Sex on the beach. Why is this something people want to do? After doing this I can whole-heartedly say that it is a terrible idea. It is cold, the breeze can be bitter, and you get sand everywhere. I mean. Every. Where.
He has a girlfriend. They’ve been together for over a year. He says he loves her. But he still chose to have sex with me. I told him that he would be cheating on his girlfriend. He said “but I’ve known you for ages and we need to finish what we started two years ago”. I agreed. And I wish I could have said no. Instead I thought it would be another way to be self-destructive and make me hate myself more.
And it did. I feel.. dirty. My brain is telling me I fucked up and I’m a horrible person and I should kill myself. How does your brain turn on itself like that, knowing you will hate yourself for doing something and then doing it anyway?
Memories from this encounter will be branded on my body as scars, reminding me that I’m a no-good-piece-of-shit person who deserves punishment and sadness.
A few months ago I learnt something about myself. I am an aromantic. Or at least, on the aromantic spectrum.
Aromantic refers to someone who has little to no emotional attraction to another.
Over the last few years I’ve found myself being frustrated in myself for not liking people, not having any emotional attraction to someone. I can’t even truly say I’ve ever felt love. I have no problems taking my clothes off and “studying someone’s anatomy” as it were. In fact, I love that. Sometimes it was a one-time thing, other times it was more of a ‘friends with benefits’ type scenario.
The first time I had sex I was in a relationship that lasted a whole of 16 days. I wasn’t in it for the right reasons. As a young teen I had decided that the first time I was going to have sex it had to be with someone I was in a relationship with. I was so naive back then. I lost my V’s at 19 because I didn’t date through high school. Opportunities arose before then but I had this stupid pre-pubescent rule I’d made for myself, and for the sake of my virtue, I couldn’t break it. Eventually I found someone, he asked me out, 2 days later we had sex. Two weeks later we ended things. That’s the only ‘real’ relationship I’ve ever had. and in that time I felt no emotional attraction to him. I thought he had a rockin’ bod, and a super cute face, but it was all in lust.
Lust refers to someone who has a strong sexual desire for someone else.
Since then I’ve had plenty of opportunities to have relationships. But I couldn’t care less about those. I don’t want to be married, I don’t want to be tied down by a SO (← keeping it real with all this hip lingo), I don’t even see a future with anyone. At this point in my life I see myself being a part of the Single Pringle Brigade for the rest of time, but nothing more.
It’s hard to explain this to someone. When I try to explain this to someone they look at me like I’m crazy. I hear the confusion in their voice as they say, “so you’re absolutely sure that you don’t want a relationship? Like, at all?” because they just don’t understand. I’ve gotten into a habit of trying to soften it by saying that I just haven’t met the right person yet, someone who will change my mind on all of this. I’ve said it so much I don’t even know if it’s true or not anymore. Many in my friend groups growing up have partners; a boyfriend, girlfriend, fiancé, husband, wife. In a way, I almost envy them because they get the chance to experience something that I don’t know if I’ll ever get: love. But I don’t want that. I’ve never wanted that.
Growing up, and even to this day, I’ve had crushes. Everyone has crushes. They were these.. infatuations. But I never felt emotional desire. It took me so long to finally figure out why I never cared for a relationship, or an emotional connection with someone. Even now, trying to Google information on aromanticism (← is that even a real word?), it’s limited. Results mostly include tests around your sexuality, or blog posts of “5 differences between an asexual and an aromantic”. There needs to be more information on this. Something that’s easily accessible. I guess that’s part of the reason I’m writing this. It took me 22 years to realise that there isn’t actually something wrong with me, I’m just wired differently. And it’s okay not to be in a relationship, or not want to be married, or to not have the perfect life with your ‘soul mate’ already mapped out. You’re allowed to see yourself in the Single Pringle Brigade, or to enjoy sex without the strings attached, or to be emotionally unavailable.
A few weeks back I wrote a song about being an aromantic. I found that writing it all down and just getting it out really helped. And I think showing it to people helped open their eyes a little.
Embrace who you are. Don’t let others judge you because you’re wired differently. It’s okay to not want what someone else wants. It’s okay to be an aromantic.
I’ve wanted to write for the longest time. But when I sit down and start to type, all I manage is blah, blah, blah. I can’t make sense of the thoughts in my head, all I hear is static ringing in my ears. I can’t concentrate, can’t focus on a single word.
At night my consciousness is wide awake, keeping me awake with ‘what if’s, with unwanted memories. It leaves me with a crushing feeling in my chest. The circulating words stealing the air from my lungs. Butterflies flutter in a panic, trying to escape my stomach.
I try to make sense of it all, by writing it down. But then the cycle starts again. While I sit here, willing my brain to just open up and speak like it does in the dark, my fingers sit here taping the keys. Not making any sense. Tap. Tap. Tap. ddddkkdssdk.
I feel like I’m going insane. Everything is calm as well as being the biggest storm. I close my eyes and try to remember. All I see is black with occasional bursts of grey. My eyes scan the room, looking for something, to trigger anything. The fridge, a drink bottle, tissues, a knife, medication. It all blurs.
The cracked tiles move as I apply my weight with each step. Mangled vines entwine around the moss-covered pillars, and the rotten weatherboards lye on the ground, shards blown everywhere. I strain to hear any sign of life… Nothing. It’s been twenty years since I broke out of this ‘Hell Hole’. My eyes focus on the open window two stories up, glass splinters still visible in the window frame. I walk into my cell, and the nightmare starts to play in my mind.
I wake up to the slow, opening creak of my door. I start to move my arms and scream; he’s bound my naked body to the bedposts again. As he shuffles closer to my bed, the pungent stench of alcohol and sweat wafts around my tiny room and tickles my nostrils. The moonlight dances off the shiny object in his hand. I try to scream, but all that comes out is a dry whimper, followed by sobbing. He rolls across my bed until he ends on top of me, his unfocused eyes have no meaning to them. The object in his hand is now gently rubbing the side of my cheek. “Why, Dad, why?” is all that escapes my mouth before the knife is pulled back. It slices my skin, stinging from both the blade and the tears that roll down my bloody face.
The bright sunlight blinds my vision, and the metallic taste of blood still fills my mouth. Rope burn marks around my wrists and ankles are still raw, and I know will never heal. I slowly sit up and start swivelling my body around to the side of my bed, gritting my teeth from the unbearable pain down below. I put my feet on the blood-stained carpet and move towards the cracked mirror to inspect my face. Hanging onto the wall, I crouch down, pick up my nightie and put it on. I stare into the mirror and don’t even recognise myself. The open gash on my cheek is a horrible sight, which I can fortunately attempt to mend with the few remaining butterfly stitches in the first aid kit under my bed.
Mouldy bread sits on a tray by the door, and the unpleasant smells of the waterlogged ceiling and dank air is overwhelming. Knowing that I have to escape, I run to the grimy window and thrust my fist into it. The glass cracks, and down the hall my father shouts. He knows that I’m going to escape. I punch the window again and it smashes, glass raining everywhere and cutting my bruised body. I scream in pain and look at my hand: Bones jut out of my skin, and pieces of glass are sticking into my flesh.My door crashes open and hits the wall with a loud bang, and Dad’s voice bellows across the room, deafening me. forgetting all my pain, I leap out the window and fall – two stories – to the ground and land in the dewy grass. I get up, and half limp, half run out the gate and down the street, never looking back.
I turn away from the the glassless window and examine the room. The walls are starting to crumble away, and the words ‘Welcome To Hell’ are etched into the paint. The smell of filth and decay lingers everywhere, and rotten ropes still snake around the bedposts. Many blood stains are splashed across the room, and rags line the worn mattress. I sit on the bed, crying, knowing that even though my father is behind bars, the torture of what he did will stay with me forever.