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Discovering Asexuality

miriandra
miriandra Member Posts: 2,040
edited January 2022 in Sex & Relationship Matters

After starting Tamoxifen and now Anastrozole, my sex drive dwindled to a flicker. Even before my mastectomy, we were having challenges with sex. After delivering my second child as a VBAC, sex was very painful except for a limited few positions. Turned out, my uterus was prolapsing, which put my cervix at a bad angle for intercourse. I had a hysterectomy, which helped, but having a shorter vagina still created pain if we weren't careful.

Lately, I'm seriously seeing myself leaning toward asexual. Now that I have a major excuse to not have sex, I've found some distance to think about my relationship with my sexuality. When I was younger I had a reputation as a "fun girl". But looking back, I'm honestly not sure how much was what I wanted to do, and how much was what I thought I was supposed to want to do. My identity and feelings of self-worth were deeply tied to my sexuality, and I equated my personal value with whether people desired me. My wit, my intelligence, my talents, my looks were all geared toward making myself desirable sexually. If I went out intending to hook up, and I didn't, I felt like a failure - like there was something wrong with me. Even though I genuinely enjoyed sex, it was kind of a toxic mindset.

Now that I don't have to perform sexually, I can ask myself what I really want and what I really like. And honestly, I'll take my vibrator over my man most days. I have full control over my sensations and can steer myself to climax much more easily. (I have always had a difficult time maintaining the plateau stage of the sexual cycle unless I'm stimulated in very precise ways. And after a while, it just ain't happening.) Plus, there's a lot less mess to deal with. (I love my husband deeply, but semen is so gross to deal with.)

For now, at least, I'm happier without intercourse. We cuddle, caress each other, wink and smile at each other, and share many affections from a broader definition of sex. With expectations for "insert tab A into slot B" out of the way, we focus on expressing ourselves with other displays of love and caring.

All this said, I'm still very sex-positive. Sex and intercourse are wonderful ways of sharing yourself with a person and can be loads of fun. I am not going to tell anyone that they shouldn't pursue healthy sex if they want to. But in my little piece of the world, I think I'm better off without it for now.

Asexuality used to be considered a disorder. Now it's part of the sexuality spectrum. Have any others here thought about embracing a sexless life?

Comments

  • goldcity
    goldcity Member Posts: 54
    edited March 2022

    Mirianda, is not having sex or being particularly interested in sex the same thing as being asexual? While my husband and I have had an active sex life, we haven't engaged in years (15 maybe?). He's been on an anti-depressant since his ostomy (what can't get up can't get out) and I have dried up like a prune (painfully) since letrozole. It's not an issue for us, we're very close. Some say joined at the hip. I've never enjoyed sex and I'm very happy to live without it. Just wondering.

  • miriandra
    miriandra Member Posts: 2,040
    edited January 2022

    It can be, but doesn't have to be. A lot of modern conversation about gender and sexuality steers the ultimate decision for a label to the individual themselves. Society can't tell you that you're asexual, only you can. Some people call themselves asexual because they have no interest in having sex. Other people may have no interest in sex currently, but attribute that lack of desire to medications. Since they want to want to have sex, they may not claim to be asexual. Chemically asexual maybe? It's a very personal decision that begs for self-reflection.

    Also, sex and affection and romance are all different things. You can be very affectionate and romantic without being sexual, and vice versa.

    Goldcity, on first blush, I would guess that asexuality is a piece of your equation. Never feeling an active desire for sex, even before your diagnosis, is a big indication. (Just because you are having sex doesn't negate asexuality. If you are sharing sex for your partner's joy, but not for your own fulfillment, that is an act of love that doesn't apply to your own sexual needs.) But again, I am not the one who can say, "You are asexual."

    I just found an incredible informational resource on asexuality. They have an exhaustive FAQ that really helps to normalize ace mindsets.

    Asexuality.org - FAQ

    (From their Overview page) "An asexual person does not experience sexual attraction – they are not drawn to people sexually and do not desire to act upon attraction to others in a sexual way. Unlike celibacy, which is a choice to abstain from sexual activity, asexuality is an intrinsic part of who we are, just like other sexual orientations. Asexuality does not make our lives any worse or better; we just face a different set of needs and challenges than most sexual people do. There is considerable diversity among the asexual community in the needs and experiences often associated with sexuality including relationships, attraction, and arousal."

  • runor
    runor Member Posts: 1,612
    edited January 2022

    I have added this to my favorites list.

    I am here feeling like a traitor. A confused traitor. I don't desire my husband. I don't want sex. The suggestion of it makes me angry.  Like, fists clenched, teeth gritted, judo stance kind of angry. 

    Is this tamoxifen? Is this menopause? Is this 30 odd years of bad marriage? Is it me being too stupid to realize my marriage isn't bad and my husband is a good guy? Is it me being an ungrateful cow? I DO NOT KNOW !!!   All I know is that the idea of other crawling up on top of me and  .... I just threw up a little thinking about it. 

    I do look at beautiful men and think, wow, that guy is delicious. But take my clothes off with anyone? I don't bloody well think so! Most of that is rooted in a deep self hatred of what age and fat has done to me. This whole mess should never see the light of day or be seen or touched by anyone  unless they have a blubber fetish. And I don't want to have sex with any blubber fetish freaks!

    I watch movies where the hot and heavy romance of a 2 hour movie finally culminates in that kiss and embrace that just KILLS you! And I remember wanting that from my husband. I don't know what happened. Well, I have some ideas. But if I write them they might be true and I am not willing to know that just yet. 

    I think the grind of life can crush and bury the little flame of passion. It is a flame that must be protected from the wind, kept in a safe, cherished place. It must be tended. Because if not, it can die. Forever, it seems.