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Maladjusted Shits

September 10, 2009

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As a 43-year-old single gay guy, I recently had my first spanking experience and am feeling extreme self-loathing. I was in a long-term vanilla relationship for most of my adult life and never got to experience anything kinky, but I've had an interest in it.

Long story short, I answered an online ad, went to this guy's house, and let him paddle me. I quickly blew and quickly left. There was no sex other than me jerking myself while getting hit. Now I feel awful. It's not the spanking itself, but rather the anonymous nature of what I did. This type of hookup is not my thing, as I am used to sex in the context of a loving, committed relationship. I feel like I've let myself down, like I dropped my standards, and I fear sliding down a slippery slope into a life of anonymous, kinky encounters. I've never wanted to be one of "those guys."

I can't eat, I can't sleep, and I feel like puking. I can't talk to any of my friends about this—I'm too embarrassed. Please put my mind at ease. Please tell me if getting spanked with a hand and paddles is risky for sexually transmitted infections. Also, what can I do to deal with this guilt? I swear I'm not exaggerating here, and I really do need someone to talk to about this.

Shouldn't Want Anonymous Thrashings

There's no way you contracted a sexually transmitted infection during that spanking session, SWAT, so calm the fuck down, okay?

Now...

You lived a little, SWAT, you had a sexual adventure, you took a very short walk on the mild side of the wild side. And you learned something important about yourself in the process: Just having your kink indulged isn't enough. You need your kink indulged in the context of a loving, committed relationship. You want to be spanked by someone you love and who loves you. That's just how you're wired. And luckily for you, there are lots of good, decent, quality guys out there who are into spanking and interested in loving, committed relationships.

Don't believe me?

You're one of those guys, SWAT. You are living proof that a guy can be relationship material and also be into spanking. Put yourself out there, put your kink out there, and you'll meet other guys just like you.


I want a human pet. The human pet must become a dog. My pet will wear a butt-plug tail, a collar, and paw mitts. My pet will not speak anything other than its assigned safe word. Its communications will be limited to barking, licking, wagging its tail. The whole point is that, when done, there is a dog shaped like a human, but the shape is the only thing that isn't dog about my pet. The pet becomes so completely a dog that I wonder if it is bestiality to have sex with my dog/human pet.

Future Dog Lover

"Can vegans swallow?" used to be both the most annoying and frequently asked question in the sex-advice business. Now it's just the most frequently asked.

Some people consider their pets to be "members of the family," but there's nothing incestuous about fucking your dog. There's something sick and wrong about it, of course, but it's not incest. Similarly, a human pretending to be a dog is still a human, FDL, so having sex with your dog/human pet isn't bestiality and never will be. I hope that doesn't ruin it for you.


I'm a 19-year-old bisexual female, and my current girlfriend and I have been together about three months. She is pressuring me to come out to my family. I still live at home with my VERY Catholic parents, and I'm not in a good enough financial position to move out. If I were to come out to them, I wouldn't want to be depending on them for a dwelling, school payments, auto insurance, etc. My girlfriend and I get along great, we are having a lot of fun together, and I wouldn't want to lose her. But she says that she can't be with me if I am ashamed of our relationship. I just don't know what to do. Am I being a total cunt for hiding our relationship? Or is she the total cunt?

Comfortable Living In Temporary Secrecy

She's the cunt, CLITS, totally.

The reasons you've given her for not coming out to your family right this minute—fear of being retaliated against financially, fear of losing your home, fear of derailing your education—are not only legit, CLITS, they're the only legit reasons to postpone coming out to your family. Unless your girlfriend can feed you, clothe you, house you, and cover your tuition, she shouldn't be pressuring you to risk your future for the sake of a three-month relationship.

Finally, CLITS, it seems to me that the last thing a young lady with a pair of controlling assholes for parents needs is a controlling asshole for a girlfriend. Just sayin'.


Does asexuality actually exist? My partner's younger brother claims to be asexual, but I think he's just a maladjusted little shit and that he's intimidated by the thought of sex. Your thoughts?

The Sister-In-Law

Asexuality must exist, TSIL, seeing as it has its own website—www.asexuality.org—where you can read this:

"Asexual people have the same emotional needs as anyone else, and like [those] in the sexual community we vary widely in how we fulfill those needs. Some asexual people are happier on their own, others are happiest with a group of close friends. Other asexual people have a desire to form more intimate romantic relationships, and will date and seek long-term partnerships. Asexual people are just as likely to date sexual people as we are to date each other."

I'll probably be accused of asexophobia for suggesting that asexuals who date "sexual people" are obligated to disclose their asexuality, preferably on the first date and certainly no later than the third date. Asexuals may have the same emotional needs as anyone else, but most of us sexuals—heterosexuals, homosexuals, bisexuals—expect to have our emotional and sexual needs met in our "intimate romantic relationships," thanks, and we're going to want to know if that's not in the cards before we get involved, not after. Someone who is incapable of meeting a sexual's needs has no business dating a sexual in the first place, if you ask me. At the very least, asexuality must be disclosed. And I'm still trying to wrap my head around this:

"Figuring out how to flirt, to be intimate, or to be monogamous in nonsexual relationships can be challenging..."

Um... since monogamy is understood to mean sexual exclusivity—you don't fuck other people—I'm not sure how you define monogamy in a sexless relationship. Does your asexual partner promise not to not fuck other people?

As for your brother-in-law, TSIL, I don't see what his asexuality and/or hang-ups have to do with you. If you're prying into your BIL's sex life, TSIL, I'd say he's not the only maladjusted little shit in the family.


.

mail@savagelove.net

 

Comments (139) RSS

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1
Dan I love it when you post early in the week! It's like a little treat for us east-coasters who stayed up late on a weeknight. I started reading Skipping Towards Gomorrah tonight, then got early Savage Love online as well, made my night - thank you for being you!
Posted by theshrew on September 8, 2009 at 7:50 PM · Report this
2
Dan, please wrap your head around the idea that not all relationships revolve around sex. I don't care if yours does, but you should practice the tolerance that you preach and stop knocking the happiness of others (no matter how implicitly you do it).
Posted by Snickerdoodly on September 8, 2009 at 7:53 PM · Report this
3
4 for 4 Dan. And your last sentence? FTW!
Posted by C from Mass. on September 8, 2009 at 7:53 PM · Report this
xoxoljl 4
Wow, great advice to all three:
- Spanker needs to "get down to some business". I mean c'mon they could turn that guilt they are carrying around into another masterbation session.
- Clits... you are dating a control freak, kick her "business" to the curb.
- Lastly, Sister in law you need to mind your own business.
Posted by xoxoljl on September 8, 2009 at 7:57 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 5
So... can vegans swallow?
Posted by Urgutha Forka on September 8, 2009 at 8:01 PM · Report this
kim in portland 6
As always, food for thought, especially FDL.
Posted by kim in portland http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/11/fast-paced_video_provides_a_fu.html on September 8, 2009 at 8:05 PM · Report this
7
Firsties. And that was one of the best closing lines ever.
Posted by ms.cam on September 8, 2009 at 8:07 PM · Report this
8
Firsties! And that was quite possibly the best closing line ever.
Posted by ms.cam on September 8, 2009 at 8:11 PM · Report this
9
"Asexuals do not experience sexual attraction, but some experience romantic attraction..." from the link. What is the difference?
Posted by GUESS on September 8, 2009 at 8:24 PM · Report this
10
Nothing in what was printed of CLITS's letter indicates that she has told her girlfriend anything about why she doesn't want to come out to her parents. It is entirely possible that she shied away from the conversation with her girlfriend the way she shies away from coming out to her parents. Yes, her reasons for waiting to come out are valid, but it is not just her girlfriend being a controlling cunt if CLITS has not shared those reasons with the gf.

Just saying.
Posted by Oh Suzanna on September 8, 2009 at 8:25 PM · Report this
11 Comment Pulled (OffTopic) Comment Policy
12
@9 - Sexual attraction is where you want to have sex (or share sexual acts) with the object of your attraction. Romantic attraction is where you want a romance (intimate relationship, often but not always involving sex) with the object of your attraction.

@2 - his head is well wrapped. He even says just that in his response to TSIL's query. However, sex plays an important enough role in enough relationships that the majority of the population will expect sex to factor into their relationships. If someone has absolutely no interest in sex, ever, then they are obligated to disclose this when beginning a relationship with someone likely to (reasonably) expect sex to be a part of the relationship.
Posted by Oh Suzanna on September 8, 2009 at 8:32 PM · Report this
13
Dan: "I'll probably be accused of asexophobia for suggesting that asexuals who date "sexual people" are obligated to disclose their asexuality, preferably on the first date and certainly no later than the third date. Asexuals may have the same emotional needs as anyone else, but most of us sexuals—heterosexuals, homosexuals, bisexuals—expect to have our emotional and sexual needs met in our "intimate romantic relationships," thanks, and we're going to want to know if that's not in the cards before we get involved, not after."

Absolutely they're obligated. While the lives of most people don't "revolve" (as #2/Snickerdoodly put it) around sex, sex IS important to them so if you're truly asexual and dating, you should disclose your lack of interest in sex.

While I'm sure asexuality exists, and that younger brother could be asexual, he also might very well be claiming to be asexual because he's intimidated by sex. After all, if a guy is intimidated by it, it's not as if he's going to come out and admit that. I've met older women who professed to have no interest in sex and, only later, admitted they wanted it but had gone so long without that they convinced themselves they weren't interested as a way to avoid acknowledging how much they missed it.
Posted by Roma on September 8, 2009 at 9:11 PM · Report this
14
Frankly, I'm more worried about FDL. Couldn't he just get an open-minded Rottweiler?
Posted by blah on September 8, 2009 at 10:10 PM · Report this
15
@14 - How about an open-minded pit bull?
Posted by madscntst on September 9, 2009 at 12:26 AM · Report this
16
@15 - At least then it could rip his throat out and no one would be surprised.
Posted by blah on September 9, 2009 at 12:49 AM · Report this
17
Good news - even Prudie is on the DTMFA train!

http://www.slate.com/id/2227682/pagenum/…

Maple Grove, Iowa: I love your columns. Small question. What do I do about a boyfriend, whom I love very much, but who is constantly getting jealous too easily. He is eight years older than me and thinks every man we meet is trying to sleep with me.

Emily Yoffe: Glad you like the column, but you probably won't like this answer: Dump him. That kind of obsessive jealousy is a demon that will ruin your life.

Posted by i moved to alaksa by accident on September 9, 2009 at 1:00 AM · Report this
memorex 18
@2
Of course not all relationships revolve around sex. There are many, many wonderful people in my life that I never have, or even desire, sex with. I feel blessed to have these people around me. They provide me with support and friendship and. . . . I'm not dating any of those people.
Posted by memorex on September 9, 2009 at 3:06 AM · Report this
19
With respect to your response to CLITS. She is a self centered, manipulative bitch, just like most 19 year old girls and you are just her enabler. Her parents legal responsibility to/for her ended when she turned 18. Anything more is or should be done out of love for her. As she admits, she's just using her parents. Something I didn't think you condoned. If she had the least bit of personal integrity, she should come out to parents and accept the consequences of who and what she claims to be.
Always hard to do, but welcome to adulthood. Accepting support under false pretenses is fraud.
Perhaps she should consider making restitution to her parents once she does come out to them and they realize just how badly they have been used. Aren't her parents people, do they not bleed when you prick them. Just gotta love Shakespeare. So trenchant.
Posted by beentheredonethatgotthetshirt on September 9, 2009 at 3:51 AM · Report this
Mrs. Norris 20
Asexual people can be non-monogamous by being involved romantically with more than one person, even though no sex is involved. What's so hard to understand?
Posted by Mrs. Norris on September 9, 2009 at 4:20 AM · Report this
21
Thank you Mrs. Norris, that's absolutely the thing. Emotional monogamy isn't just important to asexuals, it's a basic part of monogamous relationships between sexuals, too.
Posted by Yonina on September 9, 2009 at 6:57 AM · Report this
22
Firstly, I hate the term "asexual". I think "unsexual" or "nonsexual" is a more fitting word. Asexual is a biology term describing an organism that reproduces without a sexual union. Can you nonsexuals reproduce alone? No, fuck you.

Secondly, asexuality is abnormal. Humans, like any other animal, have the basic primal drive to reproduce to further the species. Homosexuals may have sex with the same gender and therefore cannot reproduce, but they still have that instinctual drive to have sex. No matter how kinky or illegal a fetish one may have (see Lassie lover) it stems from a sexual drive. Asexuals claim to have none, which as a normal human being, I find hard to believe. Maybe these people are afraid to have a truly intimate relationship. Or perhaps they have some defect gene which inhibits them so they won't pass it on. Whatever it is, asexuality is pretty much the only sexuality that is strange.

Also, if you are "asexual" and you are dating a "sexual", you're being selfish. Particularly if you expect to be monogamous. You can't expect to be in a relationship and not meet each other's needs.

To comment #2: Yeah, those are called friendships. You're an idiot.

To FDL: To whomever you decide to make your pet, make sure you tell them you like it "ruff".
Posted by dazanii on September 9, 2009 at 7:06 AM · Report this
23
I second what Mrs. Norris said. It goes along with the concept of an "emotional affair". Just because your bf/gf/spouse didn't sleep with someone else doesn't mean they are being faithful if they are emotionally intimate with another person.
Posted by hellocello600 on September 9, 2009 at 7:09 AM · Report this
pointy 24
@2 There are no romantic involvements that don't have the assumption of physical intimacy at some point down the line, whether it's tomorrow or after marriage.
Posted by pointy on September 9, 2009 at 7:14 AM · Report this
25
To 19: CLITS did not accept support under false pretenses, her parents give her money for school, bills, etc. and she uses it for said. Her actual sexuality has little to do with the central issue: whether or not her witholding of information regarding her sexual orientation represents an abuse of her parents willingness to be used--we all use our parents and each other, the meaninful distinction is between use and abuse--and it does not; for, the purposes to which they turn their finances as regards CLITS are fulfilled or at least pursued by her. I can't tell if she's "a self centered, manipulative bitch," or not from a few paragraphs, but I believe dan's advice was sound and that she shouldn't come out prematurely at the expense of her livelihood, or at least she shouldn't do so because of a thoughtless spouses' ultimatum. Also, apropos of nothing, your sweeping and idiotic claims about the ontology of "19 year old girls" and your pop-psychological rebuke of their "enablers" along with the rest of your "argument" would be laughable if it weren't so dishearteningly earnest, or you didn't have agency.
Posted by f0gh0rn on September 9, 2009 at 7:28 AM · Report this
26
To 19: CLITS did not accept support under false pretenses, her parents give her money for school, bills, etc. and she uses it for said. Her actual sexuality has little to do with the central issue: whether or not her witholding of information regarding her sexual orientation represents an abuse of her parents willingness to be used--we all use our parents and each other, the meaninful distinction is between use and abuse--and it does not; for, the purposes to which they turn their finances as regards CLITS are fulfilled or at least pursued by her. I can't tell if she's "a self centered, manipulative bitch," or not from a few paragraphs, but I believe dan's advice was sound and that she shouldn't come out prematurely at the expense of her livelihood, or at least she shouldn't do so because of a thoughtless spouses' ultimatum. Also, apropos of nothing, your sweeping and idiotic claims about the ontology of "19 year old girls" and your pop-psychological rebuke of their "enablers" along with the rest of your "argument" would be laughable if it weren't so dishearteningly earnest, or you didn't have agency.
Posted by f0gh0rn on September 9, 2009 at 7:32 AM · Report this
27
Dan, once again you've made my day! I sit, lonely at work, in an office by myself, and check to see if you've written a new column. When I find one, and a really good one like todays, I just get a warm and fuzzy feeling that stays with me all day!!

SWAT-I'm sure there is some deep hidden feeling that Kinky is wrong or bad, maybe something that happened in his childhood that made him feel this way?! If he finds a LTR that involves spanking and still feels the self loathing, he may need therapy.

FDL-Sounds like you ARE into bestiality, but don't want to do anything too illegal... Next thing you know you will be gluing hair all over your "pet" and finding some way to give your pet Floppy ears!!

CLITS-I don't think she is using her parents. I know a parent's LEGAL obligation ends at 18, but most parents house, clothe, and feed their kids way beyond. Especially if that child is in college... Anyways, I think you should dump your girlfriend, 3 months is way too early to start making demands that could change your life!!

SIL-I can see her curiousity about asexuality, but the comments she made about her partner's brother seem that she is just a prying douchebag. She does need to stay out of his life!
Posted by Mayme on September 9, 2009 at 7:41 AM · Report this
28
Sometimes it takes a few minutes for a newly-posted comment to appear in the list. Please don't double post.

Posted by My Name Here on September 9, 2009 at 7:55 AM · Report this
29
#22, the "unnatural" bit about asexuals is a crock of shit. As a biologists, I agree the name is a little problematic, but I don't think it confuses your average Joe, and anyone who knows better also knows the difference. But when you start calling this sexual behavior normal and that one abnormal, you head down the scary, slippery slope that bigots use to bash gays, fetishists, etc. Trying to frame other non-vanilla, non-hetero behaviors as more natural because they're somehow closer to "normal" sex is arbitrary and, frankly, offensive. (I'm okay with gays because they're sooo close, even if they haven't yet seen the light!) I'll also invoke a little biology here to point out there are plenty of reproductively obligate sexual species where a good portion (even the majority) if individuals completely forgo sex, so even that part of your argument sucks.

I think Dan's comments and advice were spot on. Your comment, not so much.
Posted by gerta on September 9, 2009 at 8:09 AM · Report this
30
@22 "Normal" is just the largest behavior group. But then, having several different behavior groups is also normal. So while being asexual may not be normal in the sense that it is the most common behavior group, having a sexual behavior group and an asexual behavior group is entirely normal.

Just like it's entirely normal to have Republicans who have mistresses and Republicans who solicit in airport bathrooms. (I don't have enough data to know which of those groups is the normal one though.)
Posted by biggie on September 9, 2009 at 8:55 AM · Report this
31
There is no reason to think that CLITS's girlfriend is manipulative or controlling. Assuming she is also 19-ish she may well just be naive, thinking that no family would actually disown their child because of sexual identity. When you come from a loving home where everyone accepts you for who you are, it might take you longer than 19 years to figure out that is not universal.
Posted by l337n00b on September 9, 2009 at 9:11 AM · Report this
32
I can accept asexuality as a legitimate lifestyle for some. I don't get it, but if it works for another person and it's not hurting anyone else, who am I to judge? However, I would argue that an asexual person has very different emotional needs than a person who wants to be in a sexually intimate relationship. For most people, sex is not merely a physical need, but a psychological and emotional need as well. In fact, it is included at the base of Maslow's hierarchy of psychological needs (hey, I didn't get that BA in psyc just so I could work 70+ hours a week at a non-profit making less than the average server. I got it so I could impress people mith my half-baked, useless knowledge of charts, statistics, phrenology, palm-reading and psychological constructs.)

Anyway, my point is that I don't think you can say that asexual people have the same emotional needs as sexually active people. That doesn't make them freaks and I'm not trying to pathologize asexuality. However, saying that they have the same emotional needs as a sexual person would be like saying a person with Aspberger's has the same social needs as everyone else. They don't have the same needs and they never will.

Even though human sexuality is fluid, personality and sexual orientation are relatively stable characteristics. They tend not to change over time. Just like a person with Aspberger's, something is wired differently in an asexual person. Different doesn't have to mean bad, wrong or less than, but asexuality by it's very definition comes with a profoundly different set of emotional, psychological and physiological needs.

Ignoring the differences only sets the stage for failure. The psychological and emotional needs of a sexually active person and an asexual person are vastly different. It's not fair to say that an asexual person should expect to be in a relationship with a sexually active person. It's much better to just admit the differences at the outset and adjust expectations and lifestyles. Maybe have an open relationship, for instance, or only date other asexual people. Admitting the differences in emotional and sexual needs helps a lot more than denying or suppressing the differences. If you can't even define your differences, then there is no way that you will ever be able to talk about them in any real or honest way with your partner.

More...
Posted by sex is an emotional need on September 9, 2009 at 9:20 AM · Report this
33
22 FTW - especially this part:

"No matter how kinky or illegal a fetish one may have (see Lassie lover) it stems from a sexual drive. Asexuals claim to have none, which as a normal human being, I find hard to believe. Maybe these people are afraid to have a truly intimate relationship."
Posted by MT3 on September 9, 2009 at 9:32 AM · Report this
34
32 - yay for education!

Speaking for myself, I'm not judging asexuals, but I don't understand it. Like you said, sex isn't JUST physical - it's psychological and emotional. Since sex is more than just simple insertion (oral, kissing, intimate touch), I can't see how the use of the prefixes "a", "non" or "un" would properly define someone who may have a low sex drive.

The whole asexuality movement to me seems like a way to feel mentally superior to those people who love having sex and have huge amounts of it.
Posted by MT3 on September 9, 2009 at 9:40 AM · Report this
35
More for 32 - I think it's safe to assume that ANYONE under 30 could possibly still be adjusting to how their sexuality fits within the context of their everyday life, so that's another reason I'm reluctant to take this "asexual" movement seriously.
Posted by MT3 on September 9, 2009 at 9:42 AM · Report this
36
I don't see how Dan concludes that the kinky gay guy needs to find a kinky relationship oriented guy. Maybe, maybe not. I'd say his big problem is he needs to drop his judgmental attitude about people who have one night stands. One of them in 43 years, and the guy is a basket case. Sounds like he enjoyed the kink part, and he says he not ashamed of getting spanked. His big fear is about "becoming one of those people". Since he's single and 43, about 99% of his potential dating pool consists of "those people". Dan should have told him to get over himself and join the club, cuz he's one of us now.
Posted by jussmbdy on September 9, 2009 at 10:12 AM · Report this
37
You can be nonmonogamous without having sex with other people. Most strictly monogamous people would not want their partner doing anything romantic with an outside person, even if there was no sex with the outside person.

Sex and romance are very closely linked (unless you're asexual), but they are not the same thing. They are two different drives. People have a sex drive and a romance drive.

A person with no sex drive, but who does have a romance drive, would practice romance by having many friends, but only having that romantic life-partnership relationship with one person at a time.

Anyway, I don't think Dan is asexophobic for saying asexuals should disclose. But he's an insular asshole for the way he talks so rudely about anything he doesn't understand. And yeah, supposedly he's "always" an asshole, but we all know that's bullshit. He's only an asshole to people who are different from him, and who he cannot relate to in some way. Sometimes they deserve it. Sometimes they don't.
Posted by Brie on September 9, 2009 at 11:01 AM · Report this
38
Dan's response to CLITS - "Unless your girlfriend can feed you, clothe you, house you, and cover your tuition, she shouldn't be pressuring you to risk your future" - even if the girlfriend COULD feed, clothe, house CLITS, that would create a debilitating dependency on the potentially controlling girlfriend. Even if being dependent on her parents isn't ideal, at least they're a known evil, and she's free to date whomever she wants.
Posted by no need for a name on September 9, 2009 at 12:16 PM · Report this
39
Seriously, 22? That doesn't make sense. Just because you can't fathom that one doesn't want sex it doesn't suddenly mean that it can;'t exist at all. And your argument is flawed as well- if the gene for heterosexuality is so easily lost/modified, why is it so different for the sexuality gene? The only reason sex is so important in evolutionary terms is for reproduction. If the need to reproduce is so easily lost then sex shouldn't be that much more difficult. And to summarize and entire established group of people as a bunch of misfits who are afraid to have a real relationship is just absurd and presumptuous.

Just because you can't fathom it doesn't magically mean it isn't true.
Posted by psp on September 9, 2009 at 12:23 PM · Report this
40
And not all relationships require sex. Assuming that all the nuances and details of a good relationship require that sex be had doesn't make sense either.
Posted by psp on September 9, 2009 at 12:25 PM · Report this
41
Re SWAT: Some of his guilt may be because he feels he used the guy who spanked him by not allowing that guy to get off too - a legitimate concern IMO.

Re asexuality, I can understand it. I was emotionally abused for many years by a parent with borderline personality disorder. I am sexually attracted to people of that gender, but I'm too warped by my bad experience to feel comfortable with intimacy with them. I'd rather just stay away. (Sadly, I have no problem being emotionally intimate with the gender I'm not physically attracted to!)
Posted by LilLil on September 9, 2009 at 1:00 PM · Report this
42
So really, can vegans swallow? I thought I was the only person wondering about that. Im extra curious now, as I have an annoying vegan friend and cant get a straight answer from them. Help me out Dan/Peoples...
Posted by vegan clams on September 9, 2009 at 1:07 PM · Report this
43
@2, 39

Dan is 100% right. He never said every one wants sex, or should. He said if you DON'T want sex, but DO want a romantic relationship, then you have to tell your prospective partners that up front. Anything else is false pretenses and assholery.

How many times have we all been involved in or seen our friends involved in relationships where mismatched expectations regarding the level of sexual activity came out very, very late? Inevitably, the partner who wants less sex pulls the "love isn't only about sex" card, and our puritanical societal norms back his or her side. The thing is, it's absolultely true that love is about more than sex. Most people, though, expect to have a sexual connection with their romantic partner. Can there be healthy romantic relationships that don't involve sex? Absolutely, but not against one of the partner's will.
Posted by Morrolan on September 9, 2009 at 1:15 PM · Report this
44
It would not surprise me at all to find that there are at least some people out there who, for whatever reason, find that they honestly do have such a low sex drive that they could reasonably call themselves "asexual" or "nonsexual" or whatever.

It would also not surprise me at all to find that some people say they are "asexual" when in fact their suspected asexuality is merely one stage of their development.

Either way, they have every right to develop in the way that makes sense to them at the time. However, as others have pointed out, a sexual person is usually justified in expecting that a romantic-type relationship will become sexual at some point, so Dan is right-on in saying that asexuals have a responsibility to disclose early on that with them this will not be the case. Having no sexual desires of your own is no excuse for failing to respect the importance of sexuality to others.
Posted by gemma on September 9, 2009 at 1:16 PM · Report this
45
I'm with #20 on this one - it's completely possible to be in a monogamous relationship with someone without sex being involved; in the absence of sex, the monogamy part would have to do with emotional/romantic exclusivity between partners. If, for example, a sexual and asexual were in a relationship, it would be possible for them to be in an open relationship in which the sexual partner had license to go out and get his/her physical needs met but was emotionally/romantically/spiritually/whatever committed to his/her asexual partner. That scenario doesn't have to be limited to an asexual/sexual partnership either - as Dan has often stated, open relationships between partners often operate along similar lines, with the key being that all parties involved follow agreed upon guidelines and maintain an open line of communication. For some people, sexual fidelity is separate from/not as crucial as emotional fidelity and if it works, why not? I personally don't get being asexual - sex (or at least good sex) is one of the best things in life and I can't fathom doing without, but that's just me and I'm not going to knock someone for not being as into getting it on as I am.

Other than that, great column as usual, Dan!
Posted by Pint on September 9, 2009 at 1:33 PM · Report this
46
@ everyone wondering if vegans can swallow:

Oh please, people!

Specialty diets (like vegetarianism, veganism, Weight Watchers, etc) are defined by the people who practice them. Each vegan will have their own answer about whether s/he can swallow. And knowing how sanctimonious vegans tend to get (speaking from experience... I used to be vegan, I hang out with a lot of vegans), each vegan will also have their own answer about whether other vegans are allowed to swallow.
Posted by Oh Suzanna on September 9, 2009 at 2:12 PM · Report this
47
@22 You remind me of some supposedly openminded roommates I had last year. When asked about my sexuality, I identified as asexual, and was promptly lectured about how THERE WAS SOMETHING WRONG WITH ME. If I had told them I was only interested in a relationship with a pre-op trans submissive furry - they would have helped set me up with someone. But being uninterested was somehow sick and wrong.

@34 I can emphatically assure you that identifying as asexual is very very hard - not something we do to feel superior. Explaining this to people who want to have sex with or date me is unbearably awkward. Getting roommates, friends, and family members to (like the nosy bitch SIL) stay the hell out of my bedroom is mind-numbingly frustrating. Being reamed for my queer activist work because I am somehow a 'traitor' to the movement is brutal.

Nothing about being an asexual is about superiority - it's about a fervent wish to be left the fuck alone. Why are so many people threatened by a professed personal lack of interest in sex?
Posted by draconismoi on September 9, 2009 at 3:04 PM · Report this
48
@#47: The only question for me is, why are you here reading a sex advice column?
Posted by uitleiden on September 9, 2009 at 3:58 PM · Report this
49
@17 you dumb the asshole. Every man you meet might want to fuck you. That doesn't mean that you would fuck them. Trust me on this if he is telling you that the other people are the problem he is lying to you and himself. He doesn't trust you and if you let him have more control over your life you won't be allow any friends male or female. Trust me this man isn't worth the bullshit. Maybe you should prove him right and move on with another man.
Posted by anal_angel on September 9, 2009 at 4:31 PM · Report this
50
"Nothing about being an asexual is about superiority - it's about a fervent wish to be left the fuck alone. Why are so many people threatened by a professed personal lack of interest in sex? "

It's the same mentality that makes people think that the only way to have a fulfilling life is to go to college(even if you could earn just as much while paying less for/spending less time in a technical school or trade school), be married by age 30(with the wife getting as expensive of a *diamond* ring as the husband can afford without filing for bankruptcy), have 2.5 kids by age 35, and move to a house in the suburbs with a white picket fence around it. People get scared when you break out of social conventions, especially ones as universal as getting married or wanting sex(with the opposite gender, in the missionary position(man on top), in the dark, and only *after* marriage).

When it comes to other people's sexualities, whether they're straight, gay, bi, or asexual, and no matter what kinds of sex play(BDSM, scat play, pegging, threesomes, threehundredsomes, human pets, whatever) that involves...follow the golden rule: Stay the hell out of their sex life(or lack thereof) unless they're hurting other people. Why do you even care, unless the situation involves you or someone close to you? Some of the people who are going "asexuals are just trying to feel SUPERIOR to us normal people who like to have lots and lots and lots and lots of sex(did I mention I have LOTS OF SEX?)" remind me of the "clever" assholes who go "for every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three!" to vegans/vegetarians. Sorry, you're being the bigger douchebag here...unless you actually know an asexual who lords it over everyone that they don't have sex. I can't imagine doing that, but I'm sure there's at least one person out there ruining it for the more polite among us.

Speaking of polite: Yes, my fellow asexuals, it IS your responsibilty to let potential partners know that you don't want sex in your relationship. Most people DO expect sex in a relationship, and telling them at your first meeting that you're not going to give them any is better for both of you than dropping the bomb after you're getting deeper into the relationship.
More...
Posted by Arque on September 9, 2009 at 4:52 PM · Report this
51
The whole 'asexual' gig is just a dodge because its tough to get laid in America without a whole lot of palaver and setup, or worse, a relationship. It can also involve white chicks, which makes it even scarier.

I challenge anyone to go to Bangkok for 24 hours and stay 'asuexual'.
Posted by the outer rim on September 9, 2009 at 6:21 PM · Report this
52
As someone who has actually READ asexuality.org (and who - disclaimer - is friends with a founder of that website), i have to say that you folks making claims about the asexuality movement could stand to educate yourselves a bit.

Asexuals don't claim to all have exactly the same needs, feelings about sex, relationships, etc. They don't claim to be "superior" to sexuals (as one poster suggested), at least not the ones who run that website. What they're coming together around is a shared sense that sex isn't what they want, and to figure out (a) how to communicate that to friends, family, romantic partners, etc; (b) how to have their preferences taken seriously and not pathologized, told "it's a phase," "you're actually just gay," "you're afraid of sex," etc.

I certainly don't think that they advocate being a "sneaky" asexual and tricking some poor unsuspecting sexual into a relationship, as Dan suggests. The website has resources for how to "come out" as A in one's dating life; they also suggest figuring out what compromises work for some couples. They certainly don't prescribe a one-size-fits-all model for intimacy, other than to suggest openness and honesty...which Dan, it seems, should be all for.
Posted by KateMei on September 9, 2009 at 7:35 PM · Report this
53
Can we stop worrying about what asexual means for a second? It's a poor word choice, but it has become entrenched. Many words do have more than one meaning.

Now, if we're going to be picky about word meanings. It's hard for an asexual person to be monogamous. The definition, you see, revolves around sex. If an asexual person chooses to have sex to please a partner, he can be monogamous. He's just simply not sexually atrracted to her. (Switch the pronouns however you would like.)

The idea that some people aren't attracted to men, women, or anything else in that way isn't hard to grasp and is the core of the asexual movement.

Posted by Shawn Landis, Philadelphia Asexual Examiner on September 9, 2009 at 7:36 PM · Report this
54
I can't understand why no-one has realized that being clear to the person you're dating about your asexuality is as important as telling the other person about your sexual preference.

I'd be pretty pissed off if the girl I was dating didn't tell me until months into the relationship that she was actually only sexually attracted to other women, though it would be okay to form a "romantic relationship" with me that didn't involve sex.

Doesn't anyone else see the analogy? Homosexuals date other homosexuals. Heterosexuals date other heterosexuals. If the asexuals are so committed to mainstreaming their sexuality they should date other asexuals instead of someone who's expecting something else.
Posted by Spaint on September 9, 2009 at 7:41 PM · Report this
55
@ pretty much everyone fired up about asexuality: are you asexual? I can't see any other reason to be so angry other than you are asexual.

@ 29: I'm wrong for thinking someone lacking an instictual drive is strange? Ha. Also, your comment "(I'm okay with gays because they're sooo close, even if they haven't yet seen the light!)" what exactly is this supposed to mean? It sounds almost like an insult. As for the biological organisms that forego sex, do they look for relationships? No.

@32: Many good points. You're a lot nicer than I am.

@39: I read your comment 3 times, it still doesn't make sense. You need to learn to convey your thoughts clearly.

@47: Sounds like your roommates were openminded to me. They just find it shocking you're lacking a basic need. Also it's likely you've twisted what they said in your memory.

@48: Wow. What a good question. Why ARE asexuals reading a sex advice column?

I've never seen anyone over 20 call themselves asexual. It seems to me to just be a fad for teens who haven't quite matured yet. Or can't get laid, you pick.

Also you can call me any names you want, I'm exercising my right to free speech. I'm not throwing paint on anyone who calls themselves asexual.
Posted by dazanii on September 9, 2009 at 7:51 PM · Report this
56
@54: That's a really shitty thing your ex did. That doesn't mean it's what asexuals do. Part of there being an asexual movement is that it expands the pool of visibly date-able asexuals; there may also be asexuals who are open to their romantic partners having sex outside the relationship (assuming that works for their partner); there may also be asexuals who date sexuals that have very low sex drives, and who thus don't experience a lack of sex as a hardship.

Your last paragraph is telling: "homosexuals date other homosexuals. heterosexuals date other heterosexuals." That's true for some of us. Some also date bisexuals. Some are monogamous, some are polyamorous. Some may have thought they were a homosexual dating another homosexual, but then found out they were dating a straight-identified, pre-op trans person. I think the point in all of this is that we shouldn't be so rigid about who is allowed to/supposed to date whom, but that different people have different needs, and what we all hope for in this world is to find someone (or someones) who meets our needs, and whose own needs we can fulfill. the more honest we are about our needs, the better our chances of having them met.
Posted by KateMei on September 9, 2009 at 8:08 PM · Report this
57
And people are STILL making these idiotic comments about how asexuals need to declare their asexuality early in relationships, as if this is some kind of massive revelation.

Here's a hint: every asexual I know agrees with this.

Don't you get it? The problem is not asexuals deliberately concealing their orientation. The problem is that asexuality isn't even taken seriously as an orientation, as so well demonstrated by so many of the comments here, so how the hell can you expect people to declare themselves asexual when they're constantly being told that such a state doesn't even exist?
Posted by michaeld on September 9, 2009 at 8:33 PM · Report this
58
of course vegans can swallow. there is no non-consensual use or abuse of an animal involved. the whole "no animal by-product" thing does not apply to a human made product when the human producer can say "please, eat me." If they weren't allowed to eat cum, they also couldn't kiss with tongue for fear of ingesting saliva, another human product.
Posted by auntielarrie on September 9, 2009 at 9:11 PM · Report this
59
@ auntielarrie #58
I have known vegans who draw the line at cum-swallowing if the cum-producer eats meat. It's up to the vegan in question to decide exactly what counts as "edible" and what doesn't.
Posted by Oh Suzanna on September 9, 2009 at 11:14 PM · Report this
60
I think it should be remembered that the typical 19 year old is not only naive, lacking experience, but also extremely self centred. There are exceptions, and older people aren't necessarily better, but that's the stereotype.

It's entirely possible that she's not seeing it from her girlfriend's viewpoint. Making mistakes like this is how people grow up..
Posted by UKGuy on September 10, 2009 at 1:31 AM · Report this
61
@Oh Suzanna (59) How bizarre.. Each to their own i guess, seems more like a 'i don't want to swallow and this is a good excuse' thing to me.. :0P By that logic some vegetables are meat if they've been fertilized with animal manure.. For myself, I'm vegetarian and happily swallow and even joke about my boyfriend's cum as a valuable source of extra protein.. ;0)

On the asexual thing.. I've known 2 couples where 1 partner is profoundly disinterested in sex. The major problem was that both of these people were willing to fake sexual interest until there partner was emotionally involved and then withdrew it. I consider this to be deeply unfair and deceitful and it ultimately resulted in pain for all involved. There's nothing wrong with being asexual/nonsexual, unless you pretend otherwise. Any emotional/romantic relationship that is founded on faking/lieing about sexuality/asexuality/sexual interests is destined to cause pain.
Posted by UK girlie on September 10, 2009 at 3:37 AM · Report this
62
#55, what I'm trying to say is that you say it's perfectly normal to not have the drive to reproduce, even though that's a basic evolutionary need. Then you go right around and say that lacking a "basic need" like sex, which is highly intertwined with the desire to reproduce (in evolutionary terms), is strange and wrong. That doesn't make sense. Why is it so hard to believe that some people just don't feel the need for sex? The reason you don't hear more of it is because of people like you saying that they're all faking it or they're just underdeveloped or whatever. And there is NOTHING "wrong" or "strange" about lacking a need for sex. Her roommates had no right to tell her that suddenly just because she doesn't want to have sex that she was WRONG and that she had to change. If it's so easy to lose the need/want to reproduce, then why is losing the need/want to sex so much more difficult?

The reason we're getting all "fired up" over this is because you're marginalizing an entire group of people and making their lives that much harder by claiming that they don't really exist. You say they're weird because they lack a "basic need," but just because it's basic to you or to 95% of the population, doesn't mean that those people should man up and start fucking.

As to why they;re reading Savage? It's entertaining as hell.
Posted by psp on September 10, 2009 at 4:19 AM · Report this
63
As for the people who doubt whether asexuals "exist", please. I'm sure you accept there is a range of libido levels in humans, from wanting it several times a day to perhaps wanting it several times a year. And regarding those who only screw on the high holy days, no-one seems to question the validity of their sexuality or their relationships. So why wouldn't there be people with no libido at all? It's a bell-curve for a reason.

Personally, I couldn't be in an entirely sexless intimate relationship, but I'm not everyone, amazingly.
Posted by Trix on September 10, 2009 at 4:29 AM · Report this
64
Thanks, Trix and others, for your understanding. I just thought I should point out though that asexuality is not quite the same as lack of libido. Some asexuals do have low or non-existent libido; others have quite normal libido. What makes someone asexual is their lack of sexual *attraction*.
Posted by michaeld on September 10, 2009 at 5:05 AM · Report this
65
Who knew there even WAS an "asexual" movement? What for? You couldn't "promote" asexuality. A person eitehr is or isn't.
Posted by Lori on September 10, 2009 at 5:54 AM · Report this
66
CLITS: your parents already know.
Posted by kachingka on September 10, 2009 at 7:12 AM · Report this
67
@65: There's an asexual movement for (at least some of) the same reasons as movements for queer visibility and acceptance. Not to "promote" one form of (a)sexuality, but to become visible, to have one's preferences respected (and not called "wrong" or "sick"), and to find community, to name just a few reasons.
Posted by KateMei on September 10, 2009 at 8:32 AM · Report this
68
@19: If you think that a switch is flipped the moment your 18th birthday comes around that says "you have to be completely independent... now!" you're an even bigger retard than the girlfriend. Basic survival instinct says "stay the course until you can be on your own". That's not manipulation, that's life.

@51: It's called "Bangkok" FFS. If you get out of there without having someone bang your kok, you should either get a medal or a smack to the head, and I'm not sure which. Maybe both.
Posted by Yawgmoth on September 10, 2009 at 8:47 AM · Report this
69
@19 - I'm with you 100%. The way I see it the only legitimate reason for not coming out (other than you simply don't want to) is for your personal safety. All of those other so-called reasons are phony. You'll lose your job! If that's the case you're going to lose it when someone stabs you in the back and tells you boss you're gay just because they are pissed at you. You're family won't love you anymore. Well, surprise surprise - if being gay is all it takes to lose the love of your family then they didn't really love you in the first place and their love isn't really worth having . If you don't want to come out, don't come out but don't hide behind some shallow reason for not doing so. I came out at 17 - I lost a lot but I gained a lot more by doing so. It's a personal decision but you need to be honest about how much it is really worth to you to be who you are and have the right to live your life.
Posted by cMarks on September 10, 2009 at 9:31 AM · Report this
70
@2 Snickerdoodly

All relationships are about sex, even the lack of sex requires sexual compatability and fulling each others sexual needs. If one party has sexual needs and the other does not then there is sexual incompatability.

Sexual compatability is even more important for an aesexual person than one who is sexual.

Sexual incompatability is one of the leading causes of divorce and infidelity, and a sexual person with an aesexual person without some form of allowance for the sexual person's needs is a disaster waiting to happen.

As an aesexual person; you may not realize what it is like to have a sex drive much in the same way sexual people do not understand how you do not have one or how straight people do not understand how gay men can be attracted to one another and so on. Dan's statement was spot on and in strong support of aesexual people and you attacked him for it out of ignorance.
Posted by PatriciaCross on September 10, 2009 at 10:23 AM · Report this
71
dan's advice is always related, and that means it get's it pound of entertainment.

perhaps there is more to the hate crime legislation than just the Cesar's dog whisperer debut magazine.

as for me and my kind...

I say kill them with kindness and don't spell it c'zar.
Posted by dan k. on September 10, 2009 at 10:33 AM · Report this
72
Sorry CLITS, but dating closet cases sucks. I started dating a closet case with catholic parents Freshman year of high school, and she kept it quiet until graduation.

In college she told her mom she was Bi but didn't acknowledge me as her girlfriend. She told me that she wanted to wait to come all the way out until she graduated from college and was financially independent.

After she graduated from college, she still didn't come out, and moved in with a guy without telling me while I was studying abroad senior year.

So CLITS, maybe it's not fair for your girlfriend to ask you to risk their future for a 3 month relationship, but it's also not fair to ask someone to come into the closet with you, which is what you're doing to her.

So, don't tell your parents if you want them to keep paying your tuition, but don't blame your girlfriend if she leaves.
Posted by 8yearswasted on September 10, 2009 at 11:07 AM · Report this
73
why are so many of you so bothered by the existence of asexuals, and to their vocalizing their needs and identities through a "movement"? they don't want to feel like freaks, like there's something wrong with them, hence the "movement." you doubt it's really asexuality, it must be sexual hangups, etc. etc. can't wrap your mind around it? fine. they can't wrap their minds around actually wanting sex, and they are tired of the pressure to do so, no doubt. they miss out on some good stuff by not being sexual, but they miss out on a hell of a lot of bad stuff, too.

p.s lack of testosterone seems to be a major factor, from what i've read.
Posted by ellarosa on September 10, 2009 at 11:44 AM · Report this
74
From the 1979 film Manhattan:

Woody Allen: What kind of dog do you have?

Diane Keaton: It's a dachshund. I know, a penis substitute, right?

Woody Allen: In your case I would have guessed a Great Dane.
Posted by wayne on September 10, 2009 at 11:58 AM · Report this
75
I know it's selfish to ask my partner to come into the closet with me, that's why I've been so conflicted and had to write to a sex advice column. I've decided to end things or "postpone the relationship" until I am able to support myself and come out.
Maybe I am self-centered and immature and using my parents, but please don't discriminate against my age. There are a lot of 30, 40, and 50 year olds that suffer from those same character traits.
Posted by danzigqueen on September 10, 2009 at 12:05 PM · Report this
76
i don't think a sex advice columnist should have any hangups about having trouble advising people about being asexual.
let me splain.
your inclinations for a while now have been to help people find a way, whatever way that is, no matter gender, orientation, bits, lack of said bits, involvement of objects, emotions, puppets, jugglers, the odd bit of 18th century poetry, whatever...
asexuality is just the opposite, for whatever reason. if there was such a thing as an asexual advice columnist i'd say it was a nun, or something. yeah, so don't fear the asexual. just look at them the way you'd look at a pussy. An enigma, slightly repellent, but ultimately someone else's baggage.
Posted by snowmansnirvana on September 10, 2009 at 12:31 PM · Report this
77
@69 (The way I see it the only legitimate reason for not coming out (other than you simply don't want to) is for your personal safety): huh? Someone may end up getting kicked out onto the street by parents or landlord, end up not getting to go to college, losing an important job, and those are all "illegitimate" reasons to stay closeted? It might be nice if everyone came out to help the movement, props to you if you had the chutzpah to take a chance, but to me major life catastrophes are MORE legit than "not wanting to" which is totally lame and a cop out.
Posted by yonush18 on September 10, 2009 at 1:39 PM · Report this
78
I went on asexuality.org and found the general vibe of the people posting in the forums to be one of hostility towards sexuals- maybe the founders didn't intend it, but it seems that at least the people posting are rather "militant" about their asexual needs and often refer to "sexuals" as base, crude people with something wrong with them- some even going so far as to say that sex is dirty and completely unnecessary and can't be a "need" at all!

My fiance has finally dropped the "no sex, ever again, ever ever ever" bomb on me...after 4 years, and my son and I living with him; can you imagine how that is tearing up our lives? And he's trying to make it out like I'm the one with the problem! And no, I can never EVER get any on the side if I'm with him. So, there goes the last four years of me and my little boy's life. I went to the website for support, but everyone treated me like a selfish, cave-dwelling bitch.
Posted by needing intimacy on September 10, 2009 at 2:11 PM · Report this
79
@24- Many women, although guilty of extremely bad judgment, form romantic involvements and even marriages with men serving life sentences, or death sentences, in prison. They are in romantic relationships without the expectation of any physical intimacy ever. They exist, therefor you're wrong.
Posted by charlie on September 10, 2009 at 2:29 PM · Report this
80
@78, I'm sorry your hubs turned out to be a total fucking asshole :( There is no clearer indication that you must DTMF or at a minimum insist on outside satisfaction for yourself with or without his approval. What's he gonna say next, you can't have any money of your own? I could never imagine denying happiness to a partner, and if I'm rendered incapable by spinal trauma, as soon as the immediate drama is over and my potato life begun, I'd make it clear I want to hear some hot stories about the fun my guy is having.
Posted by yonush18 on September 10, 2009 at 3:07 PM · Report this
81
@39 - I don't think Dan is judgmental of one-night stands in general. He's judgemental about SWAT's one-night stand because SWAT was obviously upset about it.

However, I do agree with one key point: SWAT doesn't necessarily need to find a great guy who's into spanking. He could also find a great guy who's not really into spanking but is GGG and will happily indulge SWAT to the best of his ability.
Posted by Thexalon on September 10, 2009 at 3:29 PM · Report this
82
Asexuality ABSOLUTELY exists. I was with a guy for 4.5 years who was this way! We had sex 4x during the last year we were together (if you can count one hasty half-asleep 4am grope-fest as one of those times). I could fault him for not "disclosing" this info in a conversation early on, but I have to take my share of the responsibility as well: his behavior showed plenty of red flags and indications that he would be this way, starting at about the 2 month mark.

He was just born with a low sex drive and had always been this way, he later mentioned how much he avoided dating in college due to it. I think there are people who can maintain more frequent sexuality at the onset of a new relationship, just due to the newness, adrenaline, hormones, etc. This soon tapers off and they return to their M.O. I would NEVER accuse my ex as "deceiving" me for seeming more sexually active at the beginning than he normally was, as these patterns were likely not something he fully understood himself at the time. This is not to say that there are some out there who MIGHT deceive (a women who feigns an interest in sex until marriage, for example), but we can't make blanket statements about all the members of any group.

And, not wanting a sexual relationship certainly doesn't preclude people from still wanting romance, companionship, emotional intimacy, etc. I know my ex is still actively seeking that. I hope he has learned to be more effective at weighing & communicating the importance of sexual compatibility earlier in the dating process.

A great resource is the "Mismatched Libidos" board on http://www.ivillage.com/messageboards. This was instrumental in my decision to end things, and later, to understand the hurt I had gone through and what low libido/asexual people are actually dealing with. There is a ton of participation from both sides that may present a good balance, if asexuality.org comes across as too hostile. Since thoughts of sex often do not occur to asexual, it seems unlikely that many would spend time seeking out a forum for discussion, unless they had been through some hurt themselves, perhaps with a high libido partner.

@55: Whoever mentioned that libido is a "bell curve" is dead-on. I would ask dazanii how s/he feels about my complete and total lack of maternal instinct and desire to never have kids.
I have felt this way since the day I turned 15. (I'm 30 now.) Happily I have found a BF who is likeminded. And we know lots of other people like us. Are we abnormal, to be lacking this "basic instinct" to reproduce?
More...
Posted by mandarin.orange on September 10, 2009 at 3:32 PM · Report this
83
@48: Why are we asexuals reading this column? Curiosity. Entertainment. Because people like me post links whenever asexuality comes up somewhere. We may not need the advice, but we do care about how people perceive us.

@78: Hostility? Certainly some people are hostile, and they're likely to post rants about it. They do need a place to vent, and so we tolerate those rants. On the advice- well, I went looking for a similar question to yours, and the first one I found had these responses:
"Heartless? If I understand correctly, he suddenly stopped wanting to be intimate with you, and then pretended that you should have known it all along. It really sounds pretty bad, like he was purposely misleading you from the start; you're certainly not the heartless one here. Am I the only one getting this impression?"
"Marriage between you two would have been a really bad idea, and it's good that you didn't get into it."
"It is time for you to move on.
Listen to your instincts. Good luck!"

That's empathy and agreement, not hostility. Just like bisexuals can be monogamous, sometimes the compromise of an asexual/sexual relationship works. When it doesn't, we call for a breakup just like anyone else.
Posted by jmerry on September 10, 2009 at 4:07 PM · Report this
84
Great column, excellent advice, as always. The last bit to SWAT ("Don't believe me? You're one of those guys") is something everyone should realize about themselves.
Posted by BmuthafuckinRad on September 10, 2009 at 4:13 PM · Report this
85
#78, I'm sorry to hear both about your situation and your experience on AVEN. I don't know who you are on AVEN or which one was your thread so I can't comment on that, but just FWIW I don't think what you described is representative of the board as a whole. There are a wide variety of individuals, posting styles and opinions there but I think the overall tenor is quite sex-positive and supportive towards sexuals. Of course (like most other places) people often react badly if (rightly or wrongly) they feel like they've been attacked or threatened, but other than that I've not seen too many problems.

I sincerely hope things work out for you.
Posted by michaeld on September 10, 2009 at 4:52 PM · Report this
86
In response to #68. Either you're an adult or not and for an increasing number of children, adulthood is thrust upon them literally overnight. For me it was before I turned 16 and I had no choice in the matter of being independent while assuming the responsibilities of adulthood. Independence and responsibility are hallmarks of adulthood. Pardon me if I have little sympathy for people who play at being adults whether they are 19, 99, or somewhere in between. Children should not engage is sexual activity since they aren't prepared to accept the consequences of their actions and most 19 year olds are just playing at being adults.

In response to #25 and #26. Are you so enamored of your erudite witicisms that you had to post the same labored comment twice? You obviously are not the parent of a teenage daugther and have limited or no experience with teenage girls.
Posted by beentheredonethatgotthetshirt on September 10, 2009 at 7:09 PM · Report this
87
@81, Thexalon, I didn't mean Dan Savage is judgmental about one night stands. Obviously he isn't. SWAT is the one who is judgmental about "those people" and that is the core of his dilemma, since he thinks he is on the slippery slope to becoming one of them.

There are a lot of judgmental serial monogamist gays who look down on those who cannot or will not form long term relationships (often in their terms, long term is 2 to 5 years). Personally, it smacks of desperation to me. They will settle for someone who meets their racial/social/wealth/attractiveness criteria, they get together for the infatuation, and then as long as they can stand each other when the infatuation is over. It's about as romantic as hiring a secretary. But they're very smug about it.
Posted by jssmbdy on September 10, 2009 at 8:00 PM · Report this
88
Sorry about mispelling daughter, I'm somewhat dyslexic along with having several other interesting health issues. O woe is me. However, my problems are as nothing compared to what CLITS may be facing. She really needs to grow up before making any life changing commitments. I'd be really interested in finding out how old her girlfriend is. If there is any significant age difference she could well be dealing with a predator, they come in all shapes, sizes, genders, and sexual orientations.
I also find it interesting that CLITS describes herself as being bisexual as opposed to being a lesbian. Does the girlfriend know about the duality of her sexuality and is she threatened by it? Being actively bisexual would seem to preclude a monogamous relationship, which is what the girlfriend could be trying to force upon CLITS. Is the girfriend also bisexual? If not, is she trying to constrain CLITS sexuality? So many questions, so little information provided by CLITS. Just another confused teenager, more interested in having fun than being an adult? I doubt her parents are supporting her, paying for school, etc. so that she can have a lot of fun with her girlfriend. She should be more focused on her education which is presumably why her parents continue to pay her bills.
Posted by beentheredonethatgotthetshirt on September 10, 2009 at 8:13 PM · Report this
89
#81 you hit it right. All these uptight queens judging SWAT because he wasn't a whore like them is just pathetic. It's nice to know there's at least one gay guy out there who actually has an internal, moral compass.

Besides, these negative queens ripping on SWAT are just jealous that he managed to get a hot enounter when they can't even get someone to buy them a drink at the local gay rat hole they call a bar.
Posted by Kathy Kuntgum on September 10, 2009 at 8:32 PM · Report this
XiaoGui17 90
We don't know enough about the brother in law to know WHY he's a maladjusted little shit other than being asexual. I have had the express displeasure of meeting an asexual who thinks that sex is immoral under all circumstances for any reason and that it degrades humankind as a whole. Like, Carrie's mom type asexual. If they just don't want to have sex, that's fine, to each his own, but some asexuals are every bit as much judgmental bastards about sexuals as some heterosexuals are about homosexuals. If that's the case, he is a maladjusted little shit.
Posted by XiaoGui17 on September 10, 2009 at 8:51 PM · Report this
91
1) "Accepting support under false pretenses is fraud." Ha Ha!
2) "Perhaps she should consider making restitution to her parents once she does come out to them and they realize just how badly they have been used." Ha Ha Ha Ha!
3) "Aren't her parents people, do they not bleed when you prick them. Just gotta love Shakespeare. So trenchant." Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!! Stop it, beentheredonethatgotthetshirt, you're killing me!
Posted by senorglory on September 10, 2009 at 9:02 PM · Report this
traumajunkie 92
Hey Dan,is douche bag spelled as one word or two or does it need a hyphen as in douche-bag?
Posted by traumajunkie on September 10, 2009 at 9:34 PM · Report this
93
Snickerdoodly says, "Dan, please wrap your head around the idea that not all relationships revolve around sex."

Snickerdoodly, Dan's not saying all relationships should revolve around sex; he's saying all relationships should revolve around honesty. If you're not going to want to meet a potential partner's needs, you should be upfront about that--whether the need is for sex or monogamy or nongamy, for BDSM or long walks in the park, for an active healthy lifestyle, or whatever. I can't imagine why you'd find that suggestion upsetting.
Posted by karasu on September 11, 2009 at 7:13 AM · Report this
94
Coming from someone involved in the BDSM D/s kink as well as being a "human pet," the idea of giving up my life completely - down to actually BECOMING a Dog is terrifying to me.

How far does that go? What about when you're not home? What about your pets family? Their friends? Their jobs?

I wear my tail, I've even worn it underneath my clothes...and i've worn paws while sceneing or just while in the comfort of my home, and I always, always, wear my collor [as long as I am collored], but i will, always, always, have human needs outside of my pet ones. To take those away from me entirely - i'd almost consider that torture.

Just make sure if you do find your puppy - that he/she/it, is completly willing in every way.
Posted by kittenomega on September 11, 2009 at 8:31 AM · Report this
95
My Fiancee is Vegan, she swallows. but there's no way in hell i'll ever question why she does. lol
Posted by TRG on September 11, 2009 at 8:38 AM · Report this
96
I don't think either CLITS or her girlfriend are horrible people. They're just at different places and need to either accept that about each other or move on.

This exchange has shown me, if I didn't already believe it, just how important groups like AVEN are. It's going to take a LOT of talking before asexuals and sexuals really understand each other, and I can see we're not there yet. That's one of the reasons I read "Savage Love;" since sexuals are the majority I think it's important for me to understand how they think and feel. I encourage sexuals to do the same at AVEN. You may find some ranting, but don't you think that's to be expected from any minority group that's still generally misunderstood by the majority? Maybe we need our own Dan Savage, to make it all a bit more entertaining.

Most thing in nature fall into some sort of curved distribution. Do you think it's incumbent on someone with a HIGHER than average need for sex to make an annoucement of it on the first date, before you;ve even had a chance to get to know the other person?
Posted by Melissa_31 on September 11, 2009 at 9:20 AM · Report this
97
I adore you, Dan. But for adjusted, adult asexuals, AVEN can be an albatross.

Years ago I invested a lot of time in AVEN, as a poster, a moderator, and trying to rewrite some of the ridiculous content Dan quotes. I sorted some things out for myself and found some good friends, but on the whole the place has gone way downhill and now primarily hosts a forum for a bunch of pubescent maladjusted shits who feel better about themselves by villifying ordinary folks who--shock--experience sexual attraction. AVEN is not representative of people like me who are just at the low end of the spectrum. I feel bad for otherwise adjusted asexuals who find the site and can't relate to inanity in static content or the vitriol on the boards, because being asexual without acceptance can be very painful.

There are various other asexual communities online--the human amoeba on yahoogroups, apositive.org, several on livejournal and probably other networking sites--and there are offline groups too, though many of us met online to start. There's also a lot of academic literature coming out about asexuality, which I think provides a more honest look at populations at the low end of the sexual-interest spectrum.

One thing, Dan is spot-on about disclosure. Asexuality can be analagous to having a dealbreaking kink: you have to be honest up-front if there's a low chance of sexual compatibility. Anything different is unfair to all involved. The way I see it, if you're not comfortable bringing sex up with someone, you don't want to be in a relationship with that person anyway.
Posted by citrusfruit on September 11, 2009 at 11:23 AM · Report this
98
citrusfruit is of course welcome to his or her opinion. I'd just encourage anyone else interested to check out the board and a few threads for themselves before deciding whether the characterization of AVEN he or she offers is accurate.
Posted by michaeld on September 11, 2009 at 12:30 PM · Report this
99
@97 - how old are you?

If you're over 30, PLEASE start your own site, forum or whatever and educate people the RIGHT way about what Asexuality is. There are people out there who truly want to understand and have compassion for what this issue is.
Posted by MT3 on September 11, 2009 at 8:11 PM · Report this
Cory 100
Maladjusted little shit... lol.
Posted by Cory on September 11, 2009 at 11:40 PM · Report this
101
Woo-Hoo Dan! You're the shit... I love reading your column and I love what you dish... Thank fuck you are so honest...
Posted by LadyK2008 on September 12, 2009 at 7:19 AM · Report this
102
I'm a closeted asexual human pet that won't come out of the closet.

Kidding.

I'd like to be a full human pet; at least try it....
Posted by woodrow on September 12, 2009 at 11:31 AM · Report this
103
OK, the most important point of Dan's response to CLITS is that three months is waaaaaaaaaaay too early in a relationship for anyone to make demands on the other—especially something as life-changing as coming out to one's parents, and especially when the demandee is barely out of high school. The writer says she's bi, so she may end up with a man in the end, so coming out may not even be necessary.
The [controlling] girlfriend knew that CLITS was in the closet, so she should just accept that, or move on.
Posted by Christopher B on September 12, 2009 at 12:16 PM · Report this
104
If "having a low sex drive" makes someone asexual, then how can you possibly draw a distinction been asexuals and "sexuals".

If you want to have sex, at all, ever, doesn't that make you a "sexual" ?
Posted by Storyteller215 on September 12, 2009 at 9:55 PM · Report this
105
CLIT seems like a reasonable person, figuring herself out and recognizing that she shouldn't be pushed too far yet, especially when she has parents who will probably understand eventually. She has goals, and will come forward when she's a bit further ahead in life with some help from her conservative parents. I don't see that she's fooling anyone, just making the best of her situation while being faithful and direct with her partner. What's wrong with that?

SWAT: You tried something new, it made you uncomfortable for reasons that I can't really understand except that you're someone who looks for ways to feel guilty. But apparently you did enjoy it at the time, so why not focus on the positive? Maybe make the situation different next time with someone you're more connected with. But it's unreasonable and unhealthy (even physically -- just because of the mental stress, which can get physical) to read so much into these experiments. And (as a doctor) I can assure you that unless there was blood-blood contact, the chances of contracting an STD are virtually zero. In some S/M activities there are risks, but what you're describing sounds very safe. Again, the biggest health risk is the totally unjustified guilt factor that raises your blood pressure, affects your immune system, depletes brain neurotransmitters, etc. You should feel positive that you had some short-term fun and learned something about yourself. We should all be so lucky.
Posted by Viridis on September 12, 2009 at 11:59 PM · Report this
106
Just to clarify (medically): I said "blood-blood contact". That should be "body fluid to body fluid" since semen would be included; other body fluids are vastly less dangerous although saliva, for example, does carry a risk depending on the STD. It doesn't sound like anything even mildly risky happened here except an unhealthy and totally unjustified case of guilt.
Posted by Viridis on September 13, 2009 at 12:18 AM · Report this
107
#104 - having low sex drive doesn't necessarily make someone asexual. Conversely, many asexuals have quite normal or even comparatively high sex drives. Asexuality is defined as lack of sexual attraction not in terms of sex drives.
Posted by michaeld on September 13, 2009 at 4:35 AM · Report this
108
But when animals are asexual they mate by themselves, so I really really don't like the asexual termanology....
Posted by Mayme on September 13, 2009 at 8:55 AM · Report this
109
Dan's advice to CLITS is spot on. CLITS is properly planning for her future as she should be. A decent education will provide more choices and the chance to have a decent life that does not have to include minimum wage labor. It would be irresponsible for her to make such a life-changing decision as "coming out" at such a young age, especially when she is likely to be unsure of her sexuality. The consequences would be enormous and it is mature of her to think it through beforehand. Follow Dan's advice CLITS!
Posted by GNBT on September 13, 2009 at 1:29 PM · Report this
110
@88: Wow, way to miss the point of bisexuality. Bisexual =/= Slut (although it can, and that can be all kinds of fun!) My wife is 'actively' bi; she's 'actively' attracted to men and women. But just like I'm not threatened that she 'actively' checks out cute guys, I'm not threatened that she 'actively' checks out cute girls. Being bi doesn't mean you can't be monogamous. And stop using the term 'actively' to mean "You said bi, I heard slut, but I know that makes me an asshole so I'll say 'actively' to pretend I understand that there are 'inactive' bi people who AREN'T sluts".

@CLITS: Ignore these comments about 'exploiting' your parents. They're supporting you because you're their daughter, and you're staying in the closet because you're afraid they'll act unfairly and cut you off. That would be THEM acting unfairly, not you. Today's society isn't okay with people who discriminate based on sexuality, and that includes parents (although apparently it doesn't include asshole senators, but we expect them to be a bit behind, right?)

On the other hand, maybe they wouldn't cut you off? Maybe you could introduce them to some gay or bi girl you're just friends with, mention her sexuality 'accidentally' (GET HER PERMISSION!), and see how they react to someone else. Who knows? They might be supportive.

Oh, and as a bisexual, watch out for people like 88 who think that means you have to be getting it from both sides at once. Lots of people suffer from 'you said bi, I heard slut' syndrome.
Posted by Rophuine on September 13, 2009 at 4:40 PM · Report this
111
Great advice, Dan!

I love your kitty pic, Mrs. Norris!
Posted by wileEcoyote on September 13, 2009 at 6:37 PM · Report this
112
Dan, great advice again all around this week. Your response to CLITS was smart and pragmatic. Thank you for being truly considerate, keeping the the play clean, and your moral and ethical standards high at all times. Your advice always strikes me as un-biased and 'un-gay', with everyone and anyone. Thanks for being yet another beacon of clarity in a world where narcissism rules.
@CLITS- Dan's soooo right here. Think to 10 years in the future with yet another relationship, but with your financial future, educational future, etc. already on its way to prospering. Your parents will give you far more credulity because you've already shown to be an adult about YOUR decisions, and the future support they give, in whatever way.
Until some kind of emancipation from your parents is underway, or you grow in age (and the implied maturity it brings), MOST parents will view their children as.. young adults. Which in reality really implies Almost-Adults.
The more you show maturity in your actions with life, the more they can and will trust ANY decision you make (no matter how conservative the parent). Prove the other, more important stuff right by them, and the rest will follow. And if doesn't?? THEN use your education and career as proof to them that you ARE ready!
Posted by Nipplestiltskin on September 14, 2009 at 10:37 AM · Report this
113
To Beenthere etc.: I didn't realize I was being "erudite" and "witty", thanks? But since we're doing the ad hominem thing, here is an example of a labored/overwrought/purple/tortured sentence: "Are you so enamored of your erudite witicisms that you had to post the same labored comment twice?" the preceding, your invocations of shakespeare, and your claims are ridiculous to the point of convincing me you're purposefully parodizing pseudo-intellectuals.

"You obviously are not the parent of a teenage daugther and have limited or no experience with teenage girls," you're right, outside of my experiences with teen girls as a teen, which were varied and generally fun, i have little experience with them; for, such experience at this point in the absence of any progeny would make me at best a creep.
Posted by f0gh0rn on September 14, 2009 at 2:57 PM · Report this
114
parodying
Posted by f0gh0rn on September 14, 2009 at 2:59 PM · Report this
115
SWAT sounds like he just got out of a long-term relationship and is upset about it, and doesn't have any good friends to talk to. It sounds to me like he might be depressed or be having panic attacks. I think he ought to get over his embarrassment and talk to a friend or a therapist.
Posted by ccc on September 14, 2009 at 4:25 PM · Report this
116
No one, including Mr. Savage, seems to have noticed that the butt-plug tail person did not actually pose a question at any point.

"The pet becomes so completely a dog that I wonder if it is bestiality to have sex with my dog/human pet.

That wasn't even a rhetorical question--it was a rhetorical statement. And the person obviously wasn't asking for advice, or even describing a real situation. It was a sexual fantasy with no relevance to this column.
I don't really believe Mr. Savage could have missed that distinction; instead, I believe he decided the butt-plug tail thing would make good print.
Regardless, I was disappointed. The other three offerings were relevant, and serious, and witty, and all that other good stuff that makes us read this column. Including that one seems either a cynical decision to parade someone's goofy fetish for cheap giggles, or legitimate sloppiness, either of which seem below par here.
Posted by OYVEYSCHMEAR on September 14, 2009 at 10:16 PM · Report this
117
@107, how the hell can you have a libido but not "sexual attraction"? doesn't having a "sex drive" mean you want to fucking "have sex"? you are crazy-ass making up your own definitions. are you saying being asexual just means you don't want penile-orifice intercourse? do asexuals make out?
Posted by drivel on September 15, 2009 at 12:19 PM · Report this
118
#117: well for example, if you are male then having a sex drive might just mean you are producing a load of sperm each day, which the body needs to eject somehow in order to stay healthy and comfortable. It does not necessarily imply having sexual attraction to anyone.

Something analogous applies to women too.
Posted by michaeld on September 15, 2009 at 2:28 PM · Report this
119
Dan, I just read on Truthdig about Rick Santorum's "poo problem" - how he wants to run for president, but everything comes up runny shit when he's Googled. You - are - the - BOMB!
Posted by RhodaP on September 15, 2009 at 3:32 PM · Report this
120
"if you are male then having a sex drive might just mean you are producing a load of sperm each day, which the body needs to eject somehow in order to stay healthy and comfortable."

Listen, I think of 5 year olds as asexual. If I ever saw one expelling his daily load of cum to stay comfortable and reduce his sexual urges (godless heavens forbid) I would think he'd need an endocrine appointment. He may have attraction to no one, but he's not asexual.

PS not ejactulating is not unhealthful, although some sketchy research suggests that ejaculatory frequency may slightly affect prostate cancer risk. If anyone tells you they're jerking off for health reasons you've been lied to.
Posted by yonush18 on September 15, 2009 at 4:08 PM · Report this
121
#120, why does it matter whether your hypothetical 5 year old is considered asexual or not? If being sexually active at age 5 is unhealthy then being sexually active at age 5 is unhealthy - no matter what label you choose to apply or not apply.

I completely disagree with your claim that ejaculating lacks health benefits. But that's not really relevant. The point is that it's quite possible for a male to have a strong desire to get rid of the sperm his body is producing and yet to be sexually attracted to no-one. Such a person has a sex drive but is asexual.
Posted by michaeld on September 15, 2009 at 4:36 PM · Report this
FearlessAdvisor 122
test
Posted by FearlessAdvisor http://fearlessadvisor.com on September 15, 2009 at 4:54 PM · Report this
123
#121: this whole discussion is about labels. Someone with a sex drive jerking off and being horny ("having a strong desire to get rid of sperm" as you put it) is sexual. That's part of sexuality. You're not anorexic if you only eat by yourself. My first bf wasn't sexually attracted to anyone until he was 19. But he was definitely sexual. There's a difference.

As for your complete disagreement with my claim that ejaculating lacks clear health benefits--well, prove it. You're a researcher or urologist or something? What health benefit?
Posted by yonush18 on September 15, 2009 at 6:35 PM · Report this
124
#123, such a person is sexually *active* (as many, if not most, asexuals are). But orientation is not about activity. Some asexuals even engage in partnered sex (e.g. to please their lover) - this doesn't stop them being asexual, as long as there is no sexual attraction on their part.
Posted by michaeld on September 16, 2009 at 12:51 AM · Report this
125
@123: jacking or jilling off, whether or not for the health benefits or to keep one's bedsheets from getting stained in the night, doesn't work as an analogy to anorexia: it's perhaps closer to Bulemia: it's like eating to satisfy your mouth but throwing up to satisfy mind or whole body. Jilling off takes care of a part of your body, but asexuality can still be the mindset. 2 separate things. Just like boys can have an orgasm without spooging sperm everywhere. TWO separate things, if you have enough discipline over your body and mind. Likewise: I poop, sometimes even in the woods while camping, but that doesn't at all make me a scat enthusiast nor exhibitionist. It's biologically human to jack or jill.
There are of course, as @124 hints, those who are asexual but engage in intercourse*. There are more things... than can be dreamt of in your philosophies, Horatio...

[ By your definition / literal logic, all asphyx kink enthusiasts must be suicidal and depressed, rather than loving life and getting off on their kink. If the discussion is about labels, you need to broaden your scope and range a bit and print some more options]

*Had a catholic partner like that: her mind was 'sex is bad / I don't like sex' but her body was naked allthesame. She was convinced Belief that sex wasn't something she liked was enough to carry her through. i.e. that virginity's a mindset, not a mechanical test. I didn't care to judge whether she was right or wrong - not my place to tell someone else if they are valid or not.
Posted by Juliette on September 16, 2009 at 12:33 PM · Report this
126
Happy to call non/un -sexuals asexuals. Makes enough sense and doesn't need to meet biology textbook standards. Can we just call asexuals QUEER, add them to the group under the PFLAG wing, and call it good? LBGTQA!

And yes, FFS, vegans swallow. Bacon-flavored spoog or not. Asshole vegans who don't like swallowing are the ones who label vegans as non-swallowers. But they are likely just spermophobics taking their vegan sisters and brothers down with them, or are trying to make themselves more 'balanced', karmically, when they fall in lust for an oral-lovin' carnivore. *sigh*
Posted by JulietteF on September 16, 2009 at 12:34 PM · Report this
127
Asexuality.
1. No one is trying to say, "I'm better than you." In fact, many asexuals go through periods of feeling inadequate and worrying that they are "damaged" because they just can't seem to work the way "normal" people do.

2. Asexuality is not a choice--it's just the way they're made. The asexual community includes people who spent years trying to like sex, in various incarnations and with various genders of people, trying to understand what the fuss is about. In the end they realized they were somehow fundamentally different, in that sex wasn't part of their wiring.

3. Asexuals don't understand sexuals any more than sexuals understand asexuals. The difference is so basic, it's hard to imagine life from the other side without having experienced it. Asexuals know by now, living in a sexual society, that for a sexual, their sexuality is a thread that runs through their daily lives and colors their romantic--and non-romantic--relationships. However, outside of an intellectual understanding, asexuals can't grasp it themselves or know what it's about. It would be like a straight guy trying to understand what it's like to fall in love with a guy. You can conceptualize it, but you can't ever experience it for yourself or really understand it.

4. << apologies... bitter >> I'm tempted to go hide for about 5, 10.. 15? years while the grand jury of sexuals complete their deliberations on whether or not asexuality exists... 'cause I know in the end, they will find that it does, just like every other non-heteronormative orientation that's come into public awareness over the years. But, damn it, I can't be that irresponsible. So, here I am. I'll stick my neck out--for all the good it will do.

5. Again let me reiterate that we all live on the same planet as for as disclosing. Goodness gracious! Asexuals know by now how important sexuality is to a sexual, and how closely tied emotional and physical intimacy are to them. We get it, stop panicking. We'd TELL you. << / end bitter>>

6. The emotional needs being spoken about are the ones like having someone to share your deepest thoughts with, someone to be your cheerleader when you're down, someone to love you unconditionally and be your first priority--as you are theirs. Unfortunately, asexuals are often forced to make the choice: Sex (that I don't want) + Intimacy, OR Freedom from sex I don't want + No Intimacy. Both choices suck. If there were more societally-accepted ways to have emotional intimacy (beyond "regular" friendship--something emotionally closer, and higher-priority than that) without sex, I think asexuals would be perfectly fine. Personally I feel that American society isn't built for asexuals... but that's only because sexuals are the ones who built it and there are so many of them. They didn't mean to build it that way--it just sort of happened. I'm not hating on sexuals here.

7. For the record, I believe most asexuals would *prefer* to get involved with each other, but it's just that there are not that many out asexuals (and the community is still coming into its own), and that is the reason why asexuals often date sexuals. It's a numbers game. In those cases, I repeat, asexuals (who are self-aware, anyway) disclose and both parties go into the arrangement with their eyes open.
More...
Posted by Sparky9738 on September 17, 2009 at 1:35 AM · Report this
128
Apropos of very little, is it possible to automatically delete those stupid posts that start out, "First!" or "Firsties!" or anything like that? OMG, I want to slap those people. I can't believe that anything they say after "Firsties!" could possibly be important.
Posted by BklynTch on September 18, 2009 at 6:51 AM · Report this
129
@108--when living entities reproduce by themselves, they may be called hermaphrodites, or if the reproduction is asexual, it's called "asexual reproduction". No one calls these animals "asexuals". Animals that may reproduce asexually are things like sponges and corals--which no one would confuse with mammals. So why can't we just use the word "asexuals" the way we use hetero- and homo-? We use "hermaphrodite" for people who have sex organs from both biological sexes, and no one confuses them with earthworms.
Posted by BklynTch on September 18, 2009 at 7:00 AM · Report this
130
LOL
oh man! for some reason, none of these a-sexuals seem to understand why sex is so important to us sexual people!?! WHY IS THIS? LOLOLOL

HEY ALL YOU A-SEXUAL PEOPLE.
You don't understand how important sex is to us sexual people...maybe because you're ASEXUAL? So just take our word for it, sex is VERY IMPORTANT to sexual people, and not disclosing your asexual status in a timely manner makes you a DOUCHEBAG. Srsly, you're going to have to trust us, cos y'all just don't know, okay?
Posted by Caralain on September 20, 2009 at 12:16 AM · Report this
Kendrick 131
Vegans can NOT swallow. In fact, they absorb all of their nutrients through ambient light, much like plants.

As for asexual people in relationships with sexual people... how is that different from a gay woman/man dating a straight man/woman?
• non-compatible sexual interests
• definitely information that should be revealed early
• possible to work around, but some serious considerations will have to be made

Dan's advice has been pretty consistent: if there's something that's going to affect your relationship with a person in a major way, TALK TO THEM about it. Even if it's minor, he's a huge advocate of communication. One of the reasons I respect his advice much of the time.
Posted by Kendrick on September 20, 2009 at 11:00 AM · Report this
132
Dan: great column as always!
Once again, your answers are spot on!
Thanks for another great week!
Posted by wileEcoyote on September 20, 2009 at 9:41 PM · Report this
133
@43: Morrolan: Well said!! I couldn't have put it better myself!
Posted by wileEcoyote on September 20, 2009 at 9:46 PM · Report this
134
I'm sure #19 thinks that Iranian homosexuals are committing fraud against their government by living there and not lining up for an execution.
Posted by orjustgetasexchange? on September 21, 2009 at 8:35 AM · Report this
Vampireseal 135
#130 Asexuals are very, very aware that sex is important to asexuals. God knows countless Viagra and Cialis ads and Cosmo covers makes sure we know that point and know it well. You will also notices that not one asexual that has posted here has disagreed with Dan. Not one. It's just common good sense that if you are going to date anybody that your orientation gets mentioned. For an asexual, living in a sexual world, we are well aware that this disclosure needs to be made. There is really no controversy here.

Imagine living on a planet where everyone but you was extremely obsessed with mustard. Now, you have nothing against mustard, nothing against the people that like mustard, but it just does not taste that fantastic to you. You find it unimportant in the scheme of things, because its just a condiment. However, everyone else's lives revolve around mustard. Political decisions are based on preferences of mustard. Mustard is a big sh*t deal to everyone, and you cannot for the life of you figure out why.

That's what its like for an asexual such as myself. I have nothing against sex, and as a student of biology and a fan of anthropology, sexuality is intellectually fascinating. It does not repulse or bother me that people have sex, sex acts on films bothers me not a whit. It's a little boring, perhaps, like watching people eat, but not offensive. However, the obsession people have with sex will always seem a little odd to me. Fascinating, but essentially odd. Like living in a society deeply entrenched in mustard-love. I'm perpetually baffled, and thus fascinated by this massive obsession over reproductive behaviors.
Posted by Vampireseal on September 24, 2009 at 9:20 PM · Report this
136
@110: Thank you! I was so ready to start bitching about the "activly bi" comment, but you replied first. I am an "activly bi" 19 year old girl. I don't just date other "activly bi" females and go out and be slutty together. I could try and sit really still if you would like to see someone be an "inactive bisexual".
Posted by GaiaR on September 28, 2009 at 2:16 AM · Report this
137
Asexual here.

Dan's advice is sound as far as asexuality goes, and there's nothing asexophobic(?) about the position that an asexual should tell their potential partner before things get too serious. Sex is a big deal for a lot of people, it's assumed to be a significant part of relationships, and such a major incompatability is an important thing for both partners to be aware of early enough to decide whether they want to deal with it or not.

On an unrelated note, Dan has hit on the whole reason monogamy is so hard to define in an asexual relationship -- without the signature act that most people use to define their relationship (sex), apparently simple questions like "am I cheating?" or "are we still in a relationship?" require some real thought and discussion.
Posted by mad scientist on October 29, 2009 at 4:39 AM · Report this
TheGoddessMaria 138
I perused the asexuality board listed, and was truly fascinated. I haven't met many (openly!) asexual people, but I have known a few in my 37 years. My interest is further enhanced by my work with sexuality professionally. I am immersed in the sexual world. I think it would be very interesting to look at the world through the eyes of someone with no interest in sex. The rest of us might seem mildly insane! I mean, Amsterdam and New York City both have museums devoted to sex!

FWIW, the tone of the discourse seemed pretty bland over at the asexual forums. It didn't sound like anyone was acting "superior", from my admittedly brief visits. I'm glad that this site exists for those who want help understanding that they are not alone.
Posted by TheGoddessMaria http://thegoddessmaria.com on November 29, 2009 at 11:21 AM · Report this
ciecheesemeister 139
Some people have very low sex drive. For others such as myself, being celibate is a conscious choice. I do not like casual sex and due to various circumstances in my life, including having borderline personality disorder, I have come to realize that I am not capable of having a healthy romantic relationship. Therefore, for me celibacy or asexuality is a conscious choice. I don't see where anyone has a right to tell a person that there is something wrong with them for either being uninterested in sex or choosing not to have sex, any more than it would be right for me to tell people who are sexually active that they are wrong for having sex.
I certainly don't think of myself as superior for choosing a celibate life. It is not what I would have decided upon for myself. But after many a year of miserable and abusive relationships I reached middle age, my sex drive dropped, and I no longer have any desire to play the game. In my case its as simple as that.
Posted by ciecheesemeister on June 4, 2010 at 8:01 AM · Report this

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