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How Do I Explain My Sexuality?

Need to explain asexuality to your friends and family? We’ve got some advice to help.
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Hi Kitsch Mix,

My friends and family are struggling this one, but I feel like I could see myself being happy on my own for the rest of my life. I love my own space and am scared shitless of commitment. I don’t want one-night stands. I don’t want a sexual relationship of any kind. I consider myself asexual, and when I explain this to my friends they look at me like I’m crazy.

Hello reader, and thank you for writing in! I can definitely understand why you want your friends and family to understand how you identify. Truth be told, our identities only really serve ourselves, so you should make sure that you want to clarify for your own sake and not because you think it will affect your relationship with your friends and family. You can’t really force anyone to accept any part of you – you just be yourself and hope that they really do.

If it is important for you to define your sexuality, I think that asexual definitely sounds like the correct label. Then again, since your identity is such a deeply personal thing, the only thing that you need to “legitimize” the label you finally land on is whether you are comfortable with it. If you’re not comfortable with it, there’s no real need to specify a label.

Asexuality is a complicated subject, because it’s still pretty new to most people’s attention (if it’s even there yet). I think the way you’ve explained it here to me is probably the best description for those who don’t understand.

Some people may ask you why – and that’s to be expected. You’re not obligated to give them an answer if they ask, though. Not everyone has a specific reason why they are the way they are – it’s a combination of too many other factors to pin it down to which is the most important. Usually it’s easiest if you just say “I just am” and refuse to give it any further attention.

In a perfect world, everyone would be accepted for the person they are, and it’s my hope for you that your friends and family accept you for every part of you. There will be people who say ignorant things; it’s your choice whether you ignore them or educate them. (And your success with either of these options will vary from one situation to the next.)

The most important thing in all of this, though, is that the only one who really needs to be able to accept you is you. If your friends don’t accept you, then they weren’t very good friends. If your family doesn’t accept you (and you don’t rely on them for support), you’re under no obligation to justify yourselves to them. As long as you’re happy, your loved ones should be happy for you.

Take care, reader, and feel free to let us know how things go!

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Barbara is a 26-year-old lesbian living in California with her partner (and their “fur babies” - an adorably chubby puppy named Porkchop and a ball python named Ru). In the spare time she pretends to have, she enjoys horror movies, music of all varieties, reading, and complaining about the weather.

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