It’s time I got brave enough to officially come out in the form of a blog post, internet. My name is Ellen, and I’m a demiromantic asexual. What exactly does that mean? Well, I’ll happily try to explain it! It’s complicated, but I’ll try. Ahem.
I’m sure everyone is aware of that sexual orientation thing. You are defined as straight if you are sexually attracted to the opposite gender, you are defined as gay if you’re sexually attracted to the same gender, and you are defined as bi if you’re sexually attracted to any gender. But what if you aren’t sexually attracted to anyone? No. There’s nothing wrong with you. That, my friends, is defined as being asexual. And it is indeed a valid sexual orientation representing about 1% of the human population. For my whole life I thought I was broken and that something was wrong with me. While talking with a very good friend I finally discovered what asexuality was early this year, at last explaining a whole lot of things about my life so far, and most importantly, showing me I’m not alone in the way I feel about love.
A few months back, I stumbled upon an awesome blog post by Clan Geek where he came out as being asexual and explained what it means. No words to describe how totally shocked I was to discover another blogger in the community is an ace! We decided to do a collaboration for International Asexual Awareness Week (Oct 21-27) and this post is the result. If someone had just told me what asexuality was in my younger days, it would have saved me so much heartache over the years. For crying out loud, I’m almost 30 and just figured out my orientation… But yeah, in an effort to reach out to anyone else out there who feels isolated in this seemingly sex crazed world, I’m more than happy to babble about how I fit into the asexual spectrum.
To be clear, I’m certainly not putting down any other sexual orientations by writing this post. It is never a crime to love another adult in whatever way you both feel is right. And hey, if you enjoy all the sexy themes in media, good for you! Love in all its forms is a beautiful thing. I just want to hammer the point that while sex without love is a widely accepted concept, love without sex does exist in the world too. I want people to see that being asexual is a thing and it’s okay, and it should not be the butt of jokes that it is in most entertainment media. How many times have you seen a virgin being made fun of in a movie, huh? Our world needs so much more love, and a hell of a lot less hatred and intolerance.
Asexuality is a very wide and complex spectrum with so many forms of attraction, or no attraction at all. I can’t speak for other aces, but I can explain my own feelings. You know above where I mentioned being demiromantic? I’ll try really hard to explain it now. Basically, sexual and romantic attraction are two different things, that usually align together for people, but not always.
For me, I’ve discovered I can feel very powerful emotional connections to certain people after I’ve gotten to know them really well. A person’s gender qualities and physical “hotness” are not things that matter to me at all, and never have. The best way I can describe it is that I’m attracted to strong souls, not “beautiful” bodies.
And yep, after acting like an ass to many former friends and being completely confused about my feelings for so long, I’ve finally figured out what a crush is in my eyes. If I have a crush on someone, I don’t want to have sex with them or even kiss them. I do want to hug them and think about them constantly. I get a tingly feeling that removes all common sense, and I grin like an idiot whenever I get the glorious opportunity to talk to them. I’d move heaven and earth to help them, wanting nothing more than to just spend as much time with them as possible. My ideal life partner would be just like a super best friend, I guess.
Nope. I’ve never been in a romantic relationship before in my life. Having a life partner would be amazing and something I do want, but I refuse to force myself to be someone else just so I don’t die alone. I have, shamefully, done stupid things (literally) in my younger days. I forced myself to do those stupid things because I thought something was wrong with me. I’ll say it again: it is okay to not want to have sex with anyone.
So internet, please try to understand. I’m not being a prude when I say I’d much rather hunt dragons than romance options in Dragon Age Inquisition. And yeah, I was a little hurt when Iron Bull dumped my Inquisitor when she didn’t want to have sex with him. Forgive me if I got super pissed off when I saw a group of marines belittling a member of their group for not wanting to have sex with the asari consort in Mass Effect. I think Lightning Farron from Final Fantasy XIII is perfectly happy not being in a relationship with anyone, and I’d seriously prefer it if you didn’t show me all the ships fans send her off on.
I’m not judging you when I say I don’t want to bang anyone in a BioWare game. I’m not trying to ruin anyone’s fun at all. I’m just trying to tell you that sexy time action is something I’m kinda tired of seeing everywhere, and I’m going to avoid it if I can. Power to you if you do enjoy it, though!
When Clan Geek and I were discussing ideas for this collaboration we realized something that sucks: we couldn’t think of any defined asexual characters in the gaming world. The TV show realm has created a few cool ace characters in shows like BoJack Horseman (which Clan Geek will talk about more in his post) and the UK soap opera Emmerdale. The problem with showing ace characters in games is that if a developer doesn’t come out and tell you they’re asexual, people assume they just haven’t found the right person yet. I’ll fight tooth and nail and pull out a ton of examples to show you why I think that Lightning Farron is asexual, but Square Enix didn’t specifically state that anywhere, did they?
And that’s why headcanons are a wonderful thing! Lightning Farron is my asexual shero no matter how other people see her. While there are no official asexual romances in any BioWare games I’ve played, I’ve certainly developed a crush on a few special characters, even accidentally stumbling upon my ideal life partner in Mass Effect 3.
Alistair from Dragon Age Origins was definitely the first video character I had a real crush on. When I was gushing about him on my old blog, I was exaggerating a lot because I felt weird saying I didn’t really want to kiss him, or drag him off into the tent at camp. Now I’m not ashamed to explain it. By crush on Alistair, I mean I wanted to spend as much time with him as possible. I see people call him hot all the time, but I’m not sure I really grasp that concept. Personally, I loved his lame jokes, how much he respected my Grey Warden, and I enjoyed every second I spent bashing darkspawn by his side. He will forever and always be my dorky knight man.
The romance option with Jaal in Mass Effect Andromeda surprisingly turned into something I’d be okay with as well. What I liked most about the angaran was his deep thoughts on emotions, how he would do anything to protect his people, and how much he cared about his huge family. When the big sexy time scene part of the relationship arrived, I was thrilled to discover he was perfectly okay with my Ryder saying no thanks to sex, scooping her up in his arms and saying he loves her. I ignored the kiss that happened next, but other than that, awesome! At the end of the game he said he couldn’t wait to start a family with my Ryder. That is definitely something she’d enjoy doing with him!
And then there’s the amazing and wonderful Liara T’Soni in the Mass Effect trilogy. Yeah. I know she has a reputation for, um, throwing herself at Shepard, but I discovered something so magical by declining all the official romance options with her. By the time Mass Effect 3 rolled around, my Shepard and Liara had developed a beautiful close friendship, always having each other backs not matter what horror was befalling the universe. The version of Liara T’Soni that evolved in my game world would be the definition of the life partnership I’ve always wanted to have with someone. I never thought I’d ever find that in a video game. As a bonus, the asari reproduction meld does not actually require any physical contact at all. My Shepard would so love to be the father of Liara’s kids! Liara T’soni is definitely the super best friend of my dreams.
Hey BioWare, it would be really cool if you included an official ace romance option in Dragon Age 4… If for no other reason than to help show others that asexuality is indeed real, and not something any aces should be ashamed of. Seriously, I would love to see defined asexual characters show up in a video game someday. The more representation, the better!
I think that’s more than enough babbling about my sexual orientation for one blog post. I highly recommend that anyone interested in learning more should check out the Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN). It’s a wonderful community with a goal of educating people about the invisible orientation.
Happy Asexual Awareness Week! I’ll be wearing my black ring with extra pride this week. And anyone of any orientation is more than welcome to join in on all the delicious cake fun. Yummy! True love, in all its beautiful forms, is something that needs to be celebrated far more often in this crazy world of ours.
⚡Thanks for reading!⚡
If for some odd reason you want to read more of my posts, you can find a somewhat organized (and usually up to date) archive of my ramblings… I mean, articles here!