Monday, December 20, 2010

I hate labels, but how else do I explain it?

I've been spending a lot of time on MoHo blogs (Mormon Homosexuals). That is where I feel most at home. I identify with them more than any other blogs, but its not because of my sexuality per se. Here is my effort to define myself.

As a girl, I had no interest in boys. My friends all had crushes and boys they thought were cute. I didn't. Just not interested. As a teenager, I was terrified of boys. I knew I was supposed to be dating, after all I was sixteen and that's what sixteen year old girls do, but I had no interest. I had the opposite of interest, I wanted to run the other way.

I went to college, and there were lots of boys interested in me. I knew the next step in my life was to get married. I did that. He didn't treat me very well. I had no idea that there was anything better...

We divorced. I went on several dates and had a lot of guy friends, until I met Dann. We got serious really fast, and then dated for a long time before we got married.

For two years, we went camping, and slept in the same tent just the two of us. We went on vacations and stayed in the same hotel, and sometimes slept in the same bed. I stayed at his house overnight on more than one occasion. And we never had any "morality problems". Really. The worst thing we ever did while dating was he kissed me while I was laying down. I freaked out. I went to the bishop and confessed my sins. He told me to be careful. I didn't want to do anything I would regret.

Because I was raised a good Mormon girl, I honestly believed that the fact that Dann and I were never tempted by sex to be a good thing. Funny how I thought it would change once we got married. It didn't. I tried. For his sake, I tried.

He really wanted kids, and I thought I wanted them too. I was willing to lay there while he planted his seed, but once I actually got pregnant, I realized I did NOT want that. I still wanted to be willing and I still wanted to try for him, but I wasn't and I didn't.

Fast forward a few years. Dann still wanted sex and babies. I was still trying to figure out how to want that too. I'd talk about how I needed to learn to like it, or just force myself to do it anyways. I knew deep down it would never be anything but a chore for me. I tried, but really... I couldn't make myself like sex any more than I can make myself like liver and onions.(Who eats that anyways?)


Dann and I are divorcing. Sex and babies were really what finally pushed us over the edge. He wanted it. He kept expecting me to change. I kept expecting me to change. Only, I didn't know how to change that.

Am I lesbian? I don't know. I can't really picture being with a woman any more than I can picture being with a man. The idea of sex just makes me nauseous. I have no desire to marry, or create children.

So, if I'm not straight, and I'm not gay, what am I?
Asexual.
I've never met anyone else like me. The closest I have come is people in the MoHo world.

When I read MoHo blogs, I can understand their pain of not fitting in. I can relate to the pain of trying to change something that seems impossible to change. I have prayed and prayed to "not be so selfish", only to continue to just be me. I feel like my parents can relate to the struggle of having a gay child. I will never have the life my parents wanted for me.


Right now, I feel at peace with myself and my sexuality (or lack of it?). I want intimacy in my life, but I don't need physical intimacy. I want friends. I don't want to be tied to one person. I don't want anyone to ever own my body but me. Could all this change as I continue to heal? Yes, but I'm not counting on it. I have freed Dann to find someone who will give him what he wants, which has freed both of us up to be friends. Without the pressures of trying to be his wife, I really like him.


I was raised to believe that sex was bad until it was good. I was raised to believe that my spirit was female, and that I was destined to be a wife and mother for all eternity. When I didn't fit into that world, it was just one more thing that was wrong with me. But the truth is, there is nothing wrong with me.


I am a beautiful, strong, compassionate woman, and I don't need to change a thing.

26 comments:

  1. Beautiful post! Realizing there is nothing wrong with being you is a wonderful feeling. Always keep that feeling close; it can be a comforting thought when life seems uncertain. :)

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  2. I know what it's like to feel like you don't belong anywhere, it's really hard and really lonley. And I wish that I were are comfortable as you are to say it and own it. I am in awe of you strength and power, you inspire me.

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  3. cannot even begin to tell you how much I can relate to this. Want to explain more but I'm reading & responding from my phone...which isn't exactly ideal! But thank you for this post & I'll write more when I'm @ my computer.

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  4. You don't need to change a thing. You don't need to try to define yourself by putting yourself into a box that explains who you are. Just keep being you and that is more than good enough.

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  5. From your comments on a certain “MoHo” blog, I made an incorrect assumption. I think I understand a little better now that I have read what you have written here, and I hope you will forgive my earlier blindness. Even so, I would say exactly the same thing I said then: I would much rather spend eternity in hell with you than with the “zealots of the Mormon gerontocracy (not to mention . . . ) who might wind up in one of those other kingdoms.”

    To be candid, I am a 60+ gay male who served a mission and attended BYU more than 40 years ago. It took me a long time, and the help of many friends (some ex-Mormon, and some from other [non-Christian] religious traditions and/or non-Western cultures), to realize that I had to STOP trying to explain, justify or rationalize myself and my feelings, and instead learn to be comfortable with just BEING MYSELF. Gay, lesbian, bisexual, heterosexual, or asexual--we are what we are. (Check out the lyrics to “I Am What I Am” from La Cage Aux Folles for more hope and inspiration than you’ll ever get from the collected speeches of the Mormon gerontocracy post-1970.)

    Above all, please do not let anyone put you down for not meeting THEIR expectations: after all, it’s YOUR life--live it in YOUR way, and be happy!

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  6. As long as you're happy with it, I don't think you should be concerned. It's a rare person who can come out and identify themselves, especially when it contradicts people's stereotypes of what "normal" is supposed to be. Everyone's sex drive is different, and some people have next to no sex drive. If you did want that to change, I'm sure there are specialists you could talk to, but that's if you really don't want to be this way. You shouldn't do anything if you feel comfortable with yourself just because you think you should be like everybody else. Do what makes you happy.

    You don't have to label yourself either. Be you.

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  7. apronkid, thank you. I've been through a lot of ups and downs, and the downs are much better when I can remember days like this one. Which is one of the reasons I started writing in the first place.

    Boris, Your reply was actually one that got me thinking about this. I felt at home on that blog, and others... and I wasn't sure why. I am not offended in the least. I really appreciate all of the comments I have read from you.

    Amber, I WANT to hear more. I have missed you. When are you going to blog again??

    Jeff, thanks. That means a lot coming from you.

    Carla, Thanks. I'm working on being me. And like I said, it could change in the future. After all, I'm only 31, who knows what comes next? It does feel nice to stop trying to make it work.

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  8. Jen, this is heart-breaking in one way, obviously, but wonderfully uplifting in another.

    It's ironic to quote a Mormon Article of Faith in a thread like this, but I believe deeply in the principle that everyone - literally everyone - has the God-given right to worship how, where and what they may.

    That same principle says, to me, that everyone - literally everyone - has the right to understand for herself who she is and what her own "measure of creation" is - and to reach a conclusion that is outside the normative communal guidelines, whatever those are.

    Communal guidelines are fine for the vast majority of people in a community, and there are communal "ideals" that need to be established for the sake of communal security and stability - but, in the end, your life is your life and I am me. Finding yourself and realizing you won't be punished for who you are - only rewarded for who you become - is another central tenet I love, even if I believe it isn't understood very well by far too many.

    God bless you in your journey - and thanks for following my own ramblings.

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  9. Papa D - I don't find it ironic at all. For me, truth can be found everywhere, and I really mean everywhere.

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  10. Jen, I never intentionally deleted my earlier comment--maybe it was "flagged" by Blogger as possible SPAM for reasons I don't yet understand. In any case, I stand by what I said previously, and thank you for your response above.

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  11. I'm reading your blog. Hope that's okay :)
    I read alot of "MoHo" (as you called them, haha) blogs too... it has helped me to come to terms with my sexuality. I'm sorry that you and Dann are divorcing; I can't imagine how hard that would be. Although our struggles are different, I can relate to you. You rock by the way. :)

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  12. Amelia - Of COURSE its okay!
    It IS really sad and hard to be divorcing Dann, and still what I need to do.
    I look forward to reading more of your blog (I want to get to know the you that you have become). I think you are incredibly strong, and thinking of "forrealia" still makes me smile.

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  13. I have a gay friend who says he's asexual. I quote him in my book (http://bradcarmack.blogspot.com/2010/10/homosexuality-straight-byu-students.html) and could connect the two of you if you'd like. Feel free to email me.

    Thanks for writing!

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  14. Hi there, I'm catching up with some Moho blogs and your post just broke my heart from the sense of how it feels to "not really belong anywhere" then suddenly you find a place that feels a little bit like home--been there, done that! In my opinion there's no need to define sexuality in the terms that we grew up being taught when in reality there are so many variances of it.

    I'm just glad you found a small niche and that at least for now you're writing, things and thoughts will help you feel more fluid and I hope you continue feeling at home with the Mohos! :-)
    Hugs,Miguel

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  15. I'm so glad you started reading the MoHo blogs... because I'm one of them! I never would have "met" you or learned more about your daily struggles. Your blog is wonderful. I've read most posts from the beginning and your strength and determination is outstanding! I'm glad to get to know you a little better. Hang in there!

    FMW

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  16. Brad, Sorry I didn't see this earlier... I would be interested in talked to someone else who considers themselves asexual.

    Miguel, Thank you!!!

    FMW - :) I'm glad too. Its been amazing to find people who feel the same way I do. And thank you... I'm hanging in. Fighting hard. Being me.
    Hugs!

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  17. Jen! Thanks for sharing this. I am still young, but I wonder if I tried to marry if that would be my life story as well. I have no interst in marraige. I have wondered if I could be "asexual" though I have never embraced that title. It is a weird place to be. I say that who knows, I may find a man, fall head over heals and marry him. It could happen, but honestly, I doubt it. So, I started a singles forever club. (not really, but sometimes I talk about it or invite others to join)
    Thank you

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  18. Yeti - I feel like I'm in a weird place too... Never quite knowing how I fit in the world around me. Trying to explain, but knowing that I'm not explaining it enough.

    I don't know how young "young is, but I have found that trusting me and doing what felt right to ME has brought me a lot of peace. Trying to do what other people thought was right, made me crazy.

    So, if you ever decide to get married, make it for you and not for anyone else.

    Thanks for your comments!

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  19. There are a lot of people who are asexual. It is an actual orientation. You can learn more at asexuality.org.

    My girlfriend is a heteroromantic asexual. We have a wonderfully fulfilling intimate life, which does not include having sex.

    Every time I tell people about her, they bite their lips and say "Well, maybe she'll grow out of it." But there's nothing wrong with her, and I love her.

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  20. feathertail - Thank you for that link, and for the example of you and your girlfriend. I'm smiling and crying all at the same time.

    I love what you wrote. "There's nothing wrong with her, and I love her."

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  21. And from the website:
    "There is no litmus test to determine if someone is asexual. Asexuality is like any other identity- at its core, it’s just a word that people use to help figure themselves out. If at any point someone finds the word asexual useful to describe themselves, we encourage them to use it for as long as it makes sense to do so."

    That just feels refreshing... As long as it makes sense, use the word. If it doesn't make sense, don't use it.

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  22. Thank you, and I'm glad you found strength in that.

    This is a bit of a tangent, but I saw your comment here and I wanted to point out that spirituality is like that quote in your comment above. It's not something you prove to others, it's something you decide based on your feelings and experiences. You mentioned the worship of the Greek gods being dead, but I actually have a friend who worships Athena, and she's been a big help as I've left Mormonism and found my own spiritual path.

    You may have meant "religion" as in "organized religion," though, in which case I agree. Self-absorbed fundamentalist organizations don't have to believe in a god(dess) to be evil, and sacrifice their own followers to their dogma.

    Thank you so much for this blog. I love it, I've bookmarked so many entries, and it says so much that I needed to hear, especially after last night. I'm sorry for what you went through, but I'm so glad you decided to share it.

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  23. My roommate has a friend who is asexual, and so my roommate was asking me what that meant. I could explain it pretty easily. Then I wondered if I should tell her that I am asexaul. I hate labels too. (and I was thinking about thi post of yours) I didn't tell her, honestly I am afraid to do so. I have really ever only told two people. It is weird. I feel ashamed, or reall just awkward talking about it. I am not sure why. I'll tell people that I want to be single for life, but they mostly just hink I cannot do it. The strange thing is, I know how I feel, but I don't know how most girls feel towards guys. I can see their reaction, but somehow that is different than feeling it. I don't understang how they feel, so I don't understand how I am different. I guess to me, I feel normal and everybosy else is strangely obseesed with guys (or girls). Well, it is a new day.

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  24. Yeti - I've gone through the same thing... fear of telling people. Mostly, people don't understand what I'm saying. And since I don't understand what other people feel, it's hard to explain it in a way that I understand... and how do I know if what I feel is different than what other people feel??

    I haven't experienced the crazy-looking obsession and jealousy and needs that my friends have experienced, and I am really glad. You know?? I kind of feel like with all of the stuff I've had to deal with, I'm really glad I didn't have to deal with that part too...

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  25. And one day, when it feels safe and comfortable, it will be okay to share with your roommate.

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