Embracing my demisexuality has made me more resilient: June 2016 Carnival of Aces submission

[This post is for the June 2016 Carnival of Aces, on the theme of resiliency. The call for submissions is here.]

I am so, so grateful to have found asexual community, and to have found models of sexuality and sexual attraction that reflected my experiences in a very real way. In the (almost) two years since and first embracing demisexuality as a useful model for describing my sexuality, I’ve grown a lot.

It hasn’t always been easy, and I have had periodic doubts, but I’ve also learned to think my way through them, and sometimes come to strong conclusions that helped solidify my sense of identity.

This shift in how I think about myself and my sexuality has made me rethink and recontextualize my romantic and sexual history, my approaches to dating, and my expectations of myself when I do date. I used to beat myself up about not being able to have the kinds of sexual adventures other people have, that I kind of also wanted. I understand now why the ways in which I approach sexual adventure simply have to be different than how many others do it.

And more importantly, I have come to accept that this is really, really ok.

Being able to reconsider what I want from dating, what my expectations are when meeting someone new, and equally importantly, being able to communicate clearly to others around these issues, has saved me a lot of the unnecessary grief, discomfort, self-doubt, and self-denial that I used to continually put myself through. I used to waste to much energy trying to figure out what was *wrong* with me, and now I am free to simply seek out the things hat work for me and not worry about what doesn’t.

It is a huge relief. And it leaves me in a stronger, more stable place, where I am more ready to take on whatever else life throws at me.

I am, without a doubt, more resilient.

Brief Thought: Applying “No Pain, No Gain” to Blogging

There is a simple and notable trend that has begun to surface among the things I write here. Without fail, the posts that I feel most vulnerable or uncertain about, the ones that either require me to dig deep inside of myself and express something very personal about my experience of the world around me, or the ones where I stretch myself intellectually and push myself beyond my comfort zone of absolute certainty (really, the ones where I say things I haven’t seen a lot of other people saying, exactly), they are the ones that really seem to reach other people.

The posts that I am afraid to publish, the ones that I put off and fiddle with endlessly, they are the ones that ultimately most encourage other people to engage with me, and to open up. And I mean, this should be somewhat intuitive I guess; a willingness to be vulnerable does make other people more comfortable with being vulnerable around you. It gives them confidence that you will respect and honour their vulnerability, and that is so important, and such a powerful experience.

I’m talking here about things like coming out as demisexual, talking about my gender identity self-doubt, writing about things that don’t affect me personally, like cleavage-shaming (which continues to this day to be one of my most-viewed posts, since it was shared on the big boob problems sub-reddit – which some of y’all might be interested in), and even seemingly un-vulnerable things like this week’s post about the importance of labels. These posts, and others, have all induced fear in me, sometimes for inarticulable reasons. And they have all caused really interesting responses from other bloggers, and/or from my friends.

So yeah, I’m going to try to remind myself of this from now on, when I find myself with a scheduled post that’s got me stressed out. Even if I mis-step, there are people who will catch me and re-direct me. And very often I don’t, and I just manage to say things that really have an impact on the people who read them. And that’s really what it’s all about.

So yeah: no pain, no gain. I’m gonna keep putting myself out here for y’all <3

*This unscheduled post is rather randomly brought to you by the WordPress daily prompt, because it happened to relate to and give me a framing for this thing that’s been rolling around in my head. :)