Trigger Warnings: mentions homophobia, self-mutilation
My story isn’t so strange. It’s not dramatic, amazing, astounding. Nothing spectacular has ever happened to me, if you really want to know. I don’t see myself as a victim of anything, to be honest. My life has not been filled with the same sadness that others have known. I create my own chaos, and if that confusesyou, if you’re wondering if I live in a bubble or if I’m simply mad, let me tell you how it happens.
Let me start at the beginning – at least, as much in the beginning as you can get with a story like mine. See, I never cared very much what other people thought of me. I was the shy girl, the quiet one, but nobody ever really bothered me. I just didn’t want anything to do with them. I also didn’t want to do anything with them. In junior high, I watched my friends go boy crazy. Such and such an actor was so hot. They wanted to make out with him, feel his abs, have sex with his voice.
I never felt that way.
Boys meant nothing to me. They looked human and nothing more. Girls were the same. Touching them didn’t appeal to me outside of giving hugs of platonic affection. Having them touch me just seemed revolting. My first kiss made me want to die, strangling in saliva with a boy’s tongue down my throat. I told him I liked it, told him I thought he was sexy. It wasn’t true. I’ve told a lot of lies, you know. You’ll see – I’ll show you what I mean.
Have you ever heard of the ‘power flower’? If you haven’t, it’s basically a diagram of a flower with largeand small petals, meant to show you exactly how much power you have – just how much you’re worth to society, all represented in a pretty little picture. Let me give you an example. If you’re white, you colour in the big petal. If you’re anything else, you colour in the small one. Male? Big petal. Female? Small one. You get the idea. And of course… if you’re straight, you colour in the big petal. I drew a line between the big and small, and showed it to my best friend, and laughed.
She looked at me with horror in her eyes, said “so does that make you half gay and half les?” The question, of course, didn’t make any sense, but it was the sentiment that mattered, and to her I couldn’t beanything but straight. I told her I was joking and finished colouring the big petal. Some time later, I sleptover at her house. I asked her if she would be freaked out if, hypothetically, I liked girls.
She said yes.
I laughed and told her I was joking.
In a way, I suppose, I was joking. Boys and girls were both ugly to me, but I didn’t have a word for it until I randomly came across the word ‘asexual’ on the internet one day. Finding it was inevitable, I suppose – I’ve always lived on my computer, and I suppose I always will. Funnily enough, it fit me just fine. Having a word for what I was didn’t change my life – it just gave me a new word to hide away, a new part of me to shove down deep and never show to anyone. For as long as I’ve lived, I’ve used laughter and jokes to hide who I am. I am my smile. I am sunshine and rainbows and glittering unicorns.
Only I’m not. It’s not really me my asexuality has caused problems for. Not the way I see it, anyway. It’s other people I hurt when it comes up. Like I said, I create my own chaos.
Remember my first kiss? The boy with his tongue down my throat? He didn’t just want to kiss me. He wanted to touch me too, and see me, and when we had Sharpie fights he wanted to draw on places that weren’t just my arms or my stomach. Told me I could do anything to him if I’d let him draw below the pant-line. Now guess what I said!
That’s right. I said there was nothing I wanted to do to him.
He dumped my ass two weeks later. Being alone didn’t really bother me. I was only fifteen, after all, andI never wanted that kind of contact anyway – not with him, not with anyone. Truth be told, I didn’t give ita lot of thought. I just wasn’t ready, hadn’t met the right person yet. Logical enough arguments when you’re fifteen, and lots of the time they’re true.
In my case, I’ve never truly been ready. I met my fiancée when I was seventeen, and got engaged at eighteen. This was when my asexuality started to be a problem. In our first months together, it was great – I had sex with her right away, and we were happy, and our sex life was booming. And then it all stopped. Putting more thought into it, I’d been doing it because it was new and exciting, but as soon as it stopped being new, it stopped period. Sleeping with her didn’t interest me. I did it because I had to, because I wanted to please her. Even now, it’s to please her, although she doesn’t often ask me anymore.
All this time I’d been pretending to like it, to have fun. Unfortunately, the biggest problem with lying about it for over a year was just that: it was a lie. When I tried to explain how I felt, that it wasn’t her fault and she was beautiful and I loved her, she told me that obviously wasn’t true because I didn’t want to have sex with her anymore. What happened? It used to be so good between us, she said. She couldn’t understand why I didn’t like her that way anymore and I couldn’t make her understand that it was me who was broken and it had nothing to do with her.
We fought. She thought I was straight, that I’d like sex better if I did it with a guy. I told her it wasn’t true, that I felt nothing for anyone but I still loved her. I’ve never been the best arguer.
After it started coming up, I became more and more depressed. All along I’ve had issues with depression,but every time this circles back around it gets worse. So many times I’ve wanted to be alone so that it doesn’t matter that nobody gets to touch me. It devastates my fiancée to feel unattractive, to think that I don’t want her, and there’s no way to justify that or to fix it. To be asexual is not to be broken, but if you can’t make someone understand the way you feel it’s a damn good way to break them. Breaking hearts is easy – I do it all the time. It’s not being asexual that bothers me. I’ve never cried asking why I can’t love, because I can, and I’ve never cried asking why I can’t be attracted to anyone because it doesn’t matter to me.
But it does matter that the way I am breaks my lover’s heart, that I make her cry because I can’t make myself want her. It matters that sexually she wants me and I don’t want her, and that I can’t leave her because I need her and I want her in my life even if I don’t want her in my pants. Simply being me is enough to destroy another human being. See what I mean? I create my own chaos. The way I am creates chaos. ‘Pretty’ is a dirty word. I want to cut the pretty right out of my face, leave it hideous and disfigured. I want to shave my head because the only thing people see when they look at me is my oh-so-beautiful hair. I want to cut off my tits and rip out my womb and leave them for the maggots, and maybe that way no one will want me and I can finally look the way I feel.
If I do all that, maybe I can finally be the way I feel, the way I want to feel: alone.