Platonic “I Love You”s, and Other Blessings (Carnival of Aces)

This month’s topic is “Asexuality as a Blessing.” [link]

As an asexual (and demi-biromantic) person, I don’t feel like the words “I love you” are restricted to romantic relationships.  I feel free to tell my friends that I love them, and I don’t feel pressured that they’d take those words as being a romantic gesture.

Being asexual can be difficult to describe–I’m sex-repulsed, and I get easily embarrassed when it comes to sex scenes in movies (sometimes I joke that I’m a walking asexual stereotype) but my asexuality has also brought a great deal of freedom to my life.  I don’t feel pressured to be in a relationship, when it looks from the outside like many people are obsessed with wanting to find “the one” person that completes them.

I don’t see love as something that’s restricted to just romantic relationships, I see platonic relationships as mattering just as much to me as my romantic relationships do.  Deep friendship and companionship can be just as intense for me as romantic love can, perhaps even more.  I’m comfortable with my relationships with my Beloveds flowing between romantic love and deep friendship.

Being asexual has brought a variety of blessings to my life, some of which are difficult to put into words easily.  It’s made me more comfortable with who I am, and has brought my closer to my loved ones.  I’m very happy to be asexual, and wouldn’t want to be any other way.

Stages of Asexuality (Carnival of Aces)

This month’s theme is Asexuality and Poetry.

I. Missing Out

Every time sex is talked about as a “temptation,” I feel confused, and disgusted.  I don’t understand why anyone would want to do that, and being asked about who I have a crush on leaves me feeling cold.  At least this is one sin I’ll be able to easily avoid, why is it so hard for everyone else?

II. Trial And Error

I fall in love with someone, and the few times we do have sex, it’s awkward and I feel wrong.  I’m forcing myself to be someone I’m not, and it’s a relief when he doesn’t seem to care that we haven’t had sex in months.  When I finally realize that I’m asexual–and everything makes sense now–he hugs me, and says that he will love and support me, no matter what.

III. Rings

My first ring is a size large, so I put a ring guard under it so it fits.  Eventually the black fades, exposing the gold underneath.  I leave this ring behind when I move out of my home–it no longer feels “right” on my finger.

My second ring has small stones surrounding it.  It’s lovely, but eventually it begins to feel awkward as well, as I explore my gender identity.  It’s too feminine, and I’m slowly beginning to identify as more and more masculine.

I purchase a new black ring–my Beloved helped me find it, he said to consider it an anniversary gift–and I have lyrics from one our songs carved inside the band.  His support and Love has meant everything as I explore my identity, and I find that I’m much more relaxed in our relationship now.

IV. Geometry

“Your relationship is deeper because you don’t have sex.”

I stare at the words on the screen, trying to figure out why they feel like they hurt me.  I’ve made it clear in all my relationship that I’m asexual and sex repulsed, so why does it hurt when someone says my relationships are “deeper” because of a lack of sex?

V. Freedom

These days, my asexuality feels like freedom.  I can say “I love you” to my friends, and feel comfortable doing so.  I know why my first impulse is to skim the sex scenes in romance novels, wondering why these people can’t just cuddle.  I feel comfortable in being seen as single, and find that I love the life I have now.

Asexuality and My Spiritual Path (Carnival of Aces)

This month’s Carnival of Aces topic is Complexity and Nuance.

I ended up writing about how my asexuality plays a part in my spiritual path.  I’ve written about this in passing, but the topic of complexity and nuance gave me space to really put my thoughts down on paper.

I’m really open on this blog about a couple of things; I’m a polytheist, I’m asexual, and I’m married to two of my deities.  What I haven’t put together on paper before, at least here, is how that asexuality does interact with and impact how I approach the wider polytheist community, and how it merges with my path being a deity spouse.

I never thought my asexuality and my spiritual path would crash together, but they have.  The two parts of my life don’t conflict, it’s…that the majority of the pagan and polytheistic community is very, very sex positive, and I shift between sex neutral and sex repulsed (mostly sex repulsed.)  I feel really awkward a lot of the time when I’m in more mainstream pagan spaces, even if I’m doing something as simple as trying to find a new tarot deck that I’m actually comfortable using.  (So.  Much. Nudity.)  I feel like I can’t discuss my experiences involving the Otherworld, because there’s this idea that the Otherworlds are much more sexual than Here, and the culture of the Realm my gods are from is very private when it comes to sexual things.

I’m also part of the godspouse community (though not nearly as involved as I used to be) and one of the most common questions I’ve seen asked about being married to a deity is…how do you have sex?  Honestly, I feel even more awkward than I usually do in pagan spaces, every time I see a question like that asked–why is that the first thing someone wants to know?  I often find myself wondering “is sex really that important???”  I’m celibate, but it’s not an oath for my Beloveds (I’m not sleeping with them either.)  For me, taking any kind of official celibacy vow would have absolutely no point to it.  This isn’t just because I’m ace, but because my Beloveds are more than okay with me dating someone Here, if I ever chose to do so.

I feel like I’m on the outside of the queer community by being a religious person, and like I’m on the outside of the pagan/polytheist community for being sex repulsed.  It’s a weird place to be at, feeling like I’m occupying this space where I’m on the outside edge of several communities at once.

Stepping Stones (Carnival of Aces)

I decided to participate in this month’s Carnival of Aces.

How did your (a)sexual and (a)romantic orientations impact your (expected or imagined) future?

The main ways that being asexual (and, to some extent, aromantic) has impacted my future is that it has changed the way I view relationships.  It’s actually made me more comfortable with the idea of being in a relationship, rather than less.

Before I knew I was ace, I had never really pictured myself as being in a relationship, the idea made me uncomfortable for reasons that I could never put into words.  I think what made me uncomfortable about it was that so often, a romantic relationship is portrayed as making the other person involved your entire world, and I knew I didn’t want my entire world to revolve around just one person (at the time I didn’t know I was polyamorous, and that I can balance multiple romantic relationships.)

I really do believe that coming out as asexual was a stepping stone to me coming out as transgender.  Once I started questioning my sexual orientation, it was a stepping stone to questioning my gender identity.

Realizing I’m asexual was both a relief, and it flipped my world around.  It didn’t flip my world upside down entirely, but it shook my world up just enough that it threw me off balance for a while.  It was, I suppose, the beginning of really learning about who I am.