Violet of the Stars

How old are you when you discover sexual/romantic orientation

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Violet of the Stars

I'm in my early teens, and after much speculation, I think I may be ace/aro. I haven't had a crush yet, as of typing this, the only things I've had are weird "drunk thoughts" as I like to call them, which is basically my imagination imagining things with little to no context. These so called "drunk thoughts" aren't really accompanied with any normal crush symptoms, as for the asexual... well I guess I'm probably too young. Basically,

1. Never had a crush.

2. Disliked romance/sex in books (I skip over them if necessary).

3. I feel like I've always had this innate feeling of asexuality, like how some people know their orientation from very young. 

 

So, how old do you have to be, because some people say that, "yeah, you're old enough" while others say, "no, you're not, sit back and wait a few years"? What age do most people find out their orientation? 

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Philip027

I always knew I was "straight", but I just didn't want to have sex with anybody.  Even before I knew what sex was (learned it at 14), I had always "clicked" with the opposite sex better.

 

Never realized that had a name, or that romantic orientations were a thing, until I discovered this site, so that was around 25.

 

As far as I'm concerned, if you're old enough to understand what orientations are, you're old enough to know what yours is.

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MichaelTannock

@Violet of the Stars Welcome to AVEN!

 

A lot of Asexuals realise late, due to not knowing about Asexuality, or not knowing what it is.

In my case though, I realised I'm Asexual in my early teens, around 14.

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Violet of the Stars

I guess the internet helps a lot now (I learned about it in my tweens, probably 11 or 12 when I saw people online making queer characters. I did some research, grabbed some books, and thus began questioning my identity). A note on the feeling thing I mentioned, it was extremely subtle, so subtle I didn't even originally notice it.

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TheAP

I think it's fine to identify as ace/aro if it is helpful to you, even if you're young. If it changes in the future, that's fine too.

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Galactic Turtle

I was 22 when I knew there was a name for it. However my lack of sexual or romantic interest in anyone goes back as long as I can remember.

 

It seems there are a lot of people who are introduced to all these labels really early on so with it arises this need to pick one... kind of like when I was a kid I had to know which Harry Potter house I was in. In the end I think it's best to just go what you're comfortable with and not obsess over taking on a label and letting it shape your whole sense of being like I see some people do.

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CBC

Well here's my story, if you want it.

 

In my early teens I knew bugger all. Had a few crushes on guys that were typical sorts of crushes, albeit mild, and maybe a couple on girls, and I didn't know if I wanted to be their best friend or be romantic with them. They were sort of obsessive though. Overall however, compared to my peers, I seemingly had very little interest in relationships and was bored to tears by the way they obsessed over guys and celebrity crushes. I didn't really get the fuss and struggled to relate. I assumed I was heterosexual though, just... not very interested? Figured that would come later. At 19 (I'm 33, for reference), I heard about asexuality. That was when I joined AVEN. I kind of disappeared from the site until about four years later, when I became active on the forums, and I began assuming I was either ace or perhaps demisexual, and figured my interest was still mainly in men, but wasn't closed off to the idea that I was bi. I ended up in a relationship (marriage, actually) with an asexual guy that I met here. Not that long into our relationship, I developed really strong (and unrequited) feelings for a girl. It didn't go anywhere because she was straight, but it threw me for a massive loop. I started identifying as bi-something-or-other, since I'd had milder girl crushes in the past. Wasn't entirely sure how I felt about sex with anyone; sex with guys didn't really seem to be my thing though, and I often found aspects of it emotionally/psychologically unpleasant. A few years after that, a longtime female friend sort of... inadvertently pursued me... and that experience was confusing as hell and completely upended what I thought I knew to be true of myself. Rather than the one-sided unrequited crush, it was mutual and there were sexual components and I knew I'd never felt that way about anyone before. Definitely not about a guy. It just felt right, like I finally understood what so many people seemed to feel when they said they were "in love". I still get crush-y feelings for dudes sometimes, but sex and romance don't translate and it just doesn't feel right. Following that experience, which was about four years ago when I was 29 (we still have a connection of sorts, but the whole thing is... complicated), I began just identifying as gay.

 

So, long story short, I was close to 30 before I figured my shit out. It's definitely not that way for everyone, some people seem to know their sexual orientation at a young age and are entirely correct. There's no one-size-fits-all way to experience learning about your own sexuality. My only significant advice is to stay open-minded. You may or may not be asexual, and either is just fine. If you feel like engaging with the asexual community here, you're most certainly welcome.

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Norellia

I did not find out about asexuality until I was 18 when I finally googled why I don't have crushes and AVEN showed up. Looking back I can now see differences in my lack of attraction to my friend and peers as early as fifth or sixth grade. I have been thinking a lot recently about the "ok" age to know someones sexuality and I do think it can be as young as elementary school. I kinda realized the hypocrisy in the age thing when my family kept telling me it was ok if I was a lesbian in middle and high school, but when I came out as asexual when I was eighteen I was suddenly to young to know my sexuality and wasn't mature enough to make that "choice", despite them saying I could be a lesbian as early as 7th grade. 

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Aebt

I first learned of Asexuality when I was 15, although I had never had a sexual thought in my life (and still haven't) I had just guessed it wasn't me. I would often skip any sexual reference in books though, and I never understood why there was so much romance/sex in movies. After seeing that people were possibly flirting with me, that I was quickly nearing my twenties, and my grandmother asking if I saw any "cute girls" I took a look back. I was able to realize how I never thought about sex except in an Anthropological/Biological way. I still do not know if I am asexual or not though, still fully thinking it.

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Redwylde

I KNEW that I felt this way when I was very young, around 11 or 12 when my friends started talking about That Stuff and I wanted no part of it. I even knew that was kinda weird at the time, but I didn't find the words for it until I was 18 (and then proceeded to refuse all acknowledgement of it for about a year because I was distraught at the idea that I might be alone forever. Even tried identifying as demi for a little while to compensate but it just didn't feel right at all).

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Lady Constellation

I realized I was ace when I was twelve. You can realize you're ace very early on. It took me a while to completely accept myself, but i found out through a book. I read it in passing and thought, "Wait... this is me!" So it was as quick as that finding out, but it took a couple weeks to accept it.

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Violet of the Stars

@MichaelTannock I WANT TO EAT THAT CAKE IT LOOKS DELICIOUS lol.

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Boldt

I realised when I was 12 awhile after reading about asexuality on wikipedia. (Side note: At the time, I had thought I had a crush once, but even during, and definitely in retrospect, it was really a squish that I didn't have the words to describe. I just kinda wanted to be friends with him, but it seemed similar to what other people were describing as crushes, so I used that term.) When I first realised it I wasn't completely sure if I was actually aro ace or just desperate for a label, but it seemed to fit, so I took it on as my own. I'm currently 13, and while I'm more confident than I was before, I'm still not entirely sure if I really am aro ace, or if I'm just a late bloomer, or mislabelling attraction as platonic that really isn't, or if the invasive thoughts I get sometimes are really repressed attraction.

Also, I can definitely relate to the drunk thoughts thing, although I never thought to use that word. I would always describe them as invasive, but I think I like "drunk thoughts" better. Do you mind if I steal that?

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Scooty

Late bloomer! I discovered my orientation 22 or 23 🎂

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gisiebob

there are about eight billion individual answers to that question currently.

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Laplace

I learned about asexuality when I was around 22 yrs old, but I’ve known since middle school that romance probably wasn’t for me. Even at a young age, I knew I didn’t care for romance or sex, and that didn’t change even as I transitioned to high school and college. So I’d say I sorta knew when I was around 12-13 yrs old and confirmed it when I was 22. 

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Moon Spirit ☽

I was 27 when I discovered asexuality.

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Rosendust

I was 21, and I'm 24 now

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knittinghistorian

About the point my classmates started having “boyfriends/girlfriends” (you know, the pseudo kind kids have when they’re in elementary school), I knew that I wanted no such thing. I knew that kissy scenes in movies did not stop being gross and tiresome. I knew that when my best friend put up pictures of movie stars and rock stars all over her walls to gaze at swooningly, I had no desire to do likewise, and it actually made me uncomfortable (I had to change clothes in the closet or bathroom when I slept over). I knew that I did not want any guys I knew to Ask Me Out. I could not picture a future with a husband in it.

 

I was in high school before I encountered an isolated reference to asexuality in a random magazine in a hair salon waiting room, and I didn’t meet the term again for years. Mainly I just thought something was wrong with me. I didn’t realize asexuality and aromanticism were separate things until like two years ago. (Understandable, as I’m both, and they were kind of the same thing in my head!) I’m 34 now.

 

So, when did I really fully get on board with the concept of “yes, a know what aro-ace is, and I am it”? I was in my 30s. In hindsight, when did I actually know? Elementary school. If your classmates or peers are old enough to be straight, you are old enough to be ace.

 

COULD you just be a late bloomer? Sure. For all I know I might be one too, at 34 and counting! But there’s no reason to assume that. Early teens is absolutely not too young to know. I was probably ten or twelve when I started noticing myself diverging from the norm.

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knittinghistorian
3 hours ago, Boldt said:

Also, I can definitely relate to the drunk thoughts thing, although I never thought to use that word. I would always describe them as invasive, but I think I like "drunk thoughts" better. Do you mind if I steal that?

I like that too! I like the idea of, instead of internalizing invasive thoughts and taking them seriously, just regarding them as thoughts that got drunk and stumbled about being obnoxious.  “Oh dear, Uncle Phil is drunk again. Somebody take him away and put him to bed, then we can get on with what we’re doing.”

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mreid

Discovered it a few months ago, I'm 20. Before that I just called it platonic love. Started suspecting when I got my first crushes when I was about 13 and thought everyone was like that and that I would grow out of it, well I never did.

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Dr. Beat

I've known pretty much my whole life that I wasn't into people sexually. I just didn't really pay any attention to it. I had crushes on some people and what I now know were squishes on others, but never anything else. My parents eventually wondered about me finding a boyfriend, and I said I didn't want to. They said I would change one day. I have not. I discovered the term 'asexual' at 19 after going to college. I regret that I can't remember that eureka moment.

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Sweet Potato

32, which is when I first heard of it. signs of my asexuality can be found as early as 13 or 14. Had I known the term then I'm sure I would have ID as ace then, and saved myself alot of headaches and heartaches

 

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Bio 7

About 17, started identifying as Ace at 18. I knew about Asexuality vaguely for a few years before that but at 14ish I started questioning myself thinking I was Bisexual. Now I identify as Asexual Bi-Lithromantic (not sure of the exact term for this).

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XIII

I always thought I was "straight" and was weird for finding sex disgusting (I don't look down on people who like sex, I just find it gross). That all changed when I was 20 and found an article on Facebook about asexuality and how people figured it out. A lot of it made sense. I discovered I was aromantic not too long after. Before finding out about asexuality, I never knew there was a term for what I was (or maybe wasn't?) feeling. I think people can know from a young age and just not realize it or realize that there's a term for it.

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Fluffy Femme Guy

29, but I should have figured out *something* at around 15-17.

I had a few legit crushes back in middle school and high school, but when I finally got try out romance, it felt 'off' somehow.
Not bad or repulsive, but I seemed to lack the 'proper' reaction.
There were only two people I dated during this period (not at the same time).
When they brought to my attention that they wanted sex, my outward reaction was me just spacing out, my internal reaction was more along the way of "But why?"

There was one person that I was very romantically interested in at one point, but she wasn't interested.
I remember thinking to myself, that we did get together that sex wouldn't be necessary.

I started noticing the whole thing in middle school, how most other males were so into the whole thing.
I wondered why is was that way. "Yeah, girls are pretty, big deal."

There was an instance on in middle school (7th or 8th grade I think) on the bus, going home:
 

Spoiler

Two boys were talking, and one of them said something crude about trying to get a blowjob from (presumably) his girlfriend.

Boy A: "Her mouth is so tiny, how's it gonna fit?"
Boy B: "You make it fit."

I remember thinking quietly to myself "Why would you try to make her do that?"
I understood that it would feel good for him, but it was very disrespectful to the girl in question.

I was quietly disgusted.


I never went to any middle school dances and only went to a few highschool ones cause my gf at the time and some of her friends were going.
Never went to prom. I could have gone, but it didn't seem important enough to bother with all that money, esp. since my family is/was not well money-wise.

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XIII
23 minutes ago, Fluffy Femme Guy said:

29, but I should have figured out *something* at around 15-17.

I wish I had learned about it when I was 10-12. It would have probably saved me from years of feeling like I was the strange one, anxiety over having to have sex one day (I still haven't and won't), and feeling like I will never find some one.

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Omega the Shadow

I know I have been repulsed by sex for as long as I knew about it, but I only started silently calling myself "nonsexual" when I was around 18 or 19 years old. I didn't know there was an actual name for it until I found a three-part series of videos explaining asexuality on youtube a little over two years ago when I was 26. As for my romantic orientation, I have always been romantically attracted to girls even as early as 5 years old. I only started using the term womaromantic shortly after joining AVEN at the same time that I realized the term agender suited me.

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All The Thoughts
10 hours ago, Omega the Shadow said:

I didn't know there was an actual name for it until I found a three-part series of videos explaining asexuality on youtube a little over two years ago when I was 26. 

Do you by any chance remember the series name or the creator of the series because I also discovered asexuality through a three-part series on YouTube 😂

 

Regardless, it’s pretty great how you were able to finally discover terms for things about you that didn’t seemingly have names beforehand! I mean there was womaromantic but that may get a bit confusing to others who didn’t understand your intentions? Gets your point across but many people in general just don’t understand things they don’t experience themselves (which makes sense but should still remain respectful).

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Omega the Shadow
9 hours ago, All The Thoughts said:

Do you by any chance remember the series name or the creator of the series because I also discovered asexuality through a three-part series on YouTube as well 😂

The videos were created by Ash Hardell. The first video was titled "Everything ASEXUAL and AROMANTIC". Does that sound familiar?

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