PQ 19.2 — Is sex a mandatory part of an intimate relationship for me? Would I consider a relationship with someone uninterested in sex or stay in a relationship with someone who loses interest in sex with me?

a stick figure with its hand on its head and 3 red question marks over its head

PQ 19.2 — Is sex a mandatory part of an intimate relationship for me? Would I consider a relationship with someone uninterested in sex or stay in a relationship with someone who loses interest in sex with me?

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No, sex isn’t a mandatory part of an intimate relationship with me. I’ll be honest here: It’s nice (I love sex and consider myself hypersexual). I love it when I can forge a good sexual connection with someone. But is it mandatory? No.

Friends will report that I’ve carried some awfully large torches for asexuals, graysexuals, and demisexuals. And over the years, I’ve dated multiple people on the asexual/aromantic spectrum as well as individuals who had physical reasons that they couldn’t engage in sexual contact.

Being polyamorous helps.  I did find it much more difficult to be with a partner who had significantly lower libido than me when I was monogamous. Not so much these days, however. It’s not nearly as much of a big deal now.

Part of the reason it’s easier nowadays is that my understanding of asexuality and graysexuality has evolved. But I can’t ignore the fact that (for me at least) it’s easier to not take a lack of sex in one relationship personally when I have other people in my life I’m sexually active with.

I thought a bit on what I need out of intimate relationships, and I came up with a list.

Important Elements of Intimate Relationships (for Me)

  1. They really get me. This is basically my top criterion. I’m a bit of a weirdo, and so when people understand the swirling mass of contradictions that I am, it’s a big deal. Heart goes pitter-patter. Ba-boom, ba-boom.
  2. We have really interesting conversations together. I’m a chatty Cathy. It’s true. My family likes to joke that when I was born I emerged from the womb having talked to myself for 9 months and looking for new conversation partners. So being able to talk to someone is a plus. And it’s difficult for me to build intimacy without a good verbal connection.
  3. They’re a great kisser. I’ve been obsessed with kissing for a very long time. I’m such a sucker for a good kisser. It’s a little silly.
  4. I make them happy. I want to add value to the lives of people I love — maybe that’s entertaining them. Maybe that’s helping them reach their personal goals. And maybe it’s just saving them from their loneliness. In any event, I have to feel like my being in their life is a positive event.
  5. I look forward to spending time with them.
  6. I get enough attention. How much? It really depends. On the person, our compatibility, the logistics of our lives, and how much they want from me in return.
  7. Okay. Yeah. Great sex does make the list. You got me.

Do I need all of these things?

History tells me that no, I don’t need all of them. But realistically? I need to have about half of this list in any given relationship. But only two of the seven (that is, #3 & #7) have to do with physical contact.

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This post is part of a series in which I answer each of the chapter-end questions in More than Two with an essay. For the entire list of questions and answers, please see this indexed list.

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