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As a kid I always thought I was broken. I hated looking at naked bodies, always averted my eyes in the locker rooms, looked away when nudity happened on the TV screen, couldn't stand the awkwardness about it. Didn't understand why the girls in my class were swooning over Daniel Radcliffe, when I wanted to go to Hogwarts. (And for the record; Harry was cute, but Hermione was smarter and cooler, so she was the obvious choice there.) I didn't understand the social codes, known as flirting, because there was no way anyone could like me, the odd one, I thought.
Now I'm 23, and I know who I am. I have known for a while, since I stumbled (and tumbled) over Tumblr and one of the posts was about different sexualities, including asexuals. I was shocked. I wasn't broken. I was just a normal person, on the spectrum of sexual attraction. When looking further, I found that just cause I'm ace, it doesn't mean I can't fall in love. Love and attraction aren't the same things! I could actually like men and women without wanting to have any of them between my legs. This deep searching made me find a label for myself; Panromantic Asexual. I don't care what's between your legs, present or past, but I can love you none the less.
Now, this is all fine and swell, until I actually started to feel lonely, right after my 22nd birthday. I wanted someone to hug and watch series with, and occasionally kiss a lot. Took some time, I know. Late bloomer, as my mother continues to tell me. And where do late bloomers search for love? Tinder. I found Tinder. After my roomie, and long term friend, had talked about Tinder dates before, I wanted to try this strange form of dating, since every other form is scary. Here I could get to know people before meeting them! Or, so I thought. I didn't judge people based on their face or pictures, but based on what they say about themselves. Kinda like books. Read the back and see if it makes me wanna read it, y'know? Do the descriptions make me laugh? Does it interest me? Does it tell me more than the height of the main person?
I spent seven months on this app and only found a handful that wanted to talk, and around half of them (men) wanted to bed me. Which, to me, still is one of the strangest things, 'cause I never wrote anything about wanting a sexual relationship, I didn't wear scandalous clothing in my pictures, I'm rather chubby, and have never had a partner in any shape or form. (Well, not any other than an internet boyfriend who I dumped rather harshly, after three years of constantly neglecting to talk to me, having an actual girlfriend, and slowly turning into an abusive asshole. But, y'know, I've elected to not count him as anything else than a waste of time. I was a young lass, I didn't know any better.)
But out of the people I talked to, I only went on a date with two. One was a woman, my age, we had so much in common it was unbelievable. But there were no sparks. No, "oh my God, I wanna watch series with you" feeling, it was a "What series do you recommend?" feeling. I watched some old series because of her, none that really were of my liking, but I survived. We went on a few dates, watched The Autopsy of Jane Doe at the cinema, watched her theater group play a modern version of The Frog Prince, and suddenly we just stopped talking. After this, I turned on the "men" option again, because none of the other girls on there wanted to truly talk to me, they were waiting for a more... enthusiastic person, maybe? I just wanted to become friends first. Asking the normal, boring questions, not finding a person with the same interests as me. I don't fall in love at first sight, I have to get to know someone, laugh with someone, feel comfortable with them, believe that they won't abandon me the moment someone better comes along.
Then suddenly: a Superlike. Hmm. Interesting. Why? Reading profile. Small chuckle. Looks at pictures. Not too shabby, very handsome. How is he single? Not exactly like everyone else, no Obligatory-Hiking-Picture TM, or 6-pack show off. Funny too. He drinks, but I guess that's OK, I can have some wine every now and then. Like back. Start talking, common interests, making me laugh, making me smile. Have a cup of coffee with me? Date goes well, we're in my city, so I live closest. He asks if I wanna have another coffee, at 9 PM. No shops are open, and the only place is my place. Internally pondering if he actually wants coffee or if he wants more. He's nice and made me laugh more than I have in ages... Give it a try? Drives back to my place, gives him coffee, we watch series. Did he want more? Yes. Did he get any? Nope. Did we plan a second date to be just as chill as this one ended? Yes. Are we together now? Yes, happily so. Are we having sex? ... Well, yes.
It was just my luck that the boyfriend I got is on the other end of the scale. He wants all the sex. Any given time, he can be tired after a whole weekend with work, and still magically conjure up energy if sex is mentioned. So, obviously, we had a talk about my situation, as well as his. I was a virgin. He was clearly not. How do we work this out? Well... OK. I'll try things. I'll try some things. Keep him happy. But not sex, not right away. Easing into this. Now, six months into the relationship, I'm pretty well-versed in his enjoyments, as well as my own. There have been many changes for me, like I know that I'm actually pretty kinky in some ways, and I don't have too many objections to trying new things, as long as I'm warned more than five seconds before it might become reality. The only change for him is that he want sex, but only if it includes me.
But asexuals don't want sex! No, not exactly. But that doesn't mean an asexual don't want closeness, or can't feel pleasure, or want their partner to have some release. It's just not something that drives them. They don't go out clubbing, looking for a bone-sesh. Speaking of which, I first masturbated at the age of 20, and that was only because I had read that masturbations helps insomnia. Then I figured it felt sorta good, and kept it in my schedule. Do I think of something to get me going? Nah, nothing else than the end goal, which is feeling good. Other ace people are more in touch with their sexuality (Pun heavily intended). They know their sexual likes and dislikes, what they respond to or not. Partner or no partner. Then there are the ones that know that sex is something they never want to be part of, ever. Never ever. We are a rainbow of people, everyone. None of us are the same, and that's good.