- Gender and Relationships
This is something that I've wanted to write about for a long time. It's a sensitive subject for me and I'm ready to get some things off of my chest. Because I am tired.
I think that I've been asexual for as long as I can remember, and of course, like most people who identify this way, I didn't know that I was for most of that time and when I discovered this, I kept it to myself. Let's start at the beginning. When I was a teenager, I craved affection like most young people do. When you are dealing with hormones, you suddenly want to be held and told that you are cared for, I don't know why. This time was one of the only times in my life that I can recall craving those things so resolutely. Still, there was things that I just didn't desire the way my friends did. Sadly, most of my peers were having their first sexual experiences far too often and far too young. I didn't understand why they wanted to so badly, I saw it hurt them and confuse them. I hardly had a craving for that kind of connection with someone, it was daunting and scary. And I obviously thought I was strange for being any different than them.
People around me didn't comfort me throughout these years and onto my twenties. For years, my friends would tell me the least reassuring words, without knowing it. I listened to them tell stories of their own uncomfortably, and then endure their questioning afterword. Things that I still hear to this day from some, although now, gladly, I at least have somewhat of an explanation for them. How many times would I have to hear "Krista, when are you going to get laid?", "When are you going to start dating someone?", "Have you seriously not had sex yet?" "Why won't you give me a hug?" "Why are you so rude? I just want a kiss." One boy insisted to me over and over that I was just celebrate, and I told him over and over that I wasn't, but of course he was right and I was not. One of my family members, in her ignorance, told me that when she wanted to give me affection it had nothing to do with sex after I told her I was asexual. And on and on. Little did my mutuals know how disrespectful and close minded they were with those statements. How uncomfortable it is for me to be pushed into intimacy when I don't want it. I would continue to wonder why my sex life (or lack there of) meant so much to them, or why it mattered, why we had to talk about it at all. I didn't understand why a friend of mine who went out of her way to harm others with her sexual acts was less of a problem then my abstinence.
No matter how incongruous it may seem to others, especially the ones with the high sex drives and passionate libidos, there are some people out there without such desires or at least have them significantly less. There are people out there, like me, who are able to go through life without, or with less, sex than most people in the world would deem necessary. Of course, in this life we have been raised to think that sex is an important part of our health and that relationships are absolutely required to live a thriving life, so most will have trouble understanding "what is wrong" with someone who is asexual. If you have a friend that doesn't crave sex as much as you do, who feels that they don't desire a relationship, that may not be interested in sex at all, that only likes certain types of sex or relationships, who is mostly adamant when it comes to intimacy, please do not bother them about how they should be acting, how you think they should act in their sex lives and relationships, and don't tell them that they are wrong. Also you should be sure to know that this has nothing to do with my sexuality and who I am attracted to. There are all kinds and levels of sexual drive, even if you think that there aren't, and it is completely unfair to criticize anyone for whatever that is for them, especially if you know nothing about it.
I admit that I am still hesitant to identify as asexual, because I am still naive about it in many ways. (I have a link at the bottom of this post that you should read!). Also, I do feel attraction to others, so I often get confused on if I'm allowed to identify this way. Although, it's the only thing that I have ever found that describes what I had been feeling and not being able to understand about myself for all those years. I thought that I was very alone in the ways that I felt and everyone around me made me feel the solitude of the lack of my sexual desires even more. One day when I was much older, my sister and I were talking about a friend who had been pestering me about things such as this, and she said "I think you just might be asexual." And it was like a revelation.
There are are certain things that are problematic when you are this particular orientation. My family and even strangers don't respect my want for space, demanding hugs no matter how distressing it is for me, telling me "of course you like affection, you're human!" There was a relationship of mine that met it's demise because I didn't want them to touch me as much as they wanted to, I didn't want the intimacy, and I didn't want reciprocate it either. This person still didn't understand it when it was over. People hurt my feelings all the time when they misunderstand. I still get coarse comments to this day. I do think that people should know how to be alone and I shouldn't be bullied for it, although, there are a couple ways of dealing with what they say. When someone asks me "why you don't have a boyfriend yet?", I will tell them that I do not desire to, also being in a relationship is not a priority in my life. If someone bothers me about the lack of sex life that I lead, either I can try to tell them that I'm asexual and have less of a desire to be sexual or intimate, or tell them it's none of their business! Because it isn't, right? Even now that I have an explanation for people, why should I have to explain myself? Why should I have to defend myself and continue to be disrespected when it comes to my personal space? How hard is it for others to be understanding and respectful no matter what?
I am still disinclined to write about this, it makes me rather nervous to write about something very personal to me. I don't feel the need to share about my sexual orientation, usually. Although, I do feel like if there is anyone out there that feels the same way that I did, then maybe I can help. I hope all you out there feel some peace about who you are, no matter what. You aren't alone. I also am writing this because I'm tired. Tired of having to explain myself to people, friends, family and strangers alike.
This is for you. Read and try to understand.