The Tango

Do you like dancing? I wasn’t sure I liked dancing, but everyone seemed to think it was so intriguing and some people were even dancing already. They talked about dancing in a hushed tone and asked me who I wanted to dance with. When I was 13 I said absolutely nobody, and when I was in high school, I pretended to like the idea of dancing, because I felt weird if I didn’t. I got a boyfriend and the pressure to dance was even more intense than ever.

Sometimes, I would dream of dancing and it sort of intrigued me, but never enough to do it. My body was changing and I think it wanted to dance but my mind just wasn’t there.

I only ended up dancing because of pressure and because, in the end, I thought it was the normal thing to do. I thought it would make my relationship normal and complete. I thought dancing would reset all of the weird, bad things that were happening.

But, instead of making things better, it… well, it didn’t really do anything. I was in the same place, with the same problems, and I couldn’t just dance them away.

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I didn’t realize I was on the asexual spectrum until much later, and once I did, I felt both happy and sad. Happy because I was finally able to relate to others sharing similar experiences. Sad because, well, it made me realize how prominent the idea of sex is; from virginity and onward, sex is a constant theme in our lives that is surrounded by pressure and societal norms. And I don’t mean to say that sex is unimportant; quite the contrary! I think a healthy sex life is essential to living an overall fulfilling life.

The thing is, “sex life” has become normalized and anything deviating from accepted social standards (although when sex become a social matter is beyond me) is either hated, misunderstood (often both), or ignored entirely. Asexuality is on the latter end of the list.

What’s sad about this is we’re taught there is a system, or set of feelings each individual is supposed to embody. Of course, this system is reinforced through subconscious conditioning through our parent(s)/guardians at a very young age. The same conditioning that normalizes heterosexuality, long-term monogamous relationships, and gender roles.

But rather than go into detail on these various and complicated systems, I will bring it back to my own experiences and why I’m even talking about this to begin with.

A sex life can contain as much or as little sex in various forms and it is still a sex life. A sex life which lacks sex completely is still one that needs to be maintained in a healthy manner. This is where I think most problems stem from. I was taught to believe that sex is something I will inevitably yearn for and when puberty hit me in the face, so would lust.

But that’s just not what happened for me.

Instead, I ended up in a relationship where I felt romantic attraction, but was put off by the experiments I was supposed to be conducting with my body. And when my first boyfriend thrust my hand in his pants and said, “you don’t want that there, do you?” I shook my head no and hoped it never happened again. But it did, and although sometimes I didn’t mind, more often than not I felt isolated and broken. And when my boyfriend kept begging me to do things I gave in. When I stopped giving in, he found other ways to get what he wanted.

I always blamed myself because I was the one who was abnormal, after all. Why should I deprive my significant other of something that is expected out of a relationship? I liked kissing so why not more?

I now understand how toxic that way of thinking is, but knowing these ideals are still being implemented today is worrisome. I worry for the young individuals who, like me, did not understand why they didn’t “grow up” like their peers. I worry for the individuals who think they need to give more than necessary; who think their love and affections aren’t enough, that their needs aren’t as important.

And even in the asexual community, I worry for the individuals like me who are able to enjoy sex if they want to but still feel comfortable with the ace label. Entering this circle has given me answers and comforts, but it has also subjected me to gate-keeping and further doubts about who I am and what I feel. Even here, the urge to view things as black and white is present.

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~ by Moonstruck on June 21, 2015.

3 Responses to “The Tango”

  1. For starters, me dancing makes eyes bleed and induces pain in levels unrecorded for those watching, so never even hinted at it in recent years
    Relationships….. We are taught about how a normalised version works and told how it all works, but that’s shit
    I’m not designed for traditional relationship logic in terms of big red hearts and ‘I love you honey bear’ crap, but know the fundamental working qualities and how two people co exsist which no matter how you say, you sound like a robot and get shunned! (Laughing about it keeps me away from rope stores and cliffs)

    Then sex…. Natures way of reproduction and in any normalised relationship it is expected to happen, but if a guy brings it up he’s labeled sexist, a pig or ruins it, if nobody brings it up it plays the proverbial elephant and then there’s the act… Sorry sex ed but a condom on a wooden pole and ‘avoid STDs’ doesn’t even begin to cover the social aspects, anxieties involved and all the really relevant shit you need to be prepared for

    My idea, strip out all the fluffy crap and teach people the cold hearted practicalities of relationships and expand sex and relationships into a broader social education that explores all areas of life that fit into Social or Society
    And stop teaching kids that drugs are bad, everyone has a vice and most people keep their shit to themselves, tell them what to avoid and the signs of dangerous addiction as well as the difference between a controlled (legal) vice and selling your kids to fund a habit
    You’ll get a lot more socially responsible people with useful coping mechanisms

    That’s out my system, sorry for the rant!!

  2. hey, thank you for posting this.
    personally i am quite a sexual person but i encourage anyone who feels differently about it to speak up. I encourage the movement to accept people who feel differently and I need this to be a thing in a relationship, to accept if the other doesn’t feel the same way.
    I hope your future relationships will not force you into an uncomfortable zone, as the one you described, ever again.

    • It’s always good to keep an open mind. I think many people confuse acceptance with participation. You don’t have to take part in something or feel the same way in order to accept and let live.

      I am happily married now, so I can say that I have found the best of zones. 🙂 Thank you!

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