I'm asexual, how can I become more comfortable with physical contact and nudity and find a partner?
When I think about seeing a potential love parter barechested, or just imagining holding their hand, I get super nervous and uncomfortable. I have barely dated in my life, and I’m still figuring it out. I know I’ve never had sexual attraction before, but I do want to try sex and have kids (asexual, but not sex-repulsed). I also have crushed on men before and I am attracted to them and really want to have a relationship.
I found out I care a lot for personal space after covid, and with a lot of friends, I’m very comfortable with them being all up in it. But with some friends whom I don’t know too well etc., I’m not comfortable with being all physically close to.
I guess when it comes to men whom I’m not super close to and comfortable with (like I am with some of my guy friends), just thinking of anything “intimate” like physical contact or seeing them less dressed is uncomfortable. I’m wondering if it’s the sexual aspect of it.
I’m just so confused. I’m 23 and I’m at that time of my life where I want to find a partner, so that I can settle down in the future, get married and have kids. But I’ve never fallen in love before. I’ve only had crushes, which don’t happen too often.
Why am I so uncomfortable, and how can I become more comfortable? Is it normal to not crush often at all (maybe once every two years?) How will I fall in love without crushes? I’m really beginning to stress that I’ll stay single for a long time. I’d like to have kids at latest in my early 30s.
Thank you for trusting us enough to share such a vulnerable story. It’s completely normal to feel confused and unsure about relationships, especially when it comes to matters of intimacy and attraction. I will try my best in the following to offer you some support and guidance as you navigate through these feelings.
From your description, it sounds like you identify as asexual. Asexuality is a sexual orientation that exists on a spectrum, encompassing a range of experiences and identities. Individuals on the asexuality spectrum may identify as asexual, meaning they do not experience sexual attraction towards others. However, it’s important to note that asexuality is a diverse and multifaceted orientation with various subcategories. There is the first and most commonly known definition of an asexual person: people who do not experience sexual attraction to any gender. There is also, Gray-asexual (Gray-Ace) or Demisexual: Individuals who may experience sexual attraction infrequently or only after forming a deep emotional connection (demisexual). Aromantic: Some asexual individuals may also identify as aromantic, meaning they do not experience romantic attraction. Ace-spec or Ace-Adjacent: A broad term used to describe individuals who have a connection to asexuality but might not fit neatly into specific labels.
This is a very brief overview so if you would like to look deeper into this here’s a link to The Trevor Project: Understanding Asexuality in case you would like to explore more in depth into the spectrum of what Asexuality can be.
It’s important to recognize that asexuality is just one aspect of a person’s identity, and asexual individuals can still have fulfilling and meaningful relationships, whether romantic or platonic
It’s essential to recognize and embrace your identity, as it will help you understand your preferences and communicate them effectively in potential relationships.
With that said, feeling nervous or uncomfortable about physical intimacy, even with people you are not very close to, is entirely valid. Everyone has different comfort levels when it comes to personal space and intimacy, and it’s crucial to honor and communicate your boundaries. It’s okay to take things slow and establish trust and emotional connections before delving into physical intimacy.
You mentioned that you’ve had crushes on men before and are attracted to them. It’s possible to have romantic attraction and form loving, committed relationships without experiencing sexual attraction. Relationships can be built on emotional connections, shared values, and mutual respect, and there are people who will understand and appreciate your unique perspective.
Not having frequent crushes is also entirely normal. People experience attraction and romantic feelings at different rates and frequencies. Love can develop gradually over time as you get to know someone on a deeper level.
To become more comfortable and navigate your journey of finding a partner, here are some suggestions:
- Self-Exploration: Take time to understand and accept your identity as an asexual individual. Learning more about yourself will help you communicate your needs and preferences with potential partners.
- Communication: Open and honest communication is vital in any relationship. When you feel ready, discuss your feelings and asexuality with potential partners to ensure you are on the same page.
- Patience: Finding the right partner takes time, and it’s essential not to rush into a relationship. Allow yourself the space to explore your feelings and get to know others at a pace that feels comfortable for you.
- Seek Support: Consider talking to friends, family, or a counselor about your feelings and concerns. Having a support system can provide valuable insights and comfort.
- Focus on Personal Growth: Concentrate on personal growth and pursuing activities that bring you joy and fulfillment. Being content with yourself can positively impact your relationships.
Remember, it’s okay to be single, and there is no set timeline for finding love or starting a family. I can understand that uncertainty is stressful. It’s completely normal to have these concerns, especially when thinking about your future and desire to have kids. Remember that finding the right partner and starting a family are significant life decisions that can take time. It’s essential to be patient with yourself and the process of forming meaningful connections for your long term wellbeing. It’s okay to take the time to get to know yourself better and to meet potential partners who align with your values and goals. Remember that your worth is not defined by your relationship status, and there are many fulfilling paths to building a happy and meaningful life. Be patient with yourself, and trust that the right person will come into your life when the time is right.
If you find yourself becoming overwhelmed or needing more guidance it might be worth looking into seeking a professional counselor who can provide individualized support.