Being asexual on Valentines Day

Just remember that not everybody experiences sexual attraction. Not everybody wants to have sex and not everybody wants to be in a relationship. Valentine’s Day is cute and all, but don’t use it as a vehicle to purposely alienate people for not feeling the same way you do. (Erin Kohlenberg/Flickr Creative Commons)

What does it mean to be asexual? Most of the time, it means not feeling sexual attraction. It’s kind of like walking past a tray of freshly baked cookies and having no desire to eat them. Except, with sex. There are always exceptions- sometimes, with the right cookie in the right mood, you’ll eat one. There are asexuals who don’t mind having sex (sex-positive), and there are some who will never have sex (sex repulsed).

Ace individuals have a hard enough time being accepted in the LGBTQ community and Valentine’s Day is just one of those things that reminds you how unlike everybody else you are. Considering a lot of aces are also aromantic (not experiencing romantic attraction), Valentine’s Day is literally just another day of the year.

Of course, things like sex and romance are a lot harder to ignore when your significant other does not share the same sexual orientation as you. When the cutesy things like roses and candlelight dinners just aren’t your thing, sometimes it’s left feeling awkward. Like, we’re supposed to be doing something, right? I’m supposed to want to do something?

Being ace on Valentine’s Day is really no different than being ace any other day of the week, except now you kind of feel bad for not taking the day seriously. It’s so arbitrary it hurts. And you hear all these things from peers about romantic nights out and you can only assume some good ol’ fashioned sex comes after. Can’t relate.

Sex is becoming a thing that more and more people are talking about publicly; it’s less taboo. Just the other day, I overheard a girl in the dining hall casually talking to her friend about having sex with boys in her class for notes. It makes me wonder if I’m missing out on something incredible. What does that feeling feel like?

Valentine’s Day just elevates that dissonance to the forefront, and no matter how comfortable you are with your identity, sometimes you can’t help but think about what it would be like if things were different. Would my boyfriend be happier? Would I be happier? No matter how many times you tell yourself that Valentine’s Day is just made up crap, it doesn’t always help.

We all know how gloriously sex is portrayed in media. Sometimes there’s this “stranger in a strange land” feeling, especially when you’re in college and hookups are abundant. I guess I’m a loser for never having hooked up with anyone before. Or I’m just asexual and don’t want to.

It’s tough. I’m proud of who I am, but I know I’ll never be able to relate to my boyfriend and my peers in ways like this- sex and romance are such huge parts of our culture that, even if we don’t casually talk about it, I still feel alienated knowing I’ll never be able to feel the butterflies in my stomach and the lust that so many others do.

Just remember that not everybody experiences sexual attraction. Not everybody wants to have sex and not everybody wants to be in a relationship. Valentine’s Day is cute and all, but don’t use it as a vehicle to purposely alienate people for not feeling the same way you do.

But you can always get me chocolates. That’s probably the closest I’ll ever get to being turned on.


Stephanie Sheehan is the managing editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at stephanie.sheehan@uconn.edu. She tweets @steph_sheehan.