I’ve decided to do an interview about asexuality that may end up on the radio. I’m not going to use a pseudonym so if it airs there will be no denying it. I’ve done interviews for magazines and newspapers by phone and email and calmly answered questions that would make me turn aubergine if asked by a personal acquaintance. I’ve no problem being out to people all over the planet, but telling those I see every day is a different thing altogether. I know I’m not alone in feeling this way because several members on the site have said they’d do publicity as long as no one they knew would be likely to see it or as long as they could use a pseudonym and not be photographed. And I wonder: Why? Why are we so scared to say, ‘Hey! I’m not interested in sex!’ Is having no desire to touch another person’s genitals so taboo? I suppose it’s because sexuality—in all its myriad hues—is such an intimate subject some people (myself included) don’t think every person on Earth needs to know about it. And then there’s the possible situation of having an acquaintance recognise my voice or name and ask about it. That’s understandable, because if I’ve gone on national radio and said quite intimate things then why wouldn’t I be comfortable discussing it with someone I’ve known a while? Well…because I’m just not, that’s why. I suppose I could say, ‘Oh, I’m only comfortable telling intimate details of my life to journalists I don’t have to see every day, sorry.’ You might think I’m over-reacting, but several regular customers at the bookshop I work in listen to the particular station the programme might air on—some even *work* at the station. These are people I’ve known for five years, but we’re not close friends—they’re just people I help figure out what books to read. And, as intimate as reading materials are, they don’t entitle my customers to know what I do or don’t do in bed. Though, what *of* my closer friends that might hear it? A couple of my friends already know I’m a, but most of them don’t and I do not relish having those people asking me about it. When discussing it with journalists I’m witty and articulate (I hope), but the times it’s come up with friends I have the urge to stare at my feet and mumble. I’m not ashamed of being a (what’s to be ashamed of?) so what’s the problem? I put it down to my natural shyness at sharing intimate information. I’m flying up to NYC for the most recent interview and explaining why I’m going has been an exercise in semantics. ‘I’m going to New York for a couple of days…to do an interview…’ The immediate response is, ‘Great! What job are you interviewing for?’ Me: ‘Oh…um…no, like an interview with a journalist. Perhaps for the radio.’ Them: ‘What the hell does a journalist want with you?’ Me: ‘Well…it’s for a website I’ve been a part of that’s received some publicity lately…’ Then I dash out of the room. They probably think it’s some kinky thing I’m embarrassed to discuss—an S/M website or some such thing. In some way that might be easier—at least people have *heard* of sadomasochism. So why am I doing it if it puts me in such a state? Because whenever there’s any publicity—even of the negative sort—we get new members who say, ‘Until I read the article I thought I was the only one!’ Sometimes they’ve been married for decades and have thought something was horribly wrong their entire lives. No one should have to feel that way. They need to see that it’s possible to be ok being a. Not to mention the younger people out there having to cope with a highly sexualised culture and peer pressure to date and have sex. It’s also for the people who *know* asexuals. If a sexual spouse hears that their spouse isn’t the only person on Earth who isn’t interested in sex it will reassure that person their spouse can still love them even if they don’t desire sex. At least I don’t have to worry about my parents hearing the programme, as they don’t listen to that station…I think.