An Asexual’s Guide To … Having Sex

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What is sex?

I don’t know, something about birds and bees and flowers and trees?  I’m not exactly sure how the moon up above is supposed to be involved, but there are some things I’m probably better off not knowing.

Um…  Let’s try that again.  What is sex?

There are a lot of possible definitions and gray areas and legal decisions about what sex is and is not, but for the purposes of this post, I’m going to go with this definition:

Sex is an activity that involves more than one person and a deliberate involvement of the genitals of at least one of them, with an intent to arouse and/or cause pleasure/orgasm.

What are some of the types of sex?

There are many activities that can be considered “sex”.  Here’s a few of the more common ones.  These aren’t presented in any particular order, and although it’s common for a session of sex to include more than one of these items, it doesn’t have to.  I strongly recommend that you become familiar with the health risks of any activity before you take part in it.

  • Foreplay:  Not exactly a type of sex, this encompasses any activity used to “warm up” or get ready for the main event (whatever the main event is), so that participants are sufficiently physically aroused or “in the mood” enough to proceed.  It can involve hugging or kissing or stripping or touching your partner.  It can even involve activities such as manual or oral sex, if they’re a prelude to something else.
  • Manual Sex/Mutual Masturbation:  This involves using your hands or a toy to stimulate your partner’s genitals.  This is also known as a hand job or fingering.
  • Dry Humping/Frottage:  This involves rubbing your genitals against your partner’s body.  This can be done through clothing, so there is no direct skin to skin contact (hence the “dry”).
  • Oral Sex:  This involves using your mouth and tongue to stimulate the genitals of your partner.  This is also known as a blow job, cunnilingus or eating out, depending on the equipment involved.
  • Vaginal Sex:  This involves penetration of the vagina, typically (but not always) by a penis.
  • Anal Sex:  This involves penetration of the anus (butt), typically (but not always) by a penis.

What if I don’t want to do it?

You don’t have to have sex.  Ever.  If you’re not interested, if you’re not into the concept, if the thought of it makes you ill, even if you just plain don’t want to, whatever the reason is, you don’t have to have sex.  No matter what your friends say or what the TV says or what “society” says, you do not have to have sex if you do not want to have sex.  You don’t even have to justify why not.  If you don’t want to have sex, you don’t have to get anyone else’s approval.  No means no, and if anyone else has a problem with that, that’s their problem to deal with.

What if I want to do it?

Then go for it.  You’re allowed to have sex, even if you’re asexual.

If you decide to have sex, make sure you’re doing it for the right reason.  Basically, the right reason is “I want to do this”, regardless of why, specifically.  There are countless reasons why you might want to.  You might want to see what it’s like.  You might want to give someone pleasure.  You might want pleasure yourself.  You might want to conceive a child.  You might be doing research.  You might just be thinking “It’s Tuesday, I’m bored, why not?”  And so on.  There’s no universal list of acceptable and unacceptable reasons for an asexual to have sex.  It’s about whatever is right for you.

If you force yourself into having sex when you don’t really want to, it’s almost certainly going to be a miserable experience.  If you feel that it is not the right thing to do or is not the right time or right situation, then don’t do it.

You shouldn’t feel compelled to have sex to “prove” that you’re asexual or to try to “cure” your asexuality.  Sex isn’t likely to change your mind.  Most aces that have had sex report that they’re still just as asexual afterward.  I’m unaware of anyone who’s said “Oh, hey, I was wrong about myself this whole time!”  Most people who offer to sleep with you in order to help “cure” you probably just want in your pants, and have very little interest in anything else.

How do I get aroused if I’m not attracted to my partner?

Some people think that sexual attraction is required for sexual arousal, but that’s not the case.  Many times, the thought of having sex or the actions involved in preparing for sex will get you physically aroused.  If that doesn’t work, then physical stimulation of the genitals will often lead to arousal.  This is one of the primary intents of foreplay, even for non-asexual people.  If you are able to become aroused for masturbation, then the same techniques will likely work in a partnered scenario, as well.

If you’re still unable to become aroused, there are artificial ways of helping.  Wearing a cock ring on a penis will constrict blood flow and often lead to an erection, and there are prescription medications which might also help.  Personal lubricants can replace or enhance natural vaginal lubrication.

And if none of those work, either, then there are still ways to have sex that do not require arousal on your part.  You can perform oral or manual sex on your partner, or use a sex toy on them.

What is “Protection”?

“Protection” is a blanket term for something used to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and/or pregnancy.

Learn about it.  Use it.  Use it correctly.

Protection is important regardless of genital configuration.  Most people just think of protection being used to prevent a pregnancy in a situation that involves a penis and vagina, but several types of protection will offer disease prevention benefits in any situation, even in the cases of oral sex or sharing toys.

The following is a very limited list of forms of protection.  You should not use this list as your only source of information, only as a starting point for further research.

  • Condoms will help prevent both pregnancy and disease transmission.  Condoms are typically placed on a penis or a toy and should not be reused, and they should be changed between partners if sharing a toy.
  • Dental dams will help prevent disease transmission, but are not used to prevent pregnancy.  Dental dams are typically used to cover the vulva or anus during anal sex.  You can make a dental dam out of a condom, but you should not try to use a dental dam as a condom.
  • Gloves can be used during manual stimulation to prevent disease transmission.
  • Birth control pills, IUDs, diaphragms, and spermicides may help prevent pregnancy, but will not prevent disease transmission.

You should never use anything made out of latex with anything made out of oil.  You should only use water-based or latex compatible lubricants with latex condoms, dams, or other items.  Oil will break down the latex and render it useless.  Things like hand lotion, Vaseline, mineral oil, or cooking oil may seem like a good lubricant, but they should never be used on latex.

And finally, if you want to use protection, for any reason, and your partner does not, say no.  That decision is yours and yours alone.  Don’t let any talk about “raincoats” or “it feels better without it” or “the test I took ten years ago said I was clean” or any amount of other whining convince you otherwise.  Remember, the words “Don’t worry, I’ll be careful” have never prevented a pregnancy or STD transmission.

Am I still asexual if I’ve had sex?

Yes.

Asexuality is a sexual orientation.  Sexual behavior does not change that.  Remember, it’s about attraction, not action.

Will it be as good as I’ve heard?

“Sex is the best thing ever!  It’ll rock your world and blow your mind!”

Despite what people say, this generally isn’t actually the case.  Sex is probably not the best thing ever, it’s probably not going to rock your world or blow your mind.

In particular, your first time is likely to be awkward and confusing and potentially even painful.  And you should know that’s a possibility going in.  Don’t expect to wake up the next morning to a new understanding of the universe.  Don’t even necessarily expect to have an orgasm.

Additionally, for asexual people, sex tends to be underwhelming.  It’s not uncommon for aces to feel disconnected, out of place, or even bored while having sex.

How fast should I go?

If you’re jumping straight to the “Let’s have sex now” step, you might want to slow down and get there in stages.  Heading straight to sex without working up to it can be a little daunting.  Smaller steps will help you find your footing and be more comfortable with what you’re doing.  Have a set goal in mind for a given day and don’t worry about trying to do too much, too fast. ”Today, we’ll kiss”, ”Today, we’ll strip to our underwear and cuddle”, “Today, we’ll get naked and become familiar with each other’s body”, “Today, I’ll watch as you masturbate”, “Today, let’s have sex”.  Something like that, although not necessarily those specific tasks.  That way, when you get to the sex, everything won’t be so overwhelming.

Then again, if you feel comfortable going straight to the “Let’s have sex now” step and skipping the rest, go right ahead.  There’s nothing wrong with that.

Be comfortable with your partner.

It’s very important to be comfortable with your partner.  You will probably want to discuss the situation beforehand.  If you’re not sure you want to have sex, but are thinking about trying it out, talk to them in a non-sexual situation about any concerns you might have and about what you might be willing to do.  Having a partner who is patient, understanding, and willing to guide you if you want can be a huge help.  Having a partner who is part of the process will also help ensure that they know what your goals are, and they won’t pressure you for more or be frustrated or overly disappointed if you back out.

Speaking of which…

It’s okay to back out.

At any time, for any reason, it is absolutely okay to back out.  It’s okay to stop.  It’s okay to turn your yes into a no.  It is your body and yours alone.  You are allowed to say no at any point in the process.

You are allowed to say no and stop when the subject of sex is first brought up.

You are allowed to say no and stop after agreeing to have sex.

You are allowed to say no and stop on the way to the bedroom.

You are allowed to say no and stop during a pre-sex make-out session.

You are allowed to say no and stop when they reach for a zipper.

You are allowed to say no and stop during foreplay.

You are even allowed to say no and stop during sex itself.

Sure, your partner may be frustrated or upset by this, but that’s their problem.  No matter how frustrated or upset they are, it does not give them a right to do something to you that you do not want done.

Is there a “right way” to have sex?  Do I have to perform a checklist of things for it to be any good?

Porn often gives the impression that sex has to be a complicated series of different actions in a certain order, as if there’s rules that say:  “You must perform at least three activities from list A, in at least four positions from list B.  You must not remain in any combination of activity and position for any longer than 90 seconds.”

Porn is like that because there probably are those rules for film production.  By changing things up and showing a number of different things, it gives the viewer something they like to see and keeps them interested.  But it’s just another way that porn is unrealistic.

When you have sex, you don’t have to work off a checklist.  You don’t have to change what you’re doing based off a timer.  Do what works for you for as long as it works for you.  If that means two minutes of missionary and then you call it a night, that’s the right way to have sex for you.  If that means more moves than the Olympic gymnastics competition, that’s the right way to have sex for you.

Changing up activities and positions can lead to different sensations and the excitement of variety, but it is in no way required.

How much sex should I have?

Some people never have sex.  Some people have it twice a day.  Some people have it once a week or once a decade.  Those are all perfectly fine amounts of sex.  There’s a misconception that you must have at least so much sex in order to be in a happy relationship.  The reality is that if you’re in a happy relationship, then you’re in a happy relationship, regardless of how much sex you’re having.  And if you’re in an unhappy relationship, it probably won’t matter how much sex you’re having.

What about fluids?

One of the biggest concerns people have about sex are the fluids involved.  Yes, there are fluids.  Several types, in fact.  Various forms of sex often involve one body part moving across another, and many of these fluids help to lubricate and decrease the friction present in that motion.  It can be uncomfortable to have sex without adequate lubrication.

If you dislike the thought of fluids but want to try sex anyway, there are three things to keep in mind:

  1. The volume of the fluids is probably less than you expect.  Usually, just a few milliliters.
  2. Urine is typically not one of the fluids.
  3. Most forms of protection will block or contain fluids, because that’s precisely what they’re designed to do.

Here are the more common fluids you may encounter:

  • Saliva:  Found in the mouth.  Also known as spit.  Usually encountered during kissing or oral sex.
  • Sweat:  Sex can be a form of exercise, and with all forms of exercise, participants may break a sweat.
  • Blood:  At “that time of the month”, there may be blood present within the vagina.  (However, blood appearing anywhere else or at some other time is probably a sign that something is not right.)
  • Vaginal lubrication:  The walls of the vagina will often release a lubricating fluid when aroused.  This fluid is somewhat slippery and can aid in penetration.
  • Precum/Pre-ejaculate:  After a period of arousal, the penis may begin to produce a small amount of a clear, slippery fluid from the urethra.
  • Personal lubricant:  This is artificial lubricant, for cases when the natural lubricant is insufficient.  This can be bought at most drugstores or the pharmacy aisle of a supermarket.
  • Semen:  Usually during orgasm, semen will be expelled from the penis.  It is usually a somewhat thick, whitish substance, but it will vary in color and consistency.  Semen contains sperm.  For people who find fluids disgusting, this one is usually viewed as the worst.  There are several things to note:  The owner of the penis can usually sense when it’s about to happen and can therefore direct where it goes (to some degree).  Also, the ejaculation will be entirely contained within a properly worn, intact condom, since that’s what they’re for.

There are also activities that will limit the presence of or contact with fluids.  Frottage or “Dry Humping” is an activity where one partner rubs against another while remaining fully clothed.  There is no direct genital contact and all fluids remain within the clothing.

Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want and say no to what you don’t want.

Even though you’re asexual, it’s perfectly fine to have preferences about what you want to do or don’t want to do when having sex.  If there’s something you like to do or want to do or like to have done to you, tell your partner.  And if there’s something you absolutely loathe, tell your partner.  Many people have a misconception that there shouldn’t be any talking during sex, and that all communication will be non verbal and clearly understood. That’s complete nonsense.

Is it okay to dislike or not want sex?

No one expects everyone to like roller coasters.  No one expects everyone to like sushi.  No one expects everyone to like hiking.  No one expects everyone to like reality TV.  No one expects everyone to like cute, fluffy puppies.  There is absolutely nothing that everyone likes.  So no one should expect everyone to like sex.

It’s okay to not like sex.  It’s okay to not want sex.  You’re not broken, you’re not missing some fundamental part of the human experience.  You’re just not a fan of a recreational activity.  Big deal.

Is it okay to like sex or want it, even if I’m asexual?

Asexuality is not “I hate sex”.

Asexuality is not “I don’t want sex”.

Asexuality is not “I can’t have sex”.

You’re allowed to like sex and want to have sex, even if you’re asexual.  Your orientation is about attraction, not action.  What you do doesn’t matter.

Do I have to compromise?

Many people seem to think that “compromise” is a dirty word when it comes to sex and asexuals.  The reality is that sex is pretty much always a compromise, no matter who is involved.  Compromise isn’t limited to asexuals.

Often, one partner will want sex more often than the other.

Often, one partner will like certain things more than the other.

Often, one partner will want it to last longer than the other.

Often, one partner will want their partner to do things their partner isn’t interested in doing.

And so on.

That’s where compromise comes in.  You say “I’ll do that, if you do this”.  You say “Not tonight, but maybe later”.  You say “I’m not a fan of that, but I’ll try this”.  Compromise should be fairly balanced, it’s not about one person getting their way entirely.

And compromise should never involve you feeling forced to do things you absolutely refuse to do.  If you do not, under any circumstances, want to do a certain thing, then do not do it.  And if your “do not, under any circumstances” thing happens to be having sex at all, then don’t have sex.

As with any negotiations, there may be deal breakers that cause the parties involved to walk away.  If you do not want to have sex at all, or do not want to have sex in the way that your partner desires, and that’s a major issue for your partner, then you may have a fundamentally incompatible relationship, and everyone involve might be better off with a break up.  You shouldn’t have sex just to save a relationship, because relationships that need sex to “save” them usually can’t be saved.

Do I have to know what to do?

Despite the myths, no one is born instinctually knowing how to have amazing sex.  Even non-asexual people are generally clueless about exactly what to do when they first try it.  Your partner probably won’t mind your inexperience.  You should feel free to ask them for guidance or have them tell you what things they like.  You’re allowed to need to figure things out.

You’re also allowed to do research ahead of time.  There are a number of trustworthy websites that provide information and advice on sex.  You don’t have to memorize the Kama Sutra and the collected works of Dr. Ruth, just get familiar with some of the basics. You can also talk about what to expect with your partner.

Which brings me to…

It’s okay to plan ahead of time.

Sex does not have to be some completely spontaneous, unplanned event.  Some people find that they’re more comfortable with what’s going on if they have some idea of where it is leading and what will happen next.  You are allowed to plan as much or as little as you want.  You can pick the date and time.  You can pick the location.  You can decide what you’re interested in doing.  You can decide the sequence of events.  You can involve your partner in this planning, or keep it to yourself, if you’d rather.  And you’re allowed to change your plans after you get started.

Will I have to make noise when I have sex?

Porn and pop culture often make sex out to be a noisy scream-fest, with all sorts of moaning and exclamations going on.  It doesn’t have to be like that.  Sex can be as quiet or as loud as you want it to be.  If you’re uncomfortable with moaning, screaming, or “talking dirty”, you don’t have to do any of that.  Sounds can be used as a way for communicate with your partner, but a simple, quiet “yes” or “mmm” is often enough to get the point across.

Is it okay to give myself a “helping hand”?

When having sex, you are allowed to stimulate yourself if you want to.  In some cases, the actions of your partner may not be getting the job done, or you might want to be stimulated in a certain place in a certain way.  There’s nothing wrong with taking care of yourself.  It does not mean that your partner is inadequate or that your asexuality prevents you from feeling something.  Many non-asexual people will also stimulate themselves during sex.

Is it okay to have an orgasm during sex, even if I’m asexual?

There’s a strange misconception that if an asexual person is having sex, that they can’t get anything out of it themselves.  Like if they have an orgasm, it means they’re not asexual.  As a result, an asexual having sex is supposed to simply lie there and do whatever their partner wants and not feel any pleasure from it.

Nonsense.

If you want to have an orgasm while having sex, then it’s okay to have an orgasm during sex.  Have two or three or fourteen if that’s what you want.  Orgasm is an experience of physical pleasure that has nothing to do with your orientation.

But do I have to have an orgasm?

On the other hand, if orgasm isn’t your thing or you don’t want one at the moment, you don’t have to have one.  There’s another misconception that sex is a failure unless everyone has an orgasm, but that is not the case.  Sex can be satisfying and successful even if you don’t get off.  If you don’t want one, clearly communicate to your partner how you feel, and let them know that it’s okay if you don’t have one and that you’d rather not have them try.

Do I have to try it to know for sure that I’m asexual?

If you don’t want to have sex, you don’t have to try it in order to “prove” that you really don’t want to.  You know you don’t want to, and that’s enough.  Think of it this way.  You don’t have to go rock climbing to know you’re not interested in rock climbing.  You don’t have to stick your hand in a vat full of spiders and millipedes to know you’d find that unpleasant.  It’s possible to know that you don’t want to do something without doing it.

For the most part, having sex won’t change you.  It won’t make you taller, it won’t make you stronger, it won’t make you smarter, it won’t make you smell like honeysuckle, it won’t give you the ability to fly or see through walls or turn invisible.  You’ll get a few experience points, but that’s it.  You’ll still be you and you’ll still be asexual.

I’m not aware of anyone who has had sex and suddenly decided that they’re not actually asexual after all.  They may decide that they enjoyed it.  They might be willing to do it again.  But it’s unlikely that it will fundamentally change you and make you not ace anymore.

If I try it once, to I have to keep doing it?

If you have sex once, it doesn’t permanently flip a switch inside that makes you obligated to have sex over and over again.  If you try it and realize that you’re not a fan, you don’t have to do it again.  If that upsets your partner, that’s their problem to deal with.  Having sex with someone once does not guarantee a repeat in the future.

Will my partner understand that I’m asexual?

Your partner will probably want sex more than you.

Your partner may not understand why you’re not interested in sex.

Your partner may decide that a lack of sex is a relationship deal-breaker.

Your partner may want to do things you’re uncomfortable with.

Your partner may wish you felt differently about sex.

Your partner may feel that you don’t love them because you won’t sleep with them or because you don’t find them attractive.

Here’s the thing:  All of those issues can happen in any relationship, not just one where one of the partners is asexual.

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Asexual Intercourse

The following post is an auto-biographical stream-of-consciousness account of what was going through my mind the first time I had sex.  I did not know I was asexual at the time, I did not discover asexuality until years later.  It’s clear to me now that most of what I felt was because I’m asexual.

I’ve never read an account like this.  We rarely talk about it, and when we do, we hardly go into this level of detail.  It’s too personal, too private, too embarrassing, too conflicting, too confusing.  And so we stay silent.  And in that silence, we’re alone.

I’m presenting this for multiple reasons.  First, I believe that sharing stories can help us find what we have in common, and let us know that we’re not alone.  The only story we hear is that consensual sex is wonderful and amazing, when it’s not always wonderful and amazing for everyone, even in the best of circumstances.   Second, there seems to be a common narrative out there that having sex will cure asexuality, somehow.  That’s often not the case and I wanted to give an example that people can use as a counterpoint.  And finally, I wanted to provide an example that can be used to potentially help non-asexual people understand what it’s like for an asexual person to have sex.  In particular, some people can’t understand how sex is possible without attraction, or think that there can be no pleasure without attraction.

The story below is my experience .  It is not meant to be representative of how every asexual person experiences sex.  Everyone is different.  Everyone’s story is different.

The following contains descriptions of sexual activity and may not be suitable for all audiences.


I’m lying in bed.  Waiting.  Shivering.

It’s not cold.  I’m not afraid.  I’m not even nervous, really.  I’m just shivering.  I guess it’s the unknown.  This is supposed to be a big deal, right?

She’s in the bathroom, getting ready.  This was her idea.  Do girls actually want sex?  I guess so.

Should I be naked?  I think I should be naked for this.  But what if she wants to undress me as foreplay?  Would that make me seem too eager?  Because I’m not eager.  I mean, I’m not reluctant.  I guess I’m just curious.  I think I’ll keep my clothes on.

Now I’ve gotten hard.  I guess that’s a good sign.

Do I want to do this?  She said I could back out at any time.  That was the agreement.  She’s not forcing me.  Of course I want to do this.  But why don’t I WANT to?  Like really really WANT to?  Wasn’t there supposed to be some sort of uncontrollable urge right about now?  Some kind of irresistible force taking control?  I feel…  I don’t know what I feel.  I don’t need to do this.  No, I don’t WANT to do this.  I’m willing to do this.  Willingness isn’t wantingness.

Okay, am I ready?  We bought condoms and lube earlier today, so +1 for responsibility there.  I’m still hard, so that’s another point.  I read up on what I’m supposed to do.  Is that normal?  Do people generally read up on what to do, or do they just know?  I mean, I already knew WHAT to do, tab A slot B, all that stuff.  I mean the rest of it.  Do people prepare a mental gameplan for this, or do they just go for it and figure it out on the way?  Not like fantasize about it.  I tried that, I couldn’t.  I mean like actually come up with stage directions for what I’m going to do and backup plans in case things go wrong.

What if it just doesn’t work?  She’s mentioned that she’s worried about being too small, too dry.  She said it hurt the other times with the other person.  I don’t want to hurt her.  How would I know if I’m hurting her?  The lube should help.  How deep is too deep?  How do I know how deep I am?  What if I’m too big?  She said I might be.  Or was that some sort of ego-boosting ploy?  Was that supposed to turn me on or something?  I don’t know.  I don’t care.  Should I care?  Do other people actually care about their size, or is that all just an act?

Is it all just an act?  It feels like an act.  At least it feels like I’m acting.  Is she acting?  Why would she be acting?  Why would she push so hard for this, if this isn’t something she really wanted?  Because she thinks I WANT it-want it?  It should have been clear that I didn’t.

So why am I doing this, anyway?  If I don’t WANT it.  Um, because she offered, I guess?  Because she wants it?  But that’s not all.  I do want to know what it’s all about.  It’s supposed to be amazing, why wouldn’t I?  It’s supposed to feel good.  Really really good.  Better than my hand, better than her hand.  It’s supposed to be a big deal.  It’s supposed to-… I’M supposed to.  I’m doing this because I’m supposed to.  I’m supposed to WANT it.  Maybe if I do it, I will.  Maybe there’s a slipped gear in my head and doing this will jostle it back into place and I’ll start WANTING it.  Like I’m supposed to.

There’d better not be any babies out of this.  That would suck.  But that’s why we got the condoms.  We practiced putting one on earlier.  So we should be good there.  And I read all about their effectiveness when used properly.  So hopefully no babies.

But about earlier…  When we practiced putting on the condom.  When we were completely naked around each other for the first time.  When she took me in her hand and put me inside her.  “To see if it fits”, I think she said.  I don’t know what that was about.  I guess that means I’m technically not a virgin anymore already, even if it was just for a few seconds.  Was I supposed to do something?  Was I supposed to react?  Was I supposed to get started?  That wasn’t the plan, the plan was to wait until night, just before bed.  Was that a test?  Did she want me to make a move?  It wasn’t the plan.  Why didn’t I make a move?  That could hardly be considered a subtle sign of interest.  I should have made a move.  Any other guy would have, wouldn’t they?

Of course they would.  No other guy would have waited this long to make a move.  Any other guy would have made a move that first night at her place.  Who cares that her parents were upstairs?  That didn’t stop us from doing other things.  But we couldn’t then, no condoms.  But nothing stopped me from picking up a pack on my way up.  Why didn’t I?  And why didn’t it bother me that we couldn’t?

Even this tonight isn’t my move.  It’s her move.  If she waited for me to make a move, it would never happen.  I’m just along for the ride.

The bathroom light clicks off.  The door opens.  It’s time.

She walks out in her pajamas, hair back, a faint minty scent surrounds her.  She climbs into bed.  She climbs on top of me and starts kissing me.

I don’t understand kissing.  I don’t see the appeal.  A peck on the lips is fine, and there’s that spot on my neck that gets things going, but deep mouth kissing?  That does nothing.  “Deep” being the important word here.  It feels like she’s trying to eat my face.  I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with my tongue.  It’s somewhat unpleasant.  It hurts my jaw.  She pushes harder, trying to force my mouth open wider.  I feel like a CPR dummy.  People like this?

I pull back and kiss across her cheek and down her neck.  I know I like that feeling.  Does she?

I move my hands up and down her back.  She’s not wearing a bra now.  That’s somewhat disappointing.  I kinda wanted to take it off.  Like that’s an important moment or something.

She moves to unbutton my shirt and I reach for her breasts.  The curve.  The nipple.  I caress them through her pajama top for several moments before reaching underneath it.  Shouldn’t I feel something now?  Shouldn’t I WANT this?  I don’t know what I’m doing.  I hope she likes it, because it’s doing nothing for me.

I roll her onto her back and lift up her shirt slightly.  I kiss my way up her stomach, then put my head under her shirt and begin kissing a breast.  She quickly takes off her top.  That’s the cue to take off mine, too.  I resume kissing one breast while fondling the other.  We’ve done this before.  I remember her instructions of “more pressure” when I get to the nipple.  I push with my tongue.  Is that enough?  Is this too much?  Should the pressure be constant or varied?  Is that even what she meant?

Do other guys like this?  I mean really like this?  They seem to be interested in breasts.  It seems like I should be enjoying this more than I am.  They’re kinda round, kinda squishy.  They’re okay, I guess, but I just don’t see the excitement.

Her hands are around my back.

I move up and begin kissing her on the face and neck.  I press my erection against her vulva, and she gently grinds through our pajamas.

I take my hand off her breast and begin moving southward with it.  I slowly cross her stomach, and run my hand down the outside of her leg.  I cross to the inside of the leg and work my way back up.  I cup my hand around the curve and press as I rub.

Am I supposed to talk dirty to her here?  What does that even mean?  I’d mess it up.  Anything I’d say would be ridiculous.  I wouldn’t even know where to begin.

She reaches into my pants and wraps her fingers around me.  She gently tugs.  Her hand feels numb and foreign.  I’m used to my hand, I’m used to the feedback loop.  She’s squeezing harder than I would.  She’s pressing on places I don’t press.  This feels strange.  It’s okay, but it’s not good.  Definitely not bad, just not good.  Neutral.

I reposition my hand, moving it under the elastic waistband of her pants.  I run it through her hair.  I like that she has hair down there.  I don’t know why.  I find the soft, warm flaps of skin.  I gently part them with my finger, and slide up toward the front, looking for the little nub of skin that I know is there.  We’ve been here before, too.  I’d like to get her off, but she doesn’t help me out.  I press as I trace a circle.  I don’t know if what I’m doing is working.  I’m not even sure I’m in the right place.  I guess she’ll tell me to stop if she wants me to stop.  I press a finger inside, slowly.  Soft.  Smooth.  Wet.  Warm.

She stops what she’s doing to me.  I return to spinning circles for a few moments.

She softly runs her hand across my balls, then moves to take off her pants.  I take off mine in return.

We’re naked again, for the second time that day.  She stops and looks me over.  She focuses on the area that was just uncovered.  There’s a look in her eyes.  Hunger, maybe?  She wants it.  I look her over.  It feels like an in-person anatomy lesson.  All the parts I’ve heard about are there, and I run over them in my mind.  Her breasts, her legs, her pubic hair, the little hint of labia…  But the most fascinating thing is that look in her eyes.  What is that look?  What is she feeling?

What am I supposed to be feeling?  Anticipation?  Sure.  Nervousness?  A little.  Lust?  Desire?  Where are they?  What are they?  Seeing her body is interesting, but it’s interesting in the way looking at a map of a national park is interesting.  I’ve heard about all these places, now I know how they all fit together.  It’s academic, not erotic.

She’s cute.  Her face is cute.  Her breasts are cute.  Her pale skin is cute.  The round tuft of hair is cute.  But not hot.  I don’t know what “hot” is.  She should be hot.  Other people call her hot, and they haven’t seen her like this.  She’s not supposed to be cute.  She’s supposed to be hot.  Cute is something you want to play with and pet.  Hot is something you want to have your way with.  She’s cute.  She doesn’t like that I think she’s cute.  It’s not enough for her.  But it’s all I have.

I don’t belong here.  Something’s just not right.  How long can I keep up this act?  Can she tell?  Maybe everyone feels this way their first time.

I move down and begin kissing her left thigh.  I gradually move my way up, toward the inside.

“Don’t,” she stops me.  I’m somewhat curious to try, because maybe that will make a difference, somehow.  But I move on at her direction, and kiss her stomach, breasts, face.  Was that a test?  Was I supposed to make a move there, too?  I don’t think so.  She talked about it before.  She said it felt good, but that it seemed tiring for the guy.  So maybe that wasn’t a test.

She rolls me over.  She climbs on top of me and presses her body against me as she kisses me.  Soft.  Warm.  I like the feeling as her nipples brush against mine.  My nipples are sensitive now.  I wish she’d pay more attention to them.  I try to guide her hand there, she doesn’t catch on.

She kisses down my neck, and rests her head on my chest.  I run my hands down her back and grab her ass.  My erection presses against her stomach, slightly wet at the tip.

That’s dangerous now.  Fluids and all.  I read about that.  Although unlikely, there could be sperm in that, especially after what we did earlier.  Better make sure that stays far away, until the condom is on.

She pauses as I reach between her legs to rub her.

She makes a move.  I know where she’s going.  I stop her.  Those two areas don’t touch without protection.

She rolls over to grab the condoms and lube.  We take out a condom and open the wrapper.  She takes the lube and rubs some on herself.

My erection is gone.  That’s a bit of a problem.  I know it’s just a temporary setback.  But still…  Moments away, and this happens.  I know it “happens to everybody”, but does it really?

She moves down and puts her hand around me.  She moves her face between my legs, and there’s a warm wetness of an exhale on my scrotum.  Problem solved.

I put on the condom as directed, and she applies a little bit of lube to the outside.  She wipes off her hand as she puts her head back on the pillow.

I move into position.

This is it.  This is the moment.  So why is it so hollow?  So empty?  Other people dream of this exact second for years.  They scheme and beg for it.  It’s nothing to me.

She’s lying on the bed in front of me.  Her hair falls on the pillow.  A faint smile on her lips.  Her eyes close.  Her breasts flatten and flow to the side.

I should WANT this.  I should NEED this.  I should have an uncontrollable urge to go on.  I shouldn’t be able to stop myself now.  But…  I could walk away right now and not feel any different.  Not feel like I missed out, not feel deprived.  Other guys would kill to be here right now.  But I could just go about my business and think nothing of it.

I part the lips with my fingers and guide myself in.

It’s so warm.  And enveloping.  It squeezes every part of me evenly.  It’s so different than my hand.  Better?  I don’t know.  Different.

Don’t go too far.  How will I know how far too far is?

I slowly push in as far as I think I should go.  Then slowly pull back out.  I don’t want to hurt her.  Go slow at first.  That’s what I read.

Pulling back out…  Wow.  That’s better than pushing in.  That’s definitely not something I can do with my hand.

I repeat a few times to get the hang of the motion.  I’d practiced using pillows and a plastic bag full of baby oil, but it wasn’t like this.

This alone won’t be enough for her.  That’s what I read.  I should make sure that I rub her as I go.  That’s supposed to help.  It’s awkward to twist my hand that direction.  I try to encourage her to do it, but she doesn’t take the hint.  She said tonight was about me, but I don’t want her to be left out.

Am I supposed to kiss her?  I think I’m supposed to kiss her.  But am I supposed to kiss her face or her breasts or what? Kissing her breasts seems like it’d require some uncomfortable contortions.  So I’ll kiss her face.  Hand goes to a breast.

There she goes again with the deep kiss.  How does her jaw open like that?  Should I tell her that it hurts right now?  No, that would be a bad idea.  Keep going.

In, out, in, out, in out…

I like the feeling pulling out almost all the way.  The way it softly wraps around the head and squeezes the tip.  The warmth, the pressure.  Yes, I like that.  And I like the feeling of my nipples pressed against her body.  The way they float across her skin as I move.

How long is this supposed to take?  I always hear stories of the first time ending almost right away.  Is that because they were more excited than I am?  I still have a ways to go.

How fast am I supposed to be going?  It seems like I’m going too slow, but it seems like going faster would just wear me out.

She wraps her legs and arms around me.

In, out, in, out, in, out…

I’m getting closer.

I look at her face in the dim light.  Her eyes are closed, her mouth is slightly open.  She’s lost in the moment.

In, out…  Definitely closer.

Should I be making some kind of noise?  I think I’m supposed to?  You always see that in movies.  But what kind of noise?  Aren’t those sounds natural?  Don’t they just come out in a situation like this?  Or are those sounds just faked?  I never make noise when I’m alone.

I’m on the edge now, and still nothing.  Where is the magical spark that’s supposed to wash over me?  Where’s the flame of passion?  Is this really all it is?

In, out, in, out, in, out.  Slow.  Stop.  Oh.  Right there.

My movement changes.  I feel the pressure building.  I push in.  My body goes rigid as a surge of pleasure paralyzes my body.  The automatic pulsing rhythm is the only part of me that moves.

I pause for a moment, still inside her.  I let my muscles relax, still inside her.  She whispers an “I love you”.  I respond, still inside her.

I slowly pull out, careful to hold the base of the condom as I’d read to do.  I roll onto my side and hold her.

Did that change my life?  Was that the best thing that’s ever happened to me?  Did that light a fire an awaken me sexually?  Was that earthquakes and fireworks and rocketships?  …  No.  None of that.

The warmth.  The softness.  The exquisite embrace on the head.  The brushing of the nipples.  The warm exhale.  The kiss on my neck.  The ending.  Good.  All of that.  But all physical.  All mechanical.  Emotionless.  Nerve endings doing their thing.  Felt good, yes.

I should probably take this thing off.  I have to pee, too.

Not mind-blowing.  Not amazing.  Not earth-shattering.  Not far above any other experience.  Wasn’t even the best orgasm I’ve ever had.  Far above average, but not the best.

My body liked it.  My mind?  What about my mind?  Acting in a play without a script.  Does everyone else have a voice in their head, feeding them the lines?  Or do they just improvise?  Why would they improvise?  Why would they make it up?  Why would they all play along?  Why not just give commands to kiss here, caress there, and get exactly what you want?  Why would there be a play at all if no one has the script?  Other people know the lines.  She knew the lines.  Why don’t I?

I don’t belong there.  I don’t know how to be there.

Is that all it is?  Is that what everyone raves about?  I don’t get it.

Maybe next time will be different.

Asexuality Questionnaire #3.3: Sex

IMPORTANT:  If you are under 18, skip this questionnaire.  Return to the main questionnaire page and answer some others instead.

If you have not already done so, please stop off at the main questionnaire page for important information about the intent of these questionnaires.

Thank you for your interest, but this survey is now closed!  We are no longer accepting responses at this time.  If you’re curious, here’s what the questions were:

  1. Do you have a libido?  How would you describe it?  Do you enjoy it?  Does it make you uncomfortable?  If you do not have a libido, explain why you do not feel that you have a libido.
  2. Do you experience arousal?  How would you describe it?  Do you enjoy it?  Does it make you uncomfortable?
  3. Have you ever felt “turned on” or “horny”?  How would you describe it?  Why do you not consider it to be an expression of sexual attraction?
  4. Have you ever had sex or participated in a sexual activity (or attempted to do either) as a “test” to prove or disprove your asexuality?  If you haven’t, have you ever considered it?  Did you feel it was important to “know for sure”?
  5. Do you participate or want to participate in any activity that is generally considered “sexual” by others?  Do you consider it “sexual”?
This survey is currently disabled.

Asexuality Questionnaire #3.1: Sex

IMPORTANT:  If you are under 18, skip this questionnaire.  Return to the main questionnaire page and answer some others instead.

 

If you have not already done so, please stop off at the main questionnaire page for important information about the intent of these questionnaires.

Thank you for your interest, but this survey is now closed!  We are no longer accepting responses at this time.  If you’re curious, here’s what the questions were:

  1. What are your thoughts on sex?
  2. Did discovering you were asexual change your outlook on sex?
  3. Did you have sex or participate in a sexual activity before you discovered you were asexual?  What was it like?
  4. Did you have sex or participate in a sexual activity after you discovered you were asexual?  What was it like?
  5. Are you repulsed by sex or sexual topics or experience an aversion to sex or sexual topics?  If so, describe what it’s like.  How did you first discover that you were repulsed or averse?  Did you ever attempt to overcome your repulsion or aversion?
This survey is currently disabled.

An Asexual on Sex

A quick note before I begin: To all the asexuals out there: It’s okay to be a virgin and it’s fine to not be a virgin. It’s okay to be curious about sex and it’s fine to not be interested in it at all. It’s okay to enjoy sex and it’s fine to dislike it. It’s okay to not want to experience sexual pleasure and it’s fine if you want to orgasm by yourself or with someone else. It’s okay to have sex and it’s fine to not have sex. Your experience may be different than mine, and it doesn’t mean that you’re wrong or your broken. It just means that you’re not me, and we’re each walking the path of our own lives.

All asexuals are virgins, right?

No, we’re not all virgins. Some of us are virgins. Some of us have had sex a few times (I’m in this group). And some of us have had a regular sexual relationship with a partner (or multiple partners).

How can you be asexual and have had sex?

Asexuality is a sexual orientation, just like heterosexuality or homosexuality. Sexual orientations are not defined by who you’ve had sex with throughout your lifetime, they’re defined by who you’re sexually attracted to. Think of it this way: A heterosexual male is heterosexual because he’s sexually attracted to women, even if he’s still a virgin and hasn’t had sex with any women. And if there’s that one night in college where he was young and confused and really really drunk and he went a little bit too far with that guy from the party because it seemed like a good idea at the time, that doesn’t make him gay or bi, because his sexual orientation is defined by his attraction, not his youthful indiscretions.

An asexual who has had sex simply isn’t sexually attracted to the person they’ve had sex with.

But, um, how can you be asexual and have had sex? I mean, physically?

Physically, there is no inherent difference between an asexual person and someone who is not asexual. We’ve got the same parts and pieces in the same arrangement and angles as everyone else, and they’ll work the same way, too. The only difference is emotional: Who we feel an urge to use those parts and pieces with. A heterosexual person wants to use them with someone with different parts and pieces, a homosexual wants to use them with someone with matching parts and pieces, a bisexual or pansexual doesn’t really care, and an asexual doesn’t really feel an urge to use them with anyone else.

Asexual males can get erect and ejaculate, and the sperm is normal human male sperm, it’s not some sort of magic sperm that can grow into a clone of the father on its own under the right conditions.

Asexual females can get wet and engorged and can get pregnant, and a pregnancy requires a male contrubution, they’re not capable of parthenogenesis.

Asexuals of any sex are capable of orgasm.

So, uh, asexual women having sex, that I get. “Lie back and think of England” and all that. They don’t have to do anything. But asexual men… How does that work?

Blood fills the spongy tissue of the penis, causing an erection, and the erect penis is-

I know how it works, but how does that happen?

You mean, how can an asexual man get an erection without being sexually attracted to the person they’re with?

Yeah, what’s the deal with that?

Obviously, the ability to achieve erection and not be sexually attracted to the person the erection will be used with is not an isolated feature unique to asexuals. There are plenty of examples of gay men who have fathered children through natural insemination. There are also plenty of examples of men (gay, straight, or otherwise) who’ve left the bar at last call with whoever was willing to join them. A man clearly does not have to be sexually attracted to someone to be able to have sex with them.

I can only speak for myself here, as I’ve never run a survey of non-virgin asexual males regarding erectile capacity during intercourse, but here goes. Even though I’m not sexually attracted to anyone, my body can and does respond to sexual situations. It’s like downstairs says “Oh, hey, SEX! I know what that is. I’ll go get ready in case you need me.” It’ll react that way to some sex scenes in movies, or to porn, or to knowing that you and your girlfriend had planned on having sex for about a month and now she’s getting into bed with you. It may be a Pavlovian response, where I know that the situation may have the reward of sexual pleasure, so my body gets prepared. Additionally, an erection can be caused by physical stimulation, regardless of the source of that stimulation. Many men have gotten erections from tight underwear, loose underwear, driving on bumpy roads or getting a physical at the doctor, and none of those things are generally targets of sexual attraction. When I had sex, there was a decent period of touching and caressing prior to starting intercourse, all of which was arousing. In fact, immediately after putting on the condom, I required a bit of direct stimulation to make the erection usable.

Some people confuse an getting an erection with sexual attraction. It is very important to note that they are not the same thing. Certainly, an erection can be the result of sexual attraction, but there are many other ways to get one (Like the physical stimulation mentioned above), and most of those other ways will work the same way on an asexual’s penis as on a non-asexual’s penis. Hell, when I was in the 7th grade, I used to get an erection every day in math class. Now, I like math and all, but I don’t like it that much. Sometimes erections just happen and there’s no reason for it.

Oh, and, don’t forget: Despite what President Clinton may have claimed, sex doesn’t necessarily require a penis to be placed within a vagina. So it doesn’t require a functional penis to be involved. It doesn’t even require a penis at all. Hands, mouths, and various devices and implements that may or may not be battery-operated can all be used during sexual activity.

Why bother? I mean, if you hate sex, what’s the point?

As I noted in an earlier post, views on sex vary widely among asexuals. Many asexuals do not hate sex. There are many reasons that an asexual person might have sex. These reasons include (but are not necessarily limited to):

  • To please their partner.
  • Because they’ve been told, “Try it, you’ll like it”.
  • To satisfy their libido.
  • Because they’re bored.
  • To find out what its like.
  • Because they want children.
  • To “fit in” with other people.
  • Because it feels good.
  • Because they want to.

I had sex because my girlfriend at the time wanted to have sex with me. She knew that I wasn’t all that interested in sex, but we figured that it was worth a shot because maybe I’d become more interested in it if I experienced it. Of course, I did want to know what it was like, since sex is supposed to be this super-amazing, mind-blowing, life-altering thing that everyone else seems to be relentlessly chasing. Something like that’s gotta be good, right? But most importantly, I did it because I wanted to do it. No amount of begging and pleading would’ve gotten me to do anything if I didn’t want to do it (Anyone who’s tried to get me to eat Thai food knows that). In the end, I wasn’t terribly impressed. It was okay, I guess, but nothing to get all worked up over. It just wasn’t my bag.

What do you do when you have sex?

You know all the different things non-asexuals might do that they’d consider to be sex? Yeah, asexuals might do any of those. It’s not like there’s some ace code of conduct that says asexual women must lie passively and asexual men must thrust in the missionary position and any deviations from these standards are punishable by no cake for a month. During sex, asexual people, regardless of gender, can be as active or as passive as they want to be, and engage in activities ranging from dull to kinky.

But can you feel anything?

We can. Nothing about asexuality prevents an asexual person from experiencing physical sexual pleasure, whether that pleasure comes from a kiss on the cheek or genital stimulation. An orgasm in an asexual is no different than an orgasm in someone who isn’t. Sexual response will vary from individual to individual, just like among non-asexual people. Many asexuals who have had sex have never experienced an orgasm or may experience pain during intercourse (particularly women), however, you’ll find the same issues among non-asexual people, as well.

As for me, do I feel anything? Hoo-boy howdy yeah! Um, I mean, yes, I found the act of intercourse to be quite pleasurable physically.

None of this makes any sense to me. Asexuals having sex. “Asexual” means “not sexual”, so it’s not possible for an asexual to do sexual things. Are you sure you’re ace?

I don’t like the description of asexuality as “non-sexual” or “not sexual”, as I feel those terms carry the implication that an asexual person has no sexual ability or is incapable of doing anything of a sexual nature or is impotent. That’s simply not the case. Asexuality alone has no bearing on physical and physiological attributes and functions. I’ve got a penis and a pair of testicles. I can get erections. I can masturbate, lubricate and ejaculate. I can experience the intense physical pleasure of an orgasm. I can father a child. All the parts down below are present and functional, just like in any other healthy factory-original male. The only difference is that I don’t have any burning interest in using those parts with anyone else, because I’m asexual. Not having any interest doesn’t mean that I’m incapable of doing so.

What was sex like, from your point of view?

Somewhat analytical and disconnected. I was far more into trying to figure out what actions I was supposed to be taking at the various points in the process. Am I supposed to kiss the breast or caress it now? Is the clitoral stimulation too fast or too slow? I distinctly remember being bored at one point, wishing that my orgasm would arrive so that I could stop. It wasn’t the epitome of all life experiences, as I’d been led to believe. But at the same time, it felt good, both physically and emotionally. The whole process felt different and in some ways better than masturbation, the warmth and the varying pressure being notable examples. And I very much enjoyed sharing the experience with the woman that I loved at the time.

Interestingly enough, I have a record of some emails I sent to my partner on the subject in the days following our get togethers. They’re a monument to aceness. Instead of things like “Oh baby, you were so hot last night” and “I just got hard again thinking about what we did”, these mails are full of more practical issues, like the application of lubricant, discussion of technique, and talking about how I wasn’t expecting to be thirsty after sex. Anyway, here’s some quotes from those mails:

“Anyway, yes, I did enjoy it. It was different than I had imagined. It took a lot longer than I was expecting (Must’ve gotten caught up in the rhythm and forgotten to orgasm…). And it felt different, too. The way people always talk, I was expecting more of an electric explosion type of ‘WowWowWOWOW!’ sort of feeling the entire time. Sure, it was nice, but I don’t see why it gets people acting stupid and ruining their lives and such.”

“At the beginning, it wasn’t that much different from masturbation and was fairly dull and repetitive, almost ‘Is that all there is?’ “

“Touching there, kissing here, rubbing there… It doesn’t make much difference. It all feels pretty much the same to me. Stroking your breast does about as much for me as stroking your shoulder.”

“Anyway, I will be willing to do it again sometime. It meets with my approval.”

Your honor, I would like to submit these letters as Exhibit A for the proof of the existence of asexuality…

Um… Yeah. Wow. So, uh… What should I know if I, as a non-asexual person, want to have sex with an asexual?

As I wrote above, asexual people can have sex and still be asexual. There’s nothing physically preventing most of us from doing so. However, just because someone can physically have sex doesn’t mean they will want to. Many aces do not want to have sex. They may be repulsed, they may not be with the right person, it might not be the right time for them, or they may simply not want to. Even those who are willing to have sex are generally less into it and won’t do it as frequently as a non-asexual partner might prefer. Trying to coerce or pressure or guilt an asexual into having sex with you is an officially uncool thing to do. “No” means NO.

Sometimes aces will be willing to work out a compromise situation when they’re in a relationship with a non-asexual person, but it’s important that such a compromise come from a place of respect and that the compromise be honored by both parties. The single most important thing to remember when dealing with a sexual relationship with an asexual person is that you need to talk to them. Communication. Tell them your wants and needs and listen to their wants and needs. And talk. Don’t accuse and don’t demand. Also, not all asexual people will be willing to compromise.

Understand that an asexual person probably sees sex in a very different way than you do. You might see it as the supreme expression of love, joining of two souls into a single blissful passion. They may see it as the rubbing of genitals against each other for a half hour or so. They may not find you sexually attractive, but that’s not a personal rejection of you and there’s nothing you can do about it. It doesn’t mean they think you’re fat or ugly or horrible to be around or they don’t love you anymore. Their minds just don’t work that way. You will need to learn to accept that.

One thing I’ve seen happen again and again is that the asexual person will gradually become less and less willing to have sex. There can be many reasons for this, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re falling out of love. They may have come to the realization that they can’t overcome their repulsion. They may have started feeling guilty that you’re clearly attracted to them and they can’t return the favor. They may be growing less and less comfortable in sexual situations. The novelty might be wearing off. Or they may simply not be as willing to do it anymore. You will never know what the reason is if you don’t talk to them about it.

And again, no means no. If someone doesn’t want to have sex with you, then they don’t want to have sex with you. It doesn’t matter that they’re asexual. It doesn’t matter if they’ve had sex before, even if that sex was with you. No means no.