These couples open up about how liberating it is to come out as asexual and demisexual
These couples have shared the amazing experience of what it means to be asexual and in a relationship.
One couple, Sophie Jorgensen-Rideout and George Norman shared their relationship in an interview with the BBC.
They are both young and both identify as asexual, which, they say causes “complications” when it comes to sex.
They met up to watch ‘How To Train Your Dragon”, and kissed, says George, adding: “I realise that to other people saying that usually means something else.”
The 21-year-old undergrad student only began to openly identify as asexual in first year of university.
According to the interview, 1 percent of people in the UK is estimated to be asexual.
“This always entertains other asexual people but throughout most of my childhood, I kind of thought that everyone else was like me. I just assumed they were hiding it better than I was,” adds Norman.
The couple’s kiss came “as something of a surprise” to the couple, but Sophie told the BBC that it just proved “how fluid romanticism can be”.
“I don’t find sex and love to be at all connected. It just confuses me, this idea that they have to be,” says Sophie.
“I think sexuality is fluid and diverse and so is romanticism, so that it’s unlikely that you’ll ever fit into a box.”
Jorgensen-Rideout identifies as “grey asexual”, or “grey-ace”, a term she learned on the Asexual Visibility and Education Network.
She says she sometimes experiences sexual attraction: “It comes and goes. Sometimes it’s there but I can just ignore it, brush it off and go about my day.”
Liz Williams and Nick Blake are in a relationship together.
Liz is asexual, but Nick is not. “I think that’s the attitude people have towards relationships and people whose existence and identity makes them question their own actions and assumptions,” says Blake.
He adds: “I thought that if the relationship was really fulfilling then it wouldn’t really matter if sex was involved or not. Two years later, I feel kind of vindicated.
“Once you stop viewing things in the old default kind of way, life becomes a lot more interesting.”
Another interviewee, Evie Brill Paffard, identifies as demisexual, and is in a relationship with three others.
“There’s still a lot of stigma and and misconceptions,” she says.
Adding: “Asexual just means a lack of sexual attraction. It doesn’t mean lack of anything else. It can be interpreted in so many ways.”
The label demisexual is typically used by someone who feels a sexual attraction only after they have formed a close emotional bond with someone.
“The idea that you can look at or meet a person and feel sexually attracted is something that a lot of people experience and that’s fine, but I don’t experience that,” Brill Paffard tells the BBC.
She adds: “Ace people can be kinky,” saying that people identifying with such a label might still be attracted by the “hedonistic thrill”, even if they don’t feel interested in the sexual side of relationships.
Brill Paffard says that she met her first partner at a fetish society at university.
She will often use the term polyamorous, or poly, before using the term demisexual.
“I think with the poly community, there are various obvious misconceptions. Because they will think it’s all about swinging and having sex with everyone. But for me, I just love a lot of people.”