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MayaPanda

How can I talk about asexuality without talking about sex?

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MayaPanda

I'm turning 20 soon and am having somewhat of a mid-life (or quarter life) crisis. I've though I might be ace for awhile but just figured I was a late bloomer and soon peuberty would kick in and I'd catch up with everybody else. Then I realized "I'm almost 20 I think the window for puberty has passed." I went through everything else (periods, breasts, body hair etc.) so it's not like I've got some sort of 40 year old virgin thing going on.  So I thought "maybe I'm just too sheltered or something?" and tried watching porn and stuff but holy cow! So gross! After literally three videos I was like "Nope. This is awful and I hate it and I'm not putting myself through any more of this." That's when I finally had to admit that I'm ace. That was about six months ago and I'm stalling coming out to my family. I'm a very family oriented person and my family are really important to me so I want them to be the first to know. It's not that I think they'll judge me or anything. I live in a very accepting area and my family and friends are super open and progressive. I'm just worried about the questions. I know they mean well but asexuality doesn't have the recognition that other sexualities do and for my middle aged parents I know it's completely foreign. How do you explain something to somebody who has no point of refrence? It's like describing the color yellow to a blind person. Not only that but I really don't want to talk about sex. Talking about sex to me is gross with anyone but with my parents it's even worse. Even sexual people don't like talking about sex with their parents. How can I come out to my family without talking about sex?

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Marian the Herbalist

I'd say that it's pretty hard to talk about without mentioning sex, since it pretty much is about sex.

 

Do you feel like you have to come out to your family? I personally don't see the reason to come out, even though I did to some people in the beginning. As you seem to understand already, it is quite awkward to bring up to family since it is about your "sex life" (or lack of desiring one). A potential partner might need to know, but the rest is really up to you.

 

Do you still desire a romantic relationship, or are you aro as well? If you are aro it can be a bit easier, since then you could basically say that you just don't have any interest in ever having a partner (if that's true to you) without bringing up any labels. But yeah, if you're romantic, or desire some sort of relationship, that isn't a good option.

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Moonman
46 minutes ago, MayaPanda said:

So I thought "maybe I'm just too sheltered or something?" and tried watching porn and stuff but holy cow! So gross! After literally three videos I was like "Nope. This is awful and I hate it and I'm not putting myself through any more of this." That's when I finally had to admit that I'm ace.

Oh yeah, I experienced that too.

 

I find it much easier just telling people that I'm not interested in relationships altogether. It normally keeps people from taking an interest in something that is none of their business. My parents don't know I'm ace and I have a couple of friends I'm really close to that I still haven't told.

 

With regards your dilemma, you can definitely speak to your parents about the things that you do want from a relationship. If holding hands, cuddling and travelling together is how you envision the perfect relationship then tell them you'd like to meet somebody so you can share those things with them. Some people identify romance and companionship as infinitely more important than sex so you might even be surprised by people's positive understanding reactions when you do tell them.

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Sarah-Sylvia

You may have to talk indirectly about sex. You can wait til you're ready to do that. Like Marian said it's not super important for those other than your partners to know. But if you feel a pull to do it, then it can be worth it to you.

 

Just try to get a firm understanding of it in yourself and if they ask about sex, just say you're not interested in sex and would rather not talk about that part, maybe?
I think it is important for you to know where you stand on the romantic stand point, because it's be good to know if you want relationships or not. It can come up.

 

Good luck :)

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Nowhere Girl
3 hours ago, Marian the Herbalist said:

Do you feel like you have to come out to your family? I personally don't see the reason to come out, even though I did to some people in the beginning. As you seem to understand already, it is quite awkward to bring up to family since it is about your "sex life" (or lack of desiring one). A potential partner might need to know, but the rest is really up to you.

Some people consider it important. They may feel like they are hiding an important aspect of their life by not mentioning their asexuality. Why are some aces trying to create an impression that caring about being out is somehow wrong, or immature, or whatever?

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CelesteAdAstra

I totally get you. You should have seen me coming out to my mum... lots of blushing and "um, you... ahem, you know..." 😂 I actually printed out a text about asexuality for her to read so I wouldn't have to explain everything myself. I kept the rest as indirect as possible while trying to explain everything as good as I could without dying of embarrassment. "Mum, have you heard about asexuality? That's what I am. It means I don't want to do that... with anyone."😅😂

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Liminal

I'm a newbie to all of this, but I've learned that the definition of asexual is not experiencing sexual attraction. Maybe you could go from that angle? Make it more about sexual attraction rather than the act of sex?

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Marian the Herbalist
8 hours ago, Nowhere Girl said:

Some people consider it important. They may feel like they are hiding an important aspect of their life by not mentioning their asexuality. Why are some aces trying to create an impression that caring about being out is somehow wrong, or immature, or whatever?

I posted what I did because sometimes people forget that they don't have to come out, and I clearly stated that it is up to OP if they want to or not.

 

I don't know why some people think that, and I'm not really sure why you are asking me.

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Zectarash

Some tricks I've found:

 

Food metaphors. "Celibacy is going on a diet. Asexuality is never craving bacon."

 

Metaphors in general, really. Food is generally the easiest in my experience, except "Do you enjoy hugging cacti? Have you ever tried?" 

 

8 hours ago, CelesteAdAstra said:

[...] I actually printed out a text about asexuality for her to read so I wouldn't have to explain everything myself. I kept the rest as indirect as possible while trying to explain everything as good as I could without dying of embarrassment. "Mum, have you heard about asexuality? That's what I am. It means I don't want to do that... with anyone."😅😂

Oh, and basically this^. 

 

If someone has questions, you can also refer them to AVEN or another resource.

 

It honestly took me awhile to get comfortable just using enough terminology to talk about this stuff (and I don't mean from a lack of vocabulary), and I still don't particularly like to, so I get where you're coming from with this. I will say that it does get a bit easier after dealing with the coming-out-Groundhog-Day-on-the-day-you-give-a-TED-Talk ordeal a few times, but still.

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henshin
On 12/10/2019 at 8:54 PM, Nowhere Girl said:

Some people consider it important. They may feel like they are hiding an important aspect of their life by not mentioning their asexuality. Why are some aces trying to create an impression that caring about being out is somehow wrong, or immature, or whatever?

Well, in my experience it's because your romantic orientation is actually the driver of your public relationship status. Telling someone you're asexual is you basically saying that you don't want to have sex, which isn't really that vital for a parent to know. 

 

It's obviously great if people do feel like they want to tell people. I've come out to people before because I've wanted to tell them, but I also know that as a homoromantic person, coming out as ace was unimpactful compared to coming out as gay. 

 

The imperative for coming out isn't just wanting your identity to be heard but so you can live an authentic life. Is being not-out as ace having that much of an impact on your public life? 

 

Sorry if this is a bit derailing the topic. 

 

To reply to the OP, I'd make sure you set aside time to sit down with your family, prepare to answer questions, prepare to have somewhere up go that feels safe for you. Perhaps tell a sympathetic friend first and invite them over to support you. Let your patents know what if anything will change now that you're out.

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KoiFishShoes
On 12/10/2019 at 12:00 PM, Moonman said:

With regards your dilemma, you can definitely speak to your parents about the things that you do want from a relationship. If holding hands, cuddling and travelling together is how you envision the perfect relationship then tell them you'd like to meet somebody so you can share those things with them. Some people identify romance and companionship as infinitely more important than sex so you might even be surprised by people's positive understanding reactions when you do tell them.

This. Although I'm not explicitly out to my parents, somewhere along the way my mother figured out that what I really want is a companion.

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