I have an announcement to make, and this is a big deal, so pay attention. This isn’t a conclusion I came about lightly. I didn’t just say, “I feel this way, it must be this.” It took me years to understand this. I’ve visited doctors and therapists and had some long conversations. Some people I’ve talked to just flat out don’t believe me, and I suspect a number of you won’t either, but it’s my identity, and I need to share.
I’m asexual. If you’re not sure what that means, in the simplest of terms, A is a prefix meaning Not. Heterosexuals are attracted to the opposite sex and gender, homosexuals are attracted to the same sex and gender, bisexuals are attracted to both, and pansexuals are attracted to everything in between. Asexuals are attracted to neither and none.
Except when they are.
You see, like anything having to do with sex, it’s complicated. There’s a whole spectrum (from people who are only sexually attracted to someone they have a deep emotional connection to, all the way to people who are physically sickened by the idea of genitals being touched by others), and I don’t quite understand where I belong on it. I can tell you what it means for me. I can be in relationships. I’ve even had sex since my transition. But in general, with very few exceptions, I don’t feel sexual attraction. I don’t think about sex, sex doesn’t motivate me. Sex doesn’t play a part in my life, and more importantly, I don’t want it to. I find people attractive, but I don’t want to sleep with them. I develop crushes, but not because I want to see the person naked. Hell, I write erotica, but it’s as much a distant, imaginary fantasy to me that I can’t really relate to as when I write about a witch battling the Norse goddess of winter.
Do I think this is part of the reason Kate divorced me? Yes, I do*.
I’ve kept this to myself because asexuality is weird to our society. Even the most juvenile of comic book movies shoehorn in a romance subplot, and what is romance about but sex? Sex is everywhere. Sex (in the United States, anyway) is the unnamed, hidden force behind everything. Sex is biology. The fact that I’m not into it is a rejection of a fundamental part of who we are as humans, and many people I’ve told simply won’t accept this about me.
When I started making the transition, I thought there was something wrong with me. I went looking for causes and solutions and found none that worked. My doctors suspected that my testosterone was low, or my medication was causing a reaction. It’s been suggested to me that I just need to meet the right person. And then, of course, there’s the one that I will bet money some of you are thinking right now: it’s perfectly normal for a man my age to lose interest in sex.
My testosterone is normal. None of my medications have sexual side effects. It’s going to take more than just one person to change me. It has nothing to do with my age. I’m not broken, I’m not abnormal, I’m not old. I’m asexual. This is who I am.
* I was fully honest with Kate about how my needs and wants were changing, so this isn’t something that was just kind of sprung on her unawares. She’s the first person I talked to who actually believed I was Ace. And I’m pretty sure that she ultimately decided she wanted no part of it.