Ask Sam letter

Asker

To Sam

Masturbation and asexuality

Hi Sam, I’m a 16 year old girl and I at the moment I identify as asexual (no sexual attraction to any gender). My friends and parents are very accepting so I have lots of support. I am really happy identifying this way and I don‘t want it to change but I sometimes masturbate/ look at porn and I have done since I was 12. I‘ve never done anything remotely sexual with another person and I don‘t really ever intend to but I feel very guilty about it, especially because I started to do it at a very young age. I feel like it makes my sexuality invalid and that I’m lying to myself and I don’t really fit in to the asexual community. Sometimes seeing racy scenes ‘turns me on’ (it feels weird to say that) but I pretend they don’t and I pretend masturbation disgusts me to my friends and family. I don’t know how to feel about it. I don’t want to keep lying but I don’t want to not be asexual because I feel like it is a big part of who I am. thankyou for reading s

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

Understanding your sexuality is a journey that can take different twists and turns as you grow older. Some people can feel very sure about their sexuality at an early age, whilst others might try different labels until they find one that fits. The label you use is not as important as being true to yourself and letting yourself be who you are.

There’s nothing wrong with masturbation. It's part of a healthy sex life for lots of people of all ages, genders and sexual orientations. You don’t owe anybody an explanation for how you masturbate, how often you do it and what you think about. and you don't need to feel guilty, no matter how you identify. You can identify as asexual and masturbate as much as you want to.

You get to decide what parts of yourself are most important and what you feel "defines" you as a person, but others will have a perception of you as well. You might be surprised at what people would say if they had to describe you in a few words - fewer people than you think might say anything about your sexuality. No matter how someone perceives you it's more important that you’re your natural self.

Understanding your sexuality is not always easy and your understanding can change over time. It's okay to change your mind, explore new sides to your sexual identity and allow yourself to follow your instincts. You get to decide what label you use, so if you feel that asexual matches your identity the closest then there is nothing wrong with using that but it's also okay to change it if you want.

It's healthy to think about your sexuality from time to time, take a step back and ask yourself if you’re identifying in the way that’s most true to yourself. Think about what makes identifying as asexual so important to you. Sometimes we can all portray ourselves in a way which we think helps us fit in with others, but if you aren't being yourself it can lead to problems with self-confidence and unhappiness. It might be a good idea to talk this through with a counsellor - having someone else who you can bounce thoughts off can really help you to understand yourself better. Our counsellors are there to listen and won't judge or pressure you.

Thanks for writing in, I hope this has helped.

Take care.

Sam

Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small. I would be especially interested in hearing more about how coronavirus might have affected you at home and at school. 

Write me a letter