In October, I enjoyed seeing my friends celebrate “Coming Out Day,” but I didn’t really think much of it. Mostly because I really don’t think about romantic love or sex at all, really, and that’s what I associate with sexual orientation. And that’s because, as I’ve mentioned before, I am asexual. I’m probably aromantic, too, because I just don’t do romance, period, and it tends to make me extremely uncomfortable. But I’ve never been loud or proud about it, because it just didn’t matter to me. It still doesn’t feel important to me, which I guess just kind of sums up asexuality – it’s all just, meh. Whatever. I’d rather talk about other things. But I guess I’ll talk about it now. It was fascinating and insightful to read about my LGBTQ+ friends’ stories and journeys, heartbreaking to learn of the backlash they’d faced from family and friends, and inspiring to see them flourishing now in the families they’ve built up around them. My story really isn’t much of an emotional roller coaster, it’s not going to inspire, and that’s okay. It doesn’t have to. But it might just provide a lot more context to how I view things socially and spiritually. Like my heathenry, my absolute disinterest in sex and romance are an ingrained part of me, and if it never came up in conversation before, then this will probably be a bit of a light bulb moment for some of you who know me. Things will click, and suddenly a lot of things about me will make sense.
Ironically, this may also confuse people who have known me for a long time. People who remember crushes I’ve had, people who know I’m not even remotely virginal. Yeah, I dated in the past. I’ve slept with a few guys, some within the context of exclusive relationships, some just one night stand type of deals. I’ve bemoaned in the past my “terminal single” status, because my lifestyle can be lonely at times, especially when I’m the only single person in my friend group. Societal pressure played into that, trying to fit in since everyone around me is obsessed with coupling of some sort or another, and also a bit of curiosity about what it was like to be in a relationship, with the occasional wonder about what it would be like to be in a healthy relationship. But honestly, it’s not my thing. Never really has been. And it’s not really something I’ve really given much reflection on until the past few years.
I’ve long joked that even as a child, I wasn’t into anything romantic; when other little girls were fantasizing about what kind of wedding dress they wanted, I fantasized about what kind of funeral I’d have. I never played house or played with dolls, never got into the prince charming narratives in Disney movies like my friends (having been raised on The Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson, those movies tended to piss me off because they weren’t nearly as creepy or bloody as the original tales. But hey, the music was pretty great). Didn’t date in high school, barely dated in college, and except for a really horrendous on again/off again something in my early 20s, I had one or two brief flings. As I’ve mentioned, I’ve had a handful of crushes over the years, but more for the novelty of it, I think. I have indeed gotten very discouraged and frustrated that all of my crushes have been of the unrequited variety, because of course I start to wonder what’s wrong with me that no one wants to spend time with me… but that’s the rub. Or at least, the lack thereof. I must just give off the “let’s hang out but don’t touch me” vibe, and since getting laid seems to be the general goal, my disinterest must be more pronounced than even I realize. My crushes are more of the, “they seem interesting, bet it would be fun to go on adventures with them” or “I bet they’d be the voice of reason when I’m shopping in the Halloween section of Target and won’t let me go into debt for plastic bat skeletons” variety. I want steady companionship, beyond the kind I enjoy with my friends, but not really the “we’re a couple” kind, either. Definitely not the “let’s cohabitate” variety, either. It’s hard to describe, but I have the feeling it’s understood regardless. Ya dig?
For most of my life, I didn’t know asexuality was A Thing. I dated, I slept with guys, and I genuinely tried to feel something other than clinical detachment and annoyance throughout it all. I thought I was broken, wondered why I couldn’t lose myself in a moment and enjoy the sensation rather than have a constant “This is weird. Why are people obsessed with this?” refrain in my head. I’ve long been friends with many, many people in the LGBTA+ community, but somehow the concept of asexuality eluded me. And then one day it didn’t, and it was the moment I realized I wasn’t broken, it was just my orientation. Hallefuckinlujah, everything clicked and I think that’s when I found my confidence. With that confidence came the ability to build the extraordinary relationships I now enjoy, and in hindsight, I see just how much I beat myself down for not being successful at dating and for having zero interest in sex. We live in a society that focuses so much energy on dating and romance and sex, and I felt so disconnected and weird because I’m not into any of it. For the longest time, I felt like a failure of a human being when there’s nothing actually wrong with me. When I was finally able to realize it’s an orientation rather than a flaw, the freedom from the guilt and shame was overwhelming. And because I was no longer burdened by that guilt and shame, I was finally able to really devote my energy to what matters to me. It should come as no surprise that these realizations came about not too long before Loki’s proposal for my oath. Hence: nun!
This particular orientation is a big part of why the idea of being a nun has been such a big thing for me since my freshman year of high school. It’s why I call myself a Lokian nun. Granted, nuns have to take a vow of celebacy; Loki has demanded no such thing of me. I’m honestly just not interested in the first place, and the “nun” thing kinda removes the mild stigma of “what’s wrong with her?” (and replaces it with the “she’s a religious whack job” stigma, which raises far fewer questions, let’s be honest). It’s also why I use the nun terminology over “godspouse,” because spousery certainly brings with it certain romantic and intimate connotations. Nuns are Brides of Christ in the sense they devote themselves fully to their God, and so it is with me and Loki. I’m completely committed to Himself, and to Sigyn, and the devotion is intense and all-consuming in a way that I’ll likely never achieve with any of the other gods or goddesses in the Norse pantheon. I still have strong relationships with Freyja and Odhinn, I still have strong, cherished friendships with Hel and Thorr. It’s very much like how people maintain relationships with friends and family outside of their martial bond.
My life is incredibly rich with love and support; the last several years had been incredibly difficult because of the isolation I experienced when I was on call as a full time funeral director, which did my depression no favors. But the last 2 years have been spent reconnecting with my friends and community, rebuilding the bonds and forging new ones. One of my best friends is my Shadow Spouse, and he is a phenomenal source of logical advice and emotional support, and I cherish him deeply. I also cherish his actual spouse, my Shadow Sibling Spouse, as it were, and I’m just blown away by how lucky I am to have them offering their time and energy the way they do. I have a lot of really remarkable friends who check in and touch base with me all the time, which is simultaneously humbling and very emotionally fulfilling. And I have my kindred, my family (and Shadow Spouse’s kindred, who I consider my in-laws). A few years ago, I was beaten down by how alone I was, which contributed to me wondering what was wrong with me. I’ve finally learned there’s nothing wrong with me. Now my life is rich and full of deep love, both human and divine. By allowing myself to be cherished by the people I love, I realized that I’m worth the attention of the gods who have been flailing for my attention for so long. Okay, god. We all know how much I frustrated Loki over the years while I was devoting my life to Odhinn. But you get the drift.
Do I still get crushes? Sure. Sometimes certain guys fascinate me and I want to pick their brain and hear their story. Do I want to date them? Nope. Just hang out. I guess you could say they’re platonic crushes. Curiosity is still a thing, wanting to know what makes someone tick is a factor. For some reason, I don’t get girl crushes. Perhaps because it’s easy to talk to other girls and hang out with them without worrying about it coming off as a date. There’s no other implications, and no mystery. Harder to compliment a guy on his hair and chat with him without it coming off as being flirty and unintentionally setting expectations that won’t come to pass. It’s a weird dynamic, but it’s definitely easier to overcome it now that I veil and am blunt and open about having “nun-like” devotion in my faith.
I’ve spent the majority of my life in service to the gods. I was pretty quiet about it for so long because I felt like I wasn’t worthy to be vocal, even though I was always honest about my beliefs. I wasted too many hours and years wondering what was wrong with me when all along I was just focusing on the wrong aspect. As I’ve grown more confident in my value to my friends and to the community, I’ve started to recognize my spiritual value. Loki finally got his breakthrough to me a few years ago, and everything clicked and became crystal clear. Everything. And I’ve been able to focus on what matters to me and what I actually need and want rather than what I feel like I should need and want. Companionship? Of course. It’s one of the most basic human needs. I’ve got that. Love? More than I know what to do with! Sex? Never needed it, never really wanted it, and I’m okay with that. At least, now I am since I know nothing’s wrong with me for not wanting it.
And that’s why I wrote this, this is why I’m publishing it: because asexuality is real and it’s valid. For someone who has spent a lifetime in liberal, diverse, intellectually curious environments, it absolutely boggles my mind that I’d never heard of asexuality as an orientation until 2018. I spent so much of my life confused and embarrassed when I shouldn’t have been. I felt like a social failure for so long when I wasn’t. The peace I’ve attained in the time since learning about asexuality is extraordinary, and it’s given me back my energy to devote to things I’d much rather pursue. My relationships with the community and with my gods is where that energy should have gone all along. I’m able to do some pretty badass stuff now with some pretty badass people, and I’m finally free of the shame of being the perennial third wheel in a society obsessed with sex and coupling up.
Damn, it feels good to say that after all these years.