Is it- or was it with relief I found out about this term- asexuality- and that there are people out there as lack lustre about sex as myself?
Puberty to me never seemed it happen- or at least it did obviously but I never felt a thing. Not a thing. All around me at school girls were getting giggly, going off to clubs and getting drunk but me- apart from infantile crushes on teachers and wishing I could get friendly with an Oxford University bound boy, never ever thought about sex. And certainly never thought that anyone out there might be attracted to me in that way... although it did not help me that I had a father who would not let anyone male come anywhere near me and who was also quite violent towards me...
Then I 'woke up', left my bullying Grammar School at 17 (and my parents who taught there) and went to a lefty arts community college in Exeter where I met my 'first' love and where I found life. But I have realised- and it has taken me 20 years to realise this, that even though I 'liked' him very much (he was a painter, 10 years older than me; and opened me out to the world) I never ever thought about sleeping with him- it just never occurred to me. Yet I was madly in love with him at the time and I fancied him- I told myself I did, how else or what else could explain the tension between us? There was sexual tension between us and yet I somehow never thought of having sex with him- it never occurred to me.... how and why? And when he told me he liked me I could not accept it because I suppose I knew what he wanted to do and going there is a no no for me- or was at the time. No wonder he got back with an old girlfriend and got her pregnant, eventually ending our friendship which for him I now realise, was full of frustration ... Subsequently I have had friends subjecting me to investigations- one friend setting me up to meet a 'nurse' friend for a beer, only to be told afterwards she was analysing me to see why I had never had a boyfriend- I was 25 at the time. I was told that my way of dressing- I am not bothered about dressing up for anyone, never mind men and it just never occurs to me- was symptomatic of my being either gay (which was dismissed as I do like men and the thought of women- well I can't go there) or being abused. Now there might be some truth in that last statement.. but I was appalled and needless to say, I don't trust that friend who played that trick on me. And then nothing. I had a few men attracted to me but I definitely did not want to sleep with them... I tried because I thought I should but I could never go through with it. I was in love with the painter for 7 years and when that disappeared there was not anyone really until I came to Film School in London. And again in similar circumstances I met a man much much older than me- ROH loving and a frequent audience member, a serious academic by profession but also with Parkinson's- and I fell for him and it seems, him for me. But again when he tried to tell me - or approach me with the intention of taking it further I suppose, I flipped out and could not stand being near him- because- because I know not why. All I know is he approached me one day and I understood intuitively that he 'wanted' something and was trying to get to know me more and I freaked out running across the room crying out 'no no', with him having to apologise and reassure me he was not going to do anything. We survived that and started meeting once a week in a nameless London Church to have coffee and chats. This carried on for 6 months. And even though I liked him very much and 'decided' I wanted to sleep with him I had to 'make' myself think about it. I realise now my attraction was not sexual in the first place but for it to become so I had to 'make' myself think about it. I was aware of making myself think about it. I thought this was the norm but I started- at the early age of 30 by this time and still a virgin- to realise it definitely wasn't normal. Needless to say he did not want to sleep with me because however much I said I wanted to I just could not show it, it was not there... That relationship broke up obviously and now, like the first man; we cannot be friends.
After this I realised I had problems. I tried to analyse why. Why did 'abusive' men take advantage of me when I was unhappy (this was a lot) trying to get me into bed- never ever men I liked? Why I did not have sexual feelings? And why when a man I really liked approached me to try and develop something further, did I freak out with complete fear? Too complicated. Londoners were also (for the first time in my life) telling me there was something wrong with me (big news) but- different from my other experiences outside of London- that this made me unacceptable... really big and bad news. I always knew I was different - spending all my time as a kid on my own or in the company of animals. I never really had friends as a child but never pitied myself for this, just accepted this about myself. But then in Exeter I found creative people who did not mind- life experienced people who accepted me warts and all. Not so in London. Too outspoken. Too passionate. Not refined enough. Not sophisticated enough (I hate sophistication anyway, to me it is dishonesty).. so I took some Aspergers Tests and guess- I came out completely Aspie every time, almost top of the class. Relief as certain behaviours of mine made sense- the way I use my body, the need for pressures on my body and the desires I constantly fight with all the time- the need to sit on the floor or under a table or chair- weird eh at 35?- but never the less I still need to hang upside down occasionally and wedge my body against walls because it comforts me. (Yoga is a great comfort to me. )Relief because it explained my lack of interest and shyness about sex and men and my inability to understand some facial expressions and what people mean sometimes- the subtext. And then stress as I find others won't accept it. I am fighting for an official diagnosis. But this does not matter. What hurts me most is the lack of complete interest and dismissal from friends and family. They don't want to know. Talking to my mother all she could think about was whether my dad had it.(I reckon he does). Otherwise no engagement or simply hurtful dismissiveness from others. And trying to talk to the Doctor was also a nightmare, he had not heard about Aspergers. Not that it changes anything or me- I am still the same- but it does help me to understand myself more- the problem is that others don't see it as a gift but as a disability and this is why they don't want to think about it.
But does it completely explain my asexuality? After all many many Aspergic women have men who love them and have very successful careers. I have neither- I don't even have a dad who bothers to communicate with me..(not asking for pity). So it just can't be Aspergers- besides I don't feel Aspergic all the time and surely Aspergers cannot be responsible for the fear I feel when men I like (and only men I like) seem to want something from me? (This has had a destructive effect on me- now if I like a guy I take great pains to avoid him as I am scared of repeating the same embarrassing episodes revealing my inappropriate fear if they try and be friendly- this causes huge problems) So I have to think about how my dad treated me and whether this has had some affect- or was I just asexual from the beginning or are asexuals- some at least- a product of physical abuse? My dad was violent to me, that cannot be denied. And he did things that now - if I knew were happening to an 18 year old today- I would report to social services. The trouble is/was my complicity. Not because I enjoyed it but because I knew no better and thought I thoroughly deserved it (there was no other family member around to show me different)and that others had the right to do this to me(hence my early belief which I have shaken thank God, that if a guy liked me I must sleep with him as I did not have a choice). I still have trouble shaking these convictions off, I still have severe trouble especially at one of my work places (the IMAX) dealing with bullying and how I seem unable to stop some people from bullying me- such is the permanency in early childhood mistreatment can have.
Now as I have mentioned I am 35 and I have still yet to sleep with a man. I actually have not told a soul this ( apart from the very few who will read this) because unfortunately just about everyone in my life- women especially- cannot help but remark with slight contempt if I so much as at hint at troubles with men. There are even some professing to be my friends who tell me I am wrong in the head but then offer me nothing else- no help or compassion, nothing. Such is the state of man.. or woman..( I suppose it could be that from a woman's point of view and biology's you are in fact useless as you cannot propagate the human race and therefore can't contribute- as some women out there with 'vagendas' say 'you aren't a body if you aren't loved'). I know it is part Aspergic, I know it is partly because of abuse that may or may not be responsible for my being Asexual.... but a couple of years ago when I was 33 something happened to challenge all these notions I have of myself.. I met someone I wanted to sleep with... And the feelings he aroused in me and still does made me realise that never before had I ever experienced natural sexual feelings. In the first instance this man was a complete conundrum to me. I did not find him good looking (but then I never think that of others) whilst everyone else did and swooned whenever they saw him. I was fully in contempt of this (how the mighty are fallen). I at once liked his personality but also found a lot of faults- a lot- (this in itself should have been a warning to me). Still I found him ugly not handsome... but this could be to do with the fact he was always sullen, when he smiled or was attentive this was a different issue. But he was always wanting my attention for some reason, more than any man in my life... and I decided to ignore him. I was not in love with him yet. But I knew (still not thinking of anything physical) I was starting to fancy him so I played my usual avoidance trick and began to ignore him big time. (I'd like to say it was because he was already spoken for, it was not; it was because I was afraid of repeating a similar scene from my history. ) Anyway big mistake, big mistake. This only made him try and get my attention more and more in countless of different ways. I was adamant I would not fall him and avoided eye contact at all times..until one fateful day when his eyes met mine .. as boring as that yet not- and my god, Pandora's box was opened... I wanted to yell, shout out- what the hell is this terrible wonderful sexual desire I have never ever experienced before..? Why didn't anyone ever tell me about this? Is this what it is? My god I see why people go mad because of it....etc etc.. Now at the time I don't know how I controlled myself, how I lived. In retrospect I have come to work out that the reason why I could and can have these feelings for him is because somehow- even now- I trust him physically and psychically - this last bit is the most important- something in him makes me just open out, I lose complete self awareness and to this day I have no idea as it why this is- except I think because he is the kind of person whose personality is very open to others and does not close down, even when he is angry it is still, in an odd way; a satisfactory experience or exchange- he does not reject. That is I think his biggest talent. I think this is the only way I can explain it to myself. So suddenly there is someone I have natural feelings for but of course it cannot happen.. and this has all just caused massive trouble between us anyway. But I do worry I will never have such physical and psychic feelings for anyone else- it seems impossible. I just don't fancy people or desire them. Which makes me suspect that apart from this one and only man I am completely asexual and closed off..but will this be for ever? Because unlike some other asexuals I am not happy with it, I am completely unhappy- I am a passionate and visceral person from a very intense and angry and musical family, how could I be happy and accepting? To end, I feel a child in an adult's body, finally having normal adult feelings of intense desire but with no ability to make them happen, and in true Aspergic fashion, only having these feelings for one person. It is like being in a prison, or a little like locked in syndrome sometimes, and I am not sure for how long I am able to withstand this- this complete childishness I feel compared with others... this thing I lack- this inability to reach out, willing yet can't- could but is not allowed....it makes a mockery of life and me and ultimately for me, makes life absolutely worthless and just totally lonely.