My Girlfriend is ASexual - What Should I Do?
Affection, sex and intimacy, are the GLUE in many romantic relationships: It’s what differentiates you from friendships.
Dear Dr. Frankie:
I've been dating my girlfriend for 7 months and she is fantastic. Sweet and funny, a great person, but she is asexual and I'm having a hard time coping with it. My girlfriend struggles with depression, past trauma, molestation and a very heavy workload. As a result, she's not very affectionate, we don't have sex for months at a time, and I'm confused if I should stick it out or try to find someone I can have a fully affectionate relationship with, like I desire and want.
Kim from Seattle.
This is a tough one: It sounds like you genuinely care for your girlfriend, yet she is in pretty difficult present, considering her traumatic past. You’re not dealing with just one thing (like a heavy workload), that could be modified or adjusted, or depression that could be treated by therapy or medication—You’re also dealing with molestation and childhood trauma, AND she identifies as asexual.
Someone who identifies as “asexual” is someone who either doesn't like sex or has a very low sex drive. Wikipedia defines it as, “the lack of sexual attraction to anyone, or low or absent interest in sexual activity.” It’s actually not an uncommon orientation and one that many people find satisfying (for a very well done comic on asexuality, go here).
If you also identified as asexual, this wouldn’t be an issue, but from what I sense from your question, you don't identify as asexual and you have a need for sexual intimacy, feel sexual attraction and have a need for physical touch - THAT’S IMPORTANT to pay attention to.
If you experience sexual feelings and desire affection and sex from your mate, own it. Be responsible to get your needs met. You are the only one who can attend to your own needs. Like I've said before, in previous videos, curve and blog posts, “Affection, sex and intimacy, are the GLUE in many romantic relationships: It’s what differentiates you from friendships.” This isn't to say that every romantic relationship needs sex, but it sounds to me like you desire a sexual relationship, you want affection, and therefore, you should love and respect yourself enough to go get it. “Sticking it out” is helping no one and will not lead you any closer to the relationship you want and deserve.
As difficult as it is for me to advise this, it sounds like you probably should cut your losses and let your girlfriend go. You both deserve relationships that love and embrace ALL your choices and identities and give you joy instead of frustration.