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will123

How Much of Your Life Have You Been Asexual?

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Muledeer

Asexuality may be well innate, but if it were genetic, evolution would have selected against us a long, long time ago.  Although I have often wondered if my mother was asexual, based on some of our conversations when she was elderly.

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fuzzipueo
13 minutes ago, will123 said:
3 hours ago, Muledeer said:

It wasn't just AIDS in the 80's.  I remember when genital herpes was first discovered around 1980 and that was just one more reason to be careful.  Before that, a shot of penicillin cured almost any VD you could imagine.  I wonder how much the advent of these "new" diseases during our youth factored into our asexuality?

 

1 hour ago, daveb said:

Well, I was in junior high and high school from the late 60s to early 70s, basically coming of age during the height of the sexual revolution, when sex, drugs and rock & roll were the mantra of the day. I didn't get into any of those. I think asexuality (at least in my case) is innate. :)

I'm going to have to agree w/ daveb on this one. I was 18 at the start of 1980. Up until this point I hadn't had any interest in sex with either gender. AIDS hadn't been discussed in the 70s, so I don't think the AIDS "scare" had anything to do with my asexuality.

 

I was going to post about us "older" folks. Since most of us older Aces have felt we were asexual for many years before we knew/realized what it was, that our asexuality is in fact innate or genetic. I'm not a scientist or geneticist, but I have stayed at a Holiday Inn in the past. 

I don't think the epidemic (which is still ongoing, sadly) really did have anything to do with my asexuality either, it was just a convenient explanation for a reason why I wasn't interested. I've never felt interested in sex (I was 13 when I realized this) though, nor romance (as I found when I was 15) - so though I did not have the terms for my feelings on the subject, I knew I never wanted to be married or have sex.

 

As for the italicized bit: :lol:

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Nebulous

I can only say with certainty from the point I suspected I was "different" from other people, which was when I was thirteen or fourteen. This is the first time I noticed myself shying away from anything that had to do with sex; music, conversation, clothing, etcetera. Saying I was asexual anytime earlier than this would be a guess, albeit I do feel it would be more true than false. Anyways, I'm 22 now, and have known I'm asexual for around nine years.

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daveb
42 minutes ago, Muledeer said:

but if it were genetic, evolution would have selected against us a long, long time ago

Not necessarily. Of course, some people have used the same argument for other non-heterosexual orientations not being genetic. Some traits can show up in multiple generations - if they don't affect every generation (see recessive genes, for example), if they arise as a by-product of traits that are selected for (spandrels, for example), to mention of couple of reasons.

Also, innate isn't the same as genetic. There are also epigenetics, traits arising in the womb rather than from genetics per se, or arising due to other environmental factors (of all sorts) after birth.

In any case, I am sure that in most cases asexuality isn't/wasn't the result of people being scared off of sex because of diseases.

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will123
2 minutes ago, daveb said:

 

In any case, I am sure that in most cases asexuality isn't/wasn't the result of people being scared off of sex because of diseases.

If that was a person's reasoning for avoiding/abstaining from sex, wouldn't that be characterized as a phobia?

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daveb

Well, a phobia is an irrational fear that causes certain reactions. Being "scared off of sex" may be overstating it. I do think stds did make a lot of people more careful about sex (or at least casual and/or unprotected sex, if they had any sense). That would be rational. :)

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Muledeer
21 minutes ago, daveb said:

 

Also, innate isn't the same as genetic. There are also epigenetics, traits arising in the womb rather than from genetics per se, or arising due to other environmental factors (of all sorts) after birth.

In any case, I am sure that in most cases asexuality isn't/wasn't the result of people being scared off of sex because of diseases.

Sounds like we have identified multiple reasons or factors that could cause one to be asexual.  Great discussion.  To recap, there could be genetic and  environmental factors coupled with a fear of contracting a fatal or incurable STD, which could reinforce the first two factors.  And we haven't even discussed the possibility of physical or chemical (hormonal?) deficits or social or cultural reinforcement from religious beliefs or family / cultural values regarding sex.  It's complicated!

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chandrakirti

The epigenetics are interesting, but looking at my family, that doesn't explain a whole generation of it. 

Until the 1920s, my mother and father's families were vast! (9 siblings on my mum's side, 5 (out of 10 that were born and survived) on my dad's side. Of all those, I'm the only one of the next generation. Now, epigenetics would be a possibility had my great grandparents or grandparents had few children (which would have been odd in the mid to late 1800s)

 

Of my mum's family, only 3 married and only she had one child...me. My dad's siblings produced one son between all their marriages, and he died very young, so I've no cousins.

 

Having pieced it together, my uncles and aunts never considered marriage seriously and they all worked together (the two brothers brought their respective wives) on the farm, which took up most of their time. When the heyday of farming culture dissolved in the mid 1950s and mechanisation came in, there were too many to find a big enough home, so the siblings split up into smaller units and found homes near each other.

So I lived with my widower granddad, uncle and parents, my spinster aunt lived with an other spinster sister and bachelor brother , the other two married uncles moved with their wives and the last three were scattered as singletons.

I think my whole family were grey or ace!

The sexual thing just passed me by, and although I eventually got married at 30 (mainly because of peer pressure) and had a daughter, I've had very few intimate relationships and of those, all, were tinged with the same comments from would be partners ...'you aren't interested, are you?' was one , 'you just lie there!' was another. I just saw it as a duty of marriage, a function, no more or less.

 

 

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will123
On 1/20/2017 at 0:57 AM, Muledeer said:

Sounds like we have identified multiple reasons or factors that could cause one to be asexual.  Great discussion.  To recap, there could be genetic and  environmental factors coupled with a fear of contracting a fatal or incurable STD, which could reinforce the first two factors.  And we haven't even discussed the possibility of physical or chemical (hormonal?) deficits or social or cultural reinforcement from religious beliefs or family / cultural values regarding sex.  It's complicated!

Lots of interesting comments in the thread. It surprises me considering I was just asking how much of your life would be described as asexual. 

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Tystie

Interesting thread!

 

Looking back, I think the signs of my being asexual were there from the start. I also had the 'eww' reaction to discussions about sex, and thinking, 'Why would anyone want to do that?' Then, later, I found myself shying away from people wanting to have a casual snog or wanting sex. (Ah, the joys of student life!) But, at the same time, back in my teens and twenties, I assumed that I would eventually meet that special someone who would spark my interest.

 

For a long time, I just assumed that I was a VERY late developer. But there is only so long that you can cling on to that kind of assumption. So, eventually I switched from assuming 'late developer' to thinking 'unattractive', 'lacking in something' and 'a bit broken'.

 

In my thirties, I grew more resigned to the idea that I wasn't going to meet someone. And, although I didn't feel good about my lack of interest, the fact remained that I really wasn't interested.

 

Over the years, I have dated a few  guys, but... Looking back, I can see why things didn't work out! The longest relationships I ever had were long-distance ones, when we didn't see each other!

 

Forties: yeah. I just figured that it was my lot to be on my own, and this was my life. And I was okay with that, or at least resigned to it.

 

Then, last year, I discovered AVEN. And suddenly so many things began to make sense. I feel better about myself now than I did before, and I feel grateful and more confident in myself. 

 

I wish I had known more back in my teens and twenties. I wish I had known that it was okay to not be interested in sex and associated relationships. I would have save myself a lot of angst and anguish.

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will123
44 minutes ago, Tystie said:

Interesting thread!

 

Looking back, I think the signs of my being asexual were there from the start. I also had the 'eww' reaction to discussions about sex, and thinking, 'Why would anyone want to do that?' Then, later, I found myself shying away from people wanting to have a casual snog or wanting sex. (Ah, the joys of student life!) But, at the same time, back in my teens and twenties, I assumed that I would eventually meet that special someone who would spark my interest.

 

For a long time, I just assumed that I was a VERY late developer. But there is only so long that you can cling on to that kind of assumption. So, eventually I switched from assuming 'late developer' to thinking 'unattractive', 'lacking in something' and 'a bit broken'.

 

In my thirties, I grew more resigned to the idea that I wasn't going to meet someone. And, although I didn't feel good about my lack of interest, the fact remained that I really wasn't interested.

 

Over the years, I have dated a few  guys, but... Looking back, I can see why things didn't work out! The longest relationships I ever had were long-distance ones, when we didn't see each other!

 

Forties: yeah. I just figured that it was my lot to be on my own, and this was my life. And I was okay with that, or at least resigned to it.

 

Then, last year, I discovered AVEN. And suddenly so many things began to make sense. I feel better about myself now than I did before, and I feel grateful and more confident in myself. 

 

I wish I had known more back in my teens and twenties. I wish I had known that it was okay to not be interested in sex and associated relationships. I would have save myself a lot of angst and anguish.

Other than that "unbolded" section, you pretty much have the same feelings that I've had thru life. I would appear we (the group) share a lot of commonality in our travels thru life.

Edited by will123
Added 'the group'

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Muledeer
5 hours ago, chandrakirti said:

Of my mum's family, only 3 married and only she had one child...me. My dad's siblings produced one son between all their marriages, and he died very young, so I've no cousins.

 

Having pieced it together, my uncles and aunts never considered marriage seriously and they all worked together (the two brothers brought their respective wives) on the farm, which took up most of their time. When the heyday of farming culture dissolved in the mid 1950s and mechanisation came in, there were too many to find a big enough home, so the siblings split up into smaller units and found homes near each other.

So I lived with my widower granddad, uncle and parents, my spinster aunt lived with an other spinster sister and bachelor brother , the other two married uncles moved with their wives and the last three were scattered as singletons.

I think my whole family were grey or ace!

 

 

This is really interesting.  It really does appear that asexuality (or at least a lack of interest in relationships) does indeed run in your family.  I can't make the same observations in my family, either in prior generations or with my siblings' offspring.....  of my ten nieces and nephews, all of which are of (or past) child bearing age, only six of them have procreated.  But I think they are all heterosexual individuals.  Of my six uncles and aunts, all were married and had kids.  So it does not run in my family.

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Troubled1

I have known my entire life. I have lived  my life asexually. There have ever really been only 2 relationships, one involved sex oddly solely for the purpose of having a child which did not happen. 

 

As for the potential for genetics having some thing to do with it, how many people have ever heard about a spinster aunt or the bachelor uncle? What I know is that my grandmother's sister only had one child in a 50 year marriage. They were very affectionate and cared deeply for each other but only had one child. Aside from that, my family are perfectly normal. 

 

I have always found it interesting that no one around me seemed to notice until I went to Australia for work. There one of my coworkers straight out ask if I was homosexual when she was very drunk at the Christmas party. My response was "absolutely not" without any hesitation. She took this to mean I was straight. 

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Sleighcaptain

@Troubled1. Welcome to AVEN 🎂 🎂 

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Techie
On 1/20/2017 at 0:24 AM, daveb said:

Not necessarily. Of course, some people have used the same argument for other non-heterosexual orientations not being genetic. Some traits can show up in multiple generations - if they don't affect every generation (see recessive genes, for example), if they arise as a by-product of traits that are selected for (spandrels, for example), to mention of couple of reasons.

Another factor of course is that being asexual in and of itself does not preclude one from having sex and reproducing.  Romantic attraction alone can be enough to bring to people together and the asexual person might not even be aware they are lacking sexual attraction and simply going through the motions (which would have been my case).  Also, in the past there was a lot of societal pressure for people to marry and have children regardless of their true feelings or lack thereof.  Many gay people entered into faux marriages and had kids while they lived their true identity in secret.  That too would have continued the genetic propagation if it is in fact genetic.  What will be interesting to see in a generation or two is with LGBT marriages accepted now and never marrying being socially acceptable, what may happen to these traits as people do not reproduce opting to adopt instead.  We might see something of a decline in the numbers but that is just a guess.  

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daveb

My guess is we won't see a decline in numbers. I'm basing that on the research that has shown similar rates for homosexual and asexual individuals in some animal species. If anything, the numbers might actually increase as more people learn about asexuality and as acceptance grows and people don't feel they have to hide who they are (although the research on sexuality has mitigated for those kinds of issues that might under-count the real rates). Time will tell. :) 

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VeganGirlMe

I'm not quite 50 (turning 47 next week) but I wanted to add my two cents.  In hindsight I suppose I have been asexual all of my life but I have only just recently been able to put a name to it (thank you all for sharing so openly).  Growing up I did what I thought I was supposed to do according to friends/society - become a functioning sexual member of society.  In hindsight again, every single experience was unpleasant.  Each experience left me feeling empty and confused.  As I grew older I entered into committed adult relationships but would always very quickly begin to resent the demands and expectations of me to be sexually available.  I have never found sex to be earth shattering or anything of the sort.  If I never had sex again it wouldn't bother me in the least.  I mostly feel repulsed/angry/exasperated at sexual advances.  I am so much more than my physical body.  There is so much more to life.  I really don't get what all the fuss is about.  I have in fact just left my third long term sexual relationship and am only just now starting to truly piece together my asexual identity.  I'm also an extreme introvert (and a highly sensitive person to boot) so I have what feels like an even more intense aversion to coupling/pair-bonding/intimacy (whatever you want to call it).  99% of the time I find that having someone/a partner around is annoying and frustrating but there is that 1% where I feel a deep soul need to be appreciated, loved, understood and accepted in the way only a partner would afford.  Thanks for listening :)    

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TheLastOfSheila
1 hour ago, VeganGirlMe said:

I'm not quite 50 (turning 47 next week) but I wanted to add my two cents.  In hindsight I suppose I have been asexual all of my life but I have only just recently been able to put a name to it (thank you all for sharing so openly).  Growing up I did what I thought I was supposed to do according to friends/society - become a functioning sexual member of society.  In hindsight again, every single experience was unpleasant.  Each experience left me feeling empty and confused.  As I grew older I entered into committed adult relationships but would always very quickly begin to resent the demands and expectations of me to be sexually available.  I have never found sex to be earth shattering or anything of the sort.  If I never had sex again it wouldn't bother me in the least.  I mostly feel repulsed/angry/exasperated at sexual advances.  I am so much more than my physical body.  There is so much more to life.  I really don't get what all the fuss is about.  I have in fact just left my third long term sexual relationship and am only just now starting to truly piece together my asexual identity.  I'm also an extreme introvert (and a highly sensitive person to boot) so I have what feels like an even more intense aversion to coupling/pair-bonding/intimacy (whatever you want to call it).  99% of the time I find that having someone/a partner around is annoying and frustrating but there is that 1% where I feel a deep soul need to be appreciated, loved, understood and accepted in the way only a partner would afford.  Thanks for listening :)    

Sister, welcome to AVEN.  I am starting to love it here, hope you will too. :cake::cake::cake:

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fuzzipueo
22 hours ago, Troubled1 said:

As for the potential for genetics having some thing to do with it, how many people have ever heard about a spinster aunt or the bachelor uncle? What I know is that my grandmother's sister only had one child in a 50 year marriage. They were very affectionate and cared deeply for each other but only had one child. Aside from that, my family are perfectly normal. 

First of all, welcome to AVEN Troubled1. :cake:

 

My mom mentioned a few of her aunts who showed no interest in marriage or having kids when I explained I was asexual to her. She did not find it odd or weird at all. I strongly suspect that it does run in my family, though as Techie has pointed out, societal/family expectations can and often do override natural inclinations. I wonder about my parents - as I said earlier in this thread, neither one ever made a big deal of having boyfriends or getting married. Even now, my dad never says anything about my being a homebody most nights.

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VeganGirlMe
18 hours ago, TheLastOfSheila said:

Sister, welcome to AVEN.  I am starting to love it here, hope you will too. :cake::cake::cake:

Thank you so much!  I think I will find much comfort here ^_^

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Sherlocks

Well ill just start from puberty age 11 

When I hit puberty I kind of was arroused by everything 

I basically wanted to just jump on everthing and I found it really irritating 

Was well as that my family would not let me date, I was Christian, and was bullied very badly for being poor 

So I was sexually frustrated all the time and just depressed becuase I wanted the thoughts to go away 

I didnt understand what crushes or romance were 

at age 14 I finally got permission to date but my hormones were already mellowing out 

I developed an obsession with a freind of mine who was nice to me, protected me and treated everyone else like crap so I felt happy 

They ended up moving the next year and I could never get over it, my life felt empty again 

I started dating a bunch of people to get over it but could never fill the void 

I also discovered that kissing, and holding hands and stuff wasnt all that fun 

I found it terribly boring 

So I guess after my hormones leveled out? 

 

 

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will123

When I started socializing with girls in my 20s, my friends would say, "Oh 'Jennifer' is your girlfriend!" I'd say, "No, she's a girl and we're friends, end of story." I was happy to hang out with them and do things, but romance and sex were the furthest things from my mind. I never wondered to my self why I wasn't really interested in getting them in a situation to have sex with them.

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chandrakirti

In retrospect , given my last post on this forum, all my life,

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SusieQ6340

I knew in my late 20s after I was married and had 2 kids, but that didn't stop me from marrying a second time. I divorced them both. I think intercourse is gross and messy. I'm in my mid 50s now, I haven't had sex since 1999 and I don't want to. 

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lakegirl

First noticed being different when I was 13 and a "Late bloomer". I am 64 now and can remember several times when I just didn't get what the big deal was. Tried to fit in. Even was married for 20 years. I am so happy living as me, not who everyone wanted me to be. I have grown children and haven't told them yet. 

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coyote55
On 1/19/2017 at 9:35 AM, will123 said:

I was never into the party scene. When classmates and friends were going to parties, dances or football games, you could find me babysitting kids of the family that owned the local car dealership. 

With my boring reputation as a teenager (Lol!),  I was trusted to watch kids as well. Sounds like you had a similar experience.

 

It's still that way even now, I'm in an after-school mentorship program with one kid, and my little grand-godson is a kick. Most of the time, anyway. :)

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oldgeeza

I think I always knew, if my grandma was still with us, she'd tell you that from the age of seven, I always said I'd be single, at 19, I tried sex, I hated every second of it, tried relationships, didn't have many, they all cheated on me, gave up on relationships in my 20's, got fed up with being dumped, knew I didn't want to have sex, but it wasn't until my 40's I found out there were others like me and I discovered the term asexual 

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Member7783

I've been asexual my whole life, but most of my life I didn't know asexual was a "thing".  I thought I was a late-bloomer in my teens because I wasn't chasing girls.  I thought I was weird in my 20's because I wasn't interested in sex.  I thought I was weird in my 30s because I went out of my way to avoid having sex.  It's ony been in the last few years that I've been able to accept that I'm not "weird", I'm just not the garden variety horny heterosexual.

 

...well, I am weird, but weird in a different way.

 

Double Dinosaur

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