Cordelia is a friend of mine who identifies herself as asexual. She wanted to talk about her asexuality, but keep her identity secret for privacy reasons, which is why I gave her an alias. Cordelia is a fan of the Marvel universe (both comics and cinematic) and shows like Sherlock and Doctor Who.
What exactly is asexuality?
Asexuality is the lack of sexual attraction. Aromanticism is the lack of romantic attraction. People can get the two confused. For me, I will acknowledge the aesthetic (visual prettiness) of people (HELLO TOM HIDDLESTON) but that doesn’t mean I want to do sexual things with them. A better example is thinking of people like a work of art. I just want to look, not touch them.
When did you realize you were asexual?
College. I realized someone had tried to give me a booty call, went on wikipedia for who knows what reason, and eventually found myself on the asexuality page. And I felt immediate relief. As I wasn’t sexually attracted to men, I felt like the worlds worst lesbian for a while, tried not to care, and then “A NAME! I’M NOT BROKEN!” It was great.
How does being asexual have an impact on your life?
Not much, generally. I no longer think I’m broken is the main thing. But while my sexuality is apart of me, it doesn’t define me. Well, not exclusively. I interpret some characters from shows I watch to be asexual, and I have a lot of trouble figuring out sex things unless they are overt. However, I do have a lot of trouble figuring out WHY people like sex and what it feels like. This part really is a stumbling block for me in several aspects. But as I’m a bit sex-aversive, wondering if I would have sex is a hard no.
What are your faith perspectives on sexuality in general?
It really doesn’t matter. The point of Catholicism isn’t “Who am I attracted to” it’s “I need to love God better for He is wonderful.” As a result, our sexuality is utterly different from the main part of it. Now, us Queer Catholics do have different spiritual needs from straight Catholics, and these should ABSOLUTELY be addressed more often. And in more detail than how it’s currently done. But on a macro level, it doesn’t matter.
On a micro level, people need to talk about “Queer Rights” in the aspect of “Let’s make sure no one is denied housing” or “The Catholic Lawyer fights for the Queer person who lost a job due to orientation”. And for books to address our different spiritual needs. It’s really frustrating to read about the glory of sex and how it shows God’s glory and wisdom and there’s sexual imagery in the Song of Solomon when you DO NOT FEEL IT. Or all the bride/groom imagery. I understand it, but I can’t relate to it
What are you currently discerning?
Consecrated Virginity. I’m not a nun material and as I have never really been asked out on a date, this left me driftless for a while. Then I found it. And it fits what I need so well. I could use company, though, which is harder for a CV to get. But the rest of it fits.
Who are your go-to saints?
St. Francis and St. Anthony. I pray for their intercession the most. (Mostly St. Anthony) But I love St. Gertrude of Nivelles. She’s pretty cool. And St. Odilia is a patron of blind people and I have vision problems (She and St. Brigid in Tiny Saints form are on my keychain.)
I really love the Saints. A lot. I admire the work they did, and how they are patrons of so many things. I need to study their lives more, but I more ask for the most appropriate patron saint depending on the situation.
What advice would you give to people who are asexual or those who don’t understand it?
Don’t treat us differently. We are not late bloomers, closeted SSA, children, plants, or anything else you can come up with. We’re people who simply can not find people sexually attractive. This doesn’t mean we were abused, scared, had a bad date, or anything else. We just are. And we are increasingly frustrated at a hypersexualized world, or at least I am.
I wish that characters like Sherlock and the Doctor could be asexual again and I’m very certain that Coulson from Agents of SHIELD is also asexual. Have characters smile sweetly and turn people down for hook ups for simply being uninterested in them sexually. Have sex never come up at all. Really. I’m drifting towards some YA books just because I know I’m not going to get explicit sex scenes (if at all). Turn down the sex in advertisements, let’s just be clever. Forget the dirty jokes. Let’s have people simply be. No ships. No sex. No scenes. Just… be themselves.