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?
I don’t know if I was born gay, but SSA started manifesting itself starting around the age of ten. I do know that a large part of it was influenced by the death of my best friend David (suicide). It happened as puberty was beginning. To make matters worse my stepmother said he was in hell for killing himself. I began having sex with men, not because I liked it, but because I was missing my friend. I had not dealt with my feelings about him. Relief came when God showed me his grave. I won’t go into the details of what happened when I went, but suffice it to say, for the first time I heard the word of the Lord and discovered he wasn’t in hell. While my attractions haven’t changed (I’m still gay), my desires have. It’s almost like a total lack of sexual desire. I get nauseous when I think about what I did. In a way, God found a ‘cure’ for me and eased my broken heart.
Thank you for sharing Bradley, my heart breaks for what you had to go through in dealing with David’s death.
I’m actually very similar to you. I don’t yearn for sex like many do. For me, cuddling, kisses on the cheek and forehead, long hugs and being cradled and falling asleep in someone’s arms have always been my deepest desires. The prospect of never having sex doesn’t actually bother me, at all. What does bother me, is not being able to have someone to love and be physically affectionate in the ways I described above and someone to just call my own and someone to come home to. That’s really all I need. I couldn’t care less about sex. I just really want someone to cuddle with. In fact, I actually think cuddling with someone is, in certain ways more, intimate than sex is. I really just hope to find a guy who feels the same way and maybe we can do life together. Loved the post.
Thank you for sharing, Tyler! I relate to those feelings a million percent. I have experienced those things quite a lot with many of the wonderful men I’ve met here on YOB. I assume you have read my cuddling blog? I remember the first guy I ever cuddled with was a secular gay guy that I met on a nudist site. We told me that he totally thought cuddling was better than sex so you’re not far off on that point.
Thanks for writing this, Eugene. As you mentioned with that post shout-out, I also have a definite asexual side, and I’m not completely sure why. I was never “scarred” by hardcore porn as a kid, no abuse, etc. so I don’t know why sex has always felt scary, gross, even disgusting to me. Definitely feeling way less alone in feeling this way, though, thanks to stories like yours and so many others expressing similar dispositions.
Thank you Tom! Its all so mysterious isn’t it? You have all these elements of what society says and then what we personally experience all thrown into a blender of confusion. Either way its good that we don’t feel alone, especially when we’ve had to deal with the whole homosexuality thing and feeling alone in that regard as well.
When I hit puberty, I was extremely asexual: Sex the way my mom and dad described it to me lacked any appeal. It was also easy to justify because my sexuality primarily hinges on a couple of homosexual fetishes that have nothing to do with the act itself. So, totally sex-free and okay with God, right? Wrong. I too discovered that those expressions of my sexuality are inherently corrupt and spawn from a dark pit of brokenness, and I tried to put them aside. As if in retaliation, my fetishes slowly became more sexual when I discovered masturbation (let there be darkness on that day!). It’s been a long, bloody struggle to retake my sexuality as something God-honoring, but slowly and excruciatingly I’m learning to love rightly.
Thank you for sharing your story Michael! Yeah its weird how even if we learn it or not it just finds a way into us and we experience it in such different ways. I have learned to love rightly as well, though I’ve had nonsexual longings for intimacy with men as well. Those came so naturally,
I can certainly relate to the asexual(didn’t know there was such a term till now). I do long for intimacy with men such as a bear hug and arms around the shoulder but anything beyond that would creep me out. For me most of my SSA comes from wanting to being accepted by certain group of individuals who look a certain way in my standards. Over the years I had to come to the realization that people like me as I am! I can be me and I don’t have to look or perform a certain way for them to like me.
Love the artwork!
Thank you Les! I’m glad you relate to it, I know the feeling of that core desire just coming from wanting to be accepted and loved. And you are right, you are lovable just the way you are! You don’t have to drag yourself into trying to be like other guys just to fit in.
I would be really curious to see study of how people are distributed along the asexual spectrum! I would say I’m more on the allosexual side (= not asexual, apparently; just googled it haha) but there are certainly sexually-oriented things that I want more than I want intercourse. It seems like just as sexuality dominates our culture’s ideas about love, intercourse dominates its ideas about sexuality. Not sure that’s healthy.
Hey Mike, I don’t see any connection with my own asexuality and this inherent self-centeredness you described. I may experience self-centeredness at times for other reasons, sure. But none having to do with my lack of desire for sex. In many ways, I actually view my aversion to sex as a propulsion toward reaching out to friends in all the other intimate, meaningful ways.
Mike, you’re fine to define terms for yourself however you wish; just recognize that not everybody else necessarily agrees with how you define them. As always, I encourage you to hear out our stories, including how we identify, rather than indirectly demand we fall in line within your definitions.
How is asexuality “inherently self-centered”? Believe it or not, not everyone wants intercourse. I don’t see how that’s in any way self-centered or even “unnatural”. Jesus never had intercourse, so I’m not understanding.
I just googled it, you gotta be kidding, allosexual is a real word? $10 if you’ve used that word in any conversation in the last year. The related words under People Also Ask include skoliosexual, demisexual and sapiosexual. Turns out there’s over 100 words like that including autochorissexual (the disconnection between oneself and a sexual target), and I’m feeling that disconnect I had growing up of knowing more and feeling further from the truth. Anyway, $5 if you’ve used any of the other words. Except demisexual, that seems like a word that might have been around more than a few years.
You guys should check out this list at https://lotsofwords.com/*sexual
Who knew there were ammosexuals, those “obsessed with owning guns; a zealous supporter of the right to bear arms.” Not many here in Jersey.
But you can meet tons of spornosexuals at the gym, guys who are “concerned with personal appearance, but who place more emphasis on having a fit, toned, virile body than on grooming or fashion.”
I’m trying, but I can’t tell what the difference is between allosexual and zedsexual, so I think I’m going with whateversexual, which is actually a thing. 🙂
So many categories and sub-categories for sexuality! Thanks for sharing that link, Alan (will help my Scrabble game too haha). One might look at such a list as tedious or even absurd; I’m actually kinda grateful for it. I’ve never felt I fit neatly into the gay or straight box. It’s assuring to find some breathing room in another box…whichever one that is.
Scrabble! It’s been awhile but the list would own it, Xs are worth like 50 points. The list seemed crazy to me at first, but I’m liking it more even tho I don’t get the ammo one. We can get so tied into what’s right or wrong, we forget that grace cares what can be holy, and that’s more than just straight or gay.
If you go thru them, you may be glad to know it’s more like Check All That Apply 🙂
Yeah I agree Ryan, I would like to see more studies done in that area. I relate to wanting some things more than intercourse. Like the few sexual activities I am drawn to, I don’t get drawn to it very often. It only comes up during times when I’m super stressed. I think you hit a strong point at the end there. Yeah society seems to idolize sex above love, and intercourse more than just mere sexuality. Like I know a lot of toxic masculinity ideas revolve around that the more sexual intercourse you’ve had with various women then the more “manly” you are.
Thanks for getting a discussion like this going, Eugene. Loved it. I think there are actually a lot more “straight” people out there than we realize who are somewhere on the asexual/aromantic spectrum. Much more grey than our mainstream culture lets on. I think people are starting to realize that more, and thats partly behind the cultural shifts we’ve seen with sex, marriage and relationships in general.
Thank you Aaron! Yeah I sometimes wonder if my straight friend is like that since he rarely has dated any women. There is definitely a lot of grey area in regards to sexuality that what our society says. Its not all about people wanting to do one another.
Eugene, thanks for sharing this-very vulnerable! I wish in some ways I could relate or actually had your perspective on man sex. No, my wanting to have mutual masturbation or oral with another man drives me almost daily-but it will never be. I love God and my wife way too much. To not want sex at all? That does not compute in my brain. In fact, that doesn’t make sense at all, but I know it’s real because you and Tom have spoken about it. Being drawn to other sexual acts with men with no touching? Trying to figure out what that could be? Thanks for sharing and this must make celibacy easier. Celibacy, too, is a real conundrum for me, but Jesus and Paul could do it. I couldn’t.
I actually feel a similar way to this. When I first looked at porn it was only of naked men, and maybe not even an attraction but it was I guess arousing is the right word. This went on for most of my high school years as well, and I never liked watching sex as it always kind of grossed me out. I also recently discovered I was different in that I never really fantasised having sex with people. So thank you for sharing this as I feel like a similarity to this.