Asexual Dating: Loving Relationships with No Sex
They say 'love is love'. And so is asexual dating. Dae and Tash have been in an asexual relationship for 6 months. They are happy, they love each other but have never had sex. And, there is no sexual attraction between them.
Couples such as Dae and Tash are rare (about 1% of the larger population as per researchers). They are part of Australia's asexual community. Dae says she only knows about three asexual people saying: "It's hard to find someone else that is asexual because it's not talked about". Tash adds, " ... for a while I didn't think I would ever find anyone."
What asexuality means.
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When it comes to asexuality, most couples don't have sexual attraction between them. However, there are some who are in romantic relationships with or without the desire to have sex and some who don't have a romantic connection whatsoever.
Researchers just began understanding this type of relationship about 10 years ago. Apparently, heterosexuality is also hard to understand. According to Sex and relationship therapist Cyndi Darnell , "we think we do because we tend to use heterosexuality as the default setting ... but the reality is that human sexuality has always been very diverse, it's just that the field of sexology is relatively new."
Even with the LGBTQIA community, asexuality still went unrecognized. It just got shoved aside because people are used to a sexualised society. But "... just because I'm not having sex doesn't mean I can't fall in love," says Dae.
How do know you are asexual?
When Dae and Tash met, they instantly connected on an emotional and intellectual level and immediately started dating.
Tash says, "Being asexual you're not attracted sexually. I can appreciate Dae's aesthetics, but it's roughly the same way I'd look at a marble statue in a museum — they are very pretty and you can admire the creation or everything that's gone into creating it, but you're not really attracted to it."
For them intimacy means hugging and kissing on the cheek. Their intimacy is more verbal than physical. They don't do sexual stuff, don't intend to and have no desire to.
Growing up asexual
Both Tash and Dae agree how difficult it was growing up in a sexualised world. Tash even closes her eyes when she sees a couple kissin on TV.
According to Darnell, we have been conditioned to believe that love and sex must go hand-in-hand. So this makes it hard to understand asexuality. Tash says its been hard for some of her family members to wrap their heads around it.
"I think it's jarring for people to hear that you can be not interested or not attracted to anybody sexually, because everything that we have been taught from when we're very small is that at some point you're going to meet the one and you're going to live happily ever after and the implication is you're going to have sex with that person," said Darnell.
Well, much as people may not understand asexuality, Darnell's advice is for one to be true to themselves in order to move through it with ease and grace.
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