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:
- 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.
I’ve been in only one situation similar to this. I was hanging out with a male friend. I sort of knew he liked me, but we never spoke about it. He never asked me out on a date or anything like that. But he began rubbing his hand on my leg. I mean, I was wearing pants, he wasn’t actually touching my skin. But yikes! No one has ever touched me before. I’d never even kissed anyone & still haven’t. But like you said, I kinda just froze. I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t give him eye contact. I actually started moving my hands around, practicing my sign language homework to distract myself. I was actually probably drawing attention to myself. I didn’t say anything to him to get him to stop, but at the time I didn’t know what asexuality was. But i let him continue moving his hand, wondering why it didn’t feel right. In reality, it probably only lasted a minute. We never talked about it after, and he never tried anything like that again. I don’t know if there were any onlookers that day, but if anyone did see, from their perspective it wouldn’t have been him rubbing my leg that was odd. What was odd about that day was how I was responding. Frozen. Non-responsive. My hands were busy distracting myself. No eye contact. Nervous.
“why is she not responding to her boyfriend?” an onlooker might have thought.
He was not my boyfriend. I’ve never had a boyfriend.