SLLOTD: Maladjusted Shits


Zing! Love that last line.
Monogamous asexuals are those who do not go looking for non-sexual encounters outside of their relationships, I guess.

Good luck to them.
Even if his professed asexuality makes him a maladjusted little shit, who cares? Swearing off sex is one of the least bad things a maladjusted little shit can do.
Non-monogamous asexuals rent hotel rooms to meet up with other people and talk.
Everybody wants to know everybody's business. I've made up completely bogus stories when other people start to pry, just because they think they have the right to know. The minute you tell them MYOB they think it's their cue to dig even deeper.
(Originally published September 10, 2009.)
It would be pretty shitty for an asexual person to date a sexual person and not tell them what was up in the first few weeks.
Whoops, meant to tuck in the link to the Slog follow-up.

What is it called if someone is asexual because everyone else is just too fugly to boff?

Agreeing with Dan here, and the argument extends to gay people who date straight people and vice versa. It does happen to the confused, to the experimental, or to the just plain narcissistic. Its grossly unfair to the person you're dating not to disclose sexual proclivities, confusions, etc. well at the beginning of the relationship.

As well documented here on SL for years, many of the confused, narcissistic, experimental etc. will carry their nondisclosure on for years, even into marriages. This is incredibly damaging to the other partner, and beyond cruel.

Speaking from experience here as bisexual wife recently disclosed and jumped ship abruptly after a 12 year relationship, 10 of those years married. She did not simply come to this realization over time - she made it clear on her departure that she knew all along.
Janeane Garofalo is a supposed "out of the closet" asexual.
Hey, Dan...

As @6 points out, this is a repeat, originally published in 2009. It's understandable you rerun items from time to time, but you usually tag 'em as such. You should update this to show that.
Relatively famous asexual: Paula Poundstone.
Tim Gunn also says he's an asexual.
Some people claim asexuality because they're maladjusted shits and some people are genuinely asexual. Just as some people claim bisexuality because they're lying cowardly cowards and some people are genuinely bisexual. What's so complicated about "PEOPLE ARE DIFFERENT", I'll never know. But it seems like every week there's another idiot who doesn't get it.

Anyway. I think the "monogamy is sexual exclusivity" argument is pretty stupid. It's like "sex is vaginal sex". Sex is different things for different people, though there's some societal consensus about what it's not. Similarly, monogamy means different things to different people, though there's some societal consensus about what it's not. If you start defining monogamy as sexual exclusivity, it loses its meaning for people who don't have sex - just as it doesn't make sense to say gold-star gay men are virgins because they haven't had vaginal sex, sexless marriages are not non-monogamous just because they don't involve sex.

My point: monogamy is what you make it, and in this case it probably involves romantic fidelity. Like not having emotional affairs with other people. Pretty straightforward.
Asexual monogamy IMO would probably entail remaining emotionally faithful to one person. Monogamish OTH might mean that one half of the couple had prior approval to stray, either emotionally or sexually, depending on the prefix in front of "sexual".

In any case, the misguided S-I-L certainly has no well of compassion within her. Whatever the kid is - or needs - I hope he finds the support to encourage his understanding of himself and opportunities for future growth.
@9: Karma.
@6 thx for pointing out this is an untagged rerun.

In 2011 Dan did a love cast on asexuality where he was much kinder, gentler:…
Some people believe that you can have an emotional affair. I've seen accusations of it within sexual couples even though the "affair" contained no sex. If you consider emotional affairs to be a thing that can happen, then it seems an asexual person could have an emotional affair. And defining the boundaries of non-sexual activities and emotional relationships is a challenge.

At least asexuals seem to be discussing it, rather than some sexual couples who seem to just assume that they and their partner must view the boundaries the same even though they haven't discussed it. And then get into big fights about whether or not something was okay. If you have a boundary, and you can more or less describe it, you should. Admittedly, some boundaries should be safe to assume. I don't explicitly tell a partner that I expect people to not smash all the plates in the kitchen, but even so, I'd be upset if somebody in my house did so. And the lines between what should be reasonable to expect and what you need to state aren't always clear - life is a learning experience that way. But props to the asexuals for being aware that that area may be something they do need to discuss with a partner.
If I take Tumblr as an example, her asexual brother-in-law is probably an annoying little shit who takes every opportunity to remind everyone how oppress he is.
One's sexuality should be shared long before thoughts of dating. The idea that anyone would want to date someone sexually incompatible is crazy.

An asexual friend could be a sexual person's wing man, a confidant, or even a companion to accompany one to the opera when one's significant other isn't interested, but only a platonic friend.

It's one thing for libidos to change years into a marriage, but it's quite another to go into a relationship that one party assumes will include sex, come to love each other, and then tear each other apart from the inside.
@23 I disagree. Some people go on first dates easily, as exploratory missions to see if they will get along with the person. You don't owe somebody the details of your sexuality until you have some rapport and trust. I agree with Dan's advice to share it on or before the third date. If you have made a serious commitment to somebody you don't know well enough to know the sexuality of, have only gone on two dates with, and have never had sex with then you have a problem, not the asexual person. But you should inform somebody before things get serious or start progressing for a long length of time. You certainly should inform somebody before the two of you agree to have an exclusive relationship if you are trying to have an exclusive relationship.
@24 BS. Asexuality is such a deal breaker for the majority of sexual people and something that isn't often seen in the dating market that not disclosing upfront would be widely considered rude at best. Dates cost time and money. Plus, what if you do become emotionally involved romantically with an asexual after a few dates; now you have to go through the process of ending a relationship you never would have started in the first place.

It's kind of like if I asked a white supremacist out for dinner, dated him for a week before disclosing I'm mixed race, and then got upset when he refused to continue dating me.
Welllll... Letter Writer did say that the little brother "claims" to be asexual, so it isn't necessarily prying, Dan.

However, Letter Writer did ably demonstrate that being asexual and being a maladjusted little shit are entirely orthogonal.
Whatever one may think about asexuals, this LW goes on the short list for a Sartre Award.
@25 No, it isn't. The person who asks for the date pays. So, it's either like you asked a White Supremacist out for a date and paid for it and then later, either felt comfortable with him/her and told him/her you're mixed race or decided that you weren't comfortable disclosing your race to a White supremacist and stopped dating him/her. Or it's like a White supremacist asked you out on a date and you felt morally obligated to tell the person that you are mixed race - for no apparent reason.

Disclosing a minority sexual orientation can be dangerous. You don't owe it to people. And you don't owe it to people to turn down a date with them just because you do not yet know if they are safe to be around. That's often what dating is for determining. If you ask people out on dates, you have to expect a lot of them won't work out for all sorts of reasons. But asking someone for a date doesn't entitle you to the full list of major issues they might have. For example, let's say you are medically incapable of having children. That's a deal-breaker for a lot of people. But no you are not morally obligated to disclose your medical background before you date somebody nor to turn down every date with any person who might consider it a deal-breaker until you know them well enough to determine if it is. If you have some major deal-breakers, you can talk to somebody about them before you ask them out on a date. Otherwise you can use a date as a place to discuss what you are and aren't looking for in a relationship. But asking someone on a date doesn't entitle you to their personal info.
I'm a severely closeted asexual. I probably won't come out until in my 70's or 80's.
Some asexuals want romance and emotional closeness as much as sexuals, they just have no sex drive and find sex meh. 'Meh' is different from 'repulsive.' Of these, some are perfectly happy to have sex, in the same way people who aren't into football or romantic comedies will nonetheless watch those as a way to be close to their partner.

It's something to share fairly early, to be sure, but there are happy couples out there doing 'if you can cuddle on the couch with me, I can do kinky sex of your choosing with you.'

And I agree that it was weird of Dan to define monogamy strictly in terms of sex, when 'socially monogamous' is a closer description of how monogamy is practiced in societies that stress one partner at a time. Agree with 17 on this.
@28; Someone who can't have children is reasonably likely to meet someone uninterested in having children. Someone who won't have sex is not reasonably likely to meet someone uninterested in sex. Therefore, it is reasonable for the former to feel someone out before disclosing medical statues, while it is not reasonable for the latter to feel someone out before disclosing asexuality. I don't go on dates with lesbians while I'm dressed in drag in the hopes that when I reveal that I'm really a dude, they'll have changed their minds about the whole being-lesbians thing.
@28 People disclose their sexual orientation in various ways, both intentional and unintentional, every single day. And yes, while you don't need someone's life story before you grab dinner and a few drinks there's certain things you don't get to wait to tell them. These include; sexual orientation, relationship status and pregnancy. #31 makes the point better than I do.

As for date paying etiquette, I thought going dutch was standard. It's been awhile though...So input is appreciated.
@5 I do the same, but my family's fucking persistent. I invented a fake first date to hide the fact I drove over an hour to peg one of my ex's over a month ago and they're still looking for my non-existent boyfriend.
Phobia? I don't detect fear directed toward asexuals. I detect hostility. This is typical of Mr. Savage. His open-mindedness is skewed toward sexual activity and away from anything of which Victorian surface ideals might have approved. There's rejection of old-fashioned values, not just acceptance of new ones.

And what is up with these timelines. @7 and @25: "Weeks"? "A few dates"? How emotionally involved can someone get after just a few dates? People barely know each other by then. Talk about "months" and there might be an issue.

Say there's a guy who was in an accident and lacks a penis. Say there's a woman who's had a hysterectomy and definitely can't have children. Those are big things that would need disclosure at some point, but they're also big things that can turn people off to a partner who might be worth the sacrifice. First date is too early.

And let's not write off the idea of asexuals who are willing to indulge their partners, the way a vanilla person indulges a kinkster.
@32 Then if those things are important to you, make sure you know them about somebody before asking them out on a date - simple enough. If you invite anybody anywhere - romantically or not - you pay. That's basic etiquette. However, you can word things so it isn't an invitation of that form by saying something like, "I'm going to go grab some coffee, would you like to also?" or so forth. And if you want to get to know somebody before asking them out on a date (something I personally prefer, but not everyone likes to do that, and I don't think it's inherently wrong to date strangers if both people want to) then that's also a choice. But people who date strangers need to accept the risk that the person has high odds of being incompatible. But I've certainly had enough people tell me that they like to use dates to get to know somebody (often when I am telling them I will not date them because I don't know them well enough, so maybe they're lying, but I like to assume honesty) to take it as true that some people like to use dates as a way to get to know people. And if I were okay with that, I might accept a date stated as a way to get to know me, and I absolutely would not tell them the details of my sexuality unless I felt comfortable with them, because it's ridiculous to think they have a right to that just because they chose to get to know somebody through dating. If you don't like that - don't do that. But it really sounds like you're unwilling to accept that some people date differently than you do. And it's so stupid, because you can 100% avoid the problem by never asking somebody out on a date until you know whatever you think somebody needs to know before a date happens before you ask them for a date. That's your job. Not theirs. And they don't have to be a mind-reader and guess what you think you need to know in advance. And you are also free to respond to a request for a date with a list of traits about you that might be a deal-breaker for somebody. That's your choice if you choose to do it. I'd personally consider that socially awkward, but you're welcome to do so if you want to.
@35 First, thank you for updating me on dating etiquette.

Now for everything else; Firstly I don't think everyone HAS to date like I do. In fact, my personal experience in dating is so limited I had to ask you a general etiquette rule. I'm simply stating that if you have an aspect of your sexuality that would be such an important trait for another person to know to help them decide whether to date you, it's best to disclose early. So let's say you accept a date from someone. Just by that simple act you've shown interest in their gender, thus helping them to determine an aspect of your sexuality.

What I find somewhat silly is your hypothetical position. You're saying that if you accept a date with someone and they ask you a sexual question they don't have a right to know the answer unless you want to tell them. BUT it's up to them and them alone to find out this top secret information. You know, that information that you don't think you have to tell them...

I know that sounds harsh, but the fact that you're implying I'm somehow too rigid for the dating pool is the pot calling the kettle black. I've never dated a stranger personally, but I think you should be able to expect some honest communicate about very basic things like sexual orientation.
@34 I say a few dates or weeks instead of months because people generally start having sex earlier in the relationship. In the case of the man without a penis there's options like a strap-on. A woman with a hysterectomy can adopt or may have eggs frozen for when she settles down and can get a surrogate.

A person in a monogamous marriage with an asexual doesn't get to find options to make their marriage more compatible with their needs. It's a pretty fucking serious thing to dedicate your sex life solely to one person under normal situations, let alone a marriage between two people with that big a libido difference. I'm not saying it couldn't work. I'm just saying there's a lot of work involved for both parties and not a lot of alternatives. Personally I prefer monogamy for a laundry list of reasons, but in situation where I was married to an asexual I don't know if I could make it for the long haul. And sleeping around would make me feel like shit. So where would that hypothetically leave me? And obviously I'm not the only one who would flinch at such a demand.

And no, we NEVER get letters from kinksters lamenting their vanilla partners' attempts at pleasing them. (And yes, I admit some of them are whiny douche bags)

Seriously dan, you're STILL republishing ancient letters? I know you're doing lots of hard work judging people doing things inside soundproof boxes, but can't you just answer a few new letters?

Anyway, call me an ass, but this "asxual" stuff really sounds like BS to me, and I know a lot of people who lay claim to it. Every one of them spends >90% of their free time in front of a computer and 100% of them jack off to things that don't exist in reality (See previous point). They have just spent so much time locking their brain into fantasy ideas that they don't have any way to relate to real people in that way.
If she's prying into her BIL's sex life, it isn't that he isn't the only maladjusted shit in the family, it's that he's not the maladjusted shit, period.
@36 I wouldn't take Uncreative's word about dating etiquette (or anything else): that's just Uncreative's (extremely self-serving) opinion. There are lots of people who do it differently. In particular, among heterosexuals, "the person who asks out pays" is a euphemism given the extremely strong expectation that the man should be the one doing the asking-out. And, in my limited experience, as a guy, of being asked out by women, women who ask men for dates don't expect to pay any more than women who are asked out by men do.

@34 "How emotionally involved can someone get after just a few dates?"

I don't know what your teens and twenties were like, but I was perfectly capable of "falling in love" with people I'd hardly met.

"they're also big things that can turn people off to a partner who might be worth the sacrifice. First date is too early."

Shouldn't that be something the potential partner can make an informed decision on?
@40 Dutch it is then. Though I wouldn't be adverse to treating a guy.

I absolutely would not tell them the details of my sexuality unless I felt comfortable with them

Do you really think that being asexual is a "detail" of one's sexuality? Or being gay or straight for that matter?
@ 22: If I take Tumblr as an example, her asexual brother-in-law is probably an annoying little shit who takes every opportunity to remind everyone how oppress he is.

But if we start taking Tumblr as an example, everyone is an annoying little shit who takes every opportunity to remind everyone how oppressed they are. I mean, isn't that what Tumblr's for?

@ 29: I'm a severely closeted asexual. I probably won't come out until in my 70's or 80's.

You're not as closeted as you think; you and I are in a nonsexual relationship right now, right? I mean, we definitely aren't fucking.

...oops, sorry if I just outed you, man! But I guess I'm an extremely promiscuous asexual; there are billions of people I'm not-fucking. I don't know how I'd keep that in the closet; almost everyone in the world knows that they and I aren't fucking.
This insistence by asexuals that they don't have a responsibility to disclose, or that the other party has a responsibility to somehow uncover this top-secret information before even asking them out is fucking pathological.

Yes, you do have a responsibility to disclose your asexual status. If a straight person asks a homosexual out for a date or vice versa, the other party should immediately say something like "I'm flattered but I'm gay/straight" - the same applies if one person is married or asexual or whatever the obstacle is. Doing otherwise is deception pure and simple. If you're uncomfortable revealing that information, tough shit - get some therapy and get over it. And if you think it exposes you to rejection, tough shit again. Yes it does - you may not be compatible with very many people at all, because you are NOT. But tricking the other person through lies of omission is not the answer. Try getting comfortable with who you really are instead.

And FTR, uncreative@34's dating advice is bullshit too. In the 21st century everything is Dutch unless one party wants to do the other party a favor (like for their birthday), or there's a known economic disparity (like single parents who need to pay for a baby sitter). Any woman who has a problem with that is welcome to give up their right to vote.
@44 Actually, dating expenses should alternate. So, a second date is paid for by the other person. This is equality; it just is also hospitality.

And again, if you need to know the details of someone's sexual interests before you date them - then ask them. Your choice, right there.

Also, why do you think asexuals are insisting anything? Reasonable people are insisting. Personally, I'm not asexual, just sane. And yes, I really think asexuality is a detail of someone's sexuality. And I think dates are often used for determining things like compatibility and details of someone's sexuality. And I think you are making a huge fuss over the horrors of a first date not working out. Which makes me really wonder how you live. How much do you think somebody going out on a date with you owes you?

And if you are going dutch - then why on Earth are you making it like some huge deal that a first or second date might not work out? Wow, you might waste as much as three dates on somebody you aren't compatible with, especially if you don't talk to them about what you require for compatibility. Anyhow, now you know this matters. So, start ~talking~ to people rather than assuming.
@40 A woman who asks a man out on a date and doesn't pay for it is rude, pure and simple. Personally, I like Judith Martin's etiquette in general. You can also go out with people without formally inviting them out, and then it is dutch. But it's pretty rude to invite somebody to something and then surprise them with a bill - and this has nothing to do with gender or even romance. If you intend it to be dutch, you need to state that upfront so people know what to expect. But the person doing the inviting pays is practical, because the person doing the inviting chooses the cost. You invite someone to something within your means. Dating does not have to be expensive. You can go to a park and bring a lunch you made with stuff from the grocery store. Or you can go to a fancy restaurant. But the person accepting the date shouldn't be on the hook for an unknown level of expense - that's the key point. And if you do that to people, you're treating them very badly. As stated, who pays for the date should alternate, since etiquette also dictates you alternate dates. This is actually historical and not modern, and women did use to regularly treat gentlemen to dates; they just tended to entertain in different ways with more of a tendency toward home-cooked meals than paying to eat out. Now that is thrown out (and rightly so) and either sex entertaining either sex can have a variety of forms of dates of their choosing.

If you're falling in love with people you have just met, then you need to work on that. Yes, it's normal when you're young, and also normal for you to then break up when you realize you aren't compatible. So, if you're falling in love and then breaking up after three dates, you were just treated to a valuable life lesson and maybe you'll be wiser next time. If you're an experienced adult and still acting like a teen or young adult... well, yeah, I can see why this is a problem for you. I hope you get better soon.
Being asexual is not the same as being married. Dating a married person or anyone else in a committed relationship violates most people's moral codes. Dating an asexual does not. That's why married people wear rings, to let others know they're out of the dating pool. We should not require asexuals to wear signs.

@42 Well it's not a detail of one's choice in flavors of organic yogurt, so yes. It's up there with an injury that affect's one's sex life. It's the sort of thing that would cause one to be rejected out of hand. It should be disclosed after the potential partner has had the chance to see at least some of the things that might make the relationship worthwhile. A person can't make an informed decision on whether or not a relationship with an asexual is worth it without knowing something about said asexual other than his or her asexuality.

@44 I find that I have little patience for anyone who expects anyone else to be a magical telepathic Betazoid from Star Trek. No, the other party does not have a responsibility to know that he or she is dating an asexual, but neither does the asexual have to shout it out on the first date. This kind of disclosure should come after the pair have had some chance to get to know each other. Almost by definition, the issue's probably going to come up around the time when the non-asexual wants to have sex.
Agreed, dating expenses -- and invitations -- should alternate. This solves several problems:

-- economic disparity: if one person makes substantially less than the other, he* may find himself expending more than his budget allows, if he consistently splits the tab with the other person who not only has higher pay but more expensive tastes. Instead, they should take turns asking each other out to activities that fit their respective budgets.

-- Telegraphing interest: if one person does all the asking, that makes space in the relationship for things like stalking/being stalked, or being taken advantage of by the proverbial "dinner whore." If the expectation is that you indicate interest by asking, and one person never asks, that should imply that person is not interested. If the requirement is that you alternate asking, and one person never does, the problem is self-correcting because the relationship stalls in the "it's your turn to ask me out" position.

(* Yes, I know the economic disparity is usually the opposite. If I used the stereotypical pronouns someone probably would jump on me for sexist assumptions.)
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.

Really Dan? Given the degree to which people have been slinging the cringe-inducing (for me) term "emotional affair" around lately, I'd think this would be obvious - it's a promise to not form "intimate romantic relationships" with other people.
@47: I disagree. If the date is implied to be the type that a reasonable observer would expect might lead in a romantic direction, then you have a responsibility to disclose. If I'm thinking this is a romantic date, and you are aware there is no way in hell it will ever go that direction, but you nonetheless allow me to keep thinking it might, you are lying to me and quite possibly using me.

If we were talking not about asexuality but about hetero/homosexuality, good luck getting anybody to agree with you that a lesbian should just let things ride for a while before disclosing to her straight male date, perhaps right up to that moment near the end of the third date where he leans in for a kiss and whispers about going back to his place, that she's actually a lesbian.
@47, continued: " A person can't make an informed decision on whether or not a relationship with an asexual is worth it without knowing something about said asexual other than his or her asexuality."

A person can't make an informed decision about whether to keep dating someone with an obvious potential dealbreaker, either, if that dealbreaker is not disclosed. If you want the informed consent rule to apply, you need to apply it fully, even to the half of the equation that disadvantages you.

It's not your prerogative to require a fully informed decision of them, to force them to get to know you better first. If they want to dump you out of hand, rather than waiting to give you the full due-diligence evaluation, they should be able to do exactly that -- and frankly, wouldn't you prefer to not waste a month of YOUR time and money on the person who will reject you out of hand?

Back to my previous point, however: if I found myself in that situation, I am pretty sure I would react far more negatively to you keeping it dark than to you disclosing right away. Maybe I might decide to go ahead, give you a chance and see how things develop, or maybe not; but if you hid it from me, it is far more likely I would feel manipulated and want nothing further to do with you. What else about you do you intend to keep back from me until the moment you deem most advantageous? Gonna wait until after the proposal to tell me about your credit history?
For Heaven's sake. For here on I'm paying for the first date. And I expect all the men here to write their representatives the next time the equal pay for women bill comes up in congress.
If someone is asexual in the sense of not wanting to form a romantic relationship with anyone, then the dating thing should rapidly take care of itself. A lot of invitations are amorphous as to whether this is a friend-thing or a romance-thing, and jumping to assumptions with "Is that 'get coffee' as in maybe we would eventually get married, or 'get coffee' as in like friends get coffee?" is just going to mark you as weird and over-anxious. Just like someone who has no future romantic interest in a possible coffee-partner for any other reason may not twig that that person views this as a date.

If someone is asexual in the sense of wanting a romantic partner but sex isn't interesting to them, that's reasonable to disclose later on--especially as some asexuals are okay having sex, just not excited by it outside of as a method of making their partner happy.

(This distinction came up with bisexuals, by the way--that preferred gender(s) for romance and for sex may not overlap perfectly. So I can see asexuals also being along a spectrum.)
@50/51 Waiting until after they've developed some level of trust isn't "keeping someone in the dark." It's not oversharing.

If a person is on a date (assuming that everyone knows it's a date), that means that he or she is interested in romance. It just doesn't necessarily mean that he or she is also interested in sex. A lesbian is by definition a woman who doesn't want romance with men. Otherwise she's either straight or bisexual. In this context, asexuality is more similar to a hardcore kink than to sexual orientation. If someone's into ball gags and rape fantasies, that person probably wouldn't disclose on the first date, and we probably wouldn't blame him or her. No, we'd say, "Hang in there for a while, kinkster, accept that you'll have to indulge your partner if you wish to be indulged, and let her/him get to know you a little before you drop that bomb."

I see absolutely no problem with not disclosing highly personal details to a person whom one has seen only seen three times. They're strangers. If people want to have sex with partners whom they barely know, that's their business, but then they're hardly in a position to complain that they're having sex with partners whom they barely know.

Why is it that we can be supportive of the most radical sexual peculiarities but not this one? Why are humans are complicated creatures who respond to sex in a variety of ways until we come across an asexual?
Maybe because asexuality is a hard thing for most people to wrap their heads around/comprehend? Honest thought, not a put-down. Lots of people are highly motivated by sex & their needs/wants for same.

If you really like the person, I don't think a 3rd of 4th date is too early to disclose that kind of information. I don't think 3rd date = automatic sexytimes, either. But usually there's at least been some kissing, therefore, interest raised.

It's not a lack of compassion to say that the majority of people looking for relationships are sexual beings, it's just averages. If that major component of a most romantic relationships was not going to be available for them, it seems like that's the right time to bring it up, fairly early on.

The only exception I personally could roll with, would be if the asexual person had already committed to the idea of letting the sexual person have other relationships that involved sex/affection.

I totally laud the idea of aces (just like anyone) finding their soul mate, if they're romantically inclined. It'd be easier for them/others if they tried to find/date other aces, but until recently it hasn't been an orientation that was represented much in the media. Now there's dating sites & stuff.

IDK. I vote early disclosure but am aware things aren't always the same in practice as in theory. ;) I disclosed I was bi around the 3rd date. Had a date end before the main course even got there once. He was all: "snap snap" "Waiter! Could we get our check please?" *right* after I told him, no lie. Poor guy, he was very straightlaced.

@6, yeah. Thanks for pointing that out. Hey Dan! Nobody really minds too much when ya run re-runs, but could you at least take the time to tag it with the originally published date? You're a busy famous guy now, we know. Those of us with fuzzy memories who've been reading you for quite some time can get really vexed, wondering if we've "heard this one before".. ;)

Happy HUMP! fest to ya, bubbe.
Dating an asexual person violates most people's definitions of dating. The number of non-asexuals willing to date an asexual person is about the same as the number of heterosexuals willing to date a homosexual or vice-versa. When someone who is not asexual asks you on a date, they're almost always saying that they're interested in potentially having sex with you. If that's an issue for some reason, they need to know that.

I don't understand the mystery-date thing either. If I ask or am asked on a date, it's clear that it's a date - not a "let's get married" date, but a "let's find out if we want to fuck" date. That's something else that needs to be explicit from the get-go, because otherwise it leads to passive-aggressive pining and stalkers.
Yes, hardcore kinksters (as in, not interested in vanilla sex) should absolutely pre-disclose - and in my experience they usually do. Why waste time dating vanillas?

Being bisexual doesn't preclude having a satisfying sex life with your partner, so it's not the same - it only matters to people who have hangups about their partner's previous partners.

And sorry DRF, here on planet earth, for the vast vast majority of people, going on a date does indeed mean that they are interested in sex, at some point, with someone, hopefully the person they're dating. Pretending otherwise is disingenuous, self-serving, and cowardly. The mere fact that asexuals are so insistent on dating sexuals rather than each other should tell you how uncommon they are.
If I ask or am asked on a date, it's clear that it's a date - not a "let's get married" date, but a "let's find out if we want to fuck" date.

This whole American "dating" concept is very alien to me. How do you distinguish (from the get-go, even) between "let's get coffee" as "friends" and as "find out if we want to fuck"? Honest question.
@59, if you've been flirting, then it's a "find out if we want to fuck" date. Generally people manage not to flirt with people they wouldn't fuck. I don't know what asexuals do about flirting. I suppose the problem is that they do flirt, on the way towards romance, whereas sexuals flirt on the way toward fucking or fucking+romance.
@44 and @59 - Hear hear!!

Yes, it's not hard to guess why asexuals have trouble with flirting if it's the modus operandi of sexuals to indicate sexual interest. As @44 said, disengaging from the get go is the sensible option here, otherwise you setting both of you up for heartbreak.

The contexts you probably don't have to disengage at initial date offers are ironically, BDSM and poly communities. In kink it's very normal to play without sex and it is negotiated, not expected. In poly communities, people will likely be getting their sexual needs elsewhere and are at least familiar with emotional only relationships.
editing @60:
"Generally people manage not to flirt with people they already know they wouldn't fuck." (That doesn't mean they're down to fuck when they say yes to a coffee date; it just means they haven't ruled out fucking.)
I've known a couple of people who identified as asexual, so if those people were not figments of my imagination, then they do exist. They were cool people, too.

How can an asexual successfully date a sexual person? From my perspective as a sexual person, it would be difficult for me to date someone I felt was only going along with sex to make me happy - my partner's pleasure is part of what gets me hot, and a lack of pleasure would turn sex into a grinding chore. It would also be difficult for me to have a primary emotional relationship with someone, but go outside that relationship for sex, whether licitly or illicitly. It would probably be impossible for me to have a primary emotional relationship with someone and abstain from sex completely.

Having just started dating again after a 17 year absence from the "scene," I am making up my own etiquette as I go along. In a grand total of 5 dates, I have paid my own way twice, split the bill equally twice (my preference, and a practice I learned in Japan), and paid for a man I went out with once, when he left his wallet in his jacket pocket in his car.

As a single parent with limited time and income, who has to spend $30 in babysitting money just to get coffee for a couple hours, I prefer to go on a date with someone I have a good chance of being compatible with, regardless of whether I'm hoping for a quick roll in the hay or a long-term relationship. So if a prospective date admitted to being asexual, that would be a deal-breaker for me. However, so far I have not disclosed my sexual orientation on any of my five first dates. I don't feel bad about this. I have yet to make it to second date, and none of these fine human beings, for all their fineness, need to know that personal information about me right away. It seems to me that a good time to talk about sexual orientation would be before engaging in any sexual activity - whether that's the 1st date, 3rd date, or 6 months in.

There is a difference here between dating men and women - inviting or accepting an invitation from a woman automatically marks me as a sexual minority - either lesbian or bi, whereas inviting or accepting an invitation from a man allows me to "pass" as straight if I'm so inclined. A site like Lovelab allows me to indicate a preference for multiple genders/presentations, although I don't think asexual is included among them. The only other online site I've checked out so far requires me to choose "man" or "woman" as the object? of my search.

Complex though my sexual orientation and preferences (though not practice, so much) may be, at the end of the day, I have to say I'm glad I'm not asexual. That would be a not hard row not to hoe.
Ms Erica - I thought Mr Rhone (who seems to have more flirtations going than he can handle) might have offered a rebuttal, but, even without considering Mr Rhone, what do you have to say to Mr Savage and Ms Lucy? I was often tempted to suggest we hold a competition to see who could compose the best merrimac in their honour, but then I may be the only one here who recalls the early seasons of the original ZOOM.
@60 Since when is the only purpose of flirting to find someone to have sex with? It's also to find someone with whom to have a relationship. It's legitimate to engage in romantic behavior with someone with whom one wants a romance. Not everyone expects sex within a short period of time. Sex is usually part of that, but it is not the whole thing.

This anger at asexuals is just as close-minded and hypocritical as old-fashioned shaming of people who have sex before marriage. "You had sex and now no 'decent' guy will date you? It's your own fault for being a slut and you don't deserve a relationship. Now stay out of the way and don't disguise yourself as an honest woman. You'll only confuse the men who want nice girls and make them waste their time on you." All this rage against asexuals who don't disclose on day one is coming from the exact same place: "People who don't view love and sex MY way should stay out of my way!"

Hey, here's a thought: People who don't like asexuals should disclose on the first date that they don't want to date an asexual. Or maybe that would just make them sound like jerks, ruin a pleasant outing and generally be a huge distraction from two people getting to know each other.

It seems to me that a good time to talk about sexual orientation would be before engaging in any sexual activity
DRF, you can't read minds so stop telling other people what their motivations are.

Your whole argument is bullshit. I like being courted by gay men - I just don't want to have sex with them. By your logic, if a gay man mistakes me for gay and asks me out, I'd be entirely within my rights to encourage his mistake right up until the end of the third date or sixth date or whenever he insists on sex, at which point I'd tell him, "Actually, I'm straight, but I do like it when you take me out for dinner." I don't do that because it would be dishonest and manipulative, in exactly the same way that an asexual person representing themselves as sexual (however passively) in order to get romance is being dishonest and manipulative.
Mr. Ven @64, many people flirt without intending it to lead to fucking, but (in my experience) if A&B flirt, and then agree to go out on a coffee date, A isn't shocked if B at some point leans in for a kiss or takes A's hand, or other first steps towards making things physical.

Dan and lolorhone have not, to my knowledge, gone out on one-on-one dates with the people with whom they've engaged in light flirtation.
Ms Erica - That's a reasonable clarification.

I suppose "light" is a relative term.
@65: This anger at asexuals is just as close-minded and hypocritical as old-fashioned shaming of people who have sex before marriage.

Agreed. We're talking about wasting an entire three--three!!!--dates on someone who turns out not to want the same things in a relationship you do. That's how most dating relationships work out.

It's like kink, like abnormal genitalia (asexuality is sort of abnormal emotional genitalia), like HSV or HIV pos, like having triggers to avoid, like anything that means a sex life with this person won't fall into the category of typical and you need to talk about that some beforehand. For some pairs it's a dealbreaker and for some a mild accommodation they're happy to make to each other.
@66 I'm not pretending to read anyone's mind, just their posts. Here's this: Your posts make it sound like you don't like losing money on people who don't want to have sex with you. Fair enough. But there's a difference between someone who refrains from immediately disclosing their asexuality for the express purpose of scamming food, entertainment and gifts off of other people (asexuals seem as likely to be moochers as anyone else) and someone who refrains from immediately disclosing asexuality because they believe that they do have a lot to offer, emotionally, personally and even I'll-do-it-to-make-you-happy sexually, and that both parties would miss out if the non-asexual rejected them out of hand because of the scary word.

So if you honestly believe that you can make a gay man happy despite not being gay yourself and fully intend to give it your best shot, then yes, wait to disclose until the issue of sex or long-term plans for the future comes up. Most gay men would still reject you, but then they'd know what they'd be rejecting, a person and not just a label.

@54: "If a person is on a date (assuming that everyone knows it's a date), that means that he or she is interested in romance. It just doesn't necessarily mean that he or she is also interested in sex."

Congratulations, you have just successfully identified the problem with asexuals dating sexuals. News flash: sexual people generally want sex with their romance.

"A lesbian is by definition a woman who doesn't want romance with men."

No, but she might be perfectly happy going to dinner once a week and a Broadway show once a month with one.

"No, we'd say, "Hang in there for a while, kinkster, accept that you'll have to indulge your partner if you wish to be indulged, and let her/him get to know you a little before you drop that bomb."

No, actually, an asexual isn't like a kinkster realizing he is going to have to indulge his partner for a while before getting his own need met. An asexual is going to want to be let off the hook for indulging their partner. The bomb that the asexual is going to drop isn't "I will give you vanilla sex if you let me suck your toes every other time." It's more like "I'm not actually sexually attracted to you. At all. And I would prefer not to fuck you. At all."

An asexual who happily and willingly fucks their partner on a schedule that the partner finds satisfying is largely a moot point.

"I see absolutely no problem with not disclosing highly personal details to a person whom one has seen only seen three times."

In that case, don't go on dates with anybody that you have reason to suspect is likely to fall in love with you and want a sexual relationship. That is to say, don't date _anybody_. Since a romantic relationship that includes sex is the default assumption in the overwhelming majority of cases, you have reason to suspect the other person is going to want sex eventually. The only way to not go by that assumption is to disclose.
@53: "Is that 'get coffee' as in maybe we would eventually get married, or 'get coffee' as in like friends get coffee?"

You have a point for "get coffee." Now, what about "dinner in the city at Chez Bourgeois, followed by opening night at the Orpheon?"

The reason you go get coffee is to keep things very light and casual, which itself implies that heavier dates are more significant.
@71 What your post amounts to is, "Asexuals don't deserve companionship and are immoral by nature. Stay away from usnormal people, you freaks!" It should sound very familiar.

"I'm not actually sexually attracted to you. At all. And I would prefer not to fuck you. At all." You forgot to add, "But I realize that you have needs, and I'm willing to do my best." And that statement should come after the other person has had time to see if the rest of what the asexual has to offer is worth it. I don't really see why that would be moot.

It looks like some of this disgust with asexuals comes from fear of inconvenience: Whoever's idea of sex is the "default assumption" is going to be able to find romantic partners more easily. Let's remember that talking about sex on a first date is usually pretty off-putting. A sexual person saying, "I want sex and if you don't then we shouldn't spend any more time together" on a first date and an asexual saying "I don't want sex (but am/and am not willing to have it) and if you do then we shouldn't spend any more time together" on a first date are both going to sound creepily obsessed with sex and they are probably both going to get ditched. It's not fair to require either of them to lead with their genitalia. Of course we always want the other person to do all the work and take all the risk, but we have to accept that that's not fair.

Accepting that asexuals have a right to put themselves out there without leading with the weirdness means that gasp! sometimes non-asexuals are going to have to put up with the inconvenience of dating someone for a while and finding out that this person isn't exactly what they want. That's true of almost every case.
I think sex is such a large part of the initial attraction for most people, even if it's only once-in-awhile, that hearing that someone you might be into doesn't have that drive at all - IDK, I don't think it's mean of the sexual person if that's a dealbreaker for them. "Gay" is also just a label. I don't think most gay people would want a straight person "try to make them happy". That's not how it goes. & sex just to make the other person happy? That they *know* just..does nothing for their partner? Brrrr.

There's loads of other things that comprise a LTR. Companionship, shared interests, similar goals. But sex - physical affection in general! - is a *huge* part of why humans put up with each other.

I don't think 3 dates in is an unreasonable time to disclose that information. If people were more upfront with each other from the get-go about that kind of thing, that'd save loads of heartache later on. Think about all the people who write to Dan: mismatched libido might be *the top* of the list for complaints in couples.

Personally, completely not "disgusted" by asexuals. But like any life situation that might be a dealbreaker for the other person on a date - separated but not divorced, kids, never want kids, moved back w/ parents, etc - asexuality should be disclosed pretty early, for the same reason I disclose my bisexuality early on: courtesy. It's not *cold* to not want to waste time. Time is the only thing we can't get back. ;) It's considerate to the sexual person to try to work it into conversation pretty early - like, not hi how are you early, but a few dates in? Yes.

I'm not ace, so I admit I DK what that feels like. But if I were trying to date, as an ace, maybe I'd look for other aces &/or be pretty specific in any personal ads I place. Dan writes about enough people with low libido that there's gotta be some crossover potential, no?
Mr. Ven @ 64: Exactly how many people do you think I'm flirting with? "More than [I] can handle"? Who are these people? I am playful of text but pure of heart, good sir. Ophian has claimed me, and I have claimed him- on the internet, at least. Mon chapeau rose possède mon cœur. Really, who else am I truly flirting with?


Don't underestimate what I can handle. (seductive wink, smooth saxophone riff...)
@ 73: @71 What your post amounts to is, "Asexuals don't deserve companionship and are immoral by nature.

That is the impression of asexuals your posting is giving me, yes.

Up until now, I didn't think there was any sexuality that made people innately inclined toward immorality, but the asexual advocates here seem to be working very hard to establish a right for asexuals to harm other people. Why?

If asexuals aren't immoral by nature, they don't need that right; they can just date each other.
@76 Because they don't see being around other people as harming them. They don't see going out on a few dates with a potential partner as harming that potential partner. They don't see giving someone else the best they have to offer as harming that person. Why should anyone think that?
Registered European @59:

Sometimes I think the only time when Europeans have a chance to experience how American dating works is when they are internet dating. Usually, Europeans don't "date" (unless they have watched too much Sex and the City).

I have a question for those saying that asexuals should have a chance to make their case for romance without being weighed down with the baggage of sexuals' bias against asexuality.

Suppose A (self-identified asexual) and S (sexual) go on a first date, which goes well and ends with a short kiss. On date 2, they go dancing, and S goes in for a deeper kiss, and then starts fondling A in the dark parking lot.

Do you agree that A should pull away? Saying: "there's something I should tell you; I don't actually like sex and I'm happy that way. So I love seeing you, but I'd prefer not to have sex very often."

Or do you think it's okay if A endures the unpleasant sexual fondling and goes out on date 3 with S without any explicit conversation about asexuality?
@77: Dating other people under false pretenses is harm. If you have to deceive someone into dating you, you can't date them without harming them.

Additionally, if you harm someone, it doesn't matter whether you personally choose to recognize that it is harming them. If I punch you in the face, it doesn't matter whether or not I say that I believe I have punched you in the face. Your face? Been punched.

This is immediately obvious to anyone who cares about not harming other people. Tellingly, it is (apparently) not obvious to the "defenders" of asexuality.

You liken this to how people felt about gay people, but note that gay rights advocates do not insist that gays should be given a free pass to deceive straights into dating them. I don't know any gay people who feel they need that free pass, nor who even want it. This is one of the ways it is obvious that gay people are not by nature immoral.

For some reason, the advocates of asexuals seem to have a laser-like focus on the supposed right of asexuals to harm other people in this way. If asexuals are not immoral by nature, then they don't need a free pass to harm people. And any moral person wouldn't want that pass in the first place.

Currently, you're portraying asexuals as harmful and immoral by nature, because that's the only reason they could need the free pass you're claiming they need. If you're attempting to give us a more positive attitude toward asexuals, it might be better to consider an approach that does not begin with demanding the right to harm other people.
@80, I think it's a little strong to talk about immorality. It's probably more an issue of having a blind spot. Given their own disinterest, asexuals may not be able to appreciate the importance of sex to sexuals. Let's just agree that people shouldn't avoid the issue once their dating partner has starting moving things towards sex; a year into a relationship is not the time to reveal that you never enjoyed the sex.
@81, I don't quite agree. If a blind person thinks it's okay to stab someone in the eye, it's still not okay. If someone says the most important thing for blind people to have is a right to stab people in the eye, that person thinks blind people are destructive monsters. "I can't be me unless I stab random people!" isn't something moral people are able to say.

Everyone has blind spots, but that doesn't mean anyone gets to weaponize their blind spots. Your right to not get nonconsensually harmed is more important than your "right" to nonconsensually harm other people (even if it's in a way the harmer doesn't personally find significant).

If I wanted the right to take medicine away from random cancer patients, that would be immoral. The fact that I don't personally have cancer doesn't make it less immoral.

Call me a cynic, but I trust blind spots more when they aren't providing a convenient excuse to harm other people for one's own benefit.
@79 If the non-asexual partner brings up the issue of sex, then that's time for the asexual partner to disclose about sex. After all, the other party just took the risk of bringing up sex. It's only requiring the asexual to always go first and fast that's wrong. I'd also say that this issue should come up if either party starts to talk about long-term plans for the future.

@81 A year? Heck yes. Most if not all of the cards should be on the table by the year mark.

@80 Going out on a date with someone without immediately spilling out very personal matters is not "harm" or "false pretenses." The purpose of a date is to feel each other out and get to know each other. Look at it this way: If two non-asexuals date each other, it's possible that they're not going to have sex with each other. They might not like each other. One or both of them might be saying, "Well, I'm not attracted to this person now but let's give him/her a chance to impress me." They might remain as unnatracted to that particular person as an asexual.

NOT immediately blabbing out all of one's personal issues isn't deceitful. It's discreet. Let's say someone has something that's usually harmful, like being a recovering alcoholic or a recovering gambling addict. How much harm has the person does by going out on a couple of dates before saying, "I'm in the program"?
@ 83:

One more time.

79 If the non-asexual partner brings up the issue of sex, then that's time for the asexual partner to disclose about sex.

That happened when the two agreed to go out on a date, so your position is self-contradictory. Or are you taking the novel position of pretending not to know what a date is?

Going out on a date with someone without immediately spilling out very personal matters is not "harm" or "false pretenses."

I agree. However, when you're on a date, your sexuality is not merely a "very personal matter;" it's something that deeply affects the other person, and it's information they require in order to make important decisions (which you are requiring them to make). Why are you so hostile to the principle that people should be allowed to make informed decisions about their own lives? The only people who could be harmed by that principle are people who behave immorally.

If asexuals aren't immoral, then your whole position is false. Fortunately for everyone, it is.

The purpose of a date is to feel each other out and get to know each other.

And, yes, (to reference your earlier claim that deceiving someone you're dating about your sexuality not being "false pretenses) going on a date with no intention of permitting them to get to know you is going on a date with false pretenses. By your own admission, that's the point of a date.

So, to sum up: The pretense is that you're going to let them get to know you (since that's what dates are for--you even admit this--and you've agreed to a date). But you do not intend to do so. Therefore, the pretense is false. I do not know how to make it more clear that "false pretenses" are the same thing as "pretenses that are false."

NOT immediately blabbing out all of one's personal issues isn't deceitful.

Straw man. At no point has anyone here--anyone--said that asexuals should immediately blab out all of their personal issues. I know this; you know this; I know you know this. Further, I know what it means that you are resorting to this fallacy; if there were a way to defend your position honestly, you'd be using that instead, wouldn't you?

Instead, you chose the fallacy.

Stop for a moment, and think about what that means. (Not "try to think of a way to deceive me into forgetting what it means;" you can't.) Why is it that there is no truthful way to support your position? Why did you choose to use the untruthful ways, rather than to change your position when it became obvious to you that it is insupportable?

Thinking about those questions is going to be a more productive use of your next few minutes than thinking about how to best mischaracterize the earlier parts of this thread in order to make deceit seem like non-deceit. Sophistry can be fun, but it's not going to achieve any of your goals here.

Barring some self-examination on your part, this will be my last good-faith effort to help you. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, so up til now in my interactions with you I've been attempting to provide what you need, rather than what your statements deserve. After this, I'm going to respond with the respect you've earned, so it might be in the form of jokes about your mom.
@82, I'm someone who does think sex is super important, and yet I'm finding your analogies to bring more heat than light to this discussion. Going on a first date with someone without saying you're asexual is like stabbing someone in the eye? Um, no. Actually, it's not like that.
@83, conversely, you're not helping by being coy about what it means to "bring up the issue of sex." I was explicit @79: a deep kiss and fondling. To me, it's unconscionable to go along with that if you don't enjoy it, just because you enjoy spending time with someone and think you could put up with sex for them.

You didn't answer my question. Do you think the asexual person should make their asexuality explicit at that point (or by phone/email, before the next date), or do you think it's okay for asexuals to put up with unwanted fondling in hopes of a relationship?
Mr Rhone - Maybe I'm rounding up, but I count encouraging the flirtations of others as flirting back.

That is a fair point about your capacities, but you have occasionally made me think of Mr Elton after he has to introduce the new Mrs Elton to Miss Woodhouse and Miss Smith. I could see you having the bad luck of being in company with the person you had married, the person you had wanted to marry, and the person you'd been expected to marry. I don't know why; it's just another of my Psychic Vibrations, like the one that pulled that hip block out of nowhere.
Mr. Ven @87: Fair enough. I encourage flirtation because it's fun and invigorating and life-affirming and bond-forming, which is great in general but especially in this forum. There is so much arguing and strife that people lose sight of the fact that these threads are actually designed to bring people together.
@DRF: Asexuality isn't a highly personal top sekrit detail any more than homosexuality is. A coworker telling me that they're asexual isn't giving me TMI any more than a coworker telling me that they're gay is. Neither are analogous to a kinky coworker informing me of the details of their kinks, which probably would be TMI.

Anyway, you're not (as far as I know) asexual yourself, and I don't think they've asked you to speak for them. This whole discussion is much more about DRF than it is about asexuals. So enough.
@73: "What your post amounts to is, "Asexuals don't deserve companionship and are immoral by nature. Stay away from us normal people, you freaks!" It should sound very familiar."

Then you need to read it again. Slower this time.

No, what it amounts to is: If you what you want is companionship, then you need to advertise that's what you want. Don't go out on romantic "date-dates" when what you want is "go-for-coffee" companionship. Don't set someone up who wants sex along with their romance -- which is to say, nearly everybody in your dating pool -- when you know going in that you only want romance and no sex.

It's got nothing to do with "normal" and has everything to do with "common" and "reasonable." The vast majority of people expect sex along with their romance. It is a common and reasonable expectation. If you have no intention of providing sex -- not necessarily immediately, but eventually, willingly, and happily -- along with your romance, you have no business conducting a romance in a way that implies that sex is on the menu the way that it is commonly and reasonably expected. You also have no business expecting only romance from someone who wants both romance and sex, and you have no business insisting that they give you due diligence before breaking up with you on grounds of the fundamental incompatibility that goes with one partner wanting sex and the other not wanting sex. You either disclose immediately (e.g., in your online profile) so as to go directly to dating someone who wants the same thing as you, or you disclose very early on, so as to be able to negotiate for something like an open relationship.

What you don't do is just let it ride and figure that it will eventually work itself out. It won't. What that ends up looking like is a letter to Dan where Letter Writer is wondering what is wrong with them that their partner shows no desire, that they've tried everything, that their self-esteem and sense of being desirable is in the shitter, they they are at the end of their rope, and should they dump this person and go find someone who actually desires them? To which the answer is a resounding, "Yes, yes, yes, DTMFA!"
@86 By "bring up the issue of sex," I was trying to use a scenario more inclusive than the one you described. I was treating your scenario as bringing up sex. The response would be either a discussion of sex or an "I don't know you well enough for us to be doing this" if the fondling itself is a problem. For some, a second date is too soon for second base.

@84 That happened when the two agreed to go out on a date

No it did not. Dating someone is not a promise to have sex with them. Spending money and time on someone is not an engagement of his or her sexual services. Dating is an expression of interest in getting to know a potential partner. For some people, that means sex within a few meetings but for others it does not.

I don't know about yours, but my sexuality is very personal. I don't go around talking to strangers about it, and people on a first date are strangers to each other. If you read what I've actually been posting, you will see that I am in favor of people making informed decisions, but that is fare more likely to happen if potential partners have time to gather information about each other before anyone whips out the scary shutdown words. Maybe it might not always be that way, but right now, "asexual" is likely to get a person rejected early, while the prospective partner is still ignorant.

It is not untruthful to refrain from disclosing a personal matter from people whose business it has not yet become. Someone on a first date might hope for sex but should not expect it.

You seem to think that "getting to know someone" includes sex. I'm using "know" in the general sense, not the Biblical sense. Find out what kind of music someone likes. Find out someone's opinions and general likes and dislikes. Get a sense of the person. In short, find out the things that you wouldn't risk your job or friends or family relationships if your new acquaintance turned out to be careless or vicious and repeated everything on Facebook. People can be incompatible for reasons other than sex.

You are confusing "imply" with "infer." Going out on a date does not imply that one wants sex, though a person may infer it, either correctly or incorrectly.

Yes, you are confusing "common" with "reasonable." Just because something is rare doesn't mean that it is unreasonable. In this column we read about the strangest sexual preferences there are and we do not treat them as unreasonable because they are not. Instead, we tell people to accept themselves for who they are and accept that they must find ways to keep their vanilla partners happy. Not feeling sexual desire might be rare, but it's no less reasonable than having an unusual kink. Like a scary kink, asexuality should be disclosed, but no an asexual does not have to wear it like a sign around his or her neck, warning all the nice normal people to stay away from the dangerous freak.
@83: "If two non-asexuals date each other, it's possible that they're not going to have sex with each other."

Yes, and it's also possible that they ARE going to have sex with each other, which is not a possibility when one of them is asexual.

It's as if you are arguing that because sometimes roulette players win and sometimes they lose, they should be perfectly willing to play even on a rigged wheel.
@91: "I don't know you well enough for us to be doing this" is quite simply a lie, when the correct answer is, "Actually, no amount of getting to know you better will ever be enough for us to be doing this."

Are you really this fundamentally dishonest?
@93 By "doing this" I was referring to the fondling mentioned in the previous post. And yes, there are people who aren't cool with that on a second date who would be cool with that later.

And yes, even if they are asexual, it is possible that they're going to have sex. One of them will be doing it for the sake of the other rather than for his or her own enjoyment, though.

I think I know what's really going on here. Let's consider a sexual person as described by avast2006 and Eudaemon and an asexual person:

SEXUAL PERSON: I don't want to waste any of my time on someone with whom I'm not going to have sex, not even three dates. I interpret going out on a date with me an expression of interest not only in my non-sexual companionship but also in having sex with me. If an asexual person says "I'm asexual" right away, I can save myself some time, money and emotional investment.

ASEXUAL PERSON: I want to have a romance but I do not want sex. I have a lot to offer a partner that do not involve sex. I am as good as anyone else and as likely to make a partner happy as anyone else. I do not want to limit myself to the small pool of people who are also asexual because it is hard enough for anyone to find someone I like even with a large pool of candidates. If I say "I'm asexual" right away, I will sound creepy and possibly more sexually rigid than I really am. I will be rejected right away, possibly out of ignorance and myths about what asexuality is.

Both these people are selfish, not because they're sexual and asexual but because they're human. Many human interactions involve people whose interests are not aligned. What do we do? We find a way to deal. We split the difference or take turns. We go out on a limb once in the while.
@94: "ASEXUAL PERSON: I want to have a romance but I do not want sex. I have a lot to offer a partner that do not involve sex. I am as good as anyone else and as likely to make a partner happy as anyone else. "

Sorry, but no. Mostly good, but...that part that I bolded for you? That's where you are going off the rails. If your partner is someone who wants sex with their romance, and you are asexual, then no, you AREN'T going to make them just as happy as anybody else could. To someone for whom sex is an important part of their romantic life, a partner who doesn't want sex is going to be a huge, unhappiness-causing issue. It is soul-crushing to be in a sexual relationship with someone who doesn't desire you. Unless you are so good at faking it that they can't tell you are just going through the motions, you WILL make them unhappy over the long run.

Beyond that, you are either straw-manning my argument or grossly failing to understand it. When you figure out the difference between romantic dates and go-for-coffee companionship, we'll talk.
The crazy thing is that I know some asexuals offline and at least in my limited experience they're if anything abnormally honest and realistic when it comes to these issues. I've never even heard of someone IRL with as few scruples or as little sense as to willfully misconstrue the concept of dating the way DRF does.

If all you'd heard about them was the stuff their apologists put up online you'd think they were some kind of alien parasite, but they're really fairly principled people and don't seem to go in for these weird tactics.

It's almost completely unaccountable to me how this state of affairs came to be.
@95 We're talking about what the asexual person is thinking. ("As likely" might not be the truth, but "reasonably likely, if I am diligent" is.) It's like how the caricature of the sexual person who doesn't give a darn about what other people need is referring to what this person wants and not necessarily what this person might think is fair or likely to happen.

Frankly, the image of the sexual person that you and Eu are describing adds up to, "I'm entitled to sex with as little effort as possible and anyone who doesn't conform to my needs is a wicked, bad, immoral person! How dare an asexual waste my time by thinking I might have a brain and a heart as well as genitals!" Most people aren't that bad. Most people consider sex part of the relationship, but you guys are painting someone who only cares about sex.
@96 I'm interested in the specifics. Do your friends tell potential partners that they're asexual on the first date? The third? Four months in? Do they wait for the other person to bring up sex? Do they refrain from dating at all?

No one here has said that asexuals shouldn't be honest with potential partners. The issue we're discussing is when disclosure should take place and whether the asexual is always the one who has to go first.
-Asexuals exist. I don't know why this is complicated for people.

-It's so awesome that BIL is IDing as ace from such a young age! Lots of folks don't have access to info about asexuality (or don't know to look), which kind of creates sucky situations for everyone.

-Some asexuals have sex with their partners. Some even actively enjoy it.

-Nobody asked about disclosure, so I don't know why Dan's bringing it up.
@94 "@93 "And yes, there are [asexuals] who aren't cool with [fondling] on a second date who would be cool with that later."

"Cool," like they'd put up with this annoying desire of their partner to touch them sexually? Or cool like they'd enjoy it? Seems like the moment of fondling is a good time to mention that you're never going to be really into that sort of thing, to differentiate yourself from the sexuals who just want to know someone better before they paw them.

@99 "Some asexuals have sex with their partners [and] actively enjoy it."

I'm confused. If some asexuals enjoy fondling and sex, what makes them different from sexual people who enjoy fondling and sex?
@95 “Most people consider sex part of the relationship, but you guys are painting someone who only cares about sex.”

I don’t think it’s that we are talking about someone who only cares about sex, but that for most sexual people having a partner with desire for sex on a similar level as their own is integral to the relationship. I can’t speak for anyone but myself but an enthusiastic sex life with my romantic partner is an extremely important part of our relationship. I couldn’t be in a LTR with someone who did not desire sex, having a partner who is as enthusiastic about wanting to bang me as I am about them is important. Knowing this, I would appreciate it if after a few dates with someone if things were heading toward a romantic place that they let me know that they are asexual. That would factor heavily into my decision to continue dating them, not because asexuals are “creepy” or “rigid”, but because pursuing a relationship with someone whom I know I have an inherent incompatibility with is not a good idea.

@98 “The issue we're discussing is when disclosure should take place and whether the asexual is always the one who has to go first.”

For the question of whether asexuals have to go first, unfortunately I think this boils down to numbers. There are so many more sexuals in society than there are asexuals that, at least until we see a significant cultural shift, two people going on dates each will probably assume the other is a sexual. So if someone knows that they are not sexual they should disclose this before things get too emotionally entangled. If they don’t, I do not think that that is immoral or anything that extreme, just discourteous.
Someone said, half jokingly, but it's distinctly true: "When the sex is good, it's about 15 percent of a relationship. When the sex is bad, it's about 85 percent."

If that were not true, Dan would be out of a job.