People Reveal How They Found Out They Were Asexual
The following AskReddit thread reveals how people found out they were asexual.
Source list available at the end.
I always felt sort of "off" about my feelings towards girls growing up. For some reason, it never really seemed to click for me. In high school, I remember a bunch of my friends talking about an erotic movie, and I was just kind of nodding and going along with it. After some reflection on the matter, I realized that I wasn't actually interested in erotic movies and sort of left it there. Didn't think much of it because I was still interested in girls, but it was super common, and I was awkward enough that I'd never bothered acting on it.
Fast forward to the first-year of university, and I started realizing that while I was attracted to girls, it was more romantic. I just wasn't interested in sex. One night, I was really drunk and just feeling down. I eventually asked my best friend when he first started feeling sexual attraction and he told me grade 7. Just like that, it really hit me, and I felt really weird for a while.
So, how does it affect me today? Well, it's been about 3 years and most of my close friends are aware. The response is usually either "What?" or "Cool." Nobody's been particularly negative about it, and I don't really worry about it. I'm still not in a relationship, but I'm not exactly in a hurry to get into one since I have no idea how I'd even react to the situation. I don't think I'd ever do it with someone who wasn't asexual, but who knows.
I don't think you really discover you're asexual in the same way as you discover you're gay/straight/whatever else you may be. Like you don't have a moment in puberty where you go, "I'm not sexually attracted to anyone!" It's more of a gradual realization that other people are experiencing things that you're not quite getting, and your friends start talking more and more about stuff that really just doesn't seem to interest you in the slightest.
In my case, and in the cases of many other aces I've spoken to, over the years, it led to feeling like there was something wrong with me, and that I was somehow broken or abnormal. It can take a long time to get away from that mindset.
I never considered looking it up because I just thought I was weird and broken. It wasn't until I was befriended by another asexual, who was open and confident about their sexuality, that I kind of went, "Oh, that sounds like me." I then looked further into it.
Basically, I have never looked at someone and thought, "I want to have sex with you." No one has ever been sexually appealing to me, and the whole idea of sex is just a big no. Not everyone who is asexual is against sex though, being asexual just means you are not sexually attracted to any gender. Plenty of asexuals have sex - some just for the physical feeling, some to satisfy their partners, etc.
I was always led to believe I was asexual by my friends in high school because I was never attracted to, had relations with, or interested in boys the same way they were. They would tell me how they'd want to do things sexually with certain people and such. Whereas, I would just fantasize about holding hands with them. I find many men attractive, but not sexually. How handsome I find a man often changes with how smart or nice they are, and other people don't seem to have this dichotomy in assessing someone's attractiveness. I have yet to develop a romantic or sexual relationship or even relations with anybody, I know right, I'm just attributing everything to being a "late bloomer."
I thought I was a late bloomer, and then I thought, "I'll want to have sex when I'm with the right person and feel ready," Then, when I was over 18, I started thinking that if anything was going to change it should have happened already because I still had no interest in sex and still was not attracted to anyone sexually. When I was nearing 20, I was thinking there was something fundamentally wrong with me. And then, I found out about asexuality and things kind of clicked and made sense. I felt less alone and broken.
Don't get me wrong, I still sometimes feel like I'm broken somehow because of it, or like I'll never have a happy relationship, etc. I think everyone gets insecure like that at times. Overall, I'm much more happy and confident in my sexuality knowing I'm asexual than I ever was thinking I was just abnormal.
When other girls started getting crushes on boys, acting flirtatious, and pairing off with various boys, I felt like they'd all learned some alternate language and I'd been absent the day we had that lesson. It all seemed to happen very suddenly, and I felt out of step with my own peers. I found certain boys attractive, and I enjoyed talking to them, but the thought of anything beyond talking never entered my mind.
In college, I saw other girls behaving promiscuously and wanted to be as sexual as they were, but I'd get to a certain point with a boy and never had a desire to go further. Kissing and cuddling were okay, but that was it. I figured that once I found "the one," I'd be okay with sex, but still, other people seemed to want it, think about it, talk about it, and seek it out, and I could've lived without it.
I got married, had kids (planned; I do like being a mom), never enjoyed sex and told my husband that if some kind of libido pill for women existed I'd gladly take it, but that my sex drive was nonexistent. We ended up divorcing, mostly due to his frustration with my lack of desire. This whole time, I didn't know what "asexual" meant. I'd have deep friendships with guys from work and my ex would get jealous and accuse me of cheating. I'd say that it was just the opposite - it was nice to be able to talk to a man without any possibility of sex entering the picture. When I found out what asexual meant, it made sense.
It's been about 18 years since I've had sex. I don't miss it. For a while, I wondered if I was a very repressed lesbian, but I've never had so much as a crush on a woman. I have had "crushes" on men, but it's more daydreaming and fantasy. I connect with men emotionally, but I still can't flirt, don't enjoy being seen as a sexual being, and do everything in my power to seem as asexual as I feel. No make-up, no hair-dye, no provocative clothing, and obvious repulsion when talk turns to sex. I'm not "out", but I've mentioned that relationships, marriage, and pairing off are not part of my world and people seem to get that.
I was never abused. I was never in any kind of situation where I was in danger of being raped. I do not want to be asexual, but I know I can't change, any more than a gay person can magically become straight.
I always felt like there was something off about me. I've been married and lived with someone so I've had sex. I have four children, but sex wasn't something I'd ever initiate. It was something you did or were supposed to do.
I've never been turned on so to speak by anyone. Yes, I enjoy looking at good looking guys, I know a fine man when I see one, but I don't get sexually turned on. It's like seeing a painting or a piece of artwork. It's nice to look at. You admire it.
I've been single 20 years, and it's been 20 years since I had sex. I have no desire to have sex. I've never missed it. Only within the last few years did I hear of asexuality and realize that it fit me. Physically, I am fine. I have no hormone issues, just no sex drive at all, no interest period.
Life is good now. I'm happy now, and that's what counts.
I realized I was asexual when I had zero interest in sleeping with any boyfriends I had, and I dreaded when they wanted to initiate it. It would make me sick to my stomach, and I would shut down completely.
The thing that sucks the most is, I like the company and I enjoy hugging and being in a relationship. I just hate all of the sex that comes along with it.
Mostly through middle school and high school when people were hitting puberty and what not, I kind of just sat there, thinking everyone else was weird (and secretly wondering what the heck was wrong with me). I figured I was just going to be late on the whole sex drive thing, but it never became a thing for me— even when I ended up kissing others and doing whatever.
I only found out about asexuality in my first year of university, and now I think I'm pretty open about it.
When I realized I wasn't fawning over people like my friends were. I never felt the urges or felt the feelings that every piece of media was telling me I should have. People, whether in real life or TV shows whining about how no one will have sex with them baffles me.
To me, the human body is revolting. I wouldn't go near my own if they weren't attached to my body. Anything beyond a hug is a no. Body fluids disgust me.
I never felt a desire to touch someone else. Why would I touch something that I view as physically unappealing?
My life is fine as far as I can see. I never felt a huge burden. I don't ever have to worry about STDs or pregnancy. A large part of my self-worth isn't based on whether someone wants to get naked and merge. People about addicted to sex.
If you like sex, go for it. I support my friend's/family member's relationships. But seeing the sexual world from the outside makes it sound very unpleasant.
I only found out fairly recently now that many of my friends are sexually active. I never really knew how uninterested I was in sex in comparison to them. It was more of an "oh" moment when I realized that the attraction I felt towards people was not the whole package they felt. I just never knew that it was really that big of a thing for other people.
Life is okay, I suppose. It's hard finding people to date because not only am I asexual, but I'm primarily homoromantic. Where are the other ace ladies out there? I've started wearing my black ring almost constantly hoping someone might know what it's about. Ah, wishful thinking.
In my case, I kind of figured out that the concept existed on my own in my early teens because I created a character who fits the bill. I kind of knew it existed for a while, but never did any research. One night, I did some research on a whim and after reading the AVEN website I just had this sort of epiphany. "Hey, this sounds like me!" I was a bit shell-shocked for the next couple of days, but not in a bad way, like some people are.
Honestly, I wish I had figured it out earlier. During the time that I had realized it, I was in a relationship with a friend. So, the realization made me feel guilty since it felt like I was lying to him. That, and I actually WAS; I never felt any "sparks" with him. Looking back, I'd misconstrued my platonic affection for him as a crush since people have romance and crushes shoved down their throats from such an early age.
Would've saved us both some heartache if I knew earlier. We're still good friends, but I sometimes feel this small air of awkwardness between us. As for the rest of my life though, as far as I can tell, it now saves me a lot of stress. I'm not really meant for long-term romances anyway, for other reasons, along with being an ace.
I figured it out after my first relationship had ended. Realizing that although I was upset it was over, I was relieved that I wouldn't have to have sex anymore. That feeling made me think about my feelings about sex, and how I just didn't want it and never had. That's when I found out about what asexuality was, which was really nice to know because, up until that point, I just thought I was weird.
My life is normal. I haven't dated since, not because I'm asexual, but because I've been moving around a lot and it's hard to meet people. I still have romantic feelings (so I'm not aromantic). I do get the urge to be in a relationship, but dating is hard! Whether you're asexual or not, if you're in new places and a lot of people are starting to settle down, or already have significant others, it's going to be hard to get into that kind of a relationship. I don't think it's any different for me than it would be for a person who enjoys sex.
I had somewhat jokingly used the term to describe myself throughout high school, not realizing it was an actual orientation. For a while, I didn't consider it too deeply because I also consider myself heteroromantic, which is the romantic equivalent of being straight. In theory, anyone of any identity can do this, but it is most frequently seen in asexuals to differentiate between romantic and sexual orientation. It wasn't until senior year that I did the research and learned how that split was a possibility, and then I began using the term to describe myself.
Life's pretty alright. I can make the occasional joke about clearly sexual conversations, and I even have a few friends on the ace spectrum as well.
For me, coming to terms with and accepting my asexuality was a fairly slow prospect. Growing up, I never really had any sort of powerful "I need to have sex" feelings. I had "I like this person and want to hang out with them" feelings, but none of the loin-stirring. Whenever my friends would talk about it, I'd always get a little confused because I just didn't have those same strong, soul-stirring desires that they did. As a result, my friends and cousins would wind up taking me to places that were super sexually charged, like night clubs and tightly packed concerts, and I'd just feel unpleasant and awkward the whole time.
Things kind of came to a head when I hit college. We'd play "Never Have I Ever" and everyone would share their outlandish stories of having sex on beaches and in churches. I would be staying sober all night because everyone else was having sex left and right and I wasn't. At that point, I thought I was just a socially awkward late bloomer (well, half right there). One day, my friend put two and two together and showed me an erotic movie for two hours to gauge my reaction. Nothing. She then said, "Well, you might be asexual." That touched off a ton of research for me and, lo and behold, I'm asexual.
It's been an interesting thing for me. I've been comfortable in my asexual identity for about four years now. I'm out to my immediate family, and while they're super supportive, my mom has mentioned that it would be so much easier for her to understand if I were gay or trans. I heard a great pansexual friend mention, before she knew I was asexual, that asexuality was unnatural and wrong. Even my best friend out here mentioned that. While he totally gets it and doesn't want to delegitimize my identity, he also thinks that it may be worthwhile to experiment a little. At this point, I've basically given up on getting people to understand. If they get it, they get it. If they don't, they don't. I don't really share my asexuality unless sex comes up in conversation because I figure it's just easier to "pass" as sexual for the most part. Whenever my grandparents ask when I'm going to get a girlfriend, I joke that I'm in a long-term relationship with the novel I'm writing. It doesn't bother me as much anymore because I'm used to it.
I guess I'm asexual since I have never ever gone on a date and don't really plan on it. But I never really "found out" I guess until Reddit told me it was a thing. I just thought I was really introverted (which I am) and, as a result, I didn't want to date because I like being alone.
Life is really not affected very much by it, although I do get bored with how romantic subplots get shoved into every TV show or movie ever, even if the people are in a situation where they really ought to be focused on other things. It never really made sense to me why it was necessary to end every story with the implication that people were going get intimate. Other than that though, I doubt my life is any different than it might otherwise be.
I discovered it when I realized the reason I am not sexually attracted to anyone. I honestly don't care that I am asexual if anything it makes life easier since I'm not worrying about a girlfriend or trying to get a girlfriend.
I have tried explaining that I just don't find other bodies sexually attractive or look at people like, "Damn you're so sexy." I can learn to once I get to know a person, but that's more of a personality attraction that then leads to a physical one. I've never been able to describe this or give it a name.
I was always confused about what everyone else around me was calling these feelings to the point of just pretending that I knew what they were talking about and changing the subject as soon as I could. It took me up until I talked to another asexual person for it to really click in my mind. Once I kind of knew that it was what I was, I stopped feeling as broken.
For a very, very long time, I thought that I was pansexual. To me, everyone was equal with everyone else; no one got any feelings anyone else didn't. Once I got into my first serious relationship and started crossing the bases, however, I realized that I wasn't really into anything. She was really into it all, wanting to keep going and do more, but nothing really did anything for me. I kept up with it for her, but we eventually broke up because of that disconnect. I just wasn't attracted to her. I liked being around her, sure, but I wasn't attracted to her at all. If I wanted to sleep with her, it was to become closer to her, to be closer and better friends, not because I wanted to "just do it". After the breakup, I started looking at my friends' relationships and realized that they had this active facet to them that I never did; they were attracted to this person. They wanted them, they wanted to sleep with them, they loved the idea of it, the act of it, and everything about it. In contrast, I, at best, am indifferent to it and do it out of a feeling of obligation, if at all. I eventually realized that I'm not pansexual, or panromantic, or anything close to that. I'm asexual and I'm aromantic; I'm not sexually attracted to anyone and I don't feel any kind of romantic love or anything like that (relationships are just really close friendships to me).I've only come to this conclusion recently, and it really helps to explain this disconnect I've felt between myself and my peers (I'm in high school); I just don't feel attraction. And that's okay.
I'm kind of the same way though. I've never considered myself asexual. I rarely see someone and think, "Damn I want to do him!" Sometimes, I'll see movie star dudes and think they are incredibly hot, but I basically never think about having sex with them. Rarer still, I see a hot woman and think about what she looks like naked, but just want to look. What's weird though is that I've had many relationships and lots of sex (with men only after one failed lesbian attempt) Since I generally don't become interested in someone until I know their personality, I have dated some interesting looking people. A few rather unattractive fellas and maybe one or two incredibly hot guys. I really would never sit around and think about boning them though. However, I do enjoy sex and want it all the time, so I have no idea how to define myself.
I was reading Girls with Slingshots when the character Erin was introduced. Erin is completely asexual, and the author linked to asexuality.net when she introduced that concept. I followed the link, did a little research, and found a name for something I'd known my whole life.
I don't identify as completely asexual. Demisexual panromantic describes me better than anything else, but I find that lots of people aren't all that accepting of labels like that so I usually use "bi" or "pan" if I use a label at all.
My life is pretty similar to everyone else's, except I have little to no interest in sex. I've had a healthy sex life over the years because, surprise, surprise, sexual activity still feels good to me. I'm simply not interested in the actual act of intercourse, just like any sexual person may not be interested in specific kinks/fetishes. Intercourse is just another sex act to me, and it's not one that I'm into. I'm also a little more specific about who I hook up with. Sex without some sort of emotional connection, even if that connection is as simple as a good friend, is so much better than sex without any sort of connection at all.
I don't view people as "sexual things", for lack of a better word. I can tell when someone is attractive, but I'm attracted to personality more than anything. And that confuses a lot of people. I also don't seem to register on other people's sexual radars.
The most annoying thing about my life is alternately not caring about being sexually appealing, and absolutely hating the fact that I'm usually not.
"It wasn't me!"
There's not much you can do when the righteous fist of the law comes down on you. Call it a mix-up, or call it a mistake, if someone's pegged you at the scene of a crime there's not much you can do but trust the justice system to prove you innocent. However, that's a gamble, and just because you've been given a "not guilty" doesn't mean the effects won't follow you for the rest of your life.
Reddit user, u/danbrownskin, wanted to hear about the times when it wasn't you, seriously, it was someone else, when they asked: