I had been wondering about making a post on this subject before, but seeing that it’s a small can holding rather large worms, I figured I’ll save it for down the road when there’s a reason for me to write upon this subject.
An Anonymous friend over at my Tumblr Page actually posed a question, so I figured, why not?
Here’s the Ask:
You’re asexual? I never knew…. least I don’t recall…. I know it can take forms varying between no sexual desire whatsoever to some along a ‘it depends’ lines, but, if you permit me to pry a little bit, how does it affect you, given that you have kids? Was it some sort of “I want kids but I don’t like sex but I’ll still have it to give kids?” or something else?
I certainly don’t mind the prying, or even consider it prying, when it comes to a question this genuine. In the last half-decade or so, terms have exploded across the spectrum as people try to find ways of truly defining themselves to others without leaving behind that obnoxious gray question mark – “Just what the hell do you mean you’re ‘insert-term-here’?”
I only started explaining myself to people with the word “Asexual” three years ago.
So no sex? At all?
Teenagers with hormones firing at odd intervals, college students with too much access to heavy partying and being influenced/pressured by obnoxious individuals wanting to get a quick lay, and adults who are looking to share a part of themselves with someone who would accept them for who they are and being allowed to show their love… the idea that someone is “asexual” is typically the hardest one to accept, and sounds the weirdest.
How could you not like sex? I’ll come back to this in a bit.
For plenty of people, the idea of living without sex is inconceivable, especially since the media has taken on a new tank of strength to push/shove the message “Sex without consent freely given and without coercion is rape.”
I’m not sure how many Aexuals “freely grant consent” after that first initial “try” at it and realized “No, this isn’t for me. Thanks, but no thanks. Have a wonderful day.”
Yet for those of us calling ourselves “asexual,” that is pretty much the basic definition. It doesn’t make us a-romantic (although there are people who are both asexual and aromantic), nor does it mean we don’t *ahem* get horny. Some of us do. Since the question asked above is about me, let’s break me down for you.
I do get horny, when my hormones fluctuate through the cycle and I’m not overly stressed out (which is rare). It happens only twice a month, like clockwork, and the feeling lingers, generally, only for about ten or fifteen minutes.
Do I have sex? Yes, but for purposes that are a little bit more medical than “enjoyment.” I would elaborate, but it would (1) most likely gross some people out, and (2) reveal something about Bitworks I’m not comfortable revealing.
How does it [asexuality] affect you, given that you have kids?
It affects me a lot, walking into a relationship with the person that I did. Bitworks is “well known” for his high sexual drive during his younger years (think ages 12-19) – the escapades were rather numerous… some highly amusing. When the subject of us being a possibility arose after his now-ex-wife handed him a sturdy stack of divorce papers (the obtuse reasoning being that she was scared to death of Bitworks leaving her so she’ll leave him first instead… O.o;), we had long chats about “us” going forward – hopes, dreams, goals, where we see ourselves in X-number of years, etc.
We have our similarities… and differences.
Did you know, in America at least, if a wife was to withhold sex from her husband for a period exceeding one year, he has the legal right to divorce her without too much repercussions (dependent upon how long the marriage had been in existence)? The same extends to husbands who withhold sex from their wives.
Well, sex once a year. Not too hard to manage, right?
I wasn’t stupid enough to think an average man with an average sex-drive would jump for joy over this, much less a man with a higher-than-average sex drive. The running joke about this being an Irish/Scotsman thing is a long one (Look up “Under the Scotsman’s Kilt” and chuckle for a bit), but the issue is still very much there.
I wasn’t interested in the act of sexual intercourse. That’s going to clash with Bitworks and the idea of wanting a family. He really wanted children.
Did I want children?
It would be more accurate to say, “I didn’t not want children.”
Double negatives and English teachers rolling over in their graves aside, it was as true of a statement as I could make it. Children wasn’t an issue that determined my life. If children were to be in the picture, then they will be. If children weren’t, then I have other goals and pursuits in my life that I can dedicate myself to, such as writing.
Or finding the time to finally learn the art of doodling. And mastering Japanese. I would travel with Bitworks. Let our jobs take us to where it takes us – here, Europe, Asia, off-the-planet as the case may be.
But… the sex?
Let’s go back to the question I said I’ll get to: How could you not like sex?
I don’t have a reason to like it. My asexuality stems partly from a physical limitation. For me, the act of sexual intercourse is devoid of feeling. It doesn’t feel bad nor does it feel good. When you touch someone with your fingertips, you feel that someone there, as is the case when you touch an object, or stroke your hand through material with resistance (like water). When you touch air, you don’t necessarily feel anything. You might, if there was wind blowing hard enough to trigger the little hairs on your fingers to send a charge to your brain, but outside of that, air is a “non-feeling.”
It is rather hard to like something one cannot feel. I think the best word for this is… indifferent.
Doesn’t mean I’m against it. It just simply means that I don’t go for “quickies” – fucking for the sake of fucking. I live for the foreplay and afterplay, but the sex part is all for Bitworks. I just consider it part of the journey. I enjoy my intimacy a lot. Children entering the picture puts a heavy strain on that, but we manage even if it’s just a couple of times a month. Before any of our children reached the age of 4, however, we were lucky if we could be intimate a couple times a year.
So, how do we overcome this little, yet not-so-little, problem of asexual paired with a high-sex-drive heterosexual?
Obviously someone is going to have to compromise. Which party does this depends on the couple, but for us, it was Bitworks.
During the nuclear blow out of my life in 2007, my father gave me his advice that a woman shouldn’t just take a man’s word about “loving her” for eternity. Words are simple. It’s proving them that’s hard.
My father is a wise man. Unfortunately, his suggestion to the “test” wasn’t wise at all, and I threw his suggestion out the window the moment they fell from his lips.
I think, in the grand scope of a lot of things, that for a man willing to utter the words,
I, Bitworks, take you Wynter, to be my lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.
… while knowing and accepting a woman he loved who identifies as an Asexual is quite possibly the biggest and hardest test of all. There is supposed to be sex in a marriage. That’s the whole point for some, especially the religious fanatics.
This is Bitworks’ answer when I worked myself into a frenzy that it wouldn’t work for more than a few years:
“I don’t care about the sex,” he said. “I care about holding you and spending time with you. Sex is great, but it’s not great enough for me to go find someone else.”
Can this work for other people? I don’t know. It works for us, but only because Bitworks can step back and put my needs before his. It’s not fair to ask people to do this. Only a person can offer to do it, so ultimately, it’s up to the individuals that make up a relationship.
I’m one of very few who got blessed. That’s all I can say. 🙂
I hope you find my answer satisfying, Anonymous, if you had chosen to click the link that pointed you over here.
And to my readers and followers, if you’ve made it through this whole post, thank you. If you have any questions, feel free to ask either over on Tumblr, in my Gmail, or in the comment section below. ❤
I bid you all good day. Summer is almost over. As the weather cools off and we gear up for the last quarter of the year and all the crazy that typically comes with it, be safe, be healthy, and be happy. Light a candle. Long days are going to give way to long nights. A candle may just be the thing to carry you over from one sunrise to another.
Much love from Yours Truly,