Scooty

Ruling Out Other Things Like Social Anxiety (Asexuality).

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Scooty

Ok. Well, I've known I'm on the asexual spectrum. Just unclear as to where. I wanted to discuss some issues. When you came out or discovered your orientation, did you "rule out other things"?

 

Such as:

1. depression/anxiety

2. medical issues

3. mental blocks/traumas towards sexuality

 

 

Now, I'm not accusing anybody that they're invalid. I just wanted to see what other people's experiences were. I myself have been diagnosed with SOCIAL ANXIETY, and DEPRESSION /DYSTHYMIA. I have wondered if my orientation has been mislead because of the psychological diagnosis's. I have, however, been attempting to date for years!! and whenever the potential partner made advances to be romantic, I was always turned off by it because I thought "great, now they want sex". Is this because of asexuality? or because of myself having social anxiety and being a virgin?

 

Has anyone else experienced these sorts of things?

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MichaelTannock

@Scooty I've ruled things out as a cause of my Asexuality, but only due to lack of evidence.
I'm pretty much always depressed, but I suppress the feeling.
I have Aspergers.
And I have suffered some trauma.
Nevertheless, I don't experience Sexual Attraction, so I am Asexual, regardless of the cause, if there is one.

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Scooty
1 minute ago, MichaelTannock said:

@Scooty 
Nevertheless, I don't experience Sexual Attraction, so I am Asexual, regardless of the cause, if there is one.

I have experienced trauma too; and have certain anxieties. I think it's good to realize that asexuality is there; no matter the cause. I think I'll see if I have any mental blocks with my therapist, but as I've said, I'm rather certain I'm on the ace spectrum.

 

Thanks @MichaelTannock ! 

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Salmiakki

Well, I’m very unsure of what my sexuality is, but I do lack the desire to connect with others sexually, and I do wonder if that is just because of my mental health problems and the things that are cause by them. I also have social anxiety and depression, as well as an avoidant personality disorder and agoraphobia. I’m very paranoid and have trust issues and I have a fear of intimacy. Touching others or being touched by others in any way makes me very uncomfortable and anxious, and I’m kinda scared of sex. I’m just very scared by people and I’m afraid to approach them as I feel like they all hate me, think negatively about me, talk bad things about me etc. I just simply feel unsafe when I’m around people. And I have never learned to approach people since all the people I’ve ever known have approached me first. I have had so many bad experiences with other people and I have a long history of being bullied and I think all these things affect my disinterest in people, and not just in sexual activities but any interactions with people.

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Madao

I had experienced some trauma. I don't like associating with people as much as normal people do. I do have some depressive thoughts, but not to a great extent. I also have slight body dysporia. I know for sure that my trauma doesn't contribute to my orientation. Whether other factors do or not, I don't know. I just find sex really tiring and time-consuming, because there are many amazing things to do out there. 

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Snao Cone

Do you think you could be perfectly content never having sex for the rest of your life, if illness didn't get in the way? I also have anxiety and depression, along with other medical conditions that all sorts of people would love to connect to my asexuality to invalidate me as an adult capable of introspection and self-analysis, but in both my best and worst moments I don't feel any lacking in my life of sense of completeness due to not having a sexual relationship. I know that a sexual relationship does not fill any emptiness for me, and that even with people I'd like to give a chance to, of all genders, I feel nothing sexually. And I'm happy with that. 

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Scooty
2 hours ago, Snao Cone said:

Do you think you could be perfectly content never having sex for the rest of your life, if illness didn't get in the way? I also have anxiety and depression, along with other medical conditions that all sorts of people would love to connect to my asexuality to invalidate me as an adult capable of introspection and self-analysis, but in both my best and worst moments I don't feel any lacking in my life of sense of completeness due to not having a sexual relationship. I know that a sexual relationship does not fill any emptiness for me, and that even with people I'd like to give a chance to, of all genders, I feel nothing sexually. And I'm happy with that. 

Oh my goodness! Exactly! I have used similar thought tools for anxiety. Like asking myself, "what would I do if there was no anxiety/depression?". I think if I thought about it, and asked myself "if I could be content lifelong without having sex", I guess my answer is maybe??? I mean, I've never had sex. I have a libido, and do dabble in masturbation occasionally but it's never a forefront priority. Sex and sexual attraction have never been a priority. I don't think I've ever really experienced sexual attraction, maybe only once after I "formed a strong bond" with one guy. But other than that, it's a rare occurrence. 

 

So, "maybe" is my answer. I think I'm inclined to "yes, I could go without sex the rest of my life", but I also know I have a libido...which might be throwing me off.

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Laplace

I have a degree of social anxiety as well and I regularly go to group sessions for it, but I don’t consider it a factor in my asexuality. My lack of attraction was and still is categorically separate from my aversion towards socialization; if I wasn’t asexual, I’d feel attraction even if I didn’t act on it due to anxiety. But, I’ve had no interest in pursuing a relationship for my whole life and I don’t find anyone “attractive” in a romantic or sexual sense. Also, it’s not like I haven’t had opportunities to try and start relationships. It just doesn’t cross my mind at all to even consider it. Anxiety can slow the progression of a relationship, however it won’t necessarily change your preferences for having one or what you want from one. I hate it when people think socially anxious are these losers who can’t have successful relationships. For me, there is a clear separation between most of the effects of my social anxiety and my asexual characteristics.

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Anthracite_Impreza

If you're happy enough being ace, regardless of its cause, what does it matter? You don't owe the world excuses for your lack of desire.

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Hel*

Ive often thought about this too. I have social anxiety and depression. Ive had sex in the past and theres always alot of (mostly unhealthy) social background.. i used it as  way to get close to people who i felt emotionally attracted too (but found difficult to talk to), and also as a way to fit into various social cliques. I also used it a number of times in quite a self-destructive way and have various sexual trauma, mostly self inflicted.. things i forced myself to do for various reasons.

 

My most sexually active time was also sandwiched 'between' depressive episodes (although now i question how 'undepressed' i was at the time). Depression & meds affect my libido for sure..  but both are now long-term factors in my life that i doubt are going anywhere.. I have wondered if i have projected this as asexuality, but im not sure i have ever experienced sexual attraction.

 

Basically i know how you feel. Mental illness can make you second guess yourself continuously and mistrust your own memories and experiences so nothing is certain. I guess if you can take comfort in the label and identity thats the important thing!

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Duski

When I first discovered asexuality, I had pretty bad anxiety and was somewhat depressed. I was also in a long-term relationship where I was trying to work out if me not wanting sex was due to my mental health or not. 

 

However, now my mental health is largely recovered and I'm no longer in that relationship, I've realised that I was trying to justify my asexuality by blaming my mental health. It may be different for others but it took me a long time to accept that I am somewhere on the Asexual spectrum regardless of my mental health.

 

I still doubt myself occasionally but I feel comfortable in calling myself asexual and there's no harm in using the label for as long as you think it fits!

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The Dryad

I've been sexually molested and I'm socially anxious plus I experience severe depression at times, but I inherited charisma and I know sometimes it seems that I'm flirtatious, and for a minute I thought I was straight, even though I had an inkling I didn't like romance or neither did I experience sexual attraction. But I did try to force myself to like a few guys I found aesthetically attractive, even faked sexual attraction to try normality.

 

It makes me happier to be myself though.

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PhoenixInFlames

I've actually also considered this, because I have social anxiety. I've been in therapy for the anxiety and it hasn't changed anything about whether or not I feel sexual attraction. 

Especially considering that I've realised I'm a-spec, while it's going better with me socially-wise. My last crush was the one that made me consider the possibility of being ace, because picturing myself with him in that way felt really weird and actually was a bit off-putting. But I also was really social with him (which was a really big achievement, considering I suck at interacting with people I don't really know).

So I don't see my social anxiety as a ''cause'' for my (grey) asexuality, because I don't feel attraction when I'm anxious, and I don't feel attraction when I'm relaxed, for example with my last crush.

However, social anxiety probably has been one of the main reasons I'm also not getting in relationships, because I do desire a romantic relationship, but soxial anxiety has kinda prevented me from even forming new friendships with people I don't know. 

 

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Cinders

I can definitely relate to this. In the past, when I knew my husband was 'in the mood," I felt tremendous anxiety even though he didn't pressure me in any way. I definitely think I am at least graysexual and maybe asexual. So, now I am trying to work out if the anxiety was always because of asexuality, or if I started graysexual and the anxiety pushed me further and further towards asexuality. I feel like now that I've found this community I'll eventually work that out.

 

The sad thing is, I have a therapist because I have bipolar disorder, but I am so worried she would immediately jump to pathologizing my sexuality, I haven't brought any of this up with her. 😐

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EggplantWitch

I am medicated for social and general anxiety (and previously for depression), am literally a few days away from being diagnosed as autistic, and have a hormonal condition (PCOS to be specific) so I tend to cover a lot of the 'but what if my asexuality is ___?' bases, but I am ace, no matter what. I feel sure that if I was still anxious but allosexual, my feelings towards sexual relationships would be 'I wish I could have that but no one will ever love me enough' rather than 'sex? ew'. If I was still autistic but allosexual, it'd be more like 'I wish sex didn't have to involve all of that touching' rather than 'I'm just not bothered'. It's hard to try and imagine taking one of those traits away and seeing what happens, but whenever I have, it's always confirmed what I knew to be true.

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squaggly

I don't think anxiety would be an issue for the most part. It's about whether or not you want sex, not whether or not you are mentally able to bring yourself to ask someone out.

Depression does mess with sex drive, but it's variable on how it does that. Sometimes people with depression would want sex a lot, sometimes they would want it not at all.

Medical issues can cause someone to be celibate, but it won't change how you feel about the act itself.

Trauma is a little bit more tricky, and I think people with trauma to this would need to put in a lot of thought before deciding they are or are not asexual.

 

I don't know because I don't have anything like this.

(Mom thinks my first relationship traumatized me, but it didn't.)

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