Emily, female, 22, United States.
I have known that I am asexual since I was 20 and my then-boyfriend broke up with me for “not thinking he was hot.” It was at that point that I realized that there was truly something different about the way I interacted with other people. From there my story is a relatively typical one – questioning, deciding, coming out, yes I’m sure, no I’m not a late bloomer, yes I’m proud of it – until you get to this past October.
I’ve known that I have an interest in BDSM for far longer than I ever suspected I was anything other than straight. Sometime in my very early teens, I read a kinky Snape/Hermione fanfic, and it called to me in a strange and confusing way. From that point until quite recently, I was ashamed of my kinkiness. Starting in October, I finally had the time and spoons to venture into my local scene. Since then, I have come to be proud of my kinkiness, as well as proud to be part of my local community. I have also had the opportunity to do a ton of outreach and education about asexuality.
I make my sexuality very clear to everyone in the scene that I meet. I list myself as asexual on fetlife (a popular kink social networking site), and my very first post on the site was about how you can be both kinky and ace. I talk about my sexuality frequently when I’m at events, because I strongly feel that doing outreach is important.
One of the most interesting things about this has been figuring out exactly how much most people link kink and sexuality, and how little they link for me. Sure, kink play can include sexual play, and does for me on rare occasions, but I have found my kinky life to be far more fulfilling than my sexual experiences ever were. Where most non-asexual people find a deeper, more fulfilling connection with their partner by having sex, I find the same through kink. However, I often hear surprise from non-asexual people that kink and sexuality can be separated.
This reminds me most poignantly of the way people are surprised to learn that romance and sexuality can be separate. Most people have never bothered to separate the two because they have always been connected for them. By being asexual, but also panromantic and kinky, I challenge the preconceptions that sexuality and romance, or sexuality and kink, are inherently connected. I am proud to challenge these conceptions: I like making people think.
My dual identities – kinkster and asexual – have never felt conflicting to me. I am no less ace because I enjoy kinky activities, and I am no less kinky because I am not sexually attracted to my partners. Nor am I the only kinky asexual person I know: at a recent kink event, not only was there a panel on the intersections of asexuality and kink, there were at least ten people there who are all also asexual and kinky. In fact, my partner was the only non-ace person in the room!
I feel more at home in my skin than ever before. I love both of my communities, and I am proud to be an ambassador between the two. I strive to bring awareness of both into the world, as well as to accurately represent the nuanced diversity of each.