My libido was... procrastinating?
March 4, 2011 6:38 AM   Subscribe

21, female, "newly-sexual" - is it really that unusual?

My teenage years were a little upsy-turvy in the hormone department. If it's relevant, I have PCOS. For the longest time, I was convinced that I was asexual. No interest at all, even romantically - I had no idea how it felt to be aroused, didn't even understand why anyone would want to be!

I spent a long time mucking around with supplements and diets in an effort to regulate my very elusive menstrual cycle. Something worked, because I've had regular periods for over a year now, aaaand... suddenly sex is really, really interesting. I think this is how puberty was supposed to feel!

I mentioned this briefly to my new gynecologist - she had never heard of such a thing, and wrote it off as a psychological issue. I just assumed I was a late bloomer! Any possible explanation? Can an asexual become sexual all of a sudden, or is it all hormonal? Pretty sure that it's not just in my head. Not too upset by it, just very curious...
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Sounds plausible to me. I'm not a doctor nor an endocrinologist, but so many things go into your sexual makeup -- hormones, upbringing, appetite, mood, supernatural whims, you name it -- that it makes as much sense to me as any other theory.

I mean, hell, even if people who usually have a libidio can get thrown off sex by random life events for a while even if their hormones are working properly, it makes perfect sense that someone whose hormones weren't working properly for a while would also be asexual and then get interested in sex when the hormones settled down.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:55 AM on March 4, 2011

I also have PCOS and I was on Metformin and Novo-Spiroton to help with the symptoms. They worked like a charm, and I actually had a similar experience in that my libido suddenly went into overdrive. Not sure if it was coincidence or related, but there you have it :)
posted by torisaur at 6:57 AM on March 4, 2011

Sounds normal to me. Humans develop differently, sexual interest can wax and wane over a lifetime, sexual interest can be tied to stress, to particular relationships, to (yes) psychological issues ... either your mind or your body wasn't ready before now, and now it's ready. Yay!

(I don't recall being particularly interested in sex during puberty. I was more interested in drama and crying and hating everything.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:58 AM on March 4, 2011 [3 favorites]

I was going to say exactly what Eyebrows said. I wasn't particularly interested in sex until several years after puberty.

It's also not terribly unusual to become interested in sex at 21 rather than the 16-ish that is "average". Sexual development is weird. I didn't need a bra till I was 26. Who cares if that's "abnormal"? As long as it isn't impeding your life or causing medical problems, you're fine.

You might be better off than the average teenager who felt pressured to have sex at 15.

To answer your endocrine question, it seems to me that it's a total crapshoot. The two things might be causally related, they might not. Does it really matter?
posted by Sara C. at 7:55 AM on March 4, 2011

Sounds well within the bounds of "normal" to me. If you were 31, we'd be having a different conversation, but at 21 you're probably just a late bloomer.
posted by valkyryn at 8:02 AM on March 4, 2011

You are in the spectrum of normal.

I mentioned this briefly to my new gynecologist - she had never heard of such a thing, and wrote it off as a psychological issue.

Based on this statement, it's time to find a new gynecologist.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 8:10 AM on March 4, 2011 [11 favorites]

I have a small pituitary tumor that affects some of my hormones and I'm generally low on the libido scale. I suspect these two things are related. I find that when I'm doing the right things, eating right, getting exercise, spending quality time with my handsome boyfriend, it can kickstart my hormones somewhat so that 1. I get my period which I otherwise almost never get (I've spoken to my doctor, this is normal for me) 2. I get a libido kickstart. This is likely totally normal for you as well. There's also a lot of handwavey discussion that women hit what people vaguely call their "sexual peak" later in life, so later development of these sorts of feelings seems par for the course anecdotally.
posted by jessamyn at 8:21 AM on March 4, 2011

Yeah, you totally sound like a late bloomer to me. I've met some girls that totally thought they were asexual (never crushed, wanted to date, etc) until they met a boy in their early to mid twenties...! Then there is a lot of making up of "lost time."
posted by xtine at 11:20 AM on March 4, 2011

I'm another PCOS girl, and I was an early-bloomer rather than late--just a bit of anecdata for you! I don't know, it might still be involved (I had regular periods throughout my teens) or maybe not.

I also know lots of people, both male and female, who didn't begin to be interested in sex until their early twenties or late teens. 21 doesn't sound particularly late to me. Enjoy!
posted by equivocator at 7:14 PM on March 6, 2011

No doctor here, but I think you sound totally normal, just based on my personal experience and my experience with friends.

I never thought I was asexual, but I always felt so-so about the idea of sex during puberty. Boys were cute, but the idea of sleeping with them wasn't all that exciting. I am almost 20, and honestly, my interest in sex only really started at 18 1/2. Then all of a sudden, sex was SUPER interesting to me. Almost out of nowhere.

I went to college with girls who still weren't interested in sex really, and others who had been having and enjoying sex since they were 15. As someone said (Sarah C, I think) sexual development (especially for girls) is weird. I did some research on it this past year, and its kind of fascinating how different every person's approach to sexuality is. It happens at different times for different people. I think you sound completely normal.
posted by KodyKeplinger at 12:18 AM on July 31, 2011

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