It’s been almost a year since I started toying with the idea that I’m asexual. In that time, I’ve thought I was ace, gray-ace (grace), aro, panromantic… It’s been confusing as hell. I think I’ve settled on AroAce, though. I don’t feel romantic attraction, I just get lonely, and apparently that’s not the same thing. I definitely don’t feel sexual attraction. Recently, I’ve noticed that I don’t even really feel aesthetic attraction toward people. I just look around and everyone looks so… not good. It’s like I’m in a Twilight Zone episode.
For the sake of clarity, I should specify that there are different kinds of attraction.
- Sexual Attraction
- Looking at people and feeling a pull to have sex with them
- Romantic Attraction
- Looking at people and wanting to have a romantic relationship with them
- Aesthetic Attraction
- Looking at people and seeing they’re attractive
- Sensual Attraction
- Sensuality is a pleasure that involves the senses
- This is often classified as the want to cuddle with people and stuff like that
- I never really understood what made it different from sexual attraction, myself
So… I’m asexual: no sexual attraction. I’m aromantic: no romantic attraction. Since I feel sensual and sexual attraction are pretty close, I can safely say I don’t feel sensual attraction. Actually, if you give me the option between sex and cuddling, I’d rather just have sex and get it over with. Cuddling is weird. I only do that with my dogs. And then there’s aesthetic attraction, and I’m not really feeling that, either, right now.
You’d think that feeling nothing toward anyone would un-complicate things. No crushes, no squishes, no weird feelings to hide. I guess that’s true enough, but there’s also the weird feeling of feeling selectively nothing.
I’ve felt, literally, nothing. I’ve hit that place in the void of mental illness where you can’t feel pain, happiness, loneliness, sadness… feeling nothing is a familiar feeling to me. It’s like an old friend that I might not see very often, but I am completely comfortable being with. To feel nothing in only certain parts of my life is not comfortable. It’s the emotional equivalent of your foot falling asleep. It’s totally fine, until you realize it’s asleep. Then it’s all you can notice, and you get that weird tingly feeling than is somewhere just shy of pain.
That’s what it’s like to feel no attraction for anyone in a world that is so reliant on attraction.
I reconciled the sex thing. I can brush off the sexual attraction comments of friends pretty readily. Everything else, though… it’s weird. A friend tells me how hot a person is, and I completely don’t get it. I see a very cute couple, and my stomach falls into my butt because I know I’m never gonna be part of one of those. Someone makes any kind of statement about cuddling, and I want to run for fear they might touch me. It’s weird to not understand, especially when the world assumes you’re familiar with the feeling. It makes me feel so broken.
I don’t like feeling broken. I might be fat. I might be crazy. I might exhibit poor impulse control. I might be asexual. I might be aromantic. I might be all those things and a million more, but I am not BROKEN. And I don’t appreciate a society that makes me feel that way.
We’ve come to a point in history where they try to tell you that nothing you experience makes you broken, but in the same breath people will come back around and treat you like you’re some alien foreign thing if your life experience is different from theirs. The level of hypocrisy is just insane!
So I’m making a promise to myself.
I’m not going to feel broken anymore.
No, I don’t feel attraction of any kind to people.
Yes, I enjoy being alone.
No, I’m not close to people, even in a platonic sense.Yes, all of that is just fine.
And that… is how you adult…
You fake it until you make it.
You operate under the assumption that everything will be okay and that you’re the normal one.
You accept that the present is just something to get through.