I’m an asexual bride… Here’s how my asexual marriage works

Guest post by KiusLady
This asexual pride pin is from Etsy seller EvocaitArt

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.

So how does my asexual marriage work?

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 asexual marriage wasn't such a bad thing was looking at his mother's relationship with her second husband.

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 [email protected]$%-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!

Asexual pride shirt from Etsy

Comments on I’m an asexual bride… Here’s how my asexual marriage works

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

    • 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…)

    • 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

  3. “they’re individuals who share their individuality.” Best description of a relationship I have heard yet.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

          • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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. 🙂

  6. I’m so glad to see something asexual here! Now if we could just have something about platonic life partners…

    • 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!!!!

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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!)

  10. 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! 🙂

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