The Asexual journal is an independent platform publishing work by asexual, aromantic, and agender authors.

Why do I ask if I’m gray-ace when I know I’m gray-ace

Why do I ask if I’m gray-ace when I know I’m gray-ace

I haven’t always used the label gray-ace

Even now when I use it I feel like it shouldn’t be right

Like I’m not actually ace, that I’m just making it up (shout-out to my therapist)


But every time I’ve been with a boy, it’s felt like something was off

Like there was something lost in translation

Like I wanted to communicate but I didn’t understand the language of sex


It’s not that I’m against sex, or that I don’t even enjoy it

But it always feels like there’s something I’m missing

Something that is supposed to be there

Something that they’re understanding that I’m not

As we’re lying there sprawled out

And they think I should know what I’m doing

Or even that I should know what I want


But really I’m just lost in that moment

Knowing that I think I want them, but not knowing if I actually do

And then not knowing what I want of them


But most of all I feel like I should be wanting something

That I’m supposed to be feeling more

That there’s a hunger in their eyes that I don’t have

While I just want to hold them and kiss them and look into their empty eyes

That are just looking past me


Or worse, looking too much at me

Wanting something physically that I don’t understand


And I don’t know if that’s because I will never be able to love my body

Or because I don’t understand how you can only love a body


But I know that something always seems different

And I’m trying to put words to it


Less so for you and more so for me

So I can understand how I’m actually feeling


So that maybe next time you ask “can I do this” while you look hungrily at my naked body

I won’t say “I don’t know” while you cautiously continue

Doing what you want to my body because I’m afraid to admit I don’t want something

When I know that I should feel like I want something

And thinking that if we just do a little more maybe I would feel… something

That I just haven’t done the right thing for me to feel

To understand what everyone else is talking about

And deep down, I feel I never will

It will be a language I will never understand

There are parts I get

And parts I feel

But I know they will be different

And I’m okay with that

I don’t need it to be happy

But I need to know how I feel

So I can be comfortable with it

And so I can explain it to you

Next time we’re lying down

And you look into my eyes

And listen