So you’ve figured out you are asexual and you are considering telling your friends and family, but don’t quite know how to explain asexuality to others? Here are some tips that will hopefully help you during the conversation.
Your family and friends might be incredibly supportive and perhaps even know the meaning of asexuality. But unfortunately a lot of people are still not taught what asexuality is. The results of this poll, taken by more than 1200 people, shows that almost 98% has never heard about asexuality in school. This is why it’s good to be prepared with at least some information about asexuality to help your family and friends understand better, in case they don’t know what being asexual means.
Have information ready
A great way to explain asexuality is by pulling up the Wikipedia page or the Asexuality wiki page by the Asexual Visibility and Education Network. Picking that last link also means you can visit the AVEN website and forums afterwards, showing your family and friends there are many like you out there.
Perhaps show them the forum for family members / partners / friends who want to learn more about asexuality. They could sign up and join the conversation for a better understanding of asexuals.
Sometimes people understand situations and concepts better when you use a metaphor. So try to come up with a customized metaphor for your family members or friends. Meaning you can pick a fairly mainstream thing that a lot of people are into, but your family or friends are not. Check out the metaphors in this article and adjust them to suit your family and friends.
A computer metaphor
“I used this one on my mother, and it would probably work well on other older people. She hates computers, with a passion. I love them, as do most of my generation. One day, I asked her ‘mom, doesn’t it suck that you never get any time to play computer games?” And she looked at me like I’d grown an extra head. I explained to her that sex to me was like computers to her…something every one else seemed to be getting into these days, something I didn’t have any issues with, but not something I was inclined to get into myself. It clicked for her that way.”
A wine metaphor
“Some people drink red, some people drink white. Some drink both. Then some people don’t like wine. Some just have no interest in it at all. Some don’t like drinking it, but still appreciate other aspects like the color, the smell, a well designed label or the fermentation process. Some people don’t really have an interest or desire to drink it but might go wine tasting if they’re in a relationship because their partner wants to.”
A sexual metaphor
“Think of someone that you aren’t sexually attracted to in the slightest. Now, try to imagine having sex with that person, or even wanting to have sex with them. Not your cup of tea, right? Or perhaps you don’t feel anything at all. That feeling you have is how I feel about having sex with anyone. It’s just not my thing, I’m not into anyone that way. I don’t feel the need to have sex with anyone.”
These metaphors were found on the posts (links) below. You’ll find these and many more metaphors here. So if you need other ideas, visit these links for more inspiration.
What asexuality is not
When telling you’re asexual, be prepared to hear comments you weren’t hoping for. Not everyone will respond the way you’d want them to. When you’re prepared for these comments you will handle them better, meaning they won’t impact you as much as they otherwise might have.
Some people simply have assumptions that can easily be changed by providing good information. Aside from the Wikipedia pages you can look at, another useful link is this article about “Things that are not asexuality“. The article explains many things, such as:
- Asexuality does not equal lack of libido
- Asexuality is not a hormone imbalance
- Asexuality is not a lack of sexuality
- Asexuality does not equal celibacy
- Asexuality is not the fear of sex
- Asexuality is not a disease
- Asexuality is not a choice
- Asexuality is not virginity
Find other asexuals for support
It’s a good feeling, knowing that no matter what happens after the conversation, you can always count on your fellow asexuals. So discuss your thoughts on opening up to your family and friends on the AVEN forums or use asexuals.net to find other asexuals for friendship (and perhaps more).