Looking back on the person who molested me as a child and teenager, I’m struck by one thing: he appeared to be 100% asexual. There was no indication that he was sexually attracted to, well, anyone! Of any age, sex or orientation. Not even, or perhaps especially, his own wife. If it hadn’t been for the loud and exuberant existence of my cousins, I would have sworn my uncle was asexual from birth.
In some ways, I envy those who are authentically, organically asexual. Human sexuality can be a cross to bear, a minefield, the harbinger of poor decisions and regret. But sexuality can also bring great joy and express great love. There’s safety in celibacy. Asexuality avoids the pain but also misses out on the pleasure. Sometimes I wish I’d been wired to be asexual.
As a child, I concluded my uncle was completely asexual because, athough free of any religious or moral inhibitions, I never knew him to crack a risqué joke nor indulge in double entendre. He talked about sex but in the most chaste, educational way. I felt so secure with him. While all other men frightened me, I trusted him implicitly. He was, I concluded, completely asexual. Safe.
Years later, I realized what he had done. Quoting from Struggling to Say #MeToo, When You Feel #OopsMyBad: ‘He was a clever one, my uncle [Ewythr]. That man knew how to cop a feel but make it seem like my fault ever time. #Oopsmybad. Every time he touched my breasts, he pretended nothing had happened. So I was the one to feel ashamed. I must’ve put my bosom in the wrong place at the wrong time. #Oopsmybad And that’s why I, you and so many victims of sexual abuse are struggling to proclaim #MeToo…
‘Ewythr and I worked well together. Maybe too well..He made a lunge for a spanner, bumping my pubescent breasts with his forearm. It reminded me of when he’d tuck me up when I was a just a wee one, dragging his arms across my chest as he tucked the quilt under my chin.
‘It happened the first time in the barn. Then it happened again. And again and again.’
Struggling to heal, on a long shot I queried ‘asexual’ and ‘paedophile’ in the internet search engine. My search did not come up empty-handed.
A 2012 article about the deceased serial paedophile, Jimmy Savile, in the Independent had this to say.
‘…to the millions who formed his loving public, he didn’t have a sex life. He was as sexless as a saint, who just happened to work in a business that was crowded with young girls – poor man’.
It was surprising to find the same ‘sexless’ theme in many different articles that covered the alleged sex attacks deceased former Prime Minister Edward Heath is reported to have carried out over several decades.The reports shocked everyone who had long concluded PM Heath was asexual in every sense of the word.
Vikram Dodd and Steven Morris of The Guardian reported, ‘James Gray, the MP for North Wiltshire and a Heath supporter, said: “My strong instinct is that he was entirely asexual, neither gay nor straight nor a paedophile. He was none of those things.” ‘
His friend, Sara Morrison, is reported in the Independent as saying, ‘ “Ted was simply not a sexual being, simply not interested.” Mrs Morrison said she used to discuss with a friend if anybody could entirely lack sexual feeling, which her friend doubted. “I later asked Ted and he effectively said that he was sexless. I forget the actual term he used, but in saying that he seemed to be stating something we both knew didn’t need saying.” ‘
Yet upon his death, no fewer than seven sex crimes allegedly perpetrated by PM Heath came to light, shocking his closest friends and constituents alike.
I was not shocked. My abuser came off as completely sexless too. Asexual. Kind. A sage authority figure I looked up to for wisdom and guidance. I was easy prey, much like the thousands of victims of sex abuse at the hands of sexless, kind, wise ‘celibate’ clergy.
We parents and step-parents worry constantly that our innocent, trusting children will find themselves yet another victim, another statistic, another wounded soul struggling to heal from the incomprehensibleness of sexual abuse by an abuser pretending to be asexual, sexless, celibate. When I was a girl, I trusted someone who appeared to be all of those things. To my sorrow, I learned better.
Photo by TraumaAndDissociation