"Hey, Rhi, would you be willing to drive me to the Omaha-area sometime?" my buddy Vivian asked me two months ago.
I shrugged. “Sure,” I said and rattled off my stipulations regarding gas money and purchase of tasty snacks.
The moment after I agreed, she came out.
My head must’ve spun around a couple of times and exploded. I knew she watched porn on a semi-regular basis, read cheesy romance novels and frequently argued with me over the cuteness of various dudes. I’d always believed in the back of my head that Vivian wasn’t interested in dating because it would be a distraction from her studies. Vivian is wicked smart and has a fat scholarship that’s heavily dependent on her GPA.
So naturally, I argued these points with her and demanded an explanation before driving her anywhere. In hin dsight this was incredibly callous and stupid.
Vivian blinked at me. “I thought you knew!”
"I swear I didn’t!"
"You joked about it!"
"Just because I joked about it doesn’t mean I thought you were asexual!"
She sat me down in front of her computer and pulled up asexuality.org, and there was the definition in black and white. “It’s a lack of sexual attraction. Asexuals are generally very different from one another: Some experience romantic attraction; some don’t. Some experience arousal; some don’t. Asexuality is not celibacy — celibacy is a choice to abstain from sexual intimacy while asexuality is an orientation which results in lack of sexual attraction.”
Oh. That cleared things up. She let me troll the site for awhile, and I learned a few things. For example, asexuality isn’t a fear of sex or love, it’s just a lack of desire for a sexual relationship with another person. Nor is asexuality the result of a traumatic sexual experience or sexual abuse. It’s not a phase. It isn’t a disease or mental disorder. It just is.
Which is how I found myself sitting at the bar of Council Bluff’s Quaker Steak and Lube waiting for a group of asexuals who’d found each other on an Internet forum, called “AVEN.”……