Hi! My name is Grace, and I am a graydemi ace. I’m what I’ve previously called an “IAMsexual” who has a lot of sex, just not likely the kind you’re imagining. Re-imagining sex as acts that de-center the mainstream idea of sex feels important to understanding how I navigate my relational world. Let me provide you with a scene of what my “IAMsexual” world of sex looks like.
We are walking on the shoreline of a vast body of clear turquoise water under the warming rays of the sun and gentle whispering of humid winds.[We breathe.]
It is the early part of the evening just before sunset. We walk inside a bubble of quietude, not saying much of substance. We are just taking it in, arriving together.[We breathe.]
We are enraptured by kairos time, the time that is measured in moments rather than in seconds, minutes, or hours. In kairos time, it’s time to take a seat and settle into the sunset with some light sweet snacks. Time to enjoy the kind of snacks that fill our bellies and our hearts.[We breathe.]
The sweetness of our food yields audible sounds of pleasure and reverence. In between silent bites, we meet each other through our moans, sighs, deep breaths, and “thank you”s, all because of our awe at the sunset paired with the deliciousness of taking this sweetness into our spiritual, emotional, and physical bodies. We are present. We have arrived.
We exchange reflections on the experiences in our bodies invited by this time of day. We share about what sensations are invited into our bodies — by the setting of the sun and the rising of the moon and how we track that in this moment and in moments beyond this one. I love being with this time of day near big waters.[I breathe.]
You offer me your breath. Shotgunning, you call it. I’m impressed by your boldness and am ready to lean in. Your offered breath smells enticing, with hints of clove. I take your offering in. It goes down smooth.[We breathe.]
Sharing this breath is intimate, even more intimate than kissing for me.
The sun is down and the moon has risen. We are enjoying alone-together time. Alone with our own breaths and the sensations of our shared breaths. We are together in the pulsing. I ask about what you are experiencing in your body. You give me delicious details and I’m aroused by your attention to word choice and your facility at describing sensation. We giggle at nerding out about what feels like such a simple question inside of a simple experience.[We breathe and giggle some more.]
I share my own sensations and, in a bold move, make a request to experience a new one. I ask you to rub your hands over my two-day-old shaved head to the rhythms of the waves. You joyfully, enthusiastically, affirmatively consent and oblige. It’s electric and so, so good.
Night has fallen. It’s time to go. We reground by dipping our toes into the water, thanking each other, thanking the water and thanking our respective ancestors.[We breathe.]
We depart, separately and wholly.
Hot sex, am I right?! That was a sexy time and yet, for many folks, this would either be considered incomplete, a missed opportunity or simply foreplay for the “actual” sex. For me, it’s all sex — delicious, nuanced, and multitudinous sex in its individual acts and in its totality.
I wish to normalise customising sex language inside of relationships so that we may be in shared understanding and curiosity about what is pleasurable and sexy for each another. Sharing this excavation process inside the question of “What is sex for you?” unlocks an intimacy that itself borders on sex for me.
This is where folks often ask me some version of, “If everything can be sex to you, then how is sex sacred or meaningful or distinguishable from the mundane?” To that I respond with a “thank you for your curiosity” and proceed with my spiel: I practice sex from a place of inquiry that explores the question, “What if everything is sacred and/or meaningful?” From that place of inquiry, all acts of coming together meaningfully become open to being experienced as sexual acts for me.
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It is a practice of seeing even the mundane as magnificent. It is the place of abundance where I am defined by my fullness rather than a lack. It is the place in which everything gets to be whole onto itself. I get to be whole, unto myself, so that when I’m in a meaningful coming together with another person, it’s out of desire for the experience of wholeness that comes from wholeness, not a desire for wholeness that comes from a lack of being my own whole.
I know this isn’t how everyone experiences it. But it is how I experience sex, and since this is about me right now and my IAMsexuality, it stands to reason that this is but one of many ways to be a graydemisexual ace.
No moralizing, no judgment, just my Black (Gr)ACE.
[Feature image: Photo of Grace B. Freedom, a Black non-binary person with short dark hair, facial hair, and pierced ears. They’re wearing a dark hooded jacket with a reddish patterned scarf and are standing in a clearing in an autumnal forest, golden brown leaves scattered at their feet as they stare up at the magnificence of the yellow-leaved trees, a reverent smile on their face. The sky is grey and chilly. 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.