Being Asexual is Lonely

I don’t just mean in terms of not having someone to cuddle with when I want, or not being able to feel physically present even when I’m touching someone else. What I mean is that I can never completely count on anyone else to be there for me if/when I need them. Oh, I have friends, and they tell me that they support me and that they’re here for me, but they can’t completely be. They’re sexual.

One night, I was lying in bed unable to sleep. It was 4am and I was scared. I was thinking about life, and people, and why people do bad things. I was thinking about corruption, about how it seems that at some point everyone has to kill a little bit of their humanity in order to go on living. Whether that means dulling your feelings so that pain won’t keep you from doing the things you need to do, or cutting off empathy so that you can continue to live without always worrying about others and the consequences of your actions, there are so many ways we are expected to give up bits of ourselves, and it’s scary to think of how completely Not-Ourselves we’ll be when it’s finally time for us to die. I was wondering if it was possible for me to live without giving up my humanity, and if I could live an entire life without harming others, unintentionally or not, or if it would be better to just kill myself before becoming corrupted along with everybody else. I don’t like thinking about suicide, because I always know that it isn’t actually a viable option for me, and it leads me to thinking about One, and how much better things would be if he were here instead of me. When I think about that, I’m always afraid that I’ll start hearing voices, either his or someone else’s.

I didn’t want to go through that. I didn’t want to think, or hear anything, or move. I was lying paralyzed. I managed to move enough to find my phone and turn it on. I was going to call my friend.

This was the first time in a long time that I had tried to call someone when I was scared. I knew that he would be up, and I knew that he would be able to talk me through it. Did I really want to bother him, though? It wouldn’t be bothering him. He’d told me earlier in the week that it would bother him more if I didn’t tell him when things were upsetting me, and that I shouldn’t worry about how he would react to what I said. So it was only with slight trepidation that I called.

“Hello?” He’d picked up! Was I imagining things? Would my voice work? Would he know that I was crying? “Hello…?” he was saying. I forced myself to speak.
“Hi,” I told him, trying to make my mouth form the words around my tears. They were slipping all over the place, and it felt like my face was numb. “How are you?”
“I’m good; what’s up?” he asked.
“I can’t sleep,” I told him slowly. “I can’t sleep and I’m really scared.” This was it.
“Yeahhh,” he said. “I can’t really talk right now.” What?
“Oh,” I said. “Oh- oh- oh- oh —  okay” I finally managed to choke out. A sad laugh shot out of me as I realized that he was with a girl.
“Yeahhh,” he repeated. “Is there someone else you can call?”
“Yeah,” I lied. “Have a good night.”

When I saw him the next day, I asked him how his night had been.
“It was okay,” he said. “Not much happened. We just watched a movie.”

They’d been watching a movie, while I was crying. I knew that I couldn’t really be mad at him, because as a sexual person, he was simply going after what I couldn’t have: closeness. I was only his friend; not someone he wanted to sleep with. My friends aren’t assholes. They care about the people they want any sort of relationship with, and they understand that they need to put in time with the people they want to be with. That means that they can’t really have time for me.
That’s great for them. It means that they’ll probably have successful relationships, and the people they’re with will be happy. But what happens when you have no one? I have nothing to offer sexual people. I’ve been told that I should just give up my body in order to get the closeness I want, but that’s sort of like giving up your humanity in order to keep living. When it comes down to it, I don’t want to do anything with people unless we have some sort of emotional connection. These days, it seems that no one else wants to form emotional connections until they’ve experienced something sexual with you. For me to put myself in a position I don’t want to be in would be like me raping myself. That wouldn’t be good for me, and I know I would only resent the person I was with because of it.

When I look down the line at a life of either loneliness or self-rape, I don’t know. It’s scary. It’s sad. I’m not sure how to fix it.

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11 thoughts on “Being Asexual is Lonely

  1. acetheist

    I disagree, that was a jerk move. You deserve better than that when you’re in that situation. There’s nothing that pressing or important about watching a movie.

    I’m a little bit in the same boat as you, as far as worrying about ever finding primary partnerships, and there are lots of asexuals who feel exactly the same way. There are even some allosexual people who have been in celibate romantic relationships with aces and been fine with it. I know that’s rare, and it’s a small chance, but you and I can hold out hope.

    Reply
    1. klushiku Post author

      Hope is all I need. It helps to know that there are other people facing the same difficulties, not in a “misery loves company” way so much as an “I’m not a freak” sort of way. So, thank you.

      Reply
  2. DysthymiaBree

    What a sad experience for you, and what a loneliness I can feel, emanating from the screen.
    I hope you find support, and people who can be present for you in your pain.
    Take care.
    May tomorrow be a better day.

    Reply
  3. PurplesShade

    That’s a very painful situation, I’m sorry you are feeling so alone with the burden of your thoughts.
    It sounds like you are very sensitive to the suffering of others… Perhaps you should consider becoming an activist about at least some of the ills you see? Some things you participate in you can also actively push against.
    I have had ostensibly similar thoughts, though I don’t know if we’re talking about the same definition of humanity (my definition includes: Empathy, a sense of self, a sense of morality) nor if we were thinking about the same sorts of unintentional ills (living in the way we do in the first world and our treatment of other countries, wealth gaps, societal hierarchies based on birth into class or prejudice)…but when I’ve talked to other people about them, most people seem perplexed at the idea that they are unintentionally hurting anyone. It’s not about ‘humanity’ for them, because their own sense of empathy, or self, or morality, aren’t being exercised to examine the situation. So in most cases they have naive unawareness of what damage they might be a part of.
    They aren’t so much ‘losing’ humanity because they are not even aware their humanity is needs to be engaged.
    For my own part, I’ve come to the conclusion that the choices I have full control over are the only ones I should have to take responsibility for, because those are the ones I can change.
    Indirect harms I am a part of, are not, by the nature of their indirectness, something I can directly change. Because of this, taking on the potential guilt of their existence only serves to paralyze me further, if I want them to change I have to make the multitudes of other people who are unaware aware, and only then will things shift.
    It is not a one person job, and it is not a guilt any one individual should take upon themselves.

    You will, of course, have to come to your own conclusions….

    The other side of what you’re speaking about it also hard… though, there are lots of ACE’s who do manage to find someone; as acetheist mentions, there is hope.

    Some platonic friendships are also closer or more understanding than others.
    It seems the one with your friend isn’t, but ACE or Allo people alike can have friends that would drop everything to help them when they needed that 4am chat. (Or at least take five minutes to talk to you and find out if you’re okay and what’s going on. Something I think *most* friends should be able to manage.)
    I really hope that you will be able to find people like that.

    And a thought on a supporting option, or maybe bandaid option for when you can’t get a live person at that moment; there are ways to get out thoughts or emotions you need to, and knowing that they’ll be answered and seen, even if later on. It’s not the same as an immediate connection, but it can be helpful.
    For instance, I have a friend who we go back and forth, just spam each other with facebook messages of whatever we’re feeling, especially if we’re stressed out, knowing that the other will be there to support us when they wake up. It’s entirely platonic, but we care about each other very much, and when you need a listening ear sometimes just knowing it will be seen, and that the person on the other end will take time to think about it can make all the difference.

    Sorry for the ramble. Don’t give up hope, the scary options aren’t the only options.
    You are worth more than merely what your body can do while interacting with another body, you are a person and you have worth as a person.

    Reply
    1. klushiku Post author

      We’re definitely on the same page when it comes to humanity and unintentional ills, and your reflections on losing humanity are both logical and helpful, especially when it comes to your perspective on “losing” humanity.
      Thank you for your ramble. It was wonderful, and much appreciated.

      Reply
  4. AM

    Khalilah,
    First off, let me start by saying that you are a beautiful young woman–your mind and your beauty are truly astonishing.
    Secondly, your post really moved me to tears. Being a sexual person I hope that you don’t feel put off by my words or my thoughts but I felt that I needed to share.

    I often feel overcome by similar moments of distress as you stated above. Specifically, a feeling that I’ve been carrying with me for years: a feeling that I had to sacrifice parts of myself–my humanity–to form meaningful relationships (platonic or not) with those around me. A feeling that I would never be able to wholeheartedly share parts of myself with those around me for fear that they wouldn’t understand/relate, that they would reject me or that they would try to change me. A feeling that I would succumb to loneliness because of the way that I am and the way that refused to be. I still have these feelings up to this day ( I won’t blabber on about the minutiae) and I just wanted you to know that I feel for you. And while I may not be able to relate 100% to the pains you’re enduring I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. You shouldn’t apologize for the way that you feel and you shouldn’t be afraid.
    Please be hopeful. Not to belabor the point of the messages written above, but please, please stay strong. The world’s not all bad, trust me.You have lots to offer. There are people who do understand, who accept you,support you and who will not try to change you. It’ll come.

    Best wishes,
    Anon

    Reply
  5. Kelsey

    I relate to this so much. It brought me to sobs. I’m in the beginning stages of accepting my asexuality…it’s strange because I’m a very sexual person; I’m just not attracted to anyone, ever. It’s nature’s cruel trick. I crave closeness and sex just like any other person, but I feel like I’m trapped in a cage. It’s quite lonely in my cage…

    Reply
    1. KiaSpeaks Post author

      First, I’m in the weird position of being happy that you relate (because it means there are more of us out there, and it is possible for us to find each other, at least online) and being incredibly sad for the loneliness you also feel. Two years after writing this post, I can’t exactly say that things have gotten easier. I still try not to look too far down my future. But I am definitely more acclimated to living as an asexual person, and have built better relationships with my important people. I hate the narrative of “that special person”, but I have met a couple of special people with whom I seriously connect emotionally, which for me is starting to trump the physical. The cage sucks, but with time and effort, visitors are not impossible. You should probably give up on any simple, cookie-cutter ideals about relationships, though, because those will not make us happy.

      Reply
  6. Concel and Don't Feel

    When I read this I cried. I cried because I felt like the words are coming out from me. Being asexual is painful and lonely utterly and completely. Seeing other people having fun and being close to their girl/boyfriends without the concern of closeness. But being inept about something like this makes the loneliness worse and worse every second. It started feeling like nobody will ever be with me. I feel lonely not showing from outside though… In school everyone knows me as the energy bomb with tons of happiness. However, inside im painful. I dont know if I can continue like this with caring people trying to be nice but never being able to get close to people in the way they want. I want to stop caring, feeling, but im scared of it. Loosing all, thats not what I want. But stopping thinking and understanding people may be a better choice. I just cant know anymore. I feel exhausted.

    Reply

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