DEAR ABBY: I'm 22, and my boyfriend wants sex, but I absolutely do not. I don't feel sexual desire -- not at all. I'm asexual, but he refuses to believe me and insists my "past relations have scarred me" and that I "need to get over it."
When I was 17, I was raped by my ex-boyfriend, and I admit it traumatized me. But that isn't what my problem is. I honestly don't feel any need for sex. I never have.
This has become a serious problem for us because my boyfriend keeps pushing for it. Last year, we had sex on his birthday, but I froze up. I couldn't make myself refuse -- just as I didn't consent -- but he doesn't seem to understand that.
His birthday is coming up soon and he wants to have sex again, but like I've said, I don't. What am I supposed to do? I can't force myself to feel lust. It isn't there. Please help me. -- NO DESIRE IN THE SOUTH
DEAR NO DESIRE: Whether your lack of desire is related to the rape or you are naturally asexual is something no one can answer without a mental health professional seeing and evaluating you. However, I can unequivocally say this: If you don't want to have sex, pay attention to your feelings and don't do it.
There has been some conjecture that because we live in such an oversexualized society that some individuals have become desensitized to it. However, because of your sexual history, it might benefit you to find a rape counseling center and talk to a counselor to ensure that the sexual assault didn't cause or contribute to this.