After I picked myself up from the sheer flattery of it, he told me that didn’t mean he wasn’t affectionate. Asexuality is not down to a harrowing childhood experience or a fault in your brain. I get asked often what it’s like to have a twin, and my answer is always “Well, I wouldn’t know. Being asexual meant that Ben had no interest in having sex with me. He described watching sexual scenes in films as “Like you would feel after watching someone have their teeth pulled out” and as I felt that cringing grimace, I started to get the asexual mind-set. How would he know what it’s like to have a different sexuality than his own? It makes me happier.” But that the physical reaction simply wasn’t sexual. He could finally pinpoint that confusing part of himself. What a relief to know there’s nothing wrong with him! Asexuality is one of the least talked about pockets of our community, mainly because some asexuals don’t even realise that it’s a thing! Most recognize asexuality to be more a scale than a set definition.
He felt this was a huge flaw in his personality and felt guilty that it may be making me feel unwanted.
Ben suffered with an aching depression as he never saw himself living a “normal” life because who would want him the way he was?
That message tells us that we don’t have the right to be in control of our bodies Instead of employing this threatening “joke,” a simple “Oh, Okay,” will do just fine.
If you’re feeling compelled to respond this way, take a minute to think about why.
I recently published a story about my experiences as a person who is asexual.
Writing this story felt important to me because there are a lot of misconceptions about asexuality and many well-intentioned people who, consequently, have no idea how to be supportive.While, on a basic level, asexuality is a lack of desire for sexual intimacy, there is actually quite a bit of variety among the asexual community.Some people are neutral to sex, some are repulsed by the idea, and some actually have an interest in sex, but only in very specific circumstances, and often only within the context of a pre-existing emotionally intimate relationship.Before now, I thought bisexuality was the least understood in our LGBT community. We’d met at a pub (I’m English and we’re bound by law to only meet in pubs over warm beer) and started dating immediately. If I tried to, he’d look like he was having a hot poker rammed in his ribs. But when date five went by with yet another cordial kiss on the cheek, I started to get just a little bit insecure. Ben believed it was down to a go-karting accident at 8 years old as to why he couldn’t... So I asked him how he felt about sex in his mind, not his body. He felt compelled to be around me and, in his words, “I like to look at you. Sleeping in the same bed took him a while to get used to and I’d often wake up to an empty bed and a text saying “Had to go to work” when he later admitted that he just couldn’t sleep that close to someone… “Like someone with arachnophobia having to hold a spider in his palms for 7 hours” he explained to me. Physical contact and intimacy for an asexual must be on their terms. Waking up with someone - that intimate companionship - is the emotional side of love. He was more than happy in our “Couple bubble” with our inside jokes and secret looks. To him, asexuality was the absence of sexual desire, not the revulsion of it. But I refused to agree to exclusivity as I couldn’t imagine myself in a sexless relationship forever. It’s easier to blame a go karting accident than label yourself as different, but on the inside, he was relieved.