Asexual Intercourse

The following post is an auto-biographical stream-of-consciousness account of what was going through my mind the first time I had sex.  I did not know I was asexual at the time, I did not discover asexuality until years later.  It’s clear to me now that most of what I felt was because I’m asexual.

I’ve never read an account like this.  We rarely talk about it, and when we do, we hardly go into this level of detail.  It’s too personal, too private, too embarrassing, too conflicting, too confusing.  And so we stay silent.  And in that silence, we’re alone.

I’m presenting this for multiple reasons.  First, I believe that sharing stories can help us find what we have in common, and let us know that we’re not alone.  The only story we hear is that consensual sex is wonderful and amazing, when it’s not always wonderful and amazing for everyone, even in the best of circumstances.   Second, there seems to be a common narrative out there that having sex will cure asexuality, somehow.  That’s often not the case and I wanted to give an example that people can use as a counterpoint.  And finally, I wanted to provide an example that can be used to potentially help non-asexual people understand what it’s like for an asexual person to have sex.  In particular, some people can’t understand how sex is possible without attraction, or think that there can be no pleasure without attraction.

The story below is my experience .  It is not meant to be representative of how every asexual person experiences sex.  Everyone is different.  Everyone’s story is different.

The following contains descriptions of sexual activity and may not be suitable for all audiences.


I’m lying in bed.  Waiting.  Shivering.

It’s not cold.  I’m not afraid.  I’m not even nervous, really.  I’m just shivering.  I guess it’s the unknown.  This is supposed to be a big deal, right?

She’s in the bathroom, getting ready.  This was her idea.  Do girls actually want sex?  I guess so.

Should I be naked?  I think I should be naked for this.  But what if she wants to undress me as foreplay?  Would that make me seem too eager?  Because I’m not eager.  I mean, I’m not reluctant.  I guess I’m just curious.  I think I’ll keep my clothes on.

Now I’ve gotten hard.  I guess that’s a good sign.

Do I want to do this?  She said I could back out at any time.  That was the agreement.  She’s not forcing me.  Of course I want to do this.  But why don’t I WANT to?  Like really really WANT to?  Wasn’t there supposed to be some sort of uncontrollable urge right about now?  Some kind of irresistible force taking control?  I feel…  I don’t know what I feel.  I don’t need to do this.  No, I don’t WANT to do this.  I’m willing to do this.  Willingness isn’t wantingness.

Okay, am I ready?  We bought condoms and lube earlier today, so +1 for responsibility there.  I’m still hard, so that’s another point.  I read up on what I’m supposed to do.  Is that normal?  Do people generally read up on what to do, or do they just know?  I mean, I already knew WHAT to do, tab A slot B, all that stuff.  I mean the rest of it.  Do people prepare a mental gameplan for this, or do they just go for it and figure it out on the way?  Not like fantasize about it.  I tried that, I couldn’t.  I mean like actually come up with stage directions for what I’m going to do and backup plans in case things go wrong.

What if it just doesn’t work?  She’s mentioned that she’s worried about being too small, too dry.  She said it hurt the other times with the other person.  I don’t want to hurt her.  How would I know if I’m hurting her?  The lube should help.  How deep is too deep?  How do I know how deep I am?  What if I’m too big?  She said I might be.  Or was that some sort of ego-boosting ploy?  Was that supposed to turn me on or something?  I don’t know.  I don’t care.  Should I care?  Do other people actually care about their size, or is that all just an act?

Is it all just an act?  It feels like an act.  At least it feels like I’m acting.  Is she acting?  Why would she be acting?  Why would she push so hard for this, if this isn’t something she really wanted?  Because she thinks I WANT it-want it?  It should have been clear that I didn’t.

So why am I doing this, anyway?  If I don’t WANT it.  Um, because she offered, I guess?  Because she wants it?  But that’s not all.  I do want to know what it’s all about.  It’s supposed to be amazing, why wouldn’t I?  It’s supposed to feel good.  Really really good.  Better than my hand, better than her hand.  It’s supposed to be a big deal.  It’s supposed to-… I’M supposed to.  I’m doing this because I’m supposed to.  I’m supposed to WANT it.  Maybe if I do it, I will.  Maybe there’s a slipped gear in my head and doing this will jostle it back into place and I’ll start WANTING it.  Like I’m supposed to.

There’d better not be any babies out of this.  That would suck.  But that’s why we got the condoms.  We practiced putting one on earlier.  So we should be good there.  And I read all about their effectiveness when used properly.  So hopefully no babies.

But about earlier…  When we practiced putting on the condom.  When we were completely naked around each other for the first time.  When she took me in her hand and put me inside her.  “To see if it fits”, I think she said.  I don’t know what that was about.  I guess that means I’m technically not a virgin anymore already, even if it was just for a few seconds.  Was I supposed to do something?  Was I supposed to react?  Was I supposed to get started?  That wasn’t the plan, the plan was to wait until night, just before bed.  Was that a test?  Did she want me to make a move?  It wasn’t the plan.  Why didn’t I make a move?  That could hardly be considered a subtle sign of interest.  I should have made a move.  Any other guy would have, wouldn’t they?

Of course they would.  No other guy would have waited this long to make a move.  Any other guy would have made a move that first night at her place.  Who cares that her parents were upstairs?  That didn’t stop us from doing other things.  But we couldn’t then, no condoms.  But nothing stopped me from picking up a pack on my way up.  Why didn’t I?  And why didn’t it bother me that we couldn’t?

Even this tonight isn’t my move.  It’s her move.  If she waited for me to make a move, it would never happen.  I’m just along for the ride.

The bathroom light clicks off.  The door opens.  It’s time.

She walks out in her pajamas, hair back, a faint minty scent surrounds her.  She climbs into bed.  She climbs on top of me and starts kissing me.

I don’t understand kissing.  I don’t see the appeal.  A peck on the lips is fine, and there’s that spot on my neck that gets things going, but deep mouth kissing?  That does nothing.  “Deep” being the important word here.  It feels like she’s trying to eat my face.  I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with my tongue.  It’s somewhat unpleasant.  It hurts my jaw.  She pushes harder, trying to force my mouth open wider.  I feel like a CPR dummy.  People like this?

I pull back and kiss across her cheek and down her neck.  I know I like that feeling.  Does she?

I move my hands up and down her back.  She’s not wearing a bra now.  That’s somewhat disappointing.  I kinda wanted to take it off.  Like that’s an important moment or something.

She moves to unbutton my shirt and I reach for her breasts.  The curve.  The nipple.  I caress them through her pajama top for several moments before reaching underneath it.  Shouldn’t I feel something now?  Shouldn’t I WANT this?  I don’t know what I’m doing.  I hope she likes it, because it’s doing nothing for me.

I roll her onto her back and lift up her shirt slightly.  I kiss my way up her stomach, then put my head under her shirt and begin kissing a breast.  She quickly takes off her top.  That’s the cue to take off mine, too.  I resume kissing one breast while fondling the other.  We’ve done this before.  I remember her instructions of “more pressure” when I get to the nipple.  I push with my tongue.  Is that enough?  Is this too much?  Should the pressure be constant or varied?  Is that even what she meant?

Do other guys like this?  I mean really like this?  They seem to be interested in breasts.  It seems like I should be enjoying this more than I am.  They’re kinda round, kinda squishy.  They’re okay, I guess, but I just don’t see the excitement.

Her hands are around my back.

I move up and begin kissing her on the face and neck.  I press my erection against her vulva, and she gently grinds through our pajamas.

I take my hand off her breast and begin moving southward with it.  I slowly cross her stomach, and run my hand down the outside of her leg.  I cross to the inside of the leg and work my way back up.  I cup my hand around the curve and press as I rub.

Am I supposed to talk dirty to her here?  What does that even mean?  I’d mess it up.  Anything I’d say would be ridiculous.  I wouldn’t even know where to begin.

She reaches into my pants and wraps her fingers around me.  She gently tugs.  Her hand feels numb and foreign.  I’m used to my hand, I’m used to the feedback loop.  She’s squeezing harder than I would.  She’s pressing on places I don’t press.  This feels strange.  It’s okay, but it’s not good.  Definitely not bad, just not good.  Neutral.

I reposition my hand, moving it under the elastic waistband of her pants.  I run it through her hair.  I like that she has hair down there.  I don’t know why.  I find the soft, warm flaps of skin.  I gently part them with my finger, and slide up toward the front, looking for the little nub of skin that I know is there.  We’ve been here before, too.  I’d like to get her off, but she doesn’t help me out.  I press as I trace a circle.  I don’t know if what I’m doing is working.  I’m not even sure I’m in the right place.  I guess she’ll tell me to stop if she wants me to stop.  I press a finger inside, slowly.  Soft.  Smooth.  Wet.  Warm.

She stops what she’s doing to me.  I return to spinning circles for a few moments.

She softly runs her hand across my balls, then moves to take off her pants.  I take off mine in return.

We’re naked again, for the second time that day.  She stops and looks me over.  She focuses on the area that was just uncovered.  There’s a look in her eyes.  Hunger, maybe?  She wants it.  I look her over.  It feels like an in-person anatomy lesson.  All the parts I’ve heard about are there, and I run over them in my mind.  Her breasts, her legs, her pubic hair, the little hint of labia…  But the most fascinating thing is that look in her eyes.  What is that look?  What is she feeling?

What am I supposed to be feeling?  Anticipation?  Sure.  Nervousness?  A little.  Lust?  Desire?  Where are they?  What are they?  Seeing her body is interesting, but it’s interesting in the way looking at a map of a national park is interesting.  I’ve heard about all these places, now I know how they all fit together.  It’s academic, not erotic.

She’s cute.  Her face is cute.  Her breasts are cute.  Her pale skin is cute.  The round tuft of hair is cute.  But not hot.  I don’t know what “hot” is.  She should be hot.  Other people call her hot, and they haven’t seen her like this.  She’s not supposed to be cute.  She’s supposed to be hot.  Cute is something you want to play with and pet.  Hot is something you want to have your way with.  She’s cute.  She doesn’t like that I think she’s cute.  It’s not enough for her.  But it’s all I have.

I don’t belong here.  Something’s just not right.  How long can I keep up this act?  Can she tell?  Maybe everyone feels this way their first time.

I move down and begin kissing her left thigh.  I gradually move my way up, toward the inside.

“Don’t,” she stops me.  I’m somewhat curious to try, because maybe that will make a difference, somehow.  But I move on at her direction, and kiss her stomach, breasts, face.  Was that a test?  Was I supposed to make a move there, too?  I don’t think so.  She talked about it before.  She said it felt good, but that it seemed tiring for the guy.  So maybe that wasn’t a test.

She rolls me over.  She climbs on top of me and presses her body against me as she kisses me.  Soft.  Warm.  I like the feeling as her nipples brush against mine.  My nipples are sensitive now.  I wish she’d pay more attention to them.  I try to guide her hand there, she doesn’t catch on.

She kisses down my neck, and rests her head on my chest.  I run my hands down her back and grab her ass.  My erection presses against her stomach, slightly wet at the tip.

That’s dangerous now.  Fluids and all.  I read about that.  Although unlikely, there could be sperm in that, especially after what we did earlier.  Better make sure that stays far away, until the condom is on.

She pauses as I reach between her legs to rub her.

She makes a move.  I know where she’s going.  I stop her.  Those two areas don’t touch without protection.

She rolls over to grab the condoms and lube.  We take out a condom and open the wrapper.  She takes the lube and rubs some on herself.

My erection is gone.  That’s a bit of a problem.  I know it’s just a temporary setback.  But still…  Moments away, and this happens.  I know it “happens to everybody”, but does it really?

She moves down and puts her hand around me.  She moves her face between my legs, and there’s a warm wetness of an exhale on my scrotum.  Problem solved.

I put on the condom as directed, and she applies a little bit of lube to the outside.  She wipes off her hand as she puts her head back on the pillow.

I move into position.

This is it.  This is the moment.  So why is it so hollow?  So empty?  Other people dream of this exact second for years.  They scheme and beg for it.  It’s nothing to me.

She’s lying on the bed in front of me.  Her hair falls on the pillow.  A faint smile on her lips.  Her eyes close.  Her breasts flatten and flow to the side.

I should WANT this.  I should NEED this.  I should have an uncontrollable urge to go on.  I shouldn’t be able to stop myself now.  But…  I could walk away right now and not feel any different.  Not feel like I missed out, not feel deprived.  Other guys would kill to be here right now.  But I could just go about my business and think nothing of it.

I part the lips with my fingers and guide myself in.

It’s so warm.  And enveloping.  It squeezes every part of me evenly.  It’s so different than my hand.  Better?  I don’t know.  Different.

Don’t go too far.  How will I know how far too far is?

I slowly push in as far as I think I should go.  Then slowly pull back out.  I don’t want to hurt her.  Go slow at first.  That’s what I read.

Pulling back out…  Wow.  That’s better than pushing in.  That’s definitely not something I can do with my hand.

I repeat a few times to get the hang of the motion.  I’d practiced using pillows and a plastic bag full of baby oil, but it wasn’t like this.

This alone won’t be enough for her.  That’s what I read.  I should make sure that I rub her as I go.  That’s supposed to help.  It’s awkward to twist my hand that direction.  I try to encourage her to do it, but she doesn’t take the hint.  She said tonight was about me, but I don’t want her to be left out.

Am I supposed to kiss her?  I think I’m supposed to kiss her.  But am I supposed to kiss her face or her breasts or what? Kissing her breasts seems like it’d require some uncomfortable contortions.  So I’ll kiss her face.  Hand goes to a breast.

There she goes again with the deep kiss.  How does her jaw open like that?  Should I tell her that it hurts right now?  No, that would be a bad idea.  Keep going.

In, out, in, out, in out…

I like the feeling pulling out almost all the way.  The way it softly wraps around the head and squeezes the tip.  The warmth, the pressure.  Yes, I like that.  And I like the feeling of my nipples pressed against her body.  The way they float across her skin as I move.

How long is this supposed to take?  I always hear stories of the first time ending almost right away.  Is that because they were more excited than I am?  I still have a ways to go.

How fast am I supposed to be going?  It seems like I’m going too slow, but it seems like going faster would just wear me out.

She wraps her legs and arms around me.

In, out, in, out, in, out…

I’m getting closer.

I look at her face in the dim light.  Her eyes are closed, her mouth is slightly open.  She’s lost in the moment.

In, out…  Definitely closer.

Should I be making some kind of noise?  I think I’m supposed to?  You always see that in movies.  But what kind of noise?  Aren’t those sounds natural?  Don’t they just come out in a situation like this?  Or are those sounds just faked?  I never make noise when I’m alone.

I’m on the edge now, and still nothing.  Where is the magical spark that’s supposed to wash over me?  Where’s the flame of passion?  Is this really all it is?

In, out, in, out, in, out.  Slow.  Stop.  Oh.  Right there.

My movement changes.  I feel the pressure building.  I push in.  My body goes rigid as a surge of pleasure paralyzes my body.  The automatic pulsing rhythm is the only part of me that moves.

I pause for a moment, still inside her.  I let my muscles relax, still inside her.  She whispers an “I love you”.  I respond, still inside her.

I slowly pull out, careful to hold the base of the condom as I’d read to do.  I roll onto my side and hold her.

Did that change my life?  Was that the best thing that’s ever happened to me?  Did that light a fire an awaken me sexually?  Was that earthquakes and fireworks and rocketships?  …  No.  None of that.

The warmth.  The softness.  The exquisite embrace on the head.  The brushing of the nipples.  The warm exhale.  The kiss on my neck.  The ending.  Good.  All of that.  But all physical.  All mechanical.  Emotionless.  Nerve endings doing their thing.  Felt good, yes.

I should probably take this thing off.  I have to pee, too.

Not mind-blowing.  Not amazing.  Not earth-shattering.  Not far above any other experience.  Wasn’t even the best orgasm I’ve ever had.  Far above average, but not the best.

My body liked it.  My mind?  What about my mind?  Acting in a play without a script.  Does everyone else have a voice in their head, feeding them the lines?  Or do they just improvise?  Why would they improvise?  Why would they make it up?  Why would they all play along?  Why not just give commands to kiss here, caress there, and get exactly what you want?  Why would there be a play at all if no one has the script?  Other people know the lines.  She knew the lines.  Why don’t I?

I don’t belong there.  I don’t know how to be there.

Is that all it is?  Is that what everyone raves about?  I don’t get it.

Maybe next time will be different.

Who Cares About Asexuality? (or: Why Visibility Matters)

Whenever asexuality gets mentioned in an article or in an interview, there’s always the inevitable remark in the comment section:

Why do you have to talk about this?  Who cares that you’re not having any sex?  Stop shoving it in our faces!

It frustrates me to see that kind of attitude, to see people who are unable to close their mouths and open their minds long enough to understand that there are people who are different than them.  And it’s not just anonymous Internet nobodies who share that view.  In his infamous appearance in (A)sexual, that’s basically what Dan Savage says.  But really, those people aren’t who I’m talking about asexuality for.  Ignorant jerks like that are a lost cause and not really worth spending energy on.

But the questions remain.  Why do I have to talk about asexuality?  Who does care?

Let me share a conversation that I came across the other day.  It’s between a guy in his early twenties and a girl who’s interested in him.  It’s a real conversation, edited slightly for privacy and to remove a few irrelevant bits.  It’s a bit on the long side, though, so please bear with it.

The Girl> Sorry, Joe and I are having an ass competition… Don’t even bother asking..

The Guy> I wouldn’t ask.

The Girl> Cast your vote anyway!

The Girl> I probably just scared you. :P

The Guy> Are you sure you’re not trying to scare me away?

The Girl> Hey, you scared me multiple times today.

The Guy> Yes, but this is one of those things that’s likely to get me rolling around on the floor beating the scarythought our of my head.

The Girl> I’m winning anyway. I don’t need your vote.

The Girl> Such a wimp. ;)

The Guy> And what gives you the idea that I would’ve voted for you, anyway? There’s only so much psychological trauma someone can take, and I’m well past that limit.

The Girl> Seriously, does that sort of thing actually disturb you?

The Guy> It was a part of the world I was happier not knowing existed…

The Guy> But does it actually have me rolling around on the floor, baning on my head to get the scarythoughts out? No.

The Guy> I’m not that messed up.

The Girl> Guys are supposed to be turned on by that, but I suppose you have all that repressed..

The Girl> And no, I don’t understand why they’re turned on by it either..

The Guy> If you want to call it repressed, sure. But I honestly don’t think of it that way. I don’t feel that I’m holding something down, that there’s something evil lurking inside that I have to keep hidden. It’s just not there.

The Girl> So it was never there?

The Guy> I don’t know if I didn’t get it, or if I just haven’t found it, or if I lost it somewhere.

The Guy> But it’s not bothering me. I don’t see why it should. I’m not excited at the prospect of looking at people’s butts. Somehow, I don’t see that as a bad thing. I like the fact that I’m not turned into a slobbering idiot by that sort of thing.

The Girl> You know, I kind of like that… It’s always bothered me that guys I talk to, and even some of the girls, obviously have other intentions while talking to me, and I know that with everything they say, they’re just trying to get a step closer… It drove me insane with Jake. He’d wine and sulk, and beg, and generally act like an idiot…

The Girl> er, whine

The Guy> Maybe I just take a functional approach to things. “Hey, wow, that looks like that would be comfortable when you sit down.” That sort of thing. I don’t see anything interesting in it. I don’t have a desire to touch it, I mean what would that get me? “It feels like it’s confortable, too.”

The Girl> I guess it’s just one of those things where there’s multiple ways of thinking about it… Not really sure that I could explain the other way, though… or if I would want to..

The Girl> I guess for me, it’s all about trust or something.

The Girl> And now I’ve really scared you…

The Guy> No, no you haven’t scared me. The words are coming, they just aren’t forming coherent sentences.

The Guy> The words… They want to speak, they want to curse society for thinking there’s something wrong with me, they want to ask myself if there is something wrong, they want to dig up my past, see where I went wrong, if I went wrong, they want- …

The Guy> They want to speak, but they have nothing to say.

The Guy> I’m sorry. I’m really sorry. I’m just…

The Girl> Just what?

The Guy> You see what an ass competition can do to me?

The Girl> I’m seeing it, but I’m not quite understanding it…

The Guy> I guess you hit a gas line with your digging… It’s not my sexuality that’s repressed, it’s all of that.

The Girl> Now I have nothing to say… I’m still confused, I guess.

The Guy> I’m sorry for letting it out on you.

The Guy> Wow, this is a switch… I’m the one emotional, and you’re the one that can’t find anything to say. Never thought I’d see this side of things.

The Girl> That’s fine… I like it when you talk to me, and you’re talking to me…

The Girl> And I’m also curious, I guess. I know none of this is any of my business..

The Guy> I guess it’s that I have a name for everything but myself. I don’t have a place in the “Normal” order of things, and I’m fine with that. But I’d like a name… “I’m not into women.” “Oh, you’re gay?” “I don’t like men, either.” “Oh. What the hell is wrong with you?”

The Guy> No, if this is anyone’s business outside of mine, it’s yours.

The Girl> Non-sexual. Sounds pretty awful, but I think that’s the word…

The Girl> That’s the way I always assumed you were, too… I mean, even when I barely knew you.

The Girl> I’ve heard “asexual” used, too, but that makes it sound like you’re some sort of single-celled organism…

The Guy> I’m sure there is a name for it. One that no one’s ever heard and doesn’t have a clue what it means. Yeah, it’s probably something like that. Anything like that means “I can’t get none” to Joe Average. But “I don’t want none.”

The Girl> I actually went through times when I thought like that, too… The thought kind of disgusted me. But I realize that I was thinking in the internet porn site way, or whatever which -is- completely digusting.

The Girl> But obviously it wasn’t a permanent thing for me, I guess.

The Girl> Anyway, I just started thinking about it in that trust way, I guess… And it’s really a beautiful thing if you think of it that way.

The Guy> I don’t know if it is for me, either. I don’t know. Maybe one day I’ll wake up and realize “Hey, I’m in love”. Or can I be in love anyway. the way I am now? It’s separate, so why not? Or don’t I have that, too?

The Girl> It’s completely separate, from what I’ve heard and experienced…

The Girl> Well, maybe not -completely-.

The Guy> I never felt any kind of physical attraction to Red. But was it real, or some concocted response to early teenage pressures? If it was real, why hasn’t it happened since?

The Girl> Because it’s “evil” now, I guess… You’re probably afraid of it. I mean, subconsciously.

The Girl> And you know the cliche quote that everyone would use here…

The Guy> Why don’t I think about you or Thursday and think, “Hey, I’m in love”? It’s “Aw, gee, she’s nice.” What’s not connecting here?

The Guy> Thank you for listening. I don’t know if this is going to help me (Or if there’s even anything to help), but thank you.

The Girl> I don’t know… If you don’t think it, then it’s obviously not happening, because you’d know if it were.

The Girl> I guess you should probably get to bed then..

The Guy> Oh, now you want me to leave, do you?

The Girl> No, I don’t want you to be even more tired tomorrow. :P

The Guy> If it’s something in my subconscious, it’s deep. It’s very deep. I don’t think one person could do that much damage. Maybe make me more reluctant to act, but there’s been enough time that something should have happened by now.

The Guy> I almost just said “Statistically something should have happened by now”. Maybe that’s it. Maybe I think too much. I’m probably not supposed to think, I’m just supposed to run.

The Girl> Well, you don’t talk to a heck of a lot of girls… And if you’re not physically attracted to people, you’ve not going to find anyone without talking to them…

The Guy> But every once in a while one gets in my path that I will talk to.

The Girl> Personally, I just can’t be attracted to people I first meet in real life. I guessI’ve just accidently trained myself to want to see what’s insane their mind first… Sometimes I see really attractive guys, and make eye contact, just for fun, but I don’t feel…anything, really.

The Guy> Why would it even necessarily be restricted to girls? I haven’t found Mr. Right, either.

The Girl> Exactly…

The Girl> But you don’t talk to a heck of a lot of -guys-, either..

The Guy> “Insane their mind”? You have been talking to me too much…

The Girl> errrr… inside!#$%

The Girl> They always have to make other words… always…

The Girl> Can I ask what it was that attracted you to her?

The Guy> “Attractive.” I don’t even have that concept defined for myself. There’s “What everyone else says is attractive” and then there’s the “That person looks interesting”, which I guess is supposed to count, but I feel more like I’m judging the look of a painting in an art gallery than being attracted.

The Guy> And people don’t like it when you take them home and hang them on a wall.

The Girl> But what made her different from, well, everyone else you’ve ever knwon?

The Girl> known even

The Guy> I don’t know. Nothing, I guess. The time and place.

The Girl> Did you actually know her? Like was she a friend?

The Guy> Yeah. We had half our classes together. We’d not do anything in PE together, we’d trade book recommendations for the essays in English class. That sort of thing.

The Guy> And my God, she actually liked the Grapes of Wrath. That right there shouldn’ve been a hint.

The Guy> Wait! She’s not the one that’s Evil! John Steinbeck is!

The Girl> So you -did- have a social life at one point, huh?

The Girl> How long did you know her before you started to feel that way about her?

The Guy> If you call that a social life… I call it talking to classmates in school. I didn’t spend often lunch with people, and I never went anywhere with anyone after school. Then again, it was Nevada… Nowhere to go. People hung out at the old gravel pit. Really, they did.

The Guy> I don’t remember. Months, of some sort. Not years or anything like that.

The Girl> What happened when you did? What felt different?

The Guy> I don’t remember.

The Girl> So you don’t remember how you knew?

The Girl> I’m not trying to pry anything out of your, by the way, so feel free not to answer that or anything else…

The Guy> No. I don’t remember the feeling, either. It’s like a stamp in a book. It’s the remains of getting knocked upside the head with an inky hammer.

The Girl> Well, anyway… Just because you think you -should- like someone doesn’t mean they’re the right person, or whatever… There’s plenty of people in the past that I -should- have liked, but there’s just something that wasn’t there… There’s even people right now. Sometimes there’s some flaw I can’t see past, it drives me insane that I could be so shallow. And even when I’m absolutely obsessed with someone online, there can be something that’s just…not there in real life.

The Girl> Anyway…

The Girl> Yeah…Go to bed… I don’t want to feel bad about you being tired tomorrow. ;)

The Guy> I’d probably end up tired even if I had gone at 10…

The Girl> More tired, then…

The Guy> And thank you for this. Normally I’d write these things, but I haven’t written them yet…

The Guy> I probably should, though. I mean, come on, “Coming to terms with an alternative sexuality”? That has Oprah book written all over it. And “Oprah book” means rolling in cash…

That is why I have to talk about asexuality.

That guy…  He’s in pain.  He’s broken and confused.  He’s different from everyone else and doesn’t have the words to explain how he feels.  He makes some jokes, sure, but that’s how he tries to deal with it.  He’s empty and frustrated and alone.

He’s … me.

That was a chat log of an actual conversation from 2002, between me and the woman who’d later become my first and, so far, only girlfriend (and not too long after, my first and only ex-girlfriend…).  It would be another nine years before I’d discover that asexuality was a real thing.  It was another nine years of being confused and broken and alone.  Another nine years of feeling like that.  And I had felt that way for years before that night.  Every time someone brought up love or sex or relationships or getting married, there was that emptiness, that confusion, that “What in the hell is wrong with me?”

She even mentioned the word “asexual” in there, and I dismissed it.  It was something I’d never heard of and didn’t have a clue what it meant.  I couldn’t be that.

But that one word would have made all the difference to me then.  Why didn’t I hear it?  Why didn’t I know what it was?  Why did it take me another nine years to find it?  To find me

So, who cares about asexuality?

I care.

I care because of all the time I spent lost in the wilderness, thinking something was missing.   I care because of all the time I spent looking at other people and seeing that I was fundamentally different than them, thinking something must be broken inside me.  I care because of all the time I spent not knowing where I fit in the world, thinking that I must not fit anywhere.

I care because I don’t want anyone else to go through what I went through.

I have a place now.  I have a name for me.

I’m not broken anymore.

But…  Someone else is.

I talk about asexuality because somewhere else, there’s another person who is feeling lost and broken and alienated and confused, just like I was.  I do it because every person I tell might know that person.  I do it because every person I tell might be that person.

It only takes one informed person to be in the right place at the right time to change someone’s life.  That is why awareness matters.  That is why visibility work is important.  That is why I have to talk about this.  That is why I care.

…And Then What?

[This post was written for the December 2012 Carnival of Aces topic of "Dating and Significant Others as an Ace".]

It was the first day of the ninth grade.  A new girl was in a bunch of my classes.  She had a funny name and long red hair.  Over that year, I found that she was smart, quirky, and had a dangerously sarcastic personality that matched my own.  She could play the piano and the cello.  She was going to grow up to become a doctor who would save the world.

People said we’d be perfect for each other.

I remember deliberating over all the options before deciding that she should be the one I’d have a crush on.  I guess I thought that’s how it worked.  Come up with a list of candidates, weigh their strengths and drawbacks, narrow down the list, then pick one.  Presto!  Instant romance!  Now, I don’t think other people tend to consciously choose potential romantic partners with the mental equivalent of a feature comparison chart.  (I suppose it’s a good thing they don’t, given that the runner up using this method turned out to be a drunken rodeo queen the next year.  Clearly, if you do use a mental feature comparison chart, make sure it’s comparing the proper specifications.  If you’re not looking at the right criteria, it can lead to some poor decisions…)  But, at the time, that’s how it seemed like it was done, so that’s what I did.

Anyway, I think I obsessed over her for months.  And by “obsess”, I mean that I would think about her name over and over and over.  Sometimes at night, I would attempt to telepathically communicate with her.  (To my knowledge, it never worked.)  As I was trying to send brainwaves in her direction, I would occasionally imagine her sleeping…  While wearing a full-length thick cotton nightgown with frills.  Once, on a family trip to the Bay Area, I spent the whole weekend with “I Love Saturday” from Erasure’s I Say, I Say, I Say album stuck in my head because, for some reason, I had associated the synthpop hook with her.

I never asked her out.

I was supposed to ask her out, right?  I mean, I was a boy, she was a girl.  I liked her, there was a significant probability that she held a positive opinion of me.  On top of that, we were in the same math class.  Obviously, we were made for one another.  So, clearly, I should ask her to be my girlfriend.

…and then what?

That’s where I got stuck.  I wasn’t afraid of being rejected.  I was afraid of being successful.  If she said yes, what on earth would we do together?  I just couldn’t figure that part out.

I couldn’t really take her on a date, because I had no money, I hate restaurants, and the nearest movie theater was about 20 miles away.  I couldn’t take her to the monthly school dance, since that would have been a traumatic social experience for me.  (Plus, my long arms and awkward steps are not allowed to attempt to engage in uncontrolled rhythmic motion, especially around other people.)  She lived ten miles away, so just hanging out and doing homework was out of the question, too.  And I wouldn’t buy her flowers or trinkets, because the entire concept of that sort of thing seemed silly to me.  I didn’t really see the appeal of the idea of dating anyway.

So why should I ask her out?  What would be the point?

I analyzed and theorized, worked through the options, and tried to come up with something that would work.  At one point, I think I even launched a misguided attempt to get her to be my girlfriend in title only, without any of the attached social responsibilities.  (That was less than successful.)  I don’t think I realized that I didn’t need to have a 23-step six-month plan for going steady.  Just talking to her at lunch and calling once in a while would’ve been enough to fulfill the boyfriend requirements.  (Of course, I’m terrified of the phone.  So that’s out, too.)  I guess I looked at going out as literally going out: That you and your partner had to regularly go out and do something, such as seeing a movie or going bowling or something.

Through all of that, no sex of any kind was ever in the imaginary picture.    I never even fantasized about her.  It’s not that I actively resisted those kinds of thoughts.  It just wasn’t something that I even considered.  I mean, look, even when I imagined her sleeping, I pictured her in what had to be least erotic sleepwear ever to enter a 15 year old boy’s imagination.  I think the furthest I got in my mind was maybe a brief hug and a kiss.  On the cheek.

(Well, okay, there was a vague sense that there would probably be sex in the far future, like maybe after the 527th step in the extended plan, which was something like “Get married at age 23″… But it only turned up there because people who date eventually get married, and people who get married have sex, not because of an actual longing for sex.)

Now, I was 14 or 15.  I was supposed to be clueless and awkward about dating.  I was supposed to make painfully embarrassing mistakes on the road to figuring it all out.  But…  I just wasn’t interested in figuring it out.  The idea of romance and coupledom held no real appeal.  I think I just wanted to be a closer friend, but societal pressure and gender expectations ended up twisting around my head.  It was like I was not permitted to have any female friends (Unless they lived on my street), so she had to be my girlfriend or nothing at all.

I figured that I’d eventually get “activated” and decide that I wanted to give the relationship world a spin, but that never happened.  I went all the way through high school and college without going on a single date, and that never really bugged me.  There were a few people I found vaguely interesting, but not interesting enough to do anything about.  I think a couple of people flirted with me, but that was completely wasted on me.

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…

Eventually, after months of begging and declaring her love and pleading and getting angry that I didn’t feel the same way and wishing that I would change, I came around and declared that she was my girlfriend. It was an LDR, so our relationship was mostly conducted online.  It really didn’t change much when we became a couple.  We still spent all day and half the night talking, just as we’d done before.  About once a month, though, we’d have a visit.

These visits were essentially dates.  We’d go to restaurants I didn’t like and felt obligated to see a movie together, even if there wasn’t anything particularly that great playing.  And occasionally, things would turn physical.

I had absolutely no idea what I was doing.  I had no internal “This is nice” barometer to guide me.  Obviously, when she touched me, there were some things that were physically pleasant, but overall emotionally, I was indifferent.  And when I touched her…  Nothing.

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.  Like I was supposed to be following a script, but I hadn’t learned my lines.  The physical connection felt alien and forced.  I didn’t know how to respond.  There was a hollowness there.  Emptiness.  I was just going through the motions.  None of it felt natural.  Everyone else talked about how amazing all these things were, but for me, there was nothing.

And I lived in fear of being found out.

I did love her.  I think.  Maybe I’d just convinced myself that I did because I should.  Maybe I just convinced myself that I did because I wanted to be in love.  Maybe I didn’t understand the concept of love.

I didn’t cry when she broke up with me.  I didn’t beg her to reconsider.  I was relieved.  I had been feeling that I wasn’t in it for a while, but I just couldn’t bring myself to dump her after all she went through in the first place.  And it’s not like I had a clear reason I could point to.  There wasn’t anyone else, no horrible event that turned me away.  There was just that sense that something was missing, there was that hollowness that never went away.

That was ten years ago.  I haven’t been on a date or in a relationship since.  (Came close once, but didn’t quite get there.)  I don’t know that I’d actually like being in a relationship.  I certainly don’t need one.  When I think about having a girlfriend, I think about it in practical terms.  If I had a girlfriend, she could drive when we go on vacation.  If I had a girlfriend, she could help me load Ikea flat pack furniture boxes into my car.  If I had a girlfriend, she could do something about that weeds in the back yard.  If I had a girlfriend, she could make phone calls for me.  If I had a girlfriend, she’d get me to the hospital if I fell down the stairs.  But never anything about companionship or love.

So…  I don’t know.  Am I aromantic?  Am I just bad at being heteroromantic?  Is this all just extreme shyness and social awkwardness preventing me from being able to have a relationship?  Do I need to fling myself out of my comfort zone and experiment more, or would that just lead to disaster?  Is it asexuality coming into the picture and saying “Why Bother?”.

 

(By the way, in case you were wondering, no, that first girl didn’t grow up to become a doctor and save the world.  Instead, she’s making awful indie comedy movies with her director husband.  Had I known at the time, I might have been able to set in motion a chain of events that would have prevented those movies from being made, but I did nothing…  Or because I did nothing, did I, myself, set in motion the very chain of events that led to them being made?  Either way, I must live with the guilt…)

Living Alone

Although this is for the Carnival of Aces theme about age and asexuality, it’s not really about age or asexuality.  At least not directly.  Instead, it’s about something that comes up over and over when younger aces talk about growing up:  The fear of living alone.

I’m in my thirties.  I live alone.  I’ve lived alone for almost nine years now and let me tell you a secret:  It’s not scary.  Know why?  Because it’s awesome, that’s why.

Know what’s in my closet?  My clothes. Know who gets the blankets at night?  Me. Know what’s on TV?  Whatever I want to watch. Know who uses all the hot water in the shower in the morning?  I do. Know who gets to use the car tomorrow?  No one, because it’s Sunday and I don’t feel like going anywhere.

I live alone in a four bedroom house.  Know what’s in one of the bedrooms in this house?  It’s not a guest bedroom that has to be maintained for the in-laws.  It’s not a playroom for a rabble of rugrats.  It’s full of video games.  Nothing but video games.  I have video games from systems you’ve never heard of.  Do you know why?  Because it’s my house and I want a room full of video games.

I didn’t have to get permission when I decided to staple a hundred plastic plates to my wall to make a gigantic Tetris hallway.  I didn’t have to convince anyone when I decided to replace some lightswitches or put up some shelves.  I didn’t have to form a selection committee when I decided to put waterfall pictures on my stairs.  I don’t have to ask for forgiveness when I take over the dining room table for an art and/or science project that has no rational explanation.

(And speaking of the dining room table:  It’s cheap.  It’s actually a folding table.  But no one complains about it, because there’s no one here to complain.)

It’s wonderful that there’s no one here to stop me.  If I want to buy a copy of The Trouble With Tribbles on CED VideoDisc, even though I don’t have a VideoDisc player and no one even has any idea what a VideoDisc is, no one will tell me no.  If I think that it’s a good idea to try to build an air conditioner to draw up cool air from my crawlspace using a fan, a cardboard sheet, some ventilation tubing, and a whole lotta duct tape, no one will tell me no.  If I want Froot Loops for lunch, no one will tell me no.  If I want to lock myself away for five days while I build a fully autonomous real world implementation of “Robot Finds Kitten”, no one will tell me no. If I want to put pink flamingos, a garden gnome, and a random survey benchmark in my backyard, no one will tell me no.  If I want to replace the bulbs in the bathroom fixture with red, green, and blue bulbs so that I get white light, but awesome colored shadows, no one will tell me no. If I want to hang out in my PJs until 1 PM, then go naked for the rest of the day, no one will tell me no.  (But I don’t want to do that, because I’d probably just get cold.)

You know what I had for dinner last night?  Pepperoni pizza.  Know what I’ll have for dinner tonight?  Pepperoni pizza.  Know what I’ll have for dinner tomorrow night?  Pepperoni pizza.  Know why?  I like pepperoni pizza.  There’s no negotiating about menu variety or freezer space, and there’s no demands that I go to an overpriced restaurant that I hate.

And it’s not just inside the house where being single comes in handy.  I like to go on vacation.  So far, I’ve been to two decommissioned nuclear reactors and one atomic bomb detonation site.  I’ve seen the world’s largest frying pan, a life-sized statue of Yoda, and the landfill in the desert where Atari buried thousands of copies of the ET game.  I’ve stood on a corner in Winslow, Arizona, I’ve gone where the streets have no name in Joshua Tree, and I’ve climbed underneath the bridge on the muddy banks of the Wishkah.  And I haven’t had to justify any of it.  I go where I want and stay as long as I like.  I don’t complain if I have to have spray cheese and crackers for dinner because I’m camping someplace that’s a hundred miles from a restaurant.  I don’t have to deal with anyone getting hungry or getting bored or getting tired or needing a pit stop ten minutes after I just bought gas.  Know how many outlet malls or art museums or roadside fruit stands I’ve had to stop at?  None.

Of course, it’s not all sunshine and lollipops in this world.

All the chores around the house are mine to do.  I can’t weasel out of doing the dishes or the laundry, and the overgrown jungle of a backyard is silently mocking me for failing to keep it under control.  There’s no one else around who I can get to kill the spiders for me, either.

As much as I like going on vacation, let’s face it, places like the Willamette Valley are much better if you sleep the whole way through them, and it’s really hard to do that if you’re driving. (Although, it would be a lot easier to do if it weren’t for that slight curve near Eugene…)  Also, there was that one cave in California where I decided that it was dangerous to go alone, so I didn’t go inside, even though it’s supposed to have an amazing wall of ice in it.

If I get sick, I can’t lay in bed all day while someone waits on me.

If someone has to call the mortgage company or make reservations or otherwise use that terrifying contraption known as a telephone, it has to be me.

If I go into a store, there’s no one else who can deflect the pushy salespeople.

And if I somehow get trapped in the crawlspace when trying to rig up that air conditioner I was talking about, there’s no one who’ll rescue me and I’ll die down there and no one will ever find my body.

Perhaps the worst part about living alone is that I don’t have anyone to help me load Ikea furniture into my car.  Have you ever tried to fill a Prius with flat pack bookcases all by yourself?  Let me tell you, it ain’t easy.

So basically, I guess what I’m saying is that you shouldn’t be so worried about ending up alone, because being alone is what you make of it.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go mount a giant pixel-art mural of a level from Super Mario Bros. on my wall.

(And no one will tell me no.)

Forward Advances

I was watching a TV show today when a familiar scene came on. There was a woman who was interested in a male character, and in order to make her intentions clear, she physically forces herself on him as he sits in a chair. Usually, this scene leads to one of the following outcomes:

  • Sex
  • Someone walks in on them (And they typically end up having sex later anyway)
  • Outright refusal (And they typically end up having sex later anyway)

Today, it got me thinking: What would I do in this situation?
Then I remembered… I’ve actually been in this situation, so I know exactly what I’d do.

I just sat there.

It was almost ten years ago now. I was meeting an Internet friend for the first time. She had made her feelings for me quite clear, but I didn’t feel the same for her. I expected some sort of physical display of affection, a hug, maybe a kiss. I knew it would probably be awkward and I almost didn’t want to meet her because of it.
We’d been together for a couple of hours when she told me that she wanted to sit for a bit.  We were on the fourth floor of a university building and there was a small study lounge at the end of the hall.  We sat and chatted a bit while looking out the window.

Then she pounced.

She flew over into my seat and pressed herself against me.  With one hand, she rubbed my chest, the other hand ran through my hair.  She pressed her lips against my neck.

I just sat there.  I watched the people in the courtyard below.

I couldn’t push her away because that would kill her.
I couldn’t actively take part because that would be a lie.

She pressed closer.

I felt like I wasn’t there.  If I were there, I’d react.  I’d want to kiss her, to touch her.  But I didn’t feel anything.
Why didn’t I feel anything?
Here was a friendly, attractive woman who obviously wanted me.  No one had ever expressed an interest in me like this before.  She wanted to do this for months.  I wanted nothing.

And I just sat there.

This isn’t right.
Why didn’t I want her?
Why didn’t I feel anything?
Why couldn’t I feel anything?
What is wrong with me?

I watched the people in the courtyard below.

I replayed that moment in my mind over and over in the days that followed.  The weeks, the months, the years that followed.  I searched for clues, for hints, for anything that would help to unlock the mystery of my heart.  There was nothing there to find.

When I discovered asexuality last year, this memory was one of the first that jumped to mind.  Everything finally snapped into place and became perfectly clear to me.  Nothing was wrong with me at all.  That’s just not the way I’m wired.

AAW Day 7: Assorted Bits of Ace

So…  This is really hard to say, but I feel that I have to tell the truth.  You all deserve to know.

I don’t really like Doctor Who.

There.  I said it.  I’m awhovian.

I don’t hate Doctor Who, I just don’t really care for it.  I know I’m supposed to.  Everyone else does.  I’ve tried to like it.  There’s been the black and white ones, the ones with the question mark umbrella, the ones with the bow-tie, and the ones with the guy that played “The Actor” in that episode of People Like Us.  I even had a Doctor Who book that taught me about Timelords and Tardises back when I was ten.  But none of them grabbed me.  I just don’t feel it.

Sometimes it’s difficult to be around ”normal” people when they start talking about River Song or Daleks or Time Travelling Telephone Booths.  I just don’t understand them.  Sometimes, I feel broken and alone.

Regarding other “ace” things…

I think our flag is kinda ugly.  It’s great that we have one, I get the symbolism, and I’ll use it where appropriate, but come on…  Black and white and grey and purple bands?  Looks a bit like a broken Atari game.  But still…  It’s mine, it’s ours, and I’ll take it.  Plus, the colors themselves are fairly distinctive.

Cake.  I like some cake.  Not all cake, but some.  I tried to get a cake for AAW in order to celebrate.  Unfortunately, they don’t seem to sell cake for one.  So I had to get a big unfrosted cake and some frosting to go with it.  That meant I had to try to put frosting on the cake.  I failed.  I also thought about bringing the cake into work, but I realized that I didn’t have any kind of cake transportation device, so I’d have no way to frost it at home and still get it to the office without creating a huge mess.  So much uneaten cake.  Sad.

(Now I’m reminded of the “Celebrate with Cake!” ads from GTA San Andreas…)

I’m not a ring person.  I tried wearing a black ring all week and I hated every moment of it.  It felt like everyone was staring at it, which, I guess they’re supposed to do, since it’s for visibility and all, but…  It just felt weird.  It seemed like it was in the way all the time.  And my fingers just aren’t built for rings.  No one mentioned it, either.  Next year, I’m going to have to find a bracelet or something instead, because I don’t think I can do the ring again.  (The ace shirt, however…  That one I can do, even though it’s not my typical style.)

Then there’s cuddles.  Not a big fan of cuddles.  Even with kittens.  (Kittens themselves are okay, though.)  Cuddles were often uncomfortable for me and I usually felt like I had to fake interest in them.

Anyway, this concludes my Asexual Awareness Week series.  Stay tuned in the future, when I return to my ordinary question-and-answer/wall-of-text posts.  Thanks for reading!

AAW Day 6: Masturbation

One of the most common question asked of asexuals is “Do you masturbate?”.

The answer:  Yes.  I do.

(Not all of us do.  Some of us do, some of us don’t, and some of us can’t.)

(BTW, it’s NOYDB.  So stop asking.  Anyway…)

It generally confuses people when we do, though…  (It even confuses us sometimes.)

It’s not just “scratching an itch” for me.  It’s not “just a biological function.”  It’s not “cleaning the pipes.”   It’s not a way to calm an undirected libido or prevent nighttime accidents.  It’s not some bothersome vestigial leftover of the sexuality I’m supposed to have.  It’s none of that for me.

I do it because I like it.  It feels good.  It’s fun.

And it does not invalidate my asexuality to feel this way.

Asexuality means that I’m not sexually attracted to anyone, it does not mean that my equipment doesn’t function.  It functions, and how.

You don’t have to be sexually attracted to someone to become aroused.  You don’t have to be sexually attracted to someone to experience and enjoy an orgasm.  All you have to do is touch your sensitive bits in the right way and presto!

I never understood the old religious claim that “Masturbation isn’t necessarily a sin, but lust is, and you have to have lust in your heart in order to masturbate, because you’re fantasizing while you do it.”  It just didn’t make sense to me. I never had lust.  I never fantasized.  When I first heard it, I was young and had only recently started masturbating.  At the time, I just figured that I was new and I hadn’t figured out quite what I was supposed to be doing, and that when I got older, something would kick in and I’d start fantasizing and feeling lust and have to confront the moral question then. (And all this even though I was never actually religious…)  But all that happened was I got older.  The lusting and fantasizing never began.

I don’t fantasize.  I just can’t.  I’ve tried, though.  I tried to picture naked people doing naked people things.  I tried to imagine erotic scenarios.  It never worked for me.  I tried because it was supposed to help.  It was supposed to turn on the sexual overdrive and make everything ten times more exciting.  All it did was distract me.  I had to concentrate so hard on the mental stage direction that I lost focus on what I was doing.  It was so much effort to get the imaginary naked woman in the right pose and performing the right motions that the slightest stray thought would kick me out of the fantasy and force me to start over.

If you start to plan out the script of your sexual fantasy because your brain doesn’t do improv in that genre, that’s a pretty good sign that something is up.

That bothered me for a long time.  Everyone else fantasized while they masturbated and I just couldn’t.  That bothered me more than my lack of interest in dating ever did.  Not wanting to ask a girl out could conveniently be explained away by shyness or social anxiety.  But not being able to include her in a sexual fantasy that would have stayed in my mind and been free of awkward conversations and fear of rejection?  That made me feel broken.

I eventually overcame that, well before I discovered asexuality.  I realized that it didn’t do anything for me, I just didn’t think in that way, and it wasn’t actually a problem for me.  I enjoyed masturbating adn I wasn’t going to let something like that stand in the way.

So, that brings up what is probably the second most common question asked of asexuals:  “If you’re not attracted to anyone, what do you think about when you masturbate?”

(Again, NOYDB.)

What do I think about?  Furniture.  (No, really.  I have planned out how to decorate a room while involved.)  My day.  The plot of some TV show.  Video games.  Politics.  Music from the 80’s.  The next vacation I’m going to take.  The weather.  But most of all, I think about two specific things:

“That feels good.”

and

“That feels even better.”

AAW Day 5: Love

I’ve been in love before.

She invaded my dreams.  She monopolized my thoughts.  I’d talk to her for hours every day.  I’d smile whenever I saw anything that reminded me of her.  I’d laugh about something she said days after she said it.

I wanted to spend every moment with her.  I wanted to share my life with her.  There were no secrets.

I saw her face when I closed my eyes, I felt her touch after she was gone, I smelled her hair on the breeze, I heard her voice in the silence.

She was everything to me.

I just wasn’t all that interested in sleeping with her.

AAW Day 4: Porn

Yes.  Porn.

I’ve looked at porn before.  In fact, porn is a big reason how I knew that I was different sexually than most other people.

You see, everyone else seemed to really like porn.  Really really like it.  And I didn’t.  Not all of it, anyway.  After I got past the initial rebellious feelings of “OOH, I’M LOOKING AT BOOBIES!”, I just felt bored.

Yes, bored.

I was supposed to like it.  I was supposed to fantasize about taking part in every scene. I was supposed to turn into a drooling horn dog at the mere hint of an exposed nipple.

But I just didn’t.

It was repetitive.
It was fake.
It looked uncomfortable.
It was formulaic and predictable.

Thoughts ran through my mind…

No one ever does those things.
That would pull a muscle.
The camera angle is horrible.
The lighting is horrible.
Why is she pretending to have an orgasm when no one in the scene is touching anything capable of producing that reaction?

I didn’t want to do pretty much anything I saw.  I could not imagine myself in the scenes.

I wasn’t disgusted by it. (Well, most of it, anyway…) I didn’t have a moral objection to it. But I wasn’t all that excited by it, either.  Yes, I would sometimes get aroused, but more often than not, I’d become distracted by poor staging or unrealistic activities and lose the arousal before I could really put it to good use.  (Yes, I’d get aroused.  Arousal is not the same as attraction.  I’d get aroused because, well, it’s sex, and some part of my brain knows that sex thoughts should produce an erection because sex thoughts may be followed by sex.  Plus, being the owner of one of the sets of equipment shown in the videos, I knew that some of the activities would be pleasant, so a signal would get sent downstairs to prepare it for those sorts of pleasant activities.)

Sometimes I’d pause the videos and look in the background to see what books or movies or games they had on a shelf, or to figure out what city was in the background out the window.  Little mysteries like that were often far more entertaining than the repetitive in-out-in-out mechanics in the foreground.

At first, I just thought that I hit a bad batch.  Like maybe everything I looked at just wasn’t all that good.  There were a few pictures of “cute” girls that were nice to look at, but I didn’t find any “hot” girls that I’d like to have my way with.  That’s what porn is supposed to be all about, right?  So I went exploring.  Surely there was something out there I’d like.

Maybe I’d like blondes.
Maybe I’d like brunettes.
Maybe I’d like black women.
Maybe I’d like Asians.
Maybe I’d like redheads.
Maybe I’d like skinny girls.
Maybe I’d like fat girls.
Maybe I’d like goths.
Maybe I’d like S&M.
Maybe I’d like grannies.
Maybe I’d like nannies.
Maybe I’d like shaved.
Maybe I’d like natural.
Maybe I’d like cheerleaders.
Maybe I’d like lesbians.
Maybe I’d like gay men.
Maybe I’d like two on one.
Maybe I’d like three on one.
Maybe I’d like big breasts.
Maybe I’d like flat chests.
Maybe I’d…  Maybe…

Maybe not.

I went through just about every permutation, combination, variation, deviation and perversion that’s on the Internet and virtually none of it appealed to me in any way.  (Well, okay, there was a bit of aesthetic attraction toward the redheads, but other than that…)  The vast majority of it was dull and boring. The more it turned to stereotypical “porno movie with porn stars” (You know, the “Did you order a pizza, ma’am?” variety), the less appealing it became.

That bothered me.  I was supposed to like it, right?  I mean, I was supposed to have a primal reaction.  There were supposed to be urges and all that.  Everyone else got all excited by it and talked at length about all the hammering, nailing, screwing, and various other assorted construction-related metaphors that they fantasized about doing with this porn star or that porn star.  All I got was a feeling that I’d wasted my time and money.

It wasn’t until I discovered that I was asexual that I realized what was going on.  It wasn’t that I just hadn’t found some narrow subniche that would do it for me, it wasn’t that I’m just picky, it’s that nothing would really do it for me, ever.  Porn would never trigger the emotional reaction in me that it did in other people.  Where other people saw a stream of fantasies and desires, I saw a poorly filmed video of mostly naked people doing things to each other that neither one really seemed to be interested in being a part of.

Now that I know I’m ace, I’ve gone back to look at porn from time to time.  I’ve realized that the stuff that I do find interesting is almost always well-lit, well-framed, in-focus, it has a pleasing array of colors and shapes, and the people in the shot generally seem to be willing and engaged.  In other words, it seems to be far more important to me that the picture be a good photograph in general, rather than necessarily be erotic or revealing or whatever.

So, in conclusion, what I guess I’m really trying to say here is:  If you happen to make homemade porn videos, buy a bright light and a tripod and smile once in a while.  Seriously.

AAW Day 3: Attraction

The words “hot” and “sexy” might as well be in a foreign language.  I don’t relate to them at all.  They always seem to be used to describe people or things that I find artificial, impractical, and unappealing.

I had a girlfriend once who complained that I thought she was “cute”.  She didn’t want to be “cute”, she wanted to be “hot”.

My brain is simply not wired to understand it.  When someone says “Check her out, she’s so hot”, what I see is someone with oversized lips, plastic skin, breasts that’ll make her lose her balance, a face with more paint and spackle on it than my house, and it’s all wrapped up in clothes that cannot be comfortable to wear.  Those features stand out and scream that I’m looking at an artificial creation instead of a person.

I’m not saying that it’s wrong for a person to like that sort of thing.  I’m just saying that I can’t.

I do experience aesthetic attraction.  There are certain people or types of people that I do enjoy looking at.  Those people will stand out and I will notice them.  But all I want to do is look.  It’s like I’m looking at a cute puppy or beautiful picture.

Those are words I understand.  “Cute”, “Beautiful”, sometimes even “Pretty”.  I see people who I consider cute or beautiful.  There is always something about them that will stand out.  Maybe it’s the clothes, maybe it’s the hair, maybe it’s the smile.  But whatever it is, it always feels natural.  It feels real.

But even so, I get the feeling that I experience aesthetic attraction even less often than most people experience sexual attraction.  It’s a rare feeling.