Asexuality and Dragons

Kat | she/her | has an asexual friend & housemate

Lu
Hi Kat! So, we’ve lived together for nearly three years –

Kat
Yeah.

Lu
– what did you know about the community, about asexuality, before you met me?

Kat
I knew… basically nothing about asexuality. I kind of – I didn’t  really know that it existed. And I didn’t know anything about the spectrum, or anything like that. And I guess I wasn’t altogether convinced when I first met you?

Lu
[laughs] You thought I was just making it all up?!

Kat
Well no – it’s just that everyone was kind of like, “ok, maybe you just haven’t found the right person.” And I was like, that’s probably just the case.

Lu
[sighing] Yeah…

Kat
But then – I guess now I know so much more about it, ‘cause I’ve just lived with you longer.

Lu
And you can see that actually, it isn’t because I haven’t met the right person, because I haven’t done these things – it’s just the way I am.

Kat
It’s just part of you, yeah. Exactly. I think it wasn’t exactly that I didn’t believe you, I think it was more that everybody else – not everybody else, but because other people didn’t believe you, or were kind of “hmm, ok…”

Lu
…bit sceptical…

Kat
Yeah, a bit sceptical – so it didn’t really help shift the balance. Because there were so many more people that didn’t know about it, than the one person who did. And like, the whole thing about being, like – I can’t remember what it’s called! When you’re sexually attracted to somebody, or romantically attracted to somebody, and the separation of those things, is really interesting.

Lu
Yeah, I guess it’s not something that comes up a lot in terms of other sexualities? But with asexuality there’s very much a big divide between who you’re attracted to sexually and who you’re attracted to romantically.

Kat
Yeah, definitely – and I know that now. But that was something that I like, would never – that I’d never encountered in any other aspect of my life. And like we were saying, I didn’t know anything about – like, I really remember talking to you when you were like “yeah, asexuals do masturbate”.

Lu
[laughing] Really?! We’re going there?

Kat
The “they’re scratching the itch” kind of phrase –

Lu
[making incomprehensible frustration sounds]

Kat
– and that was really interesting. Because when you think about sexuality like that, it really changes how you view it. And it really opens up how you can be sexual, and with who you want to be sexual, and like – even if I’m not asexual, it doesn’t mean that it can’t open my mind to different ways to thinking about it.

Lu
Yeah. I guess, it’s a difficult sexuality to describe, really. ‘Cause I was talking to one of our other housemates about it the other day, and she can’t understand how I can’t experience sexual attraction? But also I’ve got no benchmarks to measure it against either – I can’t describe “this is sexual attraction,” because I don’t experience it, I don’t know what it is.

Kat
Yeah, I remember last year having conversations about what words you would use – like whether someone was ‘hot’, things like that.

Lu
Yeah!

Kat
And I know that that has added to some of our other housemates’ doubts, or like, scepticism in the past – without having those kind of conversations.

Lu
And how about in terms of the community as a whole? ‘Cause obviously I’ve been heavily involved with the LGBTQ+ society here at uni – it seems like a lot of my life at uni has been surrounded by the community. Were you aware of many other people before you started?

Kat
I was aware of them, but I didn’t know they cared so much about stuffed animals!

Lu
[laughs] No, no – that’s just me! And a few others maybe.

[both laughing]

Kat
And those blooming dragons! I remember bringing them into places because you’d forgotten them.

Lu
[laughing] Oh god, yeah!

Kat
Being like “why am I doing this, it doesn’t make sense to me!”

Lu
Basically we used them instead of putting up a flag or anything [at society meetings], we used them as way-markers – because it’s kind of a thing in the asexual community, of being an asexual dragons, because they’re both mystical beings, “they don’t actually exist.” [laughs again] So yeah, that’s why we had the dragons, and that’s why you had to bring them into uni so many times…

Kat
Yeah, I mean – aside from that… I knew about the community, but I guess it didn’t – I didn’t really think either way about it, it was just another group that was there that I could have been part of but didn’t – or didn’t feel the need to.

Lu
And now? Do you feel that you have a better understanding of things, of the alphabet soup of the letters?

Kat
Yeah, yeah, I feel like there’s definitely – before I met you I wouldn’t have known, really, where to go to find out about things. But now I know I can talk to you, that makes it easier. ‘Cause I can just ask you things.

Lu
Yeah.

Kat
Especially like we were saying, about like, scales to things. And going back, like – I was thinking about it. The whole thing of detaching romance and lust –

Lu
Mhm.

Kat
– I remember that being such a switching point of like “oh yeah”. And I remember one of our other friends saying that they weren’t really attached for her, and so she didn’t mind if her boyfriend was gonna sleep with somebody else, because she still romantically cared about him, and that wasn’t important for her. And I guess that kind of solidified the idea in both ways, towards both people.

Lu
Nice! Thank you very much, for joining me in our living room to have this chat.

[both chuckle]

Kat
Of course. You’re very welcome!

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