Not all relationships look the same. Some people like traditionally romantic activities like long walks on the beach together. For others, candlelit dinners are just a fire hazard. Sex is certainly not the only form of intimacy, or for some, a form at all. And yeah, maybe I’m over-simplifying sex’s role in a relationship – except, we’re not talking about just any relationship. We’re talking about my own. And if what I want and don’t want is a deal breaker to the person I’m dating, we’ll stop dating.
And if it does – which, let me state clearly, it does – why do those have to be sexual?
Or at least, it should be that easy. But misconceptions disrupt and prevent conversation, which makes ace dating hard. And after writing this second article – after detailing all the allosexual hoops and hurdles I have to overcome, all the invalidation and uncertainties and discomfort – I’m starting to better understand my commenters’ earlier question: “Why is she even dating?” It’s complicated, and it’s not always pleasant, so why not – as several commenters suggested – skip the dating scene entirely and get a puppy instead?
“I want it to be easier, not harder, for aces to go out with people. Which is why I want people to start listening to ace experiences and making room for our stories; that way, I can spend dates getting to know the other person instead of defending how well I know myself.”
First off, as implied in my first article , I plan to have many, many puppies in the future. But the relationship I’d have with a dog isn’t the relationship I want with a partner. I mean, maybe other people trust their dogs to give them advice in their darkest moments; to celebrate their triumphs and share the weight of their burdens; to hold their hand and make them feel grounded, fearless, known. As for me? I play fetch with my dogs and rub their bellies. It’s a good relationship, but not the same.
But for me it’s different – friendship isn’t a lesser relationship, but I don’t want to cuddle with my friends; they don’t make me feel anxious – in that good-anxious way – like we’re the only ones in the room; my mind isn’t constantly distracted by thoughts of, “What are they doing now? Can I be with them?”
Some people don’t want a romantic relationship. And that’s totally valid. They’d rather pursue artistic endeavors, form close friendships, or spend their time doing – well, whatever it is they want to do. Romance isn’t the be-all and end-all of life; it’s just another option, same as sex. So, for me to so adamantly claim I want a relationship in spite of the obstacles, in spite of the other ways I could be spending my time – doesn’t that mean I really want one? That, for me , attraction and desire are involved?
Some commenters also mentioned friendship, and yes, my friendships involve trust and love
I want it to be easier, not harder, for aces to go out with people. Which is why I want people to start listening to ace experiences and making room for our stories; that way, I can spend dates getting to know the other person instead of defending how well I know myself.
I know the struggles and joys that come with being ace. I know who I am, what I want, what I don’t want. And I know that, even after writing all this, some people will still have baseless, hurtful opinions. But that’s OK. Because I know my own truth, and I’ll say it proudly: