You spent your teenage years waiting for the spark of sexual desire for the opposite sex (or any sex) to kick in but it never did. Now, a decade or more later, you still feel the same. You might think there’s something wrong with you but there’s not. Maybe you’re just asexual—here’s how you know the term applies to you.
You never think about sex. It literally never crosses your mind. You’ve read the statistics that men think of sex approximately every seven seconds and women a bit less, but you don’t think of it, well, ever. It’s just not part of your day, and sometimes you wonder if that’s a little weird.
Sexy clothes are ridiculous to you. Finding the very idea of lingerie or other typically “sexy” clothes ridiculous doesn’t necessarily mean you’re some kind of boring prude, you just can’t imagine how anyone could find impractical and potentially dangerous clothing items attractive. High heels are just asking for a broken ankle to happen. Tight pants can cause gastroenterological conditions and yeast infections. Thongs are unsanitary and incredibly uncomfortable. What’s the point?
You find sex scenes in movies boring and out of place. You don’t fast forward through a scene featuring an abundance of body fluids and naked body parts because you feel uncomfortable watching it, you do it because you’re actually bored. You feel like screaming, “Oh, come on, what’s the point of all this?! Go back to the good stuff!” To you sex, isn’t necessary to a good story and you always think things would’ve been better without it.
When you do date someone, you have to pretend to enjoy the sex you have. Many people confuse celibacy with asexuality. Actually, a great number of asexual people are currently or have been in a relationship. The difference between the two is that asexuality is an orientation and celibacy is the conscious decision to not have sex. For example, nuns may be sexual goddesses in their dreams but in real life, they’ve chosen to abstain from sex and dedicate their lives to God. Asexual women can still have sex—and a lot of it, for that matter—but they get no real enjoyment from it so they fake it so as not to hurt their partner’s feelings.
You think everyone else is pretending. When puberty hit, all your friends started talking about boys, girls, late-night dates, making out, and having sex. You thought that since you didn’t have any real interest in it, neither did they and they must have just been faking it to fit in. You realize now that some people do seem to really enjoy sex, but you wonder how much of it is down societal pressure.
You don’t have genuine sex dreams. Asexuals have sex dreams, they’re just not about being intimate with another human! For example, you might be dreaming about a guy who’s ready to jump your bones while on a walk in the forest but instead of succumbing to the temptation, you tell the guy to put his clothes back on because he’ll catch a cold. In other words, the part of the brain responsible for sexual impulses doesn’t take into account the fact that you’re asexual and is still sending you the relevant signals generating sex dreams. The rest of your brain, however, doesn’t process these signals, which leads to your sex dreams having some pretty weird endings.
The sight of a naked body is nothing but an anatomy lesson to you. You look at the naked body of the person you’re dating for the first time and feel nothing—not turned-on or even curious. It’s like you’ve finally been invited to the playground but you don’t actually feel like playing. This too can be a red flag that you might be asexual.
You don’t realize when someone’s flirting. Somehow, you continue to be oblivious to all the signals indicating that someone might be interested in you romantically. He says you have the most amazing eyes, but all you hear is, “Honestly, your contact lenses are hardly noticeable.”
You’d never even consider initiating sex. And it’s not because you were raised in some repressed home where women are expected to be demure and play coy—it just happens that you’re particularly in the mood for sex. It’s not a requirement for a happy life so you don’t sweat it. The lack of initiative might give your partner the thought you’re not really into them and maybe you aren’t, but it’s not about them at all.
You don’t masturbate. You’ve done it, of course, but it never got you anywhere. Every time you’ve tried it, it left you wondering what the fuss is all about. You don’t find it pleasurable. You’d rather do yoga, paint porcelain mugs, or learn Spanish—basically anything other than sex.
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