Queer Mormon Women*: I Don’t Like Pizza

Guest Post by Michaela

This is a post that is a part of the Queer Mormon Women* series.  Click HERE to see all the posts to date.

Michaela is a twenty year old girl with a passion for writing and film making. 

 

I want you to imagine for a second, that you have found the person of your dreams.cards

This person is fantastic.

You spend time with them, you get to know them, and you start to realize that you genuinely like this person, maybe even love them.

You talk a little, flirt a little, maybe go on a few dates.

There’s only one problem.

You don’t like pizza.

When you tell them, they laugh a little and play it off as a joke. “No, it’s true. I really don’t like pizza.” You say. Their humor turns into confusion. They don’t understand. How can you not like pizza? Everyone likes pizza. “I don’t know. I just never have. There’s no appeal to it at all.”

Ah, but of course you just haven’t tried the right kind of pizza. Or you were denied it so much as a kid you’ve convinced yourself you don’t like it. You’ll learn to like it eventually.

“No. I really don’t like pizza. I don’t think I ever will.”

Now they’re hurt. How could you not tell them you don’t like pizza? They invested way too much time in you for you to tell them this now. Were you trying to trick them into liking you so they’d feel guilty enough to stay with you when you finally told them? Pizza parties are the basis of any healthy relationship. It’s impossible to maintain one without liking pizza and having regular pizza parties.

You try to explain love and those parties don’t coincide. You can still love someone without loving pizza.

They don’t believe you and you never see them again.

You probably guessed it. That was a really elaborate metaphor for sex and sexual attraction.

Asexuality is probably the one sexuality on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum that you haven’t heard much about, if anything.

The first time I came across the word “Asexual” there was no lightbulb, no fireworks, and no great moment of revelation where a light beamed down on me and caused me to think “Yes. This is who I am.” I thought that asexual was an odd thing to identify as, and moved on. The idea that maybe I didn’t feel sexual attraction was such a foreign concept to me, I didn’t even consider that it could be an option for me. I’d always figured that I just hadn’t met the right person and that I’d know what the feeling was when it happened.

I’m twenty years old and it’s never happened.

I’ve never felt the sexual attraction that’s been described to me.

And I’m okay with that.

It took me a long time to tentatively accept the label, and it took me even longer to be open about it with my friends. But finding a label for how I feel, and identifying as it has lifted one of my heaviest burdens in life.

The first time my “Preparing for a Temple Marriage” institute class talked about the law of chastity, my teacher stood up and said,

“Never be so arrogant to assume that you are above the sin of sexual temptation.”

I cried myself to sleep that night, and never went back.

The hardest things about being an asexual Mormon is how focused on the family our doctrine is. While I have absolutely nothing against it, the isolation that I sometimes feel can cut very deep. I’m at an age where my friends and family are starting to notice how apathetic I am to the thought of getting married and having lots of kids. Not because I don’t want it–I want it very badly—but because I feel like I can’t have it.

One of my deepest fears is that I’ll never be able to find a man who will accept me how I am. One who knows that my feelings for him are far deeper than any sexual attraction might go. I’ve had to work extremely hard to gain enough confidence in myself to counteract the guilt that I know I’ll feel when I do start dating. I know it’s ridiculous, but the knowledge that he can have something with someone else that I can’t give him is never going to leave me.

I’ve grown a lot since I started identifying as asexual. I’ve learned more about myself and who I am, and I’ve tried to strengthen my connection with my Heavenly Father because I know he knows what I’m going through.

So just because someone doesn’t like pizza, and feels no desire to eat it, doesn’t mean that they’re broken.

 

 

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9 Responses

  1. Ziff says:

    This sounds so difficult, Michaela. Thanks for sharing your experience here. I’m sorry so much of us fail at empathy, but I’m hoping reading stories like yours will help us improve.

  2. Alisa says:

    The part that really makes me ache is what was said in your temple prep class–that being made invisible, or having everyone assume that we’re all the same was so very very painful. What an important reminder. I’m scanning my own thoughts and actions based on what you’ve shared. Thank you, thank you for sharing and allowing me into your space here. I also wish that one day you can find someone who will love and cherish you without… pizza.

  3. Megan says:

    I’m the one who wrote the other asexual post, and I feel you. A lot of this is just like my situation, down to the institute teacher’s remarks (it was a stake president when I was YW for me). But I am also aromantic, which means I am content to just remain single instead of the search for someone who is okay with a partner uninterested in sex.

  4. N.W. Clerk says:

    I may be mistaken, but it seems like there is a truckload of love poetry in which the lover avows his/her willingness to make enormous sacrifices just to be able to share some small interaction with the beloved. Of course, much of this could be twaddle, but might there not be a grain of truth hidden underneath? Is it unthinkable that there are people who would willingly sacrifice the opportunity for physical relations in order to have the privilege of becoming the companion of an asexual but not aromantic person whom he/she deeply admires?

  5. EmilyCC says:

    Michaela, your analogy was really helpful for me and i’ll steal it when i explain what being asexual can look like if you don’t mind. Thank you.

  6. cchrissyy says:

    It’s also possible to not be sexually attracted to people you see or know or date, until some time, you are.

    I’m trying to say this supportively, not dismissively, a lot of your post sounded so much like myself… I was in my 30s before it happened for the first (only!) time.

    My 20 year old self thought I just wasn’t built that way, my brain or my heart weren’t wired like everyone else’s. and I was ok with that. I did my own thing, I liked being alone, it didn’t seem like anything was missing, I was weird but in a good way, not bothered by the hassles of sex or romance.

    But eventually I learned that wasn’t 100% right. Like so much in sexuality, there is a spectrum. Apparently there are people who don’t feel sexual attraction or think sexual thoughts for years upon years, but it’s not that they/we can’t, it’s just that it’s so rare.

    I really am trying to say this in a supportive way, since you expressed the fear of “never finding the man” who would accept you. Well first, like others already said, you really might! But second, it could go like it did for me and years down the road you find out that there is somebody who is attractive to you in that way. It’s ok to not know where life will take you.

    PS – yes I recall an SP talking about marriage and this super strong element central to every marriage that is pretty much the point and sets it apart from other relationships. I was married with 3 kids by then actually and I was sitting there blank/broken/doing-it-wrong, with no idea what he was talking about. Nothing he said sounded familiar at all. Oh well. Don’t get married just to be married, or to have kids, or to not have to date.

  7. Liz says:

    This is really helpful to me. I love NW Clerk’s comments about all of the poetry about people sacrificing one part of a relationship for a greater part. I really hope you find the companionship and love that you seek, and this has helped me be much more mindful in my discussions about sexuality with the youth and women I work with. Thank you for that.

  8. Jenny says:

    Thank you for sharing your story so that we can understand what it is like from your experience. This has helped me to think about my own thoughts, words, and actions.

  9. By the time I was 20 years old, my experiences had been very similar to yours. I had never had a crush. I had never felt sexually attracted to anyone. I was not boy crazy. I didn’t drool over teen heartthrob actors like my female peers. I imagined a lifetime of singleness in my future, not because I didn’t want to be married and have kids someday, but because I couldn’t imagine ever having a boyfriend. But during my twenties, I met a very small number of men who could incite those feelings in me and I married one of them. You might remain asexual. Or, like me, you might find that you do feel that way about someone, even though you don’t feel that way about most men.

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