asexual · asexuality · black girl blogs · black women

Racing To An Invisible Line

I spend a lot of time on the internet. More than I’d like to admit, but still not as much as I could be spending. It’s such a vast and deep space that getting lost on the interwebs is an easy thing to do. Getting addicted to it is easy as well. Over the course of the last year, I’ve watched as people become addicted to going viral on Twitter. It’s gotten to the point where people will say anything, no matter how nasty or mean or unnecessary it is, just in hopes of getting a few thousand likes and retweets. They don’t care if their words hurt somebody, they don’t care if they’re giving out incorrect information. All that matters is those couple of hours of rapid activity on their page. Over 95% don’t even get paid for going viral. It’s weird.

What’s even weirder is when people use romantic situations to try and gain clout on apps. The internet has created so many rules around romantic relationships that more often than not people find themselves in situations they never wanted to be a part of in the first place. The list of what you must do when you like someone stretches for miles and is only getting longer. It has no details, no scenarios, and no real explanations. You either follow the rules of relationships or you’re a bad partner. Or at least that’s what the internet says. But while these rules can supposedly craft a perfect relationship, they’re extremely noninclusive of any relationship outside of heteronormativity.

No two relationships are the same. Different sex, same-sex, no sex, they’re all different. But are all expected to be guided by the same rules. As an Asexual, many of those rules can be downright terrifying. The idea that you absolutely have to post pictures of your relationship. Or the concept of detailing every little thing that you and your partner do, sharing it on whichever app. I watch my friends struggle to keep their relationships afloat because of weird situations like they didn’t text who like they back but are on Twitter and now the person they like is mad. That’s insane to me. And a waste of time.

When I tell people that I have no interest in dating, it’s not particularly true. It’s just the easiest way to not have to explain my personal view to someone who I have an interest in being personal with. It’s something I should probably stop doing but too often I’ve been told that the kind of person and relationship I want doesn’t exist. The concept of dating, the idea of it, is really rather comforting. The fairy tale version of it, I suppose, where you might not be perfect for each but you fit. You might argue but you never scream at each other in anger. You love each other as friends, the sex is just a bonus. At least that’s how I’d want my romantic relationship to go. On the flip side though, I’ve also got things that I’m not willing to budge on. I will not be texting you every day, I won’t be telling you every move I make, we won’t live together ever and I will always crave solitude. I also do not belong to anybody, I know couples think it’s cute to say they belong to their partner but no, those words won’t ever even come into my thoughts let alone leave my mouth. I won’t ever allow my happiness to rely on another person. And while there are things I’m willing to compromise on, the way people take any kind of compromise as a go-ahead to try and change everything leaves me with a bitter taste in my mouth. So it’s just easier to say I’m not interested in dating.

But that’s just me. There are plenty of Asexuals who want to date and are actively looking for partners. However, it’s hard when people enter, even just a conversation, with already preconceived ideas about how the relationship should be. The idea that all romantic relationships must include sex is a social construct, the over-sexualization of everything is weighing down on everyone. It hinders the growth of so many people and is vastly ignored when brought up. I talk about being a Black Woman who is constantly hyper-sexualized a lot, I’m very loud about not wanting to be viewed in a sexual way. I talk about wanting my skin to be seen as just that, skin. And yet anytime I show barely the slightest interest in someone, the only thing that matters to people is when I’m going to have sex with that person. I’ve talked to many asexuals who are close to giving up on dating even though they want that relationship connection badly, and it’s because any time you don’t fall inside the rules of dating no one wants to take the time to create new rules with you. These days no one has time to really get to know someone, they just want to know one quirky thing about you that will get them likes on an app. They don’t want to build a bond with you, they just want to go half on a house that they can post pictures of on the internet. It’s draining and ever so slightly intriguing.

It’s like everyone in a relationship is participating in a race. The prize if you win is still unclear but everyone is racing toward that finish line that can only be found on the internet. If you don’t want to participate in the race then you aren’t important at all. If you want to change the rules of the race you’re sensitive. Never mind the fact that no one can tell you what you win for crossing that viral finish line. There’s no money for having “the best relationship”, you can argue that YouTube couples get paid to be together but the way they all seem to break up lets me know that money is not the prize. And yet people are still racing. The addiction to the internet is a problem but the way the internet is shaping people is an even bigger one.

When I ask, no one can tell me why they want their romantic relationships to hinge so desperately on outside validation. If you like someone and they like you that should be the end of it, no post on Twitter or meme on Instagram should be a guideline for how you conduct your relationship. Honestly, even your parents’ relationship shouldn’t be the poster child for your own. Because it’s your relationship, the only people who get to decide how it should be is you and the other person you get into bed with at night. People will nod with my words and agree, and then go right back to molding their romantic relations to fit the rules of normalcy. Which is more than fine, cause it’s not my relationship to stress over. I do hope though that one day soon we can start to deconstruct the idea of a perfect relationship and just let people create the connections and bonds that they want and deserve.

-Danyi

asexual · asexuality · black girl blogs · black women

Ace Awareness: Sex Repulsed to Hyper Sexual

I haven’t had sex in six and a half years. This seems like a long time to most but from my perspective, it is still fairly recent. I can still recall the last time, the uneasy feeling I had through the whole experience, the way my stomach turned and I threw up afterward. The sex was nice, I guess, the person didn’t hurt me and they were really sweet about the entire exchange but just the fact that I did it made me want to cut a deep, deep line into my wrists. That was six years ago though. And in the time between now and then, I’ve learned so many things about the nature of Asexuality and myself. In this article, I’m hoping to give just a little insight into the way I view (and hopefully others do too) sex-repulsed asexuals and hypersexual aces and how they’re different sides of the same coin.

When I first started identifying as Asexual, I was under the impression that I could hide my disdain for sex with this label. I didn’t want to have to take the time to explain myself to people. I wanted to just be left to my own devices, never having sex pressured upon me, leaving the sex discussions to every and anyone else who wanted to have them. I absolutely did not. However, I realized that telling someone you’re asexual opens up a floodgate of questions no matter what. They truly can’t seem to help themselves. Which would be fine if the questions stayed inside decent boundaries. But they rarely do. When I told my mother I was asexual, she instantly replied: “No, you aren’t”. She didn’t even know what the word meant, but she was certain I couldn’t be associated with it.

“You and [redacted] used to have sex all the time, he just hurt you that’s all.”

I’ve heard that line more from people than I’ve heard anything else. I wasn’t even allowed the “you’re just confused” phase, everyone jumped straight to the “you’ve been hurt” phase. Not for my comfort, but for their own. Saying that I’ve been hurt and that’s why I’m asexual now is a lazy way for people to soothe their own discomfort at what I do in my own private bedroom. They don’t really care if I’ve been hurt, they don’t want to hear that I was asexual before I was raped and the experience of being hurt just intensified my feelings. That’s too complicated of a situation. They want to just settle on the assumption that I’m sex-repulsed because of rape. Which isn’t true in the slightest.

I don’t think sex is disgusting. It’s actually pretty okay under the right circumstances and with the right person, I haven’t experienced that yet but I know it’s real. There’s no way everyone is out here just having sex because it’s what society wants. That’s unrealistic. What isn’t though, is the idea that there are asexuals who are repulsed by sex. If people can be repulsed by certain smells, by the texture of certain things, or by the sight of something then it’s not hard at all to get why someone can be repulsed by sex. It’s a certain thing, body fluids are exchanged, smells are mixed together creating new ones and skin presses so close that it can seem stuck. It’s the details of sex that, to me, make people repulsed. And even the repulsion itself has different levels to it.

Not every sex-repulsed Asexual is the same. There are some who are repulsed by sex in its entirety. Then you have Aces who are only repulsed by certain things. I met a girl who loved giving head, to man or woman but never wanted to be touched back. She wouldn’t even let people put their hands on her head while she was in the middle of the sexual act. She loved oral sex but everything else repulsed her. She identified as Asexual. There was another girl that loved being a Dom, she never had sex with any of her Subs but her clientele book was always full. She too identified as Asexual. I haven’t met as many male Asexuals as I have women but there was one I remember who enjoyed everything except penetration sex. He had no problem giving and receiving pleasure as long as it never got to the point of him penetrating someone or them doing it to him. His Asexuality was just as valid as the girl who only wanted to give head and as the many asexuals who want nothing to do with any kind of sex.

On the flip side of this coin, there are Asexuals who are Hyper Sexual. I admittedly don’t know as much about them, because I’ve been actively avoiding all topics of sex, but recently as my views and mental state have shifted I’ve started paying more attention. Sex is often used as a coping mechanism. A lot of people will say it’s an unhealthy one but that’s not always true. It all comes down to the two (or however many) people engaging in the act. If one person is Asexual, is aware that they’re having sex for reasons other than just sexual attraction and are okay with that, then how can their coping mechanism be bad? It’s different for sure, and a challenge to the societal ideas of how we look at sex. But it isn’t unhealthy. People will say that if you aren’t having sex because you enjoy it then you are being raped. And for a while, I agreed because I never wanted sex and was constantly having it. However not everyone has the same perspective, we are not all one monolith. Asexuals who want kids and relationships are not hurting themselves by being okay with having sex with one specific person. Whether the goal is ultimately kids or just because they know sex makes their partner happy and they want them to be happy. That’s their business. It’s strange the way people want to force the idea of how everyone should have/enjoy sex. We tell ourselves not to judge who someone is sleeping with but instead allow ourselves to judge how they go about sleeping with them.

Asexuality is an umbrella term, yet everyone wants to look at it as though it has one single definition that fully describes the inner workings of this sexuality. It doesn’t. Asexuality means a lack of sexual attraction, and that’s it. The degree in which someone lacks that attraction is up to them, their experiences and how their brain wants to handle things. Six years ago I thought I’d never have sex again, in any way, shape, or form. I was ready to be that “true” Asexual (which is also something being pressed upon us but that’s for another article). And I didn’t want to answer any questions about why other Aces could have sex but I seemingly couldn’t. Now though, it’s different. I am different. I’m still Asexual but I do not flinch away at the idea of talking about sex, I don’t pretend I don’t have the answers as to why Asexuals vary, and I’m willing to compromise with sexual situations. I still haven’t had sex in six years, and I don’t really plan to any time soon but now instead of being embarrassed when people immediately say “you haven’t had sex in how long? I could never.” I simply nod and go on about my day. Or explain to them that me not having sex doesn’t mean that I’m against it. I like the idea of sex, it seems glorious but rarely does the idea and the reality reflect each other. For now, I’m content with just learning about the ways I can help bring awareness to Asexuality and all the different kinds of people that fall under its wing.

-Danyi

asexual · asexuality · black girl blogs · black women

Dear Black Asexual: How You Identify Is Valid

One thing I’ve tried to never doubt was my ability to know myself. Even when I didn’t have the words to describe who I was or what I was going through, I didn’t doubt that I’m always me. No matter what. Sometimes the only thing I have is myself, and I’ll do anything to never lose that.

There’s always been a bit of conflict in my identity. When I was younger I had no Jay’s and no idea what Polo shirts where. Which got me plenty of funny looks from the other kids. I didn’t have them not because my family was too poor to afford them but because my aunts and grandma believed in letting kids be kids. A statement that doesn’t really validate not buying kids brand names but one that seems to keep holding up. Not to mention my mother had me when she was 42 years old, I was much younger than her siblings’ children who, by the time I was born, were already nearing adulthood. My cousins were too old for me to play with, they thought I was annoying. So I spent most of my time with my aunts who were all in their 40’s. Their sense of fashion was not the current style of fashion. I wore homemade dresses until I was in the fourth grade, it got me a fair bit of teasing but it never made me question who I was. Neither did my extra baggy pants in middle school, or my ever-growing need for my hair to never reach my ears. No matter what was happening to me on the outside, on the inside, I always had a firm grip on myself.

Until suddenly I didn’t.

The inter-workings of the community are complicated. Especially the inner knowings of the Black community. We fight each other a lot, over the smallest things. The darkness of complexion, the way some of us speak, the way some present ourselves, our body shapes, and those unspoken rules that all Black people are just supposed to automatically know. The community is tight when we have to be, but it can also unravel with the lightest of yanks. The older generation holds onto toxic views that harmed them but they believe hardened them for the better. I’ve never been more frustrated and angry than trying to discuss “modern views” with my mother. I used to listen to her and my aunts talk down about other women for things that were clearly the fault of men. I had to sit through their defense of scum men because the women just “seemed” like they were lying. I thought I could escape the suffocation of not being heard, listened to and understood by putting myself around people my own age. That didn’t really work either. For every one accepting Black peer I found, there were two more who held onto the beliefs of their parents. My generation tries not to struggle with same-sex relationships but the bigotry shows up in so many of us once you talking about the other letter best G and L in LGBTQIA. It’s frustrating.

I’ve yet to meet another Black Asexual in person. Granted, I’m stuck in Colorado for the time being because of things I cannot control but I’ve met several white asexuals since I started looking and asking around. In turn, I was the first Black Asexual many of them had met. So when the inevitable question of “what other Black asexuals you know” first came up, I found myself embarrassed and unable to provide any response. Because I didn’t know any other than me. I lost that argument of whether or not my sexuality was valid, but that was back when I first came out. And for the first two-ish years I avoided conversations that steered in that direction, I basically avoided all conversations that drifted towards my sexuality. It hurts when something as important as sexuality and how you personally identify with it isn’t believed. Not the surface, cry for a bit and then go on about your life hurt. But a deep pit of the stomach, feel lower than dirt kind of hurt.

It’s apparently very hard for people around my age to grasp the idea of someone not having any kind of sexual attraction. It’s especially hard for them when they see my brown skin and automatically hypersexual me. It’s not uncommon at all for a person to reach out and touch me before even opening their mouths to speak to me. People gain a sense of entitlement when they see Black women as if we instantly belong to them and can be poked and prodded as such. Stereotypes keep us locked in small boxes that we have to almost kill ourselves to get out of. I can’t count on both hands the number of times I’ve been told by another Black person that my Asexuality was “white people shit”. To them, because they don’t understand it and haven’t ever heard of it, I’m acting white. Even though acting white is as much a myth as acting Black is. You cannot act a color, only a stereotype.

The more I was around people who didn’t accept or even acknowledge my sexuality, the more I felt like I was losing myself. I couldn’t actively and truthfully participate in conversations about dating and sex because my opinion was never taken seriously. I can’t have an opinion on sex because I’m asexual, despite the fact I’ve had sex a bunch of times. I couldn’t give dating advice because I’m asexual, even though I’ve been in relationships before. Quickly a stigma was built around me, men would spend days in my inbox trying to convince me that their dicks would cure my Asexuality. Instead of taking my words at face value, many assumed it was a silent challenge. Me saying I wasn’t interested in relationships or sex was actually code for them to try harder, to attempt to hang around longer, to prove that they could break down the walls I’d put up. This started four years ago, and today there’s still one or two who think they’re going to wait my asexuality out. It would be funny if it wasn’t so pathetic.

It wasn’t until I found other Black Asexuals online did I start to feel somewhat settled. Twitter can be a hell site but it also connects you with people you’d never have the chance to talk to otherwise. It was incredibly calming to put out a tweet about being Black and Asexual and have others like me respond. It’s nice to be able to experience something and have others relate in incredibly specific ways, it’s amazing to have other brown-skinned people tell me that what I saying resonates with them. I don’t feel as lost now as I did five years ago and I really don’t want other young Black Asexuals to feel that way. We aren’t alone, we’re not on white people shit, and there are more of us than we realize.

At the beginning of the summer, I had contemplated not writing as much about being Asexual because I worry that I’ll start to repeat myself. But then I realized that if I’d had someone sharing their experience as Ace, repeated or not, back when I first started identifying it would have been incredibly helpful. So I’m hoping that if my posts do anything, they reach a fellow Black Asexual who needs just a bit of reassurance. We are valid, and there’s nothing wrong with being Black and Asexual.

-Danyi

asexual · asexuality · black girl blogs · black women

Self Acceptance

I’m probably the last person to ask about self-acceptance and self-confidence, I’m firmly in the fake it til you make it camp. Because I’m still searching for self-love and overall confidence. However, in the past few years, I have gained insight and curated a few thoughts about how to come into acceptance and confidence. It’s not easy to love yourself in front of others, it’s not easy to ignore judgment that you know is happening. And it’s even harder when the acceptance you’re seeking, the confidence you want to gain; is attached to the acknowledgment of something a lot of people would rather ignore.

My asexuality makes people uncomfortable. Usually, I can see in their faces as they come to regret asking me to explain what it is. I can see the apprehension in their eyes, they don’t want to think about the oddity of someone not being interested in sexual activities. It’s foreign and so far outside the normal societal way of thinking, it makes something inside of them want to change you. Even though your sexuality has nothing to do with them because it’s yours and not theirs. It’s here that self-acceptance takes the hardest blows. When alone, accepting yourself isn’t usually hard. You don’t have to be anything other than who you are, you can simply exist. It’s always when others start to come around and demand differently from you that you suffer.

My mother doesn’t understand me, any part of me. But she especially doesn’t understand my sexuality. It a phase to her because I don’t get out of the house enough. It’s a trend for now because I haven’t met the right person, she hopes that person is a man. It’s a temporary answer to the situation of having to spend most of my time caring for my grandma. It’s any and everything to my mother except for what it really is; my sexuality. She can’t fathom the idea that her daughter doesn’t sometimes crave the touch of a man, that I don’t daydream about falling into bed with the hot guy that gave up his seat for me on the bus. She won’t say it out loud but she’s astounded that I don’t think about women either, she’d take me being a lesbian or bisexual over me being asexual. Even though I most certainly claim bisexuality after my asexuality. To her though, the asexuality will keep from having a normal life.

It’s because of the word normal that so many asexuals can’t accept themselves. We’ve been told that we aren’t normal. And to not be normal is bad. To not remain swimming in the same stream as everyone else, to not even be in the alternative streams is even worse. Asexuality has created a new space for people, a new idea that needs to be accepted. It’s hard to be content in your own stream when others outside of it want that stream to dry up. The idea of a certain kind of normality has been so widely spread among us that breaking out it is proving to be the biggest challenge of some people’s lives. And it shouldn’t be.

I decided about two years ago that I am normal. Everything about me is normal, for me. Which is completely fine. I can’t really explain how I managed it without sounding egotistical, but I’m a very logical person. I deal with feelings, emotions and just about all aspects of my life with logic. It’s comforting to me. So I figured I would apply logic to my sexuality as well. I didn’t just wake up one day and decide to be asexual, the realization came slowly over time. There were a lot of misfires of communication and probably hundreds of journal pages filled with my sloppy handwriting about each day’s experience. Asexuality grew inside of me and taught me about the parts of myself that I had pushed away to keep others happy. I never wanted a boyfriend but ended up with one anyway. I never wanted to have sex but ended up having a lot of it. I don’t like kissing but still, let people kiss me until about seven months ago. For years it’s been me trying to abide by the rules of normality when I’ve always been normal.

For me, issues thrown upon my sexuality run deeper than just people thinking that I’m not normal. There’s the heavy cloud of misogyny that chases after asexuality and the weighted shackles of racism that affect it too. When men see me, they see the way my body is shaped and because they find it attractive they refuse to accept my asexuality. I’ve had men demand to know my every sexual encounter so that they can find the loop that invalidates me. I’ve had males insist that the only possible way I could be like this is because I harbor some deep hurt caused by another man. Any scenario is better to them than the simple concept of not desiring a piece of another person’s body inside of me. And when I explain sex to them in this way, someone else’s flesh inside of a vulnerable place in my body, we’re thrown back to the claim that I’m just not normal. Because after all, sex can’t be viewed from a different perspective other than pleasurable (or bad by circumstance depending on the situation).

If I take away the criticism of those only looking for a place to stick their genitals, then I’m able to look clearly at the criticism of my sexuality that comes from racism. Whether it’s self ingrained racism from a fellow Black person or racism that comes from white people (white asexuals included). Black women are the most sexualized creatures on the planet. We aren’t allowed to be children, our girls are called fast the moment they start breathing, our teenagers are preyed upon by the men that are supposed to protect them and our women are assaulted for simply saying no. My asexuality makes me an even bigger target for those who only want to fetishize me. If they can’t get sex from me then why am I even existing? There’s no way a Black woman doesn’t want to have men all over her, I can’t possibly be against the idea of everyone ogling me whenever they see fit. On the same side of this coin, there’s also the racist Asexuals that I find myself encountering. If I don’t agree with white asexuals need to be oppressed then I’m not really asexual. I can’t find familiarity in never having a crush and I’m firmly against Asexuals being represented by cake. So, therefore, my asexuality is a blanket label for underlying trauma. Or at least that’s what I’ve been told.

My asexuality challenges the notions of different kinds of normal in a way that upsets people because they cannot brush it away as something I’ll get over. Because I have nothing that needs getting over. My perspective gives off the air of self-acceptance and confidence when in reality I’m just trying to let myself experience Asexuality freely. I wish it was as easy as simply saying I accept who I am, but it isn’t. I decided that I would accept myself because I was tired of trying to shape my being to the idea of others. But not everyone can do that, some people need outside validation. And I think they have it the hardest.

-Danyi

asexual · asexuality · black girl blogs · black women

Hyped Too Early

When I was in the 3rd grade, a girl in my class asked me if I knew that the boys talked about me on the playground. I didn’t, because I spent most of my recess jumping rope with my friends. What the boys had to say about me wasn’t important at that time. Until suddenly it was. The girl, I remember her name started with a K, told me that the boys were always talking about how big my butt was. It made her mad because one of the boys she liked was always the leader of the discussion. He liked me, which in turn meant that she had to dislike me and make it known.

I remember that day vividly. I remember the pink shirt K was wearing, I remember the gold hoop earrings she had in and I remember burning my hands with the water in the sink because I was so shocked by the knowledge that my butt was a regular thing to talk about amount my male classmates. I was shocked and embarrassed and spent the rest of the day making up excuses to stay in the bathroom. Every day after that I spent a good portion of the mornings before school trying to make sure all my shirts were long enough to hang down over me.

The same things happened in middle school and only got worse in high school. Everyone always had something to say about my body. Never about me, as a person, always about how big my butt was. There was no “Danyi you’re really good at jumping rope or writing stories” it was “Danyi your ass is fat as hell” and someone always had to try and touch it. In college I tried for a few months to just go with it, dance with whoever wanted to, let whoever grab and squeeze. Everyone around me hyped my ass up, I should too right?

It was my second year of college, the seventh year with my boyfriend and a few months before we were to break up; we had an argument and he told me that the only reason he was with me was that my ass was fat. I’ve told this story before in other articles but it’s important to tell it in this one too. When he said that to me, I remember how I literally froze in place. My mind stopped all thoughts, everything inside of me and outside came to a halt. The humiliation and embarrassment I felt then can still make me squirm today. Just thinking about it makes my stomach turn. But it happened and it affected me. After that argument, I stopped eating and let myself lose weight. So my butt would get smaller and people would stop paying attention to me. It kinda worked, my ass did get smaller but the attention didn’t stop. Those didn’t know me before say my ass is still nice, those who did say I can easily get it back. No one seems to realize though, the focus is still on my ass and not me.

When it comes to my asexuality I often wonder if these events are a contributing factor to it. I can’t help but entertain the idea that the hypersexualization of my body from such a young age plays a huge part in my being uncomfortable with sexual situations. I was eight years old when my body began being sexualized by others. Wasn’t even a decade old before I was put in the same sentences as the word sexy. Didn’t have the chance to experience my first kiss before someone was telling all the things they wanted to do to me sexually. In a sense, my sexual development was backward. The older I got though, I learned that it’s this way for most women.

I haven’t spoken to one woman yet who doesn’t have some kind of negative sexual story. A young negative sexual story at that. We all have, in some way, been hurt sexually. And it sucks. It’s confusing and it makes for an even harder time when we find ourselves wanting to be sexual in a healthy way. I’m still firmly on the nonsexual Ace side of things but I do imagine a time in my life where that could change. I do imagine a person not pressuring me in any kind of way. I imagine a lot what it would be like to have a connection with someone that doesn’t have to touch sexuality but still can if we like it to. The problem is though that I have to imagine this, it’s not real life for me. It’s not something I can actively say I’ve seen around me. It’s definitely not the way my asexuality is percieved.

In the past few months, I’ve been having a hard time with my asexuality. Which is why I haven’t written nearly as much about it as I did last year. My Aceness is vastly different from others that I’ve come across. I wrote about it, in my Ace Discourse article. I got a lot of backlash for my statement that the Discourse is for white Asexuals. Black and Brown Aces have no place there because what white Aces consider oppression is very rarely a blip on the actual oppression radar. However, my article wasn’t taken seriously by white Aces because acknowledging that you still have privilege when you’re hellbent on being oppressed is not a trick they have learned yet. They probably never will. Anyways, I say all this to point out my confusion with being Ace because I’m not sure if I can place a point of origin to my Asexuality. I don’t know when it started. On a surface level, it seems like one day I was fine with sex and with having it and then one day I wasn’t. Like a switch had been flipped in my brain. Part of me thinks it might have started that day in the bathroom when I was in the third grade. Other parts think it started when sex with my ex went from fun and great to painful and traumatizing. I’ve also spent countless hours debating with myself that I’m not actually asexual and the way I feel isn’t valid.

Even though I’m aware the last part isn’t true, I can trace why I feel that way back to a root. I know where my doubt about being truly asexual comes from. It comes from the Black community around me. It comes from the way Black girls are hyped up and sexualized from a young age until the day we die. It comes from the fact that all Black women are seen as sexual creatures first and human beings second. As much pushback as I get from white Aces, it’s nowhere near what I get from fellow Black people. I understand the initial reaction is to dismiss me, even make fun because they don’t think I’m being serious but it’s something that should be discussed. The way Black people are hesitant to accept any sexuality that isn’t heteronormative. We say we accept gays and lesbians but we really don’t, they still feel the judgment and are still shunned. They still die. So while we struggle as a community to accept even the first two letters in LGBT, it’s not hard to see that accepting things such as Trans, Bisexual, Asexual and all the other terms that fall under the umbrella of the acronym are a long way away.

I don’t exactly blame the Black community. We could do better absolutely, but how are those who need to be more accepting supposed to be when we as a community are barely accepted. Racism runs rampant out in the open again. A Black person can be shot for holding their cell phone, for walking home at night, for literally just existing. I can see why we struggle to give acceptance when we barely get any. It doesn’t excuse inner bigotry, I’ll cuss out a Black person being disrespectful about my sexuality just as well as I will anyone else. I just might take longer to do it or give them more chances to switch up their tune before I do it.

I hate hypersexualization. Completely and totally hate it. There is no way to get my blood boiling faster these days. It’s been a part of my life since elementary school and no matter what I do to myself, no matter how I change or adapt, I cannot escape it. The feeling of being seen sexually follows me like a loyal dog, it’s turning me into a cat person. I want out of it, I want to never be looked at in a sexual way again. Because I don’t really know what it’s like to not be. That part of childhood was skipped when it was my turn and I don’t know if I’ll ever be over it.

At least for now, I’ll just keep writing about it.

-Danyi