Allure: Ask a Sex Therapist, If I’ve Never Enjoyed Sex, Does That Mean I’m Asexual? – Upspoken

Type to search


Allure: Ask a Sex Therapist, If I’ve Never Enjoyed Sex, Does That Mean I’m Asexual?


Read article in it’s entirety at

By Vanessa Marin | April 4, 2019

Sex should be fun, but it can also be complicated. Welcome to Sexual Resolution, a biweekly column by sex therapist Vanessa Marin answering your most confidential questions to help you achieve a healthy, joyful sex life. Here, she answers a question from a reader who doesn’t enjoy sex and is wondering if it means she might be asexual.

DEAR VANESSA: I’ve been sexually active for a couple of years, with a few different partners. I’ve had a decent amount of sex, although I wouldn’t describe myself as “experienced.” My problem is that I’ve never enjoyed it; in the moment, it simply doesn’t feel great. I never think about sex and I never crave it. I feel like I could be perfectly happy never having it again. I don’t understand all the hype about sex. Am I missing something? I feel a lot of anxiety about this whole situation. Does this mean I’m not that into sex?– Just Don’t Care (But I Guess I Care Enough to Write This Email?), 20

DEAR JDC: There are two possibilities here: that you’re just not that into sex, or that you’re just not that into the sex you’ve had thus far.

Let’s start with the first option. It’s possible that you may be asexual. There are lots of different shades of this term, but the basic definition is a lack of interest in sex or less of an interest in sex than others. About one percent of the population identifies this way, so it’s important for you to know that asexuality is relatively common and completely normal. I encourage you to check out the Asexual Visibility and Education Network. They have a great overview of what asexuality is and what it can mean for you, plus tons of helpful FAQs covering lots of different situations.

If any of the potential descriptions of asexuality resonate for you, keep in mind that you still get to decide what kind of sex life feels healthy for you. It’s possible that someone could identify this way and still have totally satisfying romantic relationships, even with a sexual component that feels good to you. On the other hand, you could choose not to ever have sex again. That choice is completely up to you.

Now, let’s talk about the other option. You’re relatively young and you said that you wouldn’t describe yourself as having had a ton of sexual experience. It can take a while to figure out what you like and respond to sexually. Sex isn’t automatically incredible and mind-blowing the second you start having it. In fact, most people would describe their early sexual experiences as not particularly satisfying. Perhaps you just haven’t had great sex yet, so there’s nothing for you to get excited about. It wouldn’t make sense for you to crave something that hasn’t been very good.

If that’s the case, then the solution is more exploration and experimentation. For now, I would encourage you to explore your body on your own and try to get a sense of what you enjoy. Do you have a regular masturbation practice? If not, that could be an interesting thing for you to explore. If you’re curious about what turns you on, you could also try reading erotica or sexual education books, and see if you discover anything that piques your interest. You could even start making a sexual bucket list of things that you want to try at some point.

Once you’ve explored on your own, your next step is getting more comfortable exploring with a partner (if you decide you want to keep having sex with another person). Just as you’re not going to have great sex right from the start, you’re also not likely to have the best chemistry in bed with a new person the first few times you sleep with them. Every time you begin a new sexual relationship, you have to figure out how your individual sets of needs, boundaries, and bodies work together.

A lot of people take a pretty passive approach to sex, but unless you’re actively exploring and trying to figure out what might feel good for you and your body, it likely won’t lead to anything great. During sex, did you ever catch yourself thinking about wanting things to be different? (For example, did you find yourself wishing your partner had spent more time on oral sex or wanting them to use more pressure on your clitoris?) The next time you feel interested in being intimate with a partner, I would encourage you to try to be present in the moment and give feedback and suggestions. This kind of communication is essential for having an enjoyable time.

A quick note about sex drive: Most people expect to feel this wild, carnal urge for sex, but that’s just not how libido works. It’s perfectly normal and common not to think about or crave it when you’re not having it. If you’re interested in cultivating more sexual desire, there are steps you can take to do so. Just know that it’s very normal to not feel much spontaneous desire on a daily basis.