Finding your identity, especially if it’s not the cis straight identity that seems to be most prevalent in mainstream media, can be a difficult process for some. For me, it was most helpful when I finally found a word to describe how I feel about sex: Asexuality. I had no idea what the feelings I had meant, and if I had known about asexuality sooner rather than later, I would have felt much more comfortable with my identity. So, you think you might be asexual too? These aren’t universal traits by any means, and ultimately the way you identify is yours alone. But here are some signs you might be on the asexual spectrum.
1. You don’t know what people are talking about when they say they want to bang someone.
Like, how can you just see someone and want to have sex with them? How can you feel aroused just by looking at someone you may or may not know? You might find pornography boring, erotica unappealing, and fantasies contrived.
2. You forget about sex.
I know this is true for me. I forget about having sex with my partner unless I set reminders sometimes! If you don’t make an effort to think about sex, you might forget about it entirely. Apparently, some people think about sex anywhere from 10 to more than 30 times per day. If you’re on the ace spectrum, your first reaction might be about how incredibly, exceedingly high that sounds. It might not pop into your brain unannounced, you may miss the punchline to a joke, or an innuendo might just fly right over your head.
3. You’re sex-repulsed.
This can manifest as being just being uncomfortable or entirely unable to deal with sensations like being sweaty, being touched, or avoiding the various sounds of sex. If you’re sex-repulsed or sex-averse, you may be unable to have sex or masturbate. And that’s okay! There are plenty of ways to be intimate without relying on sex or intimate touch: conversations about any and all topics, creating playlists for each other, cooking together, or writing love letters to each other. As long as it’s not causing you emotional distress, there’s nothing wrong with not having or avoiding sex entirely.
4. You’ve never (or rarely) feel attracted to people, and you never (or rarely) find sex to be rewarding.
You might be on the ace spectrum! There’s graysexual and demisexual as well, which might mean that you only experience sexual attraction under specific circumstances, or to the point where it’s so low that it’s negligible, or that you only experience sexual attraction after you’ve formed an emotional bond with someone. Graysexual people may have only been attracted to one or two people, and demisexual folks may only develop intimate feelings for someone once they’ve truly gotten to know them, and have even dated for a while. You might even just think about sex in purely biological terms, as a way to reproduce, with no erotic incentive.
5. You think you are.
When it comes down to it, your identity is your decision, and yours alone. I can’t tell you, the internet can’t decide for you, and your friends can’t tell you that you’re right or wrong about the way you identify. Your sexual identity can be in flux– you don’t have to decide and stay with that decision forever. You’ll change, you’ll grow, and maybe your identity will change, and maybe it won’t. And that’s okay.