All of my friends spend a lot of time talking about sex and how hot girls are. But I’m not really interested in sex, and don’t understand what the deal is with hot people. I feel so left out—what’s going on? Is this normal?
Great question! There are several reasons you may not be interested in sex, and none of them make you weird or “abnormal.”
First off, people develop at different rates. Chances are that your friends are at a different stage in puberty. When you begin going through puberty, your brain sends signals to your body in the form of hormones, telling it to begin to change—to grow pubic and underarm hair, to get taller, to develop breasts if you have a female reproductive system, and to grow a larger penis if you have a male one. These hormones also cause you to begin to think about sex in a way you probably didn’t before. In the same way that people get their periods or have their voices deepen at different ages, people begin to think about sex at different ages. That doesn’t mean that you’re “behind” your friends and need to catch up! Let your body do its thing, and enjoy where you are in life right now.
It’s unlikely but possible that you may never think about sex in the same way that your friends do. About 1% of the population is asexual, meaning that they just don’t get sexually attracted to others. This is a sexual orientation, just like being gay or straight is. It doesn’t mean that people who are asexual don’t get crushes or fall in love, necessarily. Sexual attraction and romantic attraction can be two different things, so you may get butterflies around someone, but not want to have sex with them. Asexuality is a spectrum, which means that there’s no clear line that will tell you if you are or are not asexual. People who identify as asexual, or “aces,” still date, get married and have kids if those are things they want! If you want to learn more about asexuality, check out http://www.whatisasexuality.com/.
Even though not being interested in sex is totally normal, it seems like you’re feeling a bit lonely since you can’t bond with your friends by talking about sex. That’s totally understandable. When you begin to feel left out, remind yourself that you’re not alone, and that sex isn’t everything. Try switching the conversation to something you want to talk about, or suggest doing more activities such as playing a sport or going to a museum.