I haven’t had sex in six and a half years. This seems like a long time to most but from my perspective, it is still fairly recent. I can still recall the last time, the uneasy feeling I had through the whole experience, the way my stomach turned and I threw up afterward. The sex was nice, I guess, the person didn’t hurt me and they were really sweet about the entire exchange but just the fact that I did it made me want to cut a deep, deep line into my wrists. That was six years ago though. And in the time between now and then, I’ve learned so many things about the nature of Asexuality and myself. In this article, I’m hoping to give just a little insight into the way I view (and hopefully others do too) sex-repulsed asexuals and hypersexual aces and how they’re different sides of the same coin.
When I first started identifying as Asexual, I was under the impression that I could hide my disdain for sex with this label. I didn’t want to have to take the time to explain myself to people. I wanted to just be left to my own devices, never having sex pressured upon me, leaving the sex discussions to every and anyone else who wanted to have them. I absolutely did not. However, I realized that telling someone you’re asexual opens up a floodgate of questions no matter what. They truly can’t seem to help themselves. Which would be fine if the questions stayed inside decent boundaries. But they rarely do. When I told my mother I was asexual, she instantly replied: “No, you aren’t”. She didn’t even know what the word meant, but she was certain I couldn’t be associated with it.
“You and [redacted] used to have sex all the time, he just hurt you that’s all.”
I’ve heard that line more from people than I’ve heard anything else. I wasn’t even allowed the “you’re just confused” phase, everyone jumped straight to the “you’ve been hurt” phase. Not for my comfort, but for their own. Saying that I’ve been hurt and that’s why I’m asexual now is a lazy way for people to soothe their own discomfort at what I do in my own private bedroom. They don’t really care if I’ve been hurt, they don’t want to hear that I was asexual before I was raped and the experience of being hurt just intensified my feelings. That’s too complicated of a situation. They want to just settle on the assumption that I’m sex-repulsed because of rape. Which isn’t true in the slightest.
I don’t think sex is disgusting. It’s actually pretty okay under the right circumstances and with the right person, I haven’t experienced that yet but I know it’s real. There’s no way everyone is out here just having sex because it’s what society wants. That’s unrealistic. What isn’t though, is the idea that there are asexuals who are repulsed by sex. If people can be repulsed by certain smells, by the texture of certain things, or by the sight of something then it’s not hard at all to get why someone can be repulsed by sex. It’s a certain thing, body fluids are exchanged, smells are mixed together creating new ones and skin presses so close that it can seem stuck. It’s the details of sex that, to me, make people repulsed. And even the repulsion itself has different levels to it.
Not every sex-repulsed Asexual is the same. There are some who are repulsed by sex in its entirety. Then you have Aces who are only repulsed by certain things. I met a girl who loved giving head, to man or woman but never wanted to be touched back. She wouldn’t even let people put their hands on her head while she was in the middle of the sexual act. She loved oral sex but everything else repulsed her. She identified as Asexual. There was another girl that loved being a Dom, she never had sex with any of her Subs but her clientele book was always full. She too identified as Asexual. I haven’t met as many male Asexuals as I have women but there was one I remember who enjoyed everything except penetration sex. He had no problem giving and receiving pleasure as long as it never got to the point of him penetrating someone or them doing it to him. His Asexuality was just as valid as the girl who only wanted to give head and as the many asexuals who want nothing to do with any kind of sex.
On the flip side of this coin, there are Asexuals who are Hyper Sexual. I admittedly don’t know as much about them, because I’ve been actively avoiding all topics of sex, but recently as my views and mental state have shifted I’ve started paying more attention. Sex is often used as a coping mechanism. A lot of people will say it’s an unhealthy one but that’s not always true. It all comes down to the two (or however many) people engaging in the act. If one person is Asexual, is aware that they’re having sex for reasons other than just sexual attraction and are okay with that, then how can their coping mechanism be bad? It’s different for sure, and a challenge to the societal ideas of how we look at sex. But it isn’t unhealthy. People will say that if you aren’t having sex because you enjoy it then you are being raped. And for a while, I agreed because I never wanted sex and was constantly having it. However not everyone has the same perspective, we are not all one monolith. Asexuals who want kids and relationships are not hurting themselves by being okay with having sex with one specific person. Whether the goal is ultimately kids or just because they know sex makes their partner happy and they want them to be happy. That’s their business. It’s strange the way people want to force the idea of how everyone should have/enjoy sex. We tell ourselves not to judge who someone is sleeping with but instead allow ourselves to judge how they go about sleeping with them.
Asexuality is an umbrella term, yet everyone wants to look at it as though it has one single definition that fully describes the inner workings of this sexuality. It doesn’t. Asexuality means a lack of sexual attraction, and that’s it. The degree in which someone lacks that attraction is up to them, their experiences and how their brain wants to handle things. Six years ago I thought I’d never have sex again, in any way, shape, or form. I was ready to be that “true” Asexual (which is also something being pressed upon us but that’s for another article). And I didn’t want to answer any questions about why other Aces could have sex but I seemingly couldn’t. Now though, it’s different. I am different. I’m still Asexual but I do not flinch away at the idea of talking about sex, I don’t pretend I don’t have the answers as to why Asexuals vary, and I’m willing to compromise with sexual situations. I still haven’t had sex in six years, and I don’t really plan to any time soon but now instead of being embarrassed when people immediately say “you haven’t had sex in how long? I could never.” I simply nod and go on about my day. Or explain to them that me not having sex doesn’t mean that I’m against it. I like the idea of sex, it seems glorious but rarely does the idea and the reality reflect each other. For now, I’m content with just learning about the ways I can help bring awareness to Asexuality and all the different kinds of people that fall under its wing.