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I Think My Partner Is Secretly Asexual!

by Ossiana M. Tepfenhart 8 months ago in lgbtq

So sex isn't always on the table. Or maybe it is. Maybe not. A demisexual or asexual partner isn't everyone's cup of tea. Here's what to know.

I Think My Partner Is Secretly Asexual!
Photo by Kieran Wood on Unsplash

Dealing with being in a relationship with a demisexual person can be confusing, to say the least. On one hand, being with them means that you're usually the one initiating sex and that they just don't seem too interested in bedroom activity. On the other hand, they can be super loving.

For most of us, getting rejected all the time might be a little bit of a mindfuck. It's a serious issue of mixed signals, dotted with the problem of balancing your needs with the needs of your relationship.

What's The Deal?

Asexuality and demisexuality present serious problems for aces who are looking for a relationship. Since most people are sexual and need sex to be happy in a relationship, they often feel pressured to lie about their sex drive in order to have a partner.

Because of the way our society views sexuality, people who are asexual, greysexual, or demisexual often don't know how to deal with wanting a partner and having sex. As a result, many people dating asexuals notice a steep drop-off when they are with their partners for a long time.

How Can I Tell If My Partner Is Secretly Asexual?

Great question! There are several signs that you might be in a relationship with someone who is asexual:

  • You noticed that they are very physically affectionate, but they don't like sex. A typical asexual person is okay with cuddling and romance, but they don't really find sex a major motivator. They might not be into it.
  • They get annoyed when asked for sex. Asexuals don't understand the need for sex, especially if they are always up for affection. They may say, "It's always about sex with you!"
  • They don't ogle anyone else, and even when you've investigated it, there's no sign of cheating. Please check to see if your partner is cheating before assuming they are asexual.
  • You know they don't have sexual trauma or hormone problems, but they still just aren't into it. Sexual trauma and hormone issues can be a big reason why someone isn't into sex. If your partner doesn't have these problems but has a very low libido, they may be secretly asexual.

Does Dating An Asexual Mean That I Can't Have Sex With My Partner?

Potentially, but it varies from partner to partner. Some asexuals view sex as a "take it or leave it" type of deal that they'll do just to please their partners. Others just don't want to do it.

Obviously, for most people, not having sex with your partner is going to be a dealbreaker. It's up to you to talk about what to expect with your partner, and to determine whether you can live with a decreased sex life.

How Do I Talk To My Partner About My Sex?

When you're dating an asexual, this can be a million-dollar question. It also can be the first step to figuring out whether or not this is something that is a dealbreaker.

To start off your talk, set aside some time and make a point of explaining to your partner that you do care about them. Then, explain what's bothering you about the issue of sex. Some ways to broach this topic include...

  • "Please be honest. Do you feel like our sex life is enjoyable? Are you physically attracted to me?"
  • "I often need to feel desired, sexually. I feel hurt if I repeatedly get rejected. Is this something that we can work on together?"
  • "While I understand that sex isn't the be-all, end-all of relationships, being sexual with my partner is a need of mine. Is there anything I can do to make things easier?"
  • "I read that the average person wants to have sex three times a week. If you could pick any number, how frequently would you like to have sex?"
  • "I've been reading about asexuality, and it struck a chord with me. Have you ever heard of this term?"
  • "Question. If you had to go without sex for the rest of your life, do you feel that you could do that?"

What Happens If My Partner Refuses To Talk About Sex Or Engage With Me?

If your partner balks, tries to turn it against you, continually delays sex, or straight up says that sex is not something they want to do, you have to determine whether or not you want to stay with them.

This is a very valid dealbreaker and should not be taken lightly. Your needs matter, and there's nothing wrong with needing to feel wanted in a relationship. However, if your partner doesn't swing that way, you are just not compatible.

You cannot force someone to sleep with you. You also should not try to guilt them into sleeping with you. If your partner refuses to have sex, breaking up is the only way you'll feasibly get laid and stay monogamous.

Is There Any Way To Salvage A Sexless Relationship?

Truthfully? The only way that you can salvage a relationship that doesn't involve sex is for both of you to be alright with the lack of sex. If you're both low libido, there's no problem to be spoken of.

This does not mean ignoring your needs just to keep your partner happy. It means that you are genuinely fine with not having sex again.

In some (super rare) cases, people have avoided breakups by opening up the relationship for getting sexual needs met. If your partner's open to this solution, it might still work out between you two.

My Partner Admits They're Asexual, And I Feel Betrayed!

This is a pretty valid way to feel, especially if they advertised that they were "a freak in the sheets" when you first got together. You were lied to, even if it's not intentionally done.

If you had known what you do now, you probably wouldn't have dated them. And, you know what? It's okay to view that betrayal as a dealbreaker if you choose to do so. However, it's also alright if you choose to stay as long as you feel you can be okay with it.

I Want To Support My Asexual Partner. How Can I Do That?

Let's say that you want to support your partner and that you're okay with letting sex take the backseat for the rest of your time with them. That's great. You're still going to have to be supportive of your partner. These tips below can help:

  1. Be understanding of their (lack of) sexuality. If you aren't sure how your partner's type of asexuality workks, ask them.
  2. Respect your partner's needs. Some asexuals (known as demisexuals) can only get aroused if they have a deep emotional connection to someone. To get your partner turned on, get connected to them.
  3. Do romantic stuff with your partner. Much like most of us need sex to feel fulfilled, many asexual people still want to have romance in their lives.
  4. Talk things out.You would be surprised at how many asexuals are open to talking about sex and how they can find other ways to show their desire to you.
  5. Recognize their sexuality and accept it. Accepting it means that you don't push them to do stuff they don't want to do, and realizing that their lack of sexuality is a part of who they are. By respecting their boundaries, you're being an amazing ally.

Ossiana M. Tepfenhart
Ossiana M. Tepfenhart
Read next: A Night at the Theatre
Ossiana M. Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is a writer based out of NJ. You can message her via Twitter on @bluntandwitty or via Instagram on @ossiana.tepfenhart. She's always looking for freelance work and collabs!

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