My Daughter is Asexual
By Kendra Holliday | July 15, 2016
My 12-yr-old daughter is asexual. Sometimes I wonder if she will always be that way. (UPDATE: I first wrote this four years ago. She is now 16 years old and is still asexual.)
Not that it would be a bad thing, but it sure would be really fucking ironic.
Asexuality is the lack of sexual attraction to others or the lack of interest in sex.
I’ve been a horndog since I was about 9. She and I have had very different experiences growing up.
My mom tells me I used to play with myself as a baby. To my knowledge, my daughter has never experimented with that. (As an aside, my mom was 27 when she gave birth to me, and I was 27 when I gave birth to my daughter, so there’s always this eerie parallel running in my head – how DIFFERENT I am from my mom, who’s only had one sex partner her entire life and suffers from a host of mental illnesses.)
When I was 9, I was molested by an older adopted brother, which exposed me to sex early and manifested itself as a hypersexual mindset. I was drawing dirty pictures in 3rd grade, and writing erotica at age 12. I was making out with girls at 11 and boys at 13.
My daughter has never been molested. So far, the only bad things that have happened to her on that front is 1) one man on the internet sent her a cock shot, 2) one man flashed her while she was walking down the street, and 3) one man grabbed her butt in a public swimming pool. Each time, she was horrified and disgusted.
She does a lot of research online for her writing projects and is into anime and deviantART. This means she runs into adult content from time to time. As soon as she encounters it, she backs the hell up – she has absolutely no interest in it.
One time she confided in me, “I have never intentionally looked up porn.” Talk about being in the minority! I look up porn on a daily basis! Porn is so fun! She on the other hand finds it distasteful. She says, “I appreciate boobs as much as the next person, but why do they like making them all greasy?”
Another time she asked me, “Why would anyone want to do a blow job? I can’t think of a single person on earth I would want to try that with!”
Since she is 12, I’m glad to hear that is her current stance. I wonder if and when that will change. To my credit, when she brought that up, I had the good sense to keep the conversation neutral and age-appropriate and not tell her how much I LOOVE sucking dick, and how I did it just that morning! That wouldn’t have been cool.
It did open up a good opportunity to discuss oral sex with her, and how weird it is that the slang for fellatio is “blow job”, since you’re not blowing on it and it’s not necessarily a job, and for that matter, when you’re “eating a girl out”, you’re not chewing on her, and what does the “out” part mean, anyway?!
She also said to me, “I look forward to the day I meet someone I would die for besides my parents.”
She’s so sweet and inquisitive – she longs for passion and romance someday, but isn’t sure what it is. She has also decided that she will not limit herself to male partners, that she wants to be open to any possibilities, including polyamory, because life is full of surprises. She identifies as a panromantic asexual – someone who is romantically interested in other people regardless of gender, but not sexually.
I’m so glad she can take her time and explore these concepts on her own terms.
I was invited to my friend’s uterus going away party the other night – she’s having a hysterectomy next week (we’ll be HysterSisters!). I told her I would love to go, but I had my daughter that night. She suggested her husband hang out with her while I attended her party.
For a second, I paused. Would you leave your daughter alone with a male friend? Could I really, truly trust him? I mean, she is right at the cusp of turning into a beautiful teenage girl, and we all know how society views teenage girls, right?
I decided to trust my gut and leave her with him for a couple hours so we could have our Girl’s Night, which involved Sissy Maid serving us red wine, beets, raspberry tart, and anything else resembling blood clots or fibroid tumors.
When I came back to get her, she was bouncing around, giddy with joy.
“Did you have a good time?” I asked.
“What did you do?”
“Well, we made marzipan babies, listened to fun music, and drew Krampus pictures, and then his friend came over and we played the card game Munchkin, and made more marzipan babies!”
See, isn’t that nice? Two adult men hung out with a girl and left her better than they found her. They didn’t molest her or rape her or scar her for life!
I wish all men were as honorable and ethical.
Don’t we all?
ra 2013-02-03 09:38:19
I like that you opened up a discussion about oral sex. Heck, at twelve, in my family it was okay to say, “I love sucking, cock, honey!”
I get good natured hassle from my “kids” (17, 19, 21) about being open about sex. “Ew, mom!”
They all know about “yes means yes.” They all know that they are responsible for their own orgasms. They know that they need to respect their partners.
I’ve dealt with my own up and down sex drive. I hope that if my kids do have questions or feel different levels of desire that they feel bold enough to talk to someone, if not me, about their uniqueness and learn that it’s okay to be a little different.
Some of us go go go, and some of us don’t. Isn’t it nice to be able to surround our kids with folks that have responsible accepting attitudes about sexuality without a bunch of “should be” trappings to slap onto it!
Lilly Allison 2013-02-03 09:52:09
All men would be, or at least most men would be, I think, if the whole of our society gave them permission and encouraged them to be so. But the “boys will be boys” mentality that permeates our culture teaches men from a very young age that women at sexual playthings. Boys are raised to be dominant brutes while women are raised to be meek submissive creatures waiting for the brute to dominate her.
That is why I dislike the book ‘Twilight’ so much. It seriously promotes that culture and as long we we promote that culture, girls will grow up to be victims and boys will grow up to take advantage of them.
OK, my rant is over. I can step down off of my soapbox now. 🙂
Kendra Holliday 2013-02-03 10:02:45
My daughter HATES Twilight! She also thinks grownup roleplay involving teacher/student, siblings, bully/victim, and vampire/human combos are especially disturbing.
Jaye Westermann 2013-02-03 10:05:58
This is an awesome read!
Dallas / AceSexologist 2013-02-03 10:49:22
This article actually mostly made me think of when I was about 14 or 15 (summer between 8th and 9th grade) and I was in the car with my boyfriend who had just traveled a long way by train to spend the summer with my family (I think he was 18 so my parents just knew we were friends) and he described how uncomfortable the train ride was and I exclaimed “Oh, that sucks!” and my mother – who was in the passenger seat and not driving because she had already consumed more wine than she probably should have before noon – said “Dallas! Don’t you know what that means? You shouldn’t talk about things like that!” Aaahhhh, Mothers, always there to mortify you by taking a relatively non-sexual exclamation and reminding everyone in the car that it could be sexual. I’m pretty sure I performed oral sex on him that night so the irony just keeps coming…
I think it’s hard to tell at 12 how a person’s sexuality will turn out; at 12 I was reading/watching porn and by 14 as mentioned above, I was doing more than that. Puberty hit pretty hard, I masturbated multiple times a day for several years and my capacity for arousal is still very high but it has never, as far as I can remember, been directed toward anyone. My sister on the other hand is heterosexual and has never had any interest in masturbating, never liked porn, etc but she’s firmly “into” guys while I have never been “into” anyone sexually speaking. I think you’ve got a few more years before you can make a good guess about your daughter but I am, of course, glad to hear you’re open to all possibilities (though I’d have expected nothing less from you). 🙂
None-the-less 12 is a very exciting time, isn’t it? And a little terrifying! My niece is 12 and she doesn’t talk about being interested in boys or girls much but her parents have an app that tracks all of the texts messages she sends or receives and she’s getting pressured to be interested in sex already (and by a boy from a strict christian family who has said that he doesn’t approve of gays and could never love someone that had tattoos etc so luckily she’s being pressured by a boy who has already utterly disqualified himself from being on her radar as someone who is of much interest to her). I’m glad she’s confident enough – apparently – to say that she’s not interested in sex since I didn’t have the same confidence when I was young (what’s that? You say I should want to have sex? Well then, uh… sure… I’m normal, let’s do that then…).
kel 2013-02-19 16:22:54
It’s funny how times change. From the heterosexual aspect, I was also hypersexual at the same ages, 12 to 18, but unlike you, I didn’t have anyone to act that out with. I can remember being that age and wishing some woman or girl would “make a man out of me” and despite their age, I’m pretty sure there would have been no psychological scars.
The funny thing about changing times is that 18 year old boyfriend of yours whose cock you sucked at 14 would today be a registered sex offender and ruined for life. I’m not endorsing pedophilia by any stretch of the demented mind, but I admittedly don’t understand the hysteria that attends anything of a sexual nature between persons less than 18 and persons 18 years and one day old.
In my highschool years (late 70’s, early 80’s) it seemed almost common for highschool girls to be dating guys in their mid to late 20’s. Those folks from my catholic high school back in the day, now make up the same generation of mothers and father’s who’d have their 17 year old daughter’s 23 year old boyfriend branded as a sex offender for the balance of his life. I’m sorry, maybe I’m not politically correct enough, but I don’t get that mentality. And please, don’t try to manipulate my comments into pedophilia, it’s not even close.
Miss Scarlet 2013-02-03 11:05:42
Ya know, I didn’t really start thinking about or wanting sex until my mid teens. I was a very innocent 12 year old, and look at me now. I’m guessing that while your daughter might not ever achieve the caliber of sex loving slut that you are, that it might be too soon to proclaim her a lifelong asexual (which wouldn’t be a bad thing if she turns out to be). Maybe her sex drive just hasn’t woken up in her yet.
I’m glad she had a positive experience with an adult male who wasn’t related to her. 🙂
ChasH 2013-02-03 12:40:24
Asexuality is extremely rare, but sexual latency continuing well into adolescence, isn’t. First, there’s rebellion, and there’s going to be a wish to be psychologically independent of you even when you have a good relationship. If your parent exhibits a high interest in sex, the tween or teen can rebel against that by showing no interest in sex, at least at the surface.
Second, maybe she finds the idea of an “alien” drive taking over her, altering her mind, and making her desire weird physical acts to be disturbing. (That is, alien and weird to somebody who’s never had them.) Some of the acts themselves would not be as disturbing as the desire for them.
It raises questions she probably can’t completely form, questions of free will. That she gets a sex drive whether she wants one might challenge her concept of freedom. If she doesn’t have sexual desires yet, what she’d probably desires most is to be free. The response is a bit like, “Who asked me?”
Kendra Holliday 2013-02-03 20:15:49
Maybe I was an early bloomer and my daughter is a normal bloomer? How would I have turned out if I hadn’t been molested as a kid? What would she be like if she was molested as a kid? Hmm…
Castiel 2013-02-03 14:11:08
I am really uncomfortable talking about a 12 year old girls sexuality. Then having the nerve to question and or passively suggest that Men in general somehow have a little predatory dna in them. Not cool people, not cool at all!
ChasH 2013-02-03 14:43:41
I can understand your getting upset about hearing details about a twelve-year old’s sexuality. That should make anybody uncomfortable. But why would you feel uncomfortable to hear that a twelve-year old has no interest in sex?
Where did Kendra passively or otherwise suggest “predatory DNA?” Where did she even mention DNA? That’s the slant you’ve put on it, and it wasn’t even in my mind before I read your comment.
Whether it comes from DNA or anything else, rape is a fact, and caution is called for. Most rapes are committed by people the victim or family trusted: acquaintances, friends or relatives.
On both counts, I’d say you’re over-sensitive.
Matthew 2013-02-03 15:49:27
Castiel- Male humans do have “a little” predatory DNA in them. You can’t be serious saying that comes as a shock to you?!?!?!? My assumption is that you live on earth and have read a little scientific research on human biology, procreation and the history of mankind. Perhaps my assumption is wrong.
bimotarich 2013-02-03 20:13:38
I would not be too concerned yet… but just stay aware and keep communication lines open… something that I KNOW you are good at… and sometimes apples DO fall far from the tree… There may be some passive aggressive rebellion type thing going on… since you are so open about your own sexuality but raising a child in a world which is not… she is probably getting a lot of mixed signals… and her own sexuality is probably only in its earliest of stages at this point. Time may be all she needs… best of luck to you both!
Kendra Holliday 2013-02-04 10:19:59
Not concerned – just aware and curious!
The Nerd 2013-02-04 08:14:20
I had sexual feelings my entire childhood – I can’t think of a time when I didn’t. My mom dismissed them, not believing it was possible. It was invalidating, but looking back, I suppose if she believed me, she may have been much more controlling. (For reference, I was raised as a girl.)
Still, I have a problem with the fact that we live in a society where talking about childhood sexuality is equated with predatory behavior. Even in the comments above, I can see the influence of ideas that children can’t have a sexuality, or that if their sexuality changes, it wasn’t “real”. I’m glad that you’re willing to recognize your daughter’s, Kendra, and accept that she is asexual. Even if she’s not later on, it doesn’t mean this isn’t her real orientation at this time in her life.
I’m also glad you didn’t assume that your “early blooming” was due to sexual abuse, and her “late blooming” is due to a lack of abuse. I knew next to nothing about how genitals work, didn’t learn about what intercourse is for several more years, but at the age of 5 I was having sexual fantasies while masturbating. Sometimes I wonder if the latent period wasn’t a myth gladly embraced by a Victorian society who viewed innocent purity and sexual desire as anathema to each other.
tl;dr – Children have the right to their own sexuality, without being invalidated or feared or shamed for not fitting into the convenient political models of the adult world.
Lilly Allison 2013-02-04 09:43:17
I agree. We seem to have this notion in America that the day before the 18th birthday a child is in no way sexual but on the day of, they are magically transformed into an adult with strong sexual desires. For my part, I remember sneaking my parent’t porn stash and masturbating regularly at the age of 9. I always considered the fact that I was not allowed to explore that sexuality openly to be a very traumatic experience. Every human being is different and develops their sexuality differently. Denying one child a sexuality can be very harmful to that child just like pushing sexuality on a child before they are ready is harmful.
Kendra Holliday 2013-02-04 10:35:27
Exactly. Many people regard children as non-sexual beings, but then turn around and tell me about how they developed a fetish at age 5 or 6 when a specific event triggered their interest/desire! We seriously underestimate children. It’s very important we raise them in a sex-positive environment. Early shame can cause years of problems that will interfere with our happiness, relationships, etc. and necessitate therapy. I’ll bet therapists LOVE the Catholic Church – they bring them so much business!
kel 2013-02-19 16:36:25
I’ve always wondered about therapists who tell their clients who were abused as children that they are fucked up because they aren’t fucked up about it. It seems like we cause children of abuse equally as much emotional upset by terrifying them into the thought that their entire lives will be destroyed because of the abuse. From my background, and the backgrounds of the sane adults I know, most people do not suffer substantial emotional issues as a result of childhood abuse. I’m certainly not discounting those who do, I just don’t think it is a prevalent as society wants us to believe.
Kendra Holliday 2013-02-04 10:30:45
Yes on this point: “I’m glad you didn’t assume that your ‘early blooming’ was due to sexual abuse, and her ‘late blooming’ is due to a lack of abuse.”
Our personal experiences are only one part of the whole picture. It’s a fascinating subject.
ChasH 2013-02-05 03:13:33
I think your experience of it is pretty rare. The earliest I remember having thoughts that could identify as sexual was at thirteen. Until then, there had been inklings, but I couldn’t identify them as sexual. It was at thirteen that the curtain was opened and I had a response that was specifically and strongly sexual, identified because it was so radically different from anything that proceeded it.
However, we look back on our childhoods with the minds of adults. Indications are that a children’s and adults’ minds are extremely different. When we remember, we are all likely to impose adult interpretations on the memories. Perhaps what I call inklings you’d call sexual thoughts. I don’t define them that way because they were neither strong nor specific.
Kendra Holliday 2013-02-05 07:30:00
I don’t think my experience is rare – based on the thousands of people I have interacted with online and in person, I think it’s pretty common. Then again, I don’t spend a lot of time with happy couples, sexually healthy, well-adjusted folks, etc. That’s why we started Sex Positive St. Louis – to give people safe spaces to explore their sexuality. My goal is to help others overcome personal issues so they can find happiness. We need more happy people in this world!
ChasH 2013-02-06 11:56:18
Rare as in about 5 percent. That might sound like a small number when I give it like that, but that would still mean 15 million people in the US alone go through it like Nerd did. That’s more people than you can talk to about it with in a lifetime. Even if it’s one percent, that’s still 3 million people in the US, or 60,000 people per state.
kel 2013-02-19 16:39:09
I believe science has well established the fact that most humans have sexual urges long before 13 years of age, even as far back as infancy.
DH 2013-02-04 11:08:08
It seems to me that at 12, and no interest- that’s “normal”. But then again, what’s normal? And is it bad not to be normal? I say- No.
Amber 2013-02-04 13:57:44
I love this! I was very much the same. I was interested in love and romance, but way grossed out by physical stuff. I was probably 14 when I discovered masturbation and finally, after about 3 years, considered involving others in my sex life. It’s awesome that she’s being raised this way!
Shaquille Davis 2013-02-05 18:42:24
I’ve checked out several of your posts and i would just like to say that i dont like you. I dont like how you “sex-positive” motherfuckers assume that just because you choose to live an alternative lifestyle it means you are some how better and/pr more evolved than the rest of the general populace. Let me just tell you that you’re not. Also heres a book i suggest you should read “Sex at Dusk: Lifting the Shiny Wrapping from Sex at Dawn”
Matthew 2013-02-05 19:28:50
Your comments, albeit seriously reactionary and emotionally charged, are pretty entertaining. Thank you for them.
Here are some reading suggestions for you:
I don’t imagine they will help you on your journey to happiness and self-actualization(as it seems you have a long and arduous path to navigate), yet I hope they do just that.
ChasH 2013-02-06 12:05:18
And you read it wrong. She says polyamory should be respected as much as monogamy. Monogamy isn’t the lifestyle for her. Arguably, it has some draw backs, and these have been pointed out in different ways in many different places by different sources, including right-wing religious ones that give seminars on how how to withstand and labor through your marriage.
And if the very notion of polyamory is threatening to you, it’s because you have a problem. The problem isn’t the concept, the problem isn’t the messenger.
Shaquille Davis 2013-02-05 18:49:36
I’d also like to say that living a monogamous lifestyle does not induce mental illness you stuck-up bitch!!!
Shannon 2013-02-05 22:45:21
The ones with the least amount of faith in their argument are the ones most likely to depend on insults. While the original point was ‘almost’ valid, it was one that came about artificially by taking the author’s words completely out of context. So continues the plight of the frustrated internet poster.
Join us next time on Discovery when we meet the beaver, our furry friend down south.
Kendra Holliday 2013-02-06 08:13:55
One word: Projection.
ChasH 2013-02-06 12:14:19
She never said that. She said her mother was monogamous and mentally ill, both true. She never said monogamy caused the mental illness. It didn’t. Maybe your being so pissed has caused you to misread? Perhaps that’s also distorted your thinking and should take some time to re-examine the conclusions you’re jumping to?
There’s no problem with monogamy. None. Kendra would agree with me on that. If two people want a monogamous relationship, sex+ is all for it. You can be polyamorous and turn monogamous, there’s no problem, or you can be monogamous fromthe start.
But it shouldn’t be the expectation. Society shouldn’t shoehorn every personality into a monogamous relationship. Some just aren’t meant for it, which has consequences for everyone.
InTheNow 2013-02-08 08:52:26
“I wish all men were as honorable and ethical.
Don’t we all?”
This statement shows how men are perceived in our society. And I for one am both sad and pissed about it. Men are seen, in general, as aggressive sexual predators not to be trusted. Who given the chance will cheat, lie, abuse and take advantage of women. And women are seen as pure and good and potential victims.
Yet the statistics say otherwise. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Female_child_molesters Some studies show women alone make up 23% of sexual assaults on children and 22% abusing a child with a man. These numbers (like the stats on women raping men) are probably higher due to this societal belief that women can’t be abusers. That’s almost half of all assaults involve women.
I’m not being anti-women, women have to deal with this far more than men do but that doesn’t mean we ignore the truth. And the truly sex positive community can’t pretend it doesn’t exist. It is an unfair stereotype.
cmh1220 2013-02-16 03:12:36
my daughter identifies herslf as a lesbiam but she tells me she asexual.
Charley 2014-07-08 02:53:59
Yes, a very, very good read. Indeed! I’m deeply curious about your sex life.
(It’s I guess simply the voyeur in me).
What I’m wondering about is do you like to fuck more than to eat pussy?
Asexuality is not a bad thing because it allows you to sit back and consider what you’re getting into with an individual. That being said, when I do want sex. I would like to have it with a woman who enjoys the screwing part of it. When you’re into a gal (both figuratively and literally. Ha ha) you can as a fella perform better with her then just some straight pickup because you think you need to get off. Additionally, a partner who jives with you will tend to be more polite and caring for one another than just a get off session. So I don’t think your daughter’s asexuality is any kind of problem. In fact, it’s a thinking person’s response to the world.
With regards to your sex life and your molestation at age 9. Do you really think that is what triggers your hyper-sexuality? Is it the thrusting of the man that makes you extremely horny or is it the final deposition of semen that does it for you? (Raw statements. I know and raw questions, but you seem to be an upfront gal)
Jem 2014-07-08 06:21:36
Wow. Not ‘raw’ questions so much as deeply unsexy ones.
When you have sex you ‘like to have it with a woman who enjoys the screwing part of it’? Well, that’s nice.
Kendra Holliday 2014-07-08 12:47:33
HA, yeah, weird.
Amy C 2014-07-08 12:38:45
Wow, Shaquille Davis why are you even on this site if it’s so offensive to you?
I have to put in my experience, that when I was 12 I was pretty asexual too. But, I wasn’t raised in a sex-positive household either, and I was the oldest of 5 children. I was surrounded by children’s movies, books, toys, ect, and maybe that contributed to my desire to NOT grow up. I was sort of intimidated and frightened of becoming a sexually active adult, of boys talking to me, of getting boobs, etc. Sometimes I wonder, if I had had older siblings, or if I hadn’t been raised under the christian conservative belief that sex is “dirty” and only for married people making babies, if I would’ve felt differently?
Bob M 2014-07-09 01:32:38
What a great discussion. This is what I love about this site. A couple of things:
1) I just finished watching American Courtesans on Netflix and one suggestion that popped up was A Sexuality. It is a documentary about a man that is asexual. From the reviews it looks like it might be interesting for understanding asexuality.
2) I just finished reading “The Bonobo and the Atheist”. It builds the case that we (both men and woman) have brains that are structured and experiences stored to construct positive working relationships. While he gave many examples of primarily mammalian species that exhibit a strong sense of morality he points out that this morality is more developed in the apes (including us) than other species. Humankind has the most developed second order morality because we have the most developed brain. All mammals are hardwired to be moral, and he builds the case that this wiring created religions to codify our moral imperative. G-d was added to provide the ultimate muscleman for enforcement of the morality promoted by religions. We are the most naturally moral when we are acting from our natural state and are in touch with the natural propensity to work together for our common good. That is true of both genders. In summary, if we are driven by internal values both genders will exhibit a morality that the two fathers showed when they nurtured and cared for the daughter left with them.
okpromotions 2014-07-18 14:53:53
everybody has their own curve. i know plenty of girls that didn’t get into boys/girls until college. those were the ones to watch out for, lol.
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