Talk

Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Asexuality dilemma

(35 Posts)
user1473028862 Mon 05-Sep-16 00:13:37

Hi all. Would really appreciate a female perspective on my problem.

I am a 35 year old male with very little interest in penetrative sex. I'm not entirely averse to it, but if I never had it again it wouldn't be a big deal. As you can imagine, this has constituted a significant issue within relationships. One ex partner walked out on me in exasperation because I never initiated sexual interaction, and others have been more tolerant but still felt hurt and undervalued. The upshot is that I get very resentful, feeling like a performing monkey who has to put out on sufferance (although of course I appreciate partners do not intend me to feel like this).

Anyway, recently someone mentioned online asexual dating facilities, so I thought 'problem solved' and signed up for a few. Not a great success. I found one woman who claimed to be genuinely asexual 150 miles away (with whom it soon transpired I had nothing in common). All the rest turned out not to be asexual at all. They either semed to be seeking friendship (usually with other women), or just some non-committal chat with someone other than a sexual predator.

My question is this: although asexuality seems very much to be a thing these days, are you, or is anyone you have ever known, asexual (or just does not see sex as a make or break issue in a relationship)? And also, as a guy seeking to avoid sex, I feel like a total outsider. Have you known other guys like me?

Thanks smile

GarlicMist Mon 05-Sep-16 03:30:19

I've known one asexual man - we used to work together, then I bumped into him many years later and he told me he's married. I didn't feel I could ask if they had sex! During the years we were friends, he didn't date for the reasons you've described: he'd felt very attached to one or two girlfriends, but sexual incompatibility meant the relationships couldn't continue with any degree of honesty.

That said, it takes all sorts - and you can guarantee there are people conducting any sort of sex life imaginable!
Would you want your relationship to be monogamous, for example, or would you be okay with a partner who had sex with other people?
Or how would you feel about a one-sided sexual relationship, where you 'helped' your partner but didn't get return service, as it were.

There are lots of possibilities outside of asexual dating, but it might mean having a lot of failed efforts to find them. I've got a chronic illness that leaves me too knackered to be interested in sex; several of the people in my support groups have got married while unwell. I assume there's very little rumpy-pumpy in their lives. Thinking about it now, they all met their partners during the course of their lives - locally or through hobbies, rather than a dating search.

I'm not being a very effective flag waver for you, sorry! But I don't think it's at all impossible; you might just need to broaden your horizons a little. Good luck smile

MephistoMarley Mon 05-Sep-16 05:25:28

Being asexual is very rare I think. I don't know anyone who is asexual (that they have told me about) and I've never had a relationship with an asexual person.
What about poly dating? You could have emotional connection/s with people who are having emotional and sexual connections with other people. Without the sexual jealousy element I think poly would be great.

user1473028862 Mon 05-Sep-16 07:14:13

GarlicMist. Thanks for your advice. There is no way I could tolerate a poly relationship: the concept sounds weird to me. I'm too much of a romantic to be anything but a monogamist.

The relationsip could be one-sided as long as I wan't required to service my partner frequently and on demand. I guess I want a relationship in which emotional and intellectual connection is the priority, not sex - so that if I declined sex it wouldn't be a massive problem. I could maybe provide someone with some sort of sexual satisfaction every week or so though,

Oblomov16 Mon 05-Sep-16 07:27:50

I didn't think that was the op was asking for was that unusual.

HaPPy8 Mon 05-Sep-16 07:32:19

I think a big thing for a lot of women here would be if you want children.

I know lots of people of don't have much sex post children and don't seem to mind tbh.

JeNeSuisPasVotreMiel Mon 05-Sep-16 07:32:53

Service? People aren't cars you know.

category12 Mon 05-Sep-16 07:36:21

Well, as an asexual, I do think you're asking a lot (being unfair) to expect monogamy unless you do find someone who is also asexual or with a very low libido.

So maybe you should work through why poly is "weird" - and asexuality is not?! A little mind opening wouldn't go astray even if you ultimately stay fixed on a sexless monogamous relationship.

olives106 Mon 05-Sep-16 07:39:10

Are you asexual, or is it just penetrative sex you don't like? There are lots of other ways of being sexual, though admittedly as you've found, the majority of heterosexual women would probably expect it at least on occasion. Do you think you could be open about your issues on a dating site or elsewhere, perhaps early in the relationship? Some women don't like penetrative sex much either, and there are plenty I think who might be willing to negotiate other forms of sex. Are you not initiating sexual contact because you worry it will lead to penetration? Would you be quite happy in a sexual relationship if it didn't, or very rarely, involved that?

user1473028862 Mon 05-Sep-16 08:00:03

Category12: Thanks for your thoughts but poly is a no no for me. I cannot be in relationship with someone who is involved with other people. I didn't say Poly is weird, just that it is weird TO ME.

Olives: Good point. I like touching, kissing, caressing - just nothing too genitally focussed. That does nothing for me. It also feels very undignified and degrading. I'm not making any moral judgment concerning sex, just saying that it feels wrong for me. It is contrary to who I am.

ITCouldBeWorse Mon 05-Sep-16 08:05:24

I don't think many women would enjoy being 'serviced' - total turn off.

ime some men are perfectly happy with a 'servicing arrangement' - would you consider a relationship with a man, or are you only considering women?

user1473028862 Mon 05-Sep-16 08:10:44

I wouldn't rule it out, but I'm basically hetero-romantic.

Kr1stina Mon 05-Sep-16 08:14:31

So I can I just check - you want a monogamous sexual relationship with a woman where you only have sexual contact, ( which must be non penetrative) about once a week and only when you initiate it .

Is that right ?

StartledByHisFurryShorts Mon 05-Sep-16 08:14:55

I would continue with the asexual dating sites, if I were you. All online dating is a hit and miss affair. (Mostly miss!) And if you meet someone this way you can both he upfront about your expectations regarding a relationship.

ITCouldBeWorse Mon 05-Sep-16 08:21:56

If you are uncomfortable around genitals, how would you plan for the contact to be satisfying? I know several women who would sacrifice PIV for really good oral, but that does not sound like it is something you would enjoy either.

category12 Mon 05-Sep-16 08:34:51

As long as you're upfront about it, then you can want whatever you like.

But it's not reasonable to expect another person to accept a monogamous, non sexual relationship (or very limited, on your terms only sexual relationship), unless they're also asexual.

Keep looking, keep honest.

juneau Mon 05-Sep-16 08:36:24

Have you ever spoken to a doctor OP? Had your testosterone level checked? Being asexual is unusual and there may be an underlying reason.

As for your dislike of women's genitals and talk of 'servicing' a partner once a week - well lets just say that I can see why you're single! Romantic you consider yourself to be, but unless you find an asexual woman or one with an extremely low libido I can't imagine anyone else finding your idea of a relationship satisfying. Kissing and holding hands is nice, but for the whole relationship to consist of that and a once weekly non-genital 'servicing'? Um, no thanks. So yes, stick with the asexual dating. There really are all sorts of people out there with different wants/needs/desires/lack thereof.

Kr1stina Mon 05-Sep-16 08:46:28

You say you wouldn't rule out a relationship with a man ? Have you tried it ? Maybe your dislike of heterosexual sex is because you are more attracted to men?

user1473028862 Mon 05-Sep-16 08:55:13

Category12. It is hard to explain. I've always fancied women and wanted to be close to them, but never to the point of penetrative sex. Even the concept of penetrative sex is lost on me. From childhood the idea (to put it very crudely) of utting your willy into someone's orifice and ejaculating as 'making love' seemed very odd - as did the way everyone else seemed to accept this as a fact of life.

However, when I got to university I was determined to find out what all the fuss was about and lost my virginity. It was awful and I wish I hadn't done it. I did go on to have further sexual relationships, but they were always problematic because I couldn't maintain an erection. I have used Viagra, and feigned interest, but I don't want to do that anymore.

I think I do have an almost OCD issue with bodies. I find them a bit gross. I know this is a horrible way of putting it, but sex really turns me off because it involves contact with the part of the body people wee and poo from. It just seems so yucky!! Btw, this really isn't some sort of misogynist neurosis. I have loads of female friends and love female company. I just don't want to have sex with them - or anyone.

Foreverlexicon Mon 05-Sep-16 09:00:26

I don't have any advice but currently struggling similar.

My low sex drive is a bone of contention between me and my girlfriend. I would quite happily have sex once a week or once a fortnight but she wants much more. I've tried forcing myself but it only turns me off further. I don't really know what to do; she's suggested an open relationship but that's a no go for me.

Alfieisnoisy Mon 05-Sep-16 09:04:46

You are not alone OP. I am 50 and have been asexual for as long as I can remember. Penetrative sex doesn't do it for me at all although I do like a cuddle. My son was only conceived because I forced myself to have sex.

I have now been celibate for seven years having made the empowering decision that I don't ever have to have sex again. I've never wanted it.

My exH and I ended up separating over my lack of sexual desire ....and I feel huge guilt about it but at the time I didn't have a term for my lack of desire. He knew before we married that I had a very low sex drive and that I wasn't bothered about having sex. He thought he could cope with that but he couldn't..

It took lots of reading and searching to discover I was asexual. My GP doesn't believe much in it and has no suggestions to make beyond psycho sexual counselling. I don't need it...I am happy being asexual.

So yes there are women out there like me who would live happily in an asexual marriage.

user1473028862 Mon 05-Sep-16 09:06:53

Thanks Alfie. Good to hear I'm not alone. ☺

coffeemilk2sugars Mon 05-Sep-16 09:34:14

My advice from personal experience would be only seek relationships with other asexuals. I know all relationships are about compromise but a sexual/asexual relationships requires BOTH parties to compromise who they fundamentally are. Even if you ended up dating a woman with a low libido there could still be issues because it's not just about a mismatched sex drive. The difference between a sexual person and an asexual person is desire for sex/sexual intimacy and for a sexual person there is usually a desire to be desired and that for me is harder to live with than the absence of PIV sex. I know most women don't want to be seen as sexual objects, but knowing your partner never just looks at you and feels want, desire and passion is very soul destroying especially when you do feel that way when you look at them but you know you can't say or do anything.

user1473028862 Mon 05-Sep-16 10:06:22

Kristina: No, that isn't what I want at all. If anything I would prefer my partner to initiate - then I would make them happy as best I can when they required sex.

I am asexual. I don't want to initiate at all. That is the problem.

GarlicMist Mon 05-Sep-16 15:48:25

I feel the need to say I used the word 'service' - it's not user>62 being snitty! I thought it was a fairly recognisable way of saying "provide sexual satisfaction without requiring the same" ... and significantly shorter grin

OP, this forum and any gathering of female friends are heavily peppered with women whose partners seem uninterested in physical intimacy - kissing & touching, etc - except as a prelude to sex. That attitude really damages a relationship. Many a woman would prefer what you offer. Whether she'd then be happy to 'finish off' by herself as needed is another matter - but the right person will, of course, because it's considerate & reasonable.

I understand a high proportion of women aren't that bothered about penetrative sex anyway. It must largely be a question of how & when to broach the issue!

Some odd remarks here about wanting children. OP's as likely as any other man to father kids confused

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now