This is a “no closet” family…

I say this on a regular basis simply because we have three cats (now four since Emma moved in with Tiny Tiger) so I’m often fishing a cat out of a closet before shutting the door. It’s said as a joke but also as a reminder to Jeremy that no one in this family needs to hide themselves. This includes me.

So… I’m reasonably sure I’m asexual. So far the only people who know are L, Captain Glittertoes, and my teenagers.

And, well, now almost 18 hundred more people.

*waves sheepishly*

This is my story. I make no claims to be average. Your mileage may vary.

My Mom and I started reading the Clan of the Cave Bear series when I was a teenager. We found the first book enthralling but were less than impressed by the rest. The first book was a fascinating insight into what life might be like in a neanderthal clan while the later books slowly devolved into what Ayla and her boyfriend(s) enjoyed the most between the sheets. At first I worried that my discomfort with the author’s highly detailed pages of sex meant something was wrong with me but my Mom’s equal discomfort relieved me. We gave each other warnings of which pages to skip. Eventually it felt like I was skipping half the book so I dropped the series. My Mom gave up a short while later.

The first “sex dreams” I remember involved meeting a young unknown man who was kind, gentle, and assured me that he was so small I wouldn’t feel anything. I never told anyone about those dreams (until now). I knew they were weird. I also knew simply not dating wasn’t an option a) because I wanted the close connection of being with someone and b) because that would prove all my bullies right, that I was too stupid/weird/ugly to ever find someone.

I didn’t start dating until I was in college. My ex-husband was introduced to me by his mother and I was attracted by his geeky shyness. He gave me flowers on our first date then gave himself an entirely too audible pep talk on holding my hand. His awkwardness was endearing. Too bad it didn’t last.

Thanks to a medical condition called vaginismus, it took us months to consummate our relationship. I’m sure my ex thought he’d died and gone to heaven as I tried multiple positions in the hopes of finding one that would be equal to (or hopefully better) than chocolate. I never did. I loved the physical closeness and the feeling of skin on skin; otherwise I simply enjoyed his enjoyment of the experience. My eventual favourite position was one that felt, to me, like the world’s closest hug. As our marriage deteriorated, my ex began complaining about my lack of interest in trying new things; telling me the different things his ex’s were willing to do. That was not any sort of encouragement, bedroom wise at least. It was just another example of why I was no longer interested in him in any way.

When we broke up I figured I’d meet a new man and fall in love. Maybe we’d meet at the park, bringing our mutual kids there to play, or chatting on the corner while waiting for a parade to start. I never did meet anyone though. Sometimes I’d think about trying online dating but would panic and push the thought aside. Sometimes I’d tie creating a profile to dieting, promising myself that I’d make an account once I’d lost some weight. Then I’d promptly gain more. Occasionally I’d dream about meeting a wonderful man. I’d picture a first meeting at a coffee shop with us finding common ground in geekery and books. Then I’d move through our imaginary dating until we reached the bedroom. At that point my mind drew a curtain around the whole thing, saying we’d “do stuff that felt good”. Yes I censored my own (not really) erotic daydreams simply because I couldn’t think of anything that would end up with the mind blowing “better than chocolate” sex that people talk about. The best I could do was figure he might guide me to what everyone else said was amazing.

I didn’t really start wondering about asexuality until a few months ago when I was talking to someone (who shall remain nameless but is most definitely not Voldemort). She mentioned offhand that if she has trouble sleeping, she just masturbates to orgasm and that relaxes her enough to doze off.

I stared at her in complete surprise then blurted, “Wait. You can do that?”

Most of the time, touching down there* is about as interesting as rubbing my elbow and produces much the same results. About once or twice a year I’ll wake up with a full bladder and an urgent need to relieve myself in more ways than one. It’s nice because it feels good (although still not as good as a good quality chocolate**). It’s also a freaking pain in the backside because then I’m stuck on the toilet for ten minutes waiting to pee. I can think of a lot better things to do at 3am than sit in the dark on a cold toilet while my cats alternate between crying at the closed door or sitting in the crack of the door playing Gandolf “you shall not pass” with the other kitties.

It took me a month before I broached the topic of mastubation and sensation to a secret group for mothers with mental illness. I was reassured that there was a wide range of normal, which was nice but not what I’d hoped for. What I really wanted was for someone else to broach the topic of asexuality so I wasn’t left wondering if I was just imagining things. It took another month after that for me to bring the topic up with Emma, L, and Captain Glittertoes, although with a lot less detail than I’ve written here.

*waves awkwardly*

And now here I am. Since I’ve stopped mentally pressuring myself to find a guy and start a relationship, I’ve begun to make a more serious effort in losing weight and eating healthy. The hard part is that I still would like a relationship. I miss hugging and kissing. I want to wake up in someone’s arms and have someone to joke with while washing dishes. I’d love to see the Northern Lights for the first time and have someone admire them with me. And I have no idea how to find someone short of wearing a t-shirt that reads “I love hiking and all things geeky but don’t want sex. Are you still interested?” And *cough* I’m so not wearing that. Even if it had a TARDIS on it.

I so want to do this!

I so want to do this!

* yes I know the names of all my body parts and use them and talk about them to my own children. No, I don’t feel like using them right now.

** thanks to all the chocolate references, I’m now baking chocolate chip cookies. At least I can freeze them for lunches.

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17 thoughts on “This is a “no closet” family…

  1. I think one of the most important things in life is just figuring out what you do and don’t like. As an often-overly-introspective person, it amazes me how difficult this is, at least for me. There’s so much I’m only just figuring out. So – I think it’s awesome that you’re having some important revelations about yourself! More power to you. 🙂

  2. Like all invisible minorities, there are probably more asexual or nonsexual people out there than you would guess.
    When you find the right person, they will be delighted to have found you.

  3. Thanks for sharing this. I know someone who’s asexual and I think reading this might help me empathize with them a bit more easily. Best to you on your journey.

    Also, you don’t have to lose weight to be healthy/active/attractive/etc. Health At Every Size (HAES) has resources for developing healthy habits independent of weight loss. I’ve found it to be quite liberating. 🙂

  4. Oh wow I remember those books, and you are right the first one was ok but the rest.. not so good. I speed read through the ‘rude bits’, it was all a bit too much for me back then… and probably still would be today. I haven’t read, or have no desire to read, 50 shades of grey. I certainly couldn’t cope with the film! Good to know I’m not alone 🙂

  5. Yay for figuring stuff out about yourself! 🙂

    One (less important) implication of this is that, if you want, you no longer have to think of your place in the broader LGBTQIAP community as that of an ally: you can belong to the community just for who you innately are. (Not that allies are any less members of the community, obviously, it’s just that their membership is more of a choice). I don’t know if that difference means anything to you and it’s okay if it doesn’t, but for me, when I figured out that this community exists and that I belong to it just because of who I am, I thought it was really cool. 🙂

  6. Somehow I missed this post completely. I think it takes courage to not only accept who you are but to actually be yourself and not someone who is trying to be someone else for everyone else- if that makes sense. I am shocked at how many adults are unhappy while forcing themselves to be someone they aren’t. I don’t get it.

    I think there are more asexual people around than we think.

    And I believe in fate….even though my best friend just said “fate for shit”- not sure what he meant by that except maybe he doesn’t believe in it? Anyway, I believe that you will meet someone when you aren’t expecting it or actively looking. That’s how these things tend to work.

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