Adventures in Asexuality

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Friday, I'm in love

Okay, so it's not Friday. But I realize I haven't updated in far too long, and although I really have nothing new to report, I should probably give this a go.

(Wasn't that a great song by The Cure, by the way? I'm not really a Cure fan, but it really takes me back. To a time that was simpler, easier. To a time when I didn't have to pay rent, or work 8 hours a day. To a time when I had a curfew, and fought with my parents, and.... okay, so not everything was great back then.)

We started dating on a Friday, and it's been roughly ten months since then. Thankfully -- since Thanksgiving is upon us, I might as well throw a thought that way -- neither of us is sentimental enough to remember exact dates. Although I may joke that I'm the "girl" in this relationship, we're both pretty much more like your average guy. ("How long've we been together now?" "I dunno. A while, I guess.")

This is my longest-lasting relationship since I was in high school, but at my ripe old age, long-term relationships lead to thoughts of shared dwellings and eventual marriage, and not, you know, what one is going to do while one's significant other heads off to college in another state. It's a bit scary, being the hermit that I am and realizing that I wouldn't mind having my Better Half around on a more permanent basis.

It's scarier still, discovering with a shock that I kind of maybe sort of am experiencing the L word (no, not the entertaining, if somewhat melodramatic Showtime series). Putting myself out there to be potentially heart-broken makes me want to run for the hills normally, and normally I've ended things, or sabotaged them, long before they get to this point. But... blah blah, don't deserve her, blah blah, makes me want to be a better woman, blah blah., I'm fine. I just have something in my eye. No, really. Go away.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Playing the odds

I haven't updated since October because, as I'd noted back then, I was at the threshold of something delicate and new and surprisingly special, and maybe it was that I was afraid of disrupting whatever it was... that by talking about it on a public forum like this, I'd ruin it somehow.

I didn't even dare to make New Years' Resolutions at first this year, because a larger part of me than I'd like to admit wanted to include my friend in any plans I wanted to make for my future. It was in making this realization that everything became clear to me, because isn't that what partnership is all about?

So here's to something different and something new, and something better. I know it's better because for all my reservations and cynicism, I am happy beyond the telling of it these days. I'm having all the giddy, surreal "we're a couple" feelings without any of the apprehension that comes with wondering when the other shoe is going to drop; when we'll have to have the talk where I explain that it's not them, it's me, and that sex is simply not on my agenda.

Here's to spooning and to holding hands under the table at Denny's, to the way she touches my elbow and introduces me as her girlfriend, to the time we spend writing together and laughing together and understanding each other in a way nobody has ever understood us before.

Most importantly, here's to pure luck. I played all sorts of odds and I gave up any hope that I could find something like this. I was resigned to either a life of loneliness or a future relationship where the sex was based on compromise. Instead I have this wonderful new unbelievable... miracle thing.

I feel like I should be playing the lottery while the going is good.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

That asexual thang

I'd love to post something long and exciting for the drive-by viewers that occasionally comment, because I feel I owe you all something entertaining. Alas, I've never been very good at lying, so what you'll get is the truth instead.

The truth is that I've met someone. I don't know if this is The Someone, of Soul Mate mythology. You know, the one they all talk about and say everyone's got to find someday (if pop songs are to be believed). But I have met someone, and that someone is asexual, and so far we get along famously.

We're not a couple. I don't know if we will ever be a couple, and if we ever became a couple, I'm not sure how our interactions would change exactly. We've never done the asexual dating thing before, so we're sort of feeling our way around for now. But it feels wonderful, not worrying about expectations, not having to explain what I'm comfortable with and why. We joke about having hot steamy sex and I don't have to question whether secretly that's on any future agenda. It's like a dream, and part of me wants to rush things so that I can see where we end up, while part of me wants to linger, to savor the friendship we're building and the hope we're hanging on to for the future.

The rest, I guess, is up in the air. Whether things move on from here remains to be seen, but either way, I'm sure to get a story out of it. If nothing else, I've learned an awful lot about what I like and what I want, and now that I've seen what could be, I know now that I'll never stand for less.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

This train don't stop here anymore*

You know, I keep saying I'm going to quit, and time and time again I continue to cave in. Well, this time I really mean it. I'm not going to try to date sexuals anymore. It's just not worth it - not for me, and certainly not for them, either.

I met a nice enough guy. Smart, quirky, not too hard on the eyes, very engaging and charming by e-mail. We shared a few interests, and before long we agreed to meet for dinner and a movie. We had a blast. Cue date #2, which I nearly cancelled because I had the Head Cold From Hell. Nonetheless, he was very patient and understanding and bore my crabbiness, sniffles, and general unattractiveness like a champ.

However, he was also becoming increasingly demonstrative of his attraction towards me via e-mail. Jokes about having to sit on his hands, and breathless declarations of excitement to hear my voice abounded, and made me more than slightly uncomfortable. It was time, I decided, to let him know where I stood. Before our third date, I sent a lengthy e-mail explaining that I was asexual; what that term did and did not mean; and what I was looking for in a relationship. I told him that I would understand if he didn't want to keep seeing me, but that I would value his friendship if he would let me have it.

He responded with a rant. Surely, he condescended to reason, I was merely one of "those women" who preferred emotional connections to sexual ones. But he was a virgin in his late twenties, he complained, and a victim of societal expectations and pressure! Was a few sweaty nights of mutual passion too much to ask?! And just "what the hell" did it mean to "just be friends" anyway, he wanted to know. Then he apologized for the rant and signed off.

I wish he'd never bothered to reply. The thing was, I did understand that he was frustrated, but I was offended by his response all the same. I was offended that he had the gall to suggest I was mistaken about my own sexuality. I was offended that he chose to describe his sexual fantasies to me in response to my very clear statement that I had no interest in it whatsoever. And it just plain pissed me off that he didn't seem to believe that "just" being friends was even worthwhile (did he even have female friends? I wondered. And if so, did he value them at all?)

The rest of the story is a bust. I calmly responded to his e-mail and addressed his concerns; we attempted to go through with date #3, but due to a mixup in the directions we ended up missing each other; I left him a voicemail hoping to reschedule, and he never replied. End scene, fade to black, and curtain.

So I've had it. I'm obviously doomed to loneliness for at least the next little while, and I had better get around to accepting it. I've never been a drinker, and I don't do drugs, so I guess I'll surround myself with books, music, and the internet while I wait to form a connection with somone who "gets it." Because yes, a few sweaty nights of mutual passion really is too much to ask.

*With apologies to Sir Elton John.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

The Definition of Insanity

The one thing I've repeatedly learned from my sexual experiences in the past is that I don't particularly like sex. I don't care for it, I don't desire it, I don't look forward to it, I don't enjoy it. And yet, as if I suffer from some mystical sort of selective amnesia, I keep finding myself drawn to individuals, thinking that maybe this one time I could be persuaded to, if not become a sexual being, at least do a passable imitation of one. Maybe this one time I won't find myself recoiling, resentful, from the demands of my sexual partner.

Asexuals like me - who feel physical attraction and who possess a drive for romance and intimacy - sometimes talk about "the exception": that perfect parter for whom we might, just maybe, be willing to have a sexual relationship with. We wonder if one day we might meet someone so understanding, so wonderful, so lovely and charming and appealing, that we'd consider saying, "well, I wouldn't do it for anyone but you, baby."

The rational side of me says this is a pipe dream. I'm no more likely to meet the Perfect Partner with whom I'd be able to tolerate chandelier-swinging sex than an avowed straight man is likely to meet the one Perfect Guy for whom he'd be willing to give up women. Sure, it could happen, but what are the odds?

So why am I still responding to these personal ads? Because the insane side of me can't stop hoping for the odds to turn in my favor.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Can I date you and still get blowjobs on the side?*

*Serious question posed to me by one of the latest people I've been corresponding with in hopes of starting a relationship.

The kicker is that he posed this question not because I'm asexual and he's sexual, but because he's bisexual and wanted to retain his ability to cruise guys in a closeted, downlow kind of way while in a relationship with a woman. To his credit, he didn't word his proposition quite so crudely, but it was still the gist of his message.

I told him no, but I'll admit I gave it some thought, because this is an issue that some asexuals have had to - and are going to have to - deal with. I had to ask myself if I would be willing, maybe not in this case, but in others, to be in a relationship with someone who wants sex that I can't give them... and if so, would I be okay with them getting that sex elsewhere?

I have nothing against open relationships or polyamory, if that's what floats peoples' boats. I don't think it's necessarily impossible to be in love with more than one person, in different ways. I just don't think it's possible for me. I thought about this guy who wrote to me, and how even if I did have sex with him, I would never have all of the anatomy he needs to be satisfied. Would it be so wrong, I wondered, to let him have that tiny bit of pleasure I can never give him, when he's still coming home to me at the end of the day?

For me the answer had to be yes, because I don't think I can love like that. If I can't even understand what it's like to need a sexual experience so badly that a relationship can end over lack of sex, how can I possibly begin to understand what it's like to need a sexual experience so badly that you must look outside of your committed relationship in order to have it?

I thought about the argument that such sex is "just about the body," or "just about release," and that I'd have the commitment of person inside that body, which is what counts, but I don't know. If I can't understand the person inside the body - what motivates them, what makes them happy - then what kind of commitment is that? What's that commitment worth?

Thursday, June 09, 2005

New York Times, baby

(Registration required to read full article, or you can read the text of it here.)

I love it when one of ours hits the big time. The more people who know about us and see that we're not socially inept, hideously ugly freaks, the better.

Of course, sometimes you get folks like the doctor who said that lacking a sex drive is like lacking a drive for water. Wow, sex is just as essential for life as water! Who knew? (Asshat.)

All in all, I'm very pleased with how the subject matter was handled. Here's to visibility! Here's to AVEN!