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When I was still a child, I had strong sexual feelings, satisfied by frequent, regular fantasy and masturbation, but not the physical stimulating oneself you see in movies or read about. Fantasy was sufficient to bring myself to climax. These mental narratives were, I thought, warped, because I would visualize being raped. Only recently have I realized that the reason for these fantasies was that I have never been sexually attracted to anyone. First I thought I was bisexual, then gay, then transgender. I still believe the last but I will never know. I don’t resemble the opposite gender enough to live as one of them and surgery would not help. At all.
So, I groped for answers and experimented, but though I had and enjoyed plenty of sex, I had to send my imagination to a fantasy world where I could see myself as unwilling, passive, or forced by threat to engage in sexual acts. Eventually I realized that I had to see myself as sexually attractive in order to participate in the act. As soon as I grew too old to perceive myself as “hot,” I lost all appetite even for masturbation. I can’t even have erotic dreams that lead to the arousal that was so easy for me from the age of seven until middle age.
I also have never been in love in any way resembling what other people describe as falling in love. I can see a man or woman and admire him or her as I would any thing of beauty, but my feelings are as sexually neutral as those I’d feel for a statue or an adorable child. Perhaps it is impossible to fall in love without erotic feelings for that person. I wouldn’t know any more than a colorblind man could understand the intensity of bright red.
I’ve been through years of therapy but not a lot centered on sex drive. It seemed to me that, once I came to the conclusions I described above, I was finished with the topic. My biggest problem, and it is a doozy, is that I have been married for almost thirty years. I know my spouse cannot be delighted by the situation. Sometimes I long to be single just to throw off this guilt I carry for being unable to satisfy my partner in this manner.