The asexual bride: When love and marriage doesn't really involve sex #Features#sex March 10 2014 | Guest post by KiusLady Is a happy marriage possible without having your bottom parts touching all the time? (Photo by Megan Finley) People who know me know that I've never had any interest in sex. (This was actually a relief to my parents when I was a teenager: I could go on dates and they knew I'd come home at or before curfew without any worries!) So when my fiancé and I declared that we were getting hitched, we got a lot of strange looks and a lot of probing questions. I will admit that the decision to get married was not one rushed into or taken lightly. My groom/husband-to-be and I have known each other for 15 years. In that time we've been friends, co-workers, car-poolers, and globe-trotters. We've also lived together for the past five years. He's known from the get-go that sex wasn't my thing, but he took it the way most people interpret a lack of sexual interest: "Oh, you're just broken. Here, let me fix you." Now, I will admit that I did need some "fixing" — there was some childhood traumas to go through and heal; there were thought-patterns I'd inherited from my parents that needed to be let go of. But never through all that healing did a desire for sexual contact ever surface in me. Therapist after therapist declared me "well-balanced" and "perfectly sane." Great! So why didn't I want nooky like every other "normal" person?! I had to finally declare to myself that it was just the way I was and he'd have to accept that. Now, I will admit that we do have sex because — even to me — the thought of being a 30-year-old virgin seemed silly. Plus there was the whole "try it, you'll like it!" notion… Nope. How 'bout again? Nada. The word "asexual" finally entered into my lexicon a few years ago and a light bulb went off: "There's a name for that!" We've had to make some compromises when it comes to sex and have finally settled into an arrangement that works for the both of us. But the question is continually posed, "If you don't like sex, why marry the guy? (And why would he want to marry you?)" The latter is "Because he loves me and has loved me loooong before we ever "inserted tab A into slot B." The former was on me to come to terms with. Of course, like most people, I had assumed that marriage = sex. Exclusive sex. And kids. Usually married hetero couples breed (it's a thing). But I didn't want either, so where did that leave things? I think something that started me thinking that maybe marriage wasn't such a bad thing was looking at his mother's relationship with her second husband. Related Post Advice for a virgin on her wedding night What's my advice to a virgin who describes herself as "Scaredy Pants" about having sex on her wedding night? Well, it comes to down to... Read more My future mother-in-law didn't need to get married again, but as she got older she realized she desired someone to "build mutual memories with," a companion rather than a live-in f@$%-buddy. I've always found their relationship interesting since they're rarely in the same room together, they don't often eat at the same time, they're not all over each other; they're individuals who share their individuality with each other. I liked that. So we decided to really buckle down and figure out what marriage would mean for US, rather than what it meant to the rest of the world. We sat down and talked about what would and wouldn't change if we got married, and finally last June I asked him if he wanted to marry me. No, we're not the most romantic couple in the world. We don't tell each other "I wub you!" every moment of every day. But when people see us together they can see our connection, our ease and comfort in each other's presence. It's not sexual love that binds us together — it's something else… I hesitate to say "deeper," but that's what it feels like. Both partners willing, you can have love and marriage without (much) sex. It might make us rather "boring" newlyweds, but, happily, we're okay with that! Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Guest post written by KiusLady I'm a writer, a seamstress and a belly dancer who is also the human of two very loving-but-derpy cats. http://www.pinterest.com/kiuslady PREVIOUS Shana & Micah's Victorian wedding with a dad-moon NEXT Libbie & Paul's Emerald City to Red Rocks road trip wedding Show/Hide comments [ 54 ] Thanks for writing this! I'm not in the same boat, but I feel like society places WAY more emphasis on sex than necessary. It's struck me as rather ridiculous how small a part of a relationship it is. I'm not saying it's not important (to some people) but there's just so much other stuff that goes on. It's like that dumb phrase "living in sin" – which we technically did for quite a while before we were married. I kept wondering, is "living in sin" when you drop a glass and someone runs in from the next room to help you clean it up? Because, to me, that kind of being there for someone through all the little messy business of life is what marriage is about. 67 agree Reply I have spent the last ten years suffering from an undiagnosed nasty case of vaginismus and Vestibulitis. So, 11 years of dating and 1.5 years of wedded ness later, we have never had vaginal sex. I am currently under the care of a wonderful doctor who is helping to eliminate all the issues, but it is strange to hear people talk to us like we have sex all the time. Because we are a couple and that is what couples do. A good number of friends and family who have just learned about our trials have come to me to say how impressed they are with my spouse that "as a man" he stuck around all these years. That is so ridiculous. I am sorry people assume those things of you and your partner as well. It had been sad to think that people believe a man would generally have only stuck around if we were able to have sex. 45 agree Reply Well, not to mention that sex drives of both partners ebb and flow depending on circumstances. Stress, kids, jobs all affect it. It's sort of bizarre that everyone thinks you need to have it all the time to be happy. I dare say men almost have it the worst, because they are expected to just want it at any time of day at the snap of your fingers, and if they don't they feel abnormal. Men have the same emotional needs as women, they're just not allowed express them. Personally we both have a pretty high drive most times, but we don't hold it against each other if we're not in the mood for a bit and it's never put a strain on our marriage because we know it's not because don't find each other desirable. But that's where communication comes in too. If you've been taught that sex = love and you're not getting any, then it's easy to assume that your partner doesn't love you anymore when that's rarely the case (unless something else is wrong with the relationship.. but generally speaking…) 27 agree Reply I thought I was asexual, but now I think I have vaginismus, now that you've brought it to my attention. Man, I can't even take BATHS cuz the water "might get in there." Ugh. And my first/only pap smear went AWFUL, and my gyno couldn't get in there at all, but did she think there was an issue? No. Just "Wow, you're really tight, but since you're still a virgin I'll just leave it alone." Uh. Hubby and I have non-vaginal sex all the time, and we're both fine with it. We have a great relationship, but our friends constantly make fun of us for it. But we'll still be going strong when we're old and stuff, because the core of our relationship is never leaving or changing. Deeper, like Kiuslady said ;P 8 agree Reply "they're individuals who share their individuality." Best description of a relationship I have heard yet. 61 agree Reply Yeah, our society (or at least USA) is way too obsessed with sex. Who should be having it, who shouldn't, how important it is, etc… Really, we should be putting importance and value on communication in relationships, because that's what's going to make it last. It sounds like you two are communicating well, and are working more on the spiritual part of your relationship than the physical part, which is important too. While I can't relate on the sex part (I get cranky if we aren't), I am glad you guys have found your own way that makes you happy. 14 agree Reply I have a different but tangentially related situation. My husband (of three months!) and I are both committed Christians. (If you'll do me a favour, try to hear that without ALL the negative presuppositions you might have about Christians 🙂 ) We didn't have sex (with each other or anyone else ever) before our wedding night. Even in Christian/religious circles, this is rare. And the number of people who have said "but how do you know everything would work?! why would you want to buy a car without test driving it?!" is ridiculous to me. I knew it would work because our personalities work. We talked about sex and our expectations and stuff like that before we got married. We both had a pretty good idea of what our sex drives were going to be like. We didn't expect it to be immediately perfect and wonderful and the best ever, but were committed to work with one another. We are fortunate that we did not have any sort of problems at all, but I didn't know that before the wedding—what I did know was that if there were any problems, we would work through them. Because our relationship is not founded in our genitals. 69 agree Reply If you'll do me a favour, try to hear that without ALL the negative presuppositions you might have about Christians… No need to feel defensive in these parts. Just to reassure you, we adore offbeat Christians, and have an entire archive dedicated to y'all's fabulousness: http://offbeatbride.com/tag/christian (PS: here's our take on wedding night virginity: http://offbeatbride.com/wedding-night-virgin ) 43 agree Reply And thank you for that. Sadly, many people do try to put us in a box, and to be honest, the louder and more obnoxious voices among us do rather invite it. Thus, many of us feel the need to add a "But I'm not like that!" disclaimer. Which is obnoxious in its own way, I'm sure. Eh. We all have our Stuff. 31 agree Reply I used to be one of those NALT (as Dan Savage puts it-not all like that) Christians, and I know how easy it is to get defensive about any 'offbeat' ways of doing things when you're addressing an audience or person who is not Christian or even religious. 3 agree Reply Totally thought I was like 'the only' christian who read and enjoyed Dan Savage. He does not fly in my circles. Lol You're not alone Kyler 🙂 I'm committed til the wedding night too. Plus I like the whole premise behind this article. Society sometimes can be obsessive over sex, and I think the focus should shift onto maintaining a healthy relationship and family. 8 agree Reply While I definitely am not waiting until marriage to have sex (it might sound counter intuitive, but I just don't care enough about sex to wait! Like the very first commenter wrote, to me sex is a small part of a relationship, one part among others, not more important than the other parts. So it didn't make sense to me to wait), I've always found that whole test drive argument really odd. Sex will change at different times in your relationship, and even if you test drive the car, you could run into issues later on. No amount of premarital sex makes you immune to future disagreements. And I hope that sex within a relationship gets better with time and practice, whether that first experience is before or after a wedding. 6 agree Reply I tend towards playing the 'test-drive' card when I hear people are waiting (in my head; I don't just tell people 'go have sex, ya really gotta test drive that!'). However, I think if a couple sits down and talks about their sexpectations, and is very open and honest about any concerns, fears, excitements, curiosity, then things can be really great even if they don't have sex before getting married. 5 agree Reply I'm an atheist, living with my FH and having premarital sex. I have a close friend who is a Christian, and she and her FH live apart and are abstaining before marriage. We joke about it, are accepting of the other's choices, and, let's be honest, are pretty nosy about them! It's led to some fun and interesting conversations. The thing I personally would find difficult with the no 'test drive' isn't sex. Sex is just sex. It's the living with someone! Living with someone new can be very difficult, and I wouldn't want to marry someone if I hadn't in case we had a massive clash. I would have considered marrying someone if they didn't want to have sex before marriage though, if we got on in all other respects. But each to their own. 🙂 16 agree Reply I'm so glad to see something asexual here! Now if we could just have something about platonic life partners… 19 agree Reply I'm gonna tell you something. Something from a crazy, out there, tattooed, FEMALE Marine. I have already chosen my "hetero life partner". There is an amazing woman…who is also a Marine…with whom I want to spent the rest of my days, until I die after my sweetheart dies…lord KNOWS most women LIVE longer than men, even if they choose mates younger than they are!!!! Reply I just figured out I'm asexual in the past year, at the age of then 27. I also realized I'm trans, but that's another matter. Point being, I wish I had known I was asexual a decade ago, because then I could have spared myself a disastrous first marriage to a dude who wanted/needed sex 4 times per day. Looking forward to Marriage Round Two, with my fabulously accepting and open minded partner who does not love me for my bits or what I could be doing with them. 35 agree Reply Seconding this!! Hooray for second chances! 2 agree Reply It's such a relief to see this post. I am 25 and currently going through this fight with so many other people who think I'm just being a "silly girl" when I tell them that the affection and intimacy really doesn't do anything for me. I can't tell you how many times someone has said that it will all change "when the right one comes along." Actually…no, it probably won't change. I like that I look for something different in my life partner than just the standard sex drive and affection with each other and I don't plan on settling for someone that doesn't share those same views. 10 agree Reply What a great article! My fiance and I have been together for seven years, and have been through several stress/circumstance-related "dry spells" – unemployment, college final projects, family issues, evil roommates, depression, etc. We love each other, but at 30 and 33 we are not all over each other like we used to be. I often feel guilty and confused about this, but try to remember that sex is about quality, not quantity. Neither of us is asexual, just a little low on the libido spectrum. Thanks for making us feel a little more "normal" (whatever that means!) 19 agree Reply From the position of someone *not* in the same boat, I must say I'm horrified that people – supposed loved ones – would actually verbalise sh-t like "If you don't like sex, why marry the guy? (And why would he want to marry you?)" What a stupid, insensitive thing to ask. Also rude! It's no-one else's business, sheesh. Ok, firey rant over! 🙂 23 agree Reply Thank you so much for posting this! I'm not asexual, but I am waiting until marraige to have sex, and I've encountered so much negativity from my liberal sex crazed friends claiming that I would never know if I loved someone until we "did the deed", or that my holding out "wasn't fair" to my boyfriend (now fiance). People need to understand that love/intimacy can exist seperately from sex! 8 agree Reply This this this this this. I'm so happy somebody wrote about an asexual marriage, because among my friends and colleagues, I've started to feel like a unicorn. I have a few phobias and a veeeerrry scant libido, and every time a friend makes a joke about me withholding sex from Husband (which are gross and sexist anyway, but…) we cringe. My friends have all but declared me a bad feminist for not enjoying the sexy times. It's enough to give me whiplash. 6 agree Reply I am not asexual, but my fiancé has zero interest in sex. I love him dearly, despite this. We have had sex, but it is a rarity… Like, it's been over two years since our last encounter. I struggled very much initially, like he's broken, I'm ugly, he's getting it somewhere else, etc, etc… In fact, I broke off our engagement because of it. For two years, I missed him terribly. I thought of him daily. I finally called him. He felt the same way. We have been back together now for five years and I am happily planning our wedding because our relationship is more than sex. I can't sacrifice my relationship with this wonderful man because he's got no sex drive. Hey, I am resourceful! 😉 our relationship works for us. I am glad to know I am not alone! 16 agree Reply I just wanted to say that I think it's wonderful that you decided to make things work even though it was hard. Love is such a precious thing and too often people give up because it's difficult. I really hope that things work out for you two! Keep making it work. We're rooting for you! 10 agree Reply Thank you! I agree. When you find someone who loves you, who gets you and all your nuttiness, who makes you laugh, etc, you have found a gem indeed! I feel very lucky. Some people live their whole lives without knowing true love. Since I found it, I'm keeping it! 🙂 5 agree Reply Thanks for this. My partner is asexual and every time I tell a close friend about our situation, they ask if he's had a childhood trauma or if he's really gay. And I even had one friend deny asexuality is even a thing and insist that he just has "issues." So, I was thrilled when I saw the title for this article and clicked on the link right away. Glad to know that I'm not the only asexual-sexual pairing on this site. 🙂 3 agree Reply thank you for posting this, what a beautiful concept… they're individuals who share their individuality with each other. beautiful. 1 agrees Reply There's more to not wanting. There's not being able to and coming to terms with it. I suffered irreversible nerve and muscle damages during child labor – they told me "normal life was over". I was 30 and they told me I needed incontinence diapers, that I could not leave the house anymore…not to talk about sex. It was the end of my marriage (I clearly married the wrong guy). Today, I am a happier person without sex than I have ever been. I'm more confident because I know I don't have to "hunt" or "pursue" a partner. It's me, and a happy life without drama. Maybe one day I will find someone that will understand my situation and I will get to a point where I want share memories, but for now…I'm happier than ever. Thank you for your article. 6 agree Reply I totally respect what you're doing. Really, I do. You're honest and willing to meet your spouse's needs. I am, however, a little resentful that my husband has been reduced to a live in f@ck buddy and my marriage somehow shallow in that we enjoy our sex life together. 5 agree Reply I think it is possible there is misunderstanding here. I don't interpret any of the statements as antisexual or degrading towards those of us who are sexual people. Your relationship is worth whatever you say it is, even if another person wouldn't get the level of fulfillment that you do from the same kind of relationship. I think it is just rough for a lot of asexual people to be treated like there is something wrong with them simply because they don't want sex. And it is just generally shitty to have people interject themselves into such personal details which don't concern them. Please try to reread the article with a less antisex interpretation of the tone. Sex or no sex, we are all just trying to increase understanding and respect for each other here. 16 agree Reply Woah… I absolutely do not think sexual couples are reduced to "f- buddies." This conversation just discusses that there is more to a relationship than sex and allows those of us in relationships that have an asexual component an outlet to share our experiences. A "normal" healthy sex life is great, there is an intimacy to be found there to be sure. It allows a physical bonding between two people who may have an emotional bond. But please realize not everyone has that and just because it isn't there doesn't mean the relationship is doomed. There will be sexy and sexless relationships. Neither is superior to the other. Just different. 🙂 5 agree Reply I recently learned of sexuality and when I did I knew it was me. I've never really was interested in sex, in passed relationships it just seemed like I was suppose to do it in order to be loved. And yes as a younger teen I was curious, but as I got older I just new it wasn't my thing. As I came to realize this I was also in a relationships and still am. When I told him he said it didn't matter. Just like you, I am noe engaged to my best friend. We've known each other since we were 13. We are now 30. Amd like you, although I do not find an interest in sex, we still worked it out. 4 agree Reply I used to think the same, that is was something you had to do in order to be loved, it's so good to see this is not the case and so many others feel the same. This article and all the comments are so comforting, I'm really irritated when people say that sex is necessary, and I'm so blessed to have (FINALLY) found a partner and now fiance that agree's that it's not, it's like the glace cherry on a cake, not necessary but nice to have and in moderation, sometimes. 6 agree Reply I am in no way implying that there is anything wrong with their relationship or marriage (or anyone in similar situations) and what is normal anyway? I read the article largely as what I think it was written for, and I appreciate it. The part I took just a small issue with was the part where she talks about making memories with a companion not a live in f@ck buddy. I recognize that this was either humor I don't relate to or possibly the writer's own resentment that she feels somehow people believe her marriage is less valid for lack of sex. If the first, don't mind me. Lol. If the second, I am not one of those people, but neither is my husband less my companion because we have more sex. Marriages should all be based on a bond deeper than sex anyway. I don't know if I'm making sense. Nevertheless, didn't really mean to cause waves. I can see where I might have seemed more upset than I intended. Words. Sometimes maybe not so easy to get just right. 8 agree Reply I realize this is an old post and comment, but I took the part about live-in f-b to be something about the FMIL's perspective on HER relationships, and possibly on the pressure she was feeling about what sort of relationships SHE should have. Like maybe FMIL's friends are of the opinion that once you're freed from marriage once, why would you want to go back when you can just be on your own and have a live-in f@ck buddy if you need one without all the messy commitment stuff? That isn't an uncommon attitude in some circles. Reply Marriage is not about sex. Typically marriage includes sex, but there are plenty of reasons that might not be the case. Marriage is about family. It is saying "This is the person I want to be my closest family member." 5 agree Reply Wow. I have to say I appreciate this article. Though my situation is not really asexuality (I think) my husband and I have have struggled with sex since day one. Initially because of pain, then infertility, and now I simply lack the desire. My husband has been loving and supportive all theses years and our relationship is good and strong. Still there are times when I wish that we'd had even one truly positive sexual experience and I frequently feel alone in this boat. Everyone else I know seems to love it. Thank you for sharing that we're not the only mostly sexless marriage in the world. 4 agree Reply I really believed I was asexual for many years but I met a fabulous man and things really did change for me. So… while things may not change, I think believing they never will is strange and potentially incorrect. 6 agree Reply The thing about asexuality is that there are different varieties and everyone does it different – I know someone who identifies as asexual who still has a regular sex life because sex is important to her partner and she doesn't mind. I also know other people who identify as asexual who want nothing to do with sex at all (except maybe for some of them if it's sex to make a baby, and then only as much sex as is necessary for that goal.) And I know still other people who identify as demisexual, where you aren't much into sex until you have a close emotional relationship with the person. (One of the demisexuals I know is male and he says it's really odd because there's so much expectation on guys to be constantly sexually attracted to everything and for him, someone walking down the street could be entirely his physical type but since they're not someone he knows and feels close to, there's just nothing there sexually. The 'physical type' recognition is intellectual/aesthetic, not because his parts get excited.) Reply I'm asexual and then some When I say no sex I mean no sex Sex has no meaning let alone importance to me . Moot point if anyone else likes it . I'm not married and sex is #1 reason I will not marry . There is no compromise on this ! Even if I got married no sex and I mean that 5 agree Reply This is a really great post that makes me feel like less of a freak. Although I'm not sure I would define my fiance or myself as asexual, we certainly have very little interest in sex. I waited until I was 22 to have sex, and then probably only did so a dozen times with a total of 3 men before I met my fiance when I was 30. Within 8 months of us meeting, he started some medication that completely killed his sex drive. We've been together almost 8 years and typically have sex 2-4 times a year. It's always nice, but not earth-shattering enough to motivate us to do it more often. Additionally, I had a complete hysterectomy last January, and the menopause has further discouraged us in this area. All that being said, I don't think we really miss it. We truly enjoy each other's company, sharing experiences and ideas and laughter. I feel close to him on a deep personal level, and it doesn't have anything to do with the sex we do or don't have. My friends frequently talk about how important sex is to them and how shocked they are that we never do it. They could never be in a relationship like ours. But every relationship is different, and this post really makes me feel like the way we are is perfectly okay. Thank you. 4 agree Reply I am so glad to come across this I have felt this way for a long time. When I was not married long I had serious almost life taking illness that I recovered from. However after then my whole perspective on sex changed 180 degrees. I love my spouse and he loves me, he is my best friend, pal you name it and I dont desire anyone else. I cant desire sex as much as he would like and many women do feel that but for me its like if I just hold his hand or kiss him, a nice hug, thats great thats all I need. He of course does not quite know how to think of that, its not an excuse. Regular traditional way of sex hurts for me and has for well, since that illness which was over 8 yrs ago. He says I have changed since we first married and well maybe so but it was not my fault. I was seriously ill. We find other ways to make sure he feels nice in that dept but I know he wishes for the traditional, and its really nothing I want, if he doesnt think of it I am happy. There is no drive, no need to have and I have felt man! there is something wrong with me, till I thought perhaps I am asexual-sort of, not against it, but get no joy of the thought or doing it really just so my spouse is happy that is all. Reply This is SUCH a great post, and I'm so grateful for it as well as all of the comments. I am engaged to someone who might be asexual. My fiance rarely feels "in the mood", it's more of a hormonal release. He also deals with a mood disorder that might likely be contributing to it. Despite that, we are still very affectionate with each other (lots of snuggling, hugs, etc). Someone mentioned that, as a society, we often equate love with sex, and I hate that I'm still one of those people, despite knowing objectively that that isn't the case. It is still hard for me to separate the two, and I often feel rejected when I want it and he does not. I have spent way too many hours worrying if his lack of libido is an indication of his feelings. He has assured me many times that it is not, but that nagging worry is still there. I appreciate this topic and again, the openness of everyone here. I certainly feel less alone. 1 agrees Reply This is like me 🙂 I have had both vaginismus and a basically non-existent libido. I never understood society's obsession with sex or why everyone seemed to think it was the most important thing ever – I had been going out with my now-fiance for a while before I even heard the term 'asexual'. We have figured out what works for us though (luckily he doesn't have a mega-sex-drive or anything though!), there may be compromises but that is at the heart of marriage, right? Reply High-five for happy marriages that include at least one asexual partner! My husband realized he was asexual about two years into our marriage, and we're better than ever. 🙂 3 agree Reply You're giving your point of view on the marriage. You're asexual and happy with it. I'm curious to know your husband's point of view on being sexual in an asexual marriage. When we got married, my wife assured me our sex life would get much better once we're married. It'll get better once we live together (religious family, no moving together until we were married), then it's gonna get better when she's less stressed at work, then it'll get better when it's less cold, then when it's less hot, then when she's less tired, … Anyway, it's been 5 years and we're still not having a sex life apart for once every 3 to 6 weeks at best. I learnt recently that she is in fact asexual. She actually never think about sex, and has no need or will for it. She's happy with the marriage. But I'm not. I love her, but the thought of spending my entire life without sex is killing me. She was my first and only one, sexually, and I am mad at myself for listening to that bullshit about "waiting for the right one" because the right one ended up not having an interest in sex. I'm a very sexual person, and I'm really curious as how a sexual person can possibly be happy in that situation, without thinking about divorce or cheating. We don't have kids yet, an even tho I want kids, I'm afraid to have kids with her because I can't imagine living my life like this and don't want to have kids who have divorced parents. I feel like leaving is just a matter of time if things don't get better, and I know they won't get better, yet I don't want to leave her. Having a point of view of a man who is in that situation but willingly would help. Reply After 16 years of marriage I just discovered, as did my wife, that she's actually asexual (Ace of Hearts, romantic asexual). I love her with every fiber if my being, have been completely monogamous, and am now an utter wreck: zero self esteem, broken, miserable beyond description. For 16 years I believed it was me and my seemingly infinite flaws. The countless "if only you" ( there were also "if only I"s just to be clear) ultimately exposed the actual problem. No amount of success, personal improvement, lowered stress, or anything else EVER moved the needle on her desire for me. The only saving grace that has left a window for possible healing is that she didn't know (it wasn't premeditated and thus not unfathomably cruel). If she had known and not shared her asexual orientation prior to marriage my reaction may have been… well, let's just say the emotional response when I contemplated that possibility was that I'd gladly lay down my life to guarantee her a slot in the darkest reaches of hell for all eternity. As it stands, we still love each other. We are acutely aware that our orientations are perpendicular, immutable, and not a viable combination. I can no more become asexual, nor live pretending to be, than she can pretend to be hetero. We have no idea what to do next. Reply Yeah, you can, but why would you want to? mismatched sex drives are a major cause of unhappiness in marriage. I guess your man is ok with that part of his life being functionally dead since whatever sexual relationship you have is not based on passion, or mutual desire. When it comes down to it, the realization that you just don't feel that fire for him, will make him feel unwanted. Asexuality is not just another preference or point on the spectrum of sexuality, it's a disorder. If it were too terribly common the human race would have never made it out of the caves. Do him a favor and let him find someone that actually feels passion for him – SEXUALLY. Otherwise, for him, something will always be missing. Reply Jeez, speak for yourself much! Just because you would feel like that doesn't mean everyone would. Just because you don't understand someone else's relationship doesn't mean it's bad. People have different attitudes and priorities. Also you make it sound like the asexual partner is holding the other one hostage! That partner is free to decide whether to make it work or leave. Stop making generalisations. 1 agrees Reply My husband and I have mismatched sex drives, but I love him deeply, therefore, I make the concession, if you can call it that. It's reallymore of an acceptance of his situation. He is my best friend, loves me unconditionally, tolerates many of my idiosyncrasies and I could not imagine my life without him! This is a very personal decision I have made and I did not make light of this. My decision to stay with him has rewarded me in so many other ways. I do believe that asexuality is not the norm, and is not the type of relationship everyone would be able to commit to. But it works for us and when asked why I would want to stay in an asexual relationship when I am not asexual, well… for me, all that this relationship does give me makes the trade off so very worth it. Plus, I can take care of myself, if we really get personal. Reply Asexuality is not a disorder. Low libido and anorgasmia can be disorders, but typically in those cases the person actively desires to have a normal sex life and the biology is just not cooperating. For someone who is asexual, generally the desire isn't there unless it's related to social pressure, not a personal interest. Mismatched sex lives are a cause of unhappiness WHEN THE PEOPLE INVOLVED CAN'T FIGURE SOMETHING OUT. Most of the people I know who are somewhere on the asexual spectrum and in happy and lasting relationships have had serious discussions with their partners about the issue and come to some kind of compromise that works for them. We're so socially conditioned to assume that everyone wants sex all the time and that newlyweds should be boffing like bunnies at every chance that even in relationships where no one is asexual issues come up because everyone is scared to talk about things or feels like there is something wrong with them if they aren't entirely happy. (It's not uncommon that BOTH people are unhappy with the sexual situation and neither one wanted to mention it for fear of hurting the other person and so they thought they were just going along with what the partner wanted – while the partner was doing the same.) Don't tell other people what is right for them, and talk to each other about these things, even if it is embarrassing or awkward. (If it makes it easier, talk about it in writing to each other, or lying in the bed in the dark so you don't have to see each other. Heck, have the conversation through a door with one of you on each side if you need to do that to get the ball rolling because you feel so awkward and embarrassed – just start talking. Communicate.) Reply Weve been married just shy of 50 years and our sex life never happened. I thought he was strange for not wanting any sex, we talked about all the time and we went to doctors and they couldn't find anything wrong with him. About 10 or 15 years ago we visited another doctor and this doctor found all kinds of things wrong. He had E/D because of not using it he lost it plus he was taking perscription meds and all of them also caused his E/d. Also he was said to be asexual. And at the time he had no desire for any sex or intimacy and he chose not to do anything about it he was happy with his life. We never lived together he always live in the house a block from mine. He did tell me I could do what ever I wanted he just said its your life. I was turned off by men years ago, but still want some kind of affection. I worked part time for a lady that owned a fabric store. She felt sorry for me, at first I didn't want any one to feel sorry for me but she would hold my hand and listen to me while I cried. Our friendship and togetherness turned into a female female relationship and to this day we are still together. Were both in our 70's now and enjoy ourselves. Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Sign me up for your offbeat awesomeness newsletter! No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy. Biz owners & wedding bloggers Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. 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