Guy's GF Comes Out As Asexual--Seeks Advice For How To Broach The Topic Of Intimacy
Sexuality is a difficult conversation, and when you're dealing with a topic you don't fully understand, sometimes it's best to turn outside your comfort zone for help.
My (21M) girlfriend (21F) came out to me as asexual. Not sure where to go from here.[new]
Throwaway because I use my Reddit handle across different social media accounts.
My girlfriend and I had started dating last year after being friends for a year prior. A few months into the relationship she made it clear that she was not comfortable having sex until we had dated for at least a year. I was okay with that, and respected her boundaries. A year of us being together had come and gone, and she did not address the topic of having sex. Of course, I was not going to bring it up to her knowing her sensitivities about sex, so I decided to let her bring it up or initiate when she felt she was ready.
However, 3 months went by and nothing happened, so I decided to bring it up to her. At that point, she came out to me as asexual. She told me she does not feel any sexual attraction toward me or anyone, but she does have strong romantic feelings towards me and reassured me that she loves me. She also made it clear that she thought I was cute/handsome/attractive, but just had no desire to have sex at all.
This has put me in a rough spot. This is my first actual relationship and I do want to have sex for the first time with the girl I love. At the same time I also understand that trying to get her to do something like that when she is asexual would be horrible for the both of us, but especially horrible for her. I'm also a little upset that she was not up front with me from the beginning, but she was probably too afraid to come forward with that information right away. I just don't know what to do, I love her very much but at the same time I don't think I could do a relationship without sex long term.
tl;dr My girlfriend is asexual and I am not. I love her but I am not sure if we can work without having a sexual relationship.
Here was some of the advice he got.
When I was in my early 20's I didn't know asexuality was a thing. Didn't know it until pretty close to hitting 30. By then I had been in and out of relationships where people said I was broken and where I was used for other sexual acts because I wasn't comfortable with the idea of sex - while thinking at the time that I was broken and I had to fix myself so I could have a relationship.
I highly doubt she knew she was ace going into the relationship. She knew she was uncomfortable with the idea of sex but probably hadn't heard of being asexual at that time and has needed time to process it more recently. This sh*t is tough, even moreso when you have to not only accept it yourself but tell someone else about it, and I can absolutely see how terrifying it would be to have to come forward with it when you thought you'd be ready for sexual activity by then.
Asexual is lacking in sexual attraction, which means they aren't attracted to people on the basis of sexual partnership. Not all asexual people are sex repulsed. There are asexual people who enjoy the act of sex when they're doing it, but just don't crave it the way an allosexual person does.
Think of it like a food craving; maybe you never crave pistachios, you'd never go out and buy them, but if there's a bowl of them at a party you'll eat some and enjoy them. Some asexual people have that kind of approach to sex. But some asexual people do actually hate pistachios and will never ever eat one.
The point is, you can have a more nuanced conversation with her about her feelings on sex without pressuring her to do something she's not comfortable with. If you understand more clearly her views on sex, you'll be able to make a more informed decision about whether to stay in the relationship.
If she asks you how you feel about sex, you can tell her truthfully that making love is an important part of romantic relationships for you, and because you love her it's an experience you'd like to share with her.
If she doesn't ever foresee herself having sex, it's ok for that to be a dealbreaker for you.
Neither of you should have to be in a relationship where your needs are incompatible, but you won't know whether this is a resolvable issue until you have a more constructive conversation about it.
As someone who's been tossing asexuality back and forth for a while as an identity, and has no desire for sex, I'd sit down with her and talk over it. No pressuring, completely free zone to discuss some stuff. Basically, many asexual people /do/ have sex even if they have no interest in it for the sake of their partners because it does not actively repulse them--it just does nothing for them. Did she emphasize that she did not want to have sex ever, or just explain her lack of interest? Don't neg her, but this is definitely a discussion you two should have. Would she be interested in different kinds of sex? Positions? Strap ons? Certain methods could provide some "distance" from the situation, with your girlfriend not having to do any real sex and still getting to pleasure you. Then there'd of course be cuddling and such after to fulfill her needs. Of course if that's a no-go for you, that wouldn't work very well. But handjobs are also more distant, as are other things. There's lots of options.
As for not being up-front about it, unfortunately I understand why she would be scared. It's very easy for someone to rationalize that they must have sex with an asexual person in order to "turn" them sexual, even against that asexual person's wishes. She might also not have known if she was asexual until recently.
Regardless, have a calm discussion with her and discuss things to figure out if you guys are fundamentally incompatible and should break up or if you guys can make it work for you. It's not shameful to want or not want sex--no one is in the wrong here.
That's a full stop. You are sexually incompatible. You tell her it's real and it's been fun and you wish her the best of luck.
She made you wait a period of time she knew would build attachment only to tell you she wasn't going to participate in one of the more important parts of the relationship. I feel for you man but it's time to move on.
Personally I don't know how anyone can tell such a big lie to a person they claim to love.
If it makes you feel any better, I recently broke up with my SO of 2 years for similar sexual incompatabilies. It sucks, for sure, but I know that I can find someone who loves me for who I am (asexuality/low libido/idk sex makes me so anxious), not despite it or as a compromise or hoping I'll change. And at the same time, hoping also that my ex can find some who is more physically intimate with him. The short term sucks, but the future will be better.
Asexual Here: I don't know whether she knew she was asexual or not but regardless, it's not cool. If she didn't know, and she just figured it out, she really should have told you. You guys are sexually incompatible. You need sex to enjoy a relationship and she does not. That just doesn't work. I hope she wasn't leading you on but I can see why you feel frustrated. If she did know, and she didn't say anything, she's a jerk.
Your feelings are valid. I am going to go ahead and suggest breaking up. She won't be happy if you nag her for sex and you won't be happy if you don't get your needs met.
I'm asexual and have a partner who is not.
Talk to her about her limits and what she is comfortable with. Is she okay with sex if it's in very intense times of emotion? How far is she comfortable going physically? Is she actually repulsed by sex or is she simply not interested?
If she doesn't want any sort of sexual relationship and you do, talk to her about other options. Would she be comfortable opening your relationship to a certain degree? Is she comfortable with you using toys/other methods to fulfill your sexual urges? Are you willing to sacrifice a typical sex life for a greater romantic one?
Honestly, it is not easy. My husband and I have been together four years and my sexuality is still a struggle. But we are very open with each other and we both make compromises we are comfortable with and feel are necessary for the success of our relationship.
I have some personal experience with this. I'm in a long-term relationship (14 years and counting) with an ace partner- we were together for maybe a decade or so before she realized and came out to me (although our situation was further complicated by physical and mental illness and gender transition, so ymmv).
That was a few years ago now, and we're still together and happy. It hasn't been easy, but it's not necessarily a deal-breaker. It requires a lot of communication and understanding from both parties, but good relationships do. There are a bunch of facets to every relationship, and sex is just one of them. It's a big one, sure, but it's not the be-all and end-all, as I'm sure you know.
You have a couple of options. You can break up, as a lot of people here are suggesting. You can open up your relationship (which is what we did, but it's definitely not for everyone). Or you can stick with your partner, and get yourself off in your own time. It's not an easy position to be in, and it can be painful and invalidating for both parties, and I totally sympathize.
Just remember that asexual people do cop a lot of sh*t, and that she's put a lot of trust in you by coming out. It sounds like you appreciate that, and you're being a good guy by respecting her, and not trying to 'fix' her or change her mind or anything. Whatever you choose, I wish you and your girlfriend the best of luck.
If she lied about the whole "waiting a year to have sex" angle from jump street, I'd break up and never look back. That's just her trying to emotionally entrap you.
If this was a revelation she came to over the last few months, I'd have an open discussion with her. When did she start feeling this way? Why didn't she discuss it with you? Would she be open to allowing you sexual fulfillment from other sources?
Honestly, you've shown her a willingness to deal with her Asexuality for well over a year. At this point, she needs to start showing empathy for your side of the situation or things aren't going to work out.
Being horny can lead to some questionable decision-making.
Something happens to the brain when blood is flowing to other regions of the body.
They should discuss this in health class.
It's perfectly normal, but we have to learn how to deal.
Redditor Sir_Baconstrips wanted to see who was willing to discuss actions made while randy, so they asked:
"What's the biggest mistake you've made because you were horny?"
I can't tell you mine, because my mom might read this. But Reddit was more than happy to share.
History HelpHide Reaction GIF by florGiphy
"I browsed porn and then I asked my mom how to delete the history."
What was that?
"Probably my most embarrassing moment. Was on my work computer (family business so nothing locked) and it was a super slow day and I was alone. Anyways was doing a classic 3 min facebook check and scrolled down for a second and saw the news post about Adriana Chechik injuring her back in a foam pool. Figured top comments on that would be golden. Read one funny one that said 'her and her scene with [performer I can’t remember] is still goat.'"
"Never heard of said performer so I got curious and google her. Of course photos never do justice, had to see the performance ya know? So I clicked a random video, quick glance and thought 'meh' and was about to close the tab before I noticed my mouse twitch on the screen… What was that? No.. that wasn’t mouse error, that was someone… then within seconds I realized the accountant who taps in remotely to finish work came in at that exact moment that I had a browser open for less than 60 sec."
"The worst wart was I could have sworn I had all those remote services off, but she tried to tap in for over an hour and must of did something to wake splashtop (probably had it on some type of standby mode). She even called earlier but I saw a random number and was speaking with a client and ignored it."
"Anyways, decision time, do I call her and play it off as nothing or apologize? Naturally as a fearful 28 year old I play off as nothing. I call, no answer… then a few minutes later i get the call back and her words after exchanging 'hellos … are you finished with whatever you were doing…' still burns me."
"Let my (ex) boyfriend dry-hump me for an hour on a bench outside after summer school."
"The bad news: this bench behind our school was also beside a swimming pool. Where parents were taking their children for swim lessons. Eventually a staff member came out and yelled at us for being inappropriate."
"I still have shame flashbacks today, over 10 years later."
"I had a one night stand with a guy who was, in retrospect, seriously self-conscious about his penis size and kept going on about how if it was on the small size it was just because he has to have sex with it a few times and it would gradually get bigger until it was it’s 'true' size. I really didn’t care."
"But then to make himself feel better he turned it around and started talking about how big and wide my vagina was but kept reassuring me that it was ok because he liked the challenge. I wish I had snapped my legs shut and given him the boot right then and there."
In San DiegoNo Money Bangladeshi GIF by GifGariGiphy
"Lost my entire tax refund and got my phone stolen at a strip club in San Diego."
Always check your pockets on the way out.
The RewardHappy We Did It GIF by StoryfulGiphy
"Hooked up with a girl at a party. Just kind of bored, drunk, and horny. Having to go to the doctor for a case of pubic lice was my reward for poor self-control."
"I got my first serious gf in high school. She was two grades below me. So when I finished third year and moved 500 km south we was still a couple. I was so in love (and most of all horny) I commuted every. Single. Weekend. And I was poor. So I took the bus to the nearest station after school. Waited for the long distance bus for 4-5 hours."
"Went to a larger city to hitchhike my way there. I was there Friday night or Saturday morning. Locked ourselves in her bedroom and went at it until Sunday morning. I made my way down to school again and went to class straight from the bus Monday morning. This went on for almost a year…"
I'm OutChris Pratt Running GIF by Parks and RecreationGiphy
"Was trying to get with a girl in college. We were texting and I asked her what she was up to, she said she was training for a marathon and going to the gym and asked if I wanted to come."
"I ended up running 9 miles before I tagged out. So now I know how far I'd go to have sex it's up to 9 miles."
Lord the things people will do when slightly turned on.
Why in this day and age are people still taking nudie pics without triple-checking the recipient?
Why take the gamble?
And half of the time we hit send, mistakes get made.
One minute you're feeling sexy, the next minute grandpa is having a stroke.
Redditor Im_A_Freakin_Joke wanted to hear about the times people have sent photos to the family that left everyone SHOOK, so they asked:
"Redditors who accidental sent a family member a nude, what was the aftermath?"
I have done many things, but I never allow a snapshot.
GrossVacuuming Clean Up GIF by MashedGiphy
"'You should clean your room before you take that.'"
"I meant to send it to someone on WhatsApp that I was dating at the time and didn’t realize I accidentally sent it to my brother, their names were next to each other in my chat list and I chose the wrong one. I frantically called my sister in law and told her what happened and begged her to go into his phone and delete the message with the photo."
"This is before WhatsApp added the functionality to delete your own messages. She was so sweet and understanding and deleted the message. I was so embarrassed. To this day she has kept my secret, this happened five years ago."
"For context, my mom had some life-threatening medical issues when I was a kid, so there were a few month+ long periods where we rarely saw her. One night, I got a text from her that says 'send me a pic of u in bed."
"I thought she wanted a picture of me and my dog snuggling, as he slept with me and was the cutest sleeper. I usually sent her one every few days, even when she was home. It also doubled as her way to make sure I was following my bedtime."
"I was taking the picture, and I get a follow-up 'ignore that' text. At the same time, my dad opens my door so hard the hinges break. He says 'you get a text from mama?' I say yeah, and he says, 'it wasn't meant for you.' And leaves. I felt weird about it for days, even though it was years before I figured it out."
Leave it there...
"I happened to live across the street at the time and a dirty message meant for my now wife was sent to my mother! Luckily for me my mom is notorious for ignoring her phone so I sprinted across the street and said 'hey where is your phone' she told me it was on her desk so I calmly walked over unlocked it and deleted the message. In response to the look of confusion I told her 'deleted a message that was meant for now wife...' And left it at that."
AHHHH!!!! NO!Awkward Episode 1 GIF by HeelsGiphy
"One time my dad accidentally texted me 'sex if the Patriots win' and I still don’t believe I have recovered."
Mom and dad have their own lives.
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"I didn't accidentally send a nude, but my phone did auto upload ALL my pictures when I connected it to my mom's computer. I'm no longer allowed to connect hardware to my mom's computer."
"I gave my sister my old Iphone (I’m 25, she’s 22). She didn’t realize that her photos were uploading to my cloud and when I went to send a photo to a coworker, at work mind you, I see her pasty a**. I immediately text her and was like STOP TAKING PHOTOS. She called me and asked if I was okay and I told her what was happening. She responded with 'My a** look good though,' and I died laughing. Love my sis, but Christ."
"I didn’t sent a nude. I was in the shower, about age 15, and I heard the phone ring. My best friend had a habit of calling while I was showering. So, I bolted out naked as the day I was born to grab the phone before she hung up. I didn’t realize pretty much my entire dad’s side of the family was visiting my terminally ill mother."
"They saw it all. My aunt jokingly said, 'Well, dang, I didn’t know there was gonna be a show.' And someone said, 'we were just joking when we said you’d grow up to be a stripper.' I had to do a walk of shame back to the bathroom as well."
"It was laughed off and it hasn’t been brought up since."
Let me see...
"Sent a pic of my boobs to my mom. Managed to convince her I was trying to take a pic of what I thought was a lump but ended up dropping my phone and sent it while fumbling. Which has happened before. But then she made me show her where I thought the lump was so that was very awkward."
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"I once sent a pic to a GF in college when we were home for break… only I searched her contact by last name and accidentally sent it to her mom!"
"Thankfully it was late and she was able to sneak into her parents’ room and delete it before they saw."
What have we learned?
At the very least, triple-check who you are sending it to one whichever app you use for that sort of thing.
There is so much to learn in the world, it's impossible for one person to know absolutely everything there is to know.
But there are certain things, like common phrases and idioms, that everyone seems to use that might be a little embarrassing to not understand until later in life.
Redditor Curious-2577 asked:
"What's something you learned 'embarrassingly late' in life?"
"My sister was in her fifties when she found out the meaning of, 'You have an addictive personality.'"
"She thought after all these years of therapy that it meant that people were addicted to her personality."
"We laughed hysterically when we talked about this (in a very sad way)."
"I thought that horses had toes until I was 22. I thought the hoof was a 'horseshoe' and the toes were tucked inside."
"How did I learn how wrong I was, you ask?"
"I was walking past a cavalry museum and saw a horse statue and loudly remarked, 'It must hurt so bad when they fold a horse’s toes to put them into the shoe!'"
"Dozens of horse enthusiasts turned and looked at me with wild bewilderment in their eyes."
"The saying is, in fact, 'Nip it in the bud' and not 'Nip it in the butt.'"
"A few months ago, two of my colleagues both handed in their notice at around the same time."
"I kept reading/hearing the sentence, 'They’re both moving on to pastures new’ being thrown about the office in the weeks leading up to them leaving, and I hadn’t heard this phrase before and thought that was the name of the rival company that they were going to, like, 'Pastures New.'"
"I thought it was weird that nobody was talking about how they were both leaving for the same company."
"I was in the car with one of the two people who were leaving and said, 'So where is it that you and X are going to be working? Is it...’"
"And just before I could embarrass myself and say ‘Pastures New,' they interrupted me and said they’re not going to the same place and asked me where I had heard that."
"I think at that moment, I realized I was stupid and didn’t mention it again."
"I think I was in college when I realized that Mario and Luigi are plumbers. I thought they just went and up down these tubes just because that was the theme of the game."
"That Bonsai are not a species of tree, but a way to grow them. Any tree can be a bonsai."
Houston, We Have a Problem
"Houston is not the name of the guy astronauts talk to."
"I learned that pork and beans are not called 'cowboy beans.' I was 18 and asked a grocery store clerk to help me find the 'cowboy beans.'"
"We were looking everywhere and I was getting frustrated because I know that every store carries these beans. After a while, I picked up a pork and beans can with a picture and said, 'See, they look just like this!'"
"He said, 'You mean pork and beans?'"
"Then I realized that my mom called them that so that I would eat them."
"The look of disappointment from that grocery store clerk haunts me to this day."
"Let me tell you about how I thought you were awarded a 'Pullet Surprise.'"
Rum and Coke
"Not too late in life, but I thought my parents were making 'Roman Cokes' until I went to college."
"Which, I think is a much better name for the drink (Rum and Coke) anyway."
Oh No, Not Acoma!
"That a coma was 'A' coma. Until I was probably 19 or so, I thought it was 'acoma.'"
"I thought you fell into acoma."
It Must Have Been a One-Way Trip
"My parents were divorced the whole time and my mom was not, in fact, taking a vacation, lmao (laughing my a** off)."
"I live near the Hospital for Joint Diseases… when I was a kid, I thought was a special hospital for people who had two or more different diseases at the same time."
"Moving cross-country, driving east to west, and crossing from Idaho to Oregon, I noticed huge fields with signs for the Ore-Ida Potato company."
"So I was in my early 20s when I figured out Ore-Ida wasn’t just a brand name but was because their potatoes came from Oregon and Idaho."
"When I was really young, my sister told me she threw her guts up. So I was really afraid of vomiting my entire insides up for years."
Some of these really had us laughing as we realized the revelations some of these Redditors were having.
But when we're really honest with ourselves, we probably didn't figure out some of these until later, too.
While starting a family and having children is a goal that many people have, some do not realize that it's not easy, fun, and loving one-hundred percent of the time. Rather, it's expensive, exhausting, and hard, though it might be worth it in the end.
With this in mind, people shared what they felt were the hardest hurdles of their parenting.
Redditor ApprehensiveShock655 asked:
"What's the worst part of having a child?"
Fear of Not Doing Enough
"The constant anxiety that you’re doing enough to shape them to make good choices, a good life, be a good person and for them to have the life they deserve."
Like the Energizer Bunny
"It's incessant. It never stops. You never get a day off."
"Going from having two days per week to relax and do whatever to literally never having a moment free from responsibility."
No Break In Sight
"I’ve always wanted kids and still do, but this is the only thing that has come close to giving me pause."
"Both my siblings have young kids and I cannot get over how CONSTANT it is."
"From the second the kids wake up to when they finally shut their eyes, it’s non-stop. Then they get maybe an hour or two to themselves, which is mostly spent tidying up, etc., before the nighttime stuff starts with the baby crying, the toddler coming into bed, nightmares, etc."
"It requires years of not getting a full night's rest. You can never just go out whenever you want. No sleeping in, even on weekends because someone has to be up with them at 6 AM."
"Raising human children is an insane task."
Mom's Body After Baby and Dad Bods
"The weight gain is the worst! During the pregnancy, I gained 35 pounds. My belly has stretch marks. My boobs are all saggy."
"And it’s not even fair because my wife only gained like 15."
The Meal Planning
"Coming up with three meals to eat per day EVERY DAY stresses me out so bad."
"This sounds like such a small thing, but it really wears on you over time. You can’t just make something for yourself or something you and your spouse feel like eating: You have to constantly be thinking about if the kid is hungry and what they might be willing to eat."
Keeping Them Safe
"When people ask me this I say, 'do you know those video games where you have to escort a character to a destination without them being attacked?' That's parenting. Those missions are a pain in the a**."
Seriously, Keep Them Safe
"Having to deal with their total lack of self-preservation. They are creative and come up with all kinds of ways to try and kill themselves. Keeping ahead of the game is exhausting."
"They’re just always there. On you, behind you, in front of you, just a little speed bump impeding every task."
Letting Them Live Their Life Their Way
"Having a kid is like having a little piece of your heart running around in the world. When they're sick or get disappointed or just feel sad, it's worse than having it happen to you."
"Yet at the same time, you need to let your kids work through those things to learn to handle them. If you give into the worry and try to shield them from everything, you risk creating harmful co-dependence."
"So it's a constant struggle. But worth it!"
What Is "Sleep" Again?
"I'm only nine years in, but so far, it's been the sleep deprivation. Hands down."
And What Are These "Sick Days" You Speak Of?
"Having to take care of a sick child when you are also sick. For me that has been the most challenging part so far."
Another Full-Time Job
"It's like taking a second job that lasts 18+ years with a 24/7 schedule with no holidays or sick days."
"…And no second paycheck. It's actually like YOU are paying your second salary instead of getting one."
"The loss of freedom. I can't just... go somewhere. Even with older kids, there's so much planning and thinking and getting ready."
"I miss being able to just decide to go somewhere, and go there."
The Time Flies
"The best advice I got was from an ancient hospital security guard in an elevator. 'The days are long, the years are short, cherish them while you can.'"
"The phrase I hate is, 'You don't know it, but one day you pick your kid up for the last time.'"
There are all kinds of troubles that come from being a parent, many of which people don't necessarily think about until they already have a baby in the house.
But reassuringly, many people in the subReddit pointed out that no matter how hard some of these hurdles are to get over, it's still worth it in the end, and it goes by far too fast.