It might be a bit odd to hear it, and I’m sure quite of few of you have never encountered someone like me, but I am asexual. Have you been harmed or maimed? Are you OK? Yes, I am. I am just asexual.
Okay, so what exactly does that mean? Well, I’m not attracted to either gender and I don’t have any sexual urges. I know that sounds odd and even I once thought I was a freak, but you learn to live with it. I bet right now, you have a lot of questions. Am I just a woman without a libido but still fundamentally attracted to men? No, I’m not, and I’m not a lesbian either.
When I was a young girl, growing up in the 60s, I felt different. It was unexplainable until I got to about 15 and I realised I wasn’t boy crazy like my friends. They’d ask if I liked so and so and I’d just shrug, I didn’t think of him as even remotely attractive, but I thought it was maybe just him. But by the time I was 18, I had fallen out with most of the girls who had been my friend in high school. They thought I was weird because I didn’t want to go to the school dance with a boy, or I didn’t like hanging around after school when they’d flirt with older guys from the private school. I thought maybe I was a lesbian but even women made me feel nothing. I confided in a friend that I was feeling quite lonely and wanted a companion, but hadn’t ever felt sexually attracted to anyone. She said she had the perfect person for me.
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Long story short, I had sex with a boy named Michael who was my friend’s cousin. It was not enjoyable and it just may be horrified, to be honest. I felt ashamed that I’d betrayed my own sexuality. And that sexuality was asexuality. I only realised that after my encounter with Michael so I am thankful he solidified what I was scared to admit. But back in the 70s, it wasn’t normal to be in your 20s and not have ever had a partner. I became stronger, though, and became an ambassador for others like me. I made a career for myself as a lawyer and author, and found happiness through my productivity. I’d go home from a stressful day and just sit with my cat and a cup of tea. I never really thought I was missing out because I had never had a relationship to begin with! I watched as my friends and family got married and had children, and I was always that single person. It didn’t distress me. But trying to fit into a world where everything was sexualised at every turn was hard. I wasn’t attracted to other people, but I couldn’t stop them being attracted to me.
My mother was particularly upset when I told her I was asexual. She said I was just repressed and something was going on with my hormones. I simply had to like men or, God forbid, women. I had to be normal. But the more I made her trail along to psychologist appointments, the more she saw I was genuinely happy as I was, the more she came around. I was 30 when she came to terms with the fact I wouldn’t be getting married or having children. I assured her it could be under much worse circumstances!
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Now, in my 60s, I’m retired and still, shock horror, asexual. I have a partner now but he is also asexual – we met online and have been travelling around the world together. Do I love him? Yes, in my own way. And I don’t need to have sex to make it wonderful.
Tell us your thoughts below: have you ever met someone who was asexual?