Like most asexual people, it took me a while to understand my sexuality. As a kid, I always assumed I was too young for that kind of thing, so I never gave it much thought. I was always slightly bemused when my peers would make sexual comments, but I thought they were just saying those things to make themselves seem more grown up. I never even considered the possibility that people could be interested in sex from such a young age.
When I started high school, I also started to become interested in forming romantic relationships. But whenever things started to get more serious (read: started to become more sexual), I would completely lose interest. Though I didn’t really think much of it because I was young and inexperienced, so it made sense that I would want to take things slowly. The boys I was talking to, however, did not agree. It seemed like they were constantly trying to pressure me into doing things that I did not want to do. No matter what happened, it always ended the same way. But I always thought that if I met the right person, things would start to get better.
It wasn’t until I was eighteen that I got into my first relationship. I wasn’t really interested in him, but I kind of went along with it because he had already befriended some of my family members. As time went on, I began to wonder why I still wasn’t interested in maintaining a relationship with him or anyone else. I eventually told him that I thought I might be asexual. He seemed really supportive at first, but I soon realised that he was only being supportive because he thought it was a medical condition. He eventually came to the conclusion that I must be “depressed” and that he was the only one who could “fix” me. I am ashamed to admit that a part of me started to wonder whether it was actually true.
I later realised that this was all deliberate on his part. He wanted me to think that there was something wrong with me so that I would become dependant on him. It became clear that he would do anything in his power to prevent me from leaving, threatening harm on me and my family. Things got so bad that I was really scared for my life by the end of it. But luckily the police got involved and he was arrested before things got out of control. It came to light that he had been stalking me for many years before we met (read: when I was still underage), and that’s how he was able to pull off this whole ordeal.
As I was still coming to terms with all this, one of my childhood friends reached out to me. He heard about what had happened and thought he might be able to take advantage of the situation. When he realised that I didn’t want to have sex with him, it was the exact same story. It’s like he just turned into this monster overnight. I know that must have been his true personality coming to the surface, and all the years of friendship we shared meant nothing to him. But that’s what makes it all the more heartbreaking; the fact that I could have been friends with such a horrible person for so long without even realising it.
By that point I was just so disgusted with relationships that I couldn’t even stand the thought of dating someone. I became completely repulsed by any form of touch, even to the point that seeing other people holding hands would make me feel sick. It wasn’t long after that the whole world went into lockdown with coronavirus. We were constantly being bombarded with messages telling us to “stay two meters apart”; “don’t touch each other”; “wear a mask”; etc. It only seemed to confirm my beliefs. But in a way, it was actually a blessing in disguise, because it was the first time I could actually live how I wanted without feeling guilty for it. I realised that I was so much happier being alone than I ever was in a relationship. And so, I decided to keep things that way.
As for now, I’ve never been happier. I am slowly starting to reconnect with the outside world and create a new group of friends who share the same values as me. I now realise that sexuality plays a huge role in all our lives, even for asexual people who might not be aware of it. That’s why I have turned my focus to bringing awareness to the asexual community. If I can stop one person from going through the same things I did, then I’ve already made a difference. It’s about time that we all learned to accept ourselves and be proud of who we are.