It took me twenty years to figure out my sexuality. I was about 12 or so when I kissed a girl, and I really didn’t like it.Thinking back to that moment in time, the only reason why I did it was that I thought I was a lesbian. Everyone in my family thought I was or at least hinted at it and back then being gay had a different connotation than it does today. But I kissed her anyway, it did nothing for me, and I moved forward into puberty safe in the knowledge that my toes were planted firmly in the heterosexual pool regardless of what other people said.
I didn’t date in high school. Partly because my mother forbade it and partly because I went to a single-sex school. In college, I dated because I thought I should. When I was in my 20s, chances were that if you were a guy and you asked me out, the odds were in your favor that I’d say yes. Not necessarily because I liked you, but because I thought that’s just what you did.
I moved in with a man and got married because that’s what women did when you dated someone for five years. You got married, you settled down, and you had a family. Eventually, our relationship deteriorated into us just being roommates who had children together. It was more than enough for me but not enough for him. We divorced, and that was that.
It wasn’t too long after that I met my husband. He’s the kind of man that most women lust over. He’s got Heath Ledger’s face on Channing Tatum’s body, and I am blessed that every day I have something pretty to look at. And if his charming appearance wasn’t enough, he’s incredibly smart as well, almost as smart as me but not quite. Which is great because we can debate, talk about books, and what’s going on in the world, we’re not stuck just talking about the kids. We’re also complete opposites in everything. He has the libido of a 15-year-old and mine is closer to someone with one foot in the grave. And while we joke about it all the time, I never understood why. I mean here’s this man who is a hunk of a man that I’m attracted to and yet nothing. It bothered me almost to distraction.
I tried everything. At first, I thought maybe it was my hormones since the doctors left me with only one ovary but that was fine. I tried cremes and everything you could imagine. But if I had been honest with myself, my libido had never changed it was only how I related to it that changed. I even went so far as to have some boudoir pictures of myself taken with the thought being that maybe it’s my self-image that’s lacking. Maybe if I saw myself as sexy, I would be sexier. Or at least up for it more often. In the end, the pictures came out great, but I didn’t feel sexy, I just felt awkward, like I was walking around in skin that wasn’t my own. My husband loves the pictures; he flipped through the album with a look in his eyes that I only get when the waiter is bringing my food.
I was tired of feeling inadequate, so I went to the one place where people go when they feel inadequate and want answers, I Googled it. It was then, I stumbled upon an article in Cosmopolitan of all places, that discussed asexuality, and I thought, “wow, this is me.” It said asexual people don’t experience a sex drive. “Asexual people may feel attraction, but they don’t have the desire to act on it sexually. Unlike celibacy, which is giving up sex as a choice, being asexual is an orientation, like being gay or straight, according to the Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN). Asexual people still crave connections with people and often form romantic relationships with others — they have the same emotional needs as any other person; they just don’t necessarily exchange bodily fluids.”
The article was essentially my entire life summed up 500 words or less. I’ve always been attracted to men. I’m extremely attracted to my husband, but somewhere between the attraction and the action, there’s a disconnect. I’m not celibate, and I still love a cuddle. It’s very hard to make someone understand that it’s not them, it’s you, especially when it’s something as sensitive as this. It took a long time, but eventually, my husband came to accept that it isn’t him that’s the issue and that it is me. It’s just who I am and who I would be with anyone that I met and that it’s not him at all. I’ve learned to accept that I am asexual and that’s it’s not abnormal to be so, it just is what it is.