Boy meets girl. Boy dances on girl at party. Boy gets so turned on by girl’s dancing that he wants to take her home, or at least get some private time Somewhere. Girl has to tell boy that she’s asexual.
“Only at [this school] would I accept that as a response,” he said, before completely Not Accepting it. What followed was a pretty standard exchange, during which I had to explain what asexuality was, how I knew I was asexual, and that no, I wasn’t kidding. I’d gone through the same thing exactly one week earlier with a friend, while we were cuddling (does no one want to just cuddle anymore?). It’s funny how something can become so tiring and routine to you, while constantly amazing someone else. Especially tiring is that fact that the Someone Else will rarely understand your situation.
“Well it sounds like what you have is perfect for having just some casual thing,” he was saying. He’d clearly missed the part where I told him I need emotional connections to really be involved with someone. That, or he was okay with the idea of being on top of someone who would be numb and un-present, which wasn’t exactly a point in his favor. I tried to re-explain.
“So, you just don’t hook up?” he asked, like this was some foreign concept. Maybe it was.
“No,” I told him. “Except for on rare occasions.”
“Well, couldn’t this be one of those rare occasions?” he asked. “We could just go do this once.”
“And then make awkward eye contact for the rest of the semester?” I asked, incredulous. Who did he actually think I was? How big did he think campus was?
“No, no, we don’t have to. I’m really good about not making eye contact awkward,” he said, as if this was a selling point. “I just really wanna take you home and unzip your dress.”
My dress, it should be noted, was borrowed from a more brazen friend. It was essentially a tight-fitting jacket, in that its zipper went all the way up the front. As he said this last part, he motioned as if he would pull it down. I moved away, oddly feeling flattered, but also re-seeing the guy I was talking to as a sort of adult toddler. Had he never been turned down before? Was it inconceivable to him that he might not get his way? He was attractive, but all of this I-want-it-now, gimme-gimme stuff was detracting from my sympathy to him. I was sympathetic, because with any straight girl his approach probably would have worked. He was just unlucky enough to have tried me, and I felt sorry for letting him down.
So when he leaned down to kiss me, I really tried to kiss him back. I tried to be into it. I did! For about a second. It wasn’t going to take.
“That was hot,” he said, as I gently pushed him away, fervently shaking my head. “This would be so hot.” Was he kidding? I actually laughed in his face, but I did it in a way so that he would think I was being shy instead of offensive.
“I don’t think so,” I told him.
“Khalilah,” he insisted, “Are you being honest with me? You’re not just making this up, are you?”
“No,” I said, and then inspiration hit.
The following will probably be the most important part of this post, so if you read nothing else, read this:
At this moment, I knew exactly how to explain asexuality so that he would get it, and grabbed his hand. He thought I was bringing it to my body, and stepped closer. I stepped back and firmly placed the hand against the wall, moving it back and forth over the surface.
“What do you feel?” I asked him.
“The wall,” he said, unsure of what I was doing.
“But what does it feel like?” I prodded, and listened to whatever he said to describe its feel. “Now, do you feel sexually turned on by what you’re feeling, even though you can feel everything?”
“No,” he said, starting to understand.
“Exactly,” I told him. “That’s what it’s like for me. Now, if you’re very desperate to find someone tonight, there’s a cluster of freshman girls over there whom I can almost guarantee are not asexual.”
“That’s not what it’s about,” he said, although I didn’t believe him. “I really sorry. That this can’t work out, and about.. your thing.”
“Don’t be,” I told him. “Just appreciate what you have.”
And sending him on his way, I felt extremely proud of myself. I’m still proud of myself. Now, so long as there’s a wall present (or really anything you can touch), my routine may not need to be so tiresome.