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18 Years Old & Have Never Felt Attracted to Anyone

Published: June 13, 2018
Dear TeenHealthFX,
I'm female, almost 18 and never felt sexually attracted to anyone. I have never been in love either. I have tried having sex with a man twice and it ended quickly when he realized I was not responding in any way. I was not stressed or anxious. I can feel hot when watching a movie (very rarely) and I can achieve orgasm by masturbating. I never imagine anything while masturbating. The orgasms are short, not very intense and rarely fully satisfying but good enough for me to do it pretty often. What does that mean? Is there a chance I'm not asexual and there's just something wrong with the hormones?
Signed: 18 Years Old & Have Never Felt Attracted to Anyone

Dear 18 Years Old & Have Never Felt Attracted to Anyone,

It is normal to feel uninterested in sex at times, however that does not necessarily mean that you are asexual. According to TeenHealth, “people who are asexual may not be interested in sex, but they still feel emotionally close to other people.” Asexuality is a spectrum; no two people share the same characteristics. Planned Parenthood outlines common asexual characteristics, including:

  • May feel romantically attracted to someone, however feel no desire to act on these feelings in a sexual way.
  • May still involve themselves in romantic relationship and identify as straight, gay, lesbian or bisexual. They choose to “get close to people or experience intimacy through ways other than sex.”
  • “Some asexual people do get aroused (turned on), but they don’t feel the desire to be sexual with other people. And some asexual people masturbate. But others may not feel arousal at all.”

 

TeenHealthFX emphasizes that you do not need to label yourself as a certain sexual orientation. Only you can decide this for yourself. For people of all sexual orientations, learning about sex and relationships can be difficult. TeenHealth suggests speaking with a trusted adult about the current feelings you are experiencing. You can talk to your parents, school nurse, guidance counselor, coach or teacher. Speaking about these feelings with someone you trust can be beneficial. You can also visit your local Planned Parenthood to speak with a healthcare professional.

If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-5199 for an appointment with an adolescent medicine specialist or contact your local teen health center or Planned Parenthood. A Planned Parenthood health center is a good option if you have concerns about cost or confidentiality issues. You can also contact your insurance company for a list of in-network providers. 

FX recommends the following resources for additional information on sexual orientation and asexuality:

 

TeenHealthFX recommends that all sexually active teenagers use condoms every time they have sexual intercourse. Condoms are the only form of birth control that can protect from sexually transmitted infections, and should be used in addition to another form of birth control for best protection. FX suggests that you check out the links in our Resource of the Month: Planned Parenthood Resources on Safer Sex so that you can learn about sexual readiness, how pregnancy happens, pregnancy tests, emergency contraception, birth control, STDs and more. The more educated you are about these topics, the more likely you will make healthy decisions for yourself when it comes to your sexual health. 

 

Signed: TeenHealthFX

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