From the inbox #1239

“I feel like there is this attitude that asexuals feel “nothing,” or that we are lacking in something. And while it is true that we (generally) lack sexual attraction, I think the distinction between sexual and other forms of attraction are so important to make. For a long time I had a hard time reconciling the fact that I “felt” asexual and had no interest in sex, yet felt undeniably attracted to girls and women, oftentimes based on visual characteristics. Until I learned about aesthetic attraction, this was really hard for me to figure out and I often ended up trying to “force” my way into being one way or the other.
The truth is is that I get huge, stupid, ridiculous crushes on certain girls. And if I am being real, I feel like the way I feel about girls isn’t “lacking” in sexual attraction but is instead reeking of asexuality. It isn’t minus something so much as it is plus something else. I will never really understand the way other guys feel when appreciating a woman with heavy cleavage or a “nice ass,” but I go crazy over a girl wearing an elegant dress, or girls with red hair, or girls with a dry sense of humor. I feel undeniably ace yet I still listen to and enjoy music that is “flirty” in nature and undoubtedly carry sexual themes that fly over my head. But I still feel like I identify with them because how so many feel about sexual attraction, I feel analogous to with intellectual and aesthetic attraction.
My point is that I don’t think all or even most asexuals or aromantics are lacking in anything. Our passions simply lie elsewhere. And that is a beautiful thing that I think should be celebrated, and why I feel like the term “flaming ace,” analogous to flaming gay, should definitely be a thing!”

Here are the replies

From the inbox #1212

“Looking back at my life, I now see I’ve always been ace without knowing. But since this question is more about emotions I won’t deepen that part of the story. Anyways. I had crushes before, I felt desire to be close to them and kiss the hell out of then but as soon as I got close enough to do so I lost interest. It always felt like I was a cat hunting a bird. Once it caught the bird, it’s no longer interesting. I now understand it, thanks to you all, as lithromantic/ akoiromantic. Over a year ago I thought I developed a crush on a colleague but this time I simply could not imagine more than a kiss on the forehead. Not knowing about squishes but constantly thinking of him, I declared a crush. He told me he wouldn’t care that much. That feeling stayed and we became friends. Ans since that day I am happy. Around him, with him. later I learned about the term squish and it seemed to be the perfect word. Now, a year later we still are friends and quite close. He is ace as well and identifies as aro. Since I know about it I GRAVE romantic behavior. Not like taking a bubble bath together, or singing him songs, but more like cuddling, kissing, stroking his head, telling him how important he is to me and so on. basically relationship stuff, without the naked and weird parts. I’d give up everything I am having right now to be with him, in case he’d move or similar. I might be ready to beat people up that treat him bad. He is. The MOST. Important person in my life.
To the question: Have you ever felt similar? Should I tell him or is it simply my desire to get what I won’t be. My hunting attitude? I don’t know how I should behave. Because it’s driving me sooo nuts!
Thanks for reading.”

Here is the reply

From the inbox #1196

“I don’t know if I’m suppose to ask for advice in this way, or not but I need some advice when it comes to a girl I’ve had a crush for a little over four years, I developed a crush on her in the middle of sophomore year of high school (before I realized I was asexual) while I was being bullied heavily at the time, she tried to help me with the situation but I pushed her away by ignoring her in order to keep her safe from the bullies which only led to rocky second half of sophomore year, fast forward to junior year’s beginning, I mostly left her alone due to me not having classes with her, and to give her a break after the bad stuff that happened sophomore year, but our friends found out about my crush on her, and started playing pranks on us which led to us just staying distant for the duration of junior year. Then senior year starts, and we become friends again, and I mentioned the fact that I don’t have any desire for sex with anyone, and she suggests I might be asexual so I looked into it, and determined that I am asexual, my depression also goes away as a result of me becoming friends with her again, but then sadly senior year came to an end once we graduated. Now, fast forward two years to now, and my depression has returned, and become much worse, we are both in college(we both attend the same college, but I’m a semester or two ahead of her due to her being in the National Guard, and having to do military related stuff since we graduated) but haven’t talked since this most recent November, and I want to ask her for help with my depression, and maybe talk to her more, and maybe develop a romantic relationship with her, but I don’t know how to go about it, she knows I’m asexual, and seems to like that characteristic of me, and won’t let anyone bother me about it, and knows I have a crush on her, but she is bisexual, and I’m not sure if she would want a relationship with me, I’ve never lost feelings for her(I have no desire for sex with her though), and I haven’t developed feelings for any other girl since falling in love with her. Plus, she makes me really happy. Our personalities are similar for the most part, but I’m just nervous about everything between me and her especially after the awkward sophomore, junior years of high school. If I have to, I might just stay close friends with her. I just need advice on how to talk to her more, and finally fix this situation.”

Here are the replies

From the inbox #812

“So I don’t know who to talk about this but i will try… I have got a new crush on a boy from a small school i go to. I told a few people. But here is the thing : 3 people asked whether it was a boy or a girl… I identify as hetero / demi romantic. And asexual ofcourse. I don’t really know what to do with this? Do people assume i am bi or a lesbian? ( not trying to insult anyone here ). Also : how to say anything to my crush? Advice?”

Here are the replies

From the inbox #786

“So I’ve recently figured out I’m asexual, sometimes I think back about my previous interactions and think I might be Demi, but I know for certain I am Ace in one form or other, which is nice to know 🙂

However I am very much romantic or find my self drawn to certain people, whether it’s a squish or a crush (sometimes I get confused between) but struggle because I am a very sensually attracted person, in that I want to touch them, cuddle be flirty etc but I know these kinds of things are often coded as when someone wants to be sexual with another person.

Do I need to say straight up I am sensually attracted (not necessary in those words) but not sexually?

But I also am not certain I wouldn’t want to do sexual things, cause I have before even if I didn’t feel sexual attraction. So part of me is like.. wellll maybe wait to bring it up?
Because although I’ve not hated sex before, I’m a bit indifferent but did it for the other person and was curious about the hype (it disappointed lol) I’ve only ever enjoyed kissing one person who I was in love with. Otherwise it just feels like swapping saliva.

Thoughts? Help? I’m basically trying to understand my own feelings and any advice would be greatly appreciated.”

Here are the replies

From the inbox #694

“I grew up in a Christian family my whole life. Everyday I am constantly reminded of God and His love. I was taught how to live the ‘true’ Christian way and to be a ‘respectable’ one.
But as I grew, I was also told to not get into relationships quickly. And of course, I didn’t. Not because I was raised with the mindset.
But because I didn’t /feel/ it.
As a child, I was a huge geek. And therefore silent since everyone around me in school were ‘preppy’. One time, two of my friends dragged me around the school hallways, stalking two of our male classmates. Every time one of the boys would turn, they’d pull me along to hide. I didn’t understand why. So I asked soon enough, “Why are we hiding?”. They gave me a really surprised look, as if I didn’t know something that was obvious. They told me they had a crush on them, and I asked again on why would they hide if they just like them? I mean, we like each other too, then why are we not hiding from each other? That was what I pondered about when I was young, and it was left unanswered until a few years later. I noticed how from every film and book I read or game I play, everyone has their own favorite character, simply because they fell in love with them. For me, although, it was only a matter of the interest of seeing a character struggle and grow that makes them my favorite. Which is then my friends would look at me strangely, because obviously, my reason was a ‘lie’ to them.
Moving on to more years later, I was questioned by a group of girls if I ever gotten into a relationship. I said no, I didn’t. They then asked if I had a crush on someone. I’d always say no, and they would always give me that glance of doubt.

“You’re lying”
“Oh really now? Not even once?”
“What, you’re gay?”

It…. Hurts to feel alienated because of that. Because of how I confused many, I explained my situation. But I always get the same response..

“Stop assuming.”
“Impossible. You’ll find the right one someday.”
“I’m betting 300 bucks you will get married in the future.”
“Pfft, stop being in denial.”

Because of that perception, I grew afraid of even answering such questions. To the point someone talks to me about getting into a relationship, getting married, having a family. I get sick. I feel sick, a churning in my stomach and the spinning of my head. There are times I just breakdown upon the topic.

Because of that. I was always the ‘weird’ one. The liar. I can’t even go up to speak to someone of the opposite gender without people yelling out that I’m interested in them, and that I was lying all the time.

Coming to the age of 16 as well, my parents and family would unknowingly throw me into pressure and anxiety when they say things like:

“When you become a parent..”
“When you marry…”
“Do you have a boyfriend yet?”
“In time, your partner will come..”

I get dizzy. With the only thought being forced to my head by the people around me saying

“If you don’t get a partner, you will suffer a life alone.”

That was the only term that repeated in my head. Again and again.
And I was afraid. Because I had never once taken both sexual and romantic interest on anyone. I don’t feel it at all. And that made me feel abnormal.

One day during my health class in junior high, I knocked down one of my books and fell open. Upon picking it up, I read through the open content.

There were three sexualities listed. I always thought there were only two. And so I read on.

Heterosexual
Homosexual
Asexual

My eyes pinned on the term ‘asexual’. And that’s when I believed I must be under this sexuality. So, when I got home, I decided to search about it. Research about it. Ponder about it. And I was soon introduced to so many other genders and sexualities that I have not even heard of.

I had felt… So relieved. And I am glad I’ve come across people in the same situation as me. It’s good to know I’m not alone, and that I was never abnormal.

I believe this is the way God made me. And to represent an image of what is also ‘human’.

I don’t care anymore on how much the people around me pressure me. Or say that I’m delusional and in the wrong. For someone who does not feel this freedom I have, I give no right for theird words to pierce me once more”

Here are the replies

From the inbox 588

“What’s the difference between a crush and a squish? I’m pretty sure I’m ace and anyway, there’s this girl that I’ve been hanging out with, and I really like her and I’ve been having feelings that are along the lines of ‘I want her to notice me/care about me/be close friends with me’. It’s different to how I feel about my other friends but I’m not sure if it’s a crush or a squish or something else. Thoughts?”

Here are the replies

From the inbox #472

“Hey, I know a non-romantic crush is generally called a squish, but is there a word for non-romantic flirting? Like, I’m actively courting this person’s friendship but I don’t want to date them?”

Here are the replies

From the inbox #463

“‘m starting to have feelings I’ve never had before for someone. I’m asexual and I guess sex repulsed as well, but I think I have a crush on this guy. He hasn’t left my mind since taking to him a few weeks back. I’m afraid it’s doomed to fail though. I’m a guy and he’s gay I think, but I’m afraid he’ll find the asexual thing odd or worse, hate me for it. And what’s odd about this is I don’t know him to much yet, so why do I feel this way? And what do I do about telling my friends. I don’t think they’ll hate me but I’m afraid of that change, and I’m inexplicably afraid that they’ll just assume I’m gay and it’s just this emotional feeling I’ve never felt before. I’m not sure I have any idea what I’m even talking about 😞

Here are the replies

From the inbox #456

“I also had a journey of IDing bisexual at first… so when I was around 12 I had made a really good female friend and by now (17 y/o) we are even closer and get physical sometimes. By then she was pretty stuck in her mother perception of how the world has to be and I introduced her to terms like bisexuality and shocked her as I told her I dreamed about kissing her once. She said it was cool with her as long as o didn’t actually kiss her because she didn’t want to kiss anyone and despite not being stiff any more (I have to pat my own shoulder here, I shocked her enough to get her freaky like me) she hasn’t had any crushes or so on.
So I shoved it back into my mind that i was probably bisexual and only had crushes on guys and her. I was nervous around some dudes, I was excited and seen from my perspective now that was only because NO ONE wanted contact with me except for some Individuums.
As I went on my gender-journey I also started a LDR with a wonderful person who introduced me to practical sex for the first time, even tho I was “used” to smutty fanfictions by the time already.
We were together for over a year as they asked me to finally have sex, I was a virgin, was excited and we had “starting problems”.
I think me being overly excited because of my first relationship and being overwhelmed by the new experiences was why I didn’t realise I didn’t finde them attractive. In that way.
Idk if really never found them sexually appealing but it makes sense and explains why I was extremely shy even after it wasn’t that new to me.
So you see, especially at young age (who am I to judge with my 17 years) you easily confuse sexual and romantic attraction.
I didn’t even know you can split those two up!!
And I only knew about homo-, hetero- and bisexuality at the age of 15 so I figured I must be bi because I felt men and women equally sexy… not at all to be exact.

Asexuality spectrum identities were literally the latest I discovered! I knew about pan, poly, heteroflexible etc. since last year and only discovered the actual definition of asexuality over tumblr recently.
I found out how huge the ace-umbrella actually is and that you can describe so many orientations.
I know that might not be necessary but to me personally it’s a good, a warm feeling to share a flag with other people.
Like… flags always mean you are connected in some way, may it be national or political or from some organisations/clubs. And it’s a good feeling to know I am not alone.

Like (yes, imma huge marvel-cinema-geek) Charles said to Erik “You are not alone.”
It’s good to be not alone and to have a point/person/page to turn to and I wish you all the best and hope you find happiness as you are.
Self-discovering is a journey you might not know when it ends, but every step towards your true self is a good step, a powerful step in the right direction.
And I hope all of you, my ace-spec siblings are safe and warm somewhere over the holidays and for the future we all face.
I wish you all the best from the bottom of my heart. ❤️💛💚💙💜

Here are the replies