Storyteller Lily Be shares how pegging, a bunch of unfulfilling relationships, and one late-night Reddit deep-dive helped her realize she’s asexual — which also brought her closer to her mother.
Wild & Sublime Podcast Transcript
#S3E5 | Asexual Adventure with Lily Be
[Wild & Sublime theme music]
Lily Be: For a long time, I was like, what is wrong with me? Could I be gay? Because I'm also, like, Mexican Catholic, and we don't talk about sex like that growing up. So the sex thing, like, no one talked to us about, like, pleasure, period. Like, the only pleasure is you and the Lord. [laughs] That's it!
Karen Yates: Welcome to Wild & Sublime, a sexy spin on infotainment®, no matter your preferences, orientation, or relationship style, based on the popular live Chicago show. I chat about sex and relationships with citizens from the world of sex positivity. You'll hear meaningful conversations, dialogues that go deeper, and information that can help you become more free in your sexual expression. I'm sex educator and intimacy coach Karen Yates.
This week, I talk to storyteller Lily Be about how she came to realize she was asexual, and what that means for her today. Keep listening.
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Hey folks. This week, we have a very fun conversation in store for you. Now, you might think that asexuality means being a monk living in a cave, or you have a very dull life, or some other misconception. Our guest today, Lily Be illustrates quite effectively: this is absolutely not the case. She first appeared on our March 2020 live show as a storyteller. This show was the last before the pandemic, and you can hear that tale on the recent "Best Erotic Story" episode. She then came back to our first live show after two years, delivering another great story a couple of weeks ago. Lily then agreed to come on the podcast to talk about how she came out as asexual. It is a very juicy story. And before I begin, I want to acknowledge that the interview for both of us is taking place on the unceded lands of the Potawatomi, Ojibwe, and Odawa nations, colonially known as Chicago. Now, here's my interview with storytelling oracle and doula Lily Be.
Lily Be, welcome.
Lily Be: Thanks for having me, Karen. This is so exciting.
Karen Yates: I feel like it's a little special treat. I've had you on the show, on the live show, a couple times now. We just did the second live show that you've been on. And like, to be here with Zoom with you doing an interview is like, oh yeah!
Lily Be: Oh, stop. I'm always like, people — I'm just people. [laughs] I'm just a loud people. But I'm just people.
Karen Yates: Yeah, okay. But you got an epic — like, you got an epic aura. I will say, you've got an epic aura.
Lily Be: Well, thank you. Thank you for loving on me. I appreciate it... But not too close! [laughter] No, I'm just kidding.
Karen Yates: So, the whole reason we're here, besides the fact that it's awesome to interview you, is, a new partner of yours cornered me at the show, post-show. And he's like, you gotta bring Lily Be on the podcast, and you got to interview her about being asexual. And then he just kind of went on, raved about, like, being with you, and it's so cool. And you know, we just did a little smidgen on asexuality a while ago, I think last year with Sarah Sloane, we're just talking about it, but we didn't get in depth. And I thought, Oh, wow, this is such a great opportunity, because you reference it. I've heard your storytelling twice now, and you've referenced it in each story, even though each story has been about sex in your earlier life. And so I'm like, Okay, let's do this. And you were so kind to come on and talk about it. So here we are. Where do you want to begin? Like, what was it like prior? So just give me a big picture thing here.
Lily Be: I definitely... So, I came out — or, I don't know what to even call it, right? Like, is it coming out? I came out as asexual in 2019, '20 maybe? In that window after my last relationship ended. So before I came out as asexual, I definitely knew that sex wasn't like my cup of tea. And I always thought it was just like, am I just not good at it? Is there something wrong with me? And so you do all these things to try to fix what you think might get like — so, everything, right? From the way I looked, to the way I was as a person, to all the different little, like, shavings and waxings. Everything you could possibly imagine you try to do to be more into this, because there's that, like, they're not doing anything. They're not making me orgasm. And they're not — so there was a lot of like, no orgasming, before — and actually, not that I cared about it! I didn't care about it. So there was a lot of, like — looking back now, because hindsight is 20/20 — looking back, I'm just sitting there like, yeah, yeah bitch, you were totally sexual in your whole life. Because before I came out, I was really, I felt like, like I was trapped in my own body, if that makes sense. Kind of like — the only visual I can think of is like the "Men in Black" character, the bug that is in the skin, that's, like, too big for the skin it's in. There was just something about being uncomfortable in my skin before that, where I couldn't understand why everyone has these, like, awesome orgasm stories. And everyone — and as a storyteller, you hear stories, right? And for me, it was just this like, yeah, I don't get turned on by that. I don't get — that's not sexy to me. Is something wrong with me? I definitely thought something was wrong or broken with me for a long, long time.
Karen Yates: So when you were dating folks, like when you were young, and did you date folks? I'm making an assumption. Yeah, you're nodding. Okay. So like, was it — you know, adolescence, and like dating and holding hands — were there aspects of dating that you enjoyed?
Lily Be: I guess the 'I'm chosen' part is really like, Oh, someone picked me to spend time with me! That part — I love this idea of someone being like, you are so cool that I want to spend time with you. Across the board, right. So that part was, like, I was chosen by this guy. Okay. It was that part where we start to like, hold hands. I remember my first french kiss, which was like, I was like, what is this? Why is it so gross? You're not even doing it right! Because that became a big thing for me. Like I enjoyed kissing. I enjoyed the hand holding. It was anything that was like, more than that. Like when it got to be like, there's something about heat. Like, feeling the heat. That was just, like, aw naw, this is gross now.
Karen Yates: Did you ever think you were gay, though? Did you go down the lesbian route?
Lily Be: Oh, yeah. No, I've been through all that. I've gone down all the routes, of like, What is wrong with me? Like, I seriously for a long, long time, was like, What is wrong with me? Could I be gay? Because I'm also, like, Mexican Catholic, and we don't talk about sex like that growing up. So there's nothing that — my mom never sat me down and gave us options about what — I mean, we were surprisingly progressive. Like, my mom was like, You be who you're gonna be. Don't think you ever got to do anything to — you know, like very 'stand in your womanhood' feminist kind of household, run by women. But the sex thing, like, no one talked to us about, like, pleasure, period. Like, your only pleasure is you and the Lord. That's it.
Karen Yates: So like, the Lord was gonna give you are orgasm, was that...?
Lily Be: Or the Lord was there to, like, guide you in what was right, that felt right. So like, no one was ever, like talking to us about like, this is your body, and this is what it — these are erogenous, and like, none of that, none of that. It was all business all the time in my house. So stepping out of that, and going into, like, high school and grade school, where people are like talking about it. Yeah, I was never one to like, ear hustle, or like, just be listening in on those conversations, right? I was always, like, Yeah, this is boring. And I remember — so I'm writing this, like, one-woman play about this, because it's been so like, Ohhh! And I remember a conversation, and as I'm writing it, I'm thinking of all these like little memories where I'm like, sitting there like Yeah, yeah, yeah. And I remember one where we were on the porch. It was me and all my little friends. And we're talking about getting kicked in the balls or something. Guys are sitting there like, but y'all don't have balls! And they're talking about it, and I was like, and they were like, that hurts! You don't even know what it feels like! You all don't have that! And then the women on the porch, the young women on the porch, are like, what are you talking about? We get periods! So it's just like a struggle, this like little strugglebus competition that we're having. Puberty struggle bus. And then my friend Lisa's like, our titties hurt! And they was like, What do you mean your titties hurt? Like, when they first started growing, they're real sore. And then they were like, right, Lily? And I was like, well, what are you talking about? Like, the minute the conversation had people thinking or talking about my titties, I got so uncomfortable. And I was like, what are you—? I had no problem like arguing the fact that balls and vaginas... like, the very nerdy me was just like, as a matter of fact — right? But the minute they were like, Well, what about your titties? Did they hurt? I was like, I don't know what you're talking about. And my friend was like, You got titties. Like, we know you got titties. I don't care how baggy your shirts are. We know you got titties. Did they hurt? And I was like, I'm done with this conversation! I was so uncomfortable. Like, oh, no, now it's gonna — now they're looking at me. And now it's gonna be my boobs. And so there was always, as I look back, and I start thinking of memories, there have always been these moments of like, Yeah, you were not comfortable because you didn't like talking about — sex was just not on the table for me, ever. And I just didn't know that. It was something that I didn't — I didn't think it was an option. I didn't think sex not being at the table was an option. For anyone. I thought sex always had to be on the table for any type of like, male, female, like — because I'm also living in a binary then, right? Men and women got to match up and make babies, and that's, you know, the way. So yeah, for me, it was just like, oh no, they're talking about my boobs. Let me run away! [laughs]
Karen Yates: So you, in your last story that you told at the show, which will be aired in a couple of weeks here, you mentioned your sister. And it sounds like you are kind of close with her. Was there any conversation there?
Lily Be: We did not get along growing up. And we still kind of sort of — we keep our distance. We're very different. She's definitely — like, she is not asexual, I tell you that. My brother and my sister seem to have no problem. I'm the oldest. Yeah, they're out there reproducing and making babies and stuff. I'm the one that's like, ulgh! And my dad is like a philanderer! My dad is like sleeping with everybody. So for me, it's like, where did I get it? I think my mom definitely is asexual. And I think that there's a possibility that that is where — I don't know, I honestly don't. My mom is definitely — wanted to be a nun growing up, and then was told that only — this is what she was told growing up, don't shoot the messenger. It's problematic. But she was told that only lesbians could be nuns. And my mom was like, what? She's like, Yeah, if you become a nun, you're a lesbian. And that was even worse in her head than anything. So she's like, Well, I'm gonna get married to prove all you bitches wrong. And she got married. Which I'm like, why would you do that? She's like, because that's what you did when people were, like, calling you a lesbian, or telling you you were getting too old. You got married and had children, and showed them. And I was like, Oh my gosh, like, Thank you, but also, no. I'm here because he made that ridiculous choice, but also, why??? So, to be honest, my mom and I have gotten really close. Since we now have this place of just like, yeah, ew. When I hear her stories, and I hear her arc, her sexual arc, I'm like oh yeah, Mom, you've been asexual. But again, 1950, who's telling you that? Who's telling you in the '50s that asexuality is an option, or even exists? And so many people have taken it to the grave, this feeling of like, not fitting in, and, oh my goodness, I hate to think that that would have been me if I didn't have the community that I needed around me to kind of open up that window, right? But thank goodness, she's okay with it. She's like, you do what you got to do. And she gets it. But what's funny is that I can have sex conversations now with my mom, but from this lens of like, I don't like it. And she'll be like, I never really was... just, It was messy. I didn't like the way it smelled. My mom has been saying some real sexual things to me, but from this new door that I've opened for her, where she can actually say these things — and even in that, I'm like, we done broke a chain. We've broken a chain of like, she's openly talking about her sexuality, and we did that because I was able to open this door. And that's wild for me, to be able to — for her to be able to say, like, I never liked it. I didn't like any of it. Your dad was always about — like, to hear this now. I mean, some of it, I'm like, Mom, keep it, keep it. But also, wow, I'm having a sex conversation with my mom about her real, honest feelings about sex. Now, because she knows this is an option for her. Like, that's so wild to me, how we can still break chains in our sexuality, by just owning our own bullshit. Because she's never had anyone tell her that. So now she's like, Oh, my goodness, one time, your dad... Oh my gosh! What? And now she's looking at even her own breakup, from this lens, of just like, oh, I never gave your dad any. And I'm like, that's probably what broke you all up, Mom. That's probably why he cheated. And she's just like, yeah, that's probably — but it's this like, acceptance that is, like, mind-blowing for me. That it's just like, this is, when I say we got close after I came out — we got hella close. So I think about it, and I'm like, thank goodness that she had this here, with me. But she's definitely like, yeah, I don't have to like sex. My daughter says I don't have to like sex. I don't have to be — and it's just like, Oh, you're welcome, Mom, but also, Thank you, Mom, because now I can call somebody and be like, he wants to do this, and I'm not feeling it. And she's just like, don't do it. And I'm like, oh! You know, it's this weird... Yeah. And how do I feel, like, if I never give it — like, you feel like you have to give your partner something in return. If you can't give him sex, what do you give him? And it's just like, eughhh! And my mom was like "Company, conversation! Give him what is of value that is not sex." And I was like... And she's like, "Is that all you are? Is a walking pussy? Is that all you are, Lily?" And I was like, No!
Karen Yates: Thanks, Mom! I guess you're right, Mom!
Lily Be: My mom did not play when it comes to this. She's very, like, to the point. "¿Eso que eres?" Is that what you are? "¿Eso que eres?" I'm like, "No Mom, sorry. No." She's like, well then give him what you got. And I'm like, Oh. She's like, a good meal, or some time, or just whatever it is that you have that you want to give.
Karen Yates: [to audience] We then talked about the several years leading up to Lily's awareness that she was asexual. [to Lily] One of the things I'm interested in is, you know, the first story you told at the show — which was in March 2020. It was the amazing story — "best erotic story" — about Thor, and this kink, serious kink excavation, you were doing. And you said, okay, I know I'm asexual, but this is me as a dominatrix. And like, doing your Domme thing. It was such a great story. And folks, if you have not heard it, best erotic story, it's going to be in the links. But was that a transition for you? A big transition moment of like, fuck penetrative sex — I'm gonna go the kink route?
Lily Be: Yeah, no, no. What's funny is that that ex, the ex that introduced me to that world, came back into my life to—
Karen Yates: The closet guy!? Ahhh!
Lily Be: Came back into my life
Karen Yates: Closet apocalypse! Closet apocalypse! Oh my god. Okay, folks, you gotta listen to the story. Seriously.
Lily Be: He came back into my life, November, around my birthday, 2021. And what was interesting is that we met up because we — it didn't end well. But he found me on LinkedIn, of all places, and was just like, hey, it's nothing but love. And honestly, I have nothing but love for him. I've forgiven the bullshit, because we were both young.
Karen Yates: Because you were engaged to be married, weren't you?
Lily Be: We were. It was like a rough and tumble — it was like this whirlwind love affair we had. It was great. And Patrick was one of the first — was the first person to show me this world. I had gotten glimpses of it, you know, in other relationships, like the foot fetish, but he was the one that really like, huh, go and explore, like, pushed me off of the ledge was like here, you want to take a look? And then just pushed me. And I was like, ahh, this is awesome! Because it was. It was really great to see this world where I wasn't the receiver. The place in which everything — like, I wasn't. I was giving it, and I was... And it was like, Oh, this feels good. Like, this feels like it's clean and neat. That was one of the things I was like — it's very neat and clean. I was pegging dudes, by the way. If anybody's like, what were you doing? I was definitely into pegging men. And Patrick was not into pegging. But after we broke up, I was like, Well, let me see what this world is all about. And I went on FetLife, created a profile, and was like, on it for, like, week, less than a week, before I got hit up by the first, you know, gentleman—
Karen Yates: It sounded like it was a whirlwind of pegging.
Lily Be: It was like — once I got into it, oh, it was like, fish in a barrel, y'all. I was like, I've never been more popular, ever. It was this like getting referred, people referring people to me. It was this weird, like, world. I had never been — I'm a little Mexican Catholic girl from the west side of Chicago, thrown into what, for me, felt like this Eyes Wide Shut world, of, like, I never knew when I was gonna open up and there'd be masks and feathers. [laughter] Because I was meeting people at hotels, and they're, you know, really nice places on Lake Shore Drive. And I was just like, holy cow, there's a whole world, a secret little world, of people just enjoying, for lack of — people just enjoying this dick. That's how I felt. I walked around, like, on top of the world. Like, it really did a number for my self esteem and confidence, to be honest.
Karen Yates: Yeah. So you'd come from this place of like, oh, is something wrong with me, to suddenly you're wearing a strap-on and being like, Woohoo!
Lily Be: Yeah. And this is where the thoughts of like, am I straight? Am I — what is this? What does this make me, if I'm — because I did not need to orgasm. This was getting me what I needed, you know what I'm saying? The act of putting on the strap-on, and doing what I needed to do, and having them be like, Thank you, goddess. Oh, my goodness, goddess. That was enough for me to be like, I'm good. I'm good. Thank you. And they'd bring me chicken sandwiches, or whatever it is that I wanted. Frosties with fries.
Karen Yates: Oh, man, that would be half the lure for me. "Okay, I want an egg salad sandwich on rye..."
Lily Be: I was all about it. I was all about like, bring me a chicken sandwich from a non-corporate entity. They'd be like, where do I go? And I'm like, Do you want a clue? I'd have them at like Beefy's and Best Subs, and JJ Fish, buying me chicken sandwiches... just because I wanted them to — just I wanted to picture this, like, financial bro from Lincoln Park on the west side of Chicago getting his Goddess a chicken sandwich.
Karen Yates: Did you then eat it in front of them?
Lily Be: Always. Always. I was like, You got to wait till I'm like, num num num. And they'd just watch me eat. And they'd love that shit. But for me, it was unheard of. I was sitting like, this motherfucker is actually watching me eat a chicken sandwich! And they're just like, Goddess! I loved it. No, I was like, This is the life right here. I'm gonna stay in this cute little outfit. I'm not gonna get dirty. My makeup ain't gonna get smeared. My hair is gonna be right when I leave here. Yeah, this is nice. And I'll be fed.
Karen Yates: So when you're actually pegging them and going through the whole scene with them, would you classify it as like sexual arousal, or not? You're just feeling good. You're feeling in a zone?
Lily Be: Oh, yeah. No, I felt like I was like, head of the team. Like a coach, like a — that's what I felt like. I felt like, "That's right. That's right. That's my boy." But it was so — I mean, I remember one of my cubs — because they were also younger, so I was like a cougar, pegging. These were my cubs. And I remember one of my cubs being like, I'm going to Costa Rica. I don't know what I'm going to do without you. And I was like, go get your dick sucked. Go, go, go, go get your dick sucked. I mean by somebody, not me, but go and send me the video, just so I know you ain't full of shit. And they would do that. Like they would go and be like, "Goddess I'm getting my dick sucked in another country, by a guy!" And I'm like, get it! Right. So there was this like, like, real, almost like I was their mom in a way, but weird, this weird, like, dynamic that I had developed with all of these men, that was not about me getting off, or me having a relationship, or there was no like, jealousy, or any — it was just like, good job. Like, I got you, I got your back. I got your back. And they'd always be like, What can I do for you, Goddess? That's where the chicken sandwiches came along. Because I was like, I don't want them to feel like they're not giving me something in return. So the chicken sandwiches, or the hair brushing or braiding, shit like that, that I enjoy. I was getting them to do. So it was really fun.
Karen Yates: We'll return to my conversation with Lily Be in a moment. Are you looking to improve erotic communication with your partner? I work with couples in Chicago, helping them increase pleasure, learn how to express desires, and become more connected. All of this through dynamic body centered sessions. Go to the show notes, or karen-yates.com to schedule your free consultation with me. Now, back to my interview with storyteller Lily Be about her asexual journey. In this half, we discuss the wonders of Reddit, coming to grips with asexuality, and what it means now. Enjoy.
[to Lily] So you were doing this total balls-out kink journey. Here we go. And so, was there a moment when you're like, I don't want to do this anymore? Or wait, there's something deeper going on here? Like, was there a transition out of it? Or are you still kind of in it?
Lily Be: Well, I ended up in a relationship. That's what happened. I ended up in a damn relationship as a result of just on my kink journey. One of these dudes popped in and was like, I want to be your boyfriend. And I was like, eww, I don't know, because he was super young, younger than I. Also a relationship that, almost a year long, was just not healthy for me. It was an empath-narcissist relationship I fell into, that had its own kind of messed-upness. It wasn't a sexual relationship. Definitely on his part, he was more closeted about things, I want to believe. Comes from a background where it's against their tradition for any type of anal stimulation, or your culture, right? It's just like, they don't — no, I can't admit this.
Is there any culture... does? Is into anal...?
Not that I know of. It's wrong all across the board. But they were like, big time. Like, I find out, my family will disown me, big time. They're like, nope. Gone. And I was like, Oh. So he felt comfortable with me. I refused to peg him, though. Because there was — I don't peg men of color. I'm sorry. It's just one of those things where in my head I just cannot. But he did like anal stimulation, so we had some toys and... but it was never — I never initiated sex with him. He never initiated sex. And then we broke up on this, like, really bad camping trip, where I was like, I gotta go. And then coming out of that, is when I started doing, I jokingly call it like "dickventory." Like, taking all the dick inventory of my life. And wondering, okay, I'm the common denominator. Something's not working. What is it that's not working? And then I just went down an internet rabbit hole, found myself in a Reddit thread, and it was in that Reddit—
Karen Yates: Like you do.
Lily Be: You know, you've been on that rabbit hole, where you're just asking the question, and then Reddit knows everything. And so, I'm in a Reddit thread, where I'm reading comment after comment of people, and then just realizing, like, yeah, these are my people. Because everything hit so hard to some part of my life. Right. And it was an asexuality thread.
So what was, what were the things that were like, oh, my god! Because I know, asexuality is a spectrum for some folks.
Lily Be: Yes. Right.
Karen Yates: But what were the things that were like hitting you?
Lily Be: Anything past a blowjob is gross. That was the one that was like, Yeah, I feel that. That one hit me where I was like, anything past a blowjob is gross, was one thing. The other one was just a joking little meme, where it was just like, my friends talking about sex, and it was just like, everyone in it, and then me thinking about chocolate, you know? While that conversation is going, it's just like, Yeah, that's me. I totally zone out when sex conversations start happening. Just because I'm just like, Yeah, this ain't for me. Like, I'm not gonna take any of these tips or tricks, or any of this, and apply them anywhere. And so yeah, that's kind of like, how it happened. Like how it just started kind of coming out for me, is like, yeah, the Reddit thread — words that I never thought would come out of my mouth. Thanks, Reddit! And then that's when the work — I don't know if you'd call it work — but it's like a combination of, like, now more work, because I have to figure out how to navigate this world now when people are like, interested in you, and they want to have sex with you. But then also, like, just a weight lifted off my shoulders, where it's like, oh, I don't have to do any of that anymore. Like, I don't have to like shave as much as I thought. You never have to shave, right? But I was doing it — because I'm like, oh guys gotta... what if? And it's just like, there is no — I don't care. They don't matter. I'm not — that's not part of the — that's not going to be part of the night or the day for me and anyone. So I don't have to worry about any of that. I don't have to worry about any of that. Like I'm gonna — I would never walk around in like a crop top. There's so much free that comes from like, oh, wait, there's gonna be no sex at the end of this date.
Karen Yates: Right? It can be a terrible pressure. And you know, what I'm thinking about is like, once you like, took the label and ran with it — sometimes people are like, oh, labels bad, but like there can be a freedom to know there's a band of folks in the world that call themselves asexual, or bisexual, whatever label. It's not a label, it just becomes a tribe. Of being accepted. Right? Yeah. Then you accept yourself.
Lily Be: Yeah, you nailed it. It's that part. That part of, like, knowing that this was an option, like that there was never anything wrong with me, that all those fights I had with men who were like, you cheated on me, because I didn't want to sleep with them. And also an accountability that I that I now had, too, which is just like, oh, yeah, you were in the wrong relationships. And you probably had more to do with it, really, than you gave — because now I'm like, Oh, well, yeah, they had every right to feel like I didn't care about them, because I didn't want to sleep with them. And in their head, having sex was that measure. And for me, it wasn't, right. And it was like, Ooh, I probably made them feel like shit. But it was like, I'm not cheating! It was all these fights. I remember. Like, I'm not cheating on you, I swear to God! Like, why wouldn't you want to sleep with me? And it's like, because I'm not in the mood. You're never in the mood! It was this weird, like, what do I say? I mean, I'm being honest. I'm not in the mood. I don't care to — you know? And then, did you come? No, I didn't come. Are you sure? I'm positive. I didn't come. You never come! And then that's probably got to be a hit to their ego, right? But it's just like, I'm not into it. Like, I'm seriously doing like, math problems. And like, thinking about what's on TV, and like, seriously, not even in the moment. So I'm so sorry. I feel so bad, because I was like, What's wrong with y'all? And in my head, I'm like, there must be someone better out there. Because they can't make me come. Then I'm with the wrong person. And all along, it was just me. All along it was like, No, you don't want to come. It's okay. You don't have to, you know?
Karen Yates: Okay, so now you it's all coming in. I'm asexual. Now what happens? Like, you're realizing stuff, you're going through the dickventory, which is an awesome term. What happened now? Because now we're entering the pandemic, I think. Maybe on the cusp of the pandemic? What's going on here?
Lily Be: Late 2019 when I was like, Okay, I'm settling into this asexuality. And then 2020 comes around, and it was almost a sense of just like, now you get to be asexual alone! That one made me cough just a little. [laughter] Because that was fun, actually, it was kind of like, [ ]. I hate to say that, right? But it was like, I don't know what I would have done if the world was open. I think it would have been a little bit more awkward. And you know, so now, it was actually really fun for me, in this pandemic, to come out right before the pandemic hit, because now everything's online, everybody's online, and I could just say I'm asexual, and the conversations that happen — a sexual what? No, a-sexual. It's a thing.
Karen Yates: I'm a sexual!
Lily Be: A sexual what?
Karen Yates: Fill in the blank!
Lily Be: And like, men are like, in front of a computer, in front of a device, where they can legit just — "what is asexual?" But no, they want to ask me. And then there's this misconception that asexual means no sex. Right? And it doesn't. It's just like, I compared it to like a pantry of food, right? Where people have their staples. And then people have like, all that other stuff. And asexuality for me is in that pile of other stuff. Right? Like, like, it's not my rice and beans—
Karen Yates: Like spelt flour, right?
Lily Be: Maybe it'll come out when I need to do something special with it. Like that stuff, right? It's it's condensed condensed milk in the corner. I'm not gonna use this shit, but who knows, you might need it for something special. It'll come up. But that's what it is for me. Like, you walk into my pantry of pleasure, and sex is not on the shelves — like, on the immediate shelves. It's there in the pantry, but it's like, way up in the corner somewhere, where it's like, Okay, I'll do this, I guess.
Karen Yates: Well, okay, so when you're with a partner, is it like, begrudgingly, or is it negotiated, or what is it?
Lily Be: Well, I don't know. This my first partner where those kind of terms are going to be played out as they — because this is, like I said, my first partner as a fully, like — I've dated as an asexual person, and they're always cool with it until they're not. Until my sexy comes out. Because I'm still sexy. I'm still — I can't help it. Like, my boobs are still there, right? I still have this, like, way of talking and making people feel good that is really, that I guess turns people on. And then I got to be like, remember, I'm asexual though? They're like, why are you so sexy tho? Um, so that, I've run into that a couple times where it's just like, you're gonna give me blue balls! And I'm like, I told you, I mean, you knew this, you knew that I was — I told you what my level, my spectrum is. And I like the dressing up. I like my boobs. I love my body, you know, like, but that doesn't mean that I want it touched or anything in it. Right? That don't give you the right. So that's the part that I'm kind of navigating, is this very, I have to be very transparent about it. You know, I have to be like, I'm asexual. So when I started dating people and actually meeting them in like, 2021, it had to be like, I'm asexual. So don't think there's gonna be sex at the end of this. However, I will hold your hand, and I will cuddle with you in a theater. But I have to be the one that leans in, right? And I have to be the one that kind of gives you that okay. And if you want that, then you can ask, and see where it goes. Like, that's kind of how I'm playing it now. Like, ask — you never know, right? I'd be willing to make that concession for what you are offering me, which is what I feel like I have with my current partner, in that, if it got to that, if it got to that place of like, really, I need you to touch me, I will be like, Well, fine, what's in it for me? And I think he's the type of person and be like, Well, what do you want? And I'll be like—
Karen Yates: A chicken sandwich!
Lily Be: The most chickeniest chicken sandwich! [laughter] Yes. But no, like, I think that's the kind of reciprocation — and also, like, check your ego, men. You know, like, check your ego, because it's not going to be about getting off for me. It's not. If we get to that place where you gotta stick anything inside of me, I'mma roll with the best of them. But know that I'm not going to, like, I'm not going to get off, probably. But I'll have fun with it. You will be surprised. But you have to be hella special for that to even happen. Does that make sense?
It does. It does.
Like, woo, you got to pass some tests.
Karen Yates: Well, I wonder if you would be, in the future — because I don't know if you're polyamorous or not — but in the future, are you going to be even looking for dudes that are highly sexual? Do you know what I mean? Would it be — would it work for you to be with someone who is asexual as well?
Lily Be: Mmm! I didn't even think about that. Like because I've read — in the threads and in the groups now that I'm a part of, you have couples that are, you know, where one partner is completely like, nope, and then another partner is like, we have these agreements, right? Where I can have partners outside of the relationship, as long as there's like — I read one that was like, don't bring anything home that I have to check with my doctor, and don't make a baby, because then that kind of — anything that complicates this would be a, you know, off the table kind of thing. So that I could see that working in my future, as long as I don't have to see or know about it, I don't care, right? I don't need to meet — we don't have to be Sister Wives. None of that. Go do what you do. And I will be here doing what I do. Just bring me my chicken sandwiches [laughs] and do nice things for me. Those are my love languages anyway, is like, acts of service, and gifts, and they're gradiated. Like, I feel like I have all the love languages.
I think everyone does, right?
Yeah, just different levels of it. And for me, acts of service, right on top. Like, you want to get in my heart? Wash my dishes, just one time. And I'll be like, Oh, I love you. You know little things like that. That's what kind of like, that's the joy. And then I feel like I'm taking advantage of people, because what I get pleasure from is not these, like, sexual things, right? It's like, I'm, oh my goodness, take me to a good place to eat that no one, that you don't share with anyone, and that to me is the way to my heart. You know, like, these little things that are just like, special feeling for me. Oh my goodness. Yeah, I have found my whole other pleasure zones. Like, that's the best part about asexuality, is when you know it's not sex. Then what is it that brings you so much joy and pleasure, Lily? And that right there has been like, oh my goodness! Like, gifts! And just peace and quiet. Oh, I love me a sensory deprivation tank. I did not know this was something I like, really, really got off on. But it was like oh, so quiet. But don't take me in the woods. Because that's a different type sensory — I don't want that! Get me the fuck out of here. But put me in a tank of water where nobody can hear me scream. I'm okay with that! It's so weird.
Karen Yates: So, you're a storytelling doula.
Lily Be: Yay!
Karen Yates: If you were to take on the role of asexual doula, what would you tell folks who are, like, questioning, right? What would you say?
Lily Be: Oh, wow. Is be good to yourself, no matter what, right? Like, you're not broken. Like, I never want to ever think that I'm broken again. Because I did think something was wrong with me. And I have shared the story of the day I found out, or the day that kind of prompted this, like, Reddit search. It was after a date. And it's on — if you go, you know, if you search it, I've told the story online. But it was the end of that story that I shared about the moment is really about like, never questioning my being. Like, Lily Be is obviously a stage name. But I pick Be specifically because I am, I exist in the world, I am both a being in action, but then also just in my stillness, I am being, right. So Lily Be is just that I just exist, I just am, right? And that, as I am, is okay. However that manifests itself, because I am the only one like me. And that is a big thing about this journey that I tell people, is that I learned not to think of myself as broken, or something is wrong. It's just, I have learned to embrace that there is, or accept that there is something about me I still have to uncover or discover. And that way, it makes it more of a journey and fun, rather than like a painful thing to live with. Right? Like, I wake up every morning like, what is the thing about me that I'm going to discover that I did not know? Because 40 years, yo! 40 years of thinking that I had to be sexual, that I had to be this, like, woman in a sense of what the world was pushing on me, like everything I had learned from society was wrong! And it was, there was never anything wrong with me. It's just that I had to find what was right. And what was right for me, I found. And now I get to explore that world. And who knows, maybe further down, I unlock, or I uncover something that tweaks that a little, and maybe I do enjoy an occasional something else, right? But I won't know until I go looking for it. Or I discover it. But what I'm not going to do ever again is close myself off from the possibility of all of that, which is what I think I was doing. I was slowly closing myself off to the world before Patrick came along. Yeah, before the, you know, this like sex — I wouldn't even call him a fiend. But he was definitely like a sex god of some sort. Who came into my life and was like, you like to dominate men! And I'm like, No I don't! He's like, yes you do, you'd be really good at it. Right? And he's like, try it with me. And I was like, I can't! And he was like, just try it. I'm not gonna hurt you. It's not gonna be — so giving me that permission to explore even was really great of him. And so, that's what I was like, the advice I would give people on any type of sexual exploration is to be gentle with yourself and forgiving, right? And know that everything you know may not always be right, or the path. I'm not even gonna say right or wrong, because I feel like it might be right for someone else. You know, so I'm not knocking anyone who likes sex, or that wants to have sex all the time. Go for it. That's your thing. But for me, it's not, and that's okay. And there's nothing wrong with me because of it. It's just a nice little jump-off point to have to like go exploring and discovering, and for me, it's like well, let's go see what's behind this door. There's no more fear behind any of it, like now I'm happy, I open a door and I'm like, let's see what's behind this door. Is it someone I'm gonna peg, or someone that's gonna bring me a chicken sandwich. Let's see. Be good to yourself. That's all.
Karen Yates: Thank you, Lily Be.
So good. Thank you.
For more information on Lily Be and more resources, go to the show notes. Wild & Sublime is supported in part by our Sublime Supporter, Full Color Life Therapy. Therapy for all of you at fullcolorlifetherapy.com.
Well, that's it folks. Have a very pleasurable week. Thank you for listening. If you know someone who might be interested in this episode, send it to them. Do you like what you heard? Then give us a nice review on your podcast app. You can follow us on social media @wildandsublime and sign up for newsletters at wildandsublime.com. I'd like to thank associate producer Julia Williams and design guru Jean-Francois Gervais. Theme Music by David Ben-Porat. This episode was edited by The Creative Imposter studios. Our media sponsor is Rebellious Magazine, feminist media, at rebelliousmagazine.com.
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