My name is Grace and I am a gray demisexual ace.
Rewind: gray doesn’t really suit me. It doesn’t feel vibrant enough. I can be a gray demisexual as it pertains to generic understandings of asexuality, but I want to formally declare that I want a new color. Perhaps I will be a gold-flecked cyan demisexual with rich metallic hints and deep blues that flow into green, in honor of my watery, fluid, and balanced life-blooming nature. For the sake of ease, I’ll stick with gray demi ace (but now you know what my real color would be).
Much of mainstream ace talk is all about what we are not and what we don’t experience and that is not my ace experience. It seems strange to be defined by the absence of something, no? In so many online mainstream ace spaces (read: white), I am reminded of the lack that defines whiteness and the inherent delusions of supremacy therein- the consistent speaking in the negative, violently erasing power dynamics inside of sexuality and asexuality while engaging in unexamined fetishization of Black bodies.
I actively resist, dare I say, REBUKE that way of defining my existence. I AM on the asexual spectrum, a gray demi ace — a person who only rarely experiences sexual attraction (as a primary experience) and when it is present it is brought to the fore by deep emotional connection (demi). I am not without sexuality as much as I am without the consistent expression of sexuality in the form of sexual attraction.
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I often discuss my nuanced experiences of the erotic, pleasure, and sex with a friend who is very allosexual. She is fascinated by all the ways I experience sex and sexuality inside of my asexuality that have nothing to do with my or anyone else’s genitals. She affectionately calls these experiences “Gracesex”. Gracesex describes the pathway to my marvelous propensity for sensuous multi-orgasmic life experiences, most of which do not require genitals or even nudity. I am a big proponent for asking for what I want and deep, sensual, intimate connections are at the top of that list. This is what it means for me to be a sex-positive gray demi ace. We outchea, y’all; as my Caribbean community might say, “Tell dem we reach.”
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My gray demi asexuality is not about what I am without but more like where I am full. I feel full of attractions — they are deep, juicy, complex, and fluid. My asexuality is embodied. My gray demi aceness is Black AF, is nonbinary AF and queer AF. Sometimes my attractions are hard to parse out from each other, but they include sexual attraction. They just do not center sexual attraction as my primary attraction. My gray demisexuality is aesthetic, spiritual/emotional, and sensual attraction forward and exists inside of the immeasurable yearning to be present to unplumbed emotional connections. It shows up as interdependence and curiosity inside of intimate connections that are reciprocal, where I can practice the vulnerability of my wholeness.
My (a)sexuality has agency and is powerful. Inside of this cyan, gold-flecked, metallic-hinted, deep-blue-into-green exists a glorious being. I AM verdant, I AM fecund, I AM whole, I AM full, I AM vast, and I belong wholly to myself and my (a)sexuality.
I am sexual in the infinite ways I know myself and seek to know myself. My (a)sexuality exists inside of my I AM. While the seat of my erotic does not rest on the legs of white supremacist cis heteropatriarchal allosexuality, there is indeed an erotic seat and it is indeed hot.
My name is Grace. I am a gray demi ace and my Black (Gr)ACE is “IAMsexual”.
[Feature image: Photo of Grace B. Freedom, a Black non-binary person with short dark hair, facial hair, pierced ears, and a nose ring. They’re wearing a navy hooded jacket with a reddish patterned scarf and are standing in front of a blurred rural autumn landscape of yellow and brown trees and brush. A few industrial tower structures rise up to the grey sky in the background. Grace greets the viewer with a contagious grin on their face, a smile that is also present in their eyes. Source: A. De La Cruz.]
Grace B Freedom (all pronouns combined with they/them pronouns) is a Black Genderfluid Queer creator of the Black Love and Care (BLaC) Ethic . She is supported by a grant from the Effing Foundation to write the My Black (Gr)Ace series. They have been described as a penetrative and inescapable force, but mostly they want to be in deep conversations that are guided by mutual tenderness and curiosity that center a BLaC ethic . You can find them asking a lot of questions and sharing their freedom practices on Instagram @madquestionasker and you can follow her writing on patreon @madquestionasker.