As much as some of you will argue against such an explosive claim, we are born in innocence and with a specific gender, with, I suspect, our personality and characteristics forming from the first independent breath, with activity that is performed upon us or around us absorbed at a subconscious level to wire the brain and mould us into who and what we become.
We are not necessarily totally master of who or what we become.
Although I am perfectly accepting of homosexuality and believe all forms of prejudice to be repugnant and an affront to civilised behaviour, I do not believe that any deity (a concept I do not believe in) or even any law of natural selection as evolvement of the species would chose to have non-reproducing segments of society as it uses up a whole load of resources to no purposeful end. I am not saying that homosexuality is abnormal, though I am suggesting it may be a method a deity or law of natural selection might think practical to put a brake on humanity when it is threatening to overrun and destroy the planet.
It is not, though, homosexuality I wish to deal with. It is me.
Until recently I considered myself a poorly performing member of the heterosexual segment of society. In the first half of my adult life I lived on my own and with the constraints and annoyances of myself. Of course I was always under pressure to ‘find someone’ as, ‘apparently’ this was the way to find happiness and more importantly contentment. And deep down that is what I wanted for myself. As with the majority of humans I have at my core a deep desire to bring happiness and contentment to another human being, although this conflicts at times with my natural proclivity for selfishness. But you cannot achieve personal contentment, though, if you do not understand who and what you are.
Until recently I could not understand how a man, or indeed a woman, who had lived a heterosexual life, with a spouse and family, could decide he (or she) had lived a lie and had turned to homosexuality as a life choice. I say until recently because back in the summer I happened upon a radio programme about asexual men and women and what I heard switched on a light in my brain, forcing me to accept that I have lived my life like a man who half in fear has slept in every morning rather than getting out of bed to experience the joy of a dawn chorus.
As it must be for a man or woman coming out as homosexual, it is the same admitting to being asexual. In some manner of ways it is perhaps worse as the one linking aspect of heterosexuals, bisexuals and homosexuals is sexual passion, and in asexual people that is wholly or partially lacking. In our modern sexualised world, to ‘normal people’ at least, asexuality must be the greatest and most damning of abnormalities.
Of course this subject is not as black and white as it first appears and it is in the grey areas that asexual people must find compromise if not contentment. I suspect - as a young man it was certainly one of my many failings - asexual men have a tendency to place women on a pedestal. To me, at least, women are beautiful on the eye, though not necessarily objects of sexual excitement. Asexual people, I believe, do not believe that women were not created to be man’s chattel, to simply be receptacles of man’s desires. It is why overtly sexual women have always scared (not the pants off me) or repelled me, no matter how beautiful I might think them to be. It is why the breast and the brain have always intrigued me more than the hidden sexy lady parts.
But I am who I am and once the reason for all my inner turmoil became apparent an inner peace swept through me with the effect of Imodium after a bout of ‘digestive disturbance’. I am explained. I am thus more of a whole being.
Though the ‘intimate side’ of a relationship involving an asexual partner cannot ever be as fruitful and fulfilling as between a heterosexual couple it does not mean that sex cannot occur or that a warm and healthy relationship cannot be attained. It just requires one huge great step followed by several smaller ones. The first being, of course, to admit to the ‘significant other half’, a woman just as loved as the woman with a normal sexual partner, that you are asexual. And that, for perfectly justifiable reasons, I have yet to do. Would Christmas be the right time?