Bahalia

Can asexuality be a choice?

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Bahalia

Ok, here goes nothing. I wouldn’t classify myself as asexual at this moment, but I think I could be in the future. It would be a choice I’d start to nuture, I have a switch of some sort, my libido fluctuates and is linked to how I focus. Long story short: I find life to be a dissapointing experience, my youth has been wasted on a major depression and the wrong diagnosis/treatment. I don’t want children, and in the past I had issues regarding a certain type of men, the classic: a low self-esteem and giving too much of myself to those who didn’t give anything in return. I’ve lived by several illusions that turned out to be false, and I feel like I’m going to reach the end result long before other people. By ‘end result’ I mean the curtain fall of the last illusion, it’s difficult to explain, but when you settle down and create a family, you put your whole existence into it, and is laser focused on this project for atleast 18 years. Since I’m not going to experience this, a void is lingering around the corner. This void can be bad-empty or good-empty, it’s up to me. What bothers me is the amount of energy you put into a relationship and for what? I see what’s important and nurturing, but I also see I major distraction. I guess I’m tired of trying to do all sorts of things I don’t have much faith in, I’m getting old soon, and I really want peace and consistency, not drama and compromise. I don’t want to live alone, I want warm friendships and a close relationship with myself and a growing spirituality. I would really like to hear about personal experiences, what do you make of my story? What kind thoughts emerge? How did you reach a conclusion on asexuality? Is it a choice as much as a natural preference? And is it possible to live a fullfilling life without the classic concepts of family, a significant other and close partnerships?

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MaybeImANinja

no it cant be a choice

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ColeHW

It is a subconscious thing after all.

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NerotheReaper

Sexuality of any kind is not a choice. You are born that way. 

 

Here is a thread that answers some common questions, people may have about if they are asexual or not. 

 

You can indeed live a fulfilling life without a family of your own and intimacy. It is up to you to make your life fulfilling in a way you see fit. 

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fuzzipueo

You can choose to be celibate but orientation is not a choice.

How you live your life and what you do make it a fulfilling one is also a choice. Volunteer, join a club, start a hobby. If you've got nieces and nephews and want to spend time with them, volunteer to take them out of their parents' hair for a dinner or a day. Being an aunt/uncle is more fun anyway. 😉

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Life Of Tass

Well, closest thing to voluntary asexuality is celibacy. Asexuality isn't a choice, just as homosexuality, heterosexuality, bisexuality, pansexuality and polysexuality aren't choices.

 

29 minutes ago, Bahalia said:

And is it possible to live a fullfilling life without the classic concepts of family, a significant other and close partnerships?

Yes, it's entirely possible to live a good life without a significant other or a traditional family. Are the "close partnerships" you're referring to platonic relationships (Friendships)? Because living a fulfilling life without friends can be tough. It's not impossible, but it depends on the person. For example, I couldn't have a good life without close friends, but someone else might be able to. Not saying it's easy, and to be honest opting not to have any friends is a concept I personally don't understand at all, but it can be done.

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Serran

You can lower your libido through certain mental exercises. You can voluntarily choose to behave certain ways. You cant choose who you are attracted to or not. 

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MichaelTannock
20 minutes ago, Bahalia said:

I would really like to hear about personal experiences, what do you make of my story?

It sounds like you want to be alone in your future because you see sexual relationships as unwanted distractions, and you think you can rid yourself of that desire with enough focus.

 

21 minutes ago, Bahalia said:

What kind thoughts emerge?

I think you're confusing Libido with Sexual Attraction and Asexuality with Celibacy.

 

20 minutes ago, Bahalia said:

How did you reach a conclusion on asexuality?

I started hearing comments like "This girl has nice tits" or "That girl has a nice ass" from my male peers and in media, and was bewildered by them. It soon became clear to me that everyone else was experiencing an attraction that I wasn't. 

 

21 minutes ago, Bahalia said:

Is it a choice as much as a natural preference?

I never had a choice. I've never felt Sexual Attraction.

 

21 minutes ago, Bahalia said:

And is it possible to live a fullfilling life without the classic concepts of family, a significant other and close partnerships?

It's certainly possible to live a fulfilling life without a partner, as I've never had or desired either sex or a relationship, but there are Asexuals in relationships and Asexuals who have sex to please their partner.

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Nowhere Girl
43 minutes ago, NerotheReaper said:

Sexuality of any kind is not a choice. You are born that way.  

Probably sexual orientation is not a choice. But it doesn't mean that it can never ever be acquired.

I'm nudity-averse and in turn sex-averse due to a chronic illness. In result I feel completely unable to desire sex, this idea feels somewhere on the range from "terrifying" to "absurd". And I prefer to call myself "at least effectively asexual". It's a matter of dignity! Of saying openly, even if it isn't a full 100% true "I wouldn't have wanted it anyway"! Because now I don't! I feel unable to! The effect is the same as in those who are asexual for no identifiable reason: I don't desire sex! So why police the use of labels and identities?

 

Now, to the OP. I have some feelings similar to yours. I decided very early - around the age of five years - that I don't want to have children and don't want to marry when I grow up. It could have been one of the earliest signs of my asexual predisposition - I mean, realising more about how exactly are babies made, I never thought of celibacy as something hard. I just expanded my choice of "no children, no marriage" with "no sex".

But having felt no tiniest hint of desire to "start a family" all my life - even more than that, a huge repulsion with the biological side of reproduction and an intense aversion to the idea of having a husband (btw, after learning of same-sex marriage - even though it's a long way to go in Poland - I started wondering whether I could marry a woman. But still, I don't think so. I desire companionship, but for example I can't imagine not living alone) - I would like to strongly ecourage you to not think of a single and childless life as having a "void" in place of a family. Yes, you have mentioned that it can be seen in a positive way. But what probably every person who doesn't desire a typical relationship should do - is to find energy within themself. Being happy alone probably requires having broad interests, so that you can spend time with nothing but youself and information without feeling bored. Having lived like this all my life (because already when I was seven years old, I would gladly just sit in my room and read), I don't experience my lifestyle as having any void in place of a family - almost on the contrary, the idea of having a husband and children feels so entirely alien to me than I have a hard time grasping how are lots of women able to desire it.

 

PS. Celibacy is always a valid choice. Nobody "has to have sex", regardless of whether they identify as asexual or not.

THERE IS NO "SEXUAL FREEDOM" WITHOUT THE FREEDOM TO NOT HAVE SEX.

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Apostle
1 hour ago, Bahalia said:

Ok, here goes nothing. I wouldn’t classify myself as asexual at this moment, but I think I could be in the future. It would be a choice I’d start to nuture, I have a switch of some sort, my libido fluctuates and is linked to how I focus. Long story short: I find life to be a dissapointing experience, my youth has been wasted on a major depression and the wrong diagnosis/treatment. I don’t want children, and in the past I had issues regarding a certain type of men, the classic: a low self-esteem and giving too much of myself to those who didn’t give anything in return. I’ve lived by several illusions that turned out to be false, and I feel like I’m going to reach the end result long before other people. By ‘end result’ I mean the curtain fall of the last illusion, it’s difficult to explain, but when you settle down and create a family, you put your whole existence into it, and is laser focused on this project for atleast 18 years. Since I’m not going to experience this, a void is lingering around the corner. This void can be bad-empty or good-empty, it’s up to me. What bothers me is the amount of energy you put into a relationship and for what? I see what’s important and nurturing, but I also see I major distraction. I guess I’m tired of trying to do all sorts of things I don’t have much faith in, I’m getting old soon, and I really want peace and consistency, not drama and compromise. I don’t want to live alone, I want warm friendships and a close relationship with myself and a growing spirituality. I would really like to hear about personal experiences, what do you make of my story? What kind thoughts emerge? How did you reach a conclusion on asexuality? Is it a choice as much as a natural preference? And is it possible to live a fullfilling life without the classic concepts of family, a significant other and close partnerships?

No, not a choice. You either are or you are not sexual. The chemical and physiological building blocks as defined in a sexual are missing in some measure and this defines someone as asexual.

Whatever you do be true to your sexuality. Don't ruin a sexuals life by not being honest about your sexuality. I know this from experience.

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Apostle
59 minutes ago, fuzzipueo said:

You can choose to be celibate but orientation is not a choice.

An asexual can choose celibacy but if an asexual is in a relationship with a sexual then the choice is not the sexuals to become celibate. If the sexual wishes to stay in the relationship for reasons other than the sexual act then he/she becomes an enforced celibate. I know, I am one.😕

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To Each Their Own
13 minutes ago, Apostle said:

An asexual can choose celibacy but if an asexual is in a relationship with a sexual then the choice is not the sexuals to become celibate. If the sexual wishes to stay in the relationship for reasons other than the sexual act then he/she becomes an enforced celibate. I know, I am one.😕

Sorry, but i have to disagree. You are not a victim, @Apostle. If your choice is to stay in the relationship, then that is your choice. 

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Lucas Monteiro
54 minutes ago, Nowhere Girl said:

Probably sexual orientation is not a choice. But it doesn't mean that it can never ever be acquired.

I have to disagree with you partially. Some researches say indeed that sexual orientation is not a choice and you are born somehow on the path to one sexual orientation through different chemical and biological construction and the social environment that you are inserted can influence a lot on your sexual orientation, shaping the way you see it and how open you will be to experiences besides the "normal" heterosexual way.

 

So, to be honest, I don't think it's possible for you to acquire a sexual orientation without the first element from the conjunction that can "create" sexual orientation (chemical and biological). If you disagree, I would like to hear openly what you think and if you do have a different perspective, I'm all ears. People usually don't like to have their concepts and ideas disagreed, but in a truly open debate, it's important to hear and try to understand even if you dislike, otherwise you wouldn't be able to get close to the truth, or at least to what it seems the truth to the response for what you want to find.  

 

 

Source:

 

Environment and sexual orientation

Do parents influence the sexual orientation of their children?

Born gay? The psychobiology of human sexual orientation

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The Dryad

Asexuality isn't a choice just like any other sexuality, celibacy is closest to what you're talking about, because it's a conscious effort to be non- sexual.

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Anthracite_Impreza

No, any more than you can choose to be gay. Also, libido has nothing to do with asexuality; many aces have one, they just don't want another involved in dealing with it.

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Lucinda
4 hours ago, Apostle said:

The chemical and physiological building blocks as defined in a sexual are missing in some measure and this defines someone as asexual.

Can you name the chemical and physiological building blocks that are missing in asexuals?  We could certainly answer the many "Am I asexual?" questions by recommending testing for certain chemical(s) if you could provide the name(s).

 

You have stated elsewhere that the human species would die out if everyone was asexual.  However, you have also stated that your wife was very keen on starting a family when you first got married.  With the biological imperative argument in mind, what could she possibly be missing?  And it can't be a definitive separation between sexuals and asexuals when you take into consideration the asexuals who have and want kids, as well as the sexuals who do not want progeny.  Would you then suggest that the intentional child-free sexuals have missing chemicals and physiological building blocks?

 

4 hours ago, Apostle said:

Whatever you do be true to your sexuality. Don't ruin a sexuals life by not being honest about your sexuality. I know this from experience.

The OP was talking about wanting to lead a marriage-free, partner-free, child-free lifestyle.  How could the OP possibly be ruining anyone else's life?  Or were you wanting to take the opportunity to say that someone else ruined your life?

 

OP, you can certainly make the choice of lifestyle that suits you best.  :)

 

Lucinda

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Ficto.
9 hours ago, Apostle said:

An asexual can choose celibacy but if an asexual is in a relationship with a sexual then the choice is not the sexuals to become celibate. If the sexual wishes to stay in the relationship for reasons other than the sexual act then he/she becomes an enforced celibate. I know, I am one.😕

Yes lots of people become forced into celibacy for different reasons (although you could leave and not be celibate so it's not truly being forced on you!), however the person you were responding to was referring to the OPs situation. The OP is not asexual as that can't be chosen, but they can choose celibacy which is what it sounds like the OP wants. I am also a sexual person who lives in celibacy by choice and am very happy with it. It affects different people in different ways.

 

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Ficto.
9 hours ago, Nowhere Girl said:

Probably sexual orientation is not a choice. But it doesn't mean that it can never ever be acquired.

I'm nudity-averse and in turn sex-averse due to a chronic illness. In result I feel completely unable to desire sex, this idea feels somewhere on the range from "terrifying" to "absurd". And I prefer to call myself "at least effectively asexual". It's a matter of dignity! Of saying openly, even if it isn't a full 100% true "I wouldn't have wanted it anyway"! Because now I don't! I feel unable to! The effect is the same as in those who are asexual for no identifiable reason: I don't desire sex! So why police the use of labels and identities?

Except you can identify the reason for your lack of desire for sexual connection and asexuals can't identify why they're asexual, they were just born that way (animal studies have actually shown that asexuality, like homosexuality, is something one is born with). There's a huge difference between someone who can say "I've been made asexual because of this" and someone who has no understanding of why they're ace, they just know they are and always have been. The fact that you can identify the reasons shows that you haven't been 'made into an asexual' you're just someone who feels asexual as a result of external circumstances. (Though you can of course identify however you wish, I was just trying to explain the difference)

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Vincent Van Schmo

Depends on the person.  The human brain is a complex, variable thing.

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Ficto.
11 hours ago, Bahalia said:

Is it a choice as much as a natural preference?

No. Celibacy is a choice. Asexuality is an innate orientation. If you have to make a choice then it's celibacy, not asexuality.

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Starlit Sky

Look at Ficto, killin' it over here. (In other words, you literally said everything here I wanted to say 😆 )

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uhtred

I think people are born with (or at least cannot change) many traits, and sexual attraction seems to be among those. People *can* choose how they behave / act. Often behaving in ways that are not compatible with your innate sexual interests / attraction can lead to unhappiness, but that may not be absolute.  There may be people who feel sexual attraction but who can be happy never acting on that attraction.   From the outside its difficult to distinguish those from people who have very little sexual interest. 

 

 

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Philguin Baggins

It’s a sexual orientation so no, I don’t think it can be a choice. What you can choose is your sexual behaviour. Regardless of your orientation, you might choose not to have sex for a number of reasons, or to have a lot of it. Whatever that choice, it doesn’t change your orientation.

 

For example, someone might have sex a few times a week because it feels good, even though they’re asexual and don’t feel attracted to their partner in that way. Similarly, a straight person might never have sex (or only for reproduction) because they just don’t like it. None of this changes their orientation because who they’re attracted to stays the same. 

 

As as others have said, I think the word you’re looking for is “celibacy”. 

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Philguin Baggins
2 minutes ago, Philguin Baggins said:

It’s a sexual orientation so no, I don’t think it can be a choice. What you can choose is your sexual behaviour. Regardless of your orientation, you might choose not to have sex for a number of reasons, or to have a lot of it. Whatever that choice, it doesn’t change your orientation.

 

For example, someone might have sex a few times a week because it feels good, even though they’re asexual and don’t feel attracted to their partner in that way. Similarly, a straight person might never have sex (or only for reproduction) because they just don’t want or like it. None of this changes their orientation because who they’re attracted to stays the same. 

 

As as others have said, I think the word you’re looking for is “celibacy”. 

 

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Apostle
On 10/13/2018 at 4:29 PM, To Each Their Own said:

Sorry, but i have to disagree. You are not a victim, @Apostle. If your choice is to stay in the relationship, then that is your choice. 

I disagree. You are making this statement from an asexual point of view. Mine is from a sexuals point of view.

My choice is to stay in a relationship for love. I didn't make the choice not to have a sexual relationship. She did.

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Apostle
On 10/13/2018 at 5:04 PM, The Dryad said:

Asexuality isn't a choice just like any other sexuality, celibacy is closest to what you're talking about, because it's a conscious effort to be non- sexual.

Correct. One's sexuality is not a choice. It has been made for you by genetics.

However, a choice for a sexual to stay in a relationship with an asexual is only that. To be denied a sexual relationship is not a choice for the sexual as it is a bi-product of that relationship. 

To clarify, if a sexual in a relationship with an asexual denies the asexual any form of love, would that then be seen as a choice for the asexual, especially as it may not be consented?

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Apostle
On 10/13/2018 at 9:25 PM, Lucinda said:

Can you name the chemical and physiological building blocks that are missing in asexuals?  We could certainly answer the many "Am I asexual?" questions by recommending testing for certain chemical(s) if you could provide the name(s).

 

You have stated elsewhere that the human species would die out if everyone was asexual.  However, you have also stated that your wife was very keen on starting a family when you first got married.  With the biological imperative argument in mind, what could she possibly be missing?  And it can't be a definitive separation between sexuals and asexuals when you take into consideration the asexuals who have and want kids, as well as the sexuals who do not want progeny.  Would you then suggest that the intentional child-free sexuals have missing chemicals and physiological building blocks?

 

The OP was talking about wanting to lead a marriage-free, partner-free, child-free lifestyle.  How could the OP possibly be ruining anyone else's life?  Or were you wanting to take the opportunity to say that someone else ruined your life?

 

OP, you can certainly make the choice of lifestyle that suits you best.  :)

 

Lucinda

@LucindaI'm saying that the biological and physiological elements for an asexual are not as per a sexual, if that makes sense. I'm not saying that to denigrate asexuals in any way, just that there is a difference.

My wife was keen to start a family because her friends were all popping out babies and she wasn't able to due to her unexplained infertility. For many females, having children defines their sex. I was supportive all the way but after many years of fertility treatment, once a month sex only, fertility drugs etc. it became rather mechanical. Eventually after losing a baby and five years down the line she fell pregnant with twins using IVF. Sadly one of the twins was born with severe disabilities, both premature.

It was  a hard slog. In the middle of all this trauma she wanted to adopt, just in case. We did.

3 young children under the age of 2, one with severe problems. 

Sex was the last thing on her mind and I did understand this. All the same, that is where my sex life ended as she said she wasn't interested anymore. Looking back I did miss some signs. She never initiated, always wanted it over as soon as possible etc.

Many asexuals have sex to please their partners and to stay in that relationship because they love their partners. That's not to say they like sex and that is where the difference lies.

I had little choice at the time as to whether I stayed or departed the relationship. I stayed as I loved my wife and had three children to bring up. They are the reasons.

 

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Apostle
On 10/14/2018 at 1:01 AM, FictoCannibal. said:

No. Celibacy is a choice. Asexuality is an innate orientation. If you have to make a choice then it's celibacy, not asexuality.

I disagree. Celibacy is not always a choice. My SO made that choice not to have a sexual relationship with me, not me. I stayed with her for different reasons. Celibacy was a bi-product of HER choice.

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Tunes
28 minutes ago, Apostle said:

I disagree. Celibacy is not always a choice. My SO made that choice not to have a sexual relationship with me, not me. I stayed with her for different reasons. Celibacy was a bi-product of HER choice.

She doesn't get to decide whether you are celibate or not; only you get to decide that. I'd say it's more a by-product of your choice to stay with her, as opposed to her choice to not have sex with you. Her choice is not forcing you not to have sex with someone else - your choice to stay in a relationship with her is what led to that. Just like the fact that my partner is aromantic isn't the reason I don't have a romantic relationship - my choice to stay with her and not seek another partner is the reason I don't have a romantic relationship. You always have the option to leave. 

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Apostle
15 minutes ago, Tunes said:

She doesn't get to decide whether you are celibate or not; only you get to decide that. I'd say it's more a by-product of your choice to stay with her, as opposed to her choice to not have sex with you. Her choice is not forcing you not to have sex with someone else - your choice to stay in a relationship with her is what led to that. Just like the fact that my partner is aromantic isn't the reason I don't have a romantic relationship - my choice to stay with her and not seek another partner is the reason I don't have a romantic relationship. You always have the option to leave. 

It's her choice not to have sex with me, not mine. Celibacy on my part (and of course hers) is dictated by her decision so I cannot see how it is in any way my decision. I'm celibate by association, no more.

I don't know if you have children or not but it has a big input on how one behaves when it comes to a relationship and family. Leaving the family was not an option for me, just for the sake of not having a sexual relationship. There are far more important things to consider.

If your partner denied you the love that you craved, would it be your decision to accept this as part of your relationship or would it be wholly hers?

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