It should've been painfully obvious that I wasn't like other teenagers.
When my friends passed around erotic fanfiction of their own creation, I'd frown before I even finished the first paragraph. "But why would Leia and Emperor Palpatine agree to have a quickie in the Death Star bathroom?" I'd ask with furrowed brows. Then I'd skim the actual sex scenes while stifling a yawn.
My high school classmates didn't help stoke my curiosity either, because unlike the typical breeding ground for awkward backseat fumbles, my school was oddly overrun with waiting-for-marriage abstinence practitioners. But this was probably just as well, since kissing only reminded me that humans have the germiest mouths in the animal kingdom, and any sort of hugging, cuddling, or groping triggered some primitive part of my brain that warned me of the dangers of suffocation by a large, scary animal.
Sex was, however, something that everyone, including my friends, my mother, the media, and even fundamentalist fellow students seemed to obsess over, so I figured that I should probably experience the magic for myself.
I was partway through my first year of college when I first introduced a foreign object to my vagina. The object in question was the penis of a classmate who was thankfully interested solely in a one-night stand and whose name I would not reveal even if I could remember it, just as I will not reveal the dirty details of the encounter, mostly because I don't remember those, either.
It was OK, I suppose. It hadn't hurt the way I'd been led to expect, but it didn't turn me into a raging nymphomaniac, either. When all was said and done, I was far more interested in tackling the statistics problem that had been looming over me all weekend than I was in cuddling or going another round.
And yet people I consulted on the mehness of it all still insisted that it would get better, that the first time isn't really that special. As long as I kept looking, I'd eventually find the H2 to my O, or whatever chemical reaction causes a major spark.
So I kept experimenting, and my results were mostly consistent, though at least one attempt scared me off trying for months. The subject in question finished in a matter of seconds, then stretched out to laze on top of me, claiming, "I'm gonna be a gentleman and give you time to finish."
But after those months had passed, a seeming miracle happened. I felt a spark! A genuine, deep-seated desire to be with another human being in a way I had never felt before! Taken by the winds of a crazy little thing called lust, I plunged into my newly awakened sexual longings headfirst.
Yet, despite my keen sense of longing to be with the man, the actual act of lovemaking continually made me fall into a deep and instantaneous slumber. But I kept trying -- I was willing to give this more than one shot to prove that Cosmo and "Sex and the City" were right.
After three years, we had what should have been breakthrough: I had my first-ever orgasm in the bedroom of his father's house. I finally understood the motivation behind the human sex drive! Alas for my boyfriend, my sexual awakening led to a lights-out on mutual gratification. Sex was now a means to an end, and once I reached that end, I lost interest in feigning interest. At best, I, like a true gentleman, would stretch out and wait patiently for him to finish.
My boyfriend was all too aware of the loss of that lovin' feeling and took it upon himself to try and bring it back. For the winter holidays one year, we went to a woman-and LGBT-friendly sex shop in Baltimore, where he bought me a vibrator.
Though the toy was tiny, the mistake was huge. With the means to the end in my own hands, what was the point in having someone else around?
My boyfriend said just after I dumped him that he'd resigned himself to living in a passionless relationship as long as it meant he wouldn't have to date again. I, however, could not imagine spending the rest of my life in a relationship that held no passion, and since being with him had confirmed that I could not experience passion for another person, I could not imagine being in another relationship. By myself, I could focus on my priorities without someone else's needs ruining my good time.
A few months after I ended what may well be my only long-term relationship, I told my father that I had no particular interest in dating again. He stared thoughtfully into the distance for a few minutes, then said, "Living an asexual lifestyle is hard, but if you can pull it off, good for you." I had no wish to get into an explanation of how living an asexual lifestyle shaped rather than hindered my non-desires, but I was glad to have the support from such a close corner.
Thanks to the wonders of post-56K-modem Internet, I can also find plenty of support from corners all around the world. Communities like the Asexual Visibility & Education Network and brave individuals who write about their experiences with asexuality give me reassurance that I'm not alone in my wish to be alone after the sun goes down.
Thanks to all the wonders of modern technology, all I need to be content in life is decent wi-fi, a stock of AAA batteries, and a red pen so I can make appropriate story notes on the next slashfic to cross my line of sight.