I never really got sex. It always seemed alien to me. When everyone else was busy turning into horny teenagers, I was oblivious. Whatever subsystem got switched on for their 13th birthday never got enabled in me.
Whenever I looked at “sexy” celebrities, I couldn’t see the appeal.
Whenever I looked at some girl I was told was “hot”, I wasn’t driven wild.
I never pictured people naked. I never wanted to jump someone’s bones. I never felt like an uncontrollable raging horny beast.
And I never understood anyone else who did.
I’ve known for years that I’m not like other people when it comes to sex, but I always just thought I was simply not very good at being straight. I tried the girlfriend and sex thing, but still never felt an urge to have sex. It always seemed like everyone else was pretending and I just wasn’t in on the game.
But that wasn’t it. That couldn’t be it. The rest of the world simply couldn’t be acting all the time in such a consistent manner. If everyone was just faking it, surely someone would have pointed out that the Emperor wasn’t wearing anything.
It was earlier this year that it finally became absolutely clear that there was something fundamentally different about me. Not necessarily wrong, not necessarily broken, just different. I was 31 years old, I hadn’t had sex in over eight years, and it didn’t bother me one bit.
So, if I was different, what was I? I embarked on a journey of discovery and very quickly came across asexuality, and instantly knew that’s where I belonged. Everything seemed to fit and everything in my life retroactively started to make sense when viewed with this new information.
What is asexuality to me, then? Well, even people who do experience sexual attraction aren’t sexually attracted to everyone, so they know what it’s like to not be sexually attracted to someone. So, just imagine that applied to everyone and that’s how it is for me.
Or for those who may be more visual: Imagine a sunset. The beautiful dance of colors, the way countless hues mix together and constantly change as the light fades. Now picture that same sunset in black and white. You can’t see it. The sunset is effectively gone. Asexuality is like seeing a sunset in black and white. I know that other people can see the colors and they talk about how amazing and beautiful it looks and how their life wouldn’t be complete without seeing a sunset now and then, but I just can’t see the sunset. It’s not there for me. It looks the same as any other time of day. But I don’t feel like I’m missing out, because I’ve never seen it to know what it is that I’m missing out on.
And sometimes, a sunset still looks awesome in black and white.
I never got any of it either. Actually, when I was a teenager, the first thing I noticed was that everyone else had a partner. Even my younger brother started to be attracted to girls. He would bring girlfriends home and go on dates. Then there was me. I wanted no one. I didn’t want to date. Everyone else could see it in me too. I was different. I didn’t mind being different, I just wanted to know why. Why am I different? I like me, but how can I not know who I am? I couldn’t answer that question for the longest time. That’s what bugged me the most. I’d also hear labels like, “you’re weird. . . Strange. . . . Not normal.” I hated hearing those labels because they weren’t true. I knew I couldn’t accept those labels because they never really helped me get to the real answer I was looking for.
In my early twenties, my brother asked me if I was asexual. I think I’d only heard that word only one time before that. Well, again, I couldn’t answer that. How can I not know something so important about myself. I didn’t know, how was anyone else supposed to know?
A few years later, I found a card that I had filled out months ago to get a free magazine. Disappointed that I’d forgotten all about it, I took it out to the mailbox. If only I’d remembered to send it months ago, I could have been reading the magazine by then. But, some people may believe there was a reason why I’d forgotten to send for the free magazine until then. . . . I waited a couple weeks for the magazine to arrive in the mail. When I flipped through it, I found an article about people who called themselves asexual. That was the word my brother used. I read through the article & suddenly I finally had an answer!
It’s been 15 years since then.