Reminder: Being Scared is Okay

Saw another one of those run-of-the-mill posts recently — the kind that talks about ace erasure and stereotypes in a brief, cursory way, and there was a part of it that went, “I’m not scared of sex, I’m uninterested.”

Granted, I don’t know how much of it was general and how much of it was personal.  That is an entirely valid experience.  However, in context, it could be mistaken for a broad-strokes statement about what asexuality is/what all asexual people are — which echoes a fairly standard, albeit not the most common, invalidation variant: that you’re not asexual, you’re just afraid of sex.

Presumably, the implication there is that people who are “just” afraid of sex are also allosexual (and, presumably, need to get over that fear).  I don’t think the people who talk like this have thought it through much, anyway, but if they did, it would just come down to one of those “there’s something wrong with you” accusations that are determined to define fear of sex as a psychological disorder, one that either comes with personal judgement or an imperative that it be altered.

While being thrilled about sex is valid, and being in the dislike/disinterested range is valid, what I want to see more of is affirmation and recognition that having strongly negative feelings about sex is just as valid.

Sex can be scary.  It can be overwhelming.  It can be awful and nasty and disgusting.  That’s okay.  If you’re scared of sex, that’s okay.  If you’re grossed out by sex, that’s okay.  You are not hurting people by being celibate; you are taking care of yourself.

To the sex-enjoying and sex-indifferent asexuals: you are not the key to asexuality’s legitimacy.  Don’t act like it, and don’t attempt to fork over sex-repulsed aces and all sex-averse people in exchange for your redemption in society’s eyes.

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8 responses to “Reminder: Being Scared is Okay

  • thenarcissistwrites

    So well said! <3

  • luvtheheaven

    I think I do feel a bit irrationally “scared” of sex, and it’s not that it grosses me out, personally, so that’s why I prefer to *not* use the term sex-“repulsed” when describing myself.

    Sometimes I consider myself more close to sex-indifferent… I could have a much stronger PTSD reaction if my reasons for my fear were past trauma or something, but that’s not it at all in my cast… I could have a much stronger Phobia type fear, and what I have now is close to just “not wanting it but there being nothing really too upsetting about sex for me personally either”…

    …except… I felt “afraid” to consider getting naked with my boyfriend who I loved so much that I worked myself up into tears “Wanting to want to” as an experiment to see just how asexual I really was, but not wanting it itself enough. My boyfriend was understanding. The next day I finally had worked up the nerve to try getting undressed with him and it wasn’t as scary, for me, as I thought it’d be, but when he asked me if I wanted to touch him, I still didn’t. I wanted to make him happy, but some part of me was too “scared”, too “uncomfortable” with it, idk. And that’s what makes me now call myself sex-averse, to consider myself “scared” in this sense. I was indifferent to kissing but never “afraid”, just not wanting to do it because i was getting no pleasure out of it. But anything more? I felt more than indifferent.

    So a post like this is very validating for my own experience. Thank you. It’s nice to hear that it’s okay to be scared of sex. Because that’s sort of how I feel.

    • luvtheheaven

      *past (not cast)

      And by “who I loved so much that I”, I meant “Who I did love,” and then like a comma. I feel like my wording there seems a little too unclear. Whoops.

    • acetheist

      That’s not irrational at all. It’s just like how some people are afraid of riding horses — which is obviously a dangerous activity, but then again, sex is too. Heck, I get scared when I have to do eye tests at the eye doctor, and those aren’t even dangerous.

      When I was debating whether or not it’d be worth it to make this post, I considered the possibility that it might be seen someone who could be comforted by it, and that’s what motivated me to put this out there, so I’m glad it did.

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