It took the vacuum of my 2020 lockdown experience to unlock and reorganize some seemingly obvious attributes of my inner life that I had always found confusing. Deep under the surface of all the Netflix watching and quick bread baking some clarification developed.
At 6 years old I discovered that I could make up little exposure, humiliation and punishment stories and that they were exciting in a way that I had no language for. Weird, huh? Kept that knowledge to myself for the most part, except once when I got my best friend to help me actualize a scenario: I took some metal roller skates and put them on the floor of her closet and asked her to close me in the closet – then I sat on the rollerskates. We never discussed why I might want to do this and it was a one-time thing.
Being Ace never occurred to me back then partly because I didn’t have the language for that either, but mostly because all the intermittent promiscuity that started in my early teen life seemed contrary to that thesis. I also was a big fan of solitary masturbation. I mean, that’s what I had started with as a child and making up, refining, retiring, and renewing my own personal cache of masturbation fantasies was an unexamined given. And that was a sexuality, wasn’t it?
I always found it very difficult – not to say impossible – to enjoy having sex for the first time with a new person. With men it often wasn’t a problem as most of them were in it for themselves and seemingly didn’t notice or care if their partner wasn’t exactly aroused. But even with women – I just was not able to be responsive especially if I was with someone for the first time. And women really did not like that, so there wasn’t often a second time.
In fact, I used my proficiency at pleasing others as a way to keep them at a distance. Sex was service and that gave me control of their pleasure and kept them away from mine. It felt safer that way.
Another weirdness: If someone was attracted to me that was a total turn-off. The way I interpreted it – that didn’t give me any space to experience my own lust and it would only be about theirs. My ideal love interest was a person who was ambivalent about me – that gave me enough space to feel. Obviously these proclivities were not designed for a healthy long lasting relationship.
Between bouts of promiscuity there would be long dry spells which bothered me a little when I was young. Now that I’m old I can truly say I have no interest in ever having sex with another being other than myself. Last time I did was in 2005. I was done.
The first time I remember Ace-ness being more front-brained for me was watching Todd Chavez’s story arc on Bojack Horseman. I didn’t take it personally though – still didn’t examine my life through an Ace prism. I’d already decided long ago that my sexuality was a paradox and that was all there was to it.
At around that time I also went back into therapy. I truly didn’t think I was doing any good work on myself, but recently in calendar year 2021 at the sprightly young age of 68 the puzzle pieces fell into place: Fuck promiscuity – that’s a non-issue as 99% of that mess was precipitated by others’ lust for me, not the other way around. And if by any chance I did have lust for someone it was more in line with my fantasy life where rejection was eroticized. I also realized, after finally doing the barest amount of research that there are gradations of asexuality and my onanistic version is just as valid as someone with a different level of libido.
Have to say, I have a different level of libido myself these days as I am 18 years post-menopausal. I do, however, still rub one out when the spirit moves me.
About the Author
Mimi Fischer is a survivor who just ‘got on with it’ from 13 until her mid-fifties when she started self-actualizing as slowly as she could. That meant becoming a hoopdancer (hula hoop), an improviser, a writer, and a comedian. Now, at 68 she is continuing her journey of self discovery.