What Being Ace Means to Me: Asexual Musings.
Being age 54 and single, I am often asked by people my own age, “Are you dating anyone now?”
When my response is one of raised eyebrows and a cynical laugh, and an adamant I have no interest, I often get the Never Say Never statement.
I know, no one knows what lies ahead. But seriously, at my age, and with lots of life under my belt, I have the right to plead, “Please, never say Never Say Never to me.”
There is an implication that by not being with a partner, I am not whole.
Also, please don’t say:
“You’ll find someone eventually.”
“You shouldn’t put yourself down!”
“You aren’t ugly.”
“You just don’t know what you want.”
I don’t need to defend myself, but I feel I need to advocate for us asexual middle-agers who — despite who we were before, whatever the hell came before, who we fucked, loved, identified as, whatever — are whole now.
What Being Ace Means to Me
Opening up to defining myself as Ace, and what that means to me, feels like a relief right now. Here are some of my musings on that:
* I have found my identity, one that really explains to me who I am now.
* Life is fluid, and so am I.
* Every stage of my life has been magical, deep, rich.
“Touch me, life, not softly.” ~ Maya Angelou
* I have experienced joyful, lusty, juicy, frenzied, quiet, cozy, lovely, scary, gutsy, sensual heterosexual love.
* I have witnessed, and been astounded by, the earthy, gorgeous beauty of my body carrying and birthing two children.
* I have had crushes on both men and women, accompanied by madness, deep love, incredulous love, frustrating love, and zany love.
* I have been happily married.
* I have been heartbroken.
* Though I have experienced heartache and trauma, I am not Ace because of those experiences.
* I experienced intense freedom and a feeling of coming home when the pain of divorce finally subsided.
* I have been single since 2001. No, scratch that, I’ve been Me since 1962.
* I have zero interest in sexual relationships.
* I still love myself and my ever-shifting body.
* I have zero interest in getting to know someone romantically.
* I do have crushes on minds.
* And I admit, I have romantic types — the whole gamut from Louis CK to Idris Elba and Tom Hardy, to Tilda Swinton, Janna Levin and Twyla Tharp, to Stephen Fry to Lynda Barry. You see what’s happening here — it’s about characters they portray, or who they are in their lives, or how they talk when they are being interviewed. It’s not real life.
* The overarching crush though, I suppose, is Lol in This is England.
* But it shifts from having a crush to wanting to look like her. Yeah, I want to look like her, wear Fred Perry clothes, maybe hang out as twins. Kick some people in the ass or on the chin with shit-covered boots.
* Not a single cell, molecule or atom in my body is interested in dating.
* There’s no interest in spending the time or making the room.
* I admit I have zero interest in small talk and getting to know new people at parties, unless it’s about some kind of creative endeavor or really interesting stuff.
* Observing the dating game makes me tired, and all I can think about is wanting to make a sock monkey or draw something and wish I was wearing PJs.
* I love my friends.
* I love my family.
* I love my kids, and we are so damn close to each other.
* I love my kids’ friends. I sometimes steal them.
* I love having the freedom to laugh and be myself.
My friend Matt wrote to me the other day, “Asexuality is fucking hard to breach because people of all sexualities can’t comprehend it. It will be the next big ‘coming out’, I think, for many people. Apparently there was a study done that revealed how millennials are having less sex than any other generation. Perhaps there’s a correlation. Not that asexuals can’t create and enjoy pleasure. They’re just more self-sufficient about it.”
So next time you see me in the corner with my head buried in a book, and not at the bar scanning the room or reviewing potentials on Tinder, know that I’m good. I’m good!
Much love, everyone! Be yourself!
Katarina Thorsen is an artist, a creative engagement and therapeutic art facilitator, and a ‘craftivist’ passionate in her belief that art can heal and build connections. Kat specializes in arts-based programming for all ages, in particularly engaging at-risk populations. The heart of her work is visual storytelling and facilitation. Her interactive art events and street art encourages participants to become part of the creative process. Kat’s own artwork can be found in private collections in North America and Europe. She published her first book, Drawn Together: Maintaining Connections and Navigating Life’s Challenges with Art, in 2013. Her next book is a true crime analysis in the form of a graphic novel. She has won the Woman of Worth Award (Humanitarian of the Year) in 2014, and the City of North Vancouver Civic Youth Award (Outstanding Supporter of Youth) in 2010. Kat resides in Vancouver, Canada.