Today I was reading it is Asexual Awareness Week, which was fortuitous, as I was thinking about how to write about an uncomfortable subject – my lack of desire for romantic partnerships.
This has not always been the case; when I was a teenager, and before I had any experience with physical intimacy, I thought I might want that, only to discover, after attempting to desire and enjoy said closeness, found I really didn’t like it at all.
Naturally, this could be a result of my autistic stance of aloneness, which most autistics don’t preserve into adulthood and which, though tempered with age, has never really left me. Or my sensory processing issues which make me gag at the scent of anyone other than myself, barf at the thought of a tongue in my mouth, and flinch at your touch. Anything other than a brief bear hug irritates intensely. Massages? Forget it -nobody has the strength or endurance to satisfy me. I use two tennis balls in a sock to adjust my own back when necessary. Utilitarian. Efficient.
I tried, believe me, I tried, to mold myself into the norm of being with another person, but it never worked for me. This engendered much rage when I was younger – trying to fit in and failing. Still, I stayed true to myself and trusted my instincts not to get married or breed. I was engaged five times, and called it off all five! So don’t accuse me of not trying…
I was not sexually abused. My sexual experiences have been gratifying, and I know how to satisfy myself as well as the other. I have to sleep alone, so after sex, get out. I don’t cuddle. Sex is only sex, not love. Romance -what’s that? I hate bickering and having another person around me longer than an hour or, maybe a day, if it’s a good day. People irritate me, even those I love, if present for long. I need them to go away while I recharge.
Given this attitude, I do not think it is fair to me or them to “lead them on”, but, in the past, my resentment and anger let me do just that, usually wounding them. I am more compassionate now, but not to the point of responding to romantic advances.
I am not a virgin and have enjoyed sexual release since my teens – I am quite proficient at pleasing myself and actually prefer it. I am quick, efficient and no mess. I do not think of other people when I “do me”. I accomplish the act in a few minutes, sometimes as little as one minute! I do not do it as often as when I was 15, but well within the norm for my age group (actually, slightly more).
I have admitted this since I knew it, around age 17, and have spent many excruciatingly long conversations attempting to explain and defend my orientation. I usually say, “I’m not gay, I’m “A”.
Now, I see there are articles online devoted to the subject, and am happy as a clam (up) about it: http://everydayfeminism.com/2015/04/asexual-aromantic-happy/
It does not mean I cannot love or care about anyone – I do; I am a loyal and generous person who shows I care in non-physical ways, yet discussing my stance last night with a new friend on the spectrum who DOES desire romance I felt as alienated and sad as me at seventeen, anticipating the rejection which usually follows sometime – usually soon – after my description of my stance. I wrote this text today to someone else on the spectrum who does want physical closeness: “It can be even more lonely to not desire intimacy and face rejection because of it, than to desire it and be rejected for other reasons. Or at least as lonely. Because I want to remain separate is considered extremely abnormal in our society. Probably most societies. Yet it doesn’t mean I don’t crave love or non-physical affection. Sigh… Almost cried just now; this is one of my most difficult subjects. I am not a crier – except in extreme frustration – so for me to feel tears approaching is very sad.”
I do experience rejection from others who hope I will develop physical desire and who dump me altogether when I don’t. This repeated rejection still hurts and makes me feel like not attempting any relationships with anyone in any fashion.
Fortunately, I do have two people I would say I love and who I believe love me. One is female and one is male and I feel very close to them.
Don’t pity me; I am happy and actually feel sorry for you and your bickering, demanding, irrational other and squalling brats – do you detect a hint of hostility? You betcha – I am trying to get over it – not quite there yet and apologize; I am being honest – I wouldn’t want to trade places with you, your situation is repellent to me.
Love me. Just don’t touch me!