Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sex & The Spectrum: One Asexual Partner & One Sexual Partner

For many relationships, sex is the glue that keeps people together and ensures good workings in most other aspects of the relationship. And let's face it, sex is good for you. It's a stress reliever, a form of exercise, it helps you sleep better... What a wonderful thing! (Also applies to masturbation)
But what happens when you have a relationship where one of the partners is asexual (Also known as nonsexual)? Well, I'm about to tell you, from personal experience.
My girlfriend is asexual. In her terms, that just means she has absolutely no interest in sexual intercourse. She has no qualms about other forms of intimacy (She gives the BEST hugs!) or affection, and we love stimulating each other through touch, such as squeezing each other, hugging, rubbing up against one another, kissing, and holding hands, and we both love deep pressure. Light pressure, like tickling or light touching, overstimulates her however, so we avoid doing it.
She didn't tell me that she was not interested in sex when we first started dating, I assumed that we would have sex when we were ready. I was quite surprised she didn't request sex.
Eventually she told me why things weren't going as I expected, and, to be honest, I wasn't very open minded. I suggested that it may have a biological source, such as lacking in hormones, or some sort of sexual dysfunction, and pressured her to see a sexologist so that she could try viagra (my girlfriend is trans) or some other drug to see if it would bring about sexual desire. She wasn't enthused about this idea at all, and tried to explain to me that it wasn't something caused by a deficiency, it was just the way she was. She used the word "asexual" to explain it, which I was only familiar with in a purely biological sense.
Before I saw her again, I looked up information on asexuality online. One person, who, sadly, I can't remember, compared an asexual POV to that of the average human being visiting a planet where everyone has an obsessive eyebrow fetish. You're fine with eyebrows, but can't understand why everyone else is so obsessed with them. There are entire magazines devoted to eyebrows, television shows, and constant discussion about how to best approach talking about eyebrows. Wouldn't you be baffled too?
That helped me develop a better understanding of what was going through her mind, and why our sex life wasn't what I had originally expected. To resolve anything else I was feeling about the situation, I talked to her about what my wants and needs were, and she and I are continuing a dialogue to come to an understanding as to how to best work through my desire for sex, but wanting to respect her lack of desire, and her trying to satisfy my sexual needs but not have to do anything she is uncomfortable with.
We're still working on it; there's no perfect solution. Fortunately, the need for intimate touch and contact is addressed happily, since we both want and appreciate physical touch, and that aspect is fulfilled. But it's not easy, for either of us, and is an ongoing journey of balance. On my side, I have to find other ways to fulfil my sex drive, such as becoming a regular at Babeland, and dealing with lingering feelings of hurt and inadequacy, feeling that it is somehow my fault that my girlfriend isn't attracted to me sexually.
But I believe, in spite of these road bumps, that it is more than possible for a relationship between an asexual person and a sexual person to be successful, happy, and celebrated. The key is the same as any relationship, communication with your partner and sharing what you want out of each other.
Above all else though, there's a certain amount of happiness to dating an asexual over dating a sexual person. I can always sleep at night knowing that there is something more than my looks or sex appeal which my girlfriend loves about me. She constantly praises non-surface qualities she adores in me which amaze her each day, and she is 100% genuine and true when uttering them. Sexual people can do this too, and in my opinion, should do this more often. There's also the fact that we are, at the very core of our relationship, best friends. There is no worry that our relationship is devoid of any meaning beyond the sex, no anxiety over running out of things to talk about, or falling short conversationally.
All in all, the best words to describe a sexual/asexual relationship: Refreshing, rebellious, and full of the most special and intimate of love.


  1. Hey,
    I LOVE your blog. I discovered it yesterday, and was thrilled to finally find a blog by someone similar to me (female, college-aged, queer, aspie, etc.)
    I just wanted to say I LOVE this post. I generally identify as an "asexual lesbian" - I have no interest in sex, whatsoever, but if I ever have a relationship, it would likely be with a female-identified individual. I just wanted to let you know how wonderful it was for me to hear you recognize and accept your partner's current (a)sexual identity. So thanks. :)
    p.s. I wish I could comment on your blog anonymously (or contact you via email). I had to dig up an ancient blogger ID that I used a long time ago that I was hoping would just get lost in the dust somewhere... now it'll be linked to again...

  2. Well, SeaSquirt, thank you! I'm sorry my email is so difficult to locate; unfortunately, making it available on blogger is a good way to attract spam and hate mail, and I keep my comments moderated to users-only for the same reason. But if you do need to reach me, try going for LingeringdreamerAtgmailDotcom, eh?