I don’t really know how and where to start…
I’ve been with my partner for a few years now. One of our problems is that I don’t really crave intimacy, which means I don’t even think about it, I don’t miss it and if I were not constantly reminded of it by my partner I would just forget about it. My partner on the other hand is an extremely physical person who especially connects through intimacy. You can imagine this causes quite a lot of problems. My partner often feels rejected, unwanted or unloved, which is understandable, even though I don’t mean it that way. This also causes lots of tension, frustration and stress in our relationship and everyday life.
I don’t deal very well with arguments or fights, confrontation in general is difficult for me. I crave harmony. So when my partner voices unhappiness about this situation and we discuss, talk about how we feel and how we could solve this, it makes me incredible nervous because I don’t know what to do. I usually end up crying, apologising a lot and promising that I will try to do better. I don’t even know what that means. And I am aware that this is not the most productive way to handle it. But I don’t know any other way. I am very sensitive to people being in a bad mood or upset/angry. I would do anything to prevent that. That also causes me to sometimes allow intimacy even though I don’t feel like it.
I’ve been contemplating for quite a while now if I might be asexual. I don’t really need a label or category for myself to fit in, but it would be very pleasant not having to explain, excuse or defend myself all the time for who I am, if I could just say: this is how it is. Is there a certain threshold you have to fulfil to be able to call yourself by that term?
I know that around 1% of the population are asexual. And I know this behaviour is like a pattern for me, in the beginning of a new relationship I am interested in physical intimacy, but after a few weeks or months it just disappears. I assumed the only reason I’m interested in physical contact is the hormones/pheromones in the beginning when you’re freshly fallen in love.
Later other things become more important to me. Long and deep conversations about life and the world and everything else, philosophising or analysing random things, connecting on an emotional level. For me for example telling each other our darkest secrets or our deepest fears is much more intimate than just sharing our bodies. It’s not that it gets boring and I need variation, I just completely lose the urge to do anything in that regard. This has been the case for as long as I can remember. I honestly never understood what the fuss was all about, what is supposed to be so great about it.
I’ve always “blamed” my long-term depressions I’ve been suffering from since I was 18 years old. But maybe that’s not it, I don’t know. One reason could also be that my experiences in the past were often negative so maybe that influenced my picture or opinion of intimacy. (I got pregnant and had an abortion when I was 19 years old and still in school, because my boyfriend back then “confessed” after almost two years of being together that he was sterile and I trusted him. Obviously that was a lie, I believe he made it up because he got fed up with condoms. He never accused me of cheating, and he didn’t seem surprised at all that he might not be sterile. After that, sex had been physically hurtful for me for many years, so I always tried to avoid it. Later I also often felt pressured by another partner.) That could also be one reason why it’s not my favourite way to pass time. For the rest of the world it is, I’m always told. My (current) partner tells me it’s biologically natural, healthy, necessary for a happy life and that me not having sex might be the reason, or one of the reasons, why I am so unhappy.
My partner has asked me multiple times if I wanted to get my hormone levels checked, or take viagra for women, or try anything in that direction. I am wondering, just because I don’t want to have sex, does that mean something has to be wrong with me? Could that not just be the way I am, especially since I’ve always been that way? If people suspect they are asexual, do they usually get checked out by a doctor first to see if there may be a medical reason for this? I don’t know what the proper procedure/approach is here. I believe what hurts my partner the most is not the fact that I’m never in the mood, but more the fact that I have no motivation to change that, because I don’t seem to need it.
But I am also told that if I really loved my partner I would care more about their sexual satisfaction and do something about it. I even suggested an open relationship where they could go out and meet other people, if I cannot give them what they want and need. You can guess this wasn’t well received. Rather the opposite, it was taken even more like a rejection, although I only wanted to be open minded, tolerant and helpful. My partner also doesn’t care about sex with other people, it’s about being intimate with me, which I can understand in a way. Now I want to point out that I am never forced or trying to be convinced to do something I don’t want to.
I have never mislead my partner. Long before the relationship even began I was open and honest about this and explained that I might not want to be intimate for many months or even years in a row (since it has happened before). It was actually a reason which made me reluctant to start this relationship in the first place because I knew my partner was the opposite of me in that regard. But my partner assured me that it would be okay, that we would be able to handle it and even if that were to happen, I would still be an amazing partner. But I know my partner suffers so much due to this. And the constant discussions and arguments just leave me completely drained, desperate and feeling helpless.
Am I expecting too much, wanting to be accepted for who I am; do I need to get “fixed”? My partner has always been a part of the LGBTQ community, so I would have hoped to be a bit more easily accepted with my… whatever it is. But maybe this is also different. Sometimes I’m being told, I could so easily fix and change the situation, I just don’t want to.
I know there is probably no real solution here. This is a topic where you cannot really compromise without intruding on anyone’s boundaries. I cannot take away human contact, closeness and intimacy from my partner forever. But I also cannot force myself to do things I don’t want to do.
I have never really talked to anybody about this before. And I feel incredibly guilty for posting this here, if it was just about myself I wouldn’t mind. But since it also concerns my partner I fear this is a violation of trust, almost like a betrayal of privacy. I hope it is not.
Phew, I’ve been writing and editing this post now for many days before actually sending it.