Asexuality & Dan Savage

Dan Savage recently responded to a nosy family member about her brother-in-law’s asexual orientation.

While his advice to BTFO (butt the fuck out) was right on, there were some lines that did not resonate with me. Namely: 

“Someone who is incapable of meeting a sexual’s needs has no business dating a sexual in the first place, if you ask me. At the very least, asexuality must be disclosed.”

I would agree with Dan that people with out-of-the-ordinary sexual interests/non-interests should lay those cards out early enough in the relationship that the potential partner can make a more informed relationship decision. This applies to “extreme” kinks (like wanting a 24/7 master-slave relationship or wanting to get pooped on), and I think it can also apply then for someone who has zero interest in sex. Dan’s sentiment that asexuals should not date sexuals is getting into dangerous territory. What about other potential relationships where one partner no longer can have sex, or never could, for physical or health reasons? How is this sentiment any different from saying that kinky people have no business dating non-kinky people? I think the world is too big to make such statements, and also assumes that many people don’t have the thinking power to come up with creative solutions to relationship compatibility issues. Maybe it would be easier if an asexual dated another asexual, just as it might be easier for both people in a relationship if they were both turned on from pooping on each other. But love seems to be bigger than having the same exact sexual, nonsexual, romantic, intimate, emotional desires, and I am willing to bet that there are satisfied and happy asexual/sexual couples out there.

What do you think?

Here are a couple of resources on asexuality:
The Asexuality Visibility and Education Network
Asexuals: Who are They and Why are They Important?

2 thoughts on “Asexuality & Dan Savage

  1. We are all guilty of shooting from the hip. Dan strikes me as someone who would reconsider his position with a thoughtful rebuttal. What I think he is most reacting to is the common problem of inadequate communication about sexual interests very early in relationships. He's also being sensitive to those who have a reasonable expectation that someone going into a new relationship will BE a dependable sex partner. There are millions of stories where one partner (usually the female in a hetero relationship) makes it look like they will have a fulfilling and frequent sex life with their partner, but only during the courtship period. Once they are committed, they reveal their more asexual true self. If that is the situation Dan is hoping to flush out, then I get his point.

    But truly, HOWEVER couples want to work things out between them, if it makes both happy, is their business. I'd agree.

  2. Yeah definitely… the one thing you mention that I don't totally agree with is your scenario that one person in the couple, “Once they are committed, they reveal their more asexual true self.” Either there are a ton more asexuals out there (maybe), or (in my opinion, more likely) there are other things going on: dissimilar sexual interests and desires, attraction waning, too much togetherness = less desire (as Perel describes in her book), more conservative ideas about the importance of sex in a relationship, etc.

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