Life in Grey
The Isolating Factor of the Grey Sexuality Spectrum
We've all had to sit through "The Talk" at one point or another. Either your parents pull you aside, draw you pictures, and give you a detailed explanation about why your leg might be cramping, or you had to watch that overly-blunt video in your primary school class at the age of 10. Bottom line is, sex has come up in discussion for us since we first learned why boys and girls are born different biologically and what all those "weird gross parts" are for.
At that age, we are all pretty grossed out by it. Our hormones hadn't kicked in and started telling us "hey, stupid, that person is hot" yet so that was only natural. When the hormones did start kicking in, that's when things really started to get crazy. Left and right teenagers started experimenting with their sexuality—that is, most of us were.
Myself included, a handful of my peers weren't climbing aboard the "lose my V Card ASAP" train. Crushes, dating, that was definitely still a thing. The appeal of having an exclusive person to be together with was great, but bumping the uglies? Eh. I admired the people who were open about their sexuality and I wished that I could be like that, but the thought of sex made my stomach churn—not in the good way.
So a lot of teenaged whispers in the bathroom about the subject left me in the circle with a reddish face and silent. I started to feel even worse when I got to University. By then, most people are sexually active and it tends to come as a surprise if you haven't done it. The one time I actually tried to have sex, I hated it. It just felt like someone was touching me and nothing else—no fireworks, no burning desire for more, nothing. I wasn't expecting a fan fiction perfect first time or anything, but nothing? I felt like I was broken or something, that something was missing.
I knew about asexuality, of course, but it was only then that I started researching it properly and it clicked that I just wasn't all that thrilled or excited about sex. The only kind of people I ever felt some sort of sexual attraction to were my closest friends at times. Even knowing this and being comforted by this, there was still this isolating factor involved that I'm sure anyone on the grey side of the spectrum feels.
In a previous article I spoke about the isolating factor being faced with such a vast spectrum of sexuality and genders can do to a person trying to find their way. One of the key things that seems to come up in the topic of sexuality is, unsurprisingly, sex. An unrelenting bombardment of nudity, sex positions, toys, personal stories, etc. To the people who identify in the grey side of the spectrum, these talks and images illicit all kinds of reactions—repulsed, neutral, or even positive are among the few that come to mind.
Sex is and never will be the first thing on their mind when it comes to forming a romantic relationship. It gets tiring having to explain this somewhat "alien" concept to others—that it is a norm to not want sex, period. Of course, there are some people on the grey spectrum that do have sex but their focus is more on exploring the emotional connection through the act rather than the act itself.
Which leads to another common misconception that borders on stereotype; that people on the grey spectrum tend to be awkward, socially ambiguous individuals who keep to themselves. WRONG! Just because they don't jump at the chance to "get some" doesn't mean they don't know how to have a great time. Some of the most daring, adventurous people I've met identify on the grey spectrum. What you like (or in this case don't like) in bed has no direct correlation on which side of the sexuality spectrum we land on.
In this society that seems to be almost entirely focused on sex and sexuality in media and culture, it's easy to feel that you're a "broken" individual just because you don't feel the same way as the characters you read in erotica and fan fiction. Not wanting to have sex doesn't make you less of a person, your priorities just lies in something that can be far more intimate—emotional vulnerability, which is just as exciting as any affair might possibly be.
You do you. Because you do it best.