Carnival of Aces: Sexless relationships and how to find them
This is for December’s Carnival of Aces, whose theme is Dating and Significant Others.
I have seen a lot of posts by people in the asexuality tag on Tumblr who believe that if they cannot find another asexual person as a partner, they are doomed to be without a partner for the rest of their lives. There are cultural expectations that would lead an asexual person to believe that if they do not ever want to have sex for any reason, it is not possible to have a harmonious relationship with someone who experiences sexual attraction–but I do not believe that it is impossible for a repulsed asexual to have a harmonious sexless relationship with a non-asexual-spectrum person.
Some time ago, asexual blogger Maddox wrote about his relationship with his partner who is not asexual. They do not have sex. In the post, he writes that what makes the relationship work is that the two of them share the same attitude toward the role of sex in their lives. Maddox’s partner believes that sex is not necessary in a relationship in order to define it as such, and she does not consider her sexual desires and attractions to be needs–the two of them are compatible, despite that one is asexual and one is not.
I believe there are ways to ascertain whether a non-asexual-spectrum person would be willing to be in a sexless relationship without revealing one’s asexuality or directly asking “Would you be willing to date or be in a long-term relationship with an asexual person?”
Since the purpose of initial dating is to get to know a person better, it might be appropriate to ask a person what they think the role of sex in their relationships should be, and during that conversation you could state that you don’t believe sex is necessary to have a loving and fulfilling relationship with someone. If the person disagrees with you, you will both know then that you aren’t compatible, and if they agree with you about sex not being necessary, you might consider another date with them.
I firmly believe that asexual people can have mutually fulfilling sexless relationships with people who experience sexual attraction, as long as there is a lot of communication beforehand to establish compatibility and that the subject of a sexless relationship is introduced carefully. It takes a little extra effort, but it is completely doable once you find a compatible person.