Romance and sex aren’t the same thing – Kristen

People typically talk about an absence of sex as something gone wrong, followed by an array of advice to spice up, fix, rekindle, reboot, top down, bottoms up, laugh, cry, and eventually achieve perfect sex. But what if your life feels pretty perfect without it?

Kristen grew up in Purity Culture, so her lack of interest in dating was a plus as a teenager. But when she became an adult and still wasn’t interested in dating, it became clear that something else was going on. Kristen eventually realized that she is asexual – a person who has little to no interest in sex.

Kristen joins us to talk about her experience of asexuality, how it differs from aromanticism and demisexuality, and what she is and isn’t interested in for potential future relationships.

Kristen is a 36-year-old cisgender female. She describes herself as white, asexual, demiromantic, and she grew up in the Baptist church. She’s currently single and describes her body as chonky.

Good Girls Talk About Sex
Good Girls Talk About Sex
Romance and sex aren't the same thing - Kristen
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Click for more like this:
  • Asexuality
  • Purity Culture
  • Non-consensual touch
  • Aromanticism
  • Asexuality in the church
  • Being single and child-free by choice

Full episode text

LEAH: Welcome to Good Girls Talk About Sex. I am sex and intimacy coach, Leah Carey, and this is a place to share conversations with all sorts of women about their experience of sexuality. These are unfiltered conversations between adult women talking about sex. If anything about the previous sentence offends you, turn back now! And if you’re looking for a trigger warning, you’re not going to get it from me. I believe that you are stronger than the trauma you have experienced. I have faith in your ability to deal with things that upset you. Sound good? Let’s start the show!

[MUSIC]

LEAH: Hey, friends. I’ve been searching for someone to have this particular conversation with for at least two years, ever since I began to understand that asexuality is actually a true orientation and not just an “excuse” that people make. Unfortunately, when I approached people who identified themselves as asexual to ask if they would talk about their experience, the most frequent response I got was, “I don’t have sex, so I don’t have anything to say.”

But a couple months ago, I happened to be on Twitter, a place where I don’t go that frequently on International Asexuality Day. I read through lots of threads and zeroed in on one woman who was talking about the intersection between purity culture and asexuality, two topics I find fascinating.

So, I reached out to Kristen by DM, which is always a weird move to private message someone and say, “Hey, you don’t know me, but would you like to record a conversation with me about sex and your sexuality?” Anyway, after taking a few minutes to confirm that I wasn’t a creep or a troll, Kristen agreed to do an interview and I am thrilled to finally share it with you today. Rather than talking more about the interview, let’s just dive into it.

Kristen is a 36-year-old cisgender female. She describes herself as white, asexual, demiromantic, and she grew up in the Baptist church. She’s currently single and describes her body as chonky. I am so pleased to introduce Kirsten!

Kristen, I am so excited to welcome you to the podcast. I have actually been looking for a while for somebody to interview about asexuality and the various people who I’ve approached have all been like, “I don’t really think I have anything to say.”

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: So, I am absolutely thrilled. Thank you for being here.

KRISTEN: You’re welcome. Glad to be here.

LEAH: Yeah. So, first of all, people should know this interview’s going to be very different because usually I’m diving into the specifics of their sex lives and that’s going to be really different with you. So, let’s just start with some basic definitions. What does asexuality mean to you?

KRISTEN: In the broader sense, asexuality obviously, there’s a lot of nuance, a lot of micro labels you could use. Generally speaking, though, asexuality just means you experience little to no sexual attraction. For me growing up, you have those friends who are always like, “Look at him. I want to sleep with him. He’s so cute. Oh my gosh.” And I’m just like, “Okay, cool.”

[LAUGHTER]

KRISTEN: It never made sense to me. And that was even before I even had the word asexuality to describe it. So, yeah, in a general sense, that’s what it means. Obviously, there are levels of attraction that includes people who identify as demisexual, which means you only develop a sexual attraction to someone once you already know them and you have that emotional bond already. I have some friends who describes themselves that way. So, it’s primarily about the attraction in terms of definition. It doesn’t mean you don’t have a sex drive. It doesn’t mean you don’t have a libido. It just means I see somebody and it’s not my first instinct to think, “Yeah, I want to sleep with them.”

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Okay. So, do you have a sex drive? Do you have a libido?

KRISTEN: Yes, I do.

LEAH: Okay. You only know your own, so I don’t know how you would scale it like how strong is it, but how does it show up for you?

KRISTEN: I would say mine is fairly low. It’s generally not a thing for me. Sex is something I have more an intellectual curiosity about. I understand the mechanics of it and it’s something I’ve never experienced and I want to know what experience is like, but beyond that, it’s not all that.

LEAH: Yeah. When you do have that spark of turn-on or the desire for that, how do you handle it? Do you try to satisfy it?

KRISTEN: Not really, no. It’s something I can just ignore usually.

LEAH: Do you masturbate?

KRISTEN: I have in the past, yeah.

[LAUGHTER]

KRISTEN: It’s something that I know about.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: So, it’s very much not a centerpiece of your life, it sounds like, yeah.

KRISTEN: No, not at all.

LEAH: All right. So, usually I do these interviews in chronological order. So, let’s go back to the very beginning and talk about what kinds of messages you heard in your home growing up around sex and sexuality.

KRISTEN: Very little. I was very much raised in purity culture, a traditional Christian Baptist background. To this day, I still can’t really talk to any of the guys in my family about sex. You just don’t do it. I think my brother has become a little bit more open to it just because we live together. So, he’s like, “If I’m going to live with another female.”

[LAUGHTER]

KRISTEN: He’s been really good about trying to learn and understand, which has been awesome. But yeah, my mother still gives me grief. She’s like, “I have to come to you to get to the sex talk.” She always felt I would come to her and be like, “Where do babies come from?” She’s like, “You never asked the questions.”

LEAH: That’s fascinating. I would not necessarily expect that kids are the ones how have to initiate that talk.

KRISTEN: No. I heard a lot of people talking about it’s an ongoing conversation. You don’t necessarily like take your kids and go away for a weekend, so we can have the talk. Because obviously, especially if your kid is in public school, like I was, they’re getting exposed to these ideas. Other kids are going to be learning things ahead of us. So, whatever we’re learning, shouldn’t that be something that you should be talking with your kids about?

LEAH: Yeah. I have a colleague named Justine Ang Fonte and one of the things that she says is rather than having a single 100-minute talk about sex with your kids, have 101-minute talks with your kids about sex and I love that.

KRISTEN: And I think that just normalizes it too. It keeps it from being that big huge awkward thing. We talk about sex. We talk about our sexuality. It’s not that big a deal. It’s part of life.

LEAH: Yeah. So, you said you grew up in purity culture. And my impression of purity culture is that there’s actually probably a lot of talk about sex. It’s just all about how sinful and bad it is. Was that not your experience?

KRISTEN: My parents were a couple of years, I think they tried, they did the best they could, given that all the curricula that was out of there was True Love Waits and I Kissed Dating Goodbye. So, they tried to create a safe place for us in youth group where we could have these conversations, just I don’t think anyone wanted to. And we were a very small youth group, so there were literally only maybe 12 of us week to week.

So, they did do like, “Guys, go over here. You’re going to talk about this. Girls, go over here. You’re going to talk about that.” So, I only know what the girls were told. They tried. I think they had our best interests at heart. It was a whole lot of sex is for marriage. You need to wait until marriage, but they tried to moderate it. Like I said, I Kissed Dating Goodbye was a part of it. I understood the whole idea of courting versus dating, why people would see courting as the better more Christian option.

LEAH: So, there are going to be people listening who don’t know what courting means. So, can you describe what courting is separate from dating?

KRISTEN: So, courting, I’ve heard some people describe it as dating with the intention to marry. So, basically, you’re holding off on having any type of romantic relationship until you find someone that you think, “Okay, yeah, I could probably marry this person.” And you go into a relationship with that person with a very specific focus of, “We are doing this with the intention of marriage at the end” as opposed to dating, which is I go on these dates. I get to meet these people and figure out if that’s a direction we would potentially want to go in.

LEAH: So, did you grow up assuming that you would get married?

KRISTEN: I didn’t. You know how in high school and college they ask, “Where do you see yourself in five years or ten years?”

[LAUGHTER]

KRISTEN: I never saw myself married. It was always I’m going to be doing this job and then I’m going to be living here. I’m going to be doing this. But marriage, it was never not an option, but it was never a priority either.

LEAH: Okay. And were you getting pressure from your family or your community to see yourself as someone who would get married?

KRISTEN: For my family, no, which I’m very thankful for. It was never like, “You got to marry young and start having kids.” For my family, I never felt that kind of pressure. It’s like, “It’s your life. If you get married, great. If not, also great.” You always have those people not just in church but wherever as soon as they see you with a friend who’s the opposite gender like, “What’s happening? Tell me all about this. How is it going?” It’s like, “It’s a friendship, Susan. Friendship.”

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: And did you feel pressure from some of those boys who you were friends with to do things you didn’t want to do?

KRISTEN: I never did, no.

LEAH: Even if you didn’t have words to describe it, it sounds like you were pretty clear about who you were and what you wanted. And sometimes, that clarity can really read out to other people, so they don’t even ask the questions.

KRISTEN: I never thought about it that way, but I think you might be right, yeah. I grew up in New England, so just the fact that I went to church in the first place put me in the minority. And so, I just grew up being used to being like, “Yeah, I’m the weird one out.”

[LAUGHTER]

KRISTEN: So, anything that might be perceived as weird or strange, it’s just like, “Okay, yeah. Bring it on.”

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: So, one of the things that I was most interested in when seeing you post and this was actually on the Asexual Day of Visibility I think, was you talking about how the intersection of purity culture and asexuality meant that you were in the sweet spot for your whole teenage life because you weren’t supposed to be dating anyway. And then, it didn’t actually become something that you had to think about until you got to that age when maybe your peers were doing something different than you wanted to do.

KRISTEN: Yeah. Through all of high school, you always hear these stories about teenage pregnancy and kids sleeping around. So, for me, that was never a thing. I remember having a conversation with a friend of mine one time right when I first realized I was ace, he was like, “I would say that would be the goal for people in church and purity culture. You’re literally not even into this type of thing, so why would this be a problem?” Because I was also getting some pushback from some other friends who were evangelical and they’re like, “That’s not right. You should be going out there pursuing marriage and sexual relationship with your spouse.” And I was like, “I’m good. Thanks.”

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Yeah. So, did you have any experiences with dating? Did you try it?

KRISTEN: Nope.

LEAH: So, at 36, have you ever been out on a date?

KRISTEN: No.

LEAH: Whoa. Have you ever kissed someone or been kissed by someone?

KRISTEN: No.

LEAH: Has anyone ever touched your body in any way that is sexual?

KRISTEN: Yes, without consent.

LEAH: So, non-consensual. Is that something you want to talk about or no?

KRISTEN: Vaguely.

LEAH: Okay. How old were you?

KRISTEN: The first time was about three, four years ago.

LEAH: Wow, so recent as an adult.

KRISTEN: Yeah. And another time, last summer.

LEAH: What would you like to say about it?

KRISTEN: It was something I had never dealt with before. Both times were at work. It was two different workplaces, two different people. And I remember the first time, I was on the phone with my mother, and I was telling her what was happening. And she was like, “You need to tell somebody.” And I was like, “This person is a friend.”

It was somebody that I thought I could trust. And so, I knew he was having a rough time at that point in his life, not just at work, just in general. I’m like, “I don’t want to be the one to add to that.” And she’s like, “But you have a right to be safe at work and you have autonomy to your own body. And him coming at you and touching you is not okay.”

I did end up reporting it. He ended up losing his job. He did reach out afterwards. He apologized, which I appreciated. It was one of those, “Thank you, please never talk to me again.” You hear the statistics. You hear like, “Why don’t you report it? Why don’t you go to somebody?” And then, you’re in that situation and it’s like you don’t want to be a cause for bringing more difficulty to your friend, but it’s still a situation that has to be dealt with. And that was a big thing for me was to realize, I’m like I don’t have to enable him.

LEAH: Yeah, I’m sorry you had to go through that.

[MUSIC]

LEAH: Are you aching to explore new vistas of your sexuality? Do you hear me talks about concepts on this show and think, “It makes sense, but I need help applying to my particular situation?” That’s where personalized sex and intimacy coaching comes in. When you work with me, I promise to help you feel safe exploring your sexuality.

Together, we’ll look at your needs and desires without judgment and help you figure out how to fulfill them. There is no single answer that’s right for everyone, so I’m going to help you discover what’s right for you. And we’ll go at your pace. That’s the pace that respects your emotional needs, your boundaries, and your nervous system. Because going too fast can send you into shutdown while going too slow can be infuriating and exhausting. The goal is to find what’s right for you.

I work with clients who are motivated to explore many different areas of sexuality including things like expressing your sexual desires to current or future partners, exploring if you might be queer, challenging body image insecurity in sexual relationships, dipping your toes into BDSM, exploring consensual non-monogamy, learning to date after a long time out of the dating pool, exploring your sexuality for later in life virgins, and so much more. I want you to have a deeply fulfilling intimate life. And together, we can help you get there. For more information and to schedule your discovery call, visit www.leahcarey.com/coaching. That’s www.leahcarey.com/coaching.

[MUSIC]

LEAH: I should say here I do not have an experience of asexuality. So, it’s quite possible that I’m going to say something that is widely wrong or even offensive. And if I do, I hope that you’ll correct me. Is that okay with you?

KRISTEN: Yeah.

LEAH: Yeah, okay. I think that one of the assumptions that might happen for people because I know that this happens with lesbians is, “You were somehow damaged in your youth by a man and so that has caused you to become a lesbian. There’s no such thing as actual lesbians. It’s just damaged heterosexual people.”

KRISTEN: Right, I have heard that.

LEAH: I wonder if that might be the same for people who are asexual? Is there a narrative that says, “Maybe you were damaged around sex as a young child and so that’s why you don’t want to have sex now?”

KRISTEN: I have heard that narrative. It’s not true for me personally. But I have heard a lot of other asexual people who around on Twitter, and then also if you go, there’s an organization called Asexuality Visibility and Education Network or AVEN, they have a message board forum. You go in and that is a very common narrative that you hear is, “You’re just not interested in sex. You’re not interested in dating,” however, your story goes. And people are just like, “That’s because you had a bad experience. You just need to go back out there and get laid essentially.”

LEAH: Yeah, let me give you the good experience so that I can change your mind.

[LAUGHTER]

KRISTEN: Yeah. It goes with the idea of like, “You never had a real man and that’s why you’re a lesbian. You never had real sex and that’s why you’re ace.”

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Yeah, exactly. So, that’s why I thought it was so interesting when you said you had a non-consensual experience. I have to admit that my immediate thought was I wonder if it was as a child. And that’s on me. I apologize for that.

KRISTEN: You’re fine.

LEAH: I’m just struck by how immediately my brain went to that assumption. So, there is asexuality or ace, and then there is aromanticism or aro and I’m curious for you. First of all, let’s do a little education. Would you like to explain what the difference between ace and aro is?

KRISTEN: More definitions, yay!

LEAH: Yes.

[LAUGHTER]

KRISTEN: I get it at books. I love definitions.

[LAUGHTER]

KRISTEN: Yeah. So, asexuality is the lack of sexual attraction to others, however varying levels that may take. Aromanticism or aromantics, aros, you don’t feel romantic attraction to other people. So, there are some people who are aromantic, but they’re not asexual which is confusing to a lot of people. I think a lot of people will conflate sexual and romantic attraction together like, “I’m romantically attracted. I want to sleep with you,” when there are asexual people who are completely happy having romantic relationships just minus the physical.

LEAH: So, there are asexual people who enjoy romantic relationships and there are aromantic people who enjoy sexual relationships. But they don’t necessarily all have to happen in the same container, which I think is really confusing, like you said, for a lot of people. Because they’ll look at someone who is aromantic and see them having sexual encounters and be like, “That’s just unethical.”

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: “You’re just out there being slutty.” And then, they’ll look at asexual people and think, “How could you ever have a relationship? What does a relationship even look like if it doesn’t have sex?”

KRISTEN: Right. And then, it’s conflated even more. You have asexual people who will still have sex because it’s fun or it feels good or their partner is allosexual which is the opposite of asexual. And so, they want to make their partner happy. You remember those diagrams that they show you, so basic genetics in science class and they have like these chromosomes went across the top from one partner and the chromosomes form the other partner go across the side and here are the potential mixes. That’s how I see it.

LEAH: Yeah. So, where do you identify on the romantic scale? Do you identify as aromantic or would you like to have a romantic relationship?

KRISTEN: I am open to the possibility of a romantic relationship. Like you and I were talking before we started recording, this is something I’ve been working through, but for now, I’m seeing myself as demiromantic which means I’m interested in a romantic relationship once I get to know the person and that emotional friendship bond is already there. Some people would just call me very hesitant.

[LAUGHTER]

KRISTEN: There have been very few, but there are guys that I’ve had a crush on. And so, I would also accept the label as heteroromantic. I’m not interested in girls that way. Like I’ve said, I’ve literally no experience in any of this.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: So, if you try to project your brain into what a romantic asexual relationship might look like for you, what does it include? Does it include cuddling? Does it include kissing? Does it potentially include sex, just not the way that many of us would think of it?

KRISTEN: For me, the perfect date is the most literal translation of Netflix and chill you can think of.

[LAUGHTER]

KRISTEN: It’s literally I am the happiest sitting on the couch, curled up, blanket, watching Sherlock.

LEAH: Yeah. Do you enjoy physical touch with other people?

KRISTEN: I do.

LEAH: So, cuddling is good?

KRISTEN: Very much on the table. Hugs are amazing. The last few years, I’ve been miserable, but yeah.

LEAH: And what about the idea of kissing someone or a light make out session? Does that hold any desirability for you or no?

KRISTEN: Not opposed at the moment and for no other reason than again, it’s something I’ve never experienced and I’d like to know what it’s like. So, it’s on the table. I would not discount it.

LEAH: When you see a scene on TV or in a movie where characters are having a heavy make out session, does that prompt any feelings in you?

KRISTEN: Ew.

[LAUGHTER]

KRISTEN: There’s this line in Princess Diaries where Mia is watching the other guy she has a crush on kissing his girlfriend and her friend Lilly is like, “What? Haven’t you seen two people exchange saliva before?”

[LAUGHTER]

KRISTEN: I’m sure they’re enjoying it, but cool. That’s all I see.

LEAH: Yeah, wow. So, how much have you talked with your parents about all of this?

KRISTEN: I’ve tried probing it with my mother and I think she conflated asexuality with celibacy or with abstinence. She’s like, “Are you asexual or is it you just haven’t had experience?” which to a point is a valid point, but at the same time, I don’t have to practice to know I don’t want to do that. I don’t have to have sex to know that I’m not sexually attracted to people.

LEAH: Yeah. Do you have any of that conversation from your parents about, “When are you going to give us grandchildren or when are you going to get married?” Is that pressure that you get from friends or family?

KRISTEN: Not really. I have talked to my parents and especially my mom about the idea. I asked her once, I think this was a couple years ago, I said, “Do you feel like I’m cheating you by not having kids?” I have told her I do not want children and that’s something I’ve known since high school. And she said, yeah, she thinks the idea of being a grandma is great, but she doesn’t want me to have a kid because I think she wants me to have a kid, which is a huge relief.

She said, “I want you to have a child because you want to have a child,” which is huge. I really do appreciate that and I really appreciate having that conversation with her. It’s not a conversation that’s easy to have with your mom, at least not for me. And I love my parents. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I think they’re not safe places, I’m just not sure how that conversation would go.

LEAH: I think about having the conversation with my mom about not wanting children because I never wanted kids and I was my mom’s only child. And her response was, “I don’t really care. All I want is for you to be happy.” And that was, like you said, such a relief and such a weight off, but then I also was so frustrated by the friends who would have kids and then be like, “You’re going to be such a great mother and you just don’t even know you want to be a mother until you have one. And then, it’s going to be amazing and you’re going to love them.” And I was like, “I don’t want kids.” And that is a valid choice too.

[LAUGHTER]

KRISTEN: Yeah. I do love kids. I do. I have friends who have kids. I will kill for those children. I adore them. I also like giving them back to mom and dad. I’ve been visiting a new church recently and I asked them very specifically, “Where are places that I’d be able to serve should I end up coming here a little bit more permanently?” And I said, “Please do not say children and ministry. I like kids, I’m not necessarily very good with them and I very much like giving them back, so I would prefer to work somewhere else.”

[LAUGHTER]

KRISTEN: I remember one time I was holding my friend’s one-month-old daughter and everybody at church was like, “Oh my gosh, you look so natural with a baby. Just wait until you have one.” Same thing, I’m just like, “I don’t want to have kids.” Why would I have a child, potentially fuck that child up for life, to find I don’t want to have kids after all? I’m not going to screw someone’s life up like that.

LEAH: Exactly.

[LAUGHTER]

[MUSIC]

LEAH: Friends, if you love these conversations, I would love your help to keep them going. There are three ways you can participate. Two are free and one is for listeners who’ve got a few extra dollars each month.

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And number three, if you have the resources to support the sex positive work I do, I’d be grateful for your support at Patreon. Donating the equivalent of a fancy cup of coffee each month might not make a big difference to you, but it makes a huge difference to me. There’s absolutely no contract or obligation. You can cancel it anytime, plus I donate 10% of all proceeds to ARC-Southeast, an organization that supports women in the Southeast United States to access reproductive services that are currently being legislated out of existence. It’s easy to become a patron at www.patreon.com/goodgirlstalkaboutsex.

And one more thing, there is a treasure trove of additional audio at Patreon that’s free to everyone. You don’t even need to have a Patreon account to access them. Just go to www.patreon.com/goodgirlstalkaboutsex to start listening. I appreciate every one of you, whether you’re a client, a patron, a social media follower or a silent listener. I trust you to know what’s right for you. Thank you for being here. Now, let’s get back to the show.

[MUSIC]

LEAH: What is your relationship with your body like? And I ask this from the point of view that many of us who were brought up as little girls were brought up to very much care how other people saw our bodies because we were meant to be sexual objects. If you did not see yourself as a sexual object or the object of sexual interest, how did that affect your relationship with how you see your body?

KRISTEN: Oh my gosh. I’m not entirely sure how I ever saw my relationship with my body. It was there. I think my entire life has always been like I need to lose some weight, but it was never that much of a huge priority. I never had an ideal weight or size or figure type. I like eating too much.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: And we were saying before we started recording that you were a fan of the baked goods.

[LAUGHTER]

KRISTEN: Very much. I have bread rising right now.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Awesome. And the flip side of that is certainly there have been people who have been attracted to you because that’s just the way the world works. When people are attracted to you, are you aware of it and how does it make you feel?

KRISTEN: If they were, they didn’t tell me.

[LAUGHTER]

KRISTEN: Yeah. If anybody ever tried to flirt with me, I was completely oblivious. I don’t know. The only time I’ve ever had a guy flat out say he was attracted was five years after the fact when he was calling me an idiot for believing in God, which you can imagine is a massive turnoff.

LEAH: Unfortunate, yeah. So, it is so not a part of the world for you that you are not even aware when other people are thinking in that way, yeah.

KRISTEN: Pretty much. They’ll be like, “Go over and just flirt with that guy if you like him.” I don’t know how. I can go over. I’ll be friendly. I’ll be polite. I don’t know how to flirt. I just think it’s a lost cause.

[LAUGHTER]

KRISTEN: If I wasn’t allergic to cats, I’d be that crazy cat lady.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: So, I’m at the end of the questions that I know to ask. But I want to open the floor to you to say what do you wish I were asking? What would you like allosexual people to know?

KRISTEN: We’re not broken. You don’t need to fix us. Just because someone says they’re ace or asex or however you want to phrase it, it doesn’t mean we’re not interested. At the very least, we’re probably interested in friendship. Be our friends. Support us. And especially if they can to people in the church who they have this expectation a lot of times, you’ll be married by the time you’re 25. If you’re single past that, what’s wrong with you?

We serve a single savior. Jesus never got married. The guy we like to quote from the Bible most is Paul. He was single and encouraged people to stay single. So, it frustrates me the most when completely look past the single population regardless of whether or not they’re single because they’re asexual or single because of other reasons.

For me, it’s like I’m here. I’m single. If I’m identifying as asexual, it also means I’m queer. And I’ve spent my entire lifetime to care about my own place in the church regardless of whichever church I’ve been going to. And I’m fine with that. I’m used to it, not everybody is. If we’re willing to serve a single savior, then what’s keeping us from accepting the single people in our lives and saying, “Yes, you are whole. You are valid. You are seen.” Just let us be your friend.

LEAH: Yeah, I love that. Are you open with people in your church about your asexuality?

KRISTEN: I’ve been church hopping for the last several months if I’m honest. And one of the reasons I did leave the last church I was attending is because comments were made, things were done that showed me that that church was not a safe place for anybody in the LGBTQ community.

I was actually talking with a friend one Sunday before service and I was telling him about a conversation I had had with somebody on the asexuality forums. Somebody else comes walking in literally no like, “Excuse me or I couldn’t help but hear,” but walks over, says, “Homosexuals wont be in heaven. You know that, right?” and walks away.

And I’m just like, “What the freak just happened?” One, it’s not even what we were talking about. Two, ballsy of you to just walk into a conversation and do that. And it was like if these things were that openly, what else is happening here? And what is happening in that is causing this place to not be a safe place. I have friends who are gay, lesbian, trans, every letter. If I don’t feel like I can bring them to a church, that’s not a good church. That was one of my reasons to leave that church, but I’ve been open with certain people. It’s a judgment call.

LEAH: Yeah. What else would you like to say about asexuality? What other things? What other stories do I not know how to ask about because I don’t even know that they’re there?

KRISTEN: Even I wouldn’t consider myself an asexual advocate. I completely am ace and I’m willing to talk about it. There are people on Twitter who are very much advocates for the asexual community and they can tell you far more than I could about asexuality and I’m just here. If you have questions, ask. I think the ace community is at the point, we don’t care. The fact that you’re asking shows us you care. And so, just ask questions. Don’t make assumptions. There are resources out there, if you have questions.

LEAH: So, you have mentioned that there is an asexual Twitter and if there are people who are listening to this who are thinking, “I’m hearing some things that I identify with,” what are some of the hashtags or the people who you would consider following or searching for on Twitter?

KRISTEN: The easiest way is just #asexuality. That’s the most frequently used one. Particularly for people who might be Christian and thinking they’re ace, my friend, Jenna DeWitt, is a fantastic resource for this. So, she has a whole resources list that you can check out. I’ve used it myself. She’s aro ace, aromantic asexual. So, one link I use for when I started looking for a new church, there’s this whole website that will tell you if churches in your area are LGBT affirming or not, links on what asexuality is, stories from ace people. It’s calculated that we make up approximately 1% of the population. 1% is still millions of people, so there’s a lot of us. Yeeha, she’s a fantastic resource.

Other advocates I follow is her name is Elle, I think her Twitter handle is like @scretladyspider or something like that. She does a lot of writing. She does a lot of articles out there about asexuality. Really good stuff out there. And then, the ultimate one I can always use is www.asexuality.org. It was founded back in 2001, I think. The founder is asexual. He started forums with other ace people who could gather online and just have places of support.

Like I said, there’s a message board there. I joined this particular board. It’s literally like, hey, if you’re willing to open your DMs and just chat with people, you don’t have to talk about asexuality. Just people looking for other ace friends. And you can start up a conversation with somebody and get to know somebody who you know they’re probably not looking to hook up. So, that’s a really great resource. They have articles, message boards. They have videos, educational resources, so much stuff there.

LEAH: Are you familiar with relationships between ace people and allo people that are working? Is that a thing that happens?

KRISTEN: It is. I have heard of it. I don’t necessarily have any firsthand experience in it. I have heard stories of it happening.

LEAH: And this is just a guess, I imagine that there might be some level of openness in those relationships so that the allosexual person is getting their sexual needs met outside of that dynamic.

KRISTEN: Right. It could be that. Also, like I said, some asexual people do have a sex drive. And yeah, this is fun. I feel good. Let’s do it anyway. So, I would imagine a relationship like that, like any relationship, it requires communication and openness and honesty and just being like, “Look, I am not attracted to you in this way. I will probably never be attracted to you in this way. If you’re cool with that, let’s go.”

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Yeah, okay. So, I will make sure that all those resources you just mentioned are in the show notes. Do you want to share your Twitter handle with people so they can find you?

KRISTEN: Sure. It’s @krtalls, as in the opposite of short, K-R-T-A-L-L-S. Typically, my name, I’m not original.

[LAUGHTER]

LEAH: Okay, terrific. Kristen, thank you so much for having this conversation with me. I really appreciate you.

KRISTEN: You too. I appreciate you reaching out.

[MUSIC]

LEAH: That’s it for today. If you’re enjoying this show, please take a moment to leave a 5-star rating and review on Apple Podcasts or if you’re using another podcast app, go to www.ratethispodcast.com/goodgirls. And remember, there is a treasure trove of audio extras available for free at Patreon. Go to www.patreon.com/goodgirlstalkaboutsex. While listening to those extras is free, producing this show is not.

If my work is meaningful to you and you have a few dollars to support it each month, I will gratefully accept your patronage at Patreon. I donate 10% of all Patreon proceeds to ARC-Southeast, an organization that supports women in the Southeast United States to access reproductive services that are increasingly difficult to obtain. Find out more and become a community member at www.patreon.com/goodgirlstalkaboutsex. Show notes and transcripts for this episode are at www.goodgirls.com. Follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube @goodgirlstalk for more sex positive content. If you have a question or comment about anything you’ve heard ont his show, call and leave a message at 720-GOOD-SEX.

Good Girls Talk About Sex is produced by me, Leah Carey, and edited by Gretchen Kilby. I have additional administrative support from Lara O’Connor and Maria Franco. Transcripts are produced by Jan Acielo.

Before we go, I want to remind you that the things you may have heard about your sexuality aren’t true. You are worthy. You are desirable. You are not broken. As your sex and intimacy coach, I will guide you in embracing the sexuality that is innately yours, no matter what it looks like. To set up your free discovery call, go to www.leahcarey.com/coaching. Until next time, here’s to your better sex life!

[MUSIC]

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I’ve done this because not everyone has the means to pay for access, and I know this additional material can be deeply important for some listeners. But creating this show isn’t free, so if you’d like to support the work I do, I am grateful for your contributions at www.patreon.com/goodgirlstalkaboutsex.

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Notable quotables

Sexual desire never made sense to me. And that was even before I even had the word #asexuality to describe it.

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Growing up, I never saw myself getting married. I thought about the job I’d have and where I’d be living. Marriage wasn’t a priority.

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It's like, "You never had real sex and that's why you're #asexual." Sort of like, "You never had a real man and that's why you're a lesbian."

𝘎𝘰𝘰𝘥 𝘎𝘪𝘳𝘭𝘴 𝘛𝘢𝘭𝘬 𝘈𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘚𝘦𝘹 podcast Click to Tweet
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There are #asexual people who are completely happy having romantic relationships just minus the physical.

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Asexual people aren’t broken. You don't need to fix us. #asexuality

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Just because someone says they're #asexual, it doesn't mean we're not interested. At the very least, we're probably interested in friendship.

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Asexual people make up approximately 1% of the population. 1% is still millions. There's a lot of us. #asexuality

𝘎𝘰𝘰𝘥 𝘎𝘪𝘳𝘭𝘴 𝘛𝘢𝘭𝘬 𝘈𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘚𝘦𝘹 podcast Click to Tweet

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