This is a guest post for our intersectional ace survivor story series by someone who wishes to remain anonymous. Please respect their privacy and do not speculate about their identity. Trigger warnings: intimate partner abuse, gaslighting, invalidation of ace identity, mentions of CoCSA and parental abuse, personality disorders […]
Being non-binary makes things really hard. Almost all of the help for victims of sexual assault are gendered. The general mental health care professionals are fine with my asexuality at first — but as soon as I bring up what happened it becomes something to be cured.
It’s a weird feeling, to suddenly need certain kink things, to have a sudden craving so strong it suggests sometimes dangerous lengths and abandonment of boundaries and safety practices. I never know how long these things’ll last. Sometimes it’s just a day, sometimes it’s months. And it sure doesn’t feel like it will ever stop. (It’s everywhere and everywhen, how could it stop?) And it can be years in-between, and I can forget how to handle them, get out of practice, lose all my contacts and coping strategies. I don’t expect it to happen again.
I’m a “bad” rape victim. A Model Rape Survivor doesn’t know her attacker. My rapist is essentially a stranger to me, but that night was not the first time I had met him. She is dressed modestly and cannot be held responsible due to those clothing choices. I wore one of my shortest dresses and no bra when I walked into his apartment. She’s virginal and chaste, only doing the appropriate sexual things with appropriate people. I considered myself a virgin at the time, though I’m sure other people might disagree, but I’d gone to his place to mess around in the first place.
I questioned for a long time whether or not I was sex repulsed or simply sex averse. A quick Google search will tell you that repulsion and aversion are synonyms, but our community hasn’t always used them in their dictionary defined sense. I think that we’ve differentiated these terms to help us better describe ourselves. In most contexts “aversion” has been used to mean “strong dislike” whereas “repulsion” implies physical reaction involving disgust. In theory, neither of these things actually involve sexual attraction (which we define sexual orientation on), they just happen to frequently accompany the asexual experience. Unfortunately sex aversion/repulsion also frequently accompanies the aftermath of sexual assault. This posed a dilemma for me: If I did feel sexual aversion, was it the result of my asexuality or sexual trauma?
This series focuses on awful things people say to asexual spectrum survivors, sometimes out of spite, sometimes out of concern, and sometimes out of ignorance. Each section has a quote (or collection of related quotes) followed by a "translation" of the quote (or a distillation of the essence of the argument, if you will) and then commentary on why this is an awful thing to say.