Recent conversations, readings and introspection have made me come to the open conclusion (oxymoron?) that I may be asexual.
I would like to clarify that this does not mean that I am anti-sex or anti-physical affection. This ‘open conclusion’ is the result of a distinction being made in my mind between sex and romance or I guess love. Perhaps I have been reading too many Sherlock/John epic friendship fanfiction, or asexual Sherlock fanfiction but the partnership of these two men, written and shown to me in a completely non-sexual way has started me thinking.
First of all, I don’t know that I’ve enjoyed having sex. Most of the time I feel extremely awkward and somewhat uncomfortable. This may be due to insecurities with my own body, lack of confidence in the acts I’m performing or what not, but (and I don’t want to go into too much detail here) even when I didn’t really have to do anything, I didn’t feel good. The pleasure that I’ve read and heard about just isn’t there. Is this because I’m not doing it with the ‘right person’ or am I doing something wrong or is there something wrong with me?
Further reflection into this matter via a conversation on sexual tastes and preferences has led me to distinguish what it is that gives me pleasure. Kissing, touching, hugging, snuggling. But none of the carnal activities associated with anything beyond first base.
Maybe I’m over analyzing (I have a tendency of doing that) but this to me looks like the result of my first encounters with sex. They were, not fortunate and not ideal. Sex came into my life like an extracurricular activity your parents force you to participate in. The analogy’s not perfect but there was a certain obligation I felt towards having it. Call it college experimentation or peer pressure or whatever you like but I will say that despite my efforts to deny it, it was not of my choosing and if I could I would un-choose those initial encounters.
Secondly, there are times where it’s not just that I don’t enjoy sex but where I am actively repelled by it. If I really start to think about it, it’s so vulgar, raw and unattractive. Fine, blame Hollywood or anime or television for skewing my perceptions of beauty and dimensions or whatever but while naked human bodies are interesting to watch and study, they are not beautiful, not attractive to me. They are, on the contrary, awkward. That is not to say I don’t like looking at them; their awkwardness and every body’s uniqueness intrigues me and I appreciate it, but it is not, as one would normally expect, a ‘turn on’ or appealing. People look better clothed. The way cloth can hang on a person’s body is much more attractive to me than their six pack or bare breasts or whatever.
(Although if there had to be a part of the naked body I do find attractive and a turn on it’s a man’s back and shoulder blades.)
Besides the naked body thing, there’s something so primitive about sex that’s gross. Granted, yes, the purpose of engaging in sex is reproductive or rather would be if we still lived a couple hundred years ago. The fact is, the primary purpose of sex nowadays is pleasure. And if I don’t receive pleasure from it, nor am I trying to reproduce, sex becomes virtually pointless save for pleasing my partner.
Thirdly, having said all that though does not mean I’m not looking for a partner, or a relationship. My problem with sex is that it seems meaningless, especially if it comes in the form of a casual hook up. From my perspective the fact that hookups are so common and that everyone is having casual sex makes sex less intimate, less meaningful. Just kissing, just hugging, just light touching and the other aforementioned activities are much more potent to me in terms of conveying affection. Relative to these activities sex seems too showy. The best way I can think of expressing this is that I’m interested not in sex but in romance.
Despite no knowing what love is, how to define it, I believe that is what I’m chasing. My previous experiences with sex came out of what I now see as a flawed definition of love. Love is not what you feel for your friends with the added bonus of sexual attraction. Maybe that’s what it is for some people but I think love must transcend sexual attraction. I recognize this may be faulty thinking, influenced by far too many well written asexual Sherlock/straight John fics. It could also be because it has been a while (ish?) since breaking up with my ex-boyfriend about a year ago.
I will revise. Calling myself asexual may have been jumping the gun. Given the statements above I could be asexuality but I don’t think this is conclusive. The real conclusion should be (closed not open!) that I’m not a fan of casual sex, sex that doesn’t mean anything. It not only doesn’t make me feel good physically but I feel like emotional feces afterwards, like I’ve betrayed my body or my mind, selling myself out like a hooker for whatever marginal physical pleasure I receive. I want the commitment, calm and comfort of loving and being in love. Romantic love is good, platonic love is also good. It is not the sex I seek if that is the fundamental difference between the two.
Call it whatever you like, bitterness about my singledom, self-discovery or hopeless romanticism but I’d really much rather someone held my hand than come to bed with me. I want that tingle when touched and the smiles I can’t help from creeping on to my face, to know that if I reach for a hand I won’t be rejected or left doubting and wondering.
Vieillissons ensemble. Le meilleur reste à venir — grow old with me, the best is yet to come.