“Nobody cares if you’re having sex in your relationships or not.”
I see this sentiment bandied about from time to time, sometimes to question why asexuals need to speak up at all, and other times as a rationale for reducing us to our romantic orientations. If nobody cares about our sexual orientation, the line goes, there’s no real reason for the asexual community, and no reason to focus on anything but the gender configurations of our relationships.
(No, I don’t have any links for this. As much as I support the use of citations, most of the recent links are on tumblr, which is incredibly obnoxious to wade through at the best of times, let alone when what you’re wading through is a sea of nastiness. Tumblr is, truly, the worst blogging format ever. Ever. End tangent.)
Now, most of us realize this isn’t true. I certainly don’t think it’s true. However, in case you want some evidence to point to next time, we’ve recently been handed some in the form of reactions to this story:
A Frenchman has been ordered to pay his ex-wife £8,500 in damages for failing to have enough sex with her during their marriage.
The 51-year-old man was fined under article 215 of France’s civil code, which states married couples must agree to a “shared communal life”.
A judge has now ruled that this law implies that “sexual relations must form part of a marriage”.
“By getting married, couples agree to sharing their life and this clearly implies they will have sex with each other.”
And what sorts of reactions has this been garnering? Well, from the comments section at Yahoo’s Shine, we have comments such as the following (permalinks seemingly unavailable):
Guessing that children are out of the question, but did you clean the house, do his laundry, and cook his meals?
If so sue him for every damn dime he has.
Love this. Love evrything about this.
Good for her! I hope she wins every penny! I wish she would have sued for much more!!!
Meanwhile, at the Huffington Post, there’s this post, which isn’t even supportive of the decision:
To withhold such bonding, affection, and touch can, in many ways, be seen as a form of emotional abuse, especially when one’s sexual needs have been explicitly expressed.
And from the first two pages alone of the comments section:
He was cruel to her all those years and she got $14000.00 -that’s not even one years salary at minimum wage ? Seriously??? (Link)
If you want to abstain then remain single. For those of us who are Biblically inclined, the Word is very clear that after marriage, your body is not your own. You can not become one if you do not intend to have sex with your spouse. Injury or illness is one thing but just deciding you don’t want to, that is cruel and unusual punishment. (Link
A cold fish is really abusing their power. Making their spouse/partner beg for something that should be natural and healthy is abusive. (Link)
You have no business staying married if sex with your spouse is consistently against your wishes. (Link)
Withholding sexual relationship from one’s spouse in a marriage is considered to be cruelty. […] Sexual relationship is an integral part of marriage. (Link)
Part of the marriage contract that both parties agree to is the consummation of sexual relations which begins the union of the couple. In fact, in many jurisdictions the marriage isn’t legal until sexual relation occur. To claim at any time during a marriage that “sex isn’t a (required) part of marriage” holds about as much water as claiming that getting wet isn’t a (required) part of swimming. (Link)
Again, that’s just the first two pages of comments. There are eighteen pages, total.
From the short comments section on this article at TIME, there’s this:
Marital rape is a relatively small issue compared to the number of lifeless marriages and the emotional torment this leads to. If someone agrees to marry, they should be expected to provide a healthy sexual relationship for their partner. (Link)
Finally, there are the comments on this segment from CBS’ morning show:
in marriage,sex should be mandatory.this is the one thing that brings couples too close together intimately.this is the sweetest thing god has given to couples,though somtimes short lived,but it remains the sweetest.and if it is refused from one partner to another,due to selfish or personal reasons,because it is not mandatory,it hurts,create a relation vacum,mistrust,anger,domestic voilence,infidelity,divorce,etc etc.some partners in marriage suffer,because one parner want kids,the natural way,the other doesnot want.some women,or men use that a a tool,or bargaining factor to their partner,if you do not buy me this gold,no sex for you,or if you do not buy me a car,no sex for you,or if you do not do what i want,no sex for you.if sex is mandatory,all this exploitations,will not be there.etc etc. (Link)
if he or she cant handle sex then dont get marriaed…why make the one suffer….no sex as far as i feel is not fare or right…if ya love him or her you would give your all and sex helps ..it can do more then ya think it 🙂 (Link)
If it’s not mandatory…why get married? One is supposed to have it guaranteed when you say ‘I do’ Link)
I don’t feel this topic is newsworthy in the least but I will comment and say the bible has a lot to say about sex in marriage. Anyone who is curious on the subject could pick up almost any book in your local bookstore “christian marriage” section. Divorce should not be the first option or an option at all for that matter!
In a healthy marriage couples should WANT to please one another in all areas and that includes the bedroom! (Link)
This is just a smattering of comments. They weren’t hard to find.
Now, plenty of people were in fact opposed to the judge’s decision, although many of them still took the view that a marriage without sex is deficient, pointless, or abusive. Furthermore, the issue of sexual incompatibility is a difficult one, and certainly a reason for divorce.
However, these comments give lie to the idea that nobody cares whether or not you’re having sex. Maybe they don’t care enough to randomly harass you about it, but they certainly do care. They certainly do pass judgments. You might say they wouldn’t care at all if both partners were happy with little to no sex – but somehow, given the comments, I sincerely doubt that. And then there’s the matter of sexual/asexual couples still trying to come to a satisfactory arrangement – anyone want to wager what these people will think of that situation?
And this is without getting into those who consider a sexless relationship to not be a relationship at all.
So, yes, people care if your relationships include sex. And next time someone tells you they don’t, throw some of these links at them.