Diana finally convinced me to watch Shame, the new Contrapoints video. We’re fans of hers, but I’ve been removed from many of her latest developments due to business or just not feeling up to highly thoughtful commentary. I started watching it because I’d already been thinking in-depth about something, and the idea that our culture could shame us into behaving a certain way in spite of ourselves contributed to that self-analysis.
The long story short is, I realized I’m asexual. I will be talking about sex in this, so, you have been warned.
My mom always told me I don’t have to be gay to find members of my same sex attractive. She describes women like works of art, and I definitely can agree with her descriptions. She just tends to lose me when she says things like, “I’d love to lick Bruce Willis’s bald head.” Yeah, I could never relate. But I do find both men and women aesthetically pleasing. I’ll stare at a nice butt regardless of who it’s attached to, as noted by my coworkers. But what I never really felt was that primal desire to be sexual with someone. Have I been sexual? Of course. I’ve been in a relationship with the same person for ten years and we’ve had an open relationship for at least six to seven of those ten. We’ve had a lot of time to explore and figure out our needs while holding each other close and being each other’s biggest support. There were many moments where Diana asked me, “What do you actually want in a relationship?” and I couldn’t give her an answer. It only occurred to me recently, sex and sexual attraction were rarely factors in what answers I could come up with.
I’ve been operating under the belief that I’m bisexual since college. I’m attracted to my gender and others, or at least have been in the past. I’ve had a total of two steamy romances since my first steamy romance with Diana, one with someone afab and another with someone amab. Both were very fulfilling and I found myself loving the way each individual desired me. However, I took way more pleasure in giving than I did receiving. In receiving, I found myself freezing up and becoming unresponsive. I couldn’t talk or encourage or do anything except let the other person do what they wanted. I’d been under the impression this was a result of residual untreated trauma and past insecurities coming up to bite me, and I’d addressed those possibilities in therapy many times. I figured, I just don’t like to talk during sex. I just don’t want to be an active part of the scene. I went to rigging classes for a time. I fell in love with rope play, but I enjoyed the intimacy and lack of control way more than the idea that anyone could take advantage of me in the process. In fact, my first rope scene was entirely just tying and sensation play and that was the absolute best I’d ever felt after an intimate encounter. I don’t even need to think of his name or face (though I do remember his name and did find him attractive). The sensation was just what I needed, but not the person.
I’ve found myself realizing, I could be in a sexual relationship with someone and not feel any attraction to them really. But I thought, that can’t be asexual. Diana always pointed out it could, but I didn’t believe it. Asexuality was what one of my platonic exes felt, where they would oscillate between disgust and scientific study of sex if anything. I did my own studying of sex, and not just in person with Diana and my other two sexual partners. I write romance, erotica, smut, relationships of all kinds in my fiction. I love depicting relationships and have always been ashamed that, when I fantasize about sex, it’s about characters in the act and not myself. But that’s still fantasizing about sex, so it couldn’t be possible that I was asexual. Right? I’ve even run across the definition of autochorissexuality, which is definitely how I specifically identify now. But it didn’t click that, that was asexuality.
Eventually, the guilt of fantasizing about fictional people in the act put me in a dry spell. Diana, bless her beloved soul, provided me with a vibrator as a gift. She wanted me to explore taking care of myself so bad, thinking that was the key to me figuring out how to parse my own desires so she could help me. I always said I wanted to be better in bed (though no one, not a single one of the people I’ve been with, has said I was bad), but I recoiled at the idea of anyone touching me so often that it became impossible. So I picked up the vibrator . . . and promptly came to the conclusion that I would never need another human being to pleasure me again. Now, you wanna talk about SHAME!
This realization was way more terrifying than the realization that I, dare I say, preferred eating girls out over sucking male dick (girl dick is exempt, it is indeed different, thank you Contrapoints for mentioning the mouthfeels). I couldn’t believe Diana had set aside her own needs for so long just for me to get in a relationship with my damn self.
The tipping point was my new job. There are people in this job I’m getting close to. People I actually adore. Normally, when I start to adore someone, I adore everything about them. The whole package. If that means putting out, okay. If that means being the shoulder to cry on, you got it. If that means being there in the hour of need, I’m for it. But my days of exploring my sexuality and even my gender have been over for a long time. I’ve come to terms with my libido and my nonbinary identity, and even my presumed bisexual identity. When faced with the fact that, I could possibly enter into new relationships and find more people to confide in or even new partners . . . I stopped. Maybe it’s my age. Maybe it’s the Florida mentality I’ve adopted. Maybe it’s the damn vibrator. But I couldn’t bring myself to get into another sexual relationship ever.
I’ve always been a romantic individual. I joke that I can have a romance with a plate of pasta, and it’s only half a lie. I’m not into vore, just throwing that out there. When in romance with people, I just normally assume that sex came with the territory. The one platonic partner I had well, that was one study in abuse I’d rather not relive. But each time I’ve had a sexual relationship . . . it wasn’t me acting on the sex. It was me going with it. Now, let’s be clear. I was not assaulted by my partners. I was exploring. I learned new things from each of them and I take those lessons to heart. The lesson I take most to heart though is that I’m an extremely empathic individual. So it goes to show that, if someone I’m deeply connected to shows me any level of palpable desire, I’m going to reciprocate it. But with the way people act towards asexuals, I was afraid that my want to please others would be taken as me being manipulated. I’ve been manipulated before. Those three partners did NOT manipulate me, I went willingly to their physical aid happily and sometimes screaming dammit. Diana described what I was feeling the best way, though: I was scratching an itch. After giving me a vibrator, we observed that I described masturbating as a routine scratching of an itch. I’m a creature of habit, so that makes sense.
Everything about my coming out as asexual (and biromantic) has been a process of uprooting the shame I have allowed to mutate. I have always been a supporter of asexual rights, and have always SAID that asexual people can enjoy sex but not feel the attraction. Little did I know, that that was something I needed drilled into my own brain. I’ve always been minorly grossed out when people described in detail what things they’d like to do with someone, as seen with my mom and Bruce Willis. I’ve always been equally perturbed when someone tried to factor me into a conversation about sex, and I would always act like I was a Ken doll with nothing in the pants except maybe a void monster (because that’s how nonbinary be some days). It never occurred to me, for some silly reason, that I didn’t have to link sexuality and romance in my relationships. You could blame the media. You could blame my own insecurities. You could even blame some aspects of my relationships, but the fact of the matter is I didn’t put it together until now.
I’ve come out of the closet a total of four times now. First as bisexual. Then as nonbinary, genderqueer. Then as polyamorous. Now, I’m out as asexual, specifically autochorissexual, and biromantic. I always believed you grew into your identity, but I never knew I wasn’t done growing. Here I am, still growing. I’m just relieved I have the support network I do to feel comfortable coming to this realization.