The first time I had sex was six months into my first real relationship. I had dated guys before, sure, but it was because they were my really good friends who I liked to hang out with. I didn’t think dating was anything more than that.
But when I got to college, dating was a different animal. My boyfriend was a senior and he was ready for a lot more than I was.
And that included sex.
I didn’t know what asexuality was until freshman year. One of the side effects of not experiencing sexual attraction is not thinking about sex in any capacity, so when my boyfriend wanted me to take off my shirt, I was scared. When he wanted to lay down in bed naked together, I was uncomfortable. And I had no idea why.
Suddenly it all made sense: Why I often felt uncomfortable in my own skin, why dressing in a feminine way was something that made my insides curl, why being female was just something I’d rather not think about. Because it felt like my purpose was to give some guy pleasure; a pleasure I wasn’t capable of feeling.
So yeah, freshman year really sucked.
But I had sex. I did it. It was awful. It hurt and I felt like I was somehow betraying my innocence; my own self. It was no grand occasion. “Losing my virginity” just felt like I did something crazy at 2 a.m. and then I woke up the next day and was like, “Why the hell did I think that was a good idea?”
I still have sex now, and it’s a lot less awful. But there are nights where my boyfriend clearly wants to do things that I have no interest in doing. It’s been difficult dating someone with a sex drive. He sacrifices a lot just to make me comfortable, and there are nights I just wish I could give him things he wants without any trouble. But I don’t feel bad because my needs are just as important as anyone else’s.
Most asexuals tend to be aromantic, meaning they have no desire for a romantic relationship of any capacity. That’s not me. But what does make it a little weird is that I don’t mind having sex. Sometimes I even want it. And that’s confusing to me.
The LGBT community can be very accepting, but they can also be very harsh and exclusionary. A lot of people in the LGBT community don’t recognize asexuals as being in the community, and some asexuals who are very sex repulsive think aces who have sex aren’t really ace. While I don’t normally like to bother myself with narrow-minded people, seeing all that talk makes it difficult. Sometimes I have sex, enjoy it and wonder if I’m even asexual at all.
But in the grand scheme of things, it’s not a big deal. I have a boyfriend who loves me and accepts me for who I am. We can have sex some nights, other nights we can just cuddle in bed, ruffle each other’s hair and talk until 2 a.m. We make plenty of jokes about our opposing sex drives.
I love my boyfriend and I never have to worry about if I like him just because I like being with him physically. I give my friends relationship advice and I can focus entirely on the emotional importance because that’s all I’ve ever known. I don’t think I’m more qualified than anyone else, but I do at least think that I offer a more refined perspective on relationships. I never stressed about hookups or worried about one night stands or being a f*ck buddy. I know who I am, what I want and what I deserve.
I’m proud of my asexuality. I’m discovering more and more each day that it’s a central part of who I am and how I operate. The clothes I wear, the things I like, how I interact with people. I can’t explain it, but it’s in everything.
As I navigate the world and think about things like marriage and having a family, I’m comforted by the fact that I’ve surrounded myself with people who could not care less how high my desire to have sex is. I’ll let everyone else deal with that sex stuff. I’m pretty good where I am now.