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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Bodies » I think I may be asexual & other issues

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Author Topic: I think I may be asexual & other issues
Anonymous35
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Hey Scarleteen,

What I'm about to write is probably going to sound pretty incoherent but it's still something I feel like I need to get off my chest. It's mainly about me being (I think) asexual, and I hate it. It consistently weights down on me and it only seems to get heavier with time.
I have sexual urges, but I can't seem to get attracted to people. And most of the time this is okay, I know how to masturbate and if the need ever arises it's what I do to get off, but obviously I want more out of my sexlife (and personal life as a whole) or I wouldn't be here right now.

About four years ago I did meet a guy who I had known on the internet for some time. After we decided to meet I fell head over heels in love with him, and experienced lust for the first time as well. It's hard to describe how hard I crushed for him though, and whenever people dismissed it as young love or something fickle I felt like my experience was diminished. It doesn't even matter, it was an incredibly heavy experience for me and I may still feel the aftermath today. I also think the experience changed me in a really profound way. I had always been a pretty reserved person, never really experiencing emotions in their most powerful way: the highs werent as high and the lows werent as low, and after this it was like a dam had broken that made my emotions that much more powerful.
Considering that this was also when I was dealing with my first (and so far only) case of heartbreak, as he didnt feel the same for me, and later depression, this worked out pretty badly for me.

Also, I never had sex with him, because we were only together for a short time, and I was still a virgin. I still am now in fact. Before I met him I had a boyfriend (who I never was in love with, or attracted to, but didnt know at the time). Having read Heather's Immodest Proposal I can identify with the girl because I was so close to being her, I was really close to losing my virginity at age 17 and of course after that I would have told my boyfriend we were closer than ever even though I never really loved him, but I just thought this was how things were meant to be. I regret not sleeping with my first boyfriend because it would've given me the green light to **** the guy I met from the internet, and naturally I regret not giving up my virginity for him either because I was so, so in love with him. But at the time I didn't want to lose my virginity to someone I would only be with for mere days and then most likely never see again. And so, I didn't.

I never met anyone I felt similarly to him after that, and I think it's one of the reasons I never really got over him, or my decision to not sleep with him at the time. (Also because it would've meant I woulda lost my virginity at a "normal" age, which I know is a bullshit thing to think, but it still affects my self-esteem).

And now I'm playing open card anyway, I think I may have some intimacy issues? When I played MMO's it was crazy easy for me to make friends - it was actually impossible for me to not make any, if I took a break from my "home" server to play solitary on a different one I would still make friends thére. And I would flirt with people really easily, and basically connect with them.
In reallife I'm a wallflower, and having a tough time conversing as easily as I do online. I've always felt like I was more "myself" in an online environment than I was in reallife. Also, whenever guys hit on me or whatever I feel like I'm on my guard for feeling sexual attraction but obviously that never happens, and if anything I think I'm sabotaging myself. But it's just not something I feel comes naturally to me. (Or indeed, at all).

I think it also goes without saying that I envy the shit out of everyone who gets into a new relationship mere months after the old one is over, and feel a little resentment towards people who do as a result. I also hate it when people from that category tell me things will be alright because it works out fine for everyone! When with "everyone" they mean "people like themselvse" and yes, I know, it works out for people like you eventually. As for me I'm not so sure. Some years ago I remember reading this article in a lady mag (never read lady mags!) which was a column I think from a woman who had only fallen in love twice in her entire life, both times when she was studying abroad and after that years of nothing. And the first time she fell in love she had a relationship with some Greek guy for several years (the second one as well, I think) so, yeah. It makes me kind of scared for what the future holds for me because I can imagine me writing a terrifyingly similar article she did when I'm in my fifties.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Welcome, and I'm glad you felt able to come here and talk about what you've wanted to.

I'm happy to talk with you about this if you'd like, but perhaps you can give me some cues in terms of questions you want to address?

One thing that sounds clear to me is that you are saying that it's been about four years since you felt sexually attracted to another person, and you don't like that at all. I also hear you saying that socially, you find it very hard to connect with people, period, especially in person. If you can't find a place to start, I might lead with that and ask if you think that's about your nature, just how you are socially as a person, or about fears or anxieties?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Anonymous35
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Thanks so much for the reply, I didn't expect one this fast.

I'm not really sure what you mean by whether it's my personality or my nature, aren't those two pretty much the same?
Whether it's in my nature, or socially or fears/anxieties, I think it's mostly column A and B and a little bit from the fear/anxiety part, however the anxieties may have to do with the fact that sex is still new to me and I have yet to find someone I actually want to have sex with (besides that one guy I fell in love with, obviously).

Connecting socially: I am honestly not sure. A friend of mine once theorized that the way I acted online was uninhibited, and so the confident and outspoken person I sometimes am online is hiding somewhere behind a mask of selfconsciousness offline. I think (hope) there's some merit in what he said.

And lastly there is the whole asexual issue. I'm not entirely sure what answers I'm looking for. I think asking to get "fixed" is not unlike a gay person looking for a way to turn straight: it's not going to happen. In the end I just have to learn to accept myself as I am, even if right now I'm just incredibly dissatisfied with my sexuality because it has given me these needs for sex and an intimate relationship, but not the tools to meet those needs, if that makes sense.

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Heather
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Well, I didn't mean personality or nature, I meant your nature (which I'd agree, is a lot like your personality), a way you'd be even without fear or anxiety or anything unwanted or traumatic having happened or feeling like it would vs. you having social fears and anxieties that feel limiting to you.

Or, a good way to put this might be to ask if all of this feels like it's limiting who you are OR an expression of who you are, which only feels like a limit because it's different from how others are. Know what I mean? If not, I can try some analogies and see if those make it more clear.

Per asexuality, I agree that if that's what you are, it's not about being broken or needing to be "fixed." rather, it's about accepting who you are and learning how to feel good about it and work your life so that it fits with who you are.

That said, if you feel a strong need for a sexual relationship, and that feels like it's really coming from you, not outside messages, I'd say we're probably not talking about asexuality here. Most asexual people center the way they define that as having a core of a lack of desire for sex with other people.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Anonymous35
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Or, a good way to put this might be to ask if all of this feels like it's limiting who you are OR an expression of who you are, which only feels like a limit because it's different from how others are.

No, it makes total sense now!
In this case I would say this isn't me naturally, and that the constraints I feel when communicating in person are limiting to my ability to express myself, and connect with other people.


Most asexual people center the way they define that as having a core of a lack of desire for sex with other people.

I get that, but I have a hard time feeling sexual desire for people in particular while my desire for sex is a bit more abstract, if you get what I mean. I thought having a tough time getting sexually attracted to people in general fell under the asexuality spectrum as well.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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It's tricky to really talk about asexuality with any authority as a sex educator at this point because it really is still SUCH new language and framing, and still almost entirely about anecdotal information. While I'd not say that isn't valuable, when that's really all we have to go on, from an educator's standpoint, that's a problem. especially when we're still very much in the place with it where the asexual community is in a lot of fights with itself about what asexuality is.

I'm not even sure what "the asexuality spectrum" means or entails, so I can't really speak to that. But what I do know is that plenty of people who don't define themselves as asexual, and who have wanted sexual relationships -- and eventually had them -- with others have experienced things like a very limited sphere of attraction, social anxiety, or having sexualities that were different enough that finding partners was very challenging. Where I sit now, the only sound way to frame asexuality to leave room for things like that is to center it on if people do or do not feel a desire to be sexual with others.

Again, no matter what, I don't think being asexual means someone is broken or somehow lesser, etc. than someone who isn't. As well, if you feel like asexuality is an identity that feels right for you, I think that's all we really need to know, you know?

At the same time, because you seem to be voicing having a hard time connecting with people period, socially, and not just sexually AND because you seem to be expressing that those social issues don't feel authentic to you, again, I feel like asexuality probably isn't what we're talking about here, but instead, something more like social anxiety, perhaps paired with having a smaller versus a wider range of attraction. Of course, too, having your heart seriously broken can also do a number on a person, so that's likely a part of this, and depression, if you're still suffering it, is probably another piece.

You say you feel like you never got over that love. Can I ask if you've tried dating at all -- which is one of the ways we even find out if we feel attracted to people, especially when we're people who need to know someone well before feeling like we connect -- and if so, how that's gone? Or what you have done for yourself to try and process your heartbreak and move forward?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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(Just FYI, I'm heading off for the day, since I started it way early, so I won't likely get back to this until tomorrow morning. Just wanted to let you know so you didn't feel blown off.)

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Anonymous35
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You say you feel like you never got over that love. Can I ask if you've tried dating at all -- which is one of the ways we even find out if we feel attracted to people, especially when we're people who need to know someone well before feeling like we connect -- and if so, how that's gone?

I have tried dating in the past and after a short break, started again recently. I think I've dated about seven different guys at this point over a 4-year span but there wasn't really a 'click'. I had a good time for the most part though, and don't have any "dating horror stories" to share. I'm still friends with one of the guys I've dated because we have a lot in common and we get along pretty well with eachother.


Or what you have done for yourself to try and process your heartbreak and move forward?

I don't talk to him anymore and I try not to think of him anymore. I tell myself that there will be others (which isn't a very convincing message, but still) and that it becomes easier once I have experienced other kinds of "loving someone" to compare it with. At least this I'm told.
I've also had friends in the past that I no longer am in touch with anymore, and while I have good memories of those people and the friendship, there aren't any feelings of loneliness or longing attached to it, and I hope that one day the experience I've had with this boy will go in a similar category.

And as for the asexuality thing, it's not really a label I attach that much personal value to, and if it doesn't fit, well then it just doesn't fit. (In fact I'd actually be pretty happy if it turns out to be social anxiety, because that's something that can be worked on).

[ 01-19-2012, 06:09 PM: Message edited by: Anonymous35 ]

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