A Beginner’s Guide to “The Talk”
More confessions: I’m not that big a fan of the phrase “coming out.” Perhaps it’s the melodrama of it all- volcanically bursting from a place of confined safety to the free-and-judging light of day. There does not reside in us some secret asexual being which will, as illustrated by the movie “Alien,” suddenly burst forth to dramatically alter our standing and role among our immediate social network. Still everyone keeps blogging about it, so I might as well jump in. First off, my credentials. To say that I come out professionally, and therefore to imply that for the service I receive both a salary and generous benefits package, would be eerily closer to the truth than I would like to admit. Bringing up my sexuality and the issues related to it is how I have fun at parties, it’s how I entertain children, how I pick up chicks. If done right this stuff can be easy and even fun, so listen up: Try to figure out what questions people have, then try to figure out answers for them. Remember that you are the expert - if you are coming out to someone then you probably know more about asexuality than they do, so if you’re clear and confident then they’ll be inclined to believe what you have to say. This need not mean that you have come to answers about EVERYTHING, a confident “I don’t know yet” works as well as anything else. Telling someone doesn’t have to be a big deal unless you want it to be. Don’t think of it as divulging some secret or forever redefining yourself. You’re introducing a new (albeit somewhat loaded) word into the vocabulary that you and your friends/family use to talk about your life. That’s it. You get to define it however you want and the definition gets to change over time. It’s not about what you are, just how you think about your life. Put the word asexual out there and let them react to it. Don’t worry about getting everything out, answer whatever questions they have about you or about asexuality in general. It will take a while to completely flesh things out, and there’s no reason to do it all in one conversation. Give yourself time to talk about things as you need to. I’m not advocating this process for everyone. It can be stressful and complicated, and your thinking on your asexuality may not be something that you’re ready to talk to your friends and family about. If you feel like there are things that you want to talk about but can’t, then maybe it’s time to get asexuality into the conversation.