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To those who have asked, no, I have not had my hormone levels checked. However, I posed that question in a forum of asexuals. Most of the people there had had endocrine tests, and nothing showed up abnormally. (Of course, I cannot speculate on their psychological or philosophical health.) Current scientific research points to sexuality not being associated with one's current hormonal levels, but to biochemical activity that occurred at the embryonic stage, though.

Sexual drive is strongly related to hormones, such as: TSH/T3/T4, progesterone, testosterone, estrogen, DHEA, adrenalin, prolactin and cortisol. Because it's such a complex system with many hormones interacting it's not always easy to find out if there's anything wrong. It usually takes several tests before doctors get an idea of what's going on. That's why I suggested earlier that you should get second opnions also. Not all doctors know what they're doing, and some would rather just send you straight to a psychiatrist than have you as a pain in their ass.

Before you do anything else, have this properly checked. Once you have done that you will at least know for sure.

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JASKN,

But what is really going on here is that he continued to make advances despite me crying and having emotional meltdowns, telling him I feel "invaded," and telling him at least five to ten times over the course of two years that the pressure to have sex was more than I could handle and I saw no course of action but for him to back off or for us to break up.

I apologize for making incorrect speculations on your particular scenario. It does sound like one or both of you should have called it off a while ago, but... more speculating :) . Good luck figuring it all out. Edited by JASKN
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Sorry if this offends, but I have a question.

Isn't asexuality implicative of neutrality?

Maybe not, I'm smart enough to know of the invasive and otherwise bizarre nature of the sexual act, and that it's consequences can be more than uncomfortable physically.

Still, if you are truly emotionally intimate with someone, then much of that psychologically would be mitigated.

A neutral stance on sex would permit it from time to time at least for the joy it causes the other partner, and the symbolic intimacy.

It seems like a strong aversion to sex is not asexuality, but something else. This is the difference between no interest and not interested.

I'm bringing this up only in the philosophical sense that it is sometimes possible to overrationalize issues that are at core not rational. My point is that maybe you could ask yourself why your response is 'NO' instead of 'meh' (you're inner response to the thought of it). I don't pretend to say that that has anything to do with it, I'm just contributing a thought that has been with me as I've read here.

Good luck

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I'm bringing this up only in the philosophical sense that it is sometimes possible to overrationalize issues that are at core not rational. My point is that maybe you could ask yourself why your response is 'NO' instead of 'meh' (you're inner response to the thought of it). I don't pretend to say that that has anything to do with it, I'm just contributing a thought that has been with me as I've read

I had this same question,

one would think that an Asexual would just be uninterested in sex, not openly hostile, and traumatized by it.

I must say that I am highly convinced by the idea that if one has no hormonal problems, then their asexuality must be the result of psychological problems or unadmitted homosexuality.

I also have to wonder why this boyfriend would even stay with the OP, I mean if they have no sexual desires or motivations whatsoever dosen't that make their relationship something more compairable to best friends?

If I were him I would have to seek out someone else as an actual intimate romantic partner, and if possible keep the OP as a friend, as that appears to be the relationship they must have already.

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one would think that an Asexual would just be uninterested in sex, not openly hostile, and traumatized by it.

I imagine any one would be hostile about doing something they do not like and disvalue.

I must say that I am highly convinced by the idea that if one has no hormonal problems, then their asexuality must be the result of psychological problems or unadmitted homosexuality.

Why must it be one of those? True, asexuality is unusual and extremely extremely rare, but I see no reason to suggest it is necessarily a problem.

Edited by Eiuol
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Steve -- that's what all my friends say, too. It's more powerful to hear from a "stranger" in that you don't have a biased view of me. The issue is of some concern to me independent of who the particular boyfriend is, though, as asexuality would be a potential source of conflict in any romantic relationship.

Z -- My understanding is that, among asexuals, there is a range of toleration. Some do not want any physical contact. I enjoy hugging, kissing, and some touching, which I consider romantic and intimate acts. I can see where, definition-wise, asexual should mean "neutral" or "ambivalent"-- and it does. But because the act is so personal and so invasive, one can not feel neutral about engaging in it. In other words, abstractly, I am neutral about sex-- and because I do not see the point of it, I do not value it. If I do not value it, I view it as an imposition on my time because it prevents me from working on things I do value. Add to that the personal/invasive nature, and it becomes a traumatic anti-value. Does that make sense?

Novis -- "I must say that I am highly convinced by the idea that if one has no hormonal problems, then their asexuality must be the result of psychological problems or unadmitted homosexuality." I suppose I cannot fault your for this belief, because asexuality is not understood and not talked about much... but that is not the case. Of all the asexuals I've met (which is online, admittedly), most of them have had their hormones checked and had normal results, they seem smart, creative, happy, etc. (not psychologically screwed up). And I am certain I am not homosexual, as I do feel attracted to men and not to women. I just do not have the desire for intercourse. I can also sympathize (or try to) with your idea that our relationship is just a best friend relationship. In my mind it is significantly different. There is a romantic/intimate bond that is not present with best friends. I do not hug and kiss my best friends, nor am I physically attracted to them, nor do I feel that essential emotional connection. All of the aspects of a love/romantic relationship are present (except intercourse, if such is necessary for a love relationship).

Edited by NewEdit617
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Eiuol,

That's what I was going to say! You got to it first (and more succinctly, I might add).

Studies estimate asexuality as 1% of the population, which actually seems pretty high. Most "mental illnesses" are much lower in frequency. Also, people who have lower sex drives but still engage in intercourse (out of care for the partner or some other reason), might properly fall into the asexual category.

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I imagine any one would be hostile about doing something they do not like and disvalue.

Mmm, I think this misunderstands part of the question. It was said that being asexual is just a lack of interest in it, not an active opposition and bad reaction to it. Asexual would mean the "meh" response to sex as was said earlier as opposed to the "NOOOOOOO!!! ;_; " response. One may often just not feel like bothering with doing something they lack an interest in, but it wouldn't be anything you'd have too bad a reaction to if you had to do it. For example, I don't have much interest in doing laundry, but doing it on occasion isn't traumatic. I do the laundry occasionally in spite of lack of interest in it because I do value having clean clothing as opposed to dirty clothing to wear when need be enough to go along with it and make it all worth it. A similar example involving other people was brought up earlier I think about how somebody may not really have an interest in going to the theater, but it is really valuable to their romantic partner to have them go together and makes their partner really happy, so their value for their partner and their partner's well being makes it worth going to the theater some times. I imagine the trip isn't traumatic for them either. I'd be willing to bet the thread creator also does plenty of other things as it is that they don't have much interest in for the sake of how it would help out their partner. So why then does sex in particular receive such a strong negative reaction, so much more so than those other things they do because their partner likes it? Supposing that the thread creator here really is just a plain ol', run of the mill "it just doesn't interest me" asexual, and not actually actively having a very negative reaction to sex itself, my only guess so far as to what the answer may be is that the strong negative reaction is coming from exactly *how* her partner goes about trying to get her to have sex with occasionally, not simply just that he would still like her to do so on occasion at all. (And by the way, as far as asexuals and a "meh" reaction to sex goes, I have heard of ones before too who do have sex with their partners sometimes because their partner likes it even though they personally don't get anything more out of it than just the pleasure that their partner is made happy by this.)

Oh, and about that hormone test thing, if the asexuals forum and how many said they had the tests and it came up negative may have any dissuading effect on your from getting that checked out, there's something else you may want to consider here. That forum is a biased sample. Anybody who had the test for a seeming lack of interest in sex and came up positive for having their hormones messed up now probably just doesn't consider themselves asexual and consequently either never joined a forum for asexuals or left. You're just much less likely in a place like that to hear from the ones who got the test and came up positive.

So, that's just my two cents I'm throwing in there.

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Supposing that the thread creator here really is just a plain ol', run of the mill "it just doesn't interest me" asexual, and not actually actively having a very negative reaction to sex itself, my only guess so far as to what the answer may be is that the strong negative reaction is coming from exactly *how* her partner goes about trying to get her to have sex with occasionally, not simply just that he would still like her to do so on occasion at all.

That is true. Considering what was described by the OP, a particularly strong negative reaction could easily be due to specifically how her boyfriend is pursuing sex.

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Sorry if this offends, but I have a question.

Isn't asexuality implicative of neutrality?

Maybe not, I'm smart enough to know of the invasive and otherwise bizarre nature of the sexual act, and that it's consequences can be more than uncomfortable physically.

Still, if you are truly emotionally intimate with someone, then much of that psychologically would be mitigated.

A neutral stance on sex would permit it from time to time at least for the joy it causes the other partner, and the symbolic intimacy.

It seems like a strong aversion to sex is not asexuality, but something else. This is the difference between no interest and not interested.

I don't think this is necessarily true. You can't put having sex in the same category as doing the laundry. If sex is truly not a value to you (and especially in a woman where it's really important your body be somewhat ready for it), it could actually be very uncomfortable and/or painful to engage in it. I mean hell, sex can be uncomfortable even in the BEST of circumstances. I currently am nursing some injuries right now which can make sex downright painful, but I go through it anyway not only because I love my partner but more importantly because, let's just say my sex drive is the exact opposite of the OP :) If I didn't have a crazy, overdriven sex drive I probably wouldn't bother to deal with that considerable pain in my hip and back, etc. Even in a healthy woman who wants sex sometimes your body is just NOT on board with your intentions and in that instance as well, sex can be quite uncomfortable.

By the way, this may be neither here nor there but when you (OP) mentioned your bf continually demanding sex when it causes you to shake, cry, and freak out, that sounds more than a bit abusive to me. It sounds like a stone's throw from rape, to be honest.

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Not having read the whole thread/discussion, I'd just like to say... sexual desire (or worse unrequited love, which I suppose is related) can be one of the most distracting and debilitating things imaginable. Your asexuality is not altogether unenviable, from an Objectivist perspective (you have more freedom to focus on other things that are important to you).

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I have tried. I've done clothes off, partial penetration, oral, and way more than I am comfortable with, etc. We do this every week and I still dislike and resent it every time. It feels like a terrible duty... something that I am "supposed" to like rather than something I actually enjoy.

I've made it quite clear to my BF, and we talk about it very frequently. You are right about the evasion. He does not "get it" and keeps trying, in the hopes that I will be "comfortable enough" (his words) for real sex, or in the hopes that I will come to like it. I have told him time and again that that may never happen. It is a huge source of stress for me, too, as I feel guilty for being unable to give someone I love what he wants. Things can't go on like this much longer.

But what is really going on here is that he continued to make advances despite me crying and having emotional meltdowns, telling him I feel "invaded," and telling him at least five to ten times over the course of two years that the pressure to have sex was more than I could handle and I saw no course of action but for him to back off or for us to break up. (Yes, I am clearly morally at fault for this-- for continuing to engage in something I hated. In my "defense," if any is possible, I cared about his happiness enough to try doing what he wanted, though, immorally, it was at the expense of my own happiness. I also wanted to be absolutely certain that I wasn't immoral or otherwise psychologically screwed up-- for if I was, asexuality would be my fault, and I should not punish him for my flaws that I should instead work on overcoming.) So, now that I think about it, I don't think it is "reasonable" for him to expect me to "get over it." I have made it clear how much I dislike it and how much his advances and pressures to have sex distress me.

By the way, this may be neither here nor there but when you (OP) mentioned your bf continually demanding sex when it causes you to shake, cry, and freak out, that sounds more than a bit abusive to me. It sounds like a stone's throw from rape, to be honest.

Quite frankly, you have not made it clear to your "boyfriend" that you are not interested in sex, that you are asexual. You've said one thing, perhaps over and over, and acted in contradiction to what you've said, or claim to have said to him, over and over.

Now that this discussion has reached the point at which it's being suggested that your "boyfriend" is bordering on being a rapist, in my view (whether it's in accord with the Objectivist view or not - out of deference to Miss Rand, given that the name of her philosophy is Objectivism, not "objectivism," please capitalize the word), if you truly value this young man at all, as you say you do, then, in the name of justice and integrity, you should promptly inform him of this thread and ensure that he has the means to read it.

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I guess the real question is: is it okay to be asexual?

The answer is yes, by all means, passionately, emphatically, be who you prefer to be!

But implicit in asexuality is the forfeit of any close relationship with a man. Male/female relationships are sexual.

I was wondering about this asexual community, and like other minority lifestyle communities, I would imagine there are people in them who are genuinely the way they are, and there are also people who are confused.

By confused I refer to stolen concepts. In the asexual case, one cannot both be asexual and also have romantic relationships minus the part they don't like. Only because that would mean that maybe they aren't quite asexual.

A lot of these identity groups use stolen concepts because I think some of the people in them join specifically because the epistemological nature of the identity being embraced is contradictory and allows them to live with evasion.

I haven't seen this in your posts, but I do hear, "Well, I AM asexual" as a starting premise. And I'm wondering if that self certainty isn't derived from others who are in the asexual community who have asserted that this identity exists.

Again, I'm not saying you aren't asexual, I'm saying that asexual seems to mean no romantic relationships.

You enjoy kissing? Kissing is gross, so if it causes any tingle in your bosom ever - you are sexual.

Here's the thing about men: there are great guys, and there are great guys' sex drives. The two are often at odds, but their packages nature is a fact of life. Your bf may be aggressive sexually, or even too 'big'. That's all completely possible.

I knew a girl once who had no interest in sex, her experiences had always been painful. It was a product of her emotional relationship with one man, and the physical uh dimensional realities as well. Since then, she has learned to love sex. That doesn't mean someone can't genuinely be asexual.

So I recommend you really figure out your exact sexual nature. If you like kissing, and closeness, more with your bf than say some gf, you are a little sexual.

Try really masturbating. I find earlier posts funny, when it comes to sexuality, masturbation and sex are pretty close. You don't have to do anything really painful to masturbate, you're in control. Also, from what I understand, even pre-pubescent children have 'sensations' - you said you like touching. So really really masturbate, and under controlled conditions of just you being involved, figure out just how sexual you are.

I apologize for the details, I just know that really rationally examining the self is a good exercise. You can't answer 'why' you're asexual without professional input. But it seems like there's a lot of 'how much' you still need to discover.

It could be that you are perfectly sexual to maybe just a tad disinterested. Maybe you just suffer from an aversion. Maybe it's scary, and personal, and weird and you're not ready and might never be. That's okay. There's no immorality in being who you are. But you have to figure out what you are going to do and that includes dealing fairly with your boyfriend. What if you really like him, because you are sexual, but you're in no way ready for sex? Then you just have to decide how far you can go for him. That's all, unfortunately.

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When you speak of having emotional breakdowns and crying because of the unwanted contact it would be helpful to discern what it is that is causing such anguish before deciding what needs to be done

1) the contact itself is causing you such distress- in which case this would have to have some psychological component

2) the pressure from your boyfriend and his willingness to do things to/with you that are so obviously causing you great unhappiness is causing you to feel devalued

3) sadness and anxiety caused by the knowledge that this can't go on for much longer, you can't change this and you are going to lose a person you value over it.

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Hi everyone,

I'm 27, successful in my career, excited about my interests, generally happy with my self and my life, and asexual. By this I mean I'm not interested in sex. Starting in adolescence I was attracted to members of the opposite sex, but I never felt a desire for intercourse itself. I never think about it, I have never masturbated, and I have no interest in doing so.

I'm curious about your interests. Do they include vigorous physical activities such as swimming, bicycling, running, or dancing?

John Link

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SapereAude,

#2 and #3 exactly describe the nature of the distress.

John,

Yes, I very much enjoy running and am quite good at it. I am not a professional athlete but I do run regularly and participate in distance races. I bike, rollerblade, and jumprope for fun.

Aside from that I also like a lot of down-time, during which I play a musical instrument, compose music, read, write, and do crafty things like making candles and soap. The common theme is that these are solo activities and I like to be alone.

Edited by NewEdit617
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I very much enjoy running and am quite good at it. I am not a professional athlete but I do run regularly and participate in distance races. I bike, rollerblade, and jumprope for fun.

Those are all quite intense physical activities.

Aside from that I also like a lot of down-time, during which I play a musical instrument, compose music, read, write, and do crafty things like making candles and soap. The common theme is that these are solo activities and I like to be alone.

It seems that your intense physical activities are also solo activities (and perhaps you meant to include them in that category). Are you involved in any team sports? Are you a member of a musical ensemble?

John Link

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