I Was Born Without A Sex Drive And I’m Okay With It

I Was Born Without A Sex Drive And I’m Okay With It

I’m not particularly interested in looking for a romantic relationship.

I first found out about asexuality when I was 19. All throughout highschool I had very little interest in dating or relationships, but it didn’t really bother me. I was quite happy to think of myself as gay – settling for a kind of default ‘not straight’, seeing as though I wasn’t interested in guys – and not worry about the matter any further.

I actually did a lot of queer activism in my school, but even there I didn’t come across asexuality. It wasn’t until I began college that things started to feel a bit different. At that age, relationships and sex seemed to be on everybody’s radar, and there I was still not getting any of it. I started to feel anxious and worried, like something was wrong with me because I wasn’t having the feelings everyone else was having. I dabbled in actively looking for relationships for a while until it became an endless chorus of ‘Here’s a nice new person. Am I attracted to them? No’.

My moment of discovery literally came from googling ‘how to tell if you’re attracted to someone’ late at night. I stumbled across someone else asking the same sort of question and found a reference to asexuality. It clicked instantly, it explained everything – definitely a lightbulb moment. It was such a relief to find out other people felt, or didn’t feel, the same way. But at the same time it was kind of terrifying because I became aware that everything I had been taught and thought I knew about sexuality had just been thrown out the window. It was a whole new world, a real paradigm shift, and it felt great.

Most of my friends and family are fine with my asexuality. My father was pretty much on board from the start, but a couple of people – my mother included – were a little sceptical at first, thinking along the lines of ‘Okay, but you still might find the right person’.

My close friends are super supportive, and nothing makes me happier than when someone I know makes some sort of joke that hinges on my being asexual – just not at my expense, obviously. I love that sort of casual acceptance.

That said, I have had a few negative experiences. There have been people online who are not interested in taking anything I have to say on board, mainly sex-positive feminists who think being asexual is somehow pandering to the patriarchy by trying to suppress women’s sexuality. Then there was a family friend who decided he’d play armchair psychologist with me; he came up with the idea that I was just really repressed and afraid to get close to someone because my parents divorced when I was young. That was actually pretty upsetting, especially because we still had to coexist at gatherings.

While I was at college, I was ‘out’ to pretty much anyone I ever had more than a two-minute conversation with. At the moment, though, I’m a bit more closeted. I have just started a new job and haven’t told anyone about being asexual yet, though there have already been countless opportunities when it would have slotted naturally into conversation. At work it feels like there’s a bit more at stake – if someone decides they don’t like the way I identify, I can’t exactly forget about it the way I would with someone in a social setting, so I’m a bit more cautious about it.

Telling people I’m asexual can be a hard thing to do, because most of the time I can’t just say “Oh, by the way, I’m asexual” and leave it at that. Nine times out of 10 I’ll have to give them a crash course in asexuality as well, which can get a bit frustrating after a while – especially when people then think it’s completely appropriate to ask me about my sex life or masturbation habits.

When I’m explaining what asexuality is, I usually start by saying an asexual person is someone who doesn’t experience sexual attraction or sexual desire. A lot of allosexual (non asexual) people don’t fully understand what sexual attraction actually means – usually because it’s such a ubiquitous part of their lives that they’ve never had to consciously think about what it means to be attracted to someone, but also because people’s experiences of sexual attraction are much more diverse than they assume.

Asexual people generally distinguish between different types of attraction – most commonly between sexual and romantic attraction. So many asexuals are still romantically attracted to people, even if they’re not sexually attracted to them.

Personally I identify as aromantic, which means I don’t really experience romantic attraction and I’m not particularly interested in looking for a romantic relationship. I have been in a relationship before, with a partner I loved deeply – just not in a sexual way or one that would be considered traditionally romantic. I’m not really interested in looking for another relationship, at least not for the moment. I won’t reject the idea if I do fall in love with someone again in the future, but I’m not really expecting it to happen, and I’m fine with that.

To be completely honest, living in a time when our society is such a sexual place does often make me feel uncomfortable. Sometimes it’s direct, like when someone tries to hit on me and I just feel like hiding under a rock, or when the anthropology class I took at college tried to tell me sex is what makes us human. Being told you’re not human is pretty uncomfortable, but most of the time it’s just frustrating and alienating.

Sex is also seen as a marker of value in our society – our entire self-worth is often tied up in our sexuality, in how often we’re having sex, in how good that sex is, and if people are attracted to us sexually. There’s often an assumption that if you’re not having sex, you must be ugly or socially incompetent, and therefore also a failure at life in general.

Take Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory. His lack of interest in sex has been a running joke, a marker of how weird and abnormal he is in comparison to everyone else. But even he eventually has sex, or “finally had sex” as every review reported, as though by having sex he’s suddenly more human, his relationship with Amy is now valid, and his life is more purposeful and fulfilled. That’s the sort of idea author Rachel Hills calls ‘the sex myth’; the idea that sex is somehow the harbinger of truth, the window to our true selves, the most important thing there is. Although I am perfectly happy, content and confident in my asexual identity 98 per cent of the time, in that other 2 per cent, those sort of comments really hurt.

There’s still a lot of stigma associated with being asexual, even though we’ve come quite a long way in terms of awareness and visibility over the past 10 years. Most of that stigma comes from the idea that sex is natural, healthy and ‘part of being human’. That sort of rhetoric is everywhere and it’s part of the sex-positive movement – in books and magazines and on TV.

We’ve come pretty far as a society in terms of accepting sexual diversity and the idea that you can have and enjoy lots of sex without it being a bad thing. Where we haven’t progressed is in accepting that people naturally have very different levels of desire and attraction, and the freedom to have as much sex as we want also includes the freedom to not have sex at all.

Some people think we’re sick and need fixing – be it our hormones or mental health. It’s only recently that hypoactive sexual dysfunction disorder was removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, but female sexual arousal disorder is still in there. People are trying to make medications to ‘fix’ it, like flibanserin, which was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration last year despite its bad side effects and a shockingly low success rate.

The most important thing I wish people would adopt is the knowledge that asexual people are human and diverse, just like everyone else. Yes, we tend to cluster at one extreme end of the spectrum of human sexuality, but we’re still people, and no two experiences are the same.

The other important thing to remember is that you can’t tell if someone is asexual by what they do. A lot of the time, people get so caught up on whether an asexual person has had, is not having or ishaving sex, that they forget it’s not about what you choose to do that makes you asexual – it’s the way you’re wired. It’s your basic orientation rather than the exact details of what you might be comfortable doing with a partner in a specific context.

This story originally appeared on SHE'SAID', a global women's lifestyle website, and was written by .

Jo proudly identifies as asexual, a feminist and an activist, and writes a blog titled A Life Unexamined.

Follow SHE'SAID' on Twitter and Facebook and check out these related stories:

How I Stole My Sex Drive Back From My Antidepressants
Finding Love As An Asexual Woman
6 Everyday Medications That Are Destroying Your Ability To Orgasm

Cover Image Credit: João Jesus

Literally, so hot RN

Literally, so hot RN

I Am A Hopeless Romantic Living In A World Where One-Night Stands Are The Norm

It's the little things.


In today's society, it can certainly start to feel like no one takes love seriously anymore.

Whether it's that one couple who has broken up and gotten back together more times than you can count, the two friends-with-benefits no one can figure out, your local womanizer, or just hookups in general, love and lust are a huge part of specifically college life and culture.

As a hopeless romantic, being part of a generation that "just wants to have fun" can be really frustrating, especially when you just want to find something real. It is so easy for people to put on a fake act just to get what they want and sometimes this can be extremely hard to see through. I'm sure we've all had some kind of incident with someone who played nice but had ulterior motives and the sad truth is that it can be impossible to recognize a person's artificiality.

I am a hopeless romantic.

I have always classified myself as such, and it has remained true. Sure, I can make the most of the freedoms I have as a single college woman, but deep down I just want to find my person.

I've had my fair share of letdowns, and I think we all have, but being a hopeless romantic makes it that much more difficult to get past the "what ifs" and fantasies that come along with starting something with someone new. We may already have our hearts set on a person when they decide they've gotten what they wanted and leave.

For me, I find myself caught up in the little things that someone does. I have always been someone who picks up on small details in situations, and sometimes this works against me.

I pick up on the small facial expressions that he may not even realize he is making; the ones that tell you when their guard has been let down, even just for a split second.

I pick up on the way he sits our two cellphones side by side on the nightstand, taking care to line them up perfectly as if that's just their spot.

I pick up on the short moments of laughter where he actually lets himself laugh and forgets about the act.

I pick up on things, and sometimes I end up hurting because of it.

When it comes down to it, though, I wouldn't change the way that I am. I wouldn't change the fact that I find myself in the search for more in a society that mostly only offers me less.

The trait that tends to hurt me most is also the one that I value most. Even if noticing all the little things is something that contributes to my own heartache, I love those moments. There is something beautiful about those tiny things shared by two people, even if the connection ends there.

Sure, it can be hard. But so can everything.

It's just a matter of finding the beauty.

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5 Movie Sex Scenes That Would Never Go Down Like That In Real Life

There's a lot of time, scripts, makeup, and lights that are involved in these scenes that make them what they are, unlike the sex that happens in real life.

Dr King
Dr King

When I was a child, my idea of sex was confined to what I saw in the media — two people rolling around underneath the sheets of their bed. I didn't understand what was going on at the time until my parents had the birds and the bees talk with me, but still, sex was not something that was discussed regularly in any setting so I couldn't help but use the movies and television as my main source for sex education. When I was a teenager, I started watching rom-coms so my idea of sex expanded to a scenario where two people who loved each other effortlessly fall into a euphoric experience and then they live happily ever after.

Then something about the idea I had changed as I watched the series premiere of "Secret Life of the American Teenager," a popular teen drama from ABC family about a girl who struggles with being a mother in high school. One of the first and most memorable scenes of the show is when Amy Juergens talks to her best friends about what it was like to have sex for the first time. Her friends were ecstatic for her at first until she revealed her dismay, telling them "I didn't exactly realize what was happening until, like, after two seconds, and then it was just over. And it wasn't fun and definitely not like what you see in the movies, you know, all romantic and stuff."

I heard those words and was immediately taken aback. As a 13-year-old, sex wasn't on my mind much, but I couldn't help but hope that I could experience the magic I saw on screen. Then eight years later I have sex for the first time and I realized that what she said was right...not about the part about it not being fun, but more-so about the part that sex is not actually like what is depicted in the movies.

Here are five examples in movies that created unrealistic sex scenes for its viewers:

1. "Skyfall"

This steamy scene between Bond and Severine make shower sex look passionate and trouble-free, but do its expectations match reality? No. What they don't show you is the sting from the water getting into your eyes, the awkward positions your bodies have to accommodate with if there's a significant height difference between you and your partner and the fact that water is a terrible substitute for lube because it strips away the natural lubrication your genitals produce.

2. "No Strings Attached"

Sometimes there are those moments when you want to have sex, but you don't have that much time on your hands so you have to fit in a quick session before work in the morning, in between classes, or right before the kids come back home. Though Natalie Portman's "O" face is spot on, the main thing that makes her quickie with Ashton Kutcher's unrealistic is that she still manages to climax after 45 seconds without any kind of foreplay, lube, or toys involved. The female orgasm is still possible during a quickie, but in real life, there will still have to be creative measures involved so that enough stimulation outside of penetration is involved to get her warmed up.

3. "Fifty Shades of Grey"

As much as I enjoyed the playfulness behind Ana and Christian dipping ice cream on each other's bodies and licking it off each other, I couldn't help but roll my eyes at how over exaggerated it became. Yes, I understand that when something feels good, a moan or some type of vocalization will happen, but getting some kisses and licks on your thighs isn't going to have you arching your back like a demon going through an exorcism.

4. "Mr. & Mrs. Smith"

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's chemistry and passion in this scene is undeniable and it almost makes you want to start a fight with your partner just so you two can have some hot, angry sex just like them. Here's the problem though. They go from nearly killing each other to being boo'ed up like nothing happened. While angry sex can be a way for some couples to express emotions through adrenaline, it isn't the answer to our problems and shouldn't be a substitute for healthy communication.

5. "Titantic"

The moment in the movie when Kate Winslet's hand slams against the door of the car and drifts down as we stare at her steamy handprint and secretly wish we were sleeping with Leonardo DiCaprio will always be a classic. However, this scene is still a scam for those who hope car sex is as passionate and heartfelt as that. Truth be told, there's limited space to feel comfortable so leg cramps are inevitable and sliding against leather feels awful on your skin. To top things off, if you aren't careful enough, you may get caught by the police and ultimately have to register as a sex offender depending on your state's laws.

I truly hope for the day that sex in the media is represented in more of a realistic way, but until then, we just have to remember to take movies for what they are. Acting. There's a lot of time, scripts, makeup, and lights that are involved in these scenes that make them what they are, unlike the sex that happens in real life. As a matter of fact, sometimes sex isn't romantic. Sometimes it's not a fairy tale. There are times when it can be mind-blowing and other times when it's awkward, funny, or simply not what we expect. Do I appreciate fictional sex? Of course. But mainstream entertainment should also take the time to show us more than the sex we supposedly fantasize about and also show us sex that we can look at and see ourselves.

Dr King
Dr King

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