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Could I be asexual, or am I just extremely picky?


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#1 SoSayWeAll

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 01:46 AM

OK...I'm definitely confused about myself.

By the age of (almost) 27, should I have experienced sexual arousal as a result of looking at or being near a man, if I were heterosexual in the normal sense? Is that how normal arousal works, or is it just that I'm extraordinarily picky and haven't found the right man?

I do have sexual arousal. And, it's always been very clear in my head that I prefer men to women. But in middle school when everybody was pairing up, all I found was that my aesthetic and intellectual appreciation towards boys my age strengthened, and pretty much from that point forward, I had (almost) only males as friends. The one time I dated it was a disaster because I couldn't reciprocate his attraction.

I can't imagine spending my life with a woman, but I could with a man. I'd have no problem with holding, cuddling, spending time together, maybe even raising a child together and doing the things that go with having a family. I definitely feel aesthetic and romantic attraction to men. In other words, agape and phileo, but never eros. But I just...worry very much about pleasing a man, that I wouldn't be able to do it.

I should note that I ALSO had a surgical procedure that I have reason to think would affect my physical ability to enjoy sex--BUT, when I think about it, it's very evident that my feelings have always been as they are. (In some ways, I actually wonder if the surgery and its effects would help a man to be more tolerant? I don't know.)

Now, on the up-side...I also feel strongly that I have a religious calling, as a Christian. While I think there's nothing wrong with sex, I support married ministers and priests, and I appreciate what that means to many...I've got to admit that maybe I am the way I am for a reason, and that maybe it's an additional sign that I'm intended to serve the church? (Which raises the question, was St. Paul asexual, but with a bit of arrogance, maybe?) Are there any Christian asexuals who could relate?

(PLEASE no Christian-bashing. Like I said, I do not have a hang-up about others having sex, though I believe in lifelong monogamy.)

#2 ily

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 02:22 AM

By the age of (almost) 27, should I have experienced sexual arousal as a result of looking at or being near a man, if I were heterosexual in the normal sense?


Yeah. There's a study that found that pretty much everyone who will experience sexual attraction does so by the age of 19. I think at 27, you're past the point of "late blooming". However, sexual attraction and arousal are things that on AVEN, we tend to view separately. While we define asexuals as people who don't experience sexual attraction, we can experience physical arousal. However, if you don't experience arousal either, that seems normal for an asexual. Uhh...did that answer your question? I have a heterosexual friend who's really "picky" when it comes to men. However, she still finds plenty of people attractive. She just has extremely high standards when it comes to dating. Being picky about attraction would be hard, since it seems to be something that people don't choose to happen. However you decide to identify yourself, welcome. :cake:

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#3 Sciatrix

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 02:25 AM

You could be what we call here a heteroromantic asexual--someone who forms romantic attachments to people of the opposite gender only but doesn't desire sex out of it. That's something only you know enough about to decide, though, since we define asexuality based on sexual attraction here, and only you can tell whether or not you're sexually attracted to anyone. (Sexual attraction: you want to have sex with a specific person simply because you'd like to have sex with them. Not to please them or out of curiosity or any other reason.)

Paul was certainly antisexual in his views. He's been read as repressed gay and it would not surprise me to see an asexual reading, but the antisexuality stands out, at least to me. If you want to read your sexuality as a church calling, that's certainly your decision; I don't see any reason to read it or not read it one way or the other. Does your specific denomination accept female clergy, or would you be choosing celibacy? I'm just a little confused there.

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#4 SoSayWeAll

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 02:27 AM


By the age of (almost) 27, should I have experienced sexual arousal as a result of looking at or being near a man, if I were heterosexual in the normal sense?


Yeah. There's a study that found that pretty much everyone who will experience sexual attraction does so by the age of 19. I think at 27, you're past the point of "late blooming". However, sexual attraction and arousal are things that on AVEN, we tend to view separately. While we define asexuals as people who don't experience sexual attraction, we can experience physical arousal. However, if you don't experience arousal either, that seems normal for an asexual. Uhh...did that answer your question? I have a heterosexual friend who's really "picky" when it comes to men. However, she still finds plenty of people attractive. She just has extremely high standards when it comes to dating. Being picky about attraction would be hard, since it seems to be something that people don't choose to happen. However you decide to identify yourself, welcome. :cake:


Should sexual attraction be something one experiences before entering a romantic relationship? Or is it possible that the fact that I haven't had a romantic relationship precludes sexually desiring a person?

I definitely like looking at a man's face or his body...it's more than admiring fine art, I think, because of the possibility of relationship. A handsome man with real kindness in his eyes is one of the most wonderful sights in the world for me. But, looking doesn't arouse me even though I might have other kinds of fantasies (marrying, raising children, etc.). Is arousal supposed to be a function of looking and nothing else?

Oh...and yes, my church accepts female clergy. We actually have a relatively high percentage compared to some denominations.

#5 ily

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 02:49 AM



By the age of (almost) 27, should I have experienced sexual arousal as a result of looking at or being near a man, if I were heterosexual in the normal sense?


Yeah. There's a study that found that pretty much everyone who will experience sexual attraction does so by the age of 19. I think at 27, you're past the point of "late blooming". However, sexual attraction and arousal are things that on AVEN, we tend to view separately. While we define asexuals as people who don't experience sexual attraction, we can experience physical arousal. However, if you don't experience arousal either, that seems normal for an asexual. Uhh...did that answer your question? I have a heterosexual friend who's really "picky" when it comes to men. However, she still finds plenty of people attractive. She just has extremely high standards when it comes to dating. Being picky about attraction would be hard, since it seems to be something that people don't choose to happen. However you decide to identify yourself, welcome. :cake:


Should sexual attraction be something one experiences before entering a romantic relationship? Or is it possible that the fact that I haven't had a romantic relationship precludes sexually desiring a person?


I don't think so. It's sort of circular. For most people, sexual attraction to a certain person is what compels them to enter into a romantic relationship in the first place. Sure, plenty of people are in relationships with people they're not really attracted to, maybe because they just want companionship or they like some other things about the person. But a lot of AVENites have been in romantic relationships and remain asexual. If it was true that being in a relationship created feelings of sexual attraction, then these people would no longer be asexual.

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#6 SoSayWeAll

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 03:10 AM




By the age of (almost) 27, should I have experienced sexual arousal as a result of looking at or being near a man, if I were heterosexual in the normal sense?


Yeah. There's a study that found that pretty much everyone who will experience sexual attraction does so by the age of 19. I think at 27, you're past the point of "late blooming". However, sexual attraction and arousal are things that on AVEN, we tend to view separately. While we define asexuals as people who don't experience sexual attraction, we can experience physical arousal. However, if you don't experience arousal either, that seems normal for an asexual. Uhh...did that answer your question? I have a heterosexual friend who's really "picky" when it comes to men. However, she still finds plenty of people attractive. She just has extremely high standards when it comes to dating. Being picky about attraction would be hard, since it seems to be something that people don't choose to happen. However you decide to identify yourself, welcome. :cake:


Should sexual attraction be something one experiences before entering a romantic relationship? Or is it possible that the fact that I haven't had a romantic relationship precludes sexually desiring a person?


I don't think so. It's sort of circular. For most people, sexual attraction to a certain person is what compels them to enter into a romantic relationship in the first place. Sure, plenty of people are in relationships with people they're not really attracted to, maybe because they just want companionship or they like some other things about the person. But a lot of AVENites have been in romantic relationships and remain asexual. If it was true that being in a relationship created feelings of sexual attraction, then these people would no longer be asexual.


Hm...I'd say that makes it pretty darn likely I'm a heteroromantic asexual.

#7 Godith

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 04:07 AM

I would say you're asexual, from what you said.

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#8 vogue

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 05:02 AM

Hey,

Welcome to the board! It sounds like you are asexual to me, but you don't have to pigeon-hole yourself in this definition, if in the future you feel like your sexuality/orientation changes. Looking back (I am sexual in my opinion btw), I never felt ANY sexual attraction to anyone in high school and maybe some emotional chemistry with guys in first year of university, although it wasn't really sexually motivated. I didn't really feel sexually attracted to anyone until perhaps 20-21 years old... I was a late bloomer!! But after I came out of my shell and started meeting more men I was compatible with, I realized that I WAS attracted to guys. It took a while. I was really stupid at realizing it though - I felt myself blusing around some guys, and felt this STRONG chemistry but I didn't really desire sex with the person. I was totally not exposed to sexual topics in my youth, and didn't have a strong libido. I also questioned if I was perhaps meant for the church lol... but I'm not that religious anymore, and that wasn't a reason why I decided to wait to have sex.

Anyway, I think by 27 if you ARE sexual, you likely would have experienced sexual attraction by now. There have been times when I definitely felt sexual chemistry with guys and desired kissing them/caressing/fooling around with them (granted, it wasn't until my early 20s), but I was hesitant to have sex because of a fear of sex, which is entirely different from being asexual. But if you don't even feel that level of desire... then you are probably asexual.

I'd have no problem with holding, cuddling, spending time together, maybe even raising a child together and doing the things that go with having a family. I definitely feel aesthetic and romantic attraction to men. In other words, agape and phileo, but never eros. But I just...worry very much about pleasing a man, that I wouldn't be able to do it.


Hey, I just had a question about this, re-reading your post... why are you "very worried" about pleasing a man, that you "wouldn't be able to do it"? If you have a real fear of sex, or performance anxieties, that could also be inhibiting your sex drive. I know it did with me.. i.e. I felt a strong attraction (physical & emotional) to my ex-boyfriend, but he was SO sexually experienced and attractive, and I was still a virgin and felt so intimidated by him, the mere thought of having sex with him scared me.. because I didn't think I'd 'measure up' to his other gfs, and I felt like I had no idea what I was doing. That doesn't make me asexual though.. it just means I was intimidated by some guys :) Do you feel like kissing these guys, or experiencing other physical/sexual things with them, short of sex? Or do you have no desire to do that stuff?

#9 SoSayWeAll

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 01:01 PM

What worries me is the fact that I know guys tend to want it, a lot, and that I would come across as cold or not wanting him enough.

The most I've felt around a guy is wanting to hug or hold hands...or really, to know that we were going to spend our lives together. But I've never felt any kind of sexual desire in a man's presence. I definitely recognize when men look good...I would've thought I was supposed to react to the visual stimulus, unless I'm misunderstanding what sexual desire is.

I may be wrong, but I am getting on a little in years (HA!), so it does have me wondering.

#10 Dubravka

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 03:02 PM

Hey there! Welcome to AVEN! :cake: :cake: :cake:

Only you can decide which identity best fits you, but judging from what you've written, I'd say you're almost certainly a hetero-romantic asexual like me. I'm romantically attracted to men, but I never want to do anything sexual with any of my crushes. When I like someone, I want to spend lots of time around them and get to know them better, and perhaps express my affection in a non-sexual manner like hugging or hand-holding. And while I can appreciate when someone is good-looking, I've never once looked at a handsome guy and thought, "Damn, he's hot--I'd do him." Usually it's more like, "Damn, he has perfect cheekbones--I really want to draw him!" :lol: Sexual and aesthetic attraction are not the same things.

As for how to recognize sexual attraction, I really couldn't tell you, obviously having no concept of it myself since I'm asexual. But it's generally described as wanting to engage in sex with a specific person, and according to AVEN's numerous sexual members, you know it when you feel it. And if you have to ask...you probably haven't felt it. So there's really no point in worrying about it. If by age 27 (which is WAY past the late-bloomer stage) you've never looked at a guy (even a guy whom you were romantically attracted to) and wanted to have sex with him, you most likely don't experience sexual attraction, period, which would make you asexual. But again, I'm just going by what you've told us--it's up to you to decide which identity you feel most comfortable with.

#11 vogue

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 10:21 PM

If by age 27 (which is WAY past the late-bloomer stage) you've never looked at a guy (even a guy whom you were romantically attracted to) and wanted to have sex with him, you most likely don't experience sexual attraction, period, which would make you asexual.


Hey, just wanted to comment on this... I think it's more like if by age 27 you haven't had any feelings of sexual attraction/tension in GENERAL...then you're asexual. Because there's degrees of wanting someone sexually... I think. For instance, I may look at a guy and feel a great sexual tension and be like "wow, I would love to kiss that guy and have sex with him perhaps"... but I never really think "I want to have sex with him" because I'm still a virgin & a bit scared of the idea of sex... :/ That's a totally unrelated issue, but I know some sexuals who may like a guy/girl and want to do sexual things with them but not necessarily sex...that doesn't mean you're asexual... it just means you may not be ready to have sex with the person yet :) Many people require a certain level of intimacy and trust before they want to have sex with someone too... we all have different views on it and when the right time is. For some people I know, they can have sex with someone after only one date or 10 mins of speaking with them - others have to wait a month, and be in a committed relationship before they can consider sex. That doesn't make them asexual... it just means they may be more traditional about sex or it takes time for those feelings to develop.

However, a major red flag is when you don't really experience any physical and sexual attraction to a guy...if you don't feel that sexual chemistry and want to act on it in any way... whether it's sex or other forms of intimacy... I'd say that may mean you're asexual.

Just wanted to clarify...:)

#12 SoSayWeAll

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 11:16 PM

And while I can appreciate when someone is good-looking, I've never once looked at a handsome guy and thought, "Damn, he's hot--I'd do him." Usually it's more like, "Damn, he has perfect cheekbones--I really want to draw him!" :lol: Sexual and aesthetic attraction are not the same things.


Now I identify PERFECTLY with that statement. I do draw as well (and almost exclusively draw men!), and I can STRONGLY admire a man or even think, if I know something about that subject, that if circumstances were different I could imagine a life together. Sex, however...it comes to mind more as a method of pleasing a husband than something I would want for itself. Provided that my physical issues don't prohibit sex (and as I said, even the sexual attraction is and always has been absent provided I understand it properly, so I think the surgery is an issue unto itself), I think that I would be willing to have sex for the purposes of bonding with my husband.

However, a major red flag [/b]is when you don't really experience any physical and sexual attraction to a guy...if you don't feel that sexual chemistry and want to act on it in any way... whether it's sex or other forms of intimacy... I'd say that may mean you're asexual.Just wanted to clarify...:)


There's never been the sense of tension or having to restrain myself, of seeing a man and thinking I wanted to do something and having to tell myself that it's not an appropriate time. Love for me is something SO much in my head and heart that I truly feel in absolute control of it much as St. Paul said he did. I know that would sound like an arrogant statement anywhere else, but it sounds like you might relate.

That doesn't stop the romantic attraction from being very strong, and I HAVE had to fight that when intellectually I see that a match isn't right and wouldn't be likely to lead to a good marriage. (And I'd just as soon not lead a man on if I think that the marriage wouldn't be viable.)

Which brings up the question...are there men who might be understanding (whether sexual or asexual) that they would be willing to marry an asexual who is open with them about it? Now in my own case there is also a separate physical problem that may cause complications...and I MIGHT even be able to get away with strictly telling a man that that could be a potential problem. If it turns out NOT to be a problem, then I would be willing to do what I needed to do for the sake of pleasing a man. (And I mean that in a good sense--if I loved someone romantically, I would enjoy seeing them happy.) Otherwise...at least there might be a medical excuse. But how tolerant would a man be of that?

#13 PiF

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 11:36 PM

your a freak, a nut job, a couldn't get laid if you wanted too geek, your asexual, a limp dick

pick any of the labels that you feel fits you best

because thats what your asking..what label am I..probably to try and make sense of whats happened and how you feel

are you normal? I doubt it..I have yet to meet a normal person, all of us, asexual or not feel at some time..not normal

what I would say is

In aven we should not and generally will not say yes you are or no you are not..asexual

what some with time and experience are likely to say is...that sounds similar to me..why don't you look at x y z

and that is what Aven is for, a resource for people to find out about asexuality

so don't expect too much in the way of your life from the first few threads..stay here..join in..see what you think you can learn and how it relates to you

asexual or not...welcome :cake:

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#14 vogue

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 02:37 AM

your a freak, a nut job, a couldn't get laid if you wanted too geek, your asexual, a limp dick

pick any of the labels that you feel fits you best

because thats what your asking..what label am I..probably to try and make sense of whats happened and how you feel

are you normal? I doubt it..I have yet to meet a normal person, all of us, asexual or not feel at some time..not normal

what I would say is

In aven we should not and generally will not say yes you are or no you are not..asexual

what some with time and experience are likely to say is...that sounds similar to me..why don't you look at x y z

and that is what Aven is for, a resource for people to find out about asexuality

so don't expect too much in the way of your life from the first few threads..stay here..join in..see what you think you can learn and how it relates to you

asexual or not...welcome :cake:


Hi.. I realize this post was created with good intentions, but I had to say I took a bit of offence & disagreed with your first statement... many asexuals are attractive and desirable people, and they could easily have a (sexual) partner if they wanted. It's not a reflection of their desirability - it's just their orientation. It's a choice - I could easily have sex if I wanted. I'm msged by multiple guys every weeekend to 'come over and chill ;) ;)' at their place. I'm not a geek, nut job, person and I could easily get laid. I simply didn't engage in sex because in the past, because I didn't think I'd find enjoyment from it & didn't feel I was ready. Now, I feel like I would be open to having sex if the right person came around. But I don't believe we should just throw around labels for asexuals like that... I'm already a bit uncomfortable with labels as it is...

#15 TheLocalDinosaur

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 05:56 AM

Um, wow... this sounds so close to my life that it's a bit frightening. :P

I thought I was extremely picky too, but then I just realized that I really didn't want to have sex, and that was the bottom line. I'm aesthetically and intellectually attracted to men, and I can see myself living with a man someday. I am also a Christian, and while serving the church would be perhaps easier for you than some, you can do whatever you want. I had a bad run-in with someone once who told me I'd make a good nun when I told him I didn't want to have sex. Bad memories... but anyway. If you think you're called to serve the church, then by all means, do what you're called to do (In my own experience I've been pressured more by church members to get married and have sex than anyone). Maybe that's the reason you're asexual, but don't assume that it is, either. Just do what you feel called to do. ^^

But anyway, to get back to your main question, from your story it sounds like you could definitely identify as asexual if you wanted to, but it's really up to you. There's no absolute rule when it comes to sexual orientation, and if you feel the title fits you, then use it. :) I hope this helps! :cake:

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#16 PiF

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 10:58 AM

Hi.. I realize this post was created with good intentions, but I had to say I took a bit of offence & disagreed with your first statement


your allowed to disagree

my post was to the point..sometimes people look to quickly for a label and I pointed out the sillyness of that

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