This is something I’ve been thinking about discussing for quite some time, but I’ve been putting it off because it’s not the sort of thing I’m particularly comfortable talking about. It’s rather personal, and awkward, and a bit confusing, honestly. Still, I feel like I should write about it, so I am. I’m asexual.

Individual experiences are always different, so I can’t say whether this applies to anyone else or not, but here’s what it’s like for me. I am thirty-three years old and, in my entire life, I have kissed five people, had sex with two people, and had a romantic relationship with one person. This used to bother me, make me feel pathetic. It doesn’t anymore. I have finally come to terms with the fact that I don’t want any of that. I used to think that the reason I was habitually single was that I was bad with people, or that people just weren’t interested in me. Maybe that’s part of it, I don’t know. I do know that, on the few occasions when someone did show an interest in me, I fled for the hills. I told myself that I just hadn’t met the right person yet, that it would feel different then. The one relationship I had was split up over the course of many years. We broke up and got back together, four? five? times. I’m not sure anymore. I thought, if we were meant to be together, things would feel right. But they never did. So, I would feel sad and trapped. Then I would feel guilty because I knew that he could tell that I felt that way. So, I would end it. But, after a few months, or a few years, of not finding anyone that I connected with, I would go back to him, thinking that it would be different this time. The truth is, I just didn’t want to be alone. What I finally realized is that being single isn’t the same as being alone, and the only reason I didn’t want to be single is because society tells us that, if we can’t find a relationship, there’s something wrong with us. You see, I don’t like dating. I don’t like romantic relationships. I don’t like sex. So, why did I spend so many years of my life craving those things, and wondering what was wrong with me for not having them? I thought I was supposed to have them, and I thought that if I had them and didn’t like them it was because the person I with just wasn’t The One. If I’m being completely honest though, it wasn’t just society’s fault that it took me thirty-three years to figure this out. I’ve never really been one to adhere to societal expectations anyway. I wasn’t just in denial this whole time. I genuinely didn’t know. For many years, I thought I was bisexual or, more accurately, pansexual (I don’t care about gender norms or whether one expresses oneself as male, or female, or both, or neither). I thought this because I do still want human connection, and I am still attracted to people, equally so for all genders. I am drawn to certain people emotionally, psychologically, and even physically, just not sexually. I didn’t realize that one could be physically attracted to people and still be asexual, and I’m still not sure if this is the case for others who are asexual. I assumed that physical attraction and sexual attraction were the same thing, but they’re not. I frequently find myself drawn to a person’s appearance. I enjoy looking at them. No matter how appealing the person is though, I never think, “I would like to have that person’s tongue in my mouth,” or “I wish that person’s naked body were rubbing up against me.” I guess, for me, physical attraction is more like an appreciation for art. I could stand here and look at you all day. That still doesn’t mean I want to exchange body fluids. It’s frustrating to me that I spent so many years of my life seeking something that I never even wanted but, now that I’ve figured it out, it’s very liberating. I can finally stop wasting so much time and energy working for something that was never going to work. I can finally stop wondering why I don’t feel the things that other people feel; the answer is that I just don’t. I’m never going to, and that’s okay. Whitney

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