In the process of sorting a bunch of stuff out here, I’ve been spending a lot of time reading about asexuality. The way in which I found myself looking into that was through researching agenderism, which is something that’s intriguing, almost alluring to me. I’ve mentioned the idea of escapism before and how it fits in with my goals, and perhaps this is just another aspect of that: being without gender would certainly appear to solve a lot of problems with gender, on the surface. And indeed, I found a bit of information on this and the related concept of neutrois, but I found much of it on the Asexuality Visibility and Education Network, AVEN, at asexuality.org.
AVEN is very careful to stipulate that there is a difference between asexuality and celibacy, and I totally agree with that. Asexuality, they inform the reader, is not the choice to not have sex, but a natural “sexual orientation” (unorientation?) wherein the individual is disinclined to have sex, feels little to no desire for sexual activity, etc. Celibacy, on the other hand, is the choice to not have sex for some reason, a denial of desires in order to accomplish a spiritual, intellectual, emotional, or even physical goal (celibacy for medical reasons, say).
So where does chemical castration fit in, if the goal is asexuality?
There is as much of a gradient in asexuality as there is in sexual orientation between homosexual and heterosexual. Even on AVEN, people will identify as asexual, grey-asexual, demisexual, and so on. For myself, I can’t really say which would apply, pre therapy. I mean, it’s difficult to put a label on something that is so ingrained in a personality, and it’s doubly difficult when it fluctuates, for whatever reason. If I had been asked a year ago, I would’ve said that no, I am not asexual at all. I was a fairly sexual being, even if I wasn’t actually having sex with anyone. James and I would have our moments, weeks when we’d play around plenty, and some times when we would be content to do without for weeks or months on end.
If I had been asked more recently, however, I think that I might have answered differently. At that point in my life, my sex drive, as it was, was already low, but existed mostly as a need for physical pleasure or stress relief than any sort of sexual desire. The complicating factor was how much of it had to do with gender. If I were to top, for instance, I would feel a sort of internal tension, as if I was in the wrong role in the act. Figuring that the way around that was to bottom, I found that the tension only grew stronger, due to a sort of “wrong hole!” sensation, as if the person I was with had missed a vulva and instead found their way to an anus instead.
Sex, in short, started to make me feel pretty disgusting.
There are ways around that, of course. I get none of those feelings by performing fellatio or giving manual stimulation, and I really do enjoy the closeness involved in sexual contact with someone. And it’s not as though I don’t (or didn’t, at least*) have a libido, nor as though I don’t still enjoy the sensations of sex. Masturbation’s still pretty great, yeah. Rather, it’s as though sex lost its charm about the time I started to really feel bad about gender. Similar to how depression can eat into all aspects of life, so too does an identity crisis (though I wouldn’t label this so drastically). I have gone through a sea-change around gender, which I noticed recently when a good portion of my twitter feed was peppered with comments about feminism, misogyny, and homocentrism, an artifact of the furry fandom more than anything.
So I suppose, in a way, that this is an experiment to strive toward asexuality for me. I want to be comfortable enough in my body without this disgusting feeling that comes over me whenever I wind up in some sort of sexual scenario. What I do with this…I hesitate to say “freedom”, but that comes close, I don’t know. The goal that I’ve stated is to try to figure out the problem I have with gender through introspection without having sex in the way, and perhaps that’s good enough.
* Perhaps it’s psychosomatic, but the last few days have seen a noticeable decrease in libido and erections.