I recently responded to a post on the Asexual Agenda – with a little trepidation: I’m not as erudite as their regular posters are. This particular post (see below) made me think about the relationship between the two labels that I identify with: asexuality and aegosexuality. Are they alternatives? Which came first? Are they equally meaningful to me?
I use both words to describe myself. On my AVEN profile, I’m ace and aego: there are so many types of aces that the extra descriptor, aego, seemed a usefuI one. I automatically indicated my orientation as asexual, though, when I completed the UK census recently. It didn’t even occur to me to state that I was aego. And yet, I joined the aego sub-Reddit, but not the ace one. Clearly, there are times when I feel that one label has more relevance.
I think of ‘aegosexuality’ as a descriptor, but not as an orientation. In itself, it doesn’t indicate a sexual preference. It offers no information about the gender of the beings who populate the stories in my imagination. It just implies that I’m not involved myself – that classic third-person aego identifier. Being ace is different. It does provide that information. It narrows down the gender of people I’d want partnered sex with and am attracted to, sexually. That is, to none. So, it doesn’t surprise me that, when I needed a term for the census, unhesitantly, I chose ace.
I don’t know which came first, but I’d hazard a guess at aego. As a small child I had third-person fantasies. Whole stories played out in my head, often, quite erotic stories. As far as I know, there wasn’t any trauma and I certainly had no sexual vocabulary to draw on or to inform my vivid imagination. It was just the way I was, and still am. And, it seems, the way a lot of people were and are, which, in a sense, is comforting.
I do know that, on a personal level, I am drawn far more to aegosexuality than I am to asexuality. Aegosexuality determines and describes how I spend my time and what I do. For example, when I write my County Durham Quad books and work on my YouTube videos, I am aego. I do draw heavily on my experiences of being in an ace/non-ace relationship, but I’m fantasising about four gay, polyamorous men (and, since Book 3, one non-polyamorous ace one) whose adventures only include myself as their creator. Given what I wrote above about my childhood, that’s not to say that the stories are erotic. There’s usually little more than a very chaste kiss, but I’m not averse to writing sexual content, and sex plays a huge part in the men’s relationships even though it’s rarely explicitly present on the page. In contrast, asexuality determines and describes what I don’t do. That is, I don’t want, and don’t have, partnered sex. I don’t think it affects how I spend my time. So, that’s a definite difference – ace or aego. But, in book-writing terms, ace and aego has relevance too. Obviously, people don’t have to be aegosexual to write books! But, when a writer is, like me, asexual, surely they have to be aego as well. I have to be able to imagine scenes in the third person because, being ace (or, rather, my particular type of ace: I know there are aces who enjoy sex under certain circumstances) I would be revolted to be present in the fantasies myself. I assume that’s the same for others.
In conclusion, it seems to me that at times, ace and aego apply. At other times, it’s one or the other. How about you? Thank you for reading.
Links to the County Durham Quad series of videos and books: book 6, Fast, Free and Flying is free on Amazon from 13th to 17th May, 2021 inclusive. See https://amazon.com/-/e/B07PDGWWPG
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKhPb-WpyW3fUXnqjvTnCqA (Video footage and production by Andy Ditchfield at http://www.skywardaerial.co.uk)
Asexual Agenda post: April 8th, 2021. ‘A sesquipeddian examination’ https://asexualagenda.wordpress.com