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Winged Whisperer

How did you get married to an asexual?

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Davida
4 hours ago, GlamRocker said:

 

Wow. I already know without a shadow of a doubt I'm an asexual, but these responses just make me feel so... what the hell am I missing here?! If I were to go back, I would have never even had sex at all. When I did in the past I just didn't know any better... I put myself through something I didn't enjoy because I was hoping to enjoy it. 

 

My husband married me knowing what I was like... my lack of interest graduating to actual DISLIKE of having sex was actually one of the reasons he married me. He is GLAD to not have to deal with it...He's happier with me, fourteen years of good times seems to prove it. These are all things we've talked about and he's actually said to me, I'm not playing guesswork here.

 

@GlamRocker, regarding the octagenarian and John Betjamin quotations - it is said that when Issac Newton was asked on his deathbed what he felt his greatest accomplishment in life was, he replied "maintaining my chastity". 

 

Also, I am so happy that you experience such harmony in your relationship with your husband. My (sexual & sex-positive) husband and I are growing together. It's taken a lot of courage and self-reflection.

 

 

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Traveler40
8 hours ago, Davida said:

it is said that when Issac Newton was asked on his deathbed what he felt his greatest accomplishment in life was, he replied "maintaining my chastity". 

So, my lover and I discussed this briefly and he had a quick look around as this bothered me for a number of reasons: Namely, I wondered why anyone (sexual or otherwise) would ever refer to that as their greatest accomplishment, let alone Isaac Newton?
 

If he did utter that on his deathbed, and please note that we tried and failed to source it, it would suggest he struggled greatly in chastity and that wouldn’t make it commendable at all. It makes it deeply sad, underpinning a lifelong struggle. Perhaps in time he learned to manage what, essentially, was living against his nature, but he couldn’t have happily accepted it. It very likely was counter to his orientation

 

Here’s what was found that’s relevant:
 

In 1667, Newton returned to Cambridge at the age of 24, but at a higher status, as a fellow. As a fellow, he was to adopt a life of chastity and was not permitted to marry. Newton followed this vow for the rest of his life, and likely died a virgin. Newton wrote the following passage about his chastity: “The way to chastity is not to struggle directly with incontinent thoughts but to avert the thoughts by some imployment (sic), or by reading, or meditating on other things.”
 

There was one tangential reference about his deathbed and it is as follows: 

 

In an age notable for its religious intolerance there are few public expressions of Newton's radical views, most notably his refusal to take holy orders and his refusal, on his deathbed, to take the sacrament when it was offered to him.

 

Who knows what he said 290 or so years ago, but I do think if it’s as you say (which is plausible given the vow he had to take), how utterly sad all the way around.

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Davida
8 hours ago, Traveler40 said:

... If (Newton) did utter that on his deathbed... it would suggest he struggled greatly in chastity and that wouldn’t make it commendable at all. 

 

Who knows what he said 290 or so years ago, but I do think if it’s as you say (which is plausible given the vow he had to take), how utterly sad all the way around.

@Traveler40 indeed, who knows what he said 290 years ago. I read that about Newton once in an old anthology of biographies of Mathematicians, I think. 

 

Note that chastity (austerity regarding one's natural sexual urges) and asexuality are different, but my point was to illustrate how very different people's experience with sexuality can be. It is remarkable that while an asexual may find the first two quotations about regretting not having had more sex repulsive, a sexual likewise may find lifelong chastity the saddest thing imaginable. Neither point of view is wrong. 

 

I respectfully disagree that action requiring struggle renders the action not commendable. Austerities undertaken by one pursuing devotional work be it scientific, religious, or otherwise connote deeply personal journeys; they are not meant to be universally understood, prescribed or applauded. 

 

 

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anisotrophic

A more modern contrast is Erdős. But (a) he may have had a medical issue (e.g. phimosis – he described sex as painful) and (b) his language regarding women & marriage was misogynistic (I'm just throwing that out there to say "ugh!").

Which is to say, with as little insight as we have into Erdős's reasons, I think we can't hope to know much about Newton's experience. I don't read that Newton's fellowship required chastity; rather, I think it's simply observing that this seems to have been his lifestyle – which may have been due to any of a number of reasons (homosexuality, asexuality, medical issues, pragmatism, etc).

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Traveler40
On 10/21/2019 at 5:49 AM, anisotrophic said:

Which is to say, with as little insight as we have into Erdős's reasons, I think we can't hope to know much about Newton's experience.

Precisely - and the original point provided by myself and Tele was that in those cases, we clearly knew they lamented their lacking sex lives.  In using a quote purported to be from Newton on his deathbed describing chastity “his greatest accomplishment” as an alternative simply made zero sense. Thus, I felt compelled to respond.

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