Truth and dare revelation
It was 2007 and I was studying in the eighth grade at that time. My friends often indulged in talks about who they had a crush on and most gossip was revolved around the same topic. One fine day, we had gathered around the center bench in the class during lunch break, playing Truth or Dare. It was a dare on me. My friends dared me to name a guy from the school whom I had a crush on.
I took a lot of time to answer their question and finally came up with a bogus-crush, whom I didn't even find attractive. But amidst the giggles and the chuckles that followed, I could feel my spirit drowning. Because a thought that I had been trying to suppress for a while was resurfacing – I really didn't find anyone sexually attractive!
This had been the case ever since many of my friends had 'hit' puberty and even started dating their first boyfriends as early as the seventh grade. I simply couldn't find anyone sexually attractive. I vaguely tried checking out and experimenting with girls in my head, but that didn't seem to click either!
Overdosing on porn
For some reason, which I find silly in the hindsight, this issue was eating me up from within. I remember sitting through Biology classes on reproduction, AIDS awareness camps and basically anything that had to do with sex and remember the feeling – it was like a stab in my chest.
Things got a bit more intense as time went by. I started fearing that I may remain asexual for my entire life. I started reading up frantically about asexuality but everything seemed very negative and bleak – even those bits of positive information which claimed that not every asexual teenager remains asexual for life! I even started overdosing on porn in the hope that something somewhere would 'click' and I would 'grow up' just like everyone else. It didn’t help. In fact, it made me feel further alienated from sex!
When all of this was getting a bit too much to handle, I confided in Priya, my friend from the ninth grade. She was this firebrand of a girl in school who had done all the 'cool' things much before anyone else. Initially, she couldn't even make sense of my confession. But then she suggested that I actually make out with a boy in order to ignite my sexual drive. After a lot of thought, I did that too. But it didn't change anything. It made me feel even lower about myself. So low that I went to the school counsellor to seek help. The school counsellor reprimanded me for wasting my time when I should be concentrating on my studies!
Strangely, that helped me! I was hurt by the way the counsellor spoke to me but it also diverted my attention from my paranoia. As if to just prove a point to the rude counsellor, I channeled all my energy into studies and other school activities which helped me break the loop of worrying about my asexuality.
My worries about my sexuality, though not as haunting, continued to bother me throughout my graduation years. Some of my friends were now in serious relationships and a few beginning to think of marriage. The paranoia was beginning to return.
Things, however, took a sudden turn when I met Raunak at work. I instantly connected with him emotionally and intellectually and started spending a lot of time with him. After a few months, one day I developed a sudden desire to hug him, kiss him and touch him. I don't remember exactly when, but without really realising it at that point, I experienced what all of my friends felt in the seventh or the eighth grade. The feeling that had evaded me during my early teenage had arrived and without any big drama!
Today, when I look back, I realise I was in some sort of a race in terms of sexual development. I had developed physically just like everyone else and yet I couldn’t be sexually attracted to anyone, unlike my friends. This had bothered me like a life-and-death issue.
To each their own
Growing up does heal a lot of fears and anxieties, and that is what happened in my case. While my asexuality lasted only in my growing-up years, but one could also be in a permanent state of asexuality – where the person never feels sexually attracted towards any other person at all. I now understand that sexuality is fluid and different for each person. All grown-up, I don't think I would have been very worried had my asexuality been permanent. I would have just lived my life accordingly. But it is hard to explain that to a teenager whose main objective is to just 'gel in' and 'match up'.
To protect the identity, the person in the picture is a model.
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