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Forums » Smalltalk » Am I too sensitive? (Asexuality)

Aya

So, I came out as Asexual around a year ago. I'm very comfortable being Ace, I've never been happier with myself, and it actually makes me feel very confident and secure. This is who I am, and I'm proud of it.

However, now that I'm more open with my identity and I'm not ashamed to hide it anymore, I've been receiving many strange reactions from the people around me, and I was wondering if I'm the one that is over thinking it or if it's genuinely a problem.

For example: A friend of mine (which I've known for about two years now) was talking about his relationship problems, then when the conversation switched to me, I reminded him that I'm not looking for a relationship right now, and I'm Asexual. He started going off about how Asexuality isn't real, and said that we should "have s*x" so he'd prove my point. I became extremely uncomfortable and confronted him about it, and he did apologize and say it was only a joke.

Another time, I was on this meme page and I found a very relatable meme about being Ace, so I posted it on my story, then I got a DM from an old classmate of mine telling me to stop being Ace, and how amazing s*x is. I left the text on seen, then the person kept sending more and more messages similar to that.

I'm proud of being Ace, but these reactions from the people around me are beginning to make me feel unsafe. I mean, two people have offered to "stop making me Asexual" in this year alone, just a few days after I came out as Ace.

Should I be concerned? Should I stop talking to these friends? Is it really just a joke?

I just want to hear what you guys think.

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Hi Aya,

Personally, after reading what you wrote, I don’t think you’re being too sensitive. I think the people who said those things to you were disrespectful and ignorant. You were right to stand up for yourself. These people sound like they need to get informed and if they don’t respect you it might be better to cut ties with them.

Edit: Seriously, reading what they said to you made me cringe and feel disgusted as to how insensitive they are.
Oh dear goodness, those are not your friends.

Not just on the concept that people who don't accept your identity are automatically off the friends list, the fact they basically are suggesting corrective sex on you, which is a lighter word than what the actual term is so I can still remain family friendly on forum boards stands to prove that there's something wrong with them, not you. You do not have to conform to anyone else's view of life, and if they don't respect who you are or your boundaries, then you're better off without them.

Remember, it's not being too sensitive to ask to have your boundaries and identity respected. They're what make you who you are. If they can't get on board with that, then they can catch the next boat to sail far away from you, because that's a red flag, honey. Those people are not your friends. Those people don't care whether you know who you are, and think about how they think you should feel. Either they respect your lines or the scissors of cutting ties goes snip snip.

Speaking as an asexual myself, we can live healthy and fulfilling lives. We're just not on board with the whole messy business.
There are a ton of overly-sensitive people out there who wouldn't be able to deal with a real problem if their lives depended on it. You aren't one of them. Those comments were way over the line and I'd cut ties with the bastards. If someone offered to have sex with me to "cure" my homosexuality, I'd have put them on the floor.

They aren't worth your time.
Unfortunately, many aspects of adult society are highly sexualised. Whilst to a degree, it should probably be allowed to be, it does feel overbearing at times; and certainly has an effect on other things (I could go on and on about some of the things that are sexualised by default that I believe shouldn't be). I really struggle to imagine what it would be like going through life feeling sexually attracted to certain people. So I'm sure in return, there are people who struggle to imagine the opposite. At the end of the day, many humans enjoy sex. A lot. And to those people, not being into it is like not being interested in sweet food.

That doesn't excuse their behaviour. If there is a degree of ignorance involved, there can be some leeway; but that doesn't excuse everything. It doesn't excuse making someone uncomfortable by trying to convince them to enter a sexual relationship to 'prove them wrong'. And it doesn't excuse trying to 'cure' someone. Frankly, there's nothing to be cured. Life doesn't have to revolve around sex. In fact, I feel it shouldn't revolve around sex at all, but I'm not going to begrudge people of their outlooks so long as they aren't taking that too far (or attacking people with contrary opinions).

You also see a lot of weird opinions on asexuality coming out of socially conservative and anti-trans circles. The former tend to often believe it's as 'broken' as being gay is to them. The latter often try to suggest to that asexuality doesn't exist at all. If someone seems to truly and honestly believe either of two things, then there's a high chance they're a part of either of those two groups and would probably not be very healthy to hang out with for an ace.

Now meaningful abuse aside, I will admit there are people out there who will, out of ignorance perhaps, throw out real bad taste jokes without meaning to offend or without any ulterior motives. At the end of the day, it's up to you to decide your own tolerance level on such things. If you feel unsafe around someone for making those kinda jokes, you're well within your rights to ditch them. If you express distaste at such jokes and they continue, then they clearly have no respect for your boundaries, and that's a real red flag.
As an asexual person I have had these exact interactions. Drop these people they will never get better and they are disrespecting you. Hexblading has it absolutely correct with what they summarized in their message. I've been dealing with it for years and the best thing at this point is to just walk away.
Kim Site Admin

These people are being bigoted and disgusting. Your "friend" was not joking. He is trying to create a scenario where he can't be held accountable for his frankly violent behavior, by trying to leverage a social stigma against "not being able to take a joke" such that if he's called out he can try to make it about you. These are two massive red flags and I personally would be afraid to be alone with this person in future, knowing what he really thinks. He knows what he's doing.

I'd block that other person too.
Aya Topic Starter

Thank you, everyone. I really appreciate all of you coming to my forum and talking to me. I'm someone that generally likes to avoid conflict, not because I'm scared of confrontation or fighting, but I just don't find it very productive or helpful, so I always try to bury it.

I wanted to confront them so many times, but I'm always scared of being labeled a "snow flake" or "woke" by others. I tried to talk to a family member of mine about it whom I thought was open minded, but she just responded with: "You are a minority, stop expecting everyone to change for you, you're not even 1% of the population. Stop making everything about sexuality or gender!"

Thing is, I never went around shoving my identity in people's face nor did I force anyone to accept me, these people came at me, not the other way around. Yet my feelings are still dismissed and labeled as "woke bullshit" or me being "oversensitive".
It's not woke or being a snowflake to not want to bastards with no sense of decency to offer you corrective sex.

Since you're asking for advice, be confrontational. Fight. Make sure they learn you can't be pushed around. People are, as a general thing, horrible. If you're sweet and nice they'll walk all over you. Next time someone does that, rip their head off. Think of it like...you're defending a homestead from a pack of wolves. You've got a bow and arrow. You don't need to kill all the wolves. Once you hit one of them, and the others see the shaft poking out, the rest will back off.
Kim Site Admin

It sounds like being called "woke" or "snowflake" is just icing on a bullying cake. They are already being rude and cruel to you. Having them add one more name on top of that doesn't actually change your situation or preserve your reputation in their eyes. They are being dismissive of your entire being already so having them articulate it in a new way isn't that much different.

If they've been rude to you first, you are well within your right to push back on them. But this does come with the important caveat to only do so if you are physically safe.

If you need to be fawning toward a bigot who you are dependent on to keep a roof over your head, or who can prevent you from graduating, or who can take away your livelihood (like firing you from a job when you don't have another job lined up yet), etc., do what you need to do until you can get away. But if this is how everyone around you is treating you, eventually getting away from them should be a priority. Start laying plans. Once you're safely out, you can tell them exactly why you are no longer attending family holidays where they've made clear your real self is not welcome.
Kim's advice is better then mine.

Always keep in mind that everything that comes out of my mouth is coming out of the mouth of someone who is mildly upset he didn't get a chance to die in World War 1.
If you can afford to cut them out (as in, don't depend on them for any needs, don't think it'll make waves in your circle, etc) then I would. They sound insensitive and you should never keep company who isn't willing to believe you are what/who you say you are.
Aya Topic Starter

Yes, I completely agree.

I should cut these people out as soon as possible, I don't need them, and the fact that they would say such awful things straight to my face without even feeling bothered, then imagine what goes on in their heads.

But I think the best solution is to ignore these people, and leave them to their own ignorance. I've learned that you could never really change a bigoted person's mind, that's something they must do for themselves.

Thanks, everyone 🧡 I really valued all your words and advice
Ohdanggross.

Clearly the point has already been made, but I'm going to throw my voice in there, too, anyway. What those folks did to you was wrong. I'm glad it didn't go any further than that, but it was wrong. That's actually the most common kind of bigotry aces face (not the worst, just the most common).

Sometimes, comments similar to this can stem from an actually correctable misunderstanding. (When I say "actually correctable," I mean with a potentially reasonable amount of effort, which I don't consider to be much when you're being made to defend your very existence for the sake of someone else's small-minded and/or misguided comfort.) For example, a lot of people mix up asexuality with celibacy, have been taught that any lack of interest in sex must be a medical and/or mental health disorder, or have only ever heard the term in reference to asexual reproduction and so have no idea what you're talking about. Some will cling to what they think they know, but some will listen if you have the patience to explain it (which you should not feel required to do; you shouldn't have to justify your existence). And yeah, some will be freaking creeps or become outright dangerous to you. For those who you feel might be willing to listen, it could be helpful to bookmark some resources that can explain a lot of things for you, to help reduce the burden on you.

Sadly, aces commonly face these issues from within the LGBTQ+ community, too (though it's at least improving, so far as I can tell). Sometimes it's the typical "this is a thing I don't understand and therefore it's wrong or fake," and sometimes there's an additional layer of fear that asexuality can somehow de-legitimize other orientations, or that it's supposedly even an expression of internalized homophobia. Some (straights included) think that asexuality is just some kind of arrogant celibacy, like being ace somehow means you look down on them (even though my own realization that I'm ace actually helped me to better understand and accept how big of a deal sex is to most people). Sometimes they can feel especially threatened by the idea of aces who still choose to engage in sexual activities, because they worry that makes it look like being (or at least "acting") gay is a choice, or that it makes everything just look fake. Some also think aces just generally hate sex (some do; more common are those who are just greatly uncomfortably with the entire idea, and it's essentially a trigger).

Incidentally, while I've generally been pretty lucky to avoid the sorts of bigots you had to deal with, I've had the occasional issue (usually from people who were honestly only trying to ensure I felt safe and respected) with the assumption that all aces want nothing to do with sex, or at the very least don't want to ever participate in it. Even some ace communities can get a bit heated about that. Myself... I'm somewhat fascinated by the subject in some ways, I think just because it's so hard for me to actually understand; and while I don't consider it necessary or all that important for me, and my generalized attitude about it is a passive "eh, nah," I can easily think of situations where I'd be fine with participating. I've also come across plenty aces who actually seek it out, just for reasons other than sexual attraction. It's one of those things where it's important to ask what it means for the individual - though of course, if "I'm asexual" is being given as an explanation for not being interested in something, it can generally be assumed that that disinterest is part of what it means to them and the other person/people should back off.

...eventually there will be a day I don't ramble so much. Just might be because I'm dead. ^^; Sorry.

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