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I'm Ace, not Broken



What's wrong with me?


I had never put much thought into sex during my teenage years; it wasn't something I cared about nor was it something I was waiting for. I figured that I'd eventually have a boyfriend and one thing would lead to another when I was eighteen or nineteen.


When I started university, I somehow found a boyfriend amidst the global pandemic. That was also when I realised that romance wasn't all that I thought it was; it wasn't like TV and social media said. There were no flowers or candlelit dinners, he always wore a hoodie and joggers with the occasional switch to jeans, whilst I wasted my time looking as nice as possible even though we were going to Pizza Express.


It wasn't until we had our first kiss that I started to question things. My mind tends to spiral and I'm an overthinker; so I immediately began to think about what would happen next. What the next steps would be in our relationship: meet the parents, make out, have sex... and that's what I got stuck on. Eventually, we would have sex. It's a natural part of a relationship, of adulthood and of life. To me, back then, it was a necessary part of a relationship, of adulthood and of life. Yet as I laid there thinking about it, I felt sick. I felt nauseous. I couldn't comprehend the fact that I would have to have sex.


This realisation caused me to spiral, and I became more uncomfortable with our relationship as time progressed. Eventually, I decided that it wasn't fair on either of us, so I broke up with him. I had hoped that alone, I would be able to figure myself out and work out what was wrong with me so that I could fix it.


Finding the asexuality spectrum


I don't really know how I discovered the term 'asexual'. Either someone mentioned it to me and I researched into it or I stumbled across it after typing "why does the idea of sex make me feel sick?" into Google. The important thing is that I discovered that I wasn't alone. I wasn't some anomaly, and I wasn't broken.


Asexuality isn't just a sexual orientation, it's a spectrum with a variety of terms that people can use to understand and identify themselves with. Generally, it describes people who don't experience sexual attraction, regardless of whether they have sex or not. The spectrum is comprised of numerous attitudes, behaviours, and experiences, meaning that there are plenty of ways for someone to identify within the community.


Falling down the rabbit hole of information and terminology really helped me understand myself. Before I learned about asexuality, I had no one to talk to about this. None of my friends could relate, in fact, there have been many moments when I've found myself uncomfortable and on the verge of leaving a social situation because everyone was sharing stories and talking about sex. Whilst I still have no one in the same boat to talk about it with, I've watched videos and read articles about people going through the same thing; even without a personal connection, I still feel safe and acknowledged. Like I'm a little less alone in the world.


Sex doesn't equal love


There's a common misconception that asexual people can't love. That they can't be in relationships and that they'll die alone.


Asexual people can still experience relationships, but more often than not, it's based on forms of attraction such as romantic or sensual. Of course, given the diversity of the spectrum, people can still experience arousal, and some will still have sex. It all depends on the individual. Asexuality doesn't mean people are incapable of functioning sexually; they just don't experience sexual attraction to others.



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