Asexuality And Marriage

Why would a man refuse to have sex with his wife? A woman wrote asking why I think her husband avoids having sex with her. Despite her attempts to be attractive, seductive, and encouraging a sexual relationship, her husband says they don’t “need to have sex in order to express love” for each other.

It is impossible for a non-professional to diagnose a person’s sexual problems. Neither the woman who wrote to me, nor I, are qualified to diagnose what may be keeping her husband from fulfilling his role as a sexual partner in their marriage. Her initial thought was that her husband was asexual but after reading about the Madonna/Whore Complex she was considering it as a possibility also.

The following is a quote from the Asexual Visibility and Education Network: “Because we don’t care about sex, asexual people generally do not see a lack of sexual arousal as a problem to be corrected, and focus their energy on enjoying other types of arousal and pleasure.”

To quote from the above site again: “An asexual is someone who does not experience sexual attraction. Unlike celibacy, which people choose, asexuality is an intrinsic part of who we are.”

A further search finds this definition of Asexuality in Wikipedia: “Asexuality is a designation or self-designation for people who lack feelings of sexual attraction and/or sexual desire.”

Quoting from the above article: “Those asexuals who do want romantic relationships are in a difficult position, as the majority of people are not asexual. Asexuals able to tolerate sex can pair up with non-asexuals, but even then their lack of attraction can be psychologically distressing to their partner, making a long-term romance difficult. Asexuals who cannot tolerate sex must either compromise with their partners and have a certain amount anyway, give their partners permission to seek sex elsewhere, have sexless relationships with those few who are willing, only date other asexuals, or stay single.”

A man suffering from the Madonna/Whore Complex is capable of having sex and may have quite a healthy sexual appetite. That sexual appetite and capability just don’t extend to his “Madonna,” the woman he places on a very high pedestal. He may be quite the stud outside of his marital bed.

The asexual man, from the definitions I’ve found, isn’t interested in having sex with anyone. However, if it takes sex to get the companionship he craves, he may at least make the effort until he accomplishes his goal.

These are not the only reasons a spouse may be indifferent to sex. He may prefer sex with a same sex partner but be too afraid to disclose his sexual orientation for fear of the repercussions.

A low sex drive doesn’t have to spell disaster for a marriage. An asexual woman paired with a Madonna/Whore man, an asexual man matched with an asexual woman, or even two homosexuals hiding their preferences under the cloak of marriage, may have successful marriages.

A healthy sexual relationship is important to a successful marriage. “Healthy” means many things and when both husband and wife are happy within the relationship, that’s all that matters regardless of how the dynamics of the relationship might not suit someone else.