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Being intimate without having sex

A student shares his experience.

SOURCEDavid Schildkraut | CampusTimes
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campus-relationships

I would first like to issue a sincere apology to anyone who may have met me and thought, “Damn, David’s awesome. I wonder if his sexual preference fits with mine.”

Being asexual has been an interesting journey. My ex-girlfriend and I were together awhile, but our relationship never progressed to the point at which we’d even consider sex. Yet despite the lack of getting to know each other as well as many other couples, we had an incredible relationship. Even today, we share jokes and chat about sci-fi shows and movies.

If there was one thing we discovered, however, it was that sex was not necessary for us to remain together. It seems, at least to me, that many people see sex as something important for a long-term relationship involving attraction between two people.

A lot of things worked out well in that three-year relationship I had in high school, despite the celibacy. This is what it was like for me, as an asexual virgin, in my first and only relationship.

Dating

Just because your relationship doesn’t have sex in it doesn’t mean it’s doomed. In mine, we had a ton of fun going to see plays and movies.

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I should make it clear that your dates aren’t necessarily going to be consumption of the arts. It just so happened that we are both artistically minded. That common connection was part of how we started dating in the first place.

Part of the purpose of dating is to (hopefully) strengthen the relationship between a couple. For us, chatting about plays and movies over dinner was a great way to bond with each other.

At the end of the evening, it was less of a want or need to take things further, so much as a good feeling of satisfaction and pleasure from seeing each other and having fun.

Love without Love

Dates weren’t always us going out and enjoying a movie or dinner together. On several occasions, my ex and I found ourselves watching shows like “Star Trek” together. If you’re wondering where “Star Trek” and sex fit together, here’s a hint: they generally don’t.

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But while we weren’t making love to the tune of the show’s theme, physical contact was still there. Cuddling was always an option, and a good one at that.

There’s something about feeling the warmth of your partner’s body that makes the experience more enjoyable. We would frequently snuggle up next to each other while watching these shows. It gave us feelings of comfort and unity. Such feelings were about as close as we were able to get to the unity that comes through sex.

Discovering something within ourselves

Before I even started dating, my parents told me to never do three things on a date: eat pizza, eat only a small amount of food, and fail to pay for the meal.

The first two have happened. But instead of increasing the distance between me and my ex, they helped us bond. Sure, I may have been the only person in the relationship who hated tomatoes, but that mistake of having cheese pizza allowed us to discuss our food preferences, something useful for everyone.

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Likewise, if I was feeling a bit out of it, I might eat less than normal and take home a ton of leftovers. My relationship gave me the opportunity to open up and discuss my worries and concerns with my ex, something I could reciprocate.

What’s interesting is that I was never fully sure that I was asexual in high school. I kept wavering between thinking I was asexual, heterosexual, and bisexual. But being in a relationship allowed me to take a closer look at my sexual preference.

The trust between my ex and I from our relationship exists to this day. It’s perhaps what’s been the most impactful part of our relationship. That trust has allowed us to take important steps in discussing aspects of our lives we may not feel fully comfortable talking about to many others. It is this “opening up” that allows us to take that initial, important step towards accepting ourselves and each other for who we are.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.