demisexual

My Identity is Not an Umbrella Term.

“Asexual” is not an umbrella term.

“Aromantic” is not an umbrella term.

“Ace” is not an umbrella term.

“Aro” is not an umbrella term.

A demisexual is not an asexual. A gray-asexual is not an asexual.

A demiromantic is not an aromantic. A gray-romantic is not an aromantic.

“Ace” is short for “asexual,” not for demisexual or gray-asexual.

“Aro” is short for “aromantic,” not for demiromantic or gray-romantic.

If you are not asexual, you have no right to call yourself by the terms “asexual” or “ace.”

If you are not aromantic, you have no right to call to yourself by the terms “aromantic” or “aro.”

It’s apparently popular online, particularly on that blue hellscape called Tumblr, for demis and grays to go around calling themselves “ace” or “aro,” and sometimes even “asexual” or “aromantic,” and defend this usage with the bullshit argument that “asexuality and aromanticism are spectrums and I’m on the spectrum and ace/aro are shorthand for the whole spectrum, so I can call myself ace or aro even though I’m not!”

I have no idea when this got started, but it needs to stop. It’s bad enough that we can’t even fucking agree on a definition of asexuality or aromanticism, as a collective group of aces and aros, and now we have to put up with demis and grays falsely identifying themselves as ace and aro?

There is not a single good defense for this. Not one. If demis and grays want to try telling me with a straight face that calling themselves asexual or aromantic is “more convenient” for them, all I have to say is that my identity is not here for your convenience. And the problems you create for me and other asexuals and aromantics by using our identities falsely are never, ever an acceptable price for us to pay–us, not you–for the sake of your convenience.

And here’s the other thing that nobody seems to want to acknowledge: if you’re demi or gray, you have another orientation, the one that actually describes who you’re attracted to. You’re straight or gay or bi. Which is why it’s fucking outrageous that you would go around calling yourself asexual or aromantic, because we–the real asexuals and aromantics–are not straight or gay or bi, sexually or romantically, and those of us who are both asexual and aromantic are completely and utterly devoid of the attraction you do experience. Which is the fucking point of the asexual and aromantic identities.

If you don’t want to publicly identify yourself as demi- or gray-, guess what? You can identify as straight or gay or bi, because that’s what you are. And the only people that need to know the details of your sexual or romantic attraction patterns, are the people you actually get involved with sexually or romantically.

And I know you’re going to whine and cry about how you don’t want the world to think you’re alloromantic or allosexual if you’re not and you also don’t want to just tell the truth about being demi or gray because people might make fun of you or blow you off or whatever. But that is not my problem, as an aromantic asexual who already needs to defend the validity of my orientation to allo* people who are predisposed to believe that all human beings want sex and romance at some point in life. If you’re demi- or gray- and you don’t want to actually have sex or date anyone, you can say “No” to people who come onto you. You don’t have to defend the “no” by coming out as demi- or gray-, and you sure as hell don’t get to falsely call yourself ace or aro instead. My identities are not “get out of sex and romance free” cards. And unless you live under a rock, you should know that allo* people do in fact turn down sex and romance when they’re not interested and expect to have that choice respected, despite not being demi- or gray- or ace/aro.

Demis and grays appropriating the asexual and aromantic identities has the same effect as people constantly reminding the world that asexuals can still have sex or that aromantics can still date: it gives allo* people the impression that they can, in fact, get what they want out of us. But the overwhelming majority of asexuals–actual asexual people who never experience sexual attraction or an involuntary desire for partnered sex–do NOT want to fuck anyone, in any context, and the overwhelming majority of aromantics–actual aromantic people who never experience romantic attraction or an innate need for romantic relationships–do NOT want to be romantically coupled and will not be comfortable if they are. And all of you demis and grays who don’t want to admit that you’re demi or gray, to others or to yourselves, make it that much harder for aces and aros to establish their natural boundaries and stand firm in them.

A demi or gray pretending to be ace or aro in between attractions or sex or romantic relationships, who then explains the attraction or sex or romance when it happens by saying that “Some aces can want sex and some aros can feel romantic feelings!” is being fucking duplicitous and disrespectful to asexuals and aromantics, not to mention incredibly inconsiderate. You are not ace, you are not aro, you are demi- or gray-, and that’s fine. If you got hangups about being demi or gray, that’s on you to work out; it is not on aces or aros to give up our identities for you to use. Especially when you are, in fact, straight or gay or bi, and your demi or gray identity describes how you experience attraction, not who you experience it toward.

I’ve heard about bisexuals calling themselves “gay” as if “gay” is an umbrella term too, and actual gay men and lesbians have made it clear several times that this is fucked up and unacceptable. “Gay” is not an umbrella term. If you are an aromantic asexual, like me, do NOT call yourself gay. If you’re a biromantic ace, you don’t get to call yourself gay. A bisexual is not a homosexual. “Gay” and “lesbian” are words denoting homosexuality. Bisexuals, biromantics, aromantic asexuals, and obviously straight people have no right whatsoever to use those identity terms. Period. If bisexuals and biromantics take issue with their own erasure in society, they can fight it by not pretending to be or calling themselves “gay.” Bi people calling themselves gay is harmful to real gay people, and that should be more than enough of a reason for you to not do it.

Maybe all this umbrella term bullshit comes from the word “queer,” which is used as an umbrella term and which is conceptualized by a lot of young people as a category that includes anyone who experiences same-sex attraction and/or who is trans. I don’t know and I don’t care. But gay, lesbian, ace, and aro are not umbrella terms. They have never been umbrella terms, and they never will be as far as actual gay, lesbian, asexual, and aromantic people are concerned.

I don’t give a single fuck what bisexuals, demis, or grays have to say about this. It is not their place to decide. They do not get to talk over gay men, lesbians, asexuals, and aromantics. Our identities belong to us. If we tell you that we’ve got a problem with you falsely labeling yourself using our identities, you need to listen.

While we’re here, let me tell you how I define asexuality and aromanticism, so that you know how those terms and their derivatives are being used on this blog.

Asexual – someone who does not experience sexual attraction or an involuntary desire for partnered sex (which cannot be satisfied with masturbation)

Aromantic – someone who does not experience romantic attraction or an innate need for romantic relationships that cannot be satisfied by any other kind of relationship

Someone who fits these definitions but who has a sex drive or masturbates or has participated in sex for an external reason or who has dated for non-romantic reasons is still asexual or aromantic. What makes someone ace or aro is a complete lack of attraction to others and a lack of internal, involuntary need for sex or romance, a need which is independent of other people’s desires or expectations. Basically, being asexual or aromantic means that you don’t have the desires or the feelings that an allosexual or alloromantic person has–which should be pretty fucking obvious, but there are enough aces, gray-aces, and demisexuals, aros, gray-ros, and demiromantics who think that the definitions of “asexuality” and “aromanticism” should be as vague and broad as possible, to the point of meaninglessness. And considering most of them fail to articulate what “sexual attraction” and “romantic attraction” are and refuse to take anything that allos* say about the matter into account, this attitude is a logical result.

Anyone who experiences attraction but not a need for partnered sex is gray. Anyone who experiences desire for partnered sex but not attraction is gray. Anyone who experiences attraction but not a need for romantic relationships (or who is repulsed by romantic relationships) is gray. Anyone who experiences desire for romantic relationships but not attraction is gray. The gray category covers a lot of different experiences, as I’m sure the allo- category covers a lot of different experiences. There is nothing wrong with being gray, and being gray is not less valid or real than being ace or aro.

 

I’m not going to waste my time trying to convince the online ace, aro, gray, and demi populations to adopt my definitions. You want to define these terms some other way, be my guest. But this is my understanding of asexuality and aromanticism, these are the definitions I use on this blog, and these are the definitions by which I understand whether other people are really asexual or aromantic. Sometimes, I’m of a mind to coin new terms that specifically apply to people who are asexual and aromantic, based on my definitions, because I’m fucking tired of seeing people who experience either attraction or desire insisting that they are ace or aro, on the grounds that words don’t have to mean anything or convey any useful or specific information or that words mean whatever the fuck anyone anywhere at anytime wants them to mean, nothing is real, PoMo bullshit blah blah blah. If I do think of some good alternative labels, I’ll post them. I, for one, want to be able to call myself something that clearly communicates to other human beings what I am, and I want to be able to find others like me as easily as possible. I should not have to specify that I don’t want to fuck or date every time I come out as aromantic asexual, and I should not have to wonder whether someone I meet who calls themselves aro or ace is in fact someone who never experiences attraction or desire for partnered sex/romance.  So new terms may be in order.

The Asexual and Aromantic Identity Spectrums Don’t Make Sense

Within the last couple years, people wise to asexuality and aromanticism started using the terms “ace” and “aro” as shorthand umbrella labels for any and all identities that exist on the “asexual spectrum” and “aromantic spectrum.” You can be demisexual or gray-asexual, demiromantic or grayromantic, and yet call yourself ace or aro whenever you feel like it. You can talk about “aces” and “aros” when you really mean everybody and anybody on the spectrum, as if being asexual is the same thing as being demisexual or gray-asexual or being aromantic is the same thing as being demiromantic or gray-romantic.

I hate it. I think it must be a Tumblr thing, and it must’ve started with younger people who showed up on the ace and aro scene after I left a lot of those spaces. I know not everyone does it—I don’t think I’ve noticed it as a consistent practice amongst my contemporaries who have been blogging and participating in the online communities as long as I have—but it seems to be popular enough now that I may be out of step with conversations about “aces” and “aros” more often than not.

It’s got me thinking about the idea of these spectrums, though, because as far as I’m concerned, you are not ace or aro if you’re demisexual, grayasexual, demiromantic, or grayromantic. If you’re demi, you’re demi, and if you’re gray, you’re gray. These different identity terms exist for a reason: they describe different experiences. If we’re going to define asexuality and aromanticism as “not experiencing sexual/romantic attraction,” does it make any fucking sense to go around talking as if demis and grays, who do experience attraction, are the same as aces and aros? No. It doesn’t.

This language problem is really just a reflection of what was already a problematic organization of non-allo identities into these asexual and aromantic “spectrums.” Demisexuality and gray-asexuality have been around for as long as I can remember, and I’ve been active in online asexual communities for going on 10 years. But we didn’t always frame asexuality, demisexuality, and gray-asexuality as a “spectrum.” Demiromanticism and grayromanticism are, if I’m not mistaken, younger concepts than demisexuality and gray-asexuality, but again—originally, there was no “aromantic spectrum,” only an acknowledgment that demi- and gray-romanticism were experiences that had much in common with aromanticism. Somewhere along the line, when I wasn’t looking, people started thinking of asexuality and aromanticism as “spectrums,” on which demi- and gray- identities fall, and without any real critical thinking that I can find, that view gained popularity and is pretty much just accepted now without question.

I don’t agree with the spectrum model, any more than I agree with using “ace” and “aro” as umbrella terms for every non-allo identity there is. Let me explain why.

Whether we’re talking about sexual orientation or romantic orientation, hetero-, homo-, bi-, pan-, and a- describe WHO a person is attracted to.

But demi- and gray- identities (which can include lith-, fray-, quoi-, etc) describe HOW a person experiences attraction. A demi- or a gray- is also straight or gay or bi or pan. They have two identities, technically, although they can choose to publicly identify as only one.

How much sense does it make to create these spectrums of asexuality and aromanticism, when the identities grouped in the spectrums are actually based on two totally different aspects of attraction? If you’re going to create any kind of “spectrum” to describe HOW people experience the attraction that they experience, doesn’t it make a whole lot more sense to group all the people who DO experience a specific type of attraction together?

I’m sure that defenders of the asexual and aromantic spectrums as they’re currently conceptualized could make the argument that asexuality and aromanticism are also about the HOW of attraction, as much as they are about the WHO, but I can’t imagine an argument for that idea that holds water. It’s redundant to say that asexuality and aromanticism are about both WHO and HOW one experiences sexual or romantic attraction. Arguing that they’re based on both looks like this:

Who are asexuals and aromantics attracted to?

No one.

How are they attracted to “no one”?

They’re not.

It’s pointless. On a basic logic level, it doesn’t make any sense to follow the first question and answer with the second. All you need to know is that asexuals and aromantics aren’t attracted to anyone (sexually or romantically). There is no “HOW” because there is no WHO. HOW a person experiences attraction is only relevant if they actually experience attraction.

Thus far, demisexuality, gray-asexuality, demiromanticism, and gray-romanticism have been attached to asexuality and aromanticism on these spectrum models for two reasons that I can see:

1. It’s easier and, for many people, intuitive to group together all the different experiences of sexual and romantic attraction that don’t fit into the dominant categories of allosexuality and alloromanticism, so that you have only two groups of people to think about: who’s allo- and who’s not. In other words, the idea of an asexual spectrum or an aromantic spectrum is based on a negative: on what people are NOT. If you’re not allo-, then you’re on this asexual or aromantic spectrum.

This is like categorizing colors by saying that there is “blue” and there’s every color that is not blue. “Not blue” includes red and green, but the only thing they have in common is that neither one of them is blue. Red and green are not shades of each other. They are not the same color. They each have their own shades, their own sub-colors. It doesn’t make any sense to say that red and green are the same or even closely related, unless you only care that neither one is blue.

2. People make the mistake of thinking that because demisexuality and gray-asexuality are both experiences of attraction and desire that often include a lack or absence of said attraction and desire, that they are logical and natural extensions of asexuality. (The same goes for demi-, gray-, and aromanticism.) But this can only be true if we think of asexuality and aromanticism as “not experiencing sexual/romantic attraction,” without accounting for the objects of that missing attraction. Making asexuality and aromanticism purely about HOW attraction is experienced. Which again, doesn’t make any sense whatsoever because attraction can’t exist without an object in the first place. Asexuality and aromanticism are not about HOW one experiences attraction but about WHO asexuals and aromantics are attracted to: nobody. That demis and grays do experience attraction to other people, sometimes with enough regularity to warrant a specific sexual or romantic orientation, should make it clear that demi- and gray- orientations are not variations of asexuality and aromanticism.

If demi- and gray- orientations are going to be attached to one of the poles of attraction (a- vs. allo-), it would actually make a lot more sense to say that they are extensions of allosexuality and alloromanticism, not asexuality and aromanticism. Why?

1. As I already said, demi’s and gray’s have other identities that describe WHO they are attracted to, when they’re attracted. They, like allos, are straight or gay or bi or pan or queer. They share with allos something that asexuals and aromantics never experience: sexual or romantic attraction. That they experience it differently, often quite differently, doesn’t negate the fact that they DO experience it. Asexuals and aromantics don’t, at all. If you ask me, there’s a big difference between “rarely” or “sometimes” and “never.”

When a demi- or gray- person DOES experience sexual or romantic attraction, there may be no difference whatsoever between their experience and that of an allo- who is also experiencing attraction to a particular person. The difference between a demi- or a gray- who wants to have sex with somebody or who’s in love with someone and an allo- person who wants to have sex with somebody or who’s in love with someone is HOW they arrived at that point or HOW often they have the experience, not what they’re actually feeling.

2. There is enough variation in how allos experience sexual and romantic attraction that if we were to examine the full range of their attraction and desire patterns, especially throughout adulthood instead of during just one phase of it, we would see that there’s enough similarity between how some allos experience their attractions and how demis and grays experience it, that the demis and grays actually have much more in common with those allos than they do with asexuals and aromantics. One could make the argument that a lot of demis and grays go through periods where they don’t experience attraction at all, to anyone, in which case they are identical to asexuals and aromantics at that time. But there are also allos who, if they’re in between romantic/sexual partners and don’t have anyone around that they’re interested in, don’t feel sexual or romantic attraction either. This doesn’t make them less allo-. This just means that they are not, at the moment, attracted to anybody. Being allo- doesn’t mean that you’re in a constant state of sexual or romantic attraction, any more than it means you’re in a constant state of sexual activity or romantic relationship.

That being said, I don’t think it’s necessary for demi- and gray- identities to be part of a spectrum of allosexuality and alloromanticism, any more than it’s necessary to attach them to asexuality and aromanticism. I think that demi- and gray- and their related expressions can stand on their own, as a third category. That would probably make the most sense, considering that these experiences of attraction are literally a kind of middle-ground between a- and allo-, a kind of blending of the two poles. (Thus, the “gray.”) Personally, I think of demi- and gray- folks as being in their own, third category. But if, for some reason, the masses are hot to make demi- and gray- identities a part of either the a- or allo- category, I say that it makes more sense to go with the allo-.

Please understand that I am NOT denying the legitimacy or the necessity of demi- and gray- identities here. They are real, and they are valid. The labels themselves are necessary. Demis and grays are NOT allos. I’m just pointing out that grouping the demi- and gray- identities with asexuality and aromanticism, to create these ace and aro spectrums, is a flawed and problematic practice. I understand that demi- and gray- experiences were originally given voice and recognition through the asexual and aromantic communities, through dialogues had in those communities, and I understand also that some demis and grays feel far more kinship with aces and aros than they do with allos. I know that some demis and grays lean closer to the allo- pole of attraction, while others lean closer to the a- pole. That’s why I personally tend to think of demis and grays as neither part of an asexual spectrum categorically nor part of the allo- population categorically. There is enough variation within demi- and gray- experiences that grouping all of them with aces and aros or all of them with allos- doesn’t work well.

Eliminating the “asexual spectrum” and “aromantic spectrum” model doesn’t mean that we dismiss the legitimacy of demi- and gray- identities or that we cut off demis and grays from the asexual and aromantic communities. It pretty much means we go back to the way things were originally, where demis and grays could be a part of ace and aro spaces and conversations as much or as little as they chose but where there is enough acknowledgment of the differences between demis, grays, and aces/aros that nobody lumps them all together into a singular group.

Clarification of Demisexuality and Gray-Asexuality

I’m suddenly in the mood to write a brief post offering clarity on those other sections of the asexual spectrum that I usually don’t write about because I’m totally ace. I hope this is helpful.

Demisexuality

People who are demisexual do not experience sexual attraction, unless it comes as a result of an emotional and/or romantic attachment. As always, the rate of their sexual attraction experience has nothing to do with their sex drive (which is the body’s craving for sexual stimulation or release) or the pattern of their romantic attractions or their sexual activity.

Some demisexuals can experience sexual attraction to people they’re emotional about but not romantically attracted to. As in: “I really care about my friend and all of a sudden, I’m feeling sexually attracted to them. But I don’t necessarily want to date them.”

Some demisexuals are capable of being sexually attracted to more than one person at a time: more than one friend, more than one romantic partner if they’re poly, a friend they really like and the person they’re dating, etc.

The actual frequency of sexual attraction for any given demisexual varies. The fact that their sexual attractions depend on a pre-existing emotional/romantic attachment doesn’t mean that every single emotional/romantic attachment they have results in sexual attraction. Please go back and read that again so you get it. There are probably demisexuals who DO experience sexual attraction to every person they’re romantically attached to, but there are also other demi’s who sometimes get the sexy component in romance and sometimes don’t.

What NEVER happens to a demisexual is sexual attraction/desire for someone they don’t know or aren’t close to. They are, effectively, asexual when interacting with strangers, acquaintances, even someone they’re casually dating but not close to yet, etc. They don’t sit there and sexually fantasize, get turned on by, or simply WANT sex with good-looking celebrities or the hot person at the store or their friend’s hot friend they’re meeting for the first time. They’re not going to feel sexual desire for someone they meet on a blind date, even if they do think that person is good-looking. They may even feel uncomfortable if strangers or people they don’t know well express sexual interest in them.

And the other thing is, the amount of time it takes a demisexual to develop sexual attraction to someone they are romantically attracted to also varies by person and by relationship. It’s not like a sexual attraction switch goes on the second a demi- becomes officially coupled to someone. It may take them weeks, months, a year or more. Even if the romantic feelings are in full swing.

Which also means that if a demi- is in a romantic relationship but hasn’t yet experienced sexual attraction to their partner, whether or not sex happens is quite possibly irrelevant to them. In the same way that it’s irrelevant to an asexual. A demisexual may agree to have sex with whoever they’re dating, sans sexual attraction, just because the other person wants it and the demi- is romantically attached to them…. But if it was totally up to the demi-, sex could be nonexistent in that relationship at that point (before their own sexual attraction/desire surfaces) and they would be 100% happy anyway.

Gray-Asexuality

There are a lot of possible expressions of this type of asexuality. Gray-A’s determine their identity by sexual attraction, sex drive, and attitudes toward having sex. A gray-a can be someone who:

  • does experience sexual attraction but has a very low sex drive or no sex drive at all
  • never or almost never experiences sexual attraction but does have a moderate to high sex drive (some of these individuals ID as gray and others just as ace)
  • rarely experiences sexual attraction and has a low or nonexistent sex drive
  • experiences sexual attraction rarely or sometimes but usually doesn’t care to pursue actual sex
  • experiences sexual attraction but is sex-repulsed
  • experiences sexual attraction only within a specific context and/or based on required elements

The point being, a gray-a is someone who’s more asexual than not, in comparison to the average allosexual person, even though the gray-a might experience sexual attraction.

Frequency of sexual attraction for gray-a’s can vary. Some might turn 30 and be able to count the number of times they’ve been sexually attracted to somebody on one hand. Some may experience sexual attraction more often than that but, as indicated above, rarely care enough to do something about it. A gray-a may be sexually attracted to a partner but not care if sex happens ever or feel satisfied by sex a few times a year.

A gray-a could be someone who never remotely bothers trying to access sex unless they’re already in a romantic relationship (because they don’t care), and if they’re single, sex has no influence over their interest or lack thereof in finding a romantic companion. A gray-a may be someone whose sexual attraction/desire exists only for a certain period of time of a romantic relationship’s duration and it has nothing to do with their romantic feelings. A gray-a might be someone who only experiences sexual attraction in connection to a kink they have (as in, when they’re in the middle of acting out a kink, they’re attracted to their partner, but the rest of time? Nope.) A gray-a might experience sexual attraction to specific person once or twice or for a certain period of time, but otherwise not feel it (even though it’s the same person and even if nothing about the connection changes).

A gray-a probably isn’t going to see sex as necessary to their happiness, to their romantic relationships, etc. Some of them could go years without sex and not care. Some of them could never have sex again and be cool with that. Some of them may really want sex on the rare (i.e. handful of times a year, few times in five-ten years, etc) occasions they feel attraction/desire but the rest of the time, the interest is totally absent.

A gray-a can strongly prefer celibacy, even if they’re the kind who occasionally experiences sexual attraction or even if they’re the kind with an active sex drive. There are a thousand reasons why they might have this preference. They may well be the type who’s uncomfortable, bored, or otherwise averse to sex whenever they’re not experiencing sexual attraction, which is most of the time. Or they could prefer to deal with their sex drive and/or sexual attraction to someone by masturbating instead of having sex with someone else.

Food Analogies to Explain Asexual Attitudes Toward Sex

 

The Sex-Indifferent Asexual (Who Has Sex Any Number of Times): 

So let’s say you go to a restaurant with your friends. Everybody orders: appetizer, soup or salad, entree. When the entrees have been eaten, your friends look at the dessert menu. You’re totally full and have no interest in dessert, so you don’t order it. Your friends do, and the dessert shows up. The person sitting next to you ordered double chocolate cheesecake, eats half or three-quarters of the piece, then says, “I’m full, and this is too rich. Here, you finish it.”

So there you are with this piece of double chocolate cheesecake. You aren’t hungry, you’re not particularly a fan of it, nor do you hate it. It looks like it probably tastes decent, if not good. So you decide, what the hell, I’ll try it. You eat the remaining chunk. It’s all right. You like it but you don’t love it. You ate it for the taste and because it was put in front of you, despite your total lack of hunger. You probably won’t order it in the future, of your own volition. If you never eat it again, you won’t give a shit. But it’s not the worst thing you’ve ever eaten. It actually wasn’t bad. You just aren’t enthusiastic about it enough to want it for its own sake. If you come back to this restaurant with your friends in the future and somebody orders the cheesecake and then offers you some again, you might eat it just because it’s offered to you or you might decline. Whatever.

Repulsed Asexual:

You go to a restaurant with friends. Somebody orders pork. You HATE pork. You can’t stand it. You absolutely refuse to touch it. Thinking about eating pork can sometimes make you nauseous. It doesn’t matter to you that your friend’s at the table eating it, you just can’t really understand how she likes it because you hate it so intensely. But as long as no one shoves it in your mouth against your will, you’re fine. You order what you like.

The Asexual Who Isn’t Quite Repulsed But Still Refuses to Have Sex for Other Reasons:

You decide to become a vegetarian because you feel strongly about animal rights, and eating meat doesn’t feel good to you, even though it tastes good. (Though it never tasted so good that you have a hard time cutting it out of your diet.) You don’t really care if your friends continue to eat meat, you don’t have any strong reaction to meat when you’re around it, you don’t hate it, you just feel better as a vegetarian. You feel better physically and emotionally. You know that it’s more difficult eating out as a vegetarian than it is as an omnivore, but you’re willing to deal with that because vegetarianism feels best to you.

Or maybe you’ve always been vegetarian. You grew up in a vegetarian home or you rejected meat as a kid for no apparent reason. You don’t know what meat even tastes like and you don’t care. You’re happy as a vegetarian. You feel no desire or curiosity to eat meat, though people tell you that it’s awesome. You figure it probably does taste awesome but you’re accustomed to your lifestyle as a vegetarian and the way you feel in your body and mind and heart based on that lifestyle choice. Being a vegetarian feels comfortable. So you stick to it.

Gray-Asexual (Who Either Occasionally Experiences Sexual Attraction or Sometimes Has a Libido):

You go to a restaurant with friends in June. On the menu, you see they have a seared tuna steak entree. You went through a phase a few years ago where you absolutely fucking loved seared tuna steak. You ate it all the time. Then you got over it and moved onto a different food. The menu description of this tuna steak sounds pretty awesome but you pick something else instead because you’re just not in the mood.

You come back to the same restaurant with friends in October. There’s that tuna steak again, and you sort of feel like eating it tonight. So you order it. It’s delicious. You enjoy it. You leave the restaurant satisfied but you don’t feel the need to eat that dish again anytime soon. You know it tastes good, but it isn’t your favorite thing. And you have to really be in the mood for it now. Doesn’t happen that often anymore but when it does, you’ll act on it if you happen to have access to a restaurant that serves seared tuna steak. If you don’t have access? Eh, no big deal. It’s not all that important to you.

Demisexual:

So you happen to really love cheeseburgers. But you’re sort of picky about it. You won’t eat them just anywhere. In fact, you have a favorite place that serves them, a place where you have a lot of cool memories because you’re a regular. You don’t want to eat burgers anywhere else, even if they taste just as good, because you really, really like the burgers at your place. And part of the reason why you like those burgers so much is because of the place itself. There’s a whole sort of personal mystique you’ve built around this restaurant. Maybe you could get a burger elsewhere that’s just as good or better, maybe there are awesome burgers out there that you don’t even know about, but it doesn’t matter to you. You’re attached to your place, so that’s where you go. You like the way you feel when you go to your place, and that’s part of what makes the experience good for you. And if you can’t go there, then you don’t feel particularly enthusiastic about eating burgers.

The Kinky Asexual Who Only Does Sexual Things in Connection to Their Kink:

You don’t like sushi except for this ONE roll, at this Japanese restaurant where you went with friends once and tried it because it looked interesting. You fucking love that roll. But just that roll. All other sushi doesn’t look very appetizing to you. So you’re not really a sushi eater, you’re someone who eats that special sushi roll when you can get it, and otherwise, you don’t give a shit about sushi.