Steve Winter and his fiancee Thom Gray are like any other same-sex couple who are hopelessly in love. They enjoy spending time together, doting on their cat, Jacx, and are busy putting the final touches on their wedding planned for later this month.
There’s just one difference… They don’t have sex.
Steve tells HuffPost he first discovered asexuality a few years ago, when he was 31. Up until then, he just thought sex was, well, kinda dumb.
“In all honesty,” he explains, “I never had any real desire to want to start sticking things into people or for the experience to be inflicted upon myself.”
Related: It’s time to stop joking and start taking asexuality seriously
26-year-old Thom has a similar story. Sex never interested him either. He discovered he was asexual at age 21.
“I knew quite soon after coming out as gay that I had misjudged my desire to go out with guys,” he explains. “Looking back, I realized I have always been asexual, but it sadly it took some bad experiences whilst identifying as gay to find that out.”
According to the all-knowing Wikipedia, asexuality is “the lack of sexual attraction to anyone, or low or absent interest in sexual activity. It may be considered the lack of a sexual orientation, or one of the variations thereof, alongside heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality.”
A 2004 study estimates that around 1% of the world’s population is asexual. So out of 7.5 billion, that’s about 75 million.
Both Steve and Thom identify as “homoromantic” asexuals, meaning they experience romantic feelings towards members of the same-sex, but those feelings stop between the candlelit dinner and the bedroom.
“Being homoromantic means that both myself and Thom are romantically attracted to the same gender–namely each other,” Steve says.
Related: Asexuals are tired of your crap, demand greater visibility
“Romance is not mutually exclusive to sex for a lot of people,” Thom adds. “But as asexuals we promote the fact that you can have sex without love, so why not love without sex?”
Well, isn’t that just celibacy? Steve says “Nope!”
“Celibacy is a choice,” he explains. “Asexuality, like being gay, straight, bi, trans, etc., is how you are wired. Quite simply, you are born this way!”
The guys say that a lot of people are confused by the relationship, until they actually see them together and realize they’re just like any other couple.
“People are so surprised when they see Steve and I together,” Thom says. “They realize we are like any other couple. The reality is, we do everything a couple does except sex.”
But, he says, “what does or doesn’t happen behind closed doors does not define a relationship.”
And to all you asexual deniers out there, they have this to say:
“It’s a real shame that a lot of people dismiss new identities so quickly,” Thom says. “It wasn’t that long ago that terms like ‘gay’ and ‘lesbian’ were new, too! If we treat every new term with dismissal before gaining an understanding of what the term means, we will never be accepting of minorities.”
“I personally wouldn’t dream of trying to force my own thoughts or beliefs onto anyone else’s lifestyle choice, gender identity or sexual orientation,” Steve adds.
Related: This married gay asexual is not interested in having sex with you, his husband, or anybody else
Photo credit: Pieces of Ace/Facebook
It’s so strange that we have to make up a new lifestyle for people with a mental or physical defect or abnormality when it’s related to sex. If their lungs weren’t working or they felt compelled to hold their breath until they passed out we wouldn’t label them ‘abreathing’ and leave it at that; we’d send them to a doctor and at least try to get their shit together.
Why is it always coming from the same fools. I didn’t need to see their picture to know exactly what I’d see. They’re not asexual. They’re just asexual with each other. No different then the x gays. All BS terms they’ve invented in order to not feel any shame.
I’ll bet they’ve got a library of porn on their computers though.
Btw. Plenty of couples are asexual with each other. Sex is not a requirement for a good relationship. Honesty is though.
Wow, apparently I sure do have a whole lot of “asexual relationships” in my life, so I just want to know . . . do I have to buy them dinner?
PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID
Sadly but inevitably “Asexualirty” has become an identifarian clusterfück of supernumerary levels of byzantine and often contradictory gradations often indistinguishable from, y’know, actual SEX.
Also I’d like for them to define terms …I know too many gay gays who somehow think only anal constitutes “sex”
Good point. Either it’s oral but defined different or just lots of alone time with Mr Hand.
The thing about the penis though is that it’s honest. When it wants attention no amount of BS will get you through it.
@ChrisK: And your previous question on this subject – “Do asexuals masturbate?”
Sometimes we hear no, sometimes we hear yes. Well, um, if someone masturbates that would seem to indicate a sex drive of some sort!
Yes, not being into anal sex has definitely morphed into “asexual” for some of these narcissistic dudes. There have always been guys not into anal. Some guys give each other head. Some masturbate with each other. Then you have dudes with gender dis-morphia or extreme narcissism that leads them to want to be with men though they have no real attraction to men. Or you have guys who are suddenly asexual when they get with a dude with money who they have no attraction to. Almost none of these asexual gay dudes flat-out say they have no type of sex or no sexual attractions. In fact, the last two articles about “asexual” homos were clearly about men who were having some type of sex and had sexual attractions. Also, having no sexual attractions and having no sex drive are different things. A lot of these people are confusing the two. If you have sexual attractions you’re not asexual whether you want to engage in sex or not.
Of course, I believe actual a-sexuality is legit. But much like the very tiny percent of men who are actually non-megalomaniac, close to 50/50 bisexual, the majority of real asexual people feel no need to constantly promote themselves and their “identity”. It’s sad how people who have experienced no real prejudice or harm will twist who they are or hide aspects of themselves for the sake of attention and sociology and to feel oppressed. Just live your life. These extreme cluster-b personalities have a very hard time keeping it real or dealing with blending in.
Seems pretty straightforward to me. They don’t fück cause they aren’t into it. They do the other stuff couples do, just not that. What’s the complicated part?
It’s not complicated. But it’s also not asexual. It would just be nice if people used words properly instead of constantly altering things to suit their own personalized definitions. And as I said, almost none of these men who claim to be asexual say that they have no sexual attractions and indulge no sexual behavior.
Also, this homo-romantic/hetero-romantic movement is mostly (not always but mostly) used as a way for gay and homo-dominant bisexual people to maintain an ego-stabilizing, socially comfortable straight life and hetero dynamics. That’s especially the case with men. And that’s fine. But let’s be real. People who claim to be asexual almost never use that term.
Why should having no sex drive be considered a sexual orientation?
What IS it with [gay] men and really really really crappy haircuts? Good God!
I hope they at least masturbate for the sake of their prostates.
Although I wouldn’t consider Madrid to be asexual, in two of my three long-term, successful relationships we never had sex. Sex is not a physical requirement, and love should never be dependent on it; otherwise it’s not a healthy expression of love.
I agree with sex not being a requirement. Most couples sex lives die down after a while anyways (though mine is still up and running, thank you very much). However, sex not being a “requirement” doesn’t equate to someone being asexual. Have traditional gay sex or don’t. Have a constant sex life or don’t. I’m just annoyed that a bunch of clearly not asexual people are feeling the need to say they are. None of these people say they lack sexual attractions. And none of them have said they don’t engage in sexual behavior (which includes masturbation). So, they’re not asexual. I’m guessing “asexual” is the new “fluid”. Something for people who feel “different” and “special” to jump on even if it doesn’t actually reflect who they are.
One of the many psychological and sociological problems that a ton of gay and homo-dominant bi men seem to have is understanding how to be self-accepting, understanding how to have a healthy sexual life with your partner, understanding how to love, commit and sacrifice in relationships with men and understanding how to maintain a healthy ego and sense of self while doing all these things. It seems only a small percent get all those things in order. About half of the articles here highlight that.
The good thing is that unlike a lot of others I have a healthy sense of homosexuality away from this sites like these and porn.
Oh shit, I see another letter added….
After all, in the name of inclusiveness we need to assume that every sexual and gender classification is part of our “community”.
ALL YOU JUDGMENTAL TROLLS! Why don’t you just let people be and worry about the shit in your lives! These guys are happy and kudos to them! Unlike some of you who sleep around and do drugs with anything, and take home diseases to your “partners”! Yes, there are people in the world, gay or straight who are asexual and living their lives happily! The LGBT community can be so judgmental sometimes, seeing as majority of the world doesn’t like you anyway…
Wow, Mykey, hitting to close to home are we?
Once there was gay , straight , bi & lesbian ..now there’s 500 different ways to describe oneself…I only have sex with guys in august on a Tuesday at exactly 7pm and virgo”s rising…what BS…sometimes these gender confusing labels are just to mind fu*k with people
I have been on Anti Depressants for many years and they usually quash your sexual appetite. For over the last 10 years I have not had sex with anyone or even masturbated. Now I think of having sex with someone when I see it does nothing for me. I love to see hot guys, look at their bodys, their asses, their faces, their hair. I usually like a good looking guy or a geeky guys, but I just like looking at them or hanging out with them, but I don’t want to have sex with them. I have had so much sex in my life maybe that’s another reason. It really just does nothing for me anymore. I use to love having sex and as much as I could but now, it does nothing for me. I am comfortable with that and would love to meet someone who is asexual. I know sex is a big part of life with most gay men, I am not being judgemental at all. I would really like to meet someone like myself.
Considering that sexual orientation is a romantic attraction to someone, they are still gay. Substituting the term asexual for celibate is really strange, but doesn’t change them being gay.
What is the big deal here? With all of the different objects in space, each of us humans are born differently and whether or not we have sexual desires for whomever, should not be an issue. Treating each other with respect, love and inclusiveness is the main purpose for our existence and propagation can occur in many different ways.
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