I’m a bit of an oddball. I have never had any sexual desires or tendencies for as long as I can remember until now. Even when I was younger, my friends would comment on their crushes and relationships. While I definitely think people are attractive, I have never wanted any physical contact with them, and I do not masturbate. I have had sex before, and it just doesn’t do anything for me. Like, it’s fun, but there’s no hot desire that stirs all up in me when I have sex with someone else. I think I am asexual and I find it really tough when everyone at the university seems to be thirsty for sex all the time. Should I be concerned?
—Hot and Unbothered
You’re on the right track with your thinking: asexuality is a lack of interest in sex or a lack of sexual attraction to others. It’s estimated that about one per cent of the population is asexual, but there hasn’t been much research conducted on it. There is still a lot of uncertainty about whether asexuality is related to underlying medical causes, such as a lack of certain hormones, or a genetic component, or other explanations. Your testosterone levels are primarily responsible for your physiological sex drive, and your doctor can help you if your hormones are a little out of whack. If not, it’s just part of what makes you a unique sexual being.
The ball doesn’t stop rolling there: People identifying as asexual may have been sexual at some point in their lives, may become sexual later in life, and may still have sexual urges such as masturbation, but simply do not desire sex with others. Remember that asexuality is an orientation, not just a conscious choice to abstain from sex.
It also doesn’t mean that you cannot have fulfilling relationships. As an individual, you still have emotional needs. This may involve romantic relationships with partners, attraction, and the desire to be in a relationship whether or not there’s sexual desire or activity. It takes two to tango though, and you may have to compromise or explore other avenues together and individually to ensure that your respective emotional and sexual needs are fulfilled.
For more information, I recommend you pay a little visit to the Asexual Visibility and Education Network, the largest asexual community online. You can also visit the Pride Centre or the Women’s Resource Centre on campus for more information.
A good friend of mine was having a bad case of itching and painful urination a few days after sex, so I got her Canesten to help ease her urinary tract infection. I always use it since I’ve had a few cases of some bad UTIs myself. I got her a combo pack of the cream and pill, and I assumed that the rest would take care of itself. But clearly that was wishful thinking. While my friend applied the cream around her vagina, she took the pill orally instead of inserting it into her vagina with the applicator. She called me in a panic with some burning sensations in her mouth, and I told her to go to the doctor. Is there that big a difference between which hole gets the pill?
—The Wrong Hole
Yours is not the first story gone wrong with us women and our pills. Whether it’s birth control or UTI control, mistakes happen. But yes, all holes were not made equal.
In this case, your friend definitely needed a little more direction than just passing her the cream and pill package. There are single oral pill forms of Canesten, but it sounds like the package you got her was the duo vaginal variety. These two formulations—one oral and one vaginal—are different for a reason, and it’s pretty important to stick to the package guidelines. The tissues in your mouth versus those in your vagina are made differently, and need to be treated as such.
Just like sex, there is no guarantee that any two UTIs will show symptoms or react to treatment the same way. Your UTI experience might have been a little different than hers, so as you suggested it would be a good idea for your friend to book an appointment with her doctor (which will also help her get the scoop straight from the source on future yeast infection treatment).
Next time, I would invite your friend to speak to a medical professional before she decides to take medication for troubling symptoms—and to make sure to read instructions. It’s always good practice to know about what you put in your mouth.