Telling Your Partner That You’re Asexual
You've done some research and personal reflection, and you're confident that you’re asexual. You are well-versed in this orientation and how it applies to you, but you still wonder how you're going to disclose your asexuality to your new partner. Well, worry no more. We'll be discussing how to disclose to your partner that you're asexual.
When to Tell
One of the biggest challenges is knowing when to tell your partner that you're asexual. Should it be done during the first date, the third, right before you think sex is going to happen, or years into the relationship? The answer ultimately depends on what the person's comfortable with. For example, some people like to disclose their orientation sooner than later. For them, it’s like ripping off a Band-Aid; the quicker they do it, the less time they have to worry about it. Meanwhile, others feel more comfortable discussing asexuality later in the relationship, after trust and a connection have been established. There are some people who have waited until marriage and children to let their partner know that they’re asexual. Regardless on which approach you take, know that there are pros and cons with each one. Regardless of when you decide to tell our partner, how do you do it?
Though you're pretty familiar with asexuality, not everyone else is. When you decide to tell your partner that you're asexual, try pairing it with sexual education. For instance, keep things simple by initially explaining the difference between being asexual and aromantic. This will allow your partner to know that though you may like or love them, you don't have an inherent need to have sex with them, which could help the partner take things less personally. Explaining asexuality may take some patience, so don't expect your partner to get it right away. This leads to our next section.
Be Open to Answering Multiple Questions
Asexuality is often considered an "invisible" sexual orientation. Therefore, be prepared for multiple questions concerning it. This can be a good thing, however! Your partner asking you several questions could indicate their interest in your sexual orientation. Try to support this by being patient and informative. Here are some common, and possibly annoying, questions that you may have to hear:
- "You don't have a sex drive at all? Did you bad experiences with your past boyfriend/girlfriends?"
- "If you love someone, wouldn't you want to have sex with them?"
- "Did you experience sexual trauma in the past?"
- "Since you're asexual, does that mean that we'll never do anything sexual together?"
- "If you're not sexually attracted to anyone, why do you date?"
- “Have you ever had a good orgasm?”
The list of questions can go on and on. The important thing is being prepared for them. To be clear, you are in no way obligated to explain asexuality and how it relates to you. It can be exhausting to have to repeatedly explain your identity. However, doing so may help you find compatible partners, or at the very least, help you weed out the ones that wouldn't work.
What If This Is A Deal-breaker?
So, let's say that you've disclosed to your partner that you’re asexual. You did it when you felt comfortable, incorporated sex education, and were even open to answer multiple questions. However, it seems as though your boyfriend or girlfriend just isn’t getting it. Worse, you being asexual appears to be a deal-breaker for them. Unfortunately, this can be a harsh reality when disclosing to your partner that you’re asexual. If this occurs, try to remember a couple of things.
It may be hard to do during the moment, but try not to take the termination of the relationship personally. You didn’t do anything wrong; you were simply honest and upfront about your sexuality. Though it’s disappointing that your partner wouldn’t be able to handle an asexual partner, continuing to be upfront about your orientation will allow you to find someone who is. There’s more to remember.
Being asexual is going to be a deal-breaker for some, and that’s okay. Even though it might hurt or feel dismissive, remember that you cannot control your orientation. After all, wouldn’t it be worse to pretend to be interested in sex, just to impress your partner? Not being true to ourselves can feel confining, which often leads to resentment. Therefore, don’t let the fear of your asexuality being a deal-breaker stop you from discussing it.
How It All Looks
So, we talked a lot about disclosing asexuality to your partner, but how would all of this look? Here are some basic templates that you can tailor for your personal situation.
“Hi, _____. We’ve gone on a couple of dates, and I wanted to bring something up before things got more serious. I identity as asexual, which means that I’m not sexually attracted to anyone. To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with you; I’m just not interested in sex. I know this may be confusing because we’re dating. However, being asexual is different from being aromantic. I may not be sexually interested in you, but I am interested in you romantically. All of this may be hard to understand, so I’m willing to answer whatever questions you have. Also, I’ll understand if my asexuality is a deal-breaker for you. I just figured you should know where I stand.”
“Hi, ____. We’ve been dating for months now, so I finally feel comfortable sharing something with you. I actually identify as asexual, which means that I’m not sexually attracted to anyone. To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with you; I’m just not interested in sex. I know that may be confusing because we have had sex with each other, but that’s the thing with asexuality: I don’t hate sex, I’m just not interested in it. I want this relationship to continue, and I want to be true to my orientation. So, I was hoping that we could figure something out.”
“Hi, honey. There’s something that I’ve been meaning to talk to you about. Before I do, I just want you to know that I love you, and that you haven’t done anything wrong, okay? You know how there are some people with a complete lack of sexual attraction, people who call themselves asexual? Well, I’m pretty convinced that I’m one of them. I know that this can be confusing because we’re married and even have kids. However, asexuality isn’t the same as sexual aversion. I love you and I like the intimacy that we share; I’m just not interested in sex. I love this marriage and want to keep this going, so I was hoping that we could work together on this. I know you must have a lot of questions on all of this, so I’ll do my best to answer them.”
Disclosing to your partner that you’re asexual can be really difficult to do. The fear of rejection is very real, and felt by many others. However, providing basic education on asexuality and being open to questions may lessen the fear and pressure of disclosing your orientation. If you find yourself struggling to tell your partner that you’re asexual, try using what you learned in this article. It might just help.