I’ve Never Felt Sexual Desire
By Courtney Nahmens
I’m asexual with no desire for sex.
I’m also aromantic, feeling no desire for romance.
I do understand what is considered sexy, sexual innuendo, and words surrounding sexuality like whore, tease, sensual, etc. I understand the language and actions surrounding sex.
I just don’t feel aroused or any differently in the presence of sexual content.
And I’ve been irked by the desires of partners or people who have had crushes on me.
I hate talking about sex, relationships, or anything to do with romance, whether it’s with my friends or in my college classes.
I see no merit in these things. Food, shelter, and sleep seem like better things to concern myself with.
Yet it seems like everything involves romance or sex. Romance is paraded as the ultimate success: No one can be fulfilled unless they marry and conceive children. So why am I okay without sex and romance?
Asexuality: Biology or social construction?
Are my feelings due to biology? Or is it a social construction?
I grew up around people who were open about sex, never hid it, and were always following hot new trends on how to be sexy. I could act sexy but I still wouldn’t feel any desire.
I’ve definitely been bombarded with sexuality and romance from a young age. But it makes me cringe or roll my eyes. The barrage of sexual media did make me think about marriage and children, though.
In high school everyone paired up and I felt out of place not dating. Being surrounded by sexual and romantic people without ever feeling “that way” (or how they described it, anyway) felt strange, too.
But junior year of high school I did start dating someone who I seemed to feel something for. And I finally felt normal.
Everyone congratulated me and praised me. But then it became all about sex.
Yet I didn’t feel anything sexually for him. And whenever I admitted this, my friends felt disappointed and questioned my affection for him.
After a while I began to see that the butterflies in my stomach did not flit from love so much as from anxiety. He made me uneasy — in combination with with my long-standing anxiety disorder, which started showing signs.
Anxiety. Not the nervousness of love.
As an asexual aromantic, I ask myself if I am denying instinct, or simply not as affected by societal pressures when it comes to sex and romance?
I don’t believe that asexuality is a social construct. While society can diminish or expand the craving for sexual behavior, if you have no instinct for desire in the first place, such things become useless.
BroadBlogs thoughts on Courtney’s question
Is sexuality biology or a social construct?
Hormones and genes affect desire and anatomy affects what we can do. But questions of sexual interest, who you have sex with, how you can, where you can, and what’s sexy — etc. — vary from place to place. And person to person.
We are a mix of three things:
Our natural personalities + our social interactions + our culture
This mix varies among people. Some asexuals seem to have always been that way. Others develop a loss of interest because of cultural sexual repression or bad experiences. Sounds like Courtney’s asexuality is more biologically-based.