Asexuals are a vastly underrepresented section of the population. Even as I type this, my spellcheck doesn’t know the word “asexual”. With roughly 1% of the population identifying as asexual at any given time, it’s high time that people learn how to interact with someone who is asexual, because you’re likely to run into one eventually. And when you do, here are some things to never, ever say to them:
“Asexuals don’t exist.”
I hear this all the time. It’s usually the first thing out of any person’s mouth. I usually just want to say back, “Really? Huh. I was always worried I wasn’t real. Now I know for sure. What does that say about you, since you talk to people who don’t exist?” Sadly, I often here this uttered from people who give the “Sexuality is fluid” speech every time you get a little drunk and they try to kiss someone of the same sex. Apparently sexuality is only fluid if you actually feel sexual attraction. Otherwise you’re as real as the Easter Bunny.
“Are you sure you’re not just gay?”
This one gets me every time. “OH SHIT, SON! I never thought of that! All this time my lack of sexual desire was really just a deep-seeded, repressed sex drive towards people of the same sex! DUH!” Um. Just no.
“I bet I could make you want it.”
Not only is that super rapey, but what makes you think you are special enough to change my sexuality just by showing me your glorious dong? I have found that straight men have the hardest time accepting that not every women could possibly want to sleep with them (or anyone).
“How do you know if you’ve never tried?”
How do you know you don’t like having sex with dogs if you’ve never tried? Or people of the same sex? Or alligators? Go try the alligator one and get back to me with your answer.
“How could you not want to fall in love!”
This one is more interesting because it delves into the different brands of asexuality. A lot of asexuals want to find love just as much as the next person. Some, the aromantics (another word my spellcheck doesn’t know), don’t feel romantic attraction either. Try explaining this to someone who can’t wrap their head around the concept of no sex drive. It’s like trying to explain astrophysics to a dog. Though I think the dog has a better chance of catching on.
“Maybe you’re just sick.”
Ah, the feigned concern. You’re right, maybe I do have a debilitating disease that makes me some sort of sex-deprived monster. Or maybe I just feel things differently from you because, you know, different people are different. But thanks for just wanting me to be normal as to not hurt your brain.
As with most kinds of ignorance, a lack of education is really the main issue asexuals are dealing with. If more people were aware that this a real thing and not just a phase or a disease, it would be much easier to come out to friends and family and not be looked at like a crazy person. If even my computer doesn’t recognize the word, it’s a major issue that deserves awareness. Another word my computer doesn’t know: heteronormativity. But that’s a whole other issue.