Hi- sorry if this doesn't belong here, I just have been unsure about it for a long time and wanted to get some perspective.
I'm 23, lesbian, and I don't really get aroused during sex. I don't consider myself asexual (nor am I interested in defining myself in those terms) and I am able to get aroused at other times that I think are pretty normal. I masturbate sometimes and can orgasm without much trouble on my own. I find my current partner sexy, and I get turned on by her initiating sexual contact, or even just casual touches sometimes. But when it comes to the act itself, I don't get aroused nearly to the degree that I do when it's just myself, and it is incredibly difficult, practically impossible, to orgasm. A lot of the things I theoretically find sexy (even stuff I fantasize about) just don't seem to do anything for me in practice. (For the record, this has happened with all my previous partners as well, but they were all pretty much quick hookups and I am now in a serious relationship).
That's not to say I don't like sex- I love being physically intimate with my partner, I enjoy touching her/bringing her to orgasm, and I really do love just touching and being close with each other. It isn't usually unpleasant when she tries to reciprocate, but again it just doesn't do much if anything for me and I'd rather skip the awkwardness of it (I feel embarrassed that nothing's happening, I worry that she feels like I'm not attracted to her or it's something she's doing wrong) and go straight to touching her. I have said to her before that for me it's about the journey, that I like having sex with her and don't feel upset or like I'm missing out when I don't orgasm, but I'm pretty sure she thinks I'm just trying to make her feel better.
The truth is, I do often wonder what's wrong with me, like, what am I missing that makes this work for everyone else? Do I just have to practice more? I don't do any type of penetration, and sometimes wonder if maybe I should work on that because I would actually love it (it's one of those things that so far is great in theory but in practice just painful, although I do think that's just because my body isn't used to it). I sometimes do feel like I'm missing out. It would be really cool if my partner could get me off, and I think it would make having sex less stressful sometimes! But also maybe this is just how I am, and I know what I like, and I shouldn't feel like I have to conform to some Right way of having sex or a sex drive.
It's just stressful sometimes to look forward- thinking about having to negotiate with my partner, and any/all future partners, the logistics of how I do/don't want to have sex. Having to tell them not to bother trying to get me off, and knowing that no matter how logical or understandable it is, feelings are going to be hurt because feelings don't always make logical sense. And thinking that maybe this is not something innate, and I, too, could experience mind-blowing orgasms with someone I love, if only I tried hard enough. So idk-- I can't decide whether I should be concerned about this and try to do something about it, or if I should just do things the way that make sense to me and stop trying to get "more normal." Obviously there's no one perfect answer to this but I'd be really interested in what someone with more experience has to say. I don't have anyone to talk to about it.