An Asexual in a Sexual World

Cathy, 20, female, United States

I knew I was asexual before I even hit puberty. In elementary school people use to pretend they were getting married at recess, even kissing the person. People use to say that this person was their boyfriend or girlfriend as young as third grade, and I didn’t understand the reasoning behind this behavior. I thought they were incredibly stupid and immature for getting in relationships that weren’t going to lead anywhere. To me if you weren’t planning on getting married or having a long lasting friendship there was no reason to get a boyfriend. To me it seems like it was an endless swapping of people: one minute this person was with this person, the next minute they were with another person.

But I told myself not to be to judgmental, because I was just a late bloomer and I will want to get a boyfriend and doll myself up with makeup, clothes, and fingernail polish just like everyone else soon. But it never happened.

When I hit middle school I still wasn’t like everyone else, and it was becoming more apparent. I had what I thought was a normal crush on someone, but it wasn’t. I liked how smart he was and how he looked, but that was about it. I never imagined being his boyfriend or doing anything physical. Even something as simple as kissing was revolting to me. And when I saw people holding hands it was highly annoying, because I knew it meant nothing. It annoyed me even more when people said I love you, because to me there’s a difference between loving someone mentally and loving them physically, and I seemed to be the only person who knew the difference.

Then at the end of middle school, after parting with a very close friend, I got a huge (platonic) crush on a boy. I was always thinking about him and imagining hanging out with him and spending time with him. I wrote about him in all my diaries. I was quite obsessed with him. But even though I was obsessed with him I never once thought about him in a sexual way, even in my dreams. I loved how nice and smart he was. I thought he would have made the perfect friend. I guess I didn’t realize this wasn’t a normal crush. I confused a crush with wanting a friend because friends don’t come easy to me.
Then I heard the word asexual for the first time my first day of college. At first I thought it sounded stupid because I know humans can’t reproduce asexually, but when she explained it, it sounded a bit like me. So one day I researched it because I had nothing else to do and I couldn’t believe how much it sounded like me. My life suddenly made sense. I never knew there were other people like me I thought I was all alone.