As humans, we are in general a social species, programmed to support each other in family units and communities and it seems often mob rule dictates what is normal, expected or acceptable behaviour. Especially in a modern society where the media projects these ideas into every facet of our lives, we are now educated very early on as to how life apparently is. No matter what our true feelings inside, we may now attempt to adhere to the ‘rules’ that we have collectively set ourselves.
Browsing through the forums on AVEN, I come across many young people just entering the community, asking the same question: "Am I asexual? Do I belong here?"
I’m an alien. I’m from planet Asexual. Many of us are sent to Earth in human form and raised in Earthling families who all suffer a form of amnesia about the whole alien thing— and there’s no way to get back to planet Asexual from here.
I was 21 when I found out I was asexual, and it changed everything in my life – my perception of myself, my expectations for the future, my understanding of the world. In a way, it more than changed my life; nothing was ever the same after that discovery, and I often say that a new life started for me then – that the person I became once I started identifying as asexual and seeing the world through new eyes was so different from the one I had been until then that it could not be the same person at all. It was a new me – someone with a new view of the world, different hopes, and far more possibilities.
My discovery of asexuality begins with irony. I had a really huge crush on a friend of mine- all of my friends knew I liked him, and were totally perplexed when I spent an entire year not doing anything about it. Finally, just before he moved away, I got the courage to tell him- but then he asked a question I’ll never forget: “If I liked you, what would you do?”
My response was an honest one- “Nothing… Either way, it doesn’t matter.” It frustrated me, and probably confused him a bit too. I realized that my crush on him, and the rare crushes I had in the past, were platonic at best. I never had the desire to kiss or doing anything physical. I never liked dating because I was afraid guys would try to put the moves on me. Two had, and I had shot both down. It occurred to me that I was different, but I didn’t have a name for it quite yet.
At least since high school, I’ve been aware that I was sexually different from my peers. I don’t know if there was a first moment when I realized this, but I have a few memories that stand out. Once I was riding on a bus with a few other male students. The conversation turned to a topic many asexuals have come to dread: “Who do you think is hot?” Before this point, I had never been in such a conversation before. I had been asked who I liked, but I could answer that because I did occasionally get crushes on girls, which usually lasted a while. One of the guys on the bus answered the question, talking about this one girl. One of the other boys teased him about how he liked her. But he responded that he didn’t like her; he just thought she was hot. I was taken aback by this distinction. Everyone else understood it, but this meant that there was this experience of thinking someone was hot entirely separate from liking them that I had never felt. When it was my turn to answer the question, I said I didn’t think anyone was hot. No one believed me.
This was my introduction to asexuality: I was 20 and in the fall of my junior year of college. I was standing in my room with a small group of my sorority sisters. The girls were talking about which boys they currently had crushes on, and I remarked that I didn't have a crush on anyone. One of my good friends mentioned casually, "Maybe you're asexual."
"NO I'M NOT!" I replied with horrified vehemence.
When I came out to her as asexual more than a year later, she was quite accepting.
A friend who rarely mentions sex has not had any in at least a decade. It has always seemed odd to me, but he is someone I really care for, and I accept him as he is.
When I discovered the AVEN board, I put two and two together and got asexuality. I did not want to confront my friend over something he might not be comfortable talking about, but I did want to let him know that I was asexual-friendly.
Unable to concoct a better plan, I sent a FYI e-mail to a dozen friends, letting them know that I was reading very interesting threads on the AVEN board. I even sent links to some of my favorites. My e-mail was not for the other eleven; it went to them so my friend would not think I was singling him out.
Asexual. Nonsexual. Antisexual. Celibate. These terms have different connotations depending on who you talk to, and at different times all of them have been applied to me, correct or no. But no matter how you define it, my “condition” can be summed up in one sentence:
I don't want to have sex.
Plain and simple.
They’re pretty much everywhere. Most of the characters we see in movies, most of our friends, most of the people that we’re in relationships with and most of our families care about sexuality a great deal. As asexual people many of us have no innate understanding of why the world spends so much time meditating on the nasty. To live in that world, it is important that we come to an understanding of how it operates. To navigate the sexual world, we have to map out the way that sex is thought about, and the reasons that sexual people consider it to be so important.