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I higly suspect I'm AroAce but I wish I wasn't. This is my story:


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Guest Guest42

I am 23 (M) and a few days ago I confronted myself about my sexual feelings (or lack there of) and I currently have no one to talk to about this so I am posting my story here.

I am leaving out location and name details for privacy of myself and others involved. It is a lot easier to tell the truth anonymously

I am sorry if this is really long.  I appreciate if anyone reads it and share your thoughts.

Of course some of these events happened a long time ago but I will try to remember them accurately and chronologically,

 

1st Grade

My first experiences with the attraction topic happened in first grade, the "prettiest girl in the class" and I got along well and we said we were "boy friend girl friend" although now I see that I just wanted to be friends, or perhaps show how popular I could be? I'm not sure. Of course I wasn't actually attracted to her, but I thought it was because I was super young then and didn't understand the "couples" concept yet, and I think I am right about that. Although I see it is wrong now, I would use our "relationship" in stories for years to prove how straight I am when questioned. Then on valentines day I kept everyone cards for years. I guess cause I didn't understand the meaning of it all. One day in the far future I threw them out because I realized they are pointless to me.

Some years later (I'm not sure when)

People I knew started getting crushes. My parents would also seem to expect me to have one. My dad was "a real hit with the ladies" and my mom was in entertainment so he expected me to have serious game. Sadly this was not the case. I thought having a crush was just something people do as a part of growing up. So I randomly picked the girl in the Hanna Montana show, because why not. So I would tell my parents I have a crush on her and dress nicely when the show aired. Man is that weird. Looking back now I realize that. I realize that my only "crush" was just watching some dumb show and trying to impress my parents.

More years later (sorry I also don't know when)

I met a girl at the park who asked me to the movies. I agreed to go because it sounded like fun. However later she left me a bunch of voice mails confessing her love and all the "things" she wanted to do with me. This weirded me out. So I called her back, told her I wasn't going, and never called her again. She scared me, but maybe because I was young?

6th Grade. I think.

A girl I was good friends with really wanted to be kissed. I kept refusing but she insisted. Then I thought "maybe if I kiss I will feel this magical romance feeling everyone talks about. Maybe we can become boyfriend girlfriend?" So I gave in and agreed. She also wanted me to film it, "like the movie stars kissing" she said. Strange but ok. So I set up a camera and my heart started racing, I was excited I thought I was finally going to experience love. We kissed. I felt nothing. If anything just weird. My heart stopped racing and I was disappointed that it didn't change anything about how I felt towards her. She was ecstatic though, and I didn't want her to feel bad, so I faked being excited about it to the best of my ability. So I figured I was still too young. Or that she wasn't the "one for me."

7th Grade

Many people in my grade were "In love" some even were having sex apparently. However I still had no such feelings. I would think "I guess I am just a late bloomer, so I will have these feelings in the future for sure" (foreshadowing) Anyways, several girls would appear very interested in me, including one who would not stop playing with my hair. Even 1 guy I think. I felt good being "popular" but I never felt attracted to any of them. So I also had the thought that maybe non of them were "attractive" and I would just have to wait for the right one to show up one day.

Either before or after 7th Grade. I think after, not sure.

At this point things get weird. Well, weirder. I think it was around this era that I started masturbating but when I did, I usually had a clear mind. If that makes sense. Sometimes I would start off thinking about a girl, but no one in particular. The best way to describe it is like a drawing that wasn't colored in. I guess. Anyways by the time I finished I would always not be thinking about anyone or anything. I thought this was normal due to "being in the moment" and maybe it is. I don't know. I also tried to look at porn. But nothing ever "excited" me. Physically or emotionally. "How could anyone like this?" I thought. Sometimes I would even be grossed out. I thought this was just because I was watching 2 strangers do it. I would later find out that wasn't the issue.

Age 16, High school years

Due to societal pressure I started trying to figure out what was "wrong" with me. I was a member of a dating site (but I was so oblivious to romance that I didn't know it was a dating site. If you can believe that.) and I started learning about different sexual orientations. I then thought to myself "Well maybe the reason I am not interested in girls is because what if I am Bi?" (I'm not) then later I thought "well I guess I am up for anyone to be a partner because neither gender seems that interesting, I just want to be with a good person, so I guess I must be pan." (Also wrong, but I didn't know it yet) so one day my best friend on the site confessed his love for me, and asked me to be his boyfriend. So I thought "eh might as well. I do really like him (as a best friend, which I thought was attraction but apparently that is a totally different emotion)" We then online "dated" but my level of liking him never went up. I could never see my self kissing or having sex with him or girls either. I felt bad about agreeing to the relationship when I realized I had no clue what I am doing. So I did my best to fake it as much as I could, because I really wanted to just be best friends. One day I couldn't contact him for a few weeks for reasons beyond my control. I really did try to contact him, I will spare the details but I went to great lengths to try to. When I finally was able to contact him he said something like "he couldn't be in a relationship with someone who could vanish like that. Even if it wasn't my fault." We agreed upon being friends but after awhile I told him I couldn't even be friends anymore. Probably because to me it just felt like someone who didn't want to be friends anymore but you still hang out. I was still confused about the difference between best friends and a relationship. I know now that the feelings I had match the same feelings I have with other best friends. Not romantic attraction. I resented him for a while, probably because I was mad at myself. I would have left the site, but I had one more friend. He not long later also confessed his love for me. I was still so mind screwed over what I had just went through, so I faked my own death. I wont go into details. I don't know if he believed it, and I know now how immature and just wrong what I did was. I was young, and I didn't know what to do. I thought it was the only option. I still regret what I did to this day.

The years after Highschool

I graduated at 17, still no love interest. Still can't watch any type of porn without getting weirded out. Still watching seemingly everyone I know fall in love, have a relationship, all these things. I started getting frustrated as to why I haven't found the right one yet. Lets just say I live in a very secluded area. So somewhere along the way I blamed that. I would say "man there is such an lack of attractive people here. That's why I haven't found anyone! Small towns, am I right?" I believed that lie with all my heart. At the time I thought it was true. I didn't even know it was possible to be born without the feeling of attraction or want for sex. So I guess that was the only logical reason I could come up with. It was still such a far fetched idea to me that some complete strangers could just walk up to each other and start flirting, then go out, and eventually build a relationship and have sex. Every time someone showed sexual interest in me I would think to myself "ok what do I know about this person, what would benefit me with the attempt of a relationship with this person? Have I heard anything bad about this person? How much do they make? Do they live nearby?" and a bunch more thoughts. I would always try to start a relationship through logic in my head. And 99.9% of the time come up with the logical conclusion: "not worth it". I would also never approach anyone unless pressured by my friends/family. I only had an interest being friends with people. Because I was still waiting for "true love".

First Job Years

I worked at a company for a few years. It seemed my female coworker liked me, but I'm not sure, either way I didn't feel the same, I once again just was happy with being friends. She really went out of her way for me, and I did kinda feel bad, so I tried to be extra nice to her and give her a gift on her birthday and stuff. After getting to know me for the past years, my coworkers started to accuse me of being "asexual", I think I was 20 or 21 when I was first confronted. I would immediately say "no I'm straight, I just haven't found the right girl yet." I went home and researched what it meant. It did define me closely. But I guess I didn't want to accept it? The reasons why were because I was still under the delusion that I would just wake up one day and want to try to go out with someone, that I was somehow the latest bloomer ever. Another reason is, well I'm not trying to sound full of myself, but my parents and friends would always say "I'm so handsome/attractive/charismatic/ a good person" and I didn't care about that kind of stuff. However I believed it because of all the girls and guys who have tried to go out with me. I actually believed it would be a waste if I "didn't care" because there are less fortunate people than me. So I tried for years (and the years after this) to try to ignite my interest in girls, or anyone out of desperation. I also wanted to enjoy the technology of porn, something our ancestors missed out on. I didn't want those things to be a waste. The last reason is that where I live, although there are many accepting people, there are a lot of close minded people. I have seen people get their life threatened after saying they were gay or a lesbian, and around here people will on occasion go through with those threats. This isn't how things should be, but it is. And I hate it. I believe as long as you are not hurting anyone you should be allowed to do what you want with your life. Some people here think "if it is different and I don't agree with it, I am allowed to hurt you" I despise the people who think this. Words cant describe. So I didn't want to say I was anything but straight. I genuinely feared for my life. So I completely pushed the idea of asexuality out of my mind and figured I was just a really really late bloomer. And believed it. With the fear of be actually being an asexual in my subconscious. I would make an effort to try to "enjoy it" when my coworkers showed me porn. I also tried to comment "shes cute" or "she looks good" on women that my co workers were obviously eyeballing. But Honestly I could care less about men or women. Even my dad would try to "hook me up" on occasion. Which would seriously annoy me. Even one day an acquaintance threw herself at me on the job, asking me to go out with her, I agreed because everyone was watching, but even when we went out I just treated her like a friend. We had a good time but I think she was upset that I just drove her home at the end of the night without kissing or going inside to bed with her. But I really just didn't want to. I started to hate myself for these feelings, or should I say lack of feelings. Still trying to figure out what is being "more than a friend". I often went to bars, trying to be social. Honestly I prefer being alone. But I kept "putting myself out there" because that is what I thought I was supposed to do. I once told someone at the bar I was a virgin, and they made a huge deal about it. Saying stuff like "Wow everyone how is this guy a virgin?" and then he started pulling me around to women there, saying "yo this guy is a total chad, why is he still a virgin haha" in which some women accused me of lying, saying "Oh he cant be a virgin, he probably just says that to get laid even more." not only was I confused about what the big deal of me being a virgin was, but I couldn't care less about anything, I hated being in that cringe situation for seemingly no reason. Then there was one other major incident during this period of my life. My friends and I were drinking and they really wanted me to go to the strip club with them, I had refused going with them or my coworkers many times, but this night I decided to go for 2 reasons. The first was I was worried they would think I was gay. As I stated before, I have no problems with people who feel that way, but where I live it would be bad for people to think that. The other reason was I thought maybe if I saw the real thing in person I would respond differently. We got there and I knew I made a mistake. I felt so weirded out, it was just like the porn videos, except I was living it. My friends were absolutely having the time of their lives, but I was wishing I didn't come. I, as usual, faked enjoying myself. They insisted I should get a lap dance, and I buckled under the peer pressure. Gosh it was so horrible. I must have looked so strange, but I did my best to smile and act pleased. The whole while thinking I wish I could just teleport out of there. Then the dancer said she wanted to go further and have sex with me, but it would cost more money. I thought to myself "finally! a perfect excuse to leave" so I said "oh haha your wonderful, but I'm so broke right now, I can't afford it." (lies) I then went outside and told my friends "oh man, I would have loved to get some right now, but I am just so tight on cash, you know how it is haha." (more lies) I then went home as fast as I could. I felt disgusting. I put my clothes in the wash and scrubbed down in the shower. It was one of the most regrettable nights of my life. To me at least. Every other guy my age would have been in heaven, so why was I in hell? I started to get increasingly worried that something was actually wrong with me, but I kept ignoring these feelings, as had come tradition in my life, pushing them aside with the line "I just haven't seen anyone attractive yet, I must have high standards. I will find the right girl one day."

Last year, 2021

I started to realize I am very romantically blind. I watched an anime about lesbians dating and I didn't even realize it, I thought they were all just friends. I thought the anime was funny so I told my parents about it, how embarrassing. They said "this is lesbians dating, you like this kind of stuff?" How did I not even realize? I also had tried repeatedly to get used to porn. Still no hint of arousal from me mental or physically. I thought maybe a reason why was because I didn't feel comfortable that they were strangers. Later on I found out one of my favorite youtubers at this time had their own porn videos. I was hesitant at first, but I was even more desperate. I thought "maybe because I enjoy her videos so much, and I feel like I know her online persona like I would a friend, maybe this would work?" It didn't. Deep down I am starting to seriously think something is not right.

This week. March 2022

I tend to be alone most days. I do enjoy hanging out with my friends, I just enjoy alone time more I guess. About a dozen girls tried to flirt with me over the past 3 years, but none of them were attractive to me. Still no signs of me wanting to go out with someone. I'm 23, nearly 24. I am watching youtube as I do every day and one of the youtubers I have been watching for years named Jaiden Animations uploaded a video titled "not being straight" so I clicked it, because I like her animations and I was a little curious as to what it was about. I watched the video, and she talked about being "AroAce" and told her life story. It had an incredible amount of similarities to my life story, as you have just read. This terrified me. "I must have misunderstood the video, I will re watch it to verify. I watched it a second time, it only solidified the fact that her attraction lack was just like mine. I did more research on AroAce, it describes me perfectly. I then start to get upset "I am just a late bloomer, no one here is attractive, its not me! I like girls!" Then I started to think "What is 'like' and why haven't I felt it yet" I started to realize I'm AroAce. I try to deny it, I start getting angry, furious at myself and my situation, "its not fair, I didn't ask to be like this!" I repeatedly punch my concrete wall while tearing up. It starts to hit me, I am almost 24. If I haven't developed these emotions by now, I don't think I ever will. I spent the next few days like a zombie, in a state of shock. I have undeniable facts before me that I refuse to accept. I was looking forward to falling in love because everyone says how amazing it is. Why has this happened to me? I rewatched the video daily, hoping that if I did eventually I would say "welp I was wrong guess I'm not AroAce after all" but that never came. Instead it just verified my conclusion. I even tried to watch porn, fighting back my feelings of disgust or weirdness. I have a good imagination, so I really tried to imagine myself getting laid using the videos. But it just grosses me out so much, the idea of sex. I kept trying with different videos, but I even started gagging. I looked like that tokyo ghoul meme where the guy kept eating human food because he was in denial about being a ghoul. I don't know what to do. I don't think I will ever tell anyone. I may tell my parents one day so they will get off my back about getting a girl. But I don't know. And maybe I will tell people trying to hit on me? I am scared to though, honestly. I may be tough but no one is tough enough to beat a bullet or knife, given I tell the wrong person. Unlike Jaiden, I do not have a positive outlook on this. I am currently very upset, almost still in partial denial. However I would one day like to be positive like her. Although right now I tend to doubt it. Thank you for bearing with this lengthy post. I didn't want to just say "oh I don't like sex or romance so am I AroAce?" like a lot of people, I wanted to lay out all the facts. Or at least this is all the facts I remember right now. So please tell me, am I truly AroAce? Or just confused? Although given my story I doubt it is just me being confused. Especially after fighting it for so long. Also the main thing: what are your tips on coming to terms with accepting myself? What can I do to be positive about this? I obviously tried to change myself but it just won't happen and I have to try to learn to accept this. I appreciate any help in the replies. Thank you so much.

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16 hours ago, Guest Guest42 said:

Also the main thing: what are your tips on coming to terms with accepting myself? What can I do to be positive about this? I obviously tried to change myself but it just won't happen and I have to try to learn to accept this. I appreciate any help in the replies. Thank you so much.

Well, unfortunately there is not a simple answer to this. But I don’t think you were expecting that.

Personally, I struggled with acceptance too when I realised I was aro ace, felt I was somehow ‘broken’. I was seeing a therapist for a burnout at the time, and when she prodded me about my relation status I told her I had come to realise I feel no attraction, romantic or sexual. And she replied ‘So what? You just need to learn to love yourself. That’s what you’re here for remember?’ And I started crying, because apparently that was what I needed to hear. After that it took quite some time to really take her advice to heart, but that simple show of acceptance went a long way.

This forum is full of people who are different is a variety of ways, and they are all really sweet people who are very welcoming. Maybe that is the first step for you :)

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19 hours ago, Guest Guest42 said:

Unlike Jaiden, I do not have a positive outlook on this. I am currently very upset, almost still in partial denial. However I would one day like to be positive like her. Although right now I tend to doubt it.

Remember that outlook takes time. She has been aro/ace for long enough to make a very well put together video on it which she likely only started after a time of getting comfortable with the identity.

I don't know that you would ever get to the levels of positivity she does, but the punching the wall in frustration stage does not need to be forever.

Maybe, again like here or other spaces like this, find places where you can express your experiences to people who do understand what you are going through. 

 

Also yeah,what you write sounds very much like aro and ace experiences. At the very least I really don't think you sound confused, you sound very coherent in explaining your story and how you felt growing up.

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Guest Game Bird

I'm Ace.

I've known this for a while now, and surprisingly, it doesn't (and didn't) feel difficult to accept. It was just a simple fact that "I don't enjoy seeing myself in a sexual relationship."

But being Aro is an entirely new beast I don't want to think about.

Imo, I think that's why the AroAce tag can be difficult for people to accept, the ace-rs and the others; there's a reason even coming out as Asexual makes you an outlier it the LGBTQ+ crowd. Not liking sex is weird enough, but not feeling what an entire genre of literature is based around? "You just haven't met the right person yet."

 

For me, the confusion comes from the conflicting ideas of "I WANT to be loved, to be wanted in someone's life that isn't family. I want someone to want everything of who I am and to accept me, perhaps even cuddle with me and show affection towards me", fighting with "I'm in my 20's and I've never had that 'spark' that people describe when they see someone. Even while I was in a relationship and they seemed content with the fact I was ace, I still didn't hold their hand or kiss them because I wanted to, but because THEY wanted to and I knew that would make them happy." I think I'm starting to realize that what I thought was romantic attraction might have been a very deep-rooted desire to feel CONNECTION. I won't get into the details, but I am a very touch-starved person and I'm someone who CRAVES comfort from other people, romantic feelings only being an afterthought. The perfect date for me would be someone who I can come home to, who asks about my day with genuine interest and, hearing it was a bad day, embrace me and comfort my fears. Sex, or anything more physical than hand-holding or cuddling on the couch, don't even cross my mind. All I know is that I DO want that comfort. Of course, I'm more than happy to do things for my partner if they desire, but...I'd see it more as...insurance. "If I do these things for you, which I know you like, I expect you to give me the comfort I want." Which, doesn't sound like how most people describe love. Frankly, it sounds less like love and more like a transaction, which many people have stated is the wrong approach.

 

What you described is definitely an Ace story; the "being disgusted by sex" is easy enough to answer. But the Aro tag? That takes some self-reflection, which I KNOW is not going to be easy, especially in your situation; not even counting the dangers of it, Aromantics I would think find it harder to "mask" that orientation than, say, Aces because you don't even have the cover of a romantic partner. At least Aces can act like they have that "normative" kind of relationship in public, but Aros, in their ideal circumstance, don't even HAVE a partner, or at least someone they show romantic interest in. Also, there's that pervasive ideal in society that "there's someone out there for you", or "there's a ton of fish in the sea", or the ever-popular "you just haven't met the right person yet." We are pushed to keep pairing with people and raising a family, moving on the next generation, as a species. If you come out that you're part of the LGBTQ+ crowd, you're already confirming to your family at the dinner table that you likely aren't going to reproduce and have children. Then, to add onto that, "I also don't like/understand why all of you make such a big fuss over this romance thing." It's like saying you don't understand why people enjoy spare ribs:

"It's messy, disgusting, doesn't give me ANY benefit and you people make such a big fuss over it."

"You just haven't tried spare ribs before." Or "you just haven't had good spare ribs before."

 

Point is....I understand. In fact, I think you've helped me answer that question I had about myself. I know it will take a while for you to come to a "straight" answer (hehe as if), but I think if you are willing to be honest with yourself about your feelings and about what YOU want out of a relationship, and you compare that to different sorts of relationships, you'll likely find your answer. Ask yourself: WHY do I want a relationship? WHY do I feel the need to have that connection with someone? If the only answer you can think to come up with is "because everyone else says I should" or something to that effect, well...there's your answer. Of course, the road to self-acceptance is going to be rocky. But hey, at least you know where you're headed and why.

Good luck on that road you decide to take.

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  • 4 months later...
Guest Guest42

This will be my last post as "Guest42".

I wanted to let everyone who was kind enough to reply how things are going. First off thank you so much, I read your replies the day you posted them, and they helped me out so much, even more than you could ever know! So Nix, roboticanary, and Guest Game Bird, I will never forget your kind words, you 3 were the first people to ever truly understand/relate to me. Thank you.

When I originally posted my story I was in a pretty rough spot, shocked at my discovery and scared of the future with no one to talk to. But over the months to come I did a lot of thinking and self reflecting. I realize now that being AroAce is just a fact about my life, I'm not changing how I think, I just know now that I am NOT broken for the way I think. For the first time I know there is nothing wrong with me! And its beautiful. I was just shocked that the world truly thinks differently in so many ways that I am still discovering. And many more thoughts I had and believed were just normal ended up being super asexual opinions. I also realized the reason I have enjoyed doing my hobbies and other fun things in my life is because I haven't wasted nearly as much time trying to date people as others have. I am the person I am today because I have always been AroAce, even if I didn't know it. I even for the first time in my life actually enjoyed masturbation. I decided "if I really do like nothing, maybe that's what I should try to think about" and it worked! Just letting my mind go blank and focusing on the physical sensation of it. And wow! I never would have thought it could feel that good! I am actually genuinely happy about being AroAce now. Of course there are moments here and there where I still think "what if" but to be honest, if I had a time machine I wouldn't change being this way, I would just let my younger self know I am this way and that its ok because that's just how I was born. I even told my parents, who said they understand and they are just glad I am happy! We even watched Jaiden Animation's video together. I have also told most of my closest friends, who all either came up with the conclusion that I was asexual years before I even knew or said "oh that makes so much sense!" I have even bought a masterpiece AroAce book called "Loveless" by Alice Oseman, and I have never related to a character more in my life! It also taught me even more about myself. I have never been happier. I am actually tearing up a little typing this lol. I don't know what the future holds, but so far I have been incredibly lucky. I have a new sense of confidence in knowing who I actually am that I never could have imagined feeling. For the first time in my life my feelings just make sense. It's been a long journey, full of pain an confusion. But if the happiness I feel now is my reward, then it was all worth it.

I finally understand what the word "Love" means to me.

I love being AroAce

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