(2/2) reading up on proper sex education and attempting to desensitize yourself on the internet, but at the same time being enough on the grey-a spectrum that you ~*notice*~ people in that way but still don’t want to engage relations because of everything from personal reasons to the desexualization thing to ‘that just sounds plain uncomfortable’ and i just UGH - sorry for this mini rant. you’re the only person that’s come near to talking about this, and i thank you. take care of yourself.
I agree, it is really important for us to talk about how disability and asexuality intersect, and the problems faced by disabled asexual-spectrum folks. There have been people talking about this—people far more qualified than I am—but we need more of it.
I’ve had quite a few asks from asexual-spectrum folks who were worried that their orientation was less legitimate or acceptable because of an illness or disability they had. Other asks were from people who’d been deeply hurt by their past experiences or upbringing, and who weren’t sure how to distinguish their own feelings about sexuality from trauma or cultural messages they’d internalized.
I think there’s an underlying worry for a lot of people that if your sexuality was influenced by something else, like trauma or illness or oppression, then your feelings are not “authentic,” or “truly you” anymore. We think that if we can attribute asexuality or sex-repulsion to another cause, it means the asexuality or sex-repulsion is less valid on its own. And this attitude is reinforced by how a lot of anti-asexual invalidation is based on attributing asexuality to another factor—“You’re not asexual, you’re just _______.”
I’ve always thought that attitude was beside the point, though. If a person is experiencing life like an asexual person does now, why should any of their other experiences make that any less meaningful? Their feelings, needs, worries and problems are still very real. If identifying as asexual-spectrum or sex-repulsed helps a person understand and feel good about themself, and cope with their experiences, why should we take that away from them? What right do we have, to demand that a person separate their sexuality from their life experiences and other problems that they face (like ableism), before we are willing to welcome and listen to them?
I really hate the idea that some asexual-spectrum people should have to be silent about their experiences in order to avoid “making asexuality look bad.” It’s wrong for our community to marginalize some of our own members for the sake of respectability politics. You shouldn’t have to push your experiences with ableism and disability apart from your experiences with sexuality in order for your voice to be heard and your opinion to be respected. You’re not “stepping on toes” or harming asexuality just by talking about your own life and the problems that affect you.
Basically—no, you’re not wrong, and this is an important issue that needs to be addressed more often.