Marriage Of One

June 1, 2009

The Asexual Question

Filed under: relationships,sex — marriageofone @ 1:29 pm
Tags: ,

A few posts ago I wrote about something I have recently discovered – asexuality.  I read up on it as much as I could because from the descriptions of the attitudes of the ‘normal’ asexuals I felt Susan may have been a prime example of this sexual ‘orientation’.

But something about the whole premise of asexuality just ‘doesn’t feel right’ to me.

I’m not suggesting that those who claim to be asexuals are deluded, dishonest or confused.  I’m merely hinting at the possibility (as others have) that these may be people who have exceptionally low libidos combined with unrewarding or downright unpleasant initial sexual encounters.

We know there are genetic reasons for people to be homosexual.  Perhaps there are genetic reasons for asexuality.  Or perhaps they are just chemical deficiencies.  Or psychological issues.  And so on.  My point is that there are no medical or scientific definitions for asexuality.  There is the danger (and this is not just my opinion)  that people who find some resonance with the asexual ‘lifestyle’ may choose to badge themselves with it to avoid having to look deeper within themselves to understand why they are this way.  Or they may ‘self-diagnose’ and miss the opportunity to get themselves treated and live a fulfilling sexual life.

Whilst two individuals in a romantic relationship who are both asexual is probably fine, the problems arises when one partner is hetero/homosexual and the other is asexual, either knowingly or not.

And this brings me back to Susan.   She clearly has no idea any more than I do if she is asexual and probably has never even heard of it.  How would we prove it?  Would she have to say to me that she does not want to have sex – ever?  And what would that mean for those rare times in the past when we have had great sex?  Was she just pretending or is she one of those asexuals who can tolerate it once every now and then but arent’ particularly attracted to it?

If she is asexual, I think it would be a great weight off her mind and mine.  For one thing I would understand her better and she could stop the counselling.  We would have to completely redefine the terms of our relationship, but this time at least we would have the benefit of an understanding of the real issue.

On the other hand if she is not asexual it will frame the issue as a purely psychosexual or attitude based one and we can continue with the counselling.

But the question is how can we know for sure?

I think, if Susan asks me to accompany her tomorrow, that I will raise this question with Marcia.  In fact apart from asking what Susan found objectionable to sex, Marcia didn’t actually try to check this out.  I find this odd.  Do they just assume everyone wants to have sex simply because they have requested help?  What about people (like asexuals, and possibly Susan) who don’t actually want to have sex, but just think that they should?

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