It's interesting when I explain the labels of my identity to someone new. I've always been one that's into words, without them being a hard fact. Sure, I identify this way because it's easier to get a sense of who I am, what I'm looking for, but it's not a cut and dry look at my cookie cut persona. Plus when I just say 'queer' people get all up in arms, I mean conservative people do... but fuck that shit, am I right?! Regardless, I prefer to state the general terms, which garnish questions from intellectual people, whereas those more dim brained won't press on further. It allows me to weed out the WEAK! I'm obviously (mostly) kidding.
I say I'm romantically attracted to everyone (pan-romantic) and sexually attracted to no one (asexual), as if that's not enough to make someone's head spin. Let's start out with the idea that attraction comes in many forms. Consider this for a second, you can look at a beautiful painting and be stunned by its beauty, but you don't want to fuck it or date it, I mean, I'm not judging if you do, to each their own. I can still appreciate someone aesthetically. But I'm mostly attracted to the person they are. Without it being a be-all-end-all we are intertwined as our souls become one, kind of thing. Confused yet?
I remember someone I was dating once said 'someone needs to 'queer-eye' me', meaning, in his own words, he was not an approachable person in any way. He had quite low self-esteem and frequently was commenting on how me having sex with him meant more than anyone else because he knew it meant that I liked him for him, and not his exterior. All things wrong with our relationship aside, I was angry at his assumption of my sexuality by saying 'well you couldn't queer-eye me because you don't see people as attractive'. This sat with me, and I even tried to explain he was wrong, I got severe backlash from him. Some people will never really get it. Another person I was dating knew I was asexual but never asked a single follow up question because, well, I had sex with him so why did it matter how I was attracted to him, if at all. There comes a point where you just stop trying to explain it and accept that it doesn't matter what you say. Dear lord, reading that statement its fricking depressing, believe me when I say I'M FINE. Well, mostly.
I need to express it in black and white: 'I AM ATTRACTED TO PEOPLE'. There are asexuals who are also aromantic, which is why for a while after discovering my sexuality I didn't actually identify as asexual because I thought that meant I didn't feel attraction in any way, and had expressed attraction in the past, just not sexually. I am attracted to so many things about people. So many facets of a person make me engage in them as a person, whether or not they want to engage with me in any way. I can be completely enveloped by an individual, without the need to jump their bones. I'm mostly attracted to all my friends, in a non-romantic way, so no, just because we're friends and I'm asexual, it doesn't mean I want to date you.
AND, then we bring in the label of polyamory. Just because I'm poly and not sexually attracted to anyone but still want to be in a relationship, it does not mean I just want to date anyone. Sure, have I fucked people that I've had 0 attraction to regardless of romantic or not, sure, I'm human, we all hate ourselves sometimes, we all end up using sex for various reasons. Do I think I'm a garbage human being because of these choices and am partially afraid I made some big impact on someone's life that they'll never get over and I'm a big contributor to the reason that they'll never feel whole. I mean, mostly no, but also sometimes I like to think I'm the villain of someone else's story, and not just bar patron #12. I think that's why I laugh when people say 'you're asexual, but how do you have sex', because I think 'come on, you've had sex with people you're not sexually attracted to before, right?' Though, I'm sure not true for everyone, it's vaguely true for most in some way or another.
So yes, my labels are an oxymoron. My attraction to everyone, without being sexual, and the state of being in multiple partnerships is confusing. But that's me, and that makes sense for me, for the most part, or at least for now.
You do you, bro, let me do me... or... whatever.
Holly (Hools) Wyder is a creative monster. Finding every which way to express herself she has found various avenues to explore. Recently coming off of the Toronto Fringe festival with her semi-autobiographical solo show about her experience as a polyamorous, pan-romantic, asexaul, she has found her voice to express and share her journey to allow others to feel validated. A feeling she lacked (and still feels varying day to day) for a very long time. Check out her next live show and approach her about your own story, it's all about a sense of community and the only way to do that is to hear about other people's existence.