I started using dating apps for the same reason most people do. I wanted to find the one – my one, a person who would be by my side through the difficulties of life. And while dating apps are notoriously superficial, in that respect, they had an advantage: They allowed me to state, up front, what I was looking for in a relationship.
I trusted this bio to act as something of a paltalk litmus test. ” (Of course, there are caveats to this. Some asexual people, who may also refer to themselves as “ace,” have sex for their partner’s sake, some have to develop an emotional connection first, and then there are some who just aren’t interested. I fall into the third category: I’m not interested in sex; don’t want it at all – one could say I’m sex-repulsed. I don’t even like talking about it.)
I wouldn’t expect my online matches to know these nitty-gritty details, like where I fell on the spectrum; but at least I figured they’d get the basic idea that I wasn’t interested in sex.
If they matched with me, I thought they understood the idea of asexuality, the broad definition of which is “someone who has little to no interest in sex
The first person I matched with online was super sweet and we really hit it off. I was completely upfront with her. It’s always awkward to start a conversation on a dating app with, “Hi, just as a heads up, I’m not interested in sex so if that’s a problem I don’t want to waste your time.” But that’s literally how I preface these conversations because it saves me the pain of having to break it to them later.
I truly thought that she meant that our relationship was going to be just as we discussed it: romantic, not sexual
This match was curious, but not repelled. I explained more – that I could have feelings for someone, but not in a physical sense, that I was more interested in the emotional bond than anything else. A few weeks later, we went on our first date, to a drag show.
For our second date we went to a fancy restaurant in Manhattan. I learned more about her (career, family, friends) and vice versa; it was actually pleasant and comfortable, I felt we connected on an emotional level, and she seemed to understand my quirks, personality, beliefs, and my sexuality. After talking for two months, we became Facebook “official.” This was the first time I was ever “out” in my personal life and on social media – and it felt great.
And that’s what it was for the longest time – we’d hold hands and gaze into each other’s eyes, talk about our interests, share our deepest secrets, and just be open with each other. I thought I had finally found someone who liked me for me.
But one day after we’d been together for nearly four months, we were cuddling on the couch and all of that changed. She looked at me and said, “You’ll never have sex with me?”
Eventually, I got back on the apps again. I matched with some pretty nice girls, or at least I thought so, until I mentioned the topic of asexuality. This time, I was met with resentment and bullying. Apparently I was a “freak of nature” or “not a real woman.” While I knew these people were just strangers hiding behind a screen, it still stung. I understood why they had an aggressive response, but they could have easily said, “I don’t think it’s going to work out” instead of insulting me.