Wednesday, May 14, 2014

I'm Not Asexual, but...

A bit over a month ago, someone who I do not know well expressed interest in the book about Asperger's that I'm trying to get published, so I sent it to him to read. After reading about half of it, he gave me a little feedback and commented on my being asexual. I explained to him that I am not asexual, that I'd been attracted to people before but just hadn't been in a relationship. He said from reading my book that he knew I'd had "crushes" on people, but that there didn't seem to be very lustful (to clarify, he was simply commenting on it and did not mean it as a criticism). 

Well, it's true. Any crush I have ever had has not been very lustful, at least not lustful in the way most people experience them. Let me explain:

First, let me say that online dating would never work for me. Why? Most people look at a profile, see that the person has similar interests and think, "Hey, this is a possibility." But usually they first feel something from looking at that person's picture. "Wow, he's hot!" or "Wow, she's sexy!" And then they  look at the interests. And then they get together for a date (and possibly sex as well). And then it may or may not work out. In other words, lust comes first, then feelings about the person as a person come next. For me, it's the complete opposite. 

Whenever I've felt attracted to a guy, it has always happened after having a few in-depth conversations with him. After I realize he's interesting and intelligent, then I might start to think, "Oh, he's hot!" And then other... thoughts... eventually follow. But this just does not happen very often. I know plenty of guys whom I find very interesting but, for whatever reason, have not resulted in Cupid's arrow. If I rarely feel lust, and if lust only comes after knowing the person somewhat instead of before, then it stands to reason that I, of course, have not been in a relationship. The fewer attractions I feel, the less likely the chance of one being reciprocated. And yes, my never having been in a relationship means exactly what you think it means. There was one guy who returned my feelings, but he was only in the states for a few months; we were friends with (limited) benefits. I was almost 19 at the time that I knew him, and he is the only guy I've ever kissed, let alone had any other (limited) "experiences" with. Though perhaps had he been around longer something might have happened. I don't know. In any case, at the time I wasn't ready for sex, and he didn't push it.

Apparently, it is very common for people with Asperger's Syndrome to either be asexual or, like me, just rarely attracted to people and to experience attraction in the "reverse" way that I do: person first, lust second. However, when they do get attracted to people, they tend to become very obsessive. That, of course, causes a lot of pain when the person with the crush sees the person they yearn for avoiding them at all costs. For this reason alone, I hate getting attracted to people if it's not reciprocated. Hey, I know people like to say, "Well, just enjoy the feelings you have for them." For us Aspies it doesn't work that way. Imagine how you'd feel if you hadn't eaten in days and there was a three-pound bacon cheeseburger constantly a few feet away from you... and you were told you weren't allowed to eat it but to just enjoy the smell. Well, that's what it's like for us. Mercifully, my last crush was in 2008-- six years ago as of this writing-- and what a shit storm that was. I won't get into it.

Just for the record-- and I know people are going to ask me this because they always do-- my being rarely attracted to people is simply how I'm hardwired. Many people assume that if you are asexual or comparatively so then you must have had some bad experience, must be religious or have some moral objection, or must be repressed in some other way. No, I was not sexually abused. No, I am not religious. I don't care what other people do as long as it's between consenting adults. No, I am not repressed. When I was living in New York City, I went to the GLBTQIA center one day to listen to a guest speaker. I mentioned that I have only been attracted to eight people in my entire life. He said something to the effect of, "Well, that tells me that you have some kind of sexual problem." I don't remember his exact words, but that was the gist of it. I told him, "Excuse me, you don't know anything about me. And you know what? I think your theory sucks!"

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