Personally, I often reject this instantly because it's such a cheap, go-to diagnosis that someone clearly didn't put any thought into before saying. But recently I've been forced to re-evaluate the possibility of repression, and my stance on it. Note that I'm not trying to slap every asexual into realizing they might be repressed, I'm examining the phenomenon mostly in myself, and since asexuals are the only people who are experienced in these kinds of topics in such depth, it's in my best interests to investigate this alongside other introspective and inquisitively-inclined asexuals (basically I have nowhere else to go).
Before going any further, I feel it's important to point out that the natural reaction for anyone in this position is to reject the notion completely. It's natural to let pride or fear get in the way of clear judgement, especially when it concerns such a deep aspect of ourselves, but if any level of peace is to be found then these emotions cannot be allowed to interfere with proper reasoning here. Humans are emotional creatures first, intellectual creatures second, and wise beings last. But we also have the ability to put aside our emotions when we choose, to use our intellect justly when it's needed, and to let the clarity of wisdom shine through when we're truly balanced. In other words, when I say "serious discussion" I mean "serious discussion". Let's consider it objectively, no matter how sure of ourselves we are, no matter how prideful, no matter how much we have already invested in our asexual label. This is a serious matter and deserves some serious thought.
So firstly; how does repression work? This isn't a rhetorical, I genuinely have no clue, and through lack of trying. If I knew then I wouldn't be making this topic, but reliable sources on repression are mired in pseudo-psychological, plagiarized, theoretical bullshit. But the point is that we know it exists. And we also know that people who are repressed often aren't aware of it, yet display very defensive and irrational behaviour towards the possibility of repression (and around their given repressed trait). So we have a phenomenon that:
- We know almost nothing about how it works or how it's caused*
- We can't predict it, but there are various repetitive patterns (i.e. it's common around strong drives such as anger, sexuality, etc.)
- It's very difficult/next to impossible to observe it in ourselves
- Most importantly, it can happen without us ever knowing or even suspecting
*I'm of the opinion that modern psychology is not very advanced compared to the big picture, so for me to simply observe the effect of something does not give a clear picture on how it works (theories do not satisfy me, I want facts). I'd compare it to trying to view the Louvre at night through a keyhole, because no matter how powerful your torch is, you're still looking through a tiny hole from a fixed perspective.
So, in light of those factors, is it possible (some) asexuals are really just repressed? I would say; Yes, without a doubt. And I've spoken to ex-asexuals who do indeed admit to previously being repressed, although we didn't speak in great depth so I won't offer that as any meaningful evidence. If anyone does know any examples of asexuals who realised they were repressed, I'd be more than interested to hear about it, please.
Asexuality has always been a puzzle; why, if every other animal feels the uncontrollable urge to have sex, do we not? It's hard-written into our very nature, we're supposed to not only enjoy sex wildly, but actively seek it at every available opportunity. But we do neither. Instead, we're either disinterested or disgusted. At best we have a child-like or intellectual curiosity. It doesn't really make sense. Now, I'm not knowledgeable enough on animals to know if asexuality exists in animals, but could asexuality be related to the advanced intellectual capacities of humans? Personally, I've noticed a high degree of mental advancement among the asexual community that I have found nowhere else. Especially not with such a seemingly unrelated attribute. The level of intellectual activity, open-mindedness, empathy, introspection, logic, friendliness, philosophical interest, individuality, sensible spiritual/religious pursuit, artistic ability and expression, drive for self-improvement, maturity, etc. I've observed in the asexual community (AVEN, here, others) is something I have never, ever seen before except in cases where people unite specifically to embody and encourage those qualities. I'm not at all trying to say that asexuals are all wonderful and perfect or anything, I'm just pointing out a very glaring trait that such a random community shouldn't logically be expressing or cultivating in such excess. There's also the factors that there's a drastically higher rate of autism in the asexual community, higher rate of past trauma and abuse, mind-blowingly high rates of gender confusion, and an explosive interest in cats. So the point here is; is repression more likely in people that have these attributes? (again, not rhetorical, I really don't know)
And then there's the huge kicker that most asexuals have what I'm calling "residual sexual qualities". I'm talking about the romanticism, the physical attraction, the urge to masturbate, the crushes, the need for intimate physical contact (hugs), the dependency on "that special someone", and anything else I'm missing. Why are we capable of these things, which everyone else links to sexual behaviour, yet not capable of desiring sex? Could these qualities be our repressed sexuality expressing itself?