Alternate Future

Back in an earlier post, I was writing about a few simple, potentially obvious (to many), but serious questions I had started asking myself. Questions like “why do I want a girlfriend?” “why do I want sex” and “do I even want sex?” When I wrote that piece, I was mostly focusing on the fact that I had thought to bother asking those questions at all. In a way, they seem like questions no one would ask. I imagine many people would have easy quick answers if they were asked. The fact that I don’t is intriguing to me, but it’s also scary.

I would definitely need to think about my answers to those questions, and some of that thinking might take a while. What I can do however is start to provide a sort of general perimeter which serves to greatly narrow down what the true answers might be. This perimeter allows me to say with absolute confidence that my answer to “do I even want sex” is NOT an immediate, unequivocal, and enthusiastic “yes!” I’m absolutely sure of that, and if I’m brutally honest, I have been for quite some time. Long before I began identifying with asexuality. As a young man in a sex-saturated culture, how could I have admitted that to myself (to say nothing of anyone else)?

You know what? That scares me quite a bit. There are potentially serious consent issues there. This is hard for me to imagine, but if some woman (let’s just say she’s “hot”) just showed up next to me, ready and willing, I would say “maybe” at best. An answer of “no” would be at least as likely, and far easier. “No” is not consent. “Maybe” is not consent. Not by a long shot. And based on my history of “doing things because I thought I was supposed to,” I can easily imagine an alternate future in which I did go through with something like sex, dubious consent and all. In fact, because I know me so well, I’d say that alternate future would have been almost inevitable. I can’t convey how scary that feels.

However, that alternate future is one that thankfully will not occur. Knowing that is tremendously relieving. Having a label like “asexual” allows me to feel totally secure in saying, “No, I don’t have to do anything. No, there’s nothing I’m ‘supposed’ to be doing. This is as valid a way to be as any other.” That’s a pretty powerful result from something that’s “just a label.” This is just one of the reasons why I choose to call myself asexual. This is why the label needs to exist.