Q: I’m a non-binary, AMAB asexual, and I wanted your take on this. Going through high school, I took comfort in the idea I was likely just more like girls than boys because society likes to paint girls as nearly asexual some of the time in the first place. Did you ever think anything differently about your gender in relation to your asexuality?
I never really gave gender much thought. I knew that gender did not equal sex, and knew about transgender people, probably all the way back in high school, if not earlier. And I knew it didn’t apply to me. I never felt like anything was wrong about my body, and I never wanted a different one (Although, I will admit to being curious about what it would be like on occasion, but nothing beyond that).
But really, I mostly didn’t care. I’ve never felt particularly “manly”, but I’ve never felt “girly”, either. When I was younger, I was more interested in crafts than sports, but I attribute that more to being an uncoordinated nerd who sunburns easily than anything else.
For me, I don’t think there’s much of a connection between my gender perception and asexuality.
Q: Do women ever hear you’re asexual and give that “Challenge accepted!” response?
Usually, it doesn’t come up. I think I project an air of “not really interested” so it doesn’t even reach the point where they’d even try. Besides, most of the women who know are already in a relationship and wouldn’t be in a position to take on a “challenge”.
The one exception I can think of was asexual herself, so it was less of a “Challenge Accepted” and more of a “Wow! Another one! Capture him!”
Q:Hi, I’m an ace female and I was just wondering how do you respond to people when they say thing like you’re wrong for not liking sex or you’ll like it when you’re older or when you’ve found the right person?
“You’re wrong for not liking sex”: For me, it’s not a dislike, it’s a disinterest. I’ve had sex before and I just didn’t see what was so great about it. I found it rather boring, actually. I felt emotionally disconnected from the whole process. Physically, yes, it did feel good, but I can get many of the same sensations through masturbation, without the boredom or disconnected feeling. And sure, I’ve only done it a handful of times (intercourse twice, and activities that may or may not meet your definition of “sex” a few more times) and all with the same person, so I don’t have a wide range of experiences to draw this conclusion from. But there was nothing in what I’ve done that made me think, “You know, I could really get into this.”
“You’ll like it when you’re older”: I’m 35. When is this magical transformation supposed to happen?
“When you’ve found the right person”: Many people, when they talk about their experiences, say that they feel sexually attracted to multiple people every day. That celebrity, this grocery store clerk, that person on the bus, this person in the accounting department. It’s there, even if they’re never going to act on it or even have the opportunity to, it’s just there. And so, with all the people I’ve seen in my life, and no one’s triggered that, what’s the likelihood that anyone ever will?
Q: How does one actually experience sexual attraction? Is it like a mind-genitals connection or something?
From what I’ve seen in cartoons, sexual attraction is usually indicated by the presence of one or more of the following symptoms:
- Eyes protruding a significant distance in front of the head.
- Jaw dropping to the floor and tongue rolling out, with both stretching to several times their normal size.
- Hallucinations of hearts and/or small flying creatures armed with bows and arrows.
- The heart being thrust forward, out of the chest, where it beats furiously for several seconds.
Despite all of these symptoms involving abnormal movements of the body, subjects never seem to indicate distress or pain when they occur.
In other words, I have no idea. Never felt it, and everyone who’s explained it seems to explain it in a different way. I’ve heard it described as a “pull” or a “thirst”.
Q:Hi, I’m an ace girl, and I’m wondering if there is more pressure on you to have sex because you’re a guy, or if people generally just tend to leave you to your business, as is my case.
In my case, there isn’t much pressure, but I attribute that more to being largely socially withdrawn. I’m not really in any situations where it would come up.
However, I do occasionally end up in the middle of a “Just Us Guys” kinds of conversations, where people will talk about who or what they find attractive, in a way that’s supposed to get agreement. (For example, “Did you see that waitress?”, followed by suggestive hand motions, or “Did any of you see those tight costumes those Olympic figure skaters were wearing? WOW!”) Those sort of conversations always make me feel awkward, because I’m expected to participate, but I have nothing to contribute. And then, I know that my lack of contribution will become the subject of another conversation behind my back later.
Once, after one of those sorts of conversations, someone spoke up “in my defense”, saying that “some people” are uncomfortable about those topics, as if I had some sort of religious objection. I wasn’t uncomfortable about the topic, I just had nothing to say. It’s a bit like when they go off and talk about cars. I remain quiet because I know nothing about cars, not because the discussion of carburetors makes me uncomfortable.
Q: This is weird but How the frick do you deal with boners Because like They’re kinda uncontrollable sometimes So like What do
It’s been years since I’ve had them run wild, and even then, it didn’t seem to be as much of a problem for me as other people described.
Anyway, here’s some tips:
- Wear looser fitting clothes. Tight clothes are double trouble. First, the tightness tends to cause things to rub, and that can lead to it happening more frequently. Second, because the clothes are tight, it tends to be more visible when it happens. Looser clothes don’t rub as much and give more space to that sort of thing to hide in.
- Briefs. Kinda contradicts the looser clothes directive, but if you get the right size, they won’t be tight enough to constantly cause problems, but they will help contain and direct the issue when it occurs.
- Change how you sit. Erections are caused by constricted blood flow. Sitting a certain way might end up cutting off the blood supply. A quick adjustment to the way you’re sitting might let that blood drain out.
- Masturbate. Taking care of business once in a while might help calm things down. Now, this might not be an option for you, so if it’s not, don’t worry about it.
- Don’t worry too much about it. Most people aren’t going to notice. And remember that other people have the same problem, and since you’re ace, it’s probably happening less for you and in less embarrassing situations than it does for other people.
Q: All my life I have never been sexually attracted to people (I’m 19 now) so I’ve never tried sex. But recently I’ve had sex for the first time, and I found out that I actually really like sex, it’s fun! But, here’s the thing: I’m still not sexually attracted to people. I never look at people and want to have sex with them, the thought just doesn’t occur, I don’t get turned on by people. But I do, now, get turned on by the thought of having sex (sometimes). Am I still ace?
Asexuality is about attraction.
You can want to have sex without being sexually attracted to anyone. There are many reasons to want to have sex, and “It’s fun” is a perfectly valid one.
You can enjoy sex without being sexually attracted to anyone. Maybe you like watching other people feel pleasure. Maybe you like the emotional closeness. Maybe you like that it feels good. Maybe you have other reasons. None of this requires the presence of sexual attraction.
You can be aroused by the thought of sex without being sexually attracted to anyone. That’s just your body’s way of saying “You’re thinking about sex. Maybe you’re going to have sex now. Let me get ready, just in case.”
Q: Why is it difficult for people to understand asexuality as a genuine personal preference? Of course, I am not asking how sexual education ought to be done, per se, but I’m asking what are obstacles to the process of learning about and understanding asexuality?
I think the biggest issue is that asexuality is rarely even presented as a possibility. Interest in sex is presented as biological destiny. You WILL want it. You will even NEED it. That’s just how it is. You’re supposed to want it with someone who has compatible gametes, because that’s the way evolution ensured that our species will survive. Even if you prefer someone with the same bits, well, you’re still going to have the drive, because that’s Human Nature™. And everyone hears that story from when they were born. “Humans need sex to survive!” And for most people, it comes true! They reach a certain age and, wouldya look at that? That sex thing is mighty interesting! And she looks like a mighty interesting person to try it out with! And so the story is reinforced: They told me everyone will want sex, then I wanted sex, therefore everyone will want sex. And then, along comes an asexual. We don’t fit that pattern. We don’t make sense in that story. We weren’t part of what they were told about. So, they try to make sense of us. We’re not old enough yet: “You know, I never felt that way about a girl until I was older. Give it time.” We just haven’t met the right person: “I wasn’t interested either, until Sally changed my mind.” We’re afraid: “Yeah, it’s scary, but once you try it, it’s not so bad.” There’s something wrong with us: “You should want it like I do, so your hormones must be off.” And so on… They try to fit our experience to what they know, but what they know doesn’t include who we are. They’ve never encountered the possibility of someone who’s naturally disinterested, so they assume that there must be something blocking that interest, something that can be fixed. Even people who are asexual and simply aren’t aware of the term end up thinking along these same lines, because the story is so prevalent. I think that the best path to understanding is to simply get the concept out there. It’ll start to gain greater awareness, and the story will change from “You WILL want sex” to “You’ll probably want sex, but it’s fine if you don’t”. Then, when an asexual comes along, instead of being treated as a challenge to the True And Accepted Order Of All Things™, the response will be “Okay, got it.”