The human race is kind of fantastic in the way that we all have these amazing abilities and perspectives and ways of thinking. And yet, it's so easy to forget that the way we experience the world isn't how everyone experiences it. This is how I experienced the world as an asexual.
My parents were pretty old fashioned in the way they raised me. Always respect your superiors and elders, if you're going to punch someone who's harassing you warn them first so that you have the strength of defending yourself behind you, and there would be no dating until the age of 16. There was teasing and harassment at school from that last rule yet I stated it proudly that I didn't have to date until I was 16. I was in elementary, dating wasn't on my radar and I didn't want it to be.
Jumping into middle school where the dating game was becoming even more real with almost everyone dating someone, I was still entirely uninterested. But I wasn't 16 yet and used that as my shield to hide behind. Some classmates would give me a sympathetic look while others shook their head in disgust at my easy obedience. I attempted to play along anyway with who I thought was cute or handsome, yet I always based my preferences off of who completed their homework and answered questions correctly in class and not on who had the prettiest eyes or the shiniest hair. This whole time thinking that these girls were making up the obsession over certain boys because 'that's what people do', though I still felt like we were too young to be obsessing over any of it.
Now into high school, dating was more than giggles and gossip. I had classmates that were getting pregnant. Not only had I not dated but I couldn't even begin to comprehend sleeping with someone. The risk of pregnancy just didn't seem worth it, and the rumors I had heard about the act itself didn't spark any desires in me. I thought the reason that I was so immune to it all was related to my being a good Christian kid that listened to my parents and followed their rules.
My 16th birthday finally arrived and I won't lie, I was excited to find someone to date. I jumped in feet first and dated the first boy who showed interest in me. The excitement of having someone to date didn't last very long, however. All it took was him asking if he could kiss me and I was out. Told him nope on the kissing and fully broke up with him the next day. The very concept of kissing seemed repulsive and I blamed my disgust on my lack of attraction to him and moved on. Because it couldn't be me. He was only my first boyfriend and there would be many more options down the line. Specifically with guys I felt more attraction to.
Continuing to date off and on throughout high school, I was always searching for that spark that everyone always spoke about when it came to physical contact. My first kiss was extremely romantic. It was in the woods, on a hiking trail with a beautiful view and a soft rain falling down but instead of a spark things just felt gross and wet. I pretended that it was amazing for the sake of not hurting my partner but it wasn't. Overall I just felt like I had been let down, and this time I had a handsome partner who was sweet and kind and everything I could ask for and yet I still wasn't interested in kissing or sleeping with him (not that he would have been interested. He was more strictly Christian than I was and it would have been a 'not until marriage' kind of deal).
In my college dating there were multiple opportunities to share a bed with someone. Some really obvious and some not so much. The concept just never struck a desire in me (in fact I didn't even realize most of the opportunities until the next day). I felt my age old 'I'm too young to want to bother with that' mantra flood my mind but I was no longer in high school, no longer under my parents roof. This was when people were supposed to start experimenting and I still just wasn't interested.
I finally came across the term 'Asexual' when my bisexual best friend was taking an online quiz to see if she was more attracted to men or women. She got a 7 for leaning more towards men but still appreciating both. I took the quiz and instead of a number I was assigned an X and told that I was asexual.
It didn't click with me right away. In fact I thought it was a terrible thing to be. Asexual... no one wants to be with someone who doesn't actively want sex and doesn't see people as sexually attractive. Sex was in all the books and the movies and made out to be this amazing thing. And I was still curious about trying sex even if I didn't feel sexually attracted to anyone so there was no way I could be asexual. I continued to date, continued to not feel that spark, and eventually came to the conclusion that I absolutely was asexual. That this sexual attraction thing others got to feel was absent from me.
Sexual attraction still feels like a made up thing to me sometimes. Still, asexuality didn't mean that I had to be alone forever if I didn't want to be, nor did it mean that I couldn't like sex. I have discovered I am, in fact, a sex-favourable asexual. Up until that point I had honestly thought that all this stuff about finding people attractive was an exaggeration. The fact of the matter is some people do feel sexual attraction to people, and some people don't, and we get to make the world a more interesting place because of that. I'm excited to continue learning what other perspectives aren't universal in this fantastically complex world.
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