My Experience of Asexuality
As many young people still are today, I was brought up in a generation in which sex dominated the media (whether that be music, films, TV shows, newspapers, magazines or social media). Growing up, it was most noticeable to me within the lyrics of pop chart music. I frequently found myself singing along to this music as a teenager without any sexual desires to anyone whatsoever and without a second thought about that fact. It still baffles me to this day that I did not conclude that I was asexual much earlier on in life, however this was not my fault. There was and still to this day is so little awareness. I had never even heard of it until the last two years. I was brought up in a society that led me to believe that you cannot find love or have a healthy, long-lasting relationship without sex. That is a myth, and I, as well as many others, are living proof of that.
At secondary school, there was definite pressure to lose your virginity and due to my Social Anxiety and low self-esteem, I had huge fears of what others thought of me and sadly placed their opinions well above my own. For a significant period of my life (I have only just recently taken the power back well and truly, this year) I was very much guilty of addressing others needs/wants rather than putting myself first. I had multiple relationships in which I had sex just because my partner had a desire to (a strong one usually). In the short-term, I led myself to believe that this would build my self-confidence and self-esteem. What I did not realise is how the damage and toll of having unwanted sex would impact me in the long-run. I felt so unbelievably pressured into sex, I often went along with it for the sake of others and frequently found myself feeling guilty for, quite rightly, saying no. I did not prioritise my own mental health and wellbeing and what I deserved within relationships.
One of my closest friends once said to me, “don’t you ever look at a guy and think ‘I just want to rip his clothes off’?!” I remember feeling utterly alienated at this point. I thought about contacting my GP, I read information about ‘sexual dysfunction disorder’ and I went through a phase of feeling pretty hopeless about the situation and feared finding a long-term partner. It was only later down the line that I realised and concluded that I do not have a disorder and that if I could find a way of increasing my sex drive, I would not choose to. I am more than happy the way I am and I would not be the same person otherwise. I appreciate the beauty of others without it being sexualised, which I think is amazing. Being asexual is not a choice, but you can choose to identify as asexual and feel proud of who you are. I think a lot of people, particularly those with a high sex drive, struggle to get their heads around it; the concept that someone can have little to no sexual desire.
Unfortunately, asexuals can so easily slip under the radar, out of view from others. Today it is classed as ‘the invisible sexuality’, but I am determined for that name to be a thing of the past; one of the many reasons I am sharing this blog post with you all. Personally speaking, sex does not even cross my mind throughout the day, however asexuality is a wide spectrum. Some asexuals are repulsed by sex, others feel mutual about it, some enjoy it. It is such a wide spectrum but there are many, many misconceptions about it too. It is not having a fear of intimacy, loss of libido, sexual aversion or sexual dysfunction, and as with other sexualities, there is no underlying ‘cause’.
If you are reading this blog post and any of this feels relatable to you or chimes with you, please know this: you are not ‘broken’, there is nothing ‘wrong’ with you and there are many other awesome people out there like you. I fell into society’s trap of being pressured into sex in several different relationships but you can learn from my mistakes and feel proud to identify as an Ace (a cool, frequently used term by others in the community).
Here is a really helpful article about some of the many Misconceptions of Asexuality.
Thank you so much for reading.
Charlotte Caddy (Volunteer)