Q&A: “I identify as gray-ace, but it feels too vague to me and causes unnecessary worries to my partner…”
Hi Vesper! I identify as gray-ace, but it feels too vague to me and causes unnecessary worries to my partner about pushing me to do things I don’t really want (that never happens). I haven’t been able to find a more specific term. I do feel sexual attraction, so much that it’s obvious to me, but only when I decide I want to feel it in an interaction with someone. Cupio and recipro don’t fit. I call it conveniosexual as a joke because it is convenient, but is there an existing word?
…i really hate to say this, but if your partner is concerned about pushing you to do things that you don’t really want to do, it seems unlikely to me that changing your identity would at all be a solution for that. forgive me if i’m out of line for saying this, but i’m doubtful that a single word or identity is the root cause of your partner’s concerns. yes, a single word or identity (gray ace) may have triggered their concerns, but it’s the knowledge that your partner gained about you and your experience with sexual attraction that is what really awakened their concerns and it’s fear + a lack of trust on their part that keeps those concerns alive despite your attempts at quelling them, not your identity as a gray ace.
anyway, to answer your question, i’m afraid that i don’t know of a word to describe experiencing sexual attraction only when one consciously chooses / decides to experience it. a word may exist to describe that (check the notes of this post as someone else may know) but like i said above, even if there is, i don’t think that whatever word that might be is going to ease your partner’s concerns. it would be better, imho, to sit them down and talk to them about it. you’ve probably already done this, but you’re likely to have to do it again. and again. however many times it takes to reassure them, using however many words it takes to help them better understand you and actually trust what you’re saying.
i feel like it’s one thing to seek out a new word to describe yourself for your own comfort, but it’s another thing to seek out a new word or identity for someone else’s comfort… for all i know, it may be a mix of both of those things for you, anon. either way, i hope you’re able to find a word that feels comfortable for you personally, regardless of what that means for your partner. i also hope that your partner will be able to overcome their concerns by trusting in you and what you tell them.
tl;dr: imho, no matter what you identify as or how hard you try to reassure them, it will all be for nothing if they cannot bring themself to trust you when you tell them that you aren’t doing anything that you don’t want to do.
all the best, anon.