• Announcements

    • Kelly

      New Team members Needed--Moderator, Project Team, and Declass Team: Voting   12/10/13

      See:   http://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/164659-new-declass-team-member-needed-voting/   http://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/164657-new-moderator-member-needed-qa-co-mod-and-world-watch-mod-voting/   http://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/164656-new-project-team-member-needed-resources-and-education-director-voting/  
    • Kelly

      AVENues Holiday Special Edition is now live   08/17/17

      The new edition of AVENues is done!   See:        
    • Lady Girl

      Ace Community Census   11/06/17

      It’s time for the 2017 Ace Community Census!   see:   http://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/162675-announcing-the-2017-ace-community-census/  
    • Heart

      Help fund AVEN's servers!   11/06/17

      AVEN is doing its annual fundraiser to raise donations for server costs! See http://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/163251-aven-server-fundraiser/ for more details.  
sophieso2002

how do i know?

Recommended Posts

sophieso2002

i guess there are just a lot of unknowns right now, and i am questioning things more now, than i ever have. And the majority of these questions revolve around asexuality. I didn't really become familiar with the term until i was in high school, and i thought about and i wondered, "maybe i am asexual.. maybe that would explain a lot of things in my life?..." , but i brushed those thoughts aside because high school is hard and i didn't want to have to deal with finding a label for myself in addition to dealing with all of the other things that high school entails. 

 

i am christian and i always thought that i would wait until marriage to have sex, and that thought worked for me. I could put off all those feelings of sexual attraction until i actually got married, and then try to figure it out from there. But i think that having this mindset allowed me to avoid dealing with the possibility that i might be asexual. I also thought that because i am female, i just wouldn't have the same 'sexual urges' , as males.

 

I feel attraction towards the opposite gender. I think i would describe this attraction as having to do with their personality, their intelligence, their physical appearance (the way they dress, cut their hair,their sense of style (although this has always been a sort of negligible factor for me, i would rather a person be intelligent than physically attractive), and their heart. As cliche as that may sound. 

 

But sometimes, when i think of actually having sex with someone, i don't know how to explain it other than this feeling of  "no thanks, im fine right now", and i always attributed this to the fact that i must not have met the right person yet. The person that will make all of this change, the person that i will actually feel sexual attraction for. Then my next question is, does this person exist? am i telling myself this is why i haven't really felt sexual attraction, because i haven't met the right person yet? or am i asexual.

 

Another important thing to mention:  i haven't really been in a relationship. i mean sure, i had the stupid early high school fling where i basically decided that i should probably get my first kiss over with, and i found a reasonably decent boy for the job. I just always felt like there would be this pressure in a relationship, this sexual pressure, and i felt entirely uncomfortable with that. i wondered if it was a lack of maturity, and i continue to wonder this, so instead of dealing with that , i just decided to sort of avoid relationships in their entirety. This total avoidance of romantic relationships in high school definitely labeled me as a little strange.  i remember people saying things like "oh you are too pretty to not have a boyfriend", or friends parents making comments like "well when are you going to get a boyfriend?". I hated those comments, because i like to think that i don't need another person to define my identity. But maybe that's just me. 

 

I guess what i am fishing for in this veritable sea of words (sorry for the essay, by the way), is the answer to the question: "am i asexual?"

 

and i also guess that no one other than myself can determine the answer that question. 

 

i would really have hoped to be able to know myself well enough by now to know how i feel. but apparently, i do not. 

 

(so hopefully someone understands all of this and can give me their insight) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Zenzencat104

Asexualality by definition means you don’t/haven’t  feel sexual attraction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Star Bit

I'm not religious, but I too, as well as many other asexuals, swept my asexuality under the rug with "I'll turn sexual once I'm married". It was just a convenient and commonly accepted excuse so I used it without realizing. However, doing so in highschool isn't inherantly wrong because your sexuality really could emerge later. Once I started collage I ironicly stumbled upon asexuality. You are right that most females have different sexual urges than men (responsive and spontaneous sexual desire).

 

Your attraction toward the opposite gender may not be romantic. While it's certainly commonly felt with romantic attraction (RA), fixating on someone's looks/personality alone is not RA (it's aesthetic and emotional attraction; think of it as a beautiful statue that also has a captivating personality or like a favorite character; like a platonic but still extatic Loki fan).

 

Can't really tell you if you avoided relationships; that'd have to be something you intentionally did though, and not just never crushed on anyone thus never dated. I too felt the sexual pressure when people would ask me out. I said no because I didn't reciprocate though, and ended up finding out that one unreciprocated desire may have been what prevented me from crushing on more people (it's rare for me and the ppl I have crushed on didn't come off as very sexual, though I never knew so factually).

 

If you don't want partnered sexual activity with anyone, yah, that's asexual. If you don't get crushes or desire a relationship that's called aromantic. Shorthand for being both is Aro Ace.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sophieso2002

i really appreciate your response,  thank you. 

 

I think i have had crushes on people, and i know that i do desire a relationship, but i guess the part i am questioning is if i want a relationship with partnered sexual activity. I don't know if it's that i don't want it, or i have never really thought i needed it. Also sometimes thinking about actually having sex with someone makes me feel uncomfortable. I think what i am trying to figure out is if this feeling of unease with the idea of sex is because i might be asexual, or like i said, a lack of maturity /not having "met the right person yet". 

 

Another question i have is, what do you mean by romantic attraction? Because if finding things attractive about a person (personality, aesthetic) isn't considered romantic attraction, then what is? 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
TheAngel(of)Peace

Romantic attraction is wanting a romantic relationship with a person. That might include exclusivity, cuddling, kissing, etc. A "crush" can be a sign of romantic attraction. Drawing the line between romantic and platonic attraction can be complicated, though. I don't fully understand the difference myself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Star Bit
Quote

I think what i am trying to figure out is if this feeling of unease with the idea of sex is because i might be asexual, or like i said, a lack of maturity /not having "met the right person yet".

Well, we can cross off the last two. Have you not met the right person yet? It's possible; just like it is for anyone of any orientation, but just like those people do before discovering it, you can call it as it is now. Desiring sex isn't a matter that requires maturity either. "Lack of maturity" is an excuse I can picture an ignorant non-asexual saying (because we're rare and they've never delt with us before so they're grasping at straws). The thing with sex/masturbation is that alot of people naturally think it's grose, but what ends up overwriting (or temporarily clouding) this is sexual arousal (there are studies). When kids first start to fap or get introduced to it prior to ever having done so they're often disgusted by it. Sexual people often start off with being disgusted by their new sexual thoughts as well, but over time a more solid link between activity and pleasure is made and the repulsion fades. Disgust can still remain and return after the activity though. Similar can be said of being repulsed by genitals/sexual activity; exposure (or pleasure) can desensitize you to it. "I've seen enough gore, I'm immune to it now lol." or "I've seen too much hentai, I'm not surprised or (as) disgusted by it anymore." However, getting desensitized won't "fix" someone's asexuality, i was just validating your disgust by it; that it's normal but most (i.e. sexual) people have a reason for getting past it, which may be why they're relating your actions to maturity; since they got over it with time it must be a age/time/maturity related thing.

 

Quote

Another question i have is, what do you mean by romantic attraction? Because if finding things attractive about a person (personality, aesthetic) isn't considered romantic attraction, then what is? 

Contrary to what was just said in the comment above, wanting a relationship with your crush isn't required. Here's a list of attractions:

Spoiler

 

There are 6 types of attraction. They're all typically felt with romantic attraction (and why there can be confusion between attractions) but they aren't needed to make it valid. All of them can be felt separately, without romantic attraction, and in different combinations. The desire to act in a certain way can also be separate from the attraction (e.g. sexual attraction with no sexual desire/desire to act on it, or romantic desire in general with no romantic attraction).

 

·   Sexual attraction – having a quality about someone evoke the mental impulse to do sexual things with them (be it giving/receiving or directly/indirectly involving the genitals). Synonyms are sexually alluring, sexually appealing, sexually enticing, sexually tempting, etc. A majority of sexual men and minority of sexual women regularly experience this. Scientifically it's called 'spontaneous sexual desire' (the reverse percentage applying to 'responsive sexual desire').

 

·   Romantic attraction - an emotion; so it doesn't translate well into words, but it can be inadequately put as soft/warm/fuzzy feelings with some degree of fixation (at least in comparison to one's normality with others). This is the base requirement, but some people also have a physical reaction to the feeling and others don’t (i.e. butterflies in their stomach, heart rate increase, blushing, etc. [though those can also be symptoms of platonic nervousness]). Others may react mentally with a dreamy mindset, anxious euphoria, infatuation, romantic fantasies, etc. And others may feel it light enough (compared to the norm) that there is no clear line between crushes and wanting emotional closeness (so if a squish aka friend crush doesn’t go away after the desired bond is reached or sexual/non-platonic desires are present it’s a crush).

 

If someone doesn't react well to a partner's (physical, verbal, emotional) romantic expressions then they either just have low-key relationship preferences (reacting as such to over-reciprocation is normal), don't have a crush on them and are mistaking platonic feelings for romantic (which is a normal reaction to unreciprocation), or are Lithromantic (which may have to do with a negative self-perspective and therapy can help). Partners having different romantic feelings/desires can be a breaking point for many, but it does not mean the low-key person does not feel romantically.

 

But what romantic attraction is NOT is simply having a pull to look at someone due to their beauty and/or mannerisms, wanting a certain level of friendship with someone, thinking their personality is admirable/cool, or thinking "if i was romantic i think i could consent to a relationship with this person [and maybe thinking of how that relationship would function]".

 

·   Aesthetic attraction - the pull to look at someone because of their beauty and/or mannerisms (like a captivating sunset), which is different from just recognizing good looks/what’s aesthetically pleasing.

·   Emotional attraction - the fixation on someone because of their emotions (optimism, stoicness, etc.), and by extent personality. I would compare it to admirance or being a fan of someone/a character.

·   Sensual attraction - the impulse to have non-genital physical contact with someone specific. It can be platonic or not.

·   Platonic attraction - (aka squish; a play on the romantic word crush, or colloquially known as a friend crush) is the impulse to further know or befriend someone specific. The desired bond can vary from being friends, to close friends, to best friends. It may include nervousness or admirance, and once the desired bond is reached the squish goes away.

 

·   And it's possible to find someone charming without romantic attraction. (look up charming's definition/synonyms for further clarification)

·   It’s also possible to feel queerplatonically about someone. A queerplatonic relationship (or one sided, a 'queerplatonic squish' aka 'queerplatonic crush') is a platonic relationship that has (or is desired to have) an importance/closeness stronger than the best friend norm and/or displaying platonic physical contact above the norm (so no sex or making out, but chaste kissing can be platonic depending on how it’s done). Some describe it as "super best friends." It’s also known as romantic/passionate friendship, life partner, Boston Marriage, and (same gender wise) bromance/womance (latter aka shemance, sismance, and less popular hermance), as well as less commonly known; heteromance (between opposing genders). They may or may not have monogamy, live together, sleep in the same room, have kids, or be mistaken for a couple. Romantics and Aromantics can have QPRs. An example would be Turk and JD from Scrubs. (other examples here)

 

(Some inaccurately include sex and non-platonic physical actions like foreplay under this term; i.e. say that it only means absence in romantic feelings, but those things are factually not platonic by definition so it's a misunderstanding. Every dictionary defines platonic as non-sexual, and a minority include non-romantic. Quasiplatonic; created for those who want to avoid the use of queer in queerplatonic, is also inaccurate because the prefix means the reverse. Aliplatonic has been a suggested alternative. If someone has a relationship that displays queerplatonically but one has romantic feelings and the other doesn't, then it's up to them on whether they call their relationship QP or romantic.)

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Star Bit

Edited my list. Haven't looked at it in a while and it had some bad grammar as well as missing a couple details. (i occasionally edit it and don't read it through)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sophieso2002

again, thank you for the response. It has really offered me some clarity. 

 

I am not sure if i am quite ready for any labels yet, and i am definitely still trying to figure this out, but the more i think about it the more i feel like identifying as asexual really explains my preferences/habits/thoughts in the past. 

 

I guess my initial hesitation with actually identifying as asexual, was because I am a virgin. And the thought always was "well i haven't had sex, so i guess i don't know if i would like it". But like you said,if a person of another orientation can be aware of what they do or do not want, then i should also be able to make that decision for myself. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sophieso2002

oh and the list was also really helpful! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Star Bit
1 hour ago, sophieso2002 said:

And the thought always was "well i haven't had sex, so i guess i don't know if i would like it".

Which is plausible, but most people know. Most women need sexual arousal or making out/foreplay to trigger their desire for sex every time, so if you've masturbated and don't desire the latter then you can call it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sophieso2002

well i haven't really masturbated because i guess i just never wanted to and honestly i haven't really thought about it too much, so i cant really say if I desire sex (based on what you said). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now