Around asexuality is still full of myths that confuse and completely distort the meaning of the concept. I myself have long been convinced that asexual people are those who never have sex, do not masturbate, and are generally disgusted with everything related to sex.
For the first time, my position was shaken when I met S., an asexual girl. She was my age but had never had penetrative sex. At the same time, she had a boyfriend with whom she had been dating for several years!
I asked S. what her sex life looks like (if it exists at all). She replied that her libido was about the level of the plinth, so the desire to have sex with a partner does not arise in principle. At the same time, she is not averse to masturbating – not for the sake of relieving sexual tension (which is not), but simply for the sake of pleasure and endorphins. S loves hugs and other tactile contact, so she can stimulate herself by holding her partner’s hand. That’s how they live!
I was shocked. First of all, on what various forms sex can take in couples. Secondly, because there are guys who agree that they will never have penisovaginal sex with their partner (S., however, admitted that her men were also asexual).
After receiving all this revolutionary information, I thought about my own attraction and sexual desires. Could it be that my entire sex life was just a confirmation of the stereotype that “sex is a penis in a vagina” – and in fact I want something completely different?
Gray is also a color
Shortly after meeting S., I accidentally stumbled upon the Gray is a color telegram channel, the author of which talks about asexuality and its “shades”. In general, I don’t subscribe to channels so often, but then my hand trembled – I pressed the Join button and began to eagerly study the information presented.
That’s when I learned that asexual people can very well have sex – for example, to please a partner. Or simply because sex is physiologically pleasant for them. After all, asexuality is about lack of attraction, not orgasms! Such asexual people are called sex positive.
And it also turned out that asexuality is a spectrum. Each person can be at a certain point on this spectrum – from a complete lack of attraction to a pronounced sexual desire. And your position on this scale can change over time.
Of course, there are people who are asexual from birth – and they understood this even in high school. They always had a low or no libido, they were not at all interested in sex. And that most likely will never change.
But there are people like me – people with a changeable sexuality. Once I thought that I really love sex, but now I’m not interested in it at all. How did it happen?
Sex addiction and gray sexuality
When I started to be interested in this question, I took an online test for asexuality. The test gave the following result: you are probably graysexual.
Graysexuality is one of the manifestations of the asexual spectrum. Roughly speaking, this is a section on the scale that is above zero, but below the “average” sexual desire. Greysexual people occasionally experience an interest in sex – but this happens quite rarely or under the influence of special circumstances.
I remember only three cases in my life when I absolutely sincerely and unequivocally wanted sex with this particular person.
The first is a passionate attraction to a classmate in the 11th grade (nothing happened). The second is insane chemistry with my occasional lover, with whom I was connected exclusively by sex. The third is my longest relationship, strong love, mixed with animal attraction.
But in my life I had more than three partners. And why I had sex with them is a mystery, but obviously not because of the huge attraction. Among the reasons I recognized were the desire to fill emotional holes, the need for tactile contact, the need for attention, the fear of losing a partner and the desire to please him …
Looking back, I understand that at some point I was even a sex addict: I talked a lot about sex, reduced all relationships to sex, easily changed partners. However, it was not my hypersexuality at all – chronic depression and a lack of close relationships were to blame. With the same success, I could replace sex, for example, with compulsive overeating or alcohol.
When I realized that I was having sex for the wrong (for myself) motives, I just stopped. And it turned out that I’m fine without it!
But what about libido?
Another myth about asexual people is that they have no libido. Of course, some do not have it, some have it very low. But asexual people can also have an average or high libido.
I have a medium to low libido. During the period of sex addiction, I thought that it was high, but either I was wrong, or it was influenced by age, antidepressants and contraceptives … In general, today I don’t want to relax every day.
In general, with my libido, for now, perhaps, I will sit in the “gray” zone – until I have a real attraction to a real person.
It’s okay to be asexual
Emily Nagoski, in her wonderful book How a Woman Wants, writes one important thing: for many years women’s sexuality was perceived as a direct reflection of men’s. And everything that was different from male sexuality was recognized as wrong, sick and requiring “repair”.
Not turned on by the mere sight of a naked body? That’s it, you are asexual, frigid, and in general – you need to be treated!
Fortunately, today these medieval ideas about sexuality have begun to be revised. Although sometimes there are still extremely strange concepts.
For example, in the asexual spectrum there is such a variant of attraction as demisexuality – this means that you want a person only after you have established a stable emotional connection. Stop. Isn’t this a variant of the most ordinary and normal female sexuality?
Friends have asked me why I’m so eager to put labels on myself and my sexuality. First sex addict, then gray sex… What’s next?
I’ll put it this way: labels are only bad when they limit or stigmatize you in some way. But a label can be quite useful when it helps to understand your feelings and feel that you are not alone.
Feeling asexual today / this week / this year? Wonderful! So, you have every right not to have sex and enjoy freedom from unbridled desires. And do absolutely nothing about it.
Want to want sex? Okay, then you can contact a psychotherapist or a sexologist with this.
Or, like me, just wait for the right partner, to whom the attraction will arise on its own.
I destroyed my sexuality to the ground. I reconsidered my attitude to different sex practices, to what I like and dislike in bed. It turned out that there was more “dislike” in my sex life – so now I feel asexual, but I believe that this is not forever.
My sexuality just needs time to rise from the ashes – and become more beautiful, mature and resilient. More suitable for me. In the meantime, all the sex toys in the world are at my disposal!