So for my first non-nail-art-centric post, I'd like to reference another blogger. One who is AMAZING and deserves tons of love and internet cookies! That would be Dan of Single Dad Laughing. I'll admit I'm new to actually following his blog on a regular basis, but I've seen several of his articles linked around Facebook and other places, and always found them fantastic.
In particular, I'd like to reference his post Anything Other Than Straight.
(Before I get to the real ramble, I should mention that there might be a little bit of TMI here in talking about sexual preferences. Fair warning. I promise, no details!)
I've been going through a similar struggle coming to terms with being asexual. It's not even as easy as bisexual, or gay... most people, even if they don't understand being attracted to someone of the same gender, at least can understand it in "the way that women are attracted to men/the way that men are attracted to women".
And that's not to belittle the struggle of other non-straight people, at all! Of course not. It's just that I felt like it was easier to come out as bisexual (I'm attracted to men and women equally, that is to say, almost never at all -- I'm gray-asexual and in 23 years have only ever felt what I'm pretty sure is what people mean by "sexual attraction" to three people, and in two of those cases it was very fleeting and might have been more like general horniness -- hey, I was a teenager!).
People understood bisexual. I was lucky enough to have understanding friends, several of whom are bisexual themselves, and family who were either accepting and really couldn't have cared less or simply made it clear that they were uncomfortable talking about *that* subject but didn't turn it into a fight or big drama event, and if they only ever tried to set me up with men, well... I can take a thoughtful gesture for how it was meant, being not gay it never seemed that they were ignoring my preferences entirely.
I'm still struggling with asexual. It's so incomprehensible to people, how I can be in a sexual relationship and happy in it and be asexual.
The answer is, I experience sexual drive the same as an average person, it's just usually in the abstract and not connected to thinking about people sexually. It's more like, "I really want to get off right now, where'd I put that vibrator?" There's no fantasy about some hot celebrity or that one guy/girl at work. The idea of actually having sex with any of 99.9% of everyone kinda grosses me out. The rare exceptions to that rule are just that, exceptions. People I'm attracted to on so many other levels that sex with them doesn't gross me out and I actually do enjoy it, even if it's not that person, themselves that "turns me on". Even if it's just biological drives latching onto a convenient and not-unappealing person. Even if I'm not yet entirely sure whether or not I'm actually sexually attracted to that person, or just find them aesthetically and romantically attractive and happen to also enjoy sex with them.
I know, it's hard to understand. It's hard to understand even for me! When sexual preferences come up, people rarely mention that it's possible to just not have those attractions to anyone, period. I never understood the "boy crazy" girls in middle and high school. I didn't get it, it seemed like I was the only person with any sort of grip on my emotions regarding boys.
Now I'm realizing it was just because I wasn't having the same experience, because that particular kind of attraction that was making all my friends crazy just wasn't there for me. I hit puberty and my attitude toward males didn't change, except through outside pressures and the desire to seem normal. I started mistaking other attractions for what my friends were experiencing, trying to understand it in the only frame of reference I had. I figured that aesthetic appeal must be what made a person "hot". Maybe a little intellectual appeal, and of course getting along with them as a friend. I even understood romantic and sensual attraction, so I understood wanting to hug or kiss someone, cuddle with them. It just didn't make sense how that could lead to the kind of obsessions and emotional drama my friends dealt with on a regular basis, how that could overwhelm all other considerations for them.
(this sketch is a great reference on explaining different kinds of attraction, I highly recommend checking it out!)
It's kind of a relief to know why it never made sense. To realize that it's not them being crazy, but them being sexual people with sexual attractions that are different than my experiences. But at the same time it's hard to realize that I'll never be viewed as "normal" by people who know.