This is my response to Asexuality Archive’s question.
See the full tumblr post and look through the “notes” for all of the “Reblogs” with many different perspectives and comments, too.
Before you knew what asexuality was, how did you think about or describe the collection of feelings that you later recognized as asexuality? What were some of the things that you sensed were different? What were some of the questions you had about the way you were? If you looked for answers using a search engine, what were some of the search queries you used?
I have an idea for a new section for my site that comes at things from that angle, from the point of view of the ace that doesn’t know what asexuality is. It’s still sort of fuzzy. I’ve got about 85% of what I want to talk about, but it’s still missing a clear picture of the other 15%, something that connects all the pieces. Basically, I want to reach out to the undiscovered/pre-identified asexuals, using the words and phrases they’d use and the thoughts they’d be having.
So, before you understood that you were ace, how did you think about things?
And someone else answered, and I reblogged and replied too. I realized I said enough for it to be a whole blog post… so I’m posting my tumblr response here too.
“I figured sexual attraction would come, but I thought I needed to pass some milestone, whether it was age or experience. I had other things to do“
I really thought I was “just” inexperienced, although as time went on, I started experiencing more and more cognitive dissonance about it: https://luvtheheaven.wordpress.com/2015/12/01/why-i-should-have-accepted-the-truth-that-im-asexual-sooner/comment-page-1/#comment-542
After I did know that asexuality existed, search terms I used were things like “Do asexuals not like kissing?” because I hated making out/kissing with tongue, the only kind of kiss on the mouth I’ve ever tried, and I thought it might be a sign that I was asexual. But what I found were all these asexuals saying “Can I still be asexual even if I like kissing?” so I felt more lost, like it must be that the guys I was kissing just weren’t “my type” sine EVERYONE, even asexuals, liked kissing.
If, @redbeardace , you had a search term like “Are there other people out there in the world who don’t like kissing?” or “Do some people like sex, but not kissing?”, that would’ve been the kind of thing I was wondering about then and searching for (wondering if I might like sex when I tried it in the future, even if I hated kissing.). Other asexuals could use, “Do some people like kissing, but not sex?”, lol.
Other things I started wondering about was if I might be demisexual/might just need to wait out being with my boyfriend for long enough to ”fall in love” before I could really give up on the idea that I was “normal”. I didn’t want to be asexual. If I didn’t know the words, I would’ve probably done the same thing, and I might’ve searched “how long until you enjoy kissing?” or “how long until you’re ready for sex?” or “how long until something your partner does gets you aroused/turns you on?”
Because, well, I have zero sex drive/libido/ability for arousal. http://luvtheheaven.tumblr.com/post/128500834127/non-libidoism-asexuality-aka-i-have-never-had
And I thought, I wondered, about hormone imbalances or about being stupid and about how maybe I was getting aroused and didn’t recognize it for what it was, or that I needed just the right trigger, needed to touch myself or be touched in just the right way, and then I’d experience what it was like to be “turned on”. I saw that hormone imbalances usually have other pretty obvious symptoms I didn’t have. I searched about a lack of or “no sex drive” or “low sex drive” in women and all I found were the types of things like, idk, what Flibanserin interviews talk about now. Older, married women not feeling interested in sex anymore, finding it hard to get in the mood, etc, and found that it’s normal for sex drive to decrease with age. But I was in myyoung 20s! Not that age yet!And even in my teens I hadn’t ever had a sex drive that I knew of!
I read this article: http://www.scarleteen.com/article/advice/what_if_i_never_want_or_feel_ready_for_sex and I really don’t like how they say it’s “unlikely” you’ll turn out to be asexual, (okay their exact phrasing is:
…most people, in a lifetime, will want to engage in at least some of them and will feel ready for at least some of them at some point.
But while that’s true for most people, it’s not true for all people. Some folks really don’t ever want to have some kinds of sex or even all kinds, because they just don’t feel those desires or don’t feel the desire to enact them.
because it made me doubt myself, doubt that that could be my identity, for longer. “What if I never feel ready for sex” seems like a search term more asexuals would use than non-asexuals, although maybe not, but either way @hellyeahscarleteen made it seem like there is such a low chance that asexuality is the answer, that you shouldn’t bother “worrying” about the fact that asexuality might be your answer, about figuring out if you’re asexual or not, in fact the word asexual isn’t even mentioned in the text there, only indirectly told people about asexuality being a possibility in the link under “Don’t feel those desires or don’t feel the desire to exact them”. It brushed off asexuality as a potential comfort to the asker of the question, and instead focused on all of the things in life you can do instead of sex, and idk, while I like the post overall, I know at the time it almost made me feel worse about myself, when I was confused and searching for answers and wondering myself “if I’m 23 years old and have a great boyfriend and I’m not ready YET, will I EVER be?”
They have these posts on a similar topic, too:
(see the second question here, especially, since sex isn’t enjoyable for the advice-asker, an aspect many asexuals could probably relate to) http://www.scarleteen.com/article/advice/im_not_readybut_am_i_just_overthinking_it
Anyway… I guess I had a lot of thoughts on this topic. I’m looking forward to your page meant for asexuals who don’t know the word yet! It’s important, for sure.