Whew chile! We are in some strange and unpredictable times. 2020 has been one hell of a hot mess and we’re only halfway through. No one knows what to expect next, except maybe the CIA. I bet those guys know what’s really going on LOL. Anyway, I digress. Times are weird and stressful and there’s a lot happening at once. Many of us are just taking life one day at a time. This, however, is not a doom and gloom post. It is actually a pride story, so cue in pride flags and rainbow confetti!
This Pride month, I have a lot to be grateful for. I am grateful for my family (both biological and chosen). I am grateful for my friends. I am grateful for my feminist and queer community. And I am grateful for love.
When this year began, Nana Darkoa shared her sex and relationship goals for 2020 and encouraged folxs to set their own sex and relationship goals for the year. At that time, I was not interested at all in any of that because I had come out of a long-term long-distance relationship not too long before, and I was still trying to reconcile with the fact that you could love someone dearly, get along well with them, share the same politics, truly enjoy each other’s company, but still make them unhappy because you’re not able to meet their needs.
In the beginning I was worried about two things: 1. That the long-distance was going to be a problem and 2. That as a cis femme dating a non binary person, I would not be good at dating and being intimate with them in a way that was safe, affirming and validated them. Yet, when the relationship ended, it was as a result of neither of those. I was still navigating my sexuality, or more accurately, the absence of it.
You see, I exist somewhere on the spectrum of asexuality. If I have to put a pin on it, I would say I’m graysexual, or gray A, or gray-ace or my personal favorite – grace. For me, this means that I seldom experience sexual attraction, and when I do, it’s circumstantial. It also means that sex is not very important to me in a relationship. I would prefer to show and be shown love and affection in other ways, such as taking care of each other, cuddling, talking, spending time or just sitting in warm comfortable silence with a partner.
Existing on the spectrum of asexuality doesn’t mean that I dislike sex or am grossed out by it. I’m actually very sex-positive. I want negative ideas and attitudes about sex to change. I want rape culture to end. I want people to have wholesome, fulfilling and affirming sexual experiences. I want women to have toe-curling, sheet-grabbing, earth-shattering orgasms. And for women who are unable to orgasm to not be shamed for it. I want people to enjoy consensual sex in whatever format that they find pleasurable.
But me personally, I’m not keen about sex happening to my own body. I don’t often desire it and thus, don’t often initiate it. But when it does happen consensually, I don’t just lie there like a log. I engage in it, participate actively and enjoy it.
Unfortunately, my asexuality became a big issue in my relationship. My then partner was uncomfortable with me having sex with them only because they wanted it. They said that it blurred the lines of consent (which is a super valid concern BTW) and they let me know that it was difficult for them to accept the fact that although I was romantically attracted to them, I wasn’t particularly sexually attracted to them and that it wasn’t personal or about them or their body.
That relationship ended very painfully. But now, coming to terms with my asexuality has unlocked for me, new ways of experiencing pleasure and non-sexual intimacy. My relationship with my body has gotten better. I no longer hate it for being “broken” and for being a place of sexual trauma. I love that it keeps me healthy and I’m more focused on experiencing my body as a site of pleasure and intimacy. I practice a lot of care for my body; I eat well, I exercise, I rest when I feel tired and I practice yoga to relax.
So, with this new lease of life and comfort in my asexuality, I think I can now set those goals Nana was talking about. My sex and relationship goals for the next half of the year are with myself primarily, even as I seek connections and relationships with others. This year, I am allowing myself to feel, to be, to explore my sexuality (and the absence of it), and to honour and take pride in my body by treating it with all the love and respect it deserves. Because truly, I deserve. And that’s that on that!