Question of the Week: April 8th, 2014

What age did you start realizing you were asexual?

For me, identifying as asexual was something I grew into. I discovered the term at fourteen, but didn’t want to commit to anything in case I really was a late bloomer. As time went on and nothing changed, I really grew into the identity.

About Sciatrix

Sciatrix is an American graduate student studying ecology, evolution and behavior. She identifies as asexual and has mostly given up trying to sort out the whole romance thing for now. She has previously blogged about asexuality at Writing From Factor X. In her free time, she trains in canine agility and knits oddly cabled hats.
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26 Responses to Question of the Week: April 8th, 2014

  1. Victrix says:

    I read an article about asexuality when I was 21 but didn’t look into until almost 3 months later, was 22 by that time, due to changing circumstances that had me starting to do a lot more self reflection. I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I’d known about it when I was younger.

  2. notunprepared says:

    I was 21, two years ago. I think I might have heard of it earlier than that, but I would’ve disregarded it as being applicable to me – I had had sex and a boyfriend and was sex-positive, of course I wasn’t asexual! But then I read a BBC Sherlock fanfic where Sherlock discovers and comes to terms with his own asexuality and I had an epiphany at the exact same moment that Sherlock does in the fic. I didn’t start using it for myself for another couple months because I wanted to be really truly sure, but it was a foregone conclusion really. I owe an awful lot to that fanfiction, or I could’ve been confused about my sexuality for who knows how much longer.

    • notunprepared says:

      I should also add that immediately after that epiphany I went on a massive information consuming binge about everything I could find on asexuality. I read every single academic paper I could find from cover to cover, and spent loads of time on AVEN. I think I was trying to convince myself that it was actually real and it was ok. I had a lot of internalised anti-ace stuff going on.

  3. queenieofaces says:

    I found the term right after my 17th birthday, told one person, was shut down in a really nasty way, and then didn’t really tell anyone (or even think about it that much) until I was 19. I seem to remembering finding it on Wikipedia through the bisexuality page? I don’t remember finding AVEN, in any case, until I was 19.

  4. luvtheheaven says:

    I just officially decided to start calling myself asexual a few months ago, when I was 23 years old.

    I believe Angie the Anti-Theist mentioned that she had asexual friends in a tweet: https://twitter.com/antitheistangie 😉 She was a semi-celebrity in the “New Atheist” movement which I was very involved in at the time, and I still am passionate about atheism/secularism/scientific skepticsm but it’s been a few years so my involvement has lessened.

    But that introduction to the term was when I was around age 20? 21? I don’t know exactly when. I was in college. I asked her what that meant and she linked me to AVEN’s homepage or FAQ/101 page or something. I found it fascinating and in the back of my mind I realized it might apply to me. But I didn’t really fully consider it. I wouldn’t let myself really consider it as a real option because I had never heard of it and I’d spent so long feeling sure I was heterosexual and I just had never dated anyone/never kissed anyone yet, but once I tried those things I figured I’d start “Feeling sexual attraction”. 😛 But when I finally did have my first kiss near the end of me being 22 years old, I realized I needed to reconsider that asexuality thing and I spent a lot of time on AVEN. I ended up not really kissing anyone again until about a year later, when I was nearing the end of being 23 years old. This guy became my first boyfriend ever, and it was only because I was with him that figuring out if I was asexual or demisexual (and I had decided sometime between ages 22 and 23 that I *had* to be on the spectrum somewhere became a priority.

    It took me quite a bit of soul-searching and obsessively reading the asexual tag on tumblr and stuff before I decided that “asexual” was the label that fit me best. 😉 I feel like 23 is older than I should have been, but my lack of sexual attraction and sexual desire wasn’t really relevant to my life until then, anyway.

  5. luvtheheaven says:

    *somewhere)

    I forgot the ending parentheses. Also, whoops, I liked to the wrong blog of mine, above. This one is the asexuality-related one.

  6. Seth says:

    I realized I was ace when I was 22, within 5 minutes of finding the term through Wikipedia.

  7. Mxtrmeike13 says:

    Pretty sure I’d researched it in middle high school (so 17 or so) but didn’t start thinking much about it until right before my sophomore year of college. By the end of that year I was identifying as demisexual.

  8. I must’ve seen the term before, but the first time I remember looking at a definition is last fall, at age 22. Unfortunately, without delving into it further and learning about different kinds of attraction and such, I thought it couldn’t apply to me! But then in January, at 23, I came across a webcomic on demisexuality, and it struck me as something that fit. I went on a huge reading/research spree, and ultimately shifted from demi to gray-A as a more accurate label, but it was a really fast process.

  9. L says:

    I had some vague understanding of being “different” around 13, but I didn’t run into the term until I was 21ish, about 4 years ago.

  10. I don’t remember exactly when I learned about asexuality, but I think I was about 21. I actually found the term first on TV Tropes, of all places. Of course, I should have known I was asexual for basically my whole life, I just never heard the term so often used other phrases (often originally assigned demeaningly to me by others) to describe myself- like heartless, freak, or so on.

    • Cleander says:

      I actually found AVEN through links on TVtropes too! It seems to be a surprisingly common thing.

      As for when I figured out I was asexual….that’s hard to figure out.

      I’d known for like…forever that I “wasn’t interested” in boys (or, upon further thought, in girls either). But for a long time I just thought that either A. that was how everyone was and they were just faking everything else or B. that it was just part of being young and that being interested in boys/girls was just something that happened later.

      I guess the point where I started to figure that maybe something other than just being a late bloomer was going on was around my 2nd or 3rd year of high school, when I started realizing that no, they weren’t all faking it, and when even many of my late bloomer friends were “blooming”, so to speak; but it wasn’t until my last year of HS I think that I actually encountered “asexuality” as a sexual orientation and not just a joke, which is how I first started using the term – like “haha I’m asexual, just going to reproduce asexually, by budding or something”.

      • The funny thing is that I’m not even sure asexuality really fits on TV Tropes? If only because at least when I found that page, asexuality was definitely never explicitly in any media.

        • Notunprepared says:

          It’s under the useful notes section. They’ve got articles on various countries, sexualities, history events, and various other things. It can actually be a really good resource for that stuff, despite not having any citations. But it’s far more enjoyable to read than Wikipedia anyway.

  11. as soon as i learned of its existence. i think i was about 24. my problem was that prior to that, i really thought that most women were like me. after a few conversations with close female friends in my early 20’s i discovered that my hypothesis was incorrect, and then eventually started trying to find a word to describe myself.

    if asexuality had just come up once in high school “sex ed” it really would have made my life a lot simpler.

  12. Rilian says:

    19 or 20. A thread on Gaia led me to wig which led me to aven.

  13. ace-muslim says:

    I think I had become aware of not being interested in sex or sexually attracted to people by high school (this was 1988 to 1991) but I thought it was just something weird about me until 2004 when I found a news article on asexuality and realized there were others like me and that it was a real sexual orientation.

  14. espresso says:

    I had a classic case of self-condemnation since my early teens. Peer group pressure thru school and uni was too much…I was a ‘failure’. Even when I studied asexual amoebas I failed to co-relate it to me! It’s taken years to shift the -ive to the +ive with the thanks of identifying with web-site info and the responses of far younger people, like those here. I hope “younger people” recognise that a 52 year old has a fresh future as an ‘aromantic asexual’, even if somewhat belated. Ciao

  15. Carmilla DeWinter says:

    I first heard the term when I was in my mid-twenties. Then it took me a couple years to wrap my head around the fact that I wasn’t just failing at heterosexuality, and bit longer still to actually join AVEN Germany.

  16. Jo says:

    I was 19, and trying to figurine out if the feelings of I-want-to-be-your-friend-really-badly were a crush or what, because they had no sense of sexuality attached to them. Late night googling, – Yahoo questions, found someone with exactly the same question as me – voila! The funniest thing was that it was so late at night and I was kinda reeling from this new information that my subconscious decided to completely forget about everything when I woke up the next morning. And then some time in the afternoon it all came flooding back to me.

  17. Yoey says:

    I realised I was asexual at age 25, when I discovered AVEN. I had no clue asexuality existed. All I knew was that I did not want sex or marriage, and did not feel a need for those things. Just when I thought I was going to have to bite the bullet and become a spouse and parent (I know that sounds depressing!), I discovered AVEN through a google search for people who do not ever want sex or marriage.

  18. Isabelle says:

    Technically, the first term I discovered was gray-ace via tumblr. Looking it up led me to AVEN and I learned about asexuality as a whole when I was 17, I think. I’d always known I was different from other people, but it took me a few months of introspection to realize that the term, asexual, applied to me.

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