People who know me know that I've never had any interest in sex. (This was actually a relief to my parents when I was a teenager: I could go on dates and they knew I'd come home at or before curfew without any worries!) So when my fiancé and I declared that we were getting hitched, we got a lot of strange looks and a lot of probing questions.
I will admit that the decision to get married was not one rushed into or taken lightly. My groom/husband-to-be and I have known each other for 15 years. In that time we've been friends, co-workers, car-poolers, and globe-trotters. We've also lived together for the past five years.
He's known from the get-go that sex wasn't my thing, but he took it the way most people interpret a lack of sexual interest: “Oh, you're just broken. Here, let me fix you.”
Now, I will admit that I did need some “fixing” — there was some childhood traumas to go through and heal; there were thought-patterns I'd inherited from my parents that needed to be let go of. But never through all that healing did a desire for sexual contact ever surface in me.
Therapist after therapist declared me “well-balanced” and “perfectly sane.” Great! So why didn't I want nooky like every other “normal” person?!
I had to finally declare to myself that it was just the way I was and he'd have to accept that.
So how does my asexual marriage work?
Now, I will admit that we do have sex because — even to me — the thought of being a 30-year-old virgin seemed silly. Plus there was the whole “try it, you'll like it!” notion… Nope. How 'bout again? Nada.
The word “asexual” finally entered into my lexicon a few years ago and a light bulb went off: “There's a name for that!”
We've had to make some compromises when it comes to sex and have finally settled into an arrangement that works for the both of us. But the question is continually posed, “If you don't like sex, why marry the guy? (And why would he want to marry you?)”
The latter is “Because he loves me and has loved me loooong before we ever “inserted tab A into slot B.” The former was on me to come to terms with.
Of course, like most people, I had assumed that marriage = sex. Exclusive sex. And kids. Usually married hetero couples breed (it's a thing). But I didn't want either, so where did that leave things?
I think something that started me thinking that maybe asexual marriage wasn't such a bad thing was looking at his mother's relationship with her second husband.
My future mother-in-law didn't need to get married again, but as she got older she realized she desired someone to “build mutual memories with,” a companion rather than a live-in [email protected]$%-buddy. I've always found their relationship interesting since they're rarely in the same room together, they don't often eat at the same time, they're not all over each other; they're individuals who share their individuality with each other. I liked that.
So we decided to really buckle down and figure out what marriage would mean for US, rather than what it meant to the rest of the world.
We sat down and talked about what would and wouldn't change if we got married, and finally last June I asked him if he wanted to marry me.
No, we're not the most romantic couple in the world. We don't tell each other “I wub you!” every moment of every day. But when people see us together they can see our connection, our ease and comfort in each other's presence. It's not sexual love that binds us together — it's something else… I hesitate to say “deeper,” but that's what it feels like.
Both partners willing, you can have love and marriage without (much) sex. It might make us rather “boring” newlyweds, but, happily, we're okay with that!