What comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘asexual’? A person with no sex or gender? A person with no interest in sex? A person with a low libido? A person who dislikes sex? A method of reproduction?
If your answer to any of the above was yes, I urge you to read on. Because asexuality is none of these.
Asexuality is a sexual orientation where the person feels no sexual attraction to anyone, at all, ever. It is not a gender or the lack of it. It is not vegetative reproduction. It is not low libido. It is not the personal choice to not have sex. And it is not how someone thinks/feels about the act of sex. It is a sexual orientation, regardless of behavior.
Let me try to explain the nuances of the concept with an example: Imagine a young attractive lady sitting by the beach. Imagine now that a young attractive man with chiseled abs walks in topless, with his equally attractive girlfriend in a bikini next to him. Both the parties notice each other.
Now, if the lady in question is heterosexual, she might feel sexual attraction towards the man (only). If she is homosexual, she might feel sexual attraction towards the woman (only). If she is bisexual, she might feel it for both of them. And if she is asexual, she will feel it for none of them, under any circumstances. This is all that asexuality is. And this is all and the only criterion that one needs to fulfill to qualify as an asexual.
When I first realized I was on the asexual spectrum, I had already been a 25-year old who had been confused about her sexuality for way too long, feeling rather peculiar in my relationships. I had looked all over the interwebz trying to make sense, find a community for people like me in India, and fallen flat. Don’t get me wrong, I came across a few sporadic posts by many a acey desi all over but there was no single platform for us.
And that is why, back in April 2014, I created the Indian Aces facebook page. We’re now close to a 500 people strong community of Indian asexuals from all over the world with our own secret group on facebook and a website coming up! Since a secret group implies that nobody on facebook can search for the group, or see its members or posts, not even your friends will ever know that you joined in. This ensures complete privacy and many people who haven’t ‘come out’ yet feel comfortable in the secret group. (To get in on the group, you can message the page or Grace)
Having seen the cozy (though still overwhelming) response online, I later decided to take things offline. This lead to the first organized meetup of the Indian asexual community which was successfully conducted in August 2016 in Delhi. We are now coming to Mumbai and organizing an informal hangout on 9th of October. A casual meetup to hangout with fellow aces, and rant. All one needs to do to attend is register, and turn up!
You can click on the link to register for the event, wait for a confirmation/verification call, turn up at the venue on time! (exact time and venue to be disclosed to those verified).
Top image via unsplash.com