Carnival of Aces: Physical Health/Our Bodies

Part of the reason it took me so long to realize I was ace is that I had a number of reasons for wanting to hide my body. It took me a long time to realize that beyond my fears about people seeing, I simply had no interest in physical intimacy of any kind, of sharing my body or exploring another’s.

I was not at all body-conscious as a kid. I was comfortable in my skin and I would play outside without a shirt on until my mother firmly told me I was getting too old to do that. I showed off my skinned knees and bruises proudly, I played sports and climbed trees, I rode my bike and I liked the way my body worked.

Then I hit puberty. Suddenly I was horribly aware of my body and horribly aware of all the things I didn’t like about it. I hated my chest and hated needing to wear a bra. I hated my hips and how my body had changed. I hated my loss of androgyny, even without really knowing the reason why.

I felt awkward and ungainly and I was sure everyone was staring. I hid those unwanted and unwelcome new curves and lumps under layers and baggy clothes.

I grew increasingly depressed about those changes; I thought about suicide and started to self-harm. And then I had another reason to hide my body: wounds and scars. I couldn’t imagine showing anyone what I had done to myself. I couldn’t imagine ever being naked with someone and letting them see.

I assumed that was the reason why dating and intimacy and sex, topics that were starting to come up more and more among my friends, were of no interest to me: because I couldn’t imagine revealing the secrets on my skin.

Slowly I started to realize there was more to my lack of interest. Very slowly. About a year before I came across the word asexuality, I wrote this in my journal:

Getting older and thinking things like who is ever going to want to date someone covered in scars. But don’t even know why I’m thinking that since I’m not interested in dating anyone. Which in itself is starting to bother me. It didn’t bother me in high school because I’d just think, I’m only 15/16/17, what do I need a boyfriend for? But now I’m almost 21. Adult-aged.

I’m no longer ashamed of my scars; I no longer mind people seeing them. I still don’t like the changes puberty brought to my body and I wonder sometimes what would happen if I had top surgery and started hormones and brought my body back towards the androgyny I used to have and wish I could have again. If I would have more interest in physical intimacy if my body looked the way I feel it should.

But there is still no internal desire behind those questions. It’s just idle curiosity. No matter what the outside looks like, inside I’m the same. Inside I’ll always be asexual.

6 thoughts on “Carnival of Aces: Physical Health/Our Bodies

  1. I relate to how I assumed maybe not being able to imagine dating was about other things and how it only was once I was well out of high school that I realized I was getting too old got some of the excuses, and it only very slowly started to dawn on me… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ” I still don’t like the changes puberty brought to my body and I wonder sometimes what would happen if I had top surgery and started hormones and brought my body back towards the androgyny I used to have and wish I could have again. If I would have more interest in physical intimacy if my body looked the way I feel it should.” Thank you for phrasing it like that. I’ve never really put those pieces together before exactly like that. I never was feminine. I was a staunch tomboy as a kid. I was much more of a boy than most of the boys were. I need to spend a whole lot more time thinking about how the timetable of puberty has played out in my relationship with gender, because I was androgynous as a kid. It’s funny how I’ve spent so much of my adult life thinking that androgyny was this magical thing I’ve discovered as an alternative to being feminine, but that’s totally not how the real timeline happened. Maybe a huge part of my draw towards masculinity and androgyny is actually a search for a state of being that I had once and lost. Thank you for that.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Can I link to this post in one of my own? I kinda took this idea and ran with it, and I’m fond of citing my sources when I can.

      Like

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