFECTLY why I don't care who's doing it.) 

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Moony's Boy Child
34 minutes ago, GlamRocker said:

Thou shalt not give thy deepest affections to anyone but ME!!

You should write your own Bible 🤣

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