aceadmiral said this in a response to an ask, and I wanted to reply but there was no SPACE. So I’m reblogging.
I notice there have been several low-libido people or repressed people or Other Untrue Ace Stereotype people chiming in saying that they can understand because they know what society tells people who don’t have sex, too. And they can, to a point, but the main harmful message of “you are not a human being, you are broken and wrong,” is not being received, which is what makes me so frustrated by their accounts.
About the repressed people saying “oh, I know how society treats asexuals because I was pretending to be asexual to hide from my real sexuality”—it’s bigger than that, because the biggest things about being asexual for me are the things society tells us about what we can and can’t have—long term relationships, emotional intimacy, real connections. And the things that society tells me I’m not—fully human, fully capable of connecting to other people, able to be a real and fully functioning adult.
And if you know you’re not REALLY asexual, that you can throw it off any time you want as long as you accept your REAL orientation, that… doesn’t get at the heart of what it’s really like to listen to those things that our culture is telling to people who are actually asexual, because you know that you’re not. It’s much easier to shrug off “sexuality is a fundamental part of being adult” when you know that you experience sexual desire for people, even if you think you can’t handle that yet—because you know that they’re not really talking about you. Those of us who are actually asexual don’t have the option of doing that, because they are talking about us.
Pretending temporarily to be asexual because you can’t deal with being gay or bisexual or whatever is not the same thing as being asexual, knowing that you’re asexual, and internalizing all the negative shit society says about actual asexual people.
And the other thing is that I don’t get flak for being asexual for only as long as I pretend it’s a phase, a temporary state, that I’m existing in a state of potential attraction and unformed sexuality. When I’m not claiming my sexuality as a real thing, people don’t care about it. It’s only when I say “look, this is me, and I don’t anticipate changing, I’m not going to structure my life around the possibility that a person will magically suddenly make me totally attracted to them” that people start getting angry and looking for ways to devalue my identity. It’s only okay to be asexual as long as you’re quiet about it and as long as you accept that it’s only a phase. Once you say “no, this is actually part of my adult self, and I don’t see it changing” society starts coming down hard on you.
So no. People who say “I was asexual and people didn’t make a fuss about it”—were you out as asexual? Did you publicly say “this is me and I do not see that changing?” Did you ever talk about it, or did you just try as hard as you could not to draw attention? Did you ever try taking up space?
If you didn’t?
You don’t know how society treats asexuals. Stop fucking claiming that you do.