Look, I know what sexually attractive people look like. They’re able-bodied, thin, and show some naked skin at some point.
Just kidding. But not really; for all this talk about aces actually being ‘repressed virgins’, it takes a certain awakening to realize that a person isn’t actually attractive, but instead just white. These internal epiphanies are often necessary for lgbt/queer people, because our sex lives are under strict scrutiny. We have no choice but to be critical about ourselves. We spend years thinking we’re actually experiencing sexual attraction when we’re really not.
Your bog-standard aphobe says that ace explicitry is in fact sexual attraction in action, and therefore you’re not actually ace. Or to stretch it further, they claim that asexuality doesn’t even exist. After all, a want to have sex with a specific someone is the definition of sexual attraction, right?
But it’s obviously more than that. We don’t experience some emotional magnetic pull towards a Hitatchi, even if we greatly desire the use of it. Other forms of earthly life exercise sex as a community building activity, something to instigate to avoid possible disputes or relationship rifts. Partnered sex is the mutual stimulation of erogenous zones and reproductive organs. It gains additional meaning only when intended. Our lives put a great emphasis on this intention. But for some, that doesn’t describe their experiences.
A woman describes herself as straight, and proudly has sex with exclusively other women. Cue loud and invasive claims about how she’s ‘actually a lesbian’, from gay and straight people alike. Which may be true. But also likely; she views sex the same way I do. AKA, she’s having sex with people she’s not actually attracted to, but it’s her way of exercising her libido in a way that makes her feel more comfortable. Not all marginalized people define themselves based off of what their oppressors expect of them.
So we don’t experience an emotional connection with our sex paraphernalia, and we also pursue the concept of platonic explicitry. Our want for sex is not a want towards another individual the same way allos describe it.
So in quick conversation, we define sexual attraction as ‘a desire to have sex with someone’. And thanks to that, I wasted years of my life breaching my body autonomy and health.
I know it’s hard to define it differently. But we deserve better. And as a good first step, we can start by not disregarding the concept of platonic affection shifting into the ‘sexual’ realm as skin-to-skin contact involves more and more skin.