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CathyK

What is Non-Sexual Intimacy?

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CathyK

I've known that I'm asexual for a while now, but as I'm getting older I am considering more and more what this means for my life. I would like to be in a relationship eventually, but I don't really know what would want from it. I have never seen a relationship that wasn't based on sex or sexual attraction. I also don't know where I would draw the line for what I would enjoy, since I don't know what I would be comfortable with in real life rather than in my own mind. I definitely want some level of intimacy, but I have no idea if these feelings would even go into the gray-ace category. I don't want penetrative sex, but other than that I am pretty confused. 

 

Anyway, for any experienced aces, or anyone, really: what can an asexual relationship do to be intimate emotionally and physically?

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RK800

To me intimacy is close conversations, shared secrets, cuddles, sleeping next to each other, long walks together, that sort of stuff.

Sex doesn't really enter the picture for me when I comes to intimacy. It just doesn't feel right even theoretically.

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PurveyorOfBadPuns

Intimacy is something you find for yourself.  Everyone has different things that feel more or less intimate to them.  To me, a deep conversation feels more intimate than kissing or cuddling, but it can be different for everyone.

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LilyB

Strong communication is key for any relationship, if your partner really wants to be with you, they'll be okay with all parts of you. Your asexuality included. I understand the feeling that sexual acts in a relationship is required and I struggle with that too.

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Star Bit

What can an asexual relationship do to be intimate emotionally and physically? The same things sexual people do, just there's no sex (unless they want to conceive a child); that's all asexuality is; not desiring sex, nothing more; everything else can still apply.

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CBC

Well-rounded relationships (I'm not talking about FWB or casual hookups) are not based on sex; it's just that sex is part of the equation for sexual people, part of their expression of feeling for each other.

 

A tad besides the point, but worth mentioning because counteracting misconceptions on AVEN is never a bad thing to do.

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Guest

I notice "deep conversations" are suggested, but what is the definition of that?

What does a deep conversation consist of? What makes it different to other conversations?

Sorry, this is not my topic but I noticed this ... should I make my own topic? :S

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daveb
11 hours ago, Mystic Maya said:

"deep conversations" are suggested, but what is the definition of that?

I guess everyone has their own definitions. For me I would say conversations that you wouldn't have with just anyone. Maybe personal stuff, maybe philosophical, or even any other topic that you go into in depth. I think that's part of it at least. :)

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fresetu

The main form of intimacy for me is emotional. That includes sharing (and respecting) of political/religious/philosophical views, sharing what is on our minds/distressing us, giving/recieving solicited advice to said worries/problems, giving/recieving criticism (knowing fully well that said criticism is meant as a means to become a better person, not as a means of putting someone down), long walks and non-awkward silences. What really gets me is when someone truly listens to what I'm saying; when someone can reference something the other has said, even though it was mentioned ages ago and was, more or less, a minor detail.

 

Then there is, of course, physical intimacy. That includes cuddling, hand-holding, kissing, and the such.

 

In the end, however, intimacy is what you say it is.

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Mary Lambert

Hey, be honest, is all I can say. An ACE should really be with another ACE. I can't speak for everyone, but why would you want to be with someone with a different sexuality than you? Does not make sense to me.  Doesn't matter how many walks on the beach or how many great conversations you have or what  you  have in common.  When it boils down to it, ACE intimacy is not sexual intimacy and there is a lack of understanding between the two people. The rejection and hurt a person who is not an asexual will feel with you would not be worth it. You can always be friends with that person, but I think it is so selfish as I read these posts from asexuals acting as if their asexuality should just be accepted by the sexual and force the sexual person to either feel like they are cheating, if they go outside the marriage or relationship, or just have resentment toward the asexual for not being honest. So in a nutshell, if you are honest, how can you loose? You will probably be able to keep that person in your life but they will be free to make a choice about you. Take home message, "Asexuals do not marry Sexuals, please" 

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wavewall
On 2/10/2017 at 10:29 PM, CathyK said:

I've known that I'm asexual for a while now, but as I'm getting older I am considering more and more what this means for my life. I would like to be in a relationship eventually, but I don't really know what would want from it. I have never seen a relationship that wasn't based on sex or sexual attraction. I also don't know where I would draw the line for what I would enjoy, since I don't know what I would be comfortable with in real life rather than in my own mind. I definitely want some level of intimacy, but I have no idea if these feelings would even go into the gray-ace category. I don't want penetrative sex, but other than that I am pretty confused. 

 

Anyway, for any experienced aces, or anyone, really: what can an asexual relationship do to be intimate emotionally and physically?

For me, my favorite intimate activity is frequently cuddling while chatting or otherwise keeping ourselves occupied. I really enjoyed feeling physically close to the people I cared for. Of course, I also had a lot of fun roughhousing, but that probably isn't what folks would label "intimacy."

 

Emotional intimacy is all about sharing and listening. It boils down to wanting to be involved in the other person's inner life--thoughts, feelings, desires, beliefs, anxieties, and the rest of it--while also wanting the other person to be involved in yours.

 

But I'd say the key is to be honest. If you don't know where you can draw the line, you'll want to let your potential partner know, particularly if you're after real emotional intimacy.  They need to be able to sign on with eyes open.

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Solovei
1 hour ago, Mary Lambert said:

Hey, be honest, is all I can say. An ACE should really be with another ACE. I can't speak for everyone, but why would you want to be with someone with a different sexuality than you? Does not make sense to me.  Doesn't matter how many walks on the beach or how many great conversations you have or what  you  have in common.  When it boils down to it, ACE intimacy is not sexual intimacy and there is a lack of understanding between the two people. The rejection and hurt a person who is not an asexual will feel with you would not be worth it. You can always be friends with that person, but I think it is so selfish as I read these posts from asexuals acting as if their asexuality should just be accepted by the sexual and force the sexual person to either feel like they are cheating, if they go outside the marriage or relationship, or just have resentment toward the asexual for not being honest. So in a nutshell, if you are honest, how can you loose? You will probably be able to keep that person in your life but they will be free to make a choice about you. Take home message, "Asexuals do not marry Sexuals, please" 

Well, how nice and judgemental of you.

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wavewall
1 hour ago, Solovei said:

Well, how nice and judgemental of you.

Indeed--judging from Mary's thread in this forum, she's working through some real hurt and unhappiness... but it's worth working hard not to spread that hurt to others.

 

Mary, please notice that you mentioned resentment toward an asexual person because they weren't honest. The lack of honesty is the problem there. Since (if I remember correctly) you're rather new to knowing asexuality exists, it might be a good idea to learn more about it before making posts like this. There's a lot of variation within asexuality, and someone might take what you say to heart not knowing that you don't have much background knowledge in the subject.

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Mary Lambert

Not sure what you mean either.  It's like saying if you are gay, do not marry a straight person. The sexualities do not match. Am I wrong, people? Please let me know. 

 

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Philip027

Thing is, many of us feel pretty much the same as "straight" and "gay" as a result of romantic orientation (something that is pretty much never talked about or recognized in real life), it's just that those feelings don't necessarily drive us to have sex with that particular set of people.  Otherwise our feelings toward someone can be exactly the same as that of a sexual person.  It blurs the line, resulting in a lot of asexual people not even realizing they're asexual (it doesn't help that it is almost never discussed outside the internet).

 

It's not like the difference between a homosexual male and a heterosexual female.  They don't need to be told not to get involved with each other.  They already know they're incompatible and that their interests lie elsewhere.

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Curi
On 2/10/2017 at 11:36 PM, Star Bit said:

What can an asexual relationship do to be intimate emotionally and physically? The same things sexual people do, just there's no sex (unless they want to conceive a child); that's all asexuality is; not desiring sex, nothing more; everything else can still apply.

 

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vega57

Intimacy...for me...is being connected to someone else's soul...

 

A 'union' of 'self-to-self' that you share with no other on the same level.

 

If you REALLY want to know what 'intimacy' is, try holding someone's hand when they're dying....

 

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Moonlitcat
On 2/10/2017 at 7:29 PM, CathyK said:

I've known that I'm asexual for a while now, but as I'm getting older I am considering more and more what this means for my life. I would like to be in a relationship eventually, but I don't really know what would want from it. I have never seen a relationship that wasn't based on sex or sexual attraction. I also don't know where I would draw the line for what I would enjoy, since I don't know what I would be comfortable with in real life rather than in my own mind. I definitely want some level of intimacy, but I have no idea if these feelings would even go into the gray-ace category. I don't want penetrative sex, but other than that I am pretty confused. 

 

Anyway, for any experienced aces, or anyone, really: what can an asexual relationship do to be intimate emotionally and physically?

Let me start out by saying that everyone on here is a little different, but here is my take I guess. 

 

I’m a very physical person, I’ve always been just on the edge of too physicaly affectionate  with my friends, and that physicality of mine is magnified with the one I love. Cuddling, petting his hair, holding her hand, ect I do all that.  And more. Its how I show affection.  So for me, Intamacy is also very physical. I dont do sex, I dont feel the need, and often I clothes never really come off, but...how do I say, the cuddles bump a slight bit into foreplay territory. More sensual massages, slower kisses (I dont do french cause ew), experementing with acts, trying to figure out what I am ok with and whats totally gross. And honestly this is all stuff that I don’t specifically think of as sexual. Orgasms arent the point (and im never that into them anyway), its not sweaty and gross. 

 

My best advice is too be honest, You dont know yet where your boundries lie. Thats totally ok. Its ok to experiment, to have a need for intamacy beyond quality time, communication, ect. Love languages and all that jazz. Everyone is different. 

 

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wavewall
7 hours ago, Mary Lambert said:

Not sure what you mean either.  It's like saying if you are gay, do not marry a straight person. The sexualities do not match. Am I wrong, people? Please let me know. 

 

My responsibility as an asexual person is to tell a potential partner that I am indeed asexual and, more importantly, what that means in the context of a relationship with me. Then any potential partner can decide, based on their own needs and desires, if I'm not suitable for them. If they discover during the course of a relationship that nope, not going to work? That's okay with me too. But if both people are willing to try, going in with eyes open? Then they should try.

 

Thanks in part to this kind of honesty, my past romantic relationships ended for reasons unrelated to sexuality--things like one person realizing they want children, one partner doing something the other considered unacceptable, or my feelings changing.

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Mary Lambert

Well said. :)

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SilentRose

Everyone experiences intimacy differently, for example some people think sex is super intimate but I don't. I'm also not much of a cuddler, but some people find that very intimate. 

 

For me, intimacy is all about connecting through conversation I realized. Someone who gets my sense of humor is often someone I feel quite close to. I also think comforting someone and being comforted even after something as silly as a long work day is really intimate for me. And talking about something deep, which to me means something I don't talk about to just anyone. My hopes, dreams, fears, what I want in life, who I am. My family and where I come from. My secrets and my issues. 

 

Also just being able to talk about anything or everything :) if we can talk about stupid YouTube videos AND politics AND our dreams, then the person's a keeper! 

 

As far as physical intimacy, when I'm scared or sad I think a hug is really intimate, I'm not someone who just hugs anyone so it's something I definitely place importance on. 

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GLRDT
On 2/10/2017 at 9:29 PM, CathyK said:

I've known that I'm asexual for a while now, but as I'm getting older I am considering more and more what this means for my life. I would like to be in a relationship eventually, but I don't really know what would want from it. I have never seen a relationship that wasn't based on sex or sexual attraction. I also don't know where I would draw the line for what I would enjoy, since I don't know what I would be comfortable with in real life rather than in my own mind. I definitely want some level of intimacy, but I have no idea if these feelings would even go into the gray-ace category. I don't want penetrative sex, but other than that I am pretty confused. 

 

Anyway, for any experienced aces, or anyone, really: what can an asexual relationship do to be intimate emotionally and physically?

Well I'm gray asexual and my relationship with my sexual boyfriend can be emotionally  connected through deep honest conversations about literally everything, through supporting each other, through extreme trust and a feeling of safety, and through challenging each other to be better. Physically, we love cuddles, touching each other's skin not necessarily in a sexual way, lots of light kisses like just checking in and saying hello kinds of kisses. We have clap slap butt fights where you clap and then try to slap the other person's butt. Ha ha. It's a game. I am very sensual so I love being physically close to him. I'd just prefer not to be so close he's inside of me. I also occasionally compromise and we do have PIV sex which I am indifferent to (rather not have to do this on a regular basis forever though, however for the past three years, it's been ok). You wouldn't have to do any of these things though if it doesn't sound appealing or something like you could do. But the non sexual things I listed above are part of the reason why our relationship feels romantic to me. I feel the strongest way I connect with my dude is through deep conversations, difficult struggles we get through together, and just laying there close to him with his arms around me and just simply being there with him and absorbing his energy.

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