Don’t get me wrong, I am completely and utterly attracted to men. I’ve never been attracted to a woman in my life.

And yet my attraction to the same sex doesn’t go quite as far as many others’ do.

Some have told me this doesn’t technically make me gay or SSA (same-sex attracted) at all. You may even be asking, “What do you mean by asexual?”

Ultimately, I just have no desire for sex with other men even though I’m attracted to them. This often shocks some people; they can’t understand why anyone would not want to have sex of any kind.

When I say I’m not interested in sex with other men, I mainly mean sexual intercourse such as anal and oral sex.

In extreme cases, these particular sexual acts repulse me; in others, they simply don’t turn me on — to put it bluntly.

I’ve never been tempted by hookups, and I’ve never really pined for a sexual partner. I often talk with other “Side B” guys (those also holding to this same traditional sexual ethic) who tell me they really do wish they could have a boyfriend or a husband.

Sometimes they also share with me their jealousy over gay couples. In those cases I’m not sure what to say, since I’ve never longed for those things or feel any jealousy.

I took the Kinsey test once, and it labeled me as “non-sexual” (though, of course, such tests should be taken with a grain of salt).

Having said all that, a few decidedly sexual acts do tempt me. I don’t feel it appropriate to go into detail here, but they don’t involve much physical touch or any intercourse.

Why am I this way?

One theory I’ve thrown around comes from my first encounter with porn at thirteen. I did a Google image search simply looking for naked men, but I came across more than I’d bargained for, barraged by some really atrocious images of gay oral sex.

The images were pretty repugnant, even by pornographic standards, and I was shocked by them to the point of nearly throwing up.

At the time I had no concept of oral sex and wondered why the men in those images were doing those things to each other. Perhaps my young, fertile mind was shaped by that shock.

That is just a theory; apart from that, I really don’t know why I’m averted by sex.

Some cynics might say since I was raised in a homophobic environment, I simply suppressed any desires for gay sex. But I can say that’s not the truth at all.

Any time I’ve come across images of sex in pornography, gay or straight, I cringe and close the browser window. Back in high school, I experimented with the thought of sex but quickly grew bored by it.

But I’m sure we could call Dr. Freud and discuss this until the cows come home.

So, why do I write about this aspect of my sexuality? Mainly for two reasons.

Firstly, I don’t want to give the impression that my pursuit of celibacy is so easy a caveman could do it. Yes, my asexual side does make pursuing celibacy easier for me than it does others; at the same time, it’s still difficult.

Being drawn to other sorts of sexual acts with men, usually triggered by stress, I can find it difficult not to make up excuses justifying these thoughts — since they technically don’t involve gay sex.

My heart often reminds me that those desires still come from a place of lust, though, and thus I must back those thoughts down.

So, if you struggle with wanting sex with other men, don’t feel bad. Lust is still hard for me, too.

Secondly, I write about this because I want to draw attention to the diversity of our experiences. We may be under the same gay/SSA umbrella with so many similar stories, but we are vastly different.

Some people experience gender dysphoria; others struggle with gay hookups. Some have exhibitionist sides, and some feel levels of attraction for women. Some are heavily drawn to oral sex, yet utterly repulsed by anal sex.

I’ve met a good number of men through YOB who have told me their sexualities are comparable with mine. Tom has written on his similar disposition.

At the end of the day, many people may view or judge gay/SSA men as merely “heterosexuals in reverse” or even as “women with penises.”

But I wanted to share this side of myself to show that sexuality isn’t as black and white as many people think. There are many shades of grey in between (just hopefully not fifty).

There’s the sexual attraction aspect of sexuality, and there’s that which pines for simple love from a brother — the latter of which has never felt strictly “gay” to me.

There are many mysteries of sexuality and many mysteries of love. But we are never alone.

Do you struggle with feelings of wanting sex with other men, or do you also have an asexual side? Do you feel like your sexuality differs from others in ways that defy description?

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