Last week I had a conversation with an asexual person, and it has completely blown my mind.
Often in an effort to understand a particular perspective, I like to put myself in someone else’s shoes. So all week I tried to imagine a world with no erotic impulse. I really did. I wanted to understand it…to put my foot in the other shoe, per se. To be able to look at the world like they do…without sexual impulse, without sexual interpretation. I wanted to understand asexuality, even if I could never adopt or believe in it personally.
What I found was that I couldn’t do it. I thought I could just close a part of myself down and just stop thinking about sex.
Who knew it wouldn’t be just that easy???
Day 1: I occupied myself with cleaning because nothing makes me feel more “unsexy” than cleaning. But I was out of furniture polish and had to make a quick trek to the local department store to replenish.
No sooner than I hit the front door, my eyes were drawn to a luxurious black fur beret. I headed right over without thought and began to stroke it. As I lost myself in the softness, I realized I had lost my self-proclaimed challenge to live asexually as well. I became a slave to my senses and lost myself in sensorial overload.
And as if I needed to solidify the sin, I bought the hat.
Day 2: I lost myself in the smell of roasting garlic.
Day 3: It was the way my hair felt with this new shampoo I just got.
Day 4: I continued my mission of cleaning. I sorted through closets and boxes and drawers organizing my bedroom in a mad fury to deter any indulgent thought.
Then I found a porn DVD that had been hidden under my bed for months and spent the next hour lying in bed masturbating to some sci-fi thriller that makes everyone have sex.
Day 5: I finally gave up.
As much as I want to understand it, erotic interpretation is an innate part of me. It’s how I experience the world. It was naïve to think I could just “turn it off” for a week…even a few hours! It’s not compartmentalized. I can’t just shut a door or turn a switch and disconnect it. My sexual connection with the world permeates every fiber, every action, every interaction with my being.
Why is it so hard for me to grasp that other people may not experience the world the same?
Unfortunately, this little human experiment was a bust. I am just not cut out for a world of asexuality.