perfect Christian date = asexual

I know a few people who are asexual.  They are fantastic people and I really enjoy them.  I did not know there was such a thing as asexual until recently when one friend came out.  Looking back, I realize that the ideal Christian date is asexual.

Growing up I heard through Christian radio, magazines, books and sermons all about dating.  Abstinence was such a huge part of dating that it was talked about way more often than healthy relationship markers.  In fact, abstinence was seen as a sign of a healthy relationship.

“True love waits”

“If he really loves you, he’ll wait.”

“If she really respects him, she’ll stay pure.”

We were told not to steal from our future spouses, even if we were sure the person we were dating was that future spouse.  As a result, church culture told us the most desirable dating partners were asexual or sexually repressed.  We were told their was no difference between sexual objectification and loving someone with body and mind. Intimacy was somehow disrespect?

Some of us couldn’t live with being sexually active because of all the guilt that went with it and some of us couldn’t live with being sexually inactive because it made us crazy and cranky.   Those people had short engagements.   My lover and I were engaged for 6 months, most of which we lived in separate provinces an 8 hour drive away. We only dated a few months before we got engaged.    Some of my cousins dated (other people) 3 or 4 years living in the same city.   I have no idea how since they claimed to agree with the bizarre restrictions on physical intimacy.  “Even short kisses could lite a fuse…”

A friend I have lost touch with since her marriage was considered the perfect Christian girl.  Not only was she jaw-dropping gorgeous with long strawberry blonde hair and the most joyful smile, but she was gentle and had a reputation for being very pure.  She had an ability to deeply connect with people of all backgrounds.  She ran the youth drop-in centre at her church almost single-handedly from high school through University where she was always at the top of the class.  I met her since we had so many pre-med classes together and became study buddies.

A Christian boy in one of her easy classes took notice.  Well, it seemed like everyone took notice of her, but this guy was aggressive and used to getting everything he wanted.  She wanted to be a doctor and work in marginalized communities.  He wanted to play hockey and make a lot of money.  She loved to learn and laugh.  He loved to win.  There is nothing wrong with loving hockey and winning, but I suspected she was part of his to do list under find attractive wife.  That is all I know of him since he preferred to spend time with this girl alone and not with her friends.

However, she began to change.  She looked more tired and less bubbly.  She changed career directions from high demand medicine to dietitian but still talked about medicine.  She changed churches and stopped working at the drop-in.  She stopped spending time with me.  Perhaps my perceptions are tainted by the fact that I missed my friend as this boy took up more and more of her time.

The last time I talked to her, she was engaged.  It sounded like they were spending every possible minute together.  I asked how they managed to ‘keep pure’.  (This was considered a loving question among Christians, and not the invasive ‘tell me about your sex life that I’ve already determined is dirty’ that it looks like now.)

She laughed and said it was no problem since she really did not want to do anything.  She said that she did not mind kissing but had no desire to do anything else.

I was really surprised.  My limited dating experience had taught me that my body wanted to do more than kissing, even if it didn’t know what.  I had had very little interest in sex as a teen but thought everyone became more aware of it in their 20s.  Maybe my friend was tired and after they were married it would change?  Maybe this guy was not right for her so she had little attraction for him?  I began to feel really sorry for her fiancee.  What if she never wanted to do something else?  Was that fair to him?

Why were the kids with high sex drives told they were disrespectful to others and needed to change if they wanted to be good spouses?  Why were the kids who had low or non-existent libidos exalted as perfect spouse material?

I tried so hard to appear sexually pure (read: uninterested) thinking it was showing respect.  My lover did the same, and I realized a few months before our marriage that I had no idea if he was sexually attracted to me.  I need not have worried.  We’re ok.  But what if one of us was asexual?  We would not have known until too late.  How many asexual people were seen as prime marriage material and now in a relationship where they feel pressured to be someone they are not with someone who feels rejected?   Also, is the fundy preoccupation with sex ruining the chance for asexual people to have emotionally intimate relationships with people since it is inconceivable that someone could live with another person, share their life, and not want sex?

For more info on asexuality see: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/feb/26/among-the-asexuals?fb=native

 

7 thoughts on “perfect Christian date = asexual

  1. Donna Banta says:

    Love this post! I remember being told as a Mormon that boys were “different” than girls because they had raging sex drives. At the time I felt so guilty because I had a healthy drive of my own that (I then assumed) must be evil or unnatural for a girl. Over the years I’ve known of many bad Mormon marriages where one of the partners was either asexual or gay and in the closet. Also couples who raced to the altar just to have sex. It’s a very unhealthy situation.

    • prairienymph says:

      I also feel sorry for all those boys who didn’t have raging sex drives. They’d have to pretend or get bullied. A Christian marriage magazine did a survey of their readers and found 1/3 of the couples had a woman with a higher libido than her husband. I heard a pastor make fun of those ‘lucky’ guys.
      I just read a memo sent out from my old church that even talking lightly of sexual things is now under the category of lust. Donna, you sinner! First you want sex, then you joke about it! What else can you sink to?

  2. jen says:

    This all sounds very familiar…
    I dated my ex for two years, and we never once “slipped up”. We went camping together, stayed in hotels together, even slept in the same bed. I thought that meant we loved each other, because we respected each other…

    And then we got married, and although his sex drive isn’t super high, he wanted it. I was willing to give it, but it wasn’t something I enjoyed. (And it turns out it isn’t super fun for him if I am only there to serve his needs. Some guys might like that, but he didn’t. He actually wanted a partner in bed. How do I force myself to want sex if I don’t? The best I could hope for was becoming a better actress…)

    If I hadn’t believed that asexual = respectful, we would have discovered well before marriage we aren’t compatible. It would have saved us a lot of heartache. In the end, we still learned: We’re great as friends, not as lovers.

  3. jen says:

    I also find myself questioning whether I am actually asexual or if I had just trained myself to be that way… Or it came because of abuse…. I can’t answer that, but I feel like I will when I can.

    • prairienymph says:

      I like that you aren’t pressuring yourself to figure out if you are asexual because of trauma or if you are just part of the estimated 1% that are naturally like that.

      I used to think I was weird because I didn’t see what was so special about the supposed hot guys my girlfriends were drooling over. I was just a late bloomer and have more specific tastes for attractive than popular.

      I really wish you didn’t have to go through that marriage. Boundless once wrote a scathing article about premarital sex called “Don’t test drive your girlfriend” (assuming only guys would want to) but now I think it is a really good idea to see how sexually compatible you are with someone.

  4. I’ve often wondered if the folks who say that sex is just for procreation are asexual.

    If there really is a God, who wants us to follow such strict rules about sex, and it’s only for baby-making, then why did he make it feel so good? Or be such a compelling drive? That kind of a god would have to be a bit of a sadist.

    • prairienymph says:

      That god also didn’t know jack about the hymen. Most girls are born with one, but not all. By the time she is a teen it probably won’t even cover the vaginal hole. Few women actually have a hymen capable of rupturing and bleeding on coitus. A god that supposedly created the hymen would know enough about it not to demand death for a girl who was normal. Sadist sounds about right.

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