Friday, November 04, 2011

Asexuality and Intimate Relationships

As an out asexual, I get asked how my relationship with another asexual would be any different than just being friends with that person.   Being asked this question makes me sigh inside.   It rubs me wrong.   I find it devalues friendship with the word “just” and it seems to indicate that I can’t have a intimate relationship with someone if I don’t want to have sex with them.  

Just what are intimate relationships? There is physical intimacy.   There is emotional intimacy.  Must an intimate relationship be physically and emotionally intimate to be a true intimate relationship or can an intimate relationship be just emotionally intimate?  Does physical intimacy have to include sexual intimacy or can it be physical intimacy like cuddling that doesn’t involve sex?  For me, an intimate relationship is mostly emotionally intimate with a component of non-sexual physical intimacy.    I don’t believe sex has to be a part of an intimate relationship to make it legitimate.

But that still begs the question of how my relationship with another asexual would be different than a friendship.    Well, first off, it might not be different. It really depends on how you define friendship.  If part of your definition of a friendship is declaring that you love each other and only want to be with each other and put care for each other first before family or other friends, then my vision of my asexual relationship will be no different than a close friendship!   I’m cool with that.  Friendships can be as deeply intimate as any other kind of relationship!  But if that is not how you view friendship, then my asexual relationship is different than “just” being friends with the person.  

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