Furthermore apothisexuality comes from the Greek “apothisan” meaning repulsed. Just another word for “sex-repulsed asexual” because that can be a mouthful.
What is sex-repulsion?
No, it is not a stand against sex and/or people who have sex. It is a term used by people, not only asexuals, anyone of any sexuality actually, to indicate that they find sex and/or other sexual things disgusting. Now, this may sound as a stand against sex, but it is a singular feeling of oneself + sex. Sex-repulsed aces usually don’t care what others are doing, as long as it doesn’t concern them.
What does “sex repulsed” mean? Because one person inerviewed said “I want nothing to do with sex and have no interest in it at all but I don’t want to vomit from thinking about it. Mostly I find the act and idea boring and unimportant. I don’t even get horny or anything.”
I questioned people for this artical whether or not they were sex repulsed or simply sex averse.
A quick Google search will tell you that repulsion and aversion are synonyms, but our community hasn’t always used them in their dictionary defined sense. I think that we’ve differentiated these terms to help us better describe ourselves. In most contexts “aversion” has been used to mean “strong dislike” whereas “repulsion” implies physical reaction involving disgust.
In theory, neither of these things actually involve sexual attraction (which we define sexual orientation on), they just happen to frequently accompany the asexual experience. Unfortunately sex aversion/repulsion also frequently accompanies the aftermath of sexual assault. This posed a dilemma for me: If the people I was interviewing felt sexual aversion, or was it the result of asexuality or sexual trauma?
I think for many of us, especially survivors, we have to battle the idea that humans inherently are sexual. Answering the question for myself was easy but for others it was part of a long battle and some have scars.
For several years I was thoroughly convinced by every external influence in my life that asexual individuals were most likely raped and not simply board with human contact. It wasn’t until I dug into this subject more that I realized sexual assault affects behavior, not attraction (or lack thereof).
Reading about sex, seeing it in a movie, talking about it, writing about it, or having other sexual content can make some sick to their stomach. It is a rather unpleasant feeling. Fairly unpleasant so they tell me, actually. It can be almost crippling sometimes, where they have anxity and simply have to stop what they are currently doing.
I am told it makes the individuals stomach feel heavy and I can feel their throat clench slightly, like they want to throw up. But of course, they don’t. It’s reported as a feeling of nausea without being ill, to the point where the individual dosn’t want to eat or drink in that moment until they calm down. This sounds like a covered up deep seeded traumatic problem that is festering.
It’s one thing being asexual, and board with people and simply unenterested in human interaction but being repulsed must be hard to bare.
Being asexual makes some feel broken. They feel as if they are standing on the sidelines, watching the rest of the world play. They are unable to give their partner the attenstion needed to sastain a healthy relationship.
When one feels amorous the asexual partner cannot comprehend those moments of sexuality. It can be a very isolating feeling and seeing sex all around you and knowing you have no connection to it. And it can be even worse if you discover yourself while you’re in a relationship with someone who is sexual as you are not. It is no one’s fault.
Society tells most of us what is considered standard or “normal”. Is asexuality individuals portrayed somehow as broken? Personally I think telling young people that high sexuality is the norm can be very harmful, but I will make a separate article about that.
Anyway, being different can be quite difficult I interviewed a young girl who had just ended her first relationship because, she found out she was sex-repulsed. Now she told me she was sex-repulsed not only by the boy she was seeing but by all men and frankly all women. She also went on to explain it was to all people equally. Some would say she has not met the right person and their is some truth in that statement. Perhaps she can meet an understanding mate. She could meet someone whom is equally sexually repulsed and their realshionship can be based on love and friendship instead of physical sexual contact.
For some just talking about sex makes them ill.
If I remember right the first time I came upon the term sex-repulsion was when I first began researching for SPY when I ran into AVEN (The Asexual Visibility & Education Network). I didn’t pay any attention to it at the time. It wasn’t important.
For many they are unable to see people or even comprehend many things surrounding sexuality. They become sex-repulsed and don’t even want to read about sex, watch it in movies or elsewhere, talk about it, or listen to anyone talk about it. They become agitated and become upset when someone tells them something about sex out of the blue and unprepared. It still seams this is in responce to an avent that scared instead of a bad cemical reastion to a topic.
So I asked “Is being ace making my life harder?”
The reastion across the board was “Not really”. One individual told me “I don’t need the attraction to fall in love or to have a meaningful relationship.” Onther said ” I’m at peace with this part of my identity. It is not a real obstacle, not anymore.” And the third said ” I am human as anyone else, and it doesn’t make me any less of one. Nor does it make me less of a person.”
Some people are comfortable with their demons and don’t seek help but learn to live within their disorder. So my next question was “Do you like that you are sex-repulsed?”
One replied “Do you like your allergies?” “My life could be easier if I weren’t. This way it sets me aside from others.”
“Do people judge you because of your asexuality?”
“Some do”, they replied. “Did you?”
I replied honestly “No, but you have to remember that there will always be someone who will judge you for the tiniest reasons. I don’t allow those type of people into my life nor should you. I choose people very carefully.”
So what issues in particular does it cause?
“Well, I told you about feeling sick to my stomach and uncomfortable. But that is a little vague, isn’t it?” “So what does it do to me? Well, I don’t particularly enjoy books/movies with erotic content. I just enjoy the romance (kissing, cuddling, hugging, hand holding) in it and sex simply isn’t part of it, apart of making me feel uncomfortable, sick and also kinda embarrassed. However, finding books with little or no sexual content is quite difficult, usually there is at least some sexual content. But as long as there isn’t much and/or it isn’t too descriptive it can be fine, or I can skip it. Sexual content can often just ruin a book for me, since it simply doesn’t fit for me.”
Do you have techniques on how to calm yourself down that might help others who are exposed to sexual content in any way?
My subject stopped for a moment and said “There isn’t really a fool proof way, there never will be, but there are techniques that have been tried out. Personally I hadn’t really made any. I can stop what I’m doing and try to distract myself. I don’t have anything else when I work. As for when I come into contact with it in some other way, well, I can try and force my thoughts into a daydream. I’m a maladaptive daydreamer, so I daydream a lot and it can help sometimes. It depends on the situation.”
Do you think if you try and expose yourself to sexual content and see if it will help you get used to it or be less sensity to it. Perhaps then you won’t get such reactions. But a word of caution, it may make your issues worse.
Perhaps therapy will help. Sometimes the issues can grow into a phobia, which is a lot more serious. And therapy can be very helpful, if you find someone who knows what they are doing and talking about. It can be good to have someone to help you. But you need to make sure that someone has experience with treating repulsion and be LGBT, or ace in particular, friendly.
All this you can find out on the web pages of the doctor, from other people’s experiences and by asking.
But it all depends on you, no one can decide for you. Perhaps you’re fine with it and so that’s that. People can live with it.
How do others react and respect your repulsion?
“Well, There are two levels to this with me. The first one is that I am quite open about it. The second is the close people around me whom I’ll let into my circle of acquaintances/friends. I’ll open up to, them but that is it so few people that I can count them on one hand.”
Really it is no ones business.
One question came up time after time was how can a relationships work without sex?
Well, how does your relationship work?
“Some people sometimes ask, “You don’t have sex? So what do you do all day?” as if they had sex all day. No one could ever have it all day long.
And so what do you do?
“Well, we eat together, or go out for lunch or dinner. You can watch movies, or plays and simply spend time together.”
I agree some people do prefer the theater to movies. You meet your friends together and have fun. You go other places together, or have holidays together, depending on the status of your relationship. You do silly things on the beach, or in the part and at home. You sleep together (as in sleep, no sex), or take naps. And you cuddle and kiss when you are together. You may go dancing, or take up whole projects on your own.There are many possibilities. A couple can have a long and rewarding relationship without sex especially if sex was not the foundastion from the start. In most cases it was the sex that brought the couple together in the first place and when that fizzeled out so do the relationship.
And it’s no different for sexless couples, and I don’t mean just aces. Any couple can be sexless if they want and agree on it. And so they all do these and many more to keep their relationship alive. No relationship can really work if you just sit at home doing nothing. And it’s absolutely no different for aces or any sexless couples.
It is our hope this article can help relieve someones pain. For others perhaps hearing others will enlighten you to be more tollerant of people who are different.
Yes, sex can be important to you and it can be good for you, if you want it, but that it’s okay not to be interested.
Sexuality is a spectrum and this falls on the spectrum. We are all just different and have different needs. It is the part of society that forces the view that sex is universal to everyone and everyone has to be doing it or there is something wrong with us when it’s not. Sex is just one of the many pleasures of life. You also don’t tap into all of them. So my great hope is for people to understand this and, more importantly, respect it. For everyone else more sex for you.