Being asexual in India
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I want love, not sex!

By Sraboni Basu Monday, June 3, 2019 - 21:29
At 22, Shikha realised that her life and longings were a little different from those of her friends. Find out how she deals with being asexual…

Shikha Malhotra (name changed) is a 22-year-old MBA student from Delhi.

Being on the other side

Shikha had been confused about her sexuality since she was in her teens. At a stage when most of her friends had boyfriends, Shikha didn’t have any. Neither was she sexually attracted to any boy she knew. She always dreamt of being in a romantic relationship but didn’t crave sex at all.

She never experienced the craziness of sexual attraction that her girl friends talked about when they were around the boys they liked. Her friends and peers compounded her confusion by saying things like, ‘It’s a passing phase', 'It’s a hormonal thing,' 'You’ll get over it,' etc.

Looking for love

Sometimes Shikha wondered if she was lesbian. She dismissed these thoughts because she didn’t feel attracted towards women either. That’s the point! She just didn’t feel sexually attracted to anyone, irrespective of their sex. Yet there she was, fantasising about love, marriage and kids, like most girls her age do. But the very next moment she realised that she may never have all of it as it includes having sex!

She knew it’s not easy to find love when making love was off the agenda. She tried dating a couple of guys who ended up being very good friends. Even the guys she dated didn’t want a romantic relationship with someone who wasn’t physically attracted to them.

Sex is overrated

Shikha felt sex was overrated. ‘What’s the big deal?’ she wondered. For her, sex was repulsive, yucky and quite unnecessary. She never felt that physical urge to get intimate with someone. Holding hands and cuddling was all she ever needed. Kissing was a big no for her.

She did feel sexually aroused sometimes and she tried masturbating. It was certainly better than having sex. It meant that she was capable of experiencing sexual pleasure but she just didn’t feel the need to have sex.

With time, Shikha learnt to deal with her asexuality. She understood that it’s not a disease that needs to be cured, it’s just the way some people are. According to her, if you are happy the way you are, it’s okay to be asexual. There’s more to life than sex!

The marriage angle

Her sexual orientation made her dread every family function or social gathering. She knew her relatives would invariably ask her about her marriage. By now, she knew that a normal arranged marriage would spell doom for her. She also thought that it would not be fair on her to-be partner either.

She had decided that she would only marry someone who is asexual like her. They could probably adopt kids and have a picture perfect family.

Dealing with peer pressure

Accepting herself and living with it wasn’t very easy for Shikha. She often faced peer pressure to have sex. She was the butt of all sexist jokes amongst her friends. Some friends called her frigid. Others thought she suffered from negative body image and hence kept herself away from sex. Over time, she had learnt that explaining herself to everyone, all the time, was futile and unnecessary.

Now, Shikha is young and confident and absolutely comfortable being herself. She enjoys music and travelling and hopes to be a writer some day. She believes that life offers different pleasures for different people and as long as we are happy with the way we are, that’s all that matters.

Names have been changed to protect the identity and the person in the picture is a model. This article was first published on July 18, 2016. 

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