Sex Repulsion and Taking a Human Sexuality Course

So, I just started taking a course on human sexuality. This is going to be interesting, especially as I am a somewhat sex-repulsed asexual. It’s sort of hard to quantify my sex repulsion. There will be times when something really squicks me out, but then other times where I’m just fine with it. Some things that used to squick me out don’t really bug me the way they used to. And sometimes I’ll be fine with stuff, and then a little while later my brain just suddenly goes “nope, too much”.

Examples. One time, a friend of mine decided to show me a picture of an erect penis just to see how I would react to it, because I had told her I was ace. This really bothered me and was generally squicky. Not to mention, that was a really dick thing for her to do. Not only showing me porn without my consent (is that sexual harassment?), but going out of her way to test me because I told her I was different.

A different time, I forget how, but I found a link to this one site that basically just has a wide variety of photos of what normal people’s penises look like. Normal meaning actual everyday people, not porn stars. Looking at this website, well, it felt weird, but more of a weird because of being raised to think it’s “bad” to look at stuff like that, plus a bit of weirdness because it was stuff I hadn’t really ever seen before.

Another time, a different friend of mine was showing me how to use a condom. She gave me a very simple demonstration. She got out a condom, showed me how you’re supposed to hold the tip and roll it down, without putting it on anything (no stereotypical bananas here). While this was good information, well, it kinda just suddenly came out of nowhere and I felt really uncomfortable with it.

So, I think surprise is probably an element in whether something squicks me out or not. If it’s sudden, or out of nowhere, or I wasn’t expecting it, then it’s more likely to bother me. Also, if it’s something new to me, it’s probably more likely to squick me out, but maybe not if I had some idea what to expect beforehand? Maybe it helps not to be squicked out if I’m the one to choose when to look at new information about sex, and it’s not someone else picking a random time to experiment with how their asexual friend responds to pornographic pictures?

Anyway, today I was looking at my textbook for my human sexuality class. I was reading the assigned chapter for class, and I’d flipped through the pages a bit to see what sort of pictures are in it, mostly to try to get a sense of how well I will be able to handle this class. Then, later, I was looking at various sections of the book that caught my interest*, and I was halfway through reading something interesting and suddenly my brain was all “nope, too much”, and my fun sating of curiosity suddenly turned into ewwwww squick, can’t do this right now.

This seems similar to when I play Cards Against Humanity with my siblings. There’s some sexually explicit stuff in there, including descriptions of sex acts. It’s a (highly inappropriate and) fun game, but after playing a few hands I sort of hit my limit. It’s not fun any more, and I just want to do anything other than play Cards Against Humanity.

So… maybe part of the sex repulsion thing is that I hit my limit of how much sex stuff I can deal with way more quickly than most people. Or do other people even have a limit that they reach with that stuff? I mean, I’m sure there must be some point where it stops being interesting or something, but is there a point where it gets to be too much to the point of “nope, can’t deal with this right now” for people who aren’t ace and/or sex repulsed?

* They actually mention asexuality in the textbook! In the chapter on sexual orientation! They have two whole paragraphs under the heading of asexuality! And how sad is it that two whole paragraphs acknowledging that people like me exist is something to get excited about!

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11 thoughts on “Sex Repulsion and Taking a Human Sexuality Course

  1. I wonder if this class will help you with increasing your limit. Like building an immunity of sorts. So you can at least tolerate seeing surprise things or people talking about it without the squick.

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    • Honestly, I don’t mind that I’m somewhat sex-repulsed. That’s not something I want to change about myself. It might be good to gain a better understanding of it, though. Or to learn better ways to respond to people acting inappropriately because they’ve learned I’m ace.

      What I do hope to get out of the class is a better understanding of non-ace experiences of sexuality, because there’s so much about that I just really don’t get. So many times I’ll be hearing people talking about sex or romance and I’ll just go “huh?” It doesn’t really compute for me. I can hopefully at least gain some sort of academic understanding, though.

      It would also be good to get rid of the last vestiges of religious shame I was taught growing up. There’s nothing shameful about masturbating or having consensual sex. Those are perfectly normal human things that most people do.

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  2. It’s interesting to hear about your experiences. I am straight and attracted to males but even I have some moments where I’m really disgusted. Do straight women like pictures of males privates? That’s gross to me. I don’t know if I’m the only one but I honestly don’t care. This was a good post. πŸ™‚

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  3. “Not only showing me porn without my consent (is that sexual harassment?), but going out of her way to test me because I told her I was different.”

    Yes. It is. That is… dang, that’s just super rude. I don’t blame you for being uncomfortable.

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    • Thanks for the feedback. The idea of sexual harassment didn’t even cross my mind at the time. I just knew I didn’t like it and it made me uncomfortable. But then later, when I was reading something about what is or isn’t sexual harassment, I started wondering.

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    • Well, I should say former friend in the case of the one who showed me the pornographic image without my consent. We had a pretty major falling out over some other stuff that happened later, primarily her deciding she had a problem with me being trans. As to the other, I doubt it even occurred to her that something like that could bother someone, especially as we were hanging out in an LGBT space at the time, which seems like a pretty obvious place for sex to be discussed more often/openly (right? to be honest, I don’t really know these things…).

      Actually, the primary reason I signed up for the class in the first place was because my friend was taking it. And, odd as it may sound, hanging around in ace spaces on the internet has significantly increased my knowledge on sex related subjects (e.g. by finding stuff like http://www.asexualityarchive.com/an-asexuals-guide-to/ which covers topics like masturbation, sex, anatomy, arousal, and orgasms). Also, finding out I was ace, for me, was less about discovering something about myself than it was about figuring out that most other people are really different than me. So, that raised some curiosity about what other people’s experiences are actually like, and I started paying more attention in general because I knew I didn’t know much.

      The squick factor hasn’t actually been much of a problem with the class, so far, other than discovering that I probably don’t want to spend hours a day poking through the textbook, even if I am really curious. I’m actually really excited about the class. But, yea, I’m probably going to have some amount of difficulty with the class sooner or later. It helps that the professor is really approachable and encouraged me to come talk to her during her office hours if I’m having trouble (and it’s generally understood that any student may want to skip some particular class if the discussion subject for that day is triggering or something). So, I think I’ll be fine, on the whole.

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        • It’s quite likely I will be writing more posts about the class. It’s nothing if not thought provoking. Weirdly enough, it seems like there are some things in the class that bother the other students more than they bother me. I’m not really sure what, though. My friend was telling me today that there was some tension in the class, and another student noticed it, too, but I was completely oblivious. So I asked him what provoked it and when it started, but he couldn’t point out any specific thing.

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