I’m twenty-seven years old, and I’m not sure if I’m a virgin. I’m also not sure if I’m ever going to have any more sex than I’ve already had. And I am pretty happy about that.
Since spending my teenage years in a single-sex boarding school (where apparently people were having passionate love affairs all over the place and I had no idea), and dating one woman in college (we were really mismatched sexually and that was why we broke up), I’ve gone on… four dates? Five? Does the one where I didn’t realize it was a date until afterwards go in the list?
I don’t worry about whether the sex I had with my girlfriend in college was “real” sex or if it “counts” as me losing my virginity. (Incidentally, if you’re interested in the concept of virginity, Hanne Blank’s Virgin: The Untouched History is a great book.) I closed my OKCupid account a few years ago when I realized that I couldn’t understand the difference between a first date with an OKCupid stranger and a meet-up with one of the fangirls on my Dreamwidth subscription list. Except that I was probably going to go home after the OKCupid thing and read PG Wodehouse to make my brain stop chewing on itself (and probably sleep for about eleven hours because it was so exhausting).
Being in contact with someone who had socially-reasonable expectations that I was assessing them as a sexual being was stressful as hell.
My therapist occasionally pushes me on the subject, but I think she’s come to understand that I am really telling the truth when I say it’s not something I think about. Would I like a partner, someone to share my life with, someone for whom I would be a major priority? Sure. Probably. Maybe. But I mostly just want a close circle of friends I can trust. That is a way higher priority.
I am frankly a little baffled by how important this is to a lot of people; I honestly thought for years that the sex scenes in novels — and not just romance novels — were some weird literary convention. I remain unconvinced that sex is as much fun as it’s being billed as; I am unpersuaded about the power of both physiological and emotional feelings of arousal.
Asexual or demisexual is as close to “accurate” as I’m going to get for a label, I think. I have a sex drive, I have sexual fantasies, I masturbate, I can imagine being sexually attracted to someone I knew and trusted, but if my future self figures out time-travel (will have figured out? tenses are so difficult when you’re discussing hypothetical future past actions) and drops me a note to inform me that I’m never going to get laid, I would be a lot more interested in the implications for free will than I would be distressed at the thought of never having sex again.
It’s possible that my various traumas have led me to a place where I feel safest excising access to my sexual self, but I don’t think that’s what happened — none of the shit that happened in my past were sexual in nature. (If any of you ever meet someone who identifies as ace or demi? Do not, under any circumstances — probably even if you are their therapist — suggest that they are “like this” because of trauma or molestation or anything of the sort. It is hurtful, offensive, and profoundly un-empathetic.)
I know my mother worries about me being alone — about me being lonely. I don’t know how to reassure her about that, except to be visibly happy.
Fortunately, that is easy: I love my job; I live in my favorite city; I make a fantastic peach cobbler; I own a kick-ass leather jacket, and write poetry that is slowly getting published in small journals, and my roommate’s cat is an adorable fuzzball who plays fetch. It’s pretty great.
I’m pretty glad I’m the person who gets to be me. I don’t think I’d trade any of it.