One of the letters sometimes added on the end of LGBT is A for Asexual. Here I am in our sexual culture, somewhat bemused. So often on the telly I see people go into bars to pick someone up- usually of the opposite sex, occasionally of the same sex, and it is quite alien to my experience. I read that men think of sex however many times it is an hour or a minute, and feel some relief. It sounds really distracting.
Now, on “Masters of Sex”, for the first time I see an asexual couple, portrayed as that. He is unable to sustain an erection. She suffers vaginismus, which I understand from the programme means that her muscles tighten and she cannot be penetrated. This seems to have arisen from incest when she was around twelve: she first remembered that her brother had forced himself on her, but then he told her it had been her idea, because she had not wanted him to go and play with someone else. Together they watch cosy American rom-coms, where nice people who really like each other also fall in love, and European art films where unlikeable people who hate each other smoulder then have violent sex.
Being Asexual seems to make life simpler. Perhaps the grass is not greener for the Normals. Then there are self-named “demi-sexuals”, who cannot get aroused with another without a romantic attachment. Some say they desire a romantic relationship, but not a sexual one. I don’t know how normal “demi-sexual” is, but not being like that seems horrible to me: the thought of having a physical appetite and just using someone to scratch an itch, picked up in a bar or dating website, repels me. And seems quite normal.
The lovely Sarah Harnetty followed me. She says while asexuals want the others to empathise, we have to empathise with the range of sexual intensity. It is not “us” and “them”, it is a range of sexual response. Religious rules on sex are silly because there is one rule for all, such as that a Mormon should not be alone with a person of the opposite sex. For some, that would be an unbearable temptation.
Most of the time I am not aroused, but I am not entirely over my obsession, three years later. I chatted to a visitor at the Quaker meeting, really enjoyed it, and proposed a hug. We hugged, and I felt a sudden sharp sensation in my crotch. It was nice, I think it was reciprocal, and I feel wistful about her. I remark on this as it is very rare and surprising for me. Then I met a bloke who is as keen on backgammon as I am, and since I have not had a serious partner- backgammon partner- for yonks, I asked for his phone number. He drove me home, and proposed cooking for me then having sex. He finds me “really attractive”, he said. What good taste he has.