But as the information age grew, so did I, and so did my feelings, my sense of self, and my identity. By age 20, I could label my sexuality for what it was—asexual, a person who has no sexual feelings or desires. Coming out as asexual is not a momentous occasion. However, this label has given me a new filter in how I perceive the world, especially in terms of dating.
Sexuality aside, there are other factors about my identity that cause people to form an immediate opinion of me. I was curious to see if a match was possible. The app that I was most drawn to was OkCupid. Over the next four months, I had interactions of all kinds. Here are the general categories most of them fell under. Then why are you on this app? When it came to interactions like these, it quickly became too exhausting to explain that I was still open to a romantic relationship.
I understood why some are confused, because on the surface they may look similar. In cases like these, I explained the difference with one line: Celibacy is a choice; my sexual orientation is not. It is a natural instinct, a feeling that is as much part of me as the hair on my head. Another part of me wondered if I would get cheated on, because even though my partner might be understanding, their feelings toward being in a relationship with me which would involve no sex might change.
These questions made me want to re-evaluate my own boundaries with dating, which is ultimately a good thing, but at certain times, it reminds me how isolating being an asexual can be. From a young age, I have never given much thought to marriage. So I told these guys: These users often asked me for more personal things like my Snapchat name and demanded I give them pictures of my full body Note: My profile only has three pictures, waist up.
These kind of messages were the most dehumanizing of all, because of all the things I posted on my profile, the only thing they focused on was my sexual orientation—which they saw as a joke. While the four months I spent on OkCupid were mostly unsuccessful, there was one user who identified as demisexual, a suborientation under asexuality, who messaged me with just wanting to be friends I replied but never heard back.
There was a potential match with someone of the same age, in my same city, who understood my sexuality. Hridi Das is an interdisciplinary Bangladeshi-Canadian millennial who is in denial that she is technically a legit adult.