by Fiza Pathan
Many of us hear about someone being LGBT that is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. We have got college friends, office colleagues, bar friends and most of the time people in our own families who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender. However, when I learnt what I was . . . I was shocked that even I had a label in the ‘queer’ market.
My name is Vishaka Garraway and I am asexual which means I don’t get stirred sexually and I abhor sex in every form.
At first I thought this was a normal phenomenon and that because I termed was brought up in a very strict Hindu family, I must not be craving for sex like some of my college or even my school friends did. From the time I was in school, I hated the physical intimacy associated with sex or copulation. I day dreamed of a partner who would love me platonically without wanting to be in a physical relationship with me. I was naïve and absolutely clueless about my sexual orientation. In the tenth-gra
de, two of my friends had already had sex and one of them sat for the matriculate exam in a pregnant state. Her lover who was a drug addict had abandoned her but she was willing to care for their love child. In my absolute insane moments, I asked that friend of mine whose name was Paula whether she had fun having sex and whether she really had to take all her clothes off. Yes, she laughed and told me to get back to her once my orthodox family got me hooked with a guy. We both went on to college and Paula became a bisexual while I remained in my wonder world of intrinsic love. I enjoyed Paula’s episodes with her girlfriends as well as her boyfriends, they were funny . . . but for the life of me, I couldn’t understand how she could have sex with all of them and not feel . . . what I felt just hearing about it . . . filthy . . . dirty . . . so not me.
Paula after graduation went on to become a clinical psychologist while I became a teacher. My salary was meagre but I was happy to work with children, something I always wanted to do because, in a way, I was just like them; I was childlike and had a passion for teaching. Making a child at school smile was my ecstasy and yet I did not realize that there was something different about me.
Paula once brought a porn film of Sunny Leone to my room to watch it with me. Apparently I was supposed to get sexually excited by it and get ‘horny’ with Paula who had set her heart on having sex with me that evening. To her bad luck, I just sat placidly infront of the television eating popcorn and kept on saying that Sunny Leone was a good meaty woman which reminded me of eating chicken legs at KFC. Paula was so angry that she stormed out of my room with the blue film and only returned the day my marriage was being celebrated.
My family of orthodox Hindus had managed to find me a groom from London who was an engineer. They found him handsome and me decent enough and so it was all over in a couple of days . . . I became Mrs Vishaka Garraway.
The night of our marriage found both my husband and me alone in our bedroom. Silly woman that I was, I thought that as a newlywed couple we would be gossiping whole night about our jobs, our schools, our friends, our families, our likes and dislikes . . . but when he started edging closer towards me to undress me, fear throttled my being.
“What are you doing Kennedy?” I asked timidly
“Undress yourself babe I want to see how beautiful you really look.”
What followed was one of the most harrowing incidents of my life. My whole world fell apart as he forced me to undress and lie naked on the bed. I begged him to stop but then he got violent, he thought I was acting stupid.
“What kind of a wife are you babe who does not want to have sex with your own husband?” asked my husband annoyed and determined. I cried bitterly as he tried to feel my body. I was trembling like as if I was in the Arctic. My lips were sticking together in shock and my eyes were shut as I slept on my bed in an embryo position. He then realised that I was not going to give in that easily so he started to pull my hair and bite my flesh as well as tossing me about the room as if I was a rag doll in his hands . . . when he penetrated into me, I screamed as my hymen broke and blood drenched the bed sheets. I beseeched him to stop and have mercy but he wouldn’t stop. He kept on coming at me and said that I would learn to enjoy it in good time . . . that good time never came.
I spent three terrible years of my life with Kennedy Garraway always on the edge and terrified of him whenever we were alone in the house. Every time when we had sex, he would slap me and scratch my body until it bled. Never once did he stop to ask whether I was feeling comfortable doing this or not . . . never once did he care about the way I wanted to be treated as his wife.
When our fourth anniversary came Kennedy held a big bash for his friends and family members. I was silent during the whole party, I felt like a honey bee without my sting. Paula was also invited to that party. She came in all decked up in a skimpy extra short sky blue dress with a low neckline, but, she was the only one who saw the dark circles under my eyes.
She dragged me upto my room and it was infront of her that I broke down. I told her that I was afraid of sex and that I did not want to be in a relationship where my feelings were being abused. It was then that Paula now a clinical psychologist for five years asked me whether I heard about a word called ‘asexual’. When I gave her a clueless look, Paula went towards the computer, clicked the Google search engine and downloaded the information for me. I was shocked . . . now I realized why I hated sex and did not like it even after spending four years with my husband. I poured out my heart to Paula. I confided to her how I always puked after having sex and bathed to wash away ‘something’ unknown on my body which was making me feel uncomfortable. Paula then sat Kennedy and me down and explained to us after the party this new part of my character which needed to be recognised and respected. Kennedy did not want to do anything with it. His engineering brain could not digest that there could be love between two partners EVEN WITHOUT ANY PHYSICAL CONTACT.
Kennedy divorced me and no one was happier than I was. After my divorce, Paula and I went on to attend several seminars in London and America which dealt with the small fraction of asexuals that did exist in the world. We were people who loved other people without any sex strings being attached to it . . . a platonic and innocent relationship with all mankind. We spoke with parents, with asexual children, husbands with asexual wives, wives with asexual husbands and also certain people of the LGBT community who even looked after the emotional and psychological nature of many asexual people who had been abused in the past and whose sexual desires had not been understood.
I don’t know why I am asexual. Maybe because I come from a strict orthodox family so chaste thought were the only emotional food which I used to chew on; but then what about women from my same family who married their husbands? They were all happy and could not understand why I and Kennedy got divorced. They all thought that I had not been given proper sex education at school or that I was paranoid. But all that was not true. I was just different . . . I just did not experience sexual attraction . . . BUT THAT DID NOT MEAN THAT I COULD NOT LOVE A PERSON WITH ALL MY HEART and SOUL.
I now spend my days educating people about persons who like me are asexual and whose rights should be respected and whose take on love should be respected. Through my workshops and seminars, I’ve grown to forgive Kennedy and myself . . . I’ve grown to take myself seriously and most importantly . . . I’ve grown to love again. For love is more than just copulation, it is about the joining of two hearts which does not require a penis or a vagina but a heart big enough to love . . . and I am loving my life once more with more wisdom each and every step of the way.
Copyright © 2014 by Fiza Pathan
Image courtesy: Google images, wikimedia