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Scott1989

Why don't I want to have sex with the man I love? (BBC article)

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Scott1989   
Scott1989

Currently No 6 on most read!. Follow up from the iPM stuff. Oppertunity to give stories at bottom of the article.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-41469511

 



It is thought that between 1-3% of the population is asexual, meaning they do not feel any sexual attraction to other people. For years Stacey was puzzled about why she never wanted to sleep with anyone, even her husband. As she explains here, it was her doctor that told her the truth.

For a really long time I thought I was broken mentally or physically in some way, I thought it wasn't normal to not want to have sex with people.

Friends of mine would be talking about boyfriends they'd had or celebrities they'd like to bed, and I just didn't think about anybody in that very specific, sexual sense.

When I was in my early twenties I really started noticing it, but I didn't talk to anybody about it because I just thought, "They're going to think I'm well strange," so I just kept quiet.

Asexuality has quite a spectrum so although I might not be sexually attracted to people I do get very romantically attracted to people.

I'd met my boyfriend - who is now my husband - when I was 19, and I didn't know what asexuality was then, so I just thought I was bonkers or really behind the curve or something.

I was thinking, "I absolutely love this man, and if he proposes to me I will 100% say yes because I know I want to spend the rest of my life with him, so why don't I want to sleep with him? That's crazy."

Find out more

Stacey spoke to BBC Radio 4's iPM, the programme which starts with its listeners. If you want to contact the programme, please send an email.

You can listen to Stacey's interview or hear Jordan describing the problems he faced at university on the iPM podcast


We sort of went on a bit of journey of discovery together, me and the hubby. He was very much, "I am in love with you. I will wait as long as it takes, if it ever happens."

He was really supportive and never tried to make me do anything I wasn't comfortable with.

Societal norms suggest that sex and children are the way forward in a relationship and all my friends were going off and getting married and having babies. I thought, "Oh God, there's this expectation that I should be sleeping with my husband and having children."

I started having a recurring nightmare that my husband was going to leave me for somebody who looked exactly like me but who would actually sleep with him, and I got to a point where my own anxieties were making me almost unbearable.

I thought, "Do you know what? I've got to sort this out, I've got to find out what's going on."

By this point I was probably 27 or 28.

I made the massive mistake of searching the internet for medical reasons that might cause low sex drive. That was a mistake, an absolute mistake. There were lots of little things that were easily fixable like dodgy hormone levels, but the one that caught my eye was brain tumours.

I was like, "Oh no, I'm dying of a brain tumour."

I went to my doctor and I said, "Look, is it serious? Am I going to die?"

She was like, "Calm down, you're probably just asexual."

I was like, "What's that? What?"

So she pointed me towards some websites - and it was like I'd found my people, it was so exciting.

I'd never heard the term "asexual" before.

I did some more research and I started feeling a lot more comfortable in myself, so I spoke to my husband about it and I said, "This label does kind of take things off the table permanently."

And he pretty much just said, "Well, I'd kind of assumed that anyway, so it's fine."

He's been absolutely great, he's been so understanding. I like to think it's because of my shining personality that he thinks, "I've got to hold on to that one."

I've never felt what most people would describe as horny and if I ever do feel any slight inkling of that it's very, very small, like an itch that I need to scratch.

It's a very biological process for me rather than an arousal kind of thing, if that makes sense, and I don't want to involve other people, not even my husband.

It's like, "Yeuch, here's this feeling, I'll go deal with that."

I almost disassociate from it.


iPM listeners on asexuality

"I'm 60 years old and have never knowingly met another person who is asexual. I had never even heard it publicly acknowledged." - Lucy

"When I first discovered that I was asexual, I tried to come out to a few people, and while some were very open to it, I've had some very negative reactions. A group of team mates from my university sports team decided to arrange a night out for me to 'help' me get laid, when they discovered that I hadn't had sex, not caring that it was due to my asexuality." - Scott

"I have been met with scorn, disbelief and disgusted looks when I have shared my asexuality with other people. People have told me that 'it's not a real thing' and that 'I'm making it up for attention.' I have only now begun to think of myself as a whole human being, with no 'missing pieces'." - Anonymous, 14 years old

"I don't have a problem with physical contact. It's just I don't see any others as sexual prey… Even though I have never discussed this with my wonderful mum, she is not blind to the fact that I live happily alone, child-free and have no interest in dating. She has even been on the brink of tears, concerned that - and I quote - 'It might be something I did that made you... not normal.'" - Dani

Listen again


Asexuality is a spectrum and there are a lot of asexual people who, once they've built up a relationship with a person, feel comfortable having sex with them. But for me, any time I've ever got close, my whole body's been like, "No, no thank you, stop that now, not having it."

It's just the kids thing - people that I tell almost always immediately say, "Oh my god, but how are you going to have kids, though?"

Well, there are a lot of ways that I could have kids if I wanted them, it's not completely out of the realms of possibility.

I've only been aware about asexuality for about three or four years. I like the label ACE [short for "asexual"]. I find it almost comforting, and it has really helped me understand who I am, how I behave and how my mind works.

I do celebrate being ACE, I'm quite proud of it, and I do like to talk about it because I would like more people to understand it and not judge people for not wanting to have sex. I think if I'd known what asexuality was back when I was 18 or 19 my mental health could have been a whole lot better for most of my twenties.

Funnily enough, before I discovered asexuality my husband used to call me Stace Ace.

You can listen to iPM on Radio 4 at 05:45 on Saturday 7 October, or catch up later on the BBC iPlayer

Join the conversation - find us on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter.

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Count Maksula   
Count Maksula

I like that the doctor knew about asexuality, kinda gives me hope, like this whole interview :3

 

 I'm just glad lol

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Amber79   
Amber79

Very interesting, nice that's it's on a mainstream media platform. As above, also glad to hear her Doctor knew what it was.

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Deus Ex Infinity   
Deus Ex Infinity
1 hour ago, Maks9090 said:

I like that the doctor knew about asexuality, kinda gives me hope, like this whole interview :3

 

 I'm just glad lol

Me too!! Finally someone who opened up his brains!

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arekathevampyre   
arekathevampyre

that's awesome 👍👍

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Quasar.w   
Quasar.w

Just read it and it's so awesome <3 and also a positive example that a sexual/asexual relationship can work!

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Planet Ace   
Planet Ace

I love that it was her doctor who told her about asexuality! That's so great. Do you see, healthcare professionals, how easy it is to just be more open minded, instead of being actively unhelpful? This isn't so difficult to get right. Now get on the ball already, the rest of y'all need to get up to her level, she's making you look bad! :P

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Skycaptain   
Skycaptain

I think the British medical profession is more up to speed on asexulity than some others. It was through the NHS that I was made aware of asexulity 

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Enelya   
Enelya

I just saw this on the front page of the BBC news site and came to see if anyone else spotted it! A really nice article that seems to be getting a lot of exposure :)

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margot-rain   
margot-rain
20 minutes ago, Enelya said:

I just saw this on the front page of the BBC news site and came to see if anyone else spotted it! A really nice article that seems to be getting a lot of exposure :)

Ditto! My mum actually first spotted it, and told me about it. Really nice to see some accurate, positive publicity for once. And nice to see at least one doctor knows about it. Gives me hope it will soon be seen as "mainstream" and "normal".

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CrazyDiamond   
CrazyDiamond

I was alerted to this article by a friend making an exasperated sigh and exclaiming "asexuals, jesus christ" :l Very suprised by this considering he is a lefty from Brighton with a handful of GSM friends.  Besides that though the article was quite good and I'm glad to see it being so popular.

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