Anyone else feel broken and alone…

…Within the asexual community? I’ve been dealing with these feelings on and off since I first found it about 2 years ago, but it’s been in the past year that they’ve been especially bad. Over the past few weeks, I haven’t felt bothered at all, and actually, I felt encouraged by recent posts on the Asexual Agenda. They motivated me to create this blog! Some people liked the interview that I did (it was back in February, but I was happy to see it mentioned in some recent posts), and said they learned a lot from it, and I felt honored! I felt like the strange path that I took before finding the asexual community paid off, and that as difficult as it was to try and explain, it was worth the difficulty.

However, there are times when I regret it, and hate that I didn’t find the asexual community first, and why, because that affected what I’ve become.

Those feelings of isolation, anger, and regret came back up last night, and the night before. They hit me hard, while I was in the process of writing a follow-up to my Unassailable Asexual post, one to explain why I ended up taking the path that I did, the path that made both my Asexual Agenda interview, and attempts at voluntary celibacy resources possible. Thinking about it, I’m angry at myself for succumbing to my friends’ identity policing, because it made me feel like I have no right to seek out or identify with the asexual community.

I end up feeling like I shouldn’t talk about my experiences, not that ones that stand out too much. Maybe I shouldn’t. They make me look like a bad example of the asexual community, only remind me of how unrepresentative I am of it (being a current member of AVEN’s Project Team, this issue is especially bad!) and I should shut myself off, being only there to serve others as a mercenary in an impartial manner at all times. Because of the extreme obscurity of my experiences, knowing all too well that I’m an outlier in the asexual community, talking about my experiences feels like a nightmare to even attempt. I’m up against a brick wall… but it’s one of the fortress that I walled myself into, while everyone else is outside.

I feel like I’m not broken for who I am, but for what I became, and why, and it makes me wish that I found the asexual community first, because I’d be more ‘normal’ then.

Yesterday on tumblr, I made this post, desperate to find others who feel broken or alone, for not fitting the standard asexual narratives. Anyone feel like there’s something about their experiences that makes them a total odd-one-out in the community, and have felt that it’s incredibly difficult to talk about it?

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11 thoughts on “Anyone else feel broken and alone…

  1. luvtheheaven

    There are a lot of different people in the asexual community, and we didn’t all end up here first. You’re not as alone as you feel like you are. We’re all unique in some ways, and it can be hard not to dwell on how it seems like no one can relate to certain experiences of ours.

    I actually fit most of what the original unassailable asexual concept is, but regardless, I often still feel out of place in the asexual community. When I first checked out the asexuality community, afraid to adopt the label, I found it hard to read that many romantic asexuals like kissing and consider it a non-sexual, romantic act, when I felt like I did want a romantic relationship but I hated kissing to such a strong degree.

    It’s still hard to feel like I fit in quite right when I have never experienced physical arousal under any circumstance. I have often felt broken because of this, and it doesn’t help to read about aces who masturbate, who have “sexual bodies that still work”, because what, my body doesn’t work? I *am* broken then. No matter how many times I read that some aces don’t, I still find too many cases of “they don’t because they find it boring” or “they don’t because they just don’t feel like it” and sometimes it really can feel like I’m the only person who doesn’t because I’ve never been able to actually do it at all when I tried and I have no idea if I’d like it or not, I just… can’t.

    I also can feel jealous and doomed to be alone forever when I read about wonderful queerplatonic or romantic partnerships some aces have.

    And I feel like the only ace, ever, to desperately want to be a parent one day, or at least a foster parent, as the only time I see parenthood being brought up in the ace community is either from childfree folks expressing their POV, (which is a totally valid POV, it’s just not mine!) or from allosexuals asking if being ace means you can’t have kids and then the generic answers that follow being that aces can have sex for procreation or do IVF or adopt. But those hypotheticals aren’t the same as feeling like other asexual people actually feel what I do. It would make me feel so much less alone in this one regard to read a story about a fellow ace who actually does plan to have kids one day, or even already has kids.

    I mainly feel happy and comforted by this community. I mainly feel lots of positive feelings toward it. But sometimes… sometimes I feel other things. I get how you might feel conflicted about this community and your place in it at times. But based on your blogging so far, I completely do feel like you belong. πŸ˜€ And rejecting sex first and taking on an asexual identity second is probably more common of an experience than you realize. πŸ˜‰

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    1. Aqua Post author

      Thanks! πŸ™‚ For clarification, I while I did find out that I’m not wrong for not wanting sex, it wasn’t from the asexual community, and I felt like that made all the difference. It’s because of that, that I’ve been identifying with something both very obscure, and easy to take the wrong way, even within the asexual community. I know that those feelings of isolation, anger and regret come from worrying about my differences too much. I try to focus on the positive, and the things that I do have in common with much of the community, but there are times it’s just too hard, and I end up worrying too much.

      I’m repulsed by kissing too! I’m neither exactly romantic nor aromantic, but I haven’t ruled out romantic relationships, but still hate kissing.

      I didn’t know that discussions about libido leave out those who not only don’t have a libido, but don’t experience arousal in any form. I’ll take note of that. I know that on AVEN, I’ve met members who are parents, or want to be, and on the main board, there’s a pinned thread dedicated to parents sharing their experiences. Other than that, I haven’t really seen the topic of parenthood talked about in other asexual spaces at all. That’s very isolating. 😦 I’ve heard the criticism that a lot of asexual spaces aren’t friendly towards asexuals who have, or want to have kids, and I wonder what could be done about that.

      So you feel conflicted on that sense of whether you belong or not too? You might be right about there being more people who identify with the rejection of sex first, but they’re not really getting heard, because it seems like celibacy in general gets taken for granted in asexual spaces as simply not having sex.

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      1. luvtheheaven

        “So you feel conflicted on that sense of whether you belong or not too?”
        Kind of, sometimes. But mainly, lately, I’ve felt pretty content – like I do belong in the community. Those more negative, isolating feelings were more how I felt before I started blogging myself, and even longer ago – especially before I was even identifying as asexual officially, when I was more just considering whether or not I was ace, those feelings made me hesitate, made me doubt the identity fitting me, made me not necessarily feel “wow, this is definitely me” – this is why I spent months considering “Well I might be asexual, BUT what if I’m not” instead.

        I can be reminded of those feelings in the present at times, though, depending on what I read. And the parenthood thing becomes more of an issue for me now than ever because as I try to figure out my romantic orientation and try to figure out what I want for my future. Becoming a parent is still a distant goal for me, though, and I can imagine as it becomes more immediate as a goal for me that my feelings about how the asexuality community handles it would change, and maybe I would feel more frustrated, isolated, different, etc.

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    2. Laura (ace-muslim)

      Luvtheheaven, you’re not alone in having extremely low arousability. I’m the same way. I suspect that more “non-libidoist” aces may be like this but don’t talk about it.

      I believe that my low arousability is a factor in my sex aversion. Why would I want to have sex, and how could I enjoy it, if nothing happens during it?

      It’s interesting that this is never talked about and I think you make some really good points about how the discourse about non-libidoism needs to do better.

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      1. luvtheheaven

        Thanks, Laura, for helping make me feel less alone in this sense. πŸ˜‰ I agree, we probably all just don’t talk about it and yeah I definitely think my asexuality & my 100% lack of arousability & my lack of a sex-drive is all very interconnected/tangled and really my feelings about sex too – so I can’t really separate them, personally. I see my personal experience of sex-aversion as very related to me not feeling pleasure, ever, for sexual things and as very related to me feeling broken when I’ve tried sexual things or considered doing sexual things (including, in my case, masturbating). I see my lack of sexual attraction as likely tied to my lack of arousability although I understand that for many libidoist asexuals these things are very different.

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  2. onlyfragments

    I think we should always talk about our experiences. They may seem different or obscure or even wrong, but they’re not; they’re part of who we are, and that makes them essential. There will always be someone, somewhere, who can identify with these experiences. Always. We may never meet that person, but if we at least open up, there’s the chance they’ll come across our words. And if we don’t speak up… that’s when the community homogenizes. If we want diversity in the asexual community, the diverse ones have to tell their stories.

    And even if those reading can’t identify… they’re still reading.

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    1. luvtheheaven

      That is such a good point. All of it. πŸ˜‰ I think the wonderful thing is that we can understand people’s feelings even if we can’t relate to their experiences at all, and we can learn what other people’s narratives are and be more knowledgeable people because of it. Especially the diverse, unique experiences.

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  5. Lars

    Hello I’m Asexual Aromantic. Yes I sometimes feel broken. I realised I was Asexual last year but recently realised I’m Aromantic too. I also identify as Agender this year after trying out crossdressing last year. I thought I loved girls as a child until 13 when I thought I was Bisexual, then thinking I was gay at 16 and took 6 years to “come out” (2 years ago) and half regret it ever since because I didn’t know about Asexuality at the time but since exploring my feelings last year, joining a support group, giving another lad a valentine’s card (I half regret now) and trying out a gay bar and a dating app and even Annual Pride, I realised I didn’t fit in and didn’t feel right about any of it at all – I felt like I was expected “to find love and be in love with someone” and being labeled as gay by countless others over the years against my will (childhood it started) though I first thought they said “Gameboy” because I used to play video games alot.

    I wish to point out i do not have any certain phobias and I am LGBT and Ace 100%
    I’ve never been much of a fitting in person and not really that interested in relationships. Friends and family are naturally more important to me. Also playing the sims with various types of couples and family helps me to remain open minded and accept others because I believe no one should have to suffer being tormented for who they love and don’t love and how they identify with. Good luck everyone πŸ™‚

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  6. Dawen

    I’ve never felt like I was broken, ever, in my life.

    …And that leads to quasi-frequent feelings of isolation in the ace community, because “everyone else” has, lol. (Quasi-frequent because I go on months-long hiatuses from reading ace stuff, partly because of this.)

    There’s a couple of other things that can lead to the same sort of feeling, but not nearly as frequently (I think because the broken narrative is basically the quintessential ace narrative). Things like, yeah, my religion does advocate waiting for marriage. Or (and this one is /really really/ weird for inducing feelings of isolation…) I’ve never experienced outright acephobia. So many people talk about it, though, and after a lot of reading it starts feeling like it’s an essential part of identifying as ace.

    When this happens, I power down all the ace material for a while and, after a few days, remind myself that I still /definitely/ don’t experience attraction and that’s what makes me ace, not anything else.

    Curiously, I have once felt community isolation for wanting to experience pregnancy, sort of like luvtheheaven – except not the ace community. It was the nonbinary one instead (most find the state of themselves being pregnant abhorrent because of dysphoria reasons, and as for me… I’m an ace with a pregnancy kink, lol, so I would /adore/ to experience it for myself at least once).

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