Asexual love is not aromantic

In 2017 Sex Issue
(Courtesy of Heather Korn) Asexual relationships can feature just as much love as sexual ones. It's just displayed in different ways.

Before I met the love of my life, I never thought I would be ok living without sex.
I had read about asexuality in my teens, but I had never met anyone who could be Iabeled as such. Everyone around me was obsessed with getting laid, myself included.

When I started dating my girlfriend Heather, we ended up discovering her asexuality together.

“I just didn’t like sex, or want to have sex or had any interest in sex,” Heather said. “I didn’t realize there was a term for it.”

At first, as Heather continuously put off the date for our first time, I was worried that it had something to do with me. Maybe I didn’t fit her criteria in what she wanted in a sexual partner. Maybe it was because I had grown rounder around the midsection. I was all kinds of insecure, because everything that I had been taught about sexual intimacy had not prepared me for having a partner who might not ever want it.

It didn’t help matters when, after my mother raised concerns about us being safe when it came to sex, I had to tell her that she really didn’t need to worry about it. She thought I was pulling her leg, or to paraphrase her words at the time: “You can’t expect me to believe that you two aren’t doing it?”

After reassuring her that we weren’t, she went on to explain in her own words how “something was wrong.” This probably stung more than intended, and made me hesitant to tell a lot of people about my circumstances.

I love my mother. In most respects, she’s far wiser than I. However, people raising eyebrows at the idea of a couple our age not having sex is by no means limited to this one conversation.

“There have been times when people are like ‘Wait, you don’t have sex? That’s weird.’ And have pretty much told me that I’m weird because I don’t want to have sex,” Heather said. “And that gets awkward.”

Time and again, I find it disappointing when people assume that sex is necessary to have a fulfilling and passionate romantic relationship. Perhaps more disappointing is when people respond to me as though I’m some hopeless romantic because I am somehow able to “deal” with the fact that my girlfriend doesn’t want to get intimate.

At least, not sexually intimate.

“(I) have no interest in the sexual part where there is actual penetration and stuff like that,” Heather said. “The stuff that is important to me is like the cuddles and the kisses and just being in the same room.”

We have worked out our own system, as all couples have to at some point, and it works for us. She understands my sexual needs. I understand her lack thereof. After six years of love and support, I can say without a doubt that I am the happiest I’ve ever been in my entire life. I can’t imagine my world without her.

Which, I suppose, makes it weirder to some people that we don’t have anything going on between the sheets other than cuddling or smooching.

“I don’t think it’s weird at all,” Heather said. “I just think that different people have different priorities.”

Sometimes being sexually liberated can just mean admitting that you have no sexual interests to speak of. There is no reason that you can’t be an exceptional romantic partner just because you don’t want to have sex.

Or at least, that is the conclusion we’ve found while canoodling in our own little corner of the sexual spectrum.

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