Why Asexuals Need Sex-Ed (or, at least, this ace would’ve benefitted from it)
The sex-ed I got was crap. The “sex talk” I got from my mom was a book. From my dad? A really awkward thing that involved explaining how condoms work and something about how he doesn’t know why women like oral. From school? Generally a lot of ‘scare people into chastity’ stuff, like gruesome projections of the effects STDs have on genitalia. No one really talked about rape or sexual abuse or what to do when it happens to you. Generally, the consensus is “Don’t have sex. But if you do have sex, use a condom. No Means No.”. I didn’t masturbate, because I had no interest. I didn’t look up porn or anything like that on the internet, I didn’t even consider that it existed.
So, basically, I didn’t realize there was anything between kissing and sex. I didn’t realize anyone had sex before marriage. I didn’t realize people had sex unless they wanted a baby. You know that scene in Enchanted where Nancy gets pissed because she found a naked girl in a towel lying on her boyfriend and Giselle gasps and goes “she thinks we kissed?”- that was me.
Cue my first relationship.
A lot of things happened that were massive red flags, that I now would see and say “We need to have a serious talk about boundaries” or possibly just hightail it the other direction. Then, well, “No Means No” is a magic chant that protects you from harm right?
I didn’t really want to kiss this guy, and said as such, and eventually he just forced the matter. I figured it was okay and, I mean, it’s not like anything else could happen- we weren’t married and I certainly didn’t want to have kids with him! So then when he tried pushing further, it blindsided me. I didn’t know how to deal with it- “Wait? What? People like TOUCHING that stuff? Are you JOKING?”. So I went to my friends, and was met with a wall of “Well, duh” and “If you don’t do that, you’re a bad partner” and “You can’t say you don’t want those things!”. While still reeling over the fact that anyone even did this, and the fact that the magical spell of “No means no” wasn’t working because no matter how many times I said ‘no’ he’d still push the matter.
What does this have to do with sex-ed? Mostly, if I’d had a better sex-ed, a sex positive sex ed that acknowledges consent and that sexual abuse & rape actually happen, I probably would have been better prepared. If we were willing to actually teach kids about sexual activity beyond “when a mommy and daddy love each other…”, then I’d have been aware that there WAS sexual activity beyond penis-into-vagina sex. If we were willing to talk about abuse and acknowledge it happens, then I wouldn’t have thought “No Means No” was something everyone followed so I didn’t have to know how to defend myself for when “No means ‘force them into it anyways’”.
A lot of people seem to think that ‘asexual’ must mean ‘hates sex, so wants no one to talk about it ever’. And, well, some asexual people are like that- but some verisexual people are like that as well! Asexual people can be just as damaged by sex negativity and crap sex education resources, and can benefit from good quality sex education (that acknowledges us, that emphasizes that it’s okay to not want sex, that it’s okay to try it and not like it) just as much as anyone else.
I have a question
So I haven’t been in the ace/asexual tags recently because it got tiresome and upsetting for me. Thus, I don’t know if things have gotten better, worse, or remained the same. Regardless, I have a question that anyone may answer, regardless of if you are or are not ace (in fact, i would like some non-ace answers if at all possible).
Why is there ace hate?
Seems like a dumb question, I know, but hey, maybe I’m really naive. Here’s what I want to know (and how I see everything thats been going on). Why is it an issue if I talk to people like me about problems that are specific to us? Why can’t I have a community?
I learned about sex in elementary school- when I was about 10. My friends started having boyfriends (or what they called boyfriends) at that time as well, though as far as I know, there was no sex involved. I did not have a boyfriend, nor did I feel the need for one, we were so young.
In middle school, people around me started dating seriously. I developed a strong attachment to a person in my grade, and thought that suddenly, I understood what dating was all about- I wanted to be with that person all the time! I wanted to be the closest of close friends, to hang out exclusively and hold hands, maybe try kissing. Again, I didn’t think about sex, because in my mind, I was still much too young to get into it.
In high school, at first, I thought I was still getting over my first ‘love’ and therefore never thinking of or wanting sex was not an issue. However, I was starting to get a little antsy. My best friends were all having sex or really close to it, talking about it, buying vibrators and talking about masturbation. I awkwardly stood on the sidelines of these conversations, shrugging my way out of answering. I was just slow on developing, I didn’t feel the need. I wasn’t worried. Much. It got worse as the years went on, more people were having/discussing sex, asking me about my sex life, giving me strange looks for not dating, not kissing, not participating. Some people decided I was a lesbian, some people assumed I was just keeping my boyfriend secret and would eventually talk about him. It was okay, I wasn’t a senior yet, I wasn’t a legal adult, everything would kick in eventually. I was worried, but I thought one day my need for sex would magically appear. Suddenly, I was a senior. Never had a boyfriend, never desired sex, never imagined myself having sex, never having kissed anyone. By then everyone around me assumed sex and relationships were a given. I was terribly awkward. I felt out of place, wrong, generally awful. I had teachers tell me that I was ‘sad’ for not dating, I had friends who were ‘honestly worried about me’, I had people assuming I was in unrequited love with my best friends.
Eventually, through the internet, I found a group of people who called themselves asexual. They claimed that not experiencing sexual attraction or desire for sex was normal for them. I was wary at first, but I kept researching (yes, I did research) and began to feel more and more like this described me. I no longer felt awkward or like I was waiting for my life to start. I felt relief. Maybe I wasn’t malfunctioning at all, maybe I was just different. I was satisfied for a while, until I noticed how much hate and animosity went on in the tags.
So here is my question: Tell me why. Please. Why does this experience and community offend you so? Why does it bother you that I finally feel normal? Why do you feel the need to correct me and attack me? Why can’t you leave us in peace?