Round-Up: What We Wish People Knew

Round Up of Submissions

Welcome to the round-up of submissions on the topic of ‘What We Wish People Knew.’ You can see the call for submissions here: Thank you to everyone who participated! We had three responses, from students at Smith College.



  1. One thing I wish more people understood about asexuality is that asexual people can have sex and consent to sex. Obviously, lots of asexual people don’t want to and/or choose not to have sex. Makes sense, considering we don’t experience sexual attraction (although that on its own can be difficult for people to grasp too, don’t get me wrong.) However, that doesn’t mean we’re incapable of consenting to sex, or that when we do choose have sex, it’s inherently non-consensual or harmful. Explaining that asexual people can be sex favorable, sex neutral, or sex repulsed can sometimes help people understand this, but still I think sex favorable aces confuse people. As a sex favorable ace, I want people to understand that I can have sex with my girlfriend, and that she is not pressuring me into it (or worse), because that idea is really hurtful to both of us. However, it can be hard to explain my experience in a way that will get people to understand without having to explain my actual experiences with sex, which is super personal, and not something I want to share most of the time! Sometimes, to avoid the conversation as a whole, I just let people think that we aren’t having sex at all. (And, depending on what your definition of sex is, maybe we aren’t! But that’s a whole other debate.)


2. One of the greatest “microlabels” that I have ever heard of is none-of-your-business-sexual/romantic. Faced with an intrusive friend, relative, acquaintance, or stranger who wants to know all of the private details of your life, you are already equipped with the answer: “My sexuality is none of your business.” “Whether or not I masturbate is none of your business.” “My romantic preferences are none of your business.” As long as there is not abuse going on, you are entitled to privacy.

Personally, I’ve not been faced with any noisy people asking details about my private life, however I know that many aces and aros have, questions others wouldn’t think of asking sexual or romantic people. To anyone who has ever been asked these questions: you are not compelled to answer. To anyone who has ever asked these questions: you are not obliged an answer.



– A shared identity does not make us identical. We identify as ace and/or aro for a variety of reasons.

– Some of us are clear about our identities while others are questioning or find uncertainty or indefinableness central to their experience.

– Some of us have clear separations between different identities while others find them inextricably intertwined.

– Many of us are surprised and confused to learn that crushes/attraction aren’t made up and are actually as important to many people as they are made out to be in stories.

– The assumption that everyone will fall in love and get married is problematic because it leads those of us who don’t fall in love to feel like there’s something wrong with us.

– Some aces are willing to have sex in certain circumstances, but others are not.

– It’s hard to find music or stories without sex or romance.