I am on vacation. Please enjoy this golden oldie from February 3, 2011.
I read your column every week, mostly out of abstract interest. My thoughts reading your advice are usually some variation on "Wow, that's a lot of work to do, just to have a sex life." So reading you, I came to the conclusion that I was asexual. I liked this conclusion, as it was a sexual identity that made sense for me.
Then I joined an asexual community. I soon realized that I was unlike those people, too. It turns out that they have no sexual attractions either way, whereas I comfortably identify as a straight male. I look when a pretty girl walks past (much to the chagrin of an asexual I dated for a short time), I like to kiss, and I enjoy some genital contact—but I'm in the mood for penetration very rarely. Asexuals seemed to be turned off by physical intimacy.
I soon realized that asexual was the wrong label for me. In reality, what I am is minimally sexual.
Here's the question: How do normally sexual persons feel about being with someone who can perform but doesn't particularly want to? I know that being in a relationship means making compromises, but will a normally sexual person accept a partner who is able to have sex but does not wish to for certain reasons, e.g., a lack of confidence or stamina? Can a person please a partner without pleasing said partner in the euphemistic sense?
Not Sexual, Not Asexual
My response after the jump...
It should come as no shock to someone who reads my column every week—or any other advice column—that there are lots of people out there who want to be in relationships but don't particularly want to have sex. We don't usually hear directly from these "minimally sexual" types. Instead, we hear from their maximally unhappy partners, i.e., the "normally sexual persons" who find themselves unhappily married to and/or otherwise stuck with minimally sexual persons.
With all the minimally sexuals out there making normally sexuals miserable, NSNA, it should be obvious to all regular readers that there's not exactly a shortage of people who aren't interested in sex. With that being the case, why would you even contemplate inflicting yourself on a normally sexual person? Why not go find another minimally sexual person? You'll be doing your minimally sexual self a favor, you'll be doing your future minimally sexual partner a favor, and you'll be doing all normally sexual persons everywhere a favor by removing two minimals—you and your future partner—from the dating pool.
Unless you're more interested in sex than you let on, NSNA, and you find the idea of a normally sexual partner appealing because a normal might be able to help you build your confidence and learn to enjoy sex. I certainly hope you're not another asexual/minimally sexual person who wants a normally sexual partner because you take a perverse pleasure in depriving someone else of sex, constantly rejecting that person's advances, and ultimately destroying their confidence.