I grew up in South Carolina, USA, and I currently live in Tokyo, Japan. I am well versed in religion, various cultures, and world politics.
What Is Asexuality?
Asexuality is a term used to refer to those who simply do not experience sexual attraction or pursue sexual behavior. That is it. Asexuals are still humans, but sex and physical attraction are incredibly low or even non-existent on the totem poll of personal interests and desires.
Asexuality is not a disorder. It is not a choice, a hormone imbalance, or a fear of sex or intimate relationships. Asexuals are people who find purpose and joy without sex being a centerpiece, and that does not necessarily mean that sex is absent from their lives.
It is honestly about what they feel, not necessarily about what they do. Many asexuals feel trapped in a culture that elevates sexuality, so many, unfortunately, lose themselves in order to appear to be something that they actually are not.
I am asexual, and this is my story.
I grew up in the American South, in the wholesome state of South Carolina and the wily and redneck Riviera-like city of Myrtle Beach. My family owned a gym in my hometown, so I was constantly surrounded by hypermasculinity and half-dressed people throughout my childhood and teenage years.
This never phased me. I simply saw a world in that gym that was about weight training and getting in shape. There was nothing sexually attractive about this environment, and I was always confused when I heard these aggressive men making their alpha male statements as they projected their next "sexual prey" in the gym.
For me, this behavior and style of "locker room talk" was disgusting, but it was not only in the gym where I faced extreme amounts of sexual aggression.
My mother and father were quite the sexually active people when I was growing up, and both of them had nudist mentalities when they were in the home. It was not uncommon for either of them to walk around butt naked throughout the house without a care in the world. Many of my friends experienced my mother and father in the nude, and this was just commonplace.
Being from a beach resort, one can only imagine the throngs of locals and tourists in bikinis, thongs, speedos, and other revealing clothes that I had to deal with. As with the behavior in the gym, so too were the prowlers on the beach, constantly gawking at the next hot thing and wondering why I was not interested in making nasty comments alongside them.
In middle school, I finally felt the first major peer pressure to be something unnatural. A lot of the boys in 6th and 7th grade began pursuing girls, and when it was recognized that I was not doing the same thing, accusations of me being gay were thrown around.
This behavior and ridicule carried on into high school where I met my first girlfriend. Since I am not the one seeking this kind of relationship, she pursued me. I found her to be a wonderful person, and I really enjoyed spending time with her. It was made even better that she was a devout Christian and had no interest in having sex until she was married. This helped relieve a lot of stress in my school life, but then some darkness occurred.
Betrayal and the Unnatural Embrace
It was the summer between my sophomore and junior year of high school, and my girlfriend and her family were going to take a family vacation. They asked a close friend of the family to house sit, and then that friend asked me if I would like to tag along and help him.
A little bit of background. I met this man soon after I started dating my girlfriend, which was roughly a year prior. He was a volunteer youth leader at the church that my girlfriend and her family frequented, and he was the one who first introduced Jesus, the Bible, and their teachings to me. He even gave me my first Bible, which was honestly a wonderful and powerful gift that I cherished.
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However, when we were house sitting together, he decided to take advantage of the situation and tried to rape me. As a 16-year-old boy who struggled with his sexuality, this shocked me to my core. I wrestled him off of me on two different occasions before running away and never contacting my girlfriend, her family, the church, or him ever again.
To make matters worse, I quickly found the first girl who expressed interest in me and asked me out, and I started dating her. My previous girlfriend was dumbfounded and in a constant state of disbelief upon returning home, and because I was not ready or even mature enough to give her the answers she needed or desired, she went into a downward spiral and a horrible depressive state.
I went on to participate in a very uncomfortable, semi-sexual relationship with this rebound girlfriend. It tortured me for years that I tried to make this second relationship work in order to erase what happened in the previous one, and participating in sexual activities with this girl made me hate myself all the more. My life was never quite the same again.
A Path to Growth and Healing
After almost four years together in a toxic relationship, my second girlfriend and I finally called it off and decided to move on in healthy ways. From this point, I started to pull my life together. I began to pursue education again, reconnect with my family, and learn how to volunteer in my local area to serve those in need as best as I could.
A couple years later, I ended up meeting my wife. Something about her aura was just very attractive, and I really enjoyed spending time with her. We would play music together, watch videos, and just laugh at the silliest things. It was some months later where she very aggressively asked me, "What's the deal with us? Are you not going to ask me out?" In retrospect, I was clearly not interested in another physical relationship, but I did really like her. She, like the other two girls prior, pursued me.
Our relationship has had its ups and downs, like any relationship out there, but one thing that was a challenge from the very beginning was sex. My wife enjoys sex while I tend to not care about it, and this has been an amazing dialogue over the years of our relationship. It took her a long time to realize that this is not something I desire, and that it takes a lot of effort from me to be sexual.
I also finally embraced my demons a few years ago and faced my abuser head on, calling him out publicly and getting his role as a church youth group volunteer revoked. I was able to talk to my first girlfriend about the situation nearly 20 years later, and it was quite therapeutic for both of us.
I realize that I could have gone my entire life without having sex, and I would have been completely content with that. But I love my wife too much to withhold my physical embrace. Love is about sacrificing at the right times, and although it is quite difficult for me, loving my wife the way she needs to be loved is of utmost importance and something I value strongly.
It Is Okay to Be Asexual
Although we do live in a hypersexualized world in many ways, not being sexual attracted to anyone is not a bad thing. It does not make you weird, wrong, or a mistake. It just means you are unique and find your joy and pleasure elsewhere.
Let us not confuse asexuality for other things, though.
What Asexuality Is Not
- An abstinence pledge
- Gender identity
- A mental disorder
- A choice
- A hormone disorder
- A fear of sex or relationships
People around you may judge your behavior unfairly, but let me tell you something I wish someone told me 30 years ago;
You are wonderful just the way you are. You are not weird. You are a person who is capable of amazing things, and it is no big deal that sex is of little-to-no value. Just embrace who you are and take the world by storm.
Do asexuals date? Some do, some don't. I did. Do asexuals fall in love? Some do, some don't. I sure did. Do asexuals have sex? Some do, some don't. I occasionally do, not because I really want to but because I want to love my wife well. Do asexuals masturbate? Some do, some don't. I personally do not like it.
An asexual can be a complex person, and that is okay. Like with anyone in life, asexuals are a mixed bag with lots of backgrounds, a myriad of preferences, and a common link of not prioritizing sexual attraction or behavior. We are a unique group, and again, that is okay.
Do not let the world define who you are based on their assumptions.
Just be you, because you are awesome.
© 2019 Jason Reid Capp