I'm going to tell my story. It's probably going to end up being a long one, so I won't hold it against you if you don't read the whole thing.

I've identified as asexual since I first learned the term. And while I identify as an asexual, I still find myself having doubts about whether or not I AM asexual. I see so many asexuals who dislike sex, who dislike the idea of sex, who dislike the idea of sexually intimate relationships and I could not be more opposite.

From the time I was a little girl I always knew I wanted romance. I wanted to find that great, special someone who would be my soul-mate, my other half. And more than that I wanted it to be romantic. Now for a little girl I wasn't thinking of a sexual romance, of course. The kind of romance you see on Princess Bride, or any romantic comedy that your mom will let you watch as long as she fast-forwards through the sex-scence.

Those romances seemed amazing, and wonderful. And I wanted one. It wasn't just having someone to love you, it was having someone that was passionate about you. While these passionate, romantic tales were usually portreyed as being sexual in nature, that wasn't really something I recognized at that age. I didn't connect sex with romance until about 12, when I stumbled across a romance novel. And rather than being put off by the idea of sex I loved it. "How beautiful". I thought. "How wonderful and passionate and romantic and intimate and what a beautiful way for to people to express how much they love each other." "I'll have that one day", I thought. "I'll fall madley in love and it will be this great romance and we'll make beautiful passionate love to each other because we love each other so much."

And there was the error in my thinking, the mistake that I made. Whereas sex had been a confusing concept before, just a way for people to procreate now to me, it was what two people in love did. And that's ALL it was to me. I had connected the two ideas, but now I was unable to realize that sex was something (that could be) entirely separate from love. I became addicted to romance novels and finding wonderful tales of two people falling in love. It was, of course, around the same age that my friends started talking about boys.

This was when I first realized I was different. We’d be out at the mall, and a group of teenage guys would walk by and my friends would giggle and squee and gather close to talk about which boy they liked the best. Which boy they thought was sexy.
I was a bit confused by this, I didn’t find any of the boys sexy. How could I, I wasn’t in love with any of them. I was always quick to forget, or get distracted as my friends and I moved on to our next topic, but then one day it happened.
A group of guys walked by, my friends giggled, they picked their favorite, and then one of them asked, “Hey, which one do YOU like. You never say.” And I was forced to really think about what their question could mean. They were waiting on me to answer, and of course I didn’t want to seem clueless,, but I had NO idea what they meant.
“Well…” I began, “I don’t really know any of them…” After a brief look of confusion, one of my friends said,
“Well that doesn’t matter, if you COULD get to know them. If you could pick one to, you know, date. Which one would you pick?”
“Oh!” I thought. Is THIS what they had been doing? Imagining which boy they could see themselves dating? Falling in love with? And I looked at the boys again with this new “understanding”. Which boy do I think I could like? Which boy seemed the most interesting? And so I declared my choice to my friends. And to my great surprise, they all started laughing.
“OMG, that one is SUCH a dork!” and, “Look at how high he wears his pants!” or, “He has so much acne!”

Again, I was confused. I had some how chosen wrong, but I had looked at the boys and picked the one I thought I’d like. The boy I picked wasn’t being as obnoxious as the other boys, he had gone into the bookstore, he was wearing a t-shirt that had Link from Zelda on it. All good signs to me, he looked like someone I could really get along with. What had I done wrong?

“Ugh. He’s just not cute at ALL.” One of my friends said. Was that it? The boy I had picked was less aesthetically attractive than the others? That was why I had chosen wrong? Of course I still didn’t connect this to sexual attraction. “I just must not be shallow.” I thought. Of course I knew people liked to look pretty, and they preferred to date people who were pretty. These were things I knew, but I still didn’t really catch why I just began to think I was a better, kinder, person because I didn’t care about looks. “They’re just being shallow” I told myself. Just because someone isn’t as physically pleasing doesn’t mean he’s not an amazing wonderful romantic person who I could fall in love with.

I began to grow frustrated with my friends, because as we got older the questions only got more confusing and they only laughed at me more. “Oh, I just LOVE Billy Joe. It’s just his hands! His hands are just sooo amazing.” “Mmm, I like Johnny Depp. Look at his lips and his eyes, oooh!” And I remained confused and frustrated. WHAT are they talking about. Are they picking one pleasant feature to obsess over? How shallow! Those guys are like 20 years older than them, and they have NO idea what they act like, or if they’re decent people.

I began to feel like the entire world was full of terrible, shallow people. And then I began to worry that if the girls I knew were this shallow, what were the boys like? I had always heard boys cared MORE about looks than girls did. I HAD to be attractive to boys or I’d never find love.

And that was when I started wanting to be “sexy”. I wanted boys to find my attractive because I wanted to find love someday. I didn’t feel overly worried about it, I was young and I considered myself pretty. But being “attractive” to guys was hard for me. My friends were getting guys to ask them out and having guys flirt with them…But I wasn’t. What was I doing wrong?

Everything. It was in the way I talked to boys, and the way I carried myself my friends told me. “You don’t flirt with them.” They said. “You act like you don’t care that they’re talking to you.” My mother told me. Care? Of course I cared. Just as much as I did when ANYONE talked to me…but that was it, wasn’t it?

When boys talked to my friends they cared MORE. They got all giddy. They flicked their hair and batted their eyes and leaned in close to touch the guys arms. They were being sexual, I realized. Oh, well that shouldn’t be too hard. I thought. I just need to be more sexy. Except I didn’t know how. HOW did I act sexual without seeming like I just wanted sex? I watched my friends and tried to mimic them. But I felt dumb and stiff and awkward. I asked my friend once, and she told me to stop trying to wait until I “felt sexy” and then I would just act that way…

But it never happened. I never felt sexual towards a guy. When I was around 15 my male friends had begun to male jokes that I was a lesbian. I didn’t understand why. I wanted to date/marry a male some day. Why would they think I wanted to date girls? “It’s because you’re so intimate with your best friend”. They’d say. “You hug her and touch her and stuff”. Well of course I did, I was CLOSE with her. She was my best friend. But SHE was just as intimate and close with me, and yet they never called HER a lesbian. Because she was close with boys, too. Because she had boyfriends and went on dates, and I didn’t. But I wanted too, it’s just no one ever asked.

Until a few years later. I was about 17 now and had been attending a very religious private school. The boys and girls I had known didn’t “date” as casually as public school students did. In fact, any most of the time if a guy asked a girl out they automatically became boyfriend and girlfriend, and dated for years. They were all serious relationships.

When one of the guys finally did ask me out, I was worried. “I don’t know if I like this guy yet, I don’t want him to think we’d be in a relationship.” I told him I wasn’t sure, and he asked if I liked him. To which I responded I didn’t NOT like him.

This was apparently the wrong answer, as he withdrew his offer saying he just thought of me as a friend. More confusion. I thought of him as a friend too, that’s why it would’ve been fun to consider dating. Because I already knew I enjoyed his personality.

So the next time a guy asked me out I tried to find a different way to word it. “Well, there’s someone else I have a crush on right now. But I don’t think it’s going to happen and I’d like to see if we’d get along.” Success, we went out. It was a pretty fun time. But nothing ever came of it. Never a second date. Hardly a conversation afterwards. My friends told me once again I just hadn’t seemed interested.

Eventually I described my problem to one of my older, closer male friends. He was in college and currently studying psychology, and that’s when he told me I might be asexual. I don’t experience sexual attraction? What a silly notion. I thought. I like guys. But…why? Why did I like guys? Not because I wanted to have sex with them. I mean, I wanted to have sex some day. Because I wanted to fall in love and get married some day. So that made me straight….right?

A few years later I went on a date with that older college guy friend. We started a relationship. We fell in love. We had s3x. And I was left feeling…disappointed. That wasn’t what romance novels told me it would be. Sure, it felt nice. But…they’d told me it would be earth shattering. They’d told me I would be wild for it. And I just felt like….I’d rather have a nice piece of chocolate cake. Maybe he’s bad in bed. My friends told me. He’s the first guy you’ve been with, maybe he’s just not good.

But I was nearly 19 now and I had begun to realize my differences were, well, really different. I had the term ‘asexual’ floating in my head for a few years now and I thought more and more on it. True, he didn’t make me aroused. But no one had. Ever. I have just NEVER got physically aroused by anyone.

My mother told me if I would meet someone who’d make me feel that way someday, and that I’d regret it if I kept dating this guy. But I loved this guy. More than ANYTHING. I started asking people. Started doing research and realized just how “out of the loop” I was.

It was with a kind of peace I came to the realization that I had never experienced sexual attraction. But now I had a whole new problem. I was in a romantic relationship with a male sexual. I told him I was asexual. We’d talked about it in the past, so he wasn’t surprised. But he wanted to try more. “Maybe I am just bad, Let’s try harder." He said. Why not, I thought. It WOULD be nice, to finally have that experience that the romance novels and movies and TV had built up since I was a girl. But after several different attempts in several different ways I had to face the facts. I just didn’t care/ It wasn’t bad. It all felt nice. But again, I’d rather be doing something else. I'd get kind of bored and feel a bit awkward sometimes. My boyfriend began having complaints too. “You’re never into it. You never initiate. You’re physically not prepared and it makes it difficult. It takes all the romance out of it.” I felt terrible. I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to. I wasn’t being satisfying or attractive as a woman.

I felt like a failure.

During an argument one he compared me to a dead fish . He apologized. He said he didn’t mean it. He said it wasn’t true. But I knew it was. He told me it was okay, that he loved me anyway. That our relationship was so much more. But still I felt like I was broken. We were both determined not to let this interfere with our relationship.

I wish I could say there was some revalation here. But not really. We were determined not to let it interfere and so far it hasn’t. We dated a few more years, got engaged for a year, and have now been married for two years. We’re both still crazy for each other, and he's my best friend. But I know he isn’t satisfied with our sex life.

He tells me it doesn’t matter, and that he’s gotten used to it. But still wish with all my might that I could change somehow. I WANT to feel what other people feel. But I just…don’t.

We both try to laugh it off when I obviously enjoy cuddling and a good dessert more than sex. We both try our best to make our sex life work.

But I feel terrible that I’m not able to give him this. And I feel jealous that other people describe it as being amazing and earth shattering, as being passionate and caring and yet I’ll never get to experience those things.

I feel annoyed and even offended that I should be considered the weird one, when I can’t fathom how the majority of the population could be so sex-obsessed. I feel better than people with normal sexuality, because I lack a drive that seems (to me) so purely animalistic and a tad gross. Then I immediately feel ashamed for feeling that normal sexual people are wrong or lesser than me just for having instincts that are clearly human and natural.

I feel angry with our society/culture for telling me things would be a certain way that they didn’t turn out to be.

And most of all I feel worried, that some day the love of my life will leave because I am unable to fulfill certain aspects of a romantic relationship.

Other than my husband and my mother, no one else in my RL knows I identify as asexual. It’s hard enough to tell people online. Half the time they accuse me of lying or of me just not having good sex. The other half the time no one talks to me because they wanted to cyber and now they know that's out. (-.-')

I still consider going to therapy or talking to a doctor about it. Because what if I am just broken, what if it’s fixable? Or maybe it’s just that I want it to be. Such a large part of me just wants to be normal.

I say I’m not sure if I’m asexual because I’ve never met another asexual online who was upset at their lack of sexuality, and yet that’s where I feel like I’m at.

Then again I know it’s not impossible to be unhappy with your sexual preference, I’ve met more than one gay person who wishes they weren’t gay. So maybe I'm just an unhappy asexual. So I guess, you tell me, what do you think?
WynterBear WynterBear
1 Response Aug 15, 2014

I wish I weren't asexual. I do find girls sexually attractive and do imagine the things I'd like to do with them, but when it comes down to it, i don't want to go through with the act of sex. I am depriving my girlfriend of a sexual relationship. She is very sexual and I am not. I have been this way forever. My imagination for it is one thing, but the reality of it is different. I have only learnt to accept it just this year. It's the way we are and we just have to live with it. Your husband might say he is OK with it but he could be wishing things were different. Well that's how I feel my partner thinks about it even though she says it's OK.