Edge of Everywhere

“Why I Love My Husband But Not Sex”

Posted on: December 1, 2008

There’s a great Modern Love piece in yesterday’s New York Times by Lauren Slater called “Deeply, Truly (but Not Physically) in Love”. Ms. Slater, a woman with “almost no sex drive,” describes her disinterest in sex and touches on the problems it has caused in her marriage. She also includes a telling history of her sexual life, including the time she was driven to lie about having been raped in order to put off having sex with a lover when she was young. Problematic, yes, but also a moving testament to the deep shame and confusion that can accompany a lack of desire for what society expects us to want.

Towards the end of the article, Ms. Slater writes, “I am a woman in love, but I am not in love with sex. I am in love with glass and stones, with my children, my animals. I am in love with making, as opposed to making love. ” The final five paragraphs describe the wonders of the world that thrill her in a way that sex never could, ending the piece on a positive note. It excited me to read about many of the same feelings expressed on the AVEN boards and asexual blogs in the Times.

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2 Responses to "“Why I Love My Husband But Not Sex”"

Thanks for posting that, I hadn’t seen it and it’s very interesting. I wrote a letter to the NYT once before and they published it, so I thought I might try again. My goal here was to get the author to visit AVEN. Here’s what I wrote to the Modern Love folks:

A friend just pointed me to the Modern Love column from November 28th, and I found it very interesting. Similarly to Ms. Slater, I have absolutely no sex drive, which has been a constant throughout my entire life. A few years ago, I discovered that there is a fourth sexual orientation, called asexuality. While heterosexuals are attracted to the other sex, homosexuals to the same sex, and bisexuals to either sex, asexuals are sexually attracted to no one. Indeed, Kinsey “discovered” asexuals in the 1940’s, calling them “X”, but thought they weren’t titillating enough to warrant further study. Ms. Slater’s story shows that Kinsey may have been misguided in this assessment. It saddened me that Ms. Slater seemed to be struggling so much with the idea that her lack of sex drive could be pathological. I’d want her to know that there’s nothing wrong with her: Just as some people have an extremely high sex drive, others have little to none. It’s a natural part of the bell curve of human diversity. I think Ms. Slater might be interested to know about AVEN, the Asexuality Visibility and Education Network, which can be found online at http://www.asexuality.org. At AVEN, there are many similar stories to the one I read in Modern Love. While some people are having a hard time dealing with their lack of sex drive, others have found satisfying relationships that they are happy with. I hope that you’ll pass this information on to Ms. Slater, and thank you for publishing this article.
Sincerely,

[ily]

Ily, I’m so excited that you wrote to the Times after reading my post about this article! I think your letter is perfect – really well-written and informative. It would be great if Ms. Slater got to read it and find out about AVEN.

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