DEAR ABBY: I’m 22, and my boyfriend wants sex, but I absolutely do not. I don’t feel sexual desire – not at all. I’m asexual, but he refuses to believe me and insists my “past relations have scarred me” and that I “need to get over it.”
When I was 17, I was raped by my ex-boyfriend, and I admit it traumatized me. But that isn’t what my problem is. I honestly don’t feel any need for sex. I never have.
This has become a serious problem for us because my boyfriend keeps pushing for it. Last year, we had sex on his birthday, but I froze up. I couldn’t make myself refuse – just as I didn’t consent – but he doesn’t seem to understand that.
His birthday is coming up soon and he wants to have sex again, but like I’ve said, I don’t. What am I supposed to do? I can’t force myself to feel lust. It isn’t there. Please help me. – No Desire in the South
DEAR NO DESIRE: Whether your lack of desire is related to the rape or you are naturally asexual is something no one can answer without a mental health professional seeing and evaluating you. However, I can unequivocally say this: If you don’t want to have sex, pay attention to your feelings and don’t do it.
There has been some conjecture that because we live in such an oversexualized society, some individuals have become desensitized to it. However, because of your sexual history, it might benefit you to find a rape counseling center and talk to a counselor to ensure that the sexual assault didn’t cause or contribute to this.
DEAR ABBY: After dating a guy I’ll call Charlie for two years, I broke up with him. It was the biggest mistake I’ve ever made. I know I can’t change anything, but now we have started talking again, and Charlie told me he had planned to propose to me the day I dumped him.
We have been discussing starting over again together. He’s about to go across the country for college, and he asked me to move with him. Of course I said yes! It would be a perfect way to start fresh.
When I asked Charlie when we’d make us official, he said he has to focus on college first. I don’t want to wait two to four years to begin our lives. Why would he want me to move with him and hold off being official if we’re going to be together in the end? And what’s the difference between being his fiancée moving with him and being a “friend” moving with him? I’m really upset, and I don’t want to lose him again. – Starting Over in the East
DEAR STARTING OVER: The difference between being a girlfriend who goes with him to college and being Charlie’s fiancée is night and day. What do you plan to do when you get there? Get a job? Go to college, too? Who is going to support you financially on this adventure?
As a girlfriend, you will have far less status than if you were engaged. If he met someone else, you could be discarded like a gum wrapper along the highway of life. Please talk to your parents or some other adult relatives about this. As Charlie has made clear, he isn’t ready for marriage – or even a committed relationship. You may not want to lose him, but the surest way to do that would be to do what you are planning.