I know what you’re thinking: “Umm, is she serious?” And yup, I am, 100 percent. I’ve never had to do anything to “satisfy my sexual urges” because, well … I have none.
You see, I’m asexual (which is sometimes called “ace”). And as The Trevor Project explains it, that means I have little to no interest in sex and any form of it — solo sex, partnered sex, car sex, whatever. But while most asexuals have little interest in the horny bedroom stuff, most do desire emotionally intimate relationships.
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I first stumbled across the word back in high school. As my classmates gossiped about hookups and cheating scandals, I quickly realized that I wasn’t interested in any of it. I didn’t want to partake in the sex itself, but I especially didn’t want to hear about anyone’s sex life — let alone about when the Brads and Chads of the football team got their “dicks wet.”
So after school one day, I took my queries to none other than Google.
“Why don’t I care about sex?” I typed into my browser. And that’s when I discovered the term that would change my life: asexual.
I scrolled through endless articles of other people just like me, uninterested in sex, masturbation, porn, all of it. I had never identified with a word as quickly as I did that one.
As year’s later passed and I became more confident coming out as asexual, for whatever reason, this still remains very concerning to my close friends. They all masturbate, watch porn, and have sex, so they can’t even begin to fathom how I don’t do it — or in their words, “choose” not to.
Let me be clear though: My sexuality (or lack there of) isn’t a choice. I’m not choosing to do or not to do anything, I just don’t view sex or masturbation as an option.
I remember this being an issue with my previous best friend. We were so close, she knew practically everything about me besides my social security number. For the longest time, I’d listen to stories about her latest dates and sexual encounters because, as a best friend does, I pretended to be interested.
But spilling all the details of my asexuality — especially the not masturbating part — was something I kept private until a few years into our friendship. She understood the no sex part, but when the topic of masturbation came up, that’s when things got uncomfy.
The conversation went a little something like this:
Her: “Have you ever tried?”
Me: “No, I’ve never even thought about it.”
Her: “Have you gone to the gynecologist? I think you should get your hormones checked. “
Me: “Yes, but not about this. I don’t see a problem with it. ”
I understood her curiosity, especially because she was a nursing student, but it was questioning like this that invalidated my experience as a human and made me feel less than.
She wanted to “help me” and “make me better,” and while I know she was coming from a place of concern and love by wanting me to experience sexual pleasure, it came across more as her thinking I needed fixing because something was inherently wrong with me.
But the reality is, there’s nothing wrong with me. I do experience pleasure, just not in the same sexual way she does.
This has also majorly f * cked with my dating life. (Which yes, I have. Because, again, just because I’m asexual doesn’t mean I don’t want to date and / or develop an emotional relationship with someone.)
I’ll never forget the time I was on a first date with a guy I met on Bumble. I told him prior to going out that I was asexual, and he seemed to have no problem with it. Looking back, this was too good to be true. I have never been interrogated about why I’m this way.
“The reality is, there’s nothing wrong with me. I do experience pleasure, just not in the same sexual way you might.”
The date was going well — we talked about hobbies, work, music taste, y’know, the basic get to know you questions, until he asked if I masturbate. It’s not that I don’t get asked this question a lot, it’s just that it’s av intrusive question for a first date, don’t you think?
“So you’ve never watched porn before, or like, used a vibrator?” he said.
I was honest, probably too honest. I told him no, and that I didn’t know what a vibrator was until only a few years ago.
He responded by saying that he could “change my mind.” (The classic line from a man who thinks he can take someone’s sexuality and make it about himself.) And let’s just say, the date ended very quickly.
So let me be clear for the people who do not understand: My asexuality has nothing to do with you. Being asexual is my sexual orientation. Just like some people have sexual preferences for women, men, both, and other gender identities, I have a sexual preference for none of the above.
Now, I don’t speak for all asexual people. Asexuality is on a spectrum. Some ace people do masturbate, some do have sex, but regardless of what people engage in, that doesn’t make their identity as an ace person any less valid.
The issue here is that there’s a serious lack of education and understanding around asexuality to begin with. So if I may suggest, whether you are asexual, know someone who is, or want to be a better ally, take the five minutes you’d mindlessly spend scrolling TikTok and Google “asexuality.”
Read about respectful and helpful ways to engage in conversations about asexuality instead of questioning us. Because trying to change our mind or convince us about “what we’re missing” is not it, fam. That doesn’t mean you need to put #AsexualAlly in your bio on social media, but just be a supportive human.
At the end of the day, we’re all humans with different needs, wants, and desires. Mine just might look differently than yours — and that’s okay.
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