This is my first post here. Just want to ask some questions.

For discussion of general issues pertaining to asexuality.
mereditha
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This is my first post here. Just want to ask some questions.

Postby mereditha » Sun Sep 25, 2011 10:56 pm

My friends like to joke that I go through an existential crisis every 6 months or so, but this particular one was a big shock to me.

I've been going over and over my situation in my head all week and it finally occurred to me that I don't know much about asexuality, but from what I do know...I think it may be the case that I'm asexual, but I guess I just need to talk it out with some other people and hear their opinions as well.

So let me lay out the situation for you.

I've never been all that interested in sex with any of the people I dated. I mean, I found them all attractive in one way or another, but I would honestly rather kiss them and cuddle than ever actually have sex. For a long time I struggled with my sexuality, finally deciding that I was a lesbian (and coming out to my parents about it as well) because I see women as more attractive than men and I, more often than not, could actually have sex with a women, when I just couldn't with a man. But the sex was never important and usually felt more like a nuisance because, to be frank with you, I could get more pleasure and do so more quickly by masturbating.

So then I found myself in a new conundrum, I fell in love...with a man. (this was before I came out to parents). We tried to make it work, but I found sex with him to be unarousing and simply not what I wanted. That didn't (still hasn't) changed how I feel for him, I love him with all my heart, but I also consider myself a lesbian and know I would never give him a truly sexually fulfilling relationship if we were together.

Because of my disinterest in sex in general, even with a woman, I'm wondering if asexual would fit me more...because honestly I just don't know what to think. Even if I am asexual, it wouldn't really know what to do about these romantic feelings I harbor for this man, because I feel it would be unfair to try to have a relationship with someone who I would never enjoy sex with...even if I would enjoy the human contact and intimacy. I feel I should consider his physical needs along with my own, even though I know that he still loves me as well.

I suppose I just want to talk a bit about my situation and see if anyone here has gone through a similar situation...I honestly don't know what do with myself at the moment.

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Dargon
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Re: This is my first post here. Just want to ask some questions.

Postby Dargon » Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:39 am

Hello and welcome.

I can't say I relate to your situation, but I've seen similar.

Having romantic desires but no sexual desires seems pretty common amongst asexuals. In that regard you are not alone.

Going a bit into topics that have been debated amongst the asexual community, I like to view romantic and sexual orientation as being two separate entities, both spectra rather than points. Society in general likes to view them as the same entity, and being one of three points, hetero, bi, homo. For most people, this model fits.

With regards to the spectra, it is possible to be bi with a very strong preference towards one end. Are you familiar with the Kinsey scale? It is a seven point scale proposed by Alfred Kinsey, with zero being exclusively hetero and six being exclusively homo. It is quite possible to be a 5, having a strong preference for the same sex but a slight preference towards the other. I'll go even further and say you might even be a 5.99999999, having an extremely strong preference for the same sex (hence identifying as lesbian), but there's that one guy who does it for you.

The Kinsey scale is typically used to apply strictly to sexual orientation, but I would argue that it can be used to describe romantic orientation as well, and the location on the sexual and romantic scales may not be in the same place.

I suppose what I'm getting at is what you describe may be different from the social norm, but it is not abnormal.


Going to the bit with this guy you love, if you really love him, and he really loves you, you should talk with him about this. I will be honest, most asexual-sexual relationships I have seen have failed, but there have been a few great successes in there as well. For those successes, from what I have seen, the key element has been clear and open communication. Perhaps he can be okay with a lack of sex, or perhaps you can take some pleasure in his pleasure, similar to how one takes delight in a friend's joy when giving them a gift.

In the end, whether or not you adopt the label is up to you, and which direction you try to take things with your friend is up to you. Don't rush into either, weigh the options. Perhaps most importantly, don't feel restricted by the norms. You don't have to fit your sexuality or your relationships into some neat little box society has prescribed for it. You can treat either as is best for you.

michaels
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Re: This is my first post here. Just want to ask some questions.

Postby michaels » Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:57 pm

What Dargon said. All of it.

Wanting romance without sex is perfectly normal if that's the way you are. Normally you'd want to be up front about that before becoming involved in a relationship, but in your case you're already in one, so the thing to do is discuss these issues with your romantic partner. Both of you should get as much education about asexuality as is available and see whether other people's documented experience offers you some helpful perspectives and tips. And there's a LOT of casual information out there about romantic asexuality (even if there is very little academic information).

Best of success to you.

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Possibility_Girl
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Re: This is my first post here. Just want to ask some questions.

Postby Possibility_Girl » Sun Nov 06, 2011 1:28 pm

michaels wrote:And there's a LOT of casual information out there about romantic asexuality (even if there is very little academic information).


You might be interested to know that there's a PhD student at Leeds University in the UK who's just finishing a project about asexuality and intimacy. I think it was quite small-scale, and probably won't tell us anything that hasn't come up within the asexual community hundreds of times by now, but these issues are trickling through into academic discussion.
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Dargon
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Re: This is my first post here. Just want to ask some questions.

Postby Dargon » Sun Nov 06, 2011 4:47 pm

Possibility_Girl wrote:I think it was quite small-scale, and probably won't tell us anything that hasn't come up within the asexual community hundreds of times by now, but these issues are trickling through into academic discussion.


It's the small scale studies that lead to the large scale ones. This is indeed progress.

NanoCircus
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Re: This is my first post here. Just want to ask some questions.

Postby NanoCircus » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:08 am

If I were you I wouldnt dwell so hard on which label it is you wish to adopt. Maybe just conclude what it is you want in life and dont want, and just find peace in a strong inner sense of self that no one can invade with labels and prejudices. At least thats how I do it, Asexual describes a part of myself but certainly not all!

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ParaLLL
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Re: This is my first post here. Just want to ask some questions.

Postby ParaLLL » Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:52 am

I... would like to be helpful, but have nothing to contribute that Dargon didn't already say. (Except that, in regards to the majority of asexual-sexual relationships failing... well, the majority of all relationships fail, so while someone asexual and someone sexual dating may not be an advantage, I don't think the disadvantage is too severe either. I'd guess that it's a much more significant problem when one or both (or all) of the people in the relationship don't know that someone is asexual or what it means.)

Also: Yes! to the study.

perplexasex
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Re: This is my first post here. Just want to ask some questions.

Postby perplexasex » Sat Dec 29, 2012 9:29 am

I know I'm replying late, but when I read your post, I related on so many levels. I consider myself an asexual, but feel romantic attraction on a frequent basis. I, however am romantically attracted to males. I am physically attracted to both sexes. My physical attraction ends at affections. My definition of physical attraction towards a partner includes the following: kissing--all the way to complete make out session--, cuddling, intimate conversations, mind games, massages, constantly wanting human touching, sense of security, expressive emotions, etc. The physical attraction ends when intercourse comes into play. Basically, I get bored when the affectionate nature turns into a sexual one.
I used to experience these predicaments when I was younger, but I don't experience them now that I understand myself more. I feel bad because I am essentially a big tease, when they're the ones that want to go all the way, while I'm satisfied with the affections. Now days if I find myself in these situations, then it's usually when I am partying with people, where there's no prior romantic interest. I don't feel bad because I have an alls fair in love and war mindset when partying.
As far as falling in love with somebody and still having no sexual attraction, I haven't experienced this, since I have figured myself out. Usually because I sabotage the possible relationship (consciously or unconsciously) before it goes anywhere. I know that I'll never want to sexually please him, so I don't see the point of getting emotionally attached. Maybe if I saw the point, then I would want to see if a relationship would work and maybe I would find pleasure when I sexually please someone.
But getting back to the point of me replying to your post and helping you identify yourself. I identify myself as asexual, bi-affectionate, hetero-romantic. I base my identity on the situations I've found myself in, the actions that I have made, and the feelings that I have felt.
I hope this helps you, even after almost year and half later.