The entry below is an excerpt from my Sex With God devotional, which launches July 21, 2020.
Human sexual attraction and desire are vast and shifting things, with no one person’s reality being a model for perfection. God burns with desire for all humanity, and each of us reflects that hunger in varying ways: physically, spiritually, emotionally, and even intellectually. When it comes to sexual desire, some of us have very high sex drives and are excited by people of the opposite sex. Some have a lower drive, and are attracted to people of the same sex. Some of us experience little or no sexual demands from our bodies, and aren’t sexually excited by people of any gender. Many people exist in varying positions in the middle of these spectrums.
Asexuality is not one thing. Some asexual people occasionally feel sexual attraction or desire, while others never do. Some feel desire only when they are intellectually and emotionally connected to a person. Many asexual people have satisfying sex lives, others refrain from sex completely. Any variation of this is normal.
Consider this anonymous quote:
For asexuals, sex is like… a donut. When we see a donut, we do not have the urge to eat the donut. This does not necessarily mean we hate the donut, or think the donut is disgusting— many of us even like donuts. But we never have any urge to walk over there and eat it. Demisexuals will have the urge to eat the donut only if it their absolute favorite kind of donut in the whole world, and greysexuals sometimes will have the urge to get the donut, and sometimes not. Celibates are on diets.
As with the donut analogy, you could enjoy eating a donut even if your body doesn’t scream “yes please!” while thinking about it ahead of time. Asexual people can be excellent, attentive lovers, putting their whole hearts, minds, and bodies into the experience of giving and receiving. They can also abstain completely from sexual activity and lead perfectly healthy, fulfilling lives.
It’s possible that you or your partner may not know initially that one of you is asexual. It can be tricky to navigate this new landscape. An asexual person’s partner may feel rejected. They might even feel like they’ve been deceived. They may experience a sense of loss for what they’d assumed your sexual relationship was going to be, and may question their own desirability.
To avoid this problem, you have to understand who you are, here and now, and communicate openly. If you know you’re asexual, it’s important to tell your partner early on, so they can factor it in to their idea of a future together. Be clear about what degree of sexual activity you’re comfortable engaging in. And if you don’t realize it until your relationship has traveled down the road a few years, and your desires are mismatched, the need for communication is equally important.
Sex doesn’t make a person whole, and a lack of sex drive doesn’t make you broken. It simply makes you, you. The key is to not be afraid to consider how you personally tick, and to communicate with your partner (if you have one) about how they tick.
If you love each other, you can build a system which works.
Asexual people are not the same as heterosexual people who aren’t having sex, which is what some misunderstand them as. There is a difference between an abstinent heterosexual person and an asexual person: abstinence is a practice (a choice), while asexuality is an orientation (not a choice—a familiar distinction for LGBTQ folks)….Just like many LGBTQ people, asexual people still have to deal with fighting society’s expectations and developing pride and confidence in their orientation.
Julie Sondra Decker