Q: I think I might be some variant of ace but I’m not really sure and I guess my ask is how does one really know if they’re ace and is asexuality something that can come later in life? I’m not sure if I just didn’t let myself see it as an option before or if I’m just different now. it’s weird and fuzzy and vague. the only thing I know for sure is that I’m really happy that I don’t have to have sex
Since it’s a feeling, you sort of know the same way you know you like mint chocolate chip ice cream or don’t like whatever’s on Channel 7 on Wednesdays. It’s just kind of how it is.
More seriously, though, there really isn’t a way to know for sure 100%. You can have a pretty good idea, but you’ll never be able to say with 100% certainty that you’re absolutely definitely asexual and there’s no chance of anything else. 99%, sure, but there simply isn’t any way to know that the right person isn’t hiding behind the next tree. However, having said that, a straight guy can never be 100% certain that the right man isn’t hiding behind the next tree, either. Most people just accept this uncertainty and go with what feels right at the moment.
By saying that you’re asexual, you’re not locking yourself into a 10 year commitment you can’t get out of. If you discover that you weren’t actually asexual after all, there’s no early termination fees.
Regardless of whether or not you’re asexual, you don’t have to have sex if you don’t want to. Some people aren’t fans of sex, and that opinion isn’t limited to just aces.
As far as coming to it later in life, I discovered asexuality at 31. (Although that may or may not constitute “later in life” to you…) Before that time, I thought I was just not very good at being straight. There were some women who set off my “She Looks Nice” detector, but there was never a sexual component. When I did have sex, it was because the opportunity had presented itself, and was driven more by curiosity than by any kind of urges or innate desires. But that was enough for me to think I was straight, because I wasn’t aware of any other classifications that would fit me. When I discovered asexuality, I didn’t change, but my understanding of who I was did.