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I think that I'm probably asexual. I've not had sex for over 8 years, and I hope never to have it again. I've not enjoyed what I have had.
I do get crushes on people (mostly characters from TV shows), but my infatuation never extends to sex. I don't even like kissing; the most intimacy I want is hugging/being held.
I guess what I'm asking is, has anyone managed an asexual relationship? I'm lonely, but I know that I can't bear to have sex, so I can't have a conventional relationship. I do have mental health issues that mean that having a relationship right now isn't feasible, but it is something that plays on my mind a lot, and I think I would like to have a relationship at some point.
I don't have children. Thank you if you've read this.
I don't know much about asexuality unfortunately but have you had a look at this asexuality forum? There are questions like yours and quite a few replies.
Do you want to be asexual? Or do you want to have a normal physical relationship with someone at some point?
Thank you both.
I know it sounds ridiculous, but I have social anxiety, and using new forums panics me. I know it's stupid since there's no real interaction, but I always stick to this forum and one other, because I feel more secure here. But, I've bookmarked it and I'll try lurking there when I'm having a better day.
I don't know if I want to be asexual. I think in an ideal world, I'd have a normal, happy relationship because I wouldn't feel this way. I don't think I could do it in actuality though, there is no way I could make myself have sex on any kind of regular basis. I'm not in a position currently to have friendships or a relationship, I don't even know if I ever will be. I think it just makes me a bit sad that I'll never that normal relationship with someone.
No idea if I'm making sense, this is all hard to explain. Thank you both for replying to me.
I think you need to work out if you are genuinely asexual, or whether you simply fear emotional intimacy.
Asexual people can be extremely emotionally intimate with people without having the sexual attraction. Do you fear becoming close to people? Being vulnerable?
Thank you for replying.
It's kind of hard to say whether I fear being close to people, because I know that the social anxiety/general anxiety does cloud how I feel. I've always been very private, and I don't like people knowing how I feel.
It's definitely something to think about. I think that the emotional aspect of a relationship is something that I could learn to do; it doesn't scare or worry me by itself.
IME the emotional/intimate aspect of a relationship is most unscary and at its easiest when it's the right person. That applies to everyone whether they have social anxiety or not. If you feel uncomfortable with someone chances are it's not you, it's them. So in your case the right person would be someone kind that understood your concerns, respected your privacy and loved you enough to be patient. I also wonder if you fear intimacy rather than you are asexual.
I don't know if you are mixing up 'asexual' and 'celibate'. Asexual people do not experience desire or urges at all, they have never had sex and it does not bother them. Celibate people are not being sexual through choice/illness/trust issues etc. due to past experience.
I am celibate through choice and happy with it, for various reasons. However I have a very close friendship [with someone else who is celibate for a reason] which gives me closeness, some company and a feeling of connection.
What would be your ideal scenario, when you are/feel better? Because I believe there is someone for everyone no matter what the situation.
Thank you both.
I don't think I fear intimacy. I just don't always like people touching me, and I definitely don't like it when that touch is sexual. Maybe I do and I just don't realise it.
I had to look up the difference between celibacy and asexuality, but I think that asexuality seems closer to how I feel. I'm not sure at all though, I find this all quite confusing. Asexuals can have sex, it's just that they don't feel any desire to. Which is how I feel, I've only had sex a handful of times but I've never actually wanted to, or felt any physical desire/need to. I realise that sounds bad, but none of the sex was non-consensual, I just didn't want it.
I don't have sex through choice (and circumstances, but ignoring those), but I've made that choice because I have no desire for sex and I don't like it. Does that make sense?
My ideal situation would be to have a relationship where there was no touching beyond the occasional hug, definitely no sexual contact or discussion. The thought of having to have sex at some point in the future makes me want to cry. I suppose it's all moot since there's no-one tolerant enough to put up with all that.
I'm going to ask a very personal question and you really don't have to answer. You say you get crushes on people which suggests that you can experience sexual attraction. Are you ever conscious of more physical sexual stimulation? Would you ever masturbate, for example?
I think I'm probably using the word "crush" wrongly.
They're never on real people that I actually know; always on TV/movie characters, or someone in a book. It's not about their looks, it's much more of a personality thing. I think it's more of an emotional attraction, than a physical one. Beyond thinking someone has "nice eyes" or "great hair", I don't tend to think about the actual physical appearance of the person. It's never a sexual attraction, I've never looked at someone and thought "I'd like to have sex with them".
There isn't really a way to explain it without sounding like a total loon (well, more of one than I already do).
I tried masturbation when I was younger, mostly because I thought that it was what I should be doing. I never really understood the point of it. I can experience an orgasm, which is fine, but it's ultimately rather pointless and isn't something that I crave. Without wanting to be too graphic, I really don't like the feeling of penetration. It's not painful, but it's very very far from pleasant.
Thank you for replying to me again.
I know that psychosexual therapists work with asexuality, is this something you might consider?
Not work with it as in treating it as a disorder to be 'cured' but just exploring it and what it's meaning is for you.
There are asexual dating websites, maybe have a google and see how it feels to chat on their forums? I think it may help
I believe there are forums and a whole 'subculture' which would mean you are able to chat to Luke minded people. I think you might find there are plenty of people in your position who have the same questions hanging over their seriality and the same desire to find companionship and intimacy without sex. So I reckon it would be a great idea to explore that once you feel able.
If this is how you feel then that's fine! Never ever force yourself to do or be anything which doesn't sit right with you. You don't even have to put a label in your seriality if you don't want to although I would say be wary of entering into relationships with anyone who you think might crave the physical elements you don't.
*like minded. Not sure who this Luke fella is.
*sexuality. fuck you autocorrect!
Sorry OP. Must read before posting.
I don't think it's quite true that to be asexual you must never have had sex. I used to lurk on AVEN quite a lot (it's very welcoming and understanding of things like social anxiety, by the way) and it's seen on there as being very similar to a sexual orientation. You wouldn't say that a gay person can't be gay if they've ever had heterosexual sex.
As well as this, the notion of asexuality is so invisible in general life/society that it can be quite a common experience for an asexual person to almost con themselves into thinking that they are feeling sexual desire or force themselves to try it because they think that everyone else feels the same way as they do and "that's just what you do".
I know this would be difficult with the social anxiety side of things but if you're anywhere near Coventry there is a great asexuality support/discussion group based at Warwick University. I know some of the members post on AVEN so if you ended up feeling comfortable on there that might be a way, eventually, of meeting people.
It sounds like your aversion to sex is just one element of a much bigger problem area with relationships, intimacy and generally interacting with other people, to be honest. You say you're "not in a position to have friendships" which is terribly sad. What help are you getting?
Thank you all for replying.
I've tried therapy in the past for other things, and it's not something that I'm willing to try again. I've found it to be quite damaging; I am truly horrible at talking about my feelings etc, and therapy makes me feel very vulnerable and unsafe.
I'll have a look for asexual dating websites/forums. It's not something I can do at the minute, but it's definitely something that I can look into. It never occurred to me that asexuals would date! I've never actually been on a date, but I'd always assumed that the end goal of a date was sex. Or a relationship in which sex was a part.
I'm definitely wary about going into a relationship with someone who is interested in sex. Mostly because it wouldn't be fair on them in the slightest.
The main reason I had sex is because I felt like I should, like it was an obligation and it was the 'normal' thing to do. It never occurred to me that I could just not do it. I'm not anywhere near Coventry, but group things are definitely not something I could manage at the minute. I'll bear the AVEN forum in mind though. I get really anxious when I try new forums (daft, since I'm just as anon there as I am here), so I need to be a bit more comfortable than I am currently.
The main reason I'm not in a position to have friendships is because of the mental health issues that I'm having (though my personality is an influence too). Being in contact with people is really anxiety-provoking for me, I'm far better online than IRL (though it still takes me an age to type posts because I get anxious over the tiniest things). It's never really occurred to me that I needed help with the way I feel about sex, I've always just thought that it's just how I am and it's not something 'fixable'.
Sorry, this was all rather rambly. I've tried to reply to the points everyone's made but I'm sorry if I've missed anything. Thank you all for talking to me.
AVEN is great to lurk on, anyway I found it fantastic and enlightening. That's the asexuality.org that I think some people mentioned above. They also have cake it came from an ancient thread when people said they felt like when they said "I don't like sex" it was like somebody saying "I don't like cake" and how everyone is like What's wrong with you, you don't like cake?! How can you live without cake!! Well what about this kind of cake? Oh, don't worry honey. I never liked cake until I tried this kind of cake, and now I realise I was wrong all along! One day you'll find the right recipe for you. etc etc
They are a nice bunch. And the threads are fascinating to read even if you don't post. It's very small (but has been going for a long time) so you can read a lot without getting lost.
Doesn't like cake!!!!!! that IS impossible!
That cake analogy is excellent.
I read a thread on the AVEN site (well, I read about half of it whilst behind a proxy, which counts as bravery in my book) in which there were some people who classed themselves as asexual, but still had sex with their partners. I know they obviously don't speak for everyone, but I can't imagine anything more awful. There was talk of sex-repulsion, which is probably the closest description to how I feel, yet still going through with having sex.
So, probably not the best thread to have picked as an opener. The thought of having to actually have sex makes me feel ill (though I recognise that I'm panicked at the minute which is influencing that), but it seems common to have to do it if you want a relationship. I guess this is where asexual dating comes in, though the odds are stacked against that in terms of circumstances.
Thank you both for replying again.
Oh no! Perhaps not the best one to start on! FWIW I have seen several posts on there, it was a while ago as I haven't visited recently, but many about asexual people in relationships where sex is not on the agenda at all. It either goes up to whatever "level" they feel comfortable with, or there is no physical touching at all or in some cases the other partner seeks sex outside of the relationship (with blessing/agreement). I have read about asexual/asexual relationships as well as relationships between "sexuals" and asexuals where either the "sexual" partner chooses to be celibate or there is some kind of arrangement as mentioned above. And, yes, some people have arrangements where the asexual partner chooses to have sex with their partner. But this is most certainly not expected or encouraged.
It takes all kinds of people to make a world. It seems unlikely that in your entire life you will never meet anybody like-minded or compatible at all Do you mind me asking how old you are?
Thank you for replying again.
I just think it seems a bit unlikely that I'd meet someone who was asexual, living in the same area as me, who both liked me and whom I liked. I'd feel guilty if I made someone be celibate, and lots of asexuals seem to like to have kissing in their relationships. The MH issues I have are probably clouding my judgement here though, I'm not good at seeing the positives.
I'm 26. I don't have a lot of recent experience with people, since I don't really leave the house. I don't really know why I'm obsessing about this at the minute since I couldn't have a relationship anyway, maybe I spend too much time reading these boards!
Only 26! Plenty of time then. There's no law which says you have to have a relationship at all. And especially if you don't want children (or would prefer to adopt for example) there is no particular hurry to find someone who is right for you. It might be that a close friendship is more what you are looking for, or a friendship group or several friendships rather than being totally dependent on one. And honestly I know it sounds flippant but there really are all kinds of relationship dynamics out there which are much more accepted these days. If you really looked hard for it I think you'd be surprised.
They reckon that 1% of the population are asexual, which is actually quite a lot - it would have been 2 people a year in my secondary school, which had about 7 classes in each year. Or at my last job there were 10 people working there, so that's a 10% chance that one of those people could have been asexual. If you worked somewhere with just 25 people that chance increases to one in four. Just because you find it difficult to go out and be with people at the moment, doesn't mean that that will be the case forever.
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