‘We’re married, we just don’t have sex’

People wonder why asexuals bother to get together, but Amanda and I have been happily married for nine months now and we’re both still virgins. Some people even think asexuality doesn’t exist. It’s so underrepresented, I can understand why people are skeptical. I was too, even though I was perfectly used to thinking of myself in this way. For years I just thought I was the only person in the world who felt like this.

This is an interesting read. I’ve heard of people living in arrangements like this before, but never seen anything about it.

Link

29 thoughts on “‘We’re married, we just don’t have sex’

  1. This is quite interesting. I always thought it was possible for someone to not have sexual urges, but the whole masturbating thing throws me off a bit.

    It just goes to show that long lasting relationships aren’t built around sex. They are built around love.

  2. This is quite interesting. Sexuality is a combination of both genetic and environmental factors, which can occur in any combination. So just as its possible to have hypersexual individuals, it’s entirely possible to have an asexual people. It just seems to occur a *lot* less often…

  3. I’ve read or heard somewhere that when the sex is good it is 10% of the marriage, if the sex is bad it’s 90% of the marriage. I have no idea what asexuality would mean and I think it is utterly ridiculous to call yourself married but no sex. Why not just be roommates that happen to get along really well?

  4. @nyokki: Yeah you’re right… Without sex, you’re no better than best friends (without benefits) or roommates… There’s no point in marriage. BUT, It could be argued that it’s the same thing as some older couples once thier health and libido vanishes.

    I do remember hearing an older lady talking about that on a tv documentary somewhere. She said she and her husband were little more than roommates. But they didn’t start the relationship being asexual, and they eventually ended up getting divorced…

    Maybe they are just milking it for the legal benefits/tax breaks etc. Of course the other side of the coin is, would it be justified to tell an asexual couple that they cannot get married if they don’t intend to have sex? How would that work?

    Clearly, an asexual marriage makes no sense by traditional definitions. But then neither does same sex marriages. Which leads us back to the whole Marriage vs Civil Union question… If we assume that this could not fall under the umbrella of a traditional marriage, could it be a civil union?

    And what is the purpose of a civil union, and how would it be defined? Would an asexual marriage make any sense, even by the more universally open standards of a civil union?

  5. @Phyreblade: Any people that want to get legally married/civil union-d can do so w/out my say for any reason they want. I’m not really talking about that. For what reason do people engage in an exclusive relationship? Why does one person look at another and say “You are the one I want and no other.”? It’s generally for sexual reasons. We don’t have exclusive friendships. Having a friend doesn’t mean you can’t make someone else a friend…at the same time. While polygamy exists, it’s still a relatively exclusive and sexual relationship. Gay people get together for the same reason straight people do and it includes sex.
    For older couples, the sex may no longer possible, but the relationship has then matured into something that lack of sex does not diminish the love, romance and sexuality of the couple. Sex may not be physically possible, but the feeling that led to sexual arousal still exist.

  6. @nyokki: I dunno… What if the relationship is based purely on the compatibility of the characters involved? You still don’t necessarily have to have sex in order for people to make one another happy… Many people fall in love not because they are physically attracted to a person, but rather because of certain character traits. Sometimes the even fall on love with people they don’t actually find attractive at all.

    So what if that happens with a couple who both happen to have no sex drive whatsoever? They could still be romantically involved, just no sex… And if you can be romantically involved and not have sex, then it’s not that far of a leap to get married and still not have sex… It’s a mind boggling idea for those of is for whom sex is an important part of marriage, but if we think outside our paradigm a little I don’t think it’s that far fetched…

  7. @Phyreblade: You’re right. It’s strange but not totally crazy. Many handicapped people fall in love and marry w/ no ability to physically have sex. Of course, inability to physically have sex is not the same as having no sex drive at all, but I get your point.

  8. And here I thought people got married because: A) Had sex B) Religion (So they can have sex) C) X factor called Love and D) Lifelong Companionship

    Then again I am just a lonely 25yr old guy. What do I know, besides I find this a little strange.

  9. I have had thoughts of not having sex with my partner, but being together. Not kissing or sharing anything, but just the company and laying with her would be enjoyable.

    Also, if you get fingered, or masturbate, then your really not a virgin! Sure you haven’t had “intercourse” but you have still had something in you, rubbed your clit and had an orgasm, or jacked off and had an orgasm.

    “never having sex” is more of a principality issue then physical, right? I’ve jacked off so many times, but never stuck it in a vagina, and I’m still a “virgin”? Doesn’t really have much meaning…

  10. @nannerpuss/cm/suns/slp: I dunno if I’d necessarily rely on whether you’ve had an orgasm as a determination of virginity. By that measure, even having a wet dream would technically be a violation of ones virginity, and that doesn’t make any sense either, since a wet dream is spontaneous, not requiring external stimulation of any type.

    I think most folks idea of virginity is too focused on the physical aspects of it. Having an intact/broken hymen, having never penetrated anything or been penetrated by anything, even having an orgasm, do not seem like good ways to define virginity since they can all occur in the absence of actual sex.

    Me, I think being a virgin should really be less about whether one has engaged in a “sexual” act, and more about the intimacy. Sharing it with someone else. Having someone else bring you to orgasm. Being stimulated by someone else. Trusting someone enough to let them get that close to you. That seems to me to be more important than whether you actually have an orgasm or not, or whether you even had sexual intercourse at all.

    So from my perspective, I think a more accurate way to define it would be to say that one remains a virgin until they share a sexual experience with someone else…

  11. The whole idea of virginity seems silly to me. The idea of saving yourself for the one perfect person is ridiculous. How would you even know who the ‘right’ person would be, unless you’ve ‘tried’ them out? Relationships should mature as you mature. A sexual relationship between two teens is nothing compared to the sexual relationship between 2 experienced people in their 20s and/or 30s. It’s not sexual relationships we should be protecting teens from, it’s pregnancy and disease. Religious types will tell you that disease and pregnancy are inextricable from sex but again, that’s just incorrect…and silly.

  12. @nyokki: Please correct me if I’m wrong, but when you say “The whole idea of virginity seems silly to me.”, I presume you mean the idea of saving oneself for marriage, as opposed to the concept of *being* a virgin right?

    I certainly agree that being sexually active can be done safely, and is not an automatic pass for VDs and popping out babies, however I think the idea of saving oneself isn’t necessarily a silly one either. I think it is a personal choice whose validity depends a lot on the beliefs and background of the people in question.

    I don’t think the people who practice abstinence do so necessarily under the impression that they are saving themselves for that one “perfect” person. If they are being intelligent about it, they will realize that such a creature does not exist.

    However I think it is not unreasonable to believe that they are saving themselves for the person they wish to spend the rest of their lives with, and are prepared to deal with any issues in the bedroom as necessary.

    I think that some folks have a different view of the role sex plays in a relationship. Rather than being a deal breaker, it is merely icing on the top. Personally, I’m with you, I think it’s a heckuvalot lot more than just icing. Heck I know people with absolutely nothing in common, whose entire relationship is based on sex.

    However, much like the attitude of the folks in the article above suggests, sex isn’t everything. And I don’t really believe the idea of the sexual “test drive” is really a good argument against abstinence either.

    Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not arguing for abstinence. Far from it. I fully support the idea of education, exposure and understanding rather than prohibition. But here’s the thing. Sex is different for everyone. Every person generally has different sexual likes/dislikes, different ways of going about it, different quirks, etc.

    So unlike test driving a car, where you can test out a specific car at a whole bunch of different lots and realize the same driving experience, test driving sex is more like going to a whole bunch of different car lots, and driving a whole bunch of differnt cars, motorcycles and trucks. They just aren’t all the same, and your experience with one will not necessarily transfer to all the others.

    I can see the logic of test driving a vehicle you really want to buy, but a test drive is rarely the whole story either. You don’t really get good at driving any specific kind of vehicle until you get to know the quirks of that specific vehicle. And more importantly, unlike a car, people can change.

    There are some things they can learn to do better. Not everything of course, but if a couple is really determined to make it work, it is possible for them to teach each other what works, and resolve any initial issues there may have been.

    So while I’m not saying people having sex before marriage is a sacrilege in the eyes of God that will earn them a special place in hell, where they will all share a hot, steamy shower of fire and brimstone for all eternity, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that those who do decide to do so are being silly…

    Geez… That got long real quick… and B4 comments from the peanut gallery, no, I am not overcompensating for anything.

    Well, OK, maybe a little…

  13. @Phyreblade: Being a virgin until you meet someone w/ whom you want to get romantically/sexually involved, regardless of the age is ok I guess, but an adult is expected to have some understanding of what a full relationship is. For some it may be 16, others 25. It’s not only about age, it’s about finding someone you want to be intimate w/. If you and your high school sweetheart are “in love” and want to go “all the way”., I see nothing wrong w/ that. It may last, it may not; the point is that you were both there in the moment. You may end up splitting up for whatever reason, but it’s still a legitimate relationship. Some feel as if they’ve lost something if that 1st person didn’t turn out to be “The One”. That makes what was a good experience and turns it into a bad one…for no good reason. What if you were to meet the perfect person for you and didn’t know it because you don’t really understand what being sexually involved w/ another person means. Sex is part of being a full adult, a virgin doesn’t really understand what a sexual relationship is and how it can totally transform a relationship, for good or ill. They are unaware of what the issues in the bedroom are going to be. Sex for all its incredible pleasure can be embarrassing. A lot of the time it’s not pretty. It’s sweaty, groaning, noises you didn’t know you could make and well…sometimes your body does things that…ummm…makes noises…that are…unexpected. The older you get the better the chance the problems will be insurmountable. As a teen, you’re ideas are more malleable and can mature sexually and emotionally at the same time. Sex brings a relationship to a level a virgin can only fantasize about (fantasizing badly, prolly). I expect that anyone I meet who is in their mid 20s or older will have had a sexual relationship at some point. The longer you remain a virgin, the more out of step you become w/ those of the same age and what you think sex is gets more and more distorted. I’m arguing on the one side because most people already believe in virginity til marriage (even if they break their own rules, they still believe the rules are right). We’re pushing the accepted age of adulthood, it was 15 then 16 up to 18 and now 21 for some things.

  14. @nyokki: I can understand what you are trying to say, though I disagree on a few points. I do not believe that sex is necessarily a requirement for adulthood. I think it may be a requirement in order to have a healthy adult romantic relationship, but that is not necessarily true either, the couple in the article above made me realize that I only think that way because of the importance I place on sex in a relationship.

    I think our perspectives are skewed by the things that we personally deem of great importance to us. And while I can see how it might be beneficial to understand the practical realities of sex, the truth is I think we are trying to applying an operational ideology to a way of thinking in which it may not apply. IE abstinence.

    For instance, people who have never had sex might be embarrassed about the gross realities of it the first time out, but if a couples relationship is built on a strong foundation of open and honest communication, trust etc, don’t you think they will be able to overcome that? While it can certainly be a relationship changing experience, I think that it is that way by design.

    I read somewhere that lots of changes occur in peoples brains when they have sex, and I believe the process was originally intended to increase the bond between the couple, so I think that it is really the mindset of the couple that determines how that change affects them, and not the ignorance of the process itself.

    I think that the problem is not necessarily what the sex does to us, but rather our preconceived notions about what it does/means to us. And unfortunately, it is not a topic that is treated with sufficient openness and honesty that kids will learn the realities of it as a matter of course, like they do with everything else. So perhaps you may be right, and they will actually need to have sex to figure it out.

    But I also think that if more people were more open and honest about it with their kids, the invalid assumptions and misconceptions that create the problems you describe would become non issues. IE, if you give everyone the basic tools to understand what sex is, isn’t, and what the possible pitfalls could be, then the distortion you describe can be nipped before it ever buds.

    A virgin may not have first hand knowledge of what happens during sex, but they can certainly be mentally prepared for it, and if they go into it with the right attitude, it won’t matter what age they are, if they know what might and might not happen, there will be no panic if the fireworks of legend do not occur.

    In fact, I think the constant pushing of the age of adult hood is an act of futility, because it won’t matter how far we push it, if nobody teaching these kids anything about anything before they get there. From my perspective I think the education, attitude and mental preparedness is the key, not necessarily having teh sex.

  15. @Phyreblade: I think we’re mostly agreeing. The above article is referencing virgins not celibacy, which means they’ve made a deliberate choice to remain ignorant. If an experienced person settles on celibacy, that’s fine. It’s a decision based on knowledge and affirming choice. 2 adult virgins deciding to never have sex bothers me. It’s not my business of course, but I don’t think I would have much in common w/ people that feel that way. It smacks of avoidance.

  16. @nyokki: I guess I see what you are saying… 2 adult virgins deciding to stay that way, could indeed be a sign of an avoidant coping mechanism, which I agree is generally not healthy. But I don’t think we are talking about people who want to avoid having sex altogether, just people who want to make sure that the first person they do have sex with is right for them…

    We can only hope the decision is based on a realistic understanding of how relationships work and how the sexual aspect of it can affect the relationship, and not just because the preacher man told them that was the right thing to do…

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