1. I FELT LIKE I WAS ACTING
“I’ve only had one girlfriend. When I was 21, a woman from a forum I was involved in began expressing an interest in me. I did not express interest back. She left her boyfriend for me. Still not interested. She attempted to give me a topless webcam show. I didn’t catch on and told her to put on a different shirt if she hated the one she was wearing so much. She came to visit for the day. I had an escape plan. During the visit, she pounced on me and began caressing and kissing me. I didn’t react.
You might say she was persistent…
I didn’t feel anything when I put my arm around her.
I didn’t feel anything when we held hands.
I didn’t feel anything when I kissed her.
I didn’t feel anything when she had me touch her breasts.
I didn’t feel anything when I reached into her pants.
I didn’t feel anything when we slept together.
Wait…I did feel something. I felt like I was acting.”
2. ALMOST NO CHANCE OF FINDING SOMEONE LIKE ME
“The asexual community makes up 1 percent of the world’s population, so the likelihood that two asexuals will randomly meet and fall in love is next to none. A relationship of two different sexualities is almost our only expectation.”
3. IT’S A LONELY FEELING
“I’m incompatible with the vast majority of potential partners. It’s a lonely feeling.”
4. ‘I DON’T THINK THIS IS GOING TO WORK OUT’
“In my personal experience, most people aren’t willing to forgo sex, which can lead to some awkward situations of, ‘You see, I’m interested in you, I really am, I just…never want to sleep with you.’ Usually responded with, ‘I don’t think this is going to work out, then.’”
5. NO KISSING
“When you’re in school and university, everyone’s really focused on relationships. I never wanted that at all….Holding hands is as far as I would ever take anything. For me [sex is] just revulsion, it really is. Just, ugh, no. [Cuddling]—that’s OK. Not kissing.”
6. ‘DATING’ STUFF LOOKS STUPID
“All the ‘dating’ stuff people were doing around me…what the hell is up with that? That looks stupid. Boring, insipid, ritualistic nonsense that, in my mind, could only forge a bond with someone as a shared traumatic experience….They’re just 13 or 14-year-olds emulating stuff they read in watered-down books that estimate the readers to have the mental faculties of a lump of plastic. I’m sure, I thought, adults must have a much more intelligent and subtle method of romance.”
7. NO CURE
“There’s really no pleasant way to say, ‘I’m never going to want to have sex with you,’ even if you follow it with ‘but let’s see if we can find some middle ground.’…As tough as that conversation can be, the biggest difficulty for me has been making sure that my boundaries are respected afterward. Some men have entered into a relationship with me only to realize later that we aren’t compatible, and that’s OK. But some men seem to think they have a magical penis that can slowly but surely ‘cure’ me of my asexuality. They do not.”
8. PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION WOULD GROSS ME OUT
“I never got why everyone so desperately wanted a boyfriend or girlfriend. And all the public displays of affection would gross me out and make me feel really uncomfortable…[My fiancé] knew I was asexual before I even had the chance to tell him, believe it or not….He said that he doesn’t care as long as he gets to be with me forever.”
9. I’M NOT INTERESTED IN SEX
“I’m not interested in sex. Maybe once in a great while as something to do or for procreation, but I don’t desire it at all. I still want to date women though, get married, have babies, and all that….I guess my biggest, concern is finding someone else like me. I mean, it’s not like they have asexual bars. What do I do? Just sit back and hope I stumble upon a like-minded girl? I can’t really think of any way to be proactive about it…”
10. I HAVE NO SEX DRIVE
“Seems like a prerequisite for a relationship is an interest in sex. I have never been able to keep a girlfriend because eventually it ends in this subject and she becomes offended. I have no sex drive and never have, as for a relationship a friendship is fine, but when you befriend the opposite sex, others imply a sexual relationship. Does lack of interest in sex mean that you will live and die alone? I have always heard that most women hate sex, but have found that to be a lie.”
11. I DIDN’T UNDERSTAND THE CONCEPT OF A ‘TURN-ON’
“I have a fiancé and we’ve been together for three years. Before I started identifying as asexual it was difficult to explain that my lack of interest in sex was not a disinterest in him, so we have had sex because of that. We still do, just not very often. Two or three times a month at most, and sometimes not at all. We have talked about sex not being a part of our relationship in the future, and he’s a little more open to the idea….Until recently I didn’t really understand the concept of a “turn-on.” I thought it meant something you would like in someone else. And even now it’s really just a theory to me.”
12. NO CRUSHES, NO DATES, NO INTEREST
“It was frustrating, like the whole world was in on some joke I wasn’t. I often felt like I was foolish, immature, or even broken because I never hit any of these ‘milestones’ I was told to expect. No crushes, no dates, and no interest.…In fact, the idea of being with another person is so strange, it totally kills the mood. I’ve heard you’re supposed to think of your grandmother or something to stop feeling horny — for me, everyone is my grandmother. Not sexy. (No offense, grandma.)…I’ve dated casually and even had a boyfriend before, and have always been upfront about my asexuality. I’ve never had any desire for a romantic relationship, and I don’t want to lead anyone on. To me, a date or even multiple dates means I value your company—in the same way I value my relationships with my family and friends.”
13. PEOPLE TRY TO FIX ME ALL THE TIME
“I simply had a complete lack of interest in sex and anything related.…I’d just never been sexually attracted to another person. Not my boyfriend, not the hottest people in school, not the heartthrob movie stars. I wasn’t interested. Period….I dated two boys—one in ninth grade, one in 11th. The first boy was basically an experiment, I guess, because I’d never been asked out before and I figured I’d see what it was like, but all I found out was that we didn’t have much in common and I didn’t like French kissing. The second boy, who was older, pursued me relentlessly for a year or so before I finally agreed to date him—my naive little 16-year-old heart thought letting him date me might boost the poor guy’s self-esteem—but he turned out to be the type who thought he could change me and believed it was his own failure when he couldn’t. Dating him involved some unpleasant experiments that he more or less pressured me into, and I went through with more physical intimacy than I was comfortable with, though we did not have sex….For me, the worst thing about being asexual is other people trying to fix me all the time.”
14. I FELT VERY ABNORMAL
“I did have a few boyfriends during college, but I did not find my true love, nor did I have sex with any of my three boyfriends. I felt very abnormal. I thought there was something wrong with me because I didn’t want to even kiss my boyfriends, let alone have sex with them. So started the long road of attempts to fix myself because I wasn’t ‘normal.’ I did some heavy petting with boyfriend number three, but it was only for his sake and I was just enduring it—the start of a pattern of trying to convince myself that I was enjoying it, when in hindsight it was just unpleasant for me. Two of my breakups were absolutely because I wouldn’t have sex with them. I am glad that I held my ground about the sex, even though it was difficult to do and I felt really bad about it.”