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Have any older asexuals spent their life conforming to what they should be then discovered they were asexual?


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I’m 48 and have spent my life trying to make men happy even though it was hurting me? I had no self respect and couldn’t say no but now I’ve found out who I am never again will I put myself through it. I wish I’d known about a sexuality always my life would have been so different x

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I never conformed to anything.  I grew up (and still live today) feeling like an alien in many aspects, but that'll always be preferable to me over putting up a false front.

 

I don't know how much of that can be chalked up to my autism or just me being a stubborn arse.

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18 minutes ago, A R P said:

I’m 48 and have spent my life trying to make men happy even though it was hurting me? I had no self respect and couldn’t say no but now I’ve found out who I am never again will I put myself through it. I wish I’d known about a sexuality always my life would have been so different x

I hear ya.  At 62, I have felt similarly.  

 

At an early age, we're taught (nowadays) that it's "O.k. to say no to sex", especially if we're still in high school.  But once we hit 18, something seems to change...

 

While we're still told it's o.k. to say no to sex, it seems that people mostly pay lip service to those words, than to actually embrace them.  We learn that IF we say 'no', there are often consequences.  That is, while we have the right to say 'no', we can lose a romantic partner.  

 

It's funny...in the 1950's and early 60's, a woman was expected to say 'no' to sex before marriage.  The pendulum seems to have swung to the opposite side of the street.  

 

I have come to the realization that there are plenty of people out there who have sex because they think they HAVE to; not because they actually WANT to.  I'm glad that there's a place like AVEN where we can come to and receive the 'no sex' support that we need.  

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I'm not older exactly (32) but I did spend quite a few years having sex I hated (that hurt me really badly) because I thought it was what i had to do. Learning about asexuality was a massive weight off my shoulders. It eventually turned out I'm not asexual anyway, but assuming I was ace (for about 5 years) gave me time to step back and fully come to understand myself. Now I'd only ever have sex on my own terms, in the ways I want to have it, if I ever have it again (which I really can't imagine happening due to my pain disorder and overall total lack of interest in seeking sexual partners). But yeah, I did spend ages having sex i hated for the sake of conformity! It sucked!!

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Comrade Jade Cross

I never had sex, thanks in part to my parents helicopter tactics and constant and consistent hammering of the idea that sex would ruin my life, at least when I was growing up. Later on they changed their tune to try and fit into the societal pressure of being grandparents. 

 

The other half of the reason was because I was stubborn as hell and I never really got along with people for being too different from them. Which, adding to being picked on pretty much all my life, always had me at opposite ends of the spectrum with people. But I was made to feel like I was broken first by people and then by parents demanding grandchildren so in a way, I tried to force myself to want sex, which led to some not so great experience.

 

Thankfully, being stubborn and quick to think made it so that I didn't go further into that problem and discovering asexuality helped me be at peace with myself.

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3 hours ago, vega57 said:

It's funny...in the 1950's and early 60's, a woman was expected to say 'no' to sex before marriage.

But back then women were expected to never say 'no' to sex once they were married, which is also a problem.

I think this is more in line with the OP, that the societal norms of  date > marry > kids puts a pressure to conform on heterosexual asexual men and women, leading many to "fake it until they make it", which in the end leads to a lot of heartache for everyone. @A R P coming to the conclusion to never compromise before entering any relationships is ultimately the way to go to avoid the pain and complications of mixed relationships. The real question is, would that still keep mixed sexual/ asexual people from falling in love? Probably not, but at least they could/ should/ would be making more informed decisions regarding the relationships.

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Sort of. I'm a stubborn contrarian, so while I did feel like I should've been having sex, I didn't follow conventional ways, and I didn't have much of it. Discovering asexuality was a step in a larger path of developing better self-esteem and not worrying so much about my appearance by conventional standards (weight, skin, etc). It wasn't the first step; in fact, it started when I was told that I'm genuinely desirable in a sexual way. That forced my to rethink my excuses for not pursuing it. 

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19 minutes ago, Sinking_In said:

But back then women were expected to never say 'no' to sex once they were married, which is also a problem.

Yes.  Hence, why laws have changed (in the US) to make marital rape a crime.  The desire NOT to have sex still trumps the desire TO have sex.  One of the alternatives for the sexual partner is to divorce.  

19 minutes ago, Sinking_In said:

I think this is more in line with the OP, that the societal norms of  date > marry > kids puts a pressure to conform on heterosexual asexual men and women, leading many to "fake it until they make it", which in the end leads to a lot of heartache for everyone.

Yeah.  To a point.  While some people know that they're not very sexual early in their lives, I don't think a lot of people even realize that they've been 'faking it'...until way later in the game.  We're taught that we're "supposed" to have sex.  That it's "biological".  That EVERYONE does it.  And when I was getting my sex-ed in school, I was told that I would have it.  The fact that I may not even like it never came up.  

19 minutes ago, Sinking_In said:

 

@A R P coming to the conclusion to never compromise before entering any relationships is ultimately the way to go to avoid the pain and complications of mixed relationships. The real question is, would that still keep mixed sexual/ asexual people from falling in love? Probably not, but at least they could/ should/ would be making more informed decisions regarding the relationships.

Yes, I agree. It's great IF you know your own sexuality well enough BEFORE you get into a relationship.  But...the label of asexuality is fairly new, gaining more popularity (thank goodness!).  While people may have understood that they simply don't feel sexual attraction toward others, they may have been so brainwashed into believing that there was something "wrong" with them, if they don't.  So, they kept it under wraps, for as long as they can.  After all...who wants to think of themselves as "broken" or "abnormal"?  

 

About a year ago I befriended a man who is from my hometown.  Needless to say, we have LOTS to talk about.  A few months ago, he confessed that he was 'in love' with me.  His 'urge' for sex with me is strong.  Meanwhile....he recently started shaking up with another woman.  He has sex with her, yet he's not in love with her...

 

So...he can have sex with someone he loves (if I was willing, that is), AND/OR have sex with someone he DOESN'T love.  Just WHERE does that leave me (or anyone else he "loves"?)

 

Being with someone like that would always make me wonder...was it ME he loved, or SEX he loved?  Not that there's anything 'wrong' with either one, but I'd still wonder...

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Weresnao of Conedon said:

Sort of. I'm a stubborn contrarian, so while I did feel like I should've been having sex, I didn't follow conventional ways, and I didn't have much of it. Discovering asexuality was a step in a larger path of developing better self-esteem and not worrying so much about my appearance by conventional standards (weight, skin, etc). It wasn't the first step; in fact, it started when I was told that I'm genuinely desirable in a sexual way. That forced my to rethink my excuses for not pursuing it. 

I like the way you describe your A/Sexuality as 'ehsexual'.  That's the way I feel about sex:

 

Eh.  😄

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7 minutes ago, vega57 said:

I like the way you describe your A/Sexuality as 'ehsexual'.  That's the way I feel about sex:

 

Eh.  😄

Thanks. :D It came up in conversation some time last week as a great term for sex-indifferent asexuals. :P

 

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6 hours ago, Philip027 said:

I never conformed to anything.  I grew up (and still live today) feeling like an alien in many aspects, but that'll always be preferable to me over putting up a false front.

+1

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Midland Tyke

Yes. And it caused issues, of course. And just occasionally it still does; but understanding what I'm not interested in (and how did I miss that?) has been a big step forward for me. And I only achieved that understanding quite recently. At an age well advanced of where you are now.

 

Welcome!

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I wouldn't say I conformed to expectations because it implies a sort of buckling under pressure, but I certainly went along with the idea of having sex for around the first 20 years of marriage. I'd long stopped having sex before I actually heard the word asexual though. A lot of compromise involved on both our parts. My husband didnt push for sex and I didn't fuss about  eg holidays and socialising, neither of which he enjoyed.

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yes, I always wanted to fit in and adjusted to my immediate environment. probably because I always felt different and was the new kid in lots of places. Hence my self made title Chamalien.

Discovering asexuality was a thing at the age of 42 gave me much needed inner peace and serenity to accept myself as me.

And answering to the OPs question, makes me realize that I'm also starting to feel ok with being "older"

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I didn't conform to fit society's demands, I fit in because my partners expected sex as a part of a relationship.   They didn't represent a conforming society, they were simply individuals I loved.  

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Yes and no. I occasionally tried to date, and I had a dream of being with someone and having some kind of close relationship. And, yes, my expectation was that someone would be the opposite sex.

 

However, I always felt strongly that I would rather be alone than stuck with someone I didn’t really like, and I never understood why some people seemed to want a relationship so much that they would compromise their happiness just to be with someone else.

 

With hindsight, I’m happy with how things turned out. Finding out that asexuality exists and that options exist beyond the narrow confines of what was normal that I’d grown up with has certainly played a huge part in that. I just wish that I’d known about asexuality decades ago: I’d have felt much more at peace with myself, and I suspect I would have had better self-esteem/confidence.

 

 

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Tink_the_Tinker

Hello,

 

Yes I am 42 and spent most of my life going through the motions of what society said was normal when it came to relationships and sexual activity. I am not into sex at all nor any other sexual activity. But i did it because that is what you do or at least i thought so. 6 months ago I found out I was Asexual and it all made sense. I still feel out of place with my friends because they are not asexual and none of them even know what asexual is. Some of them thought I actually made it up. So my journey has been rough to say the least over the years but I am at a good place now with it all.

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  • 4 weeks later...

@Tink_the_Tinker When I've come out to friends none of them had heard about ot. When I explained what is is and how I felt, they were completely fine with me identifying as asexual.

 

I was 44 when I found out about asexuality and AVEN (59 now).

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Let Them Beet Cake

Yes and no.  When I was a lot younger friends would bug me about dating this or that guy and I'd eventually cave in and go.  I always knew it was a waste of time because I had 0 interest in a relationship but did it to shut them up.   No one ever talked me into or forced me to have sex so I guess I didn't conform on that front.  Anyway, that was all decades ago.  No one cares now least of all me.  

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Celty Is Love

Yes. I just came out as ace at 50. I might have realized it a lot sooner if I hadn't been struggling with mental health issues.

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I'm really feeling this topic. I know there are nuances to every personal experience. I don't know that I'd be ace or at least gray if having sex with a man didn't hurt so damned much. I was so conditioned not to say 'no' that I was sexually assaulted when I was a freshman in college and didn't realize it until years later, even though it affected my reactions to sex almost immediately. I still don't know if I'd be open to having sex with a woman again even though my brief time with a female lover was the best time I ever had sexually. I've realized that I only managed to get through my first marriage and a long term relationship with a man through seriously dissociating. I can't even fantasize about sex if I'm in the picture in any way.

 

Anyway, the hardest part since I've slowly grown to realize how repulsed I am by sex is losing my second husband. He pressured me almost constantly for sex in a way I knew was almost unconscious of him. I don't think he meant it to be so intimidating, but as much as I tried to think of bed games that weren't painful they were still unpleasant most of the time. I let him get a girlfriend for the sex thing, a gal we were both friends with. I don't know what I expected. I wasn't able to communicate well at the time, but I hoped to have friendly non-sexual alone time with her too as a trade for the time he spent with her. Instead, I just lost him, and also her as a friend. I tried so hard. I lost my home to them, too. Now I'm just heartbroken and lonely and can't seem to find any friends to spend even decent virtual time with. Mostly I get foreign men who want to see my boobs. And it hurts.

 

The conventional pressures and expectations have actively scarred people. It's wrong, and I wish there was a way to claim this label without having to get into a box that most other people don't even want to try to understand. It shouldn't have to be a box.

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I spent a great portion of my teens and early twenties (college years) dating because I felt it was what was expected of me. If I found a guy "cute" my friends would encourage me to talk to them. I never wanted to, but I did. I had a few close guy friends who all started to like me in a romantic way. Instead of breaking it to them early that I don't think of them that way, I decided to go on a date. When the kissing part came I did it to please them. I eventually had to tell them that I didn't think of them that way and it destroyed so many wonderful relationships. I'm upfront now to my guy friends now. I don't want to lose anymore friendships because I didn't know at the time that I was asexual and grayromantic. 

 

I'm 33 now and still a virgin and have no desire to find someone. If I do, great. If not, I'm fine with that too. But I refuse to date just because my friends and family want me to find someone and be "happy." I'm perfectly happy on my own. I get joy, love, and support in other ways.

 

I think it's hard for us older asexuals who didn't have this site or the blogs, websites, and books about asexuality that are available now. We - at least I - felt there was something wrong with me since I didn't view sex and relationships as everyone else did. Because of that I did conform a little bit. Joining online dating when I didn't want to. A few dates on I went didn't go anywhere because I realized pretty quickly it was the conversation I wanted more than the intimacy. It's crazy to look back on things I did when I was kid and see how painstakingly obvious my asexuality was, but since I didn't know about it then, I had no clue.

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3 hours ago, auntjessie said:

I'm 33 now and still a virgin and have no desire to find someone. I'm perfectly happy on my own.

 

I think it's hard for us older asexuals who didn't have this site or the blogs, websites, and books about asexuality that are available now. We - at least I - felt there was something wrong with me since I didn't view sex and relationships as everyone else did. Because of that I did conform a little bit. Joining online dating when I didn't want to.

I'm a 59 year old virgin and after reading never say never here, I have no interest in having intercourse.

 

Yes, I never had a reason to look into why I wasn't having sex, I just figured I hadn't found the right person.

 

A buddy was ALWAYS bugging me to sign up on PoF. I just told him I was too busy.

Edited by will123
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I'm 54, married with 2 children. I have only ever had 2 boyfriends. My first boyfriend was very frustrated by my lack of interest in sex, and regarded me as frigid. I had no idea why I wasn't interested in it at all (not just with him), and he took it personally. When I finally gave in to the pressure, having always assumed there was something wrong with me and that I didn't love him like I should,  it didn't make me want it any more.. (Let's just say it didn't end well.) After that, I thought I would never be interested in a relationship again, but when I met the man who became my husband, he was very different, kind and much more accepting, and we have been married now for 20 years. 

I wish I could have somehow understood myself better in the past, I could have stood up for myself when I needed to. At least I understand things now.🙃:lol:

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I definitely fall into this category.  I have had a hard time with relationships all my life.  I have failed time and time again.  I was always confused, but hopeful.  I have a lot of love to give and I actually enjoy companionship over being alone.  But my idea of love is sharing similar interests, doing nice things for my partner and taking care of him.  Sort of like a 50’s housewife in blue jeans and no pearls, separate beds and no hint of sex.  I would have sex, because I spent my teens, young adult years in the 80’s and everything seemed to be sex charged and I just thought that was what you were supposed to do if you were normal.

Edited by NewStart
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38 minutes ago, NewStart said:

I definitely fall into this category.  I have had a hard time with relationships all my life.  I have failed time and time again.  I was always confused, but hopeful.  I have a lot of love to give and I actually enjoy companionship over being alone.  But my idea of love is sharing similar interests, doing nice things for my partner and taking care of him.  Sort of like a 50’s housewife in blue jeans and no pearls, separate beds and no hint of sex.  I would have sex, because I spent my teens, young adult years in the 80’s and everything seemed to be sex charged and I just thought that was what you were supposed to do if you were normal.

Any of the girls I was with back in the 80s I just wanted to be friends with them, no more no less. We might hug, but that was it when it came to physical contact.

 

Laura Petrie of The Dick Van Dyke Show? I saw reruns as a kid LOL

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I was thinking more like June Cleaver or Donna Reed, Laura Petrie would fit in the category too.

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21 minutes ago, NewStart said:

I was thinking more like June Cleaver or Donna Reed, Laura Petrie would fit in the category too.

Uggh June LOL A bit too prissy for a comparison... I hated that show. The kids next door watched it all the time. I thought Beaver was a real sap (I was a kid at the time too!)

 

I'm not familiar with Donna Reed's show even though it ran to '66. Too busy watching The Beverley Hillbillies and Hogan's Heroes I guess ;)

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On 10/1/2020 at 11:32 AM, A R P said:

I’m 48 and have spent my life trying to make men happy even though it was hurting me? I had no self respect and couldn’t say no but now I’ve found out who I am never again will I put myself through it. I wish I’d known about a sexuality always my life would have been so different x

I am 51 and feel exactly the same..

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, I tried to.  Until I found it emotionally too painful to "do relationships" at all, so been on my own since 30.

(Now 50 and only just worked it out - hoping that, with this understanding, "relationships" can start to change for me... wish me luck!)

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