Q: How can I tell if Im asexual? Is it a legitimate orientation or am I just a seething ball of neuroses?
Sex does nothing for me. I cant orgasm (even when I attempt masturbation), so my husband doesnt go there. Thats fine by me. I hate my people-parts; I find them utterly icky. At any rate, I apparently perform good fellatio, so the no-intercourse thing isnt such an issue. My marriage seems fine; we laugh and share the same lefty values and cuddle on the couch. When he has needs he fondles my breasts and nuzzles me; this indicates go down on me now, please. So I do. However, I feel nothing.
Is that normal? Im well-adjusted otherwise, a productive member of society and all that. I am cheerful, good-humored and pretty too. Are some people simply not wired to be into sex? Im certainly into love. I feel very passionate about my husband and my friends, but its completely cerebral. If its of any use, Im 31 and I dislike pooping too.
Basically: Am I fucked up? Is it OK to not be sexual? Should my sorry butt be in therapy? Insert Name Here
A: After the results of a study on asexuality were published in the Journal of Sex Research in August 2004, a new sexual minority group began taking its turn up on the wicked stage. Everyone from the BBC to Salon to the New Scientist weighed in on the 1 percent of the population that, according to UK researchers, had never felt sexually attracted to anyone at all. The go-to guy for quotes and insights into asexuality was David Jay, a 23-year-old asexual from St. Louis, Missouri, and the founder of the Asexual Visibility and Education Network (asexuality.org).
Well get to Jays insights into your case in a second, INH, but first I have to say that asexuality, as I understand it, is an indifference to sex. Reading your letter, INH, I didnt sense indifference, just disgust with people-parts, with pooping, with blow jobs. Theres asexuality and then theres being repulsed by sex, also known as sexual aversion disorder, and thats a horse-fucker of a different color. So, yeah, I would describe you as fucked up and order you to get your sorry butt into therapy.
For a second opinion we turn now to David Jay:
Show me anyone, sexual or asexual, who isnt in some way fucked up and Ill gag, says Jay. The question she should be asking herself is not, Am I fucked up? but, Do I need sex to be happy? It doesnt sound like she does, but the question is probably worth exploring with a best friend and a six-pack. If she concludes that she needs sex in her life, then theres an industry that will be more than happy to serve her.
But if you conclude that sex just isnt for you, Jay would advise you to take stock of your situation from a nonsexual standpoint. Youve got what sounds like a great husband who you love and are great friends with. Instead of focusing your energy on worrying about sex (which up to now has been nothing but boring), focus on further exploring the things that you actually find pleasurable.
And your husbands needs?
I wouldnt be that worried about your husband, Jay says. If he had some overwhelming need to have more sex he probably would have mentioned it by now.
Hmm, I respectfully dissent. While its possible that your husband is content with the odd perfunctory blow job, its more likely that he doesnt press the matter because he loves you. But he probably misses womens people-parts, INH, and one day the opportunity to fuck the shit out of another womans people-parts is going to present itself and hell seize it. And this, I think, will be the ultimate test of your asexual cred. If you dont think sex is important, then it shouldnt matter to you if your husband does this hugely unimportant thing with someone else every once in a while.
Q: Hi. Im a 16-year-old girl whose 20-year-old brother has a foot fetish. Normally, this wouldnt bother me. However, he comes into my room at 2:00 in the morning and slips his hands under the covers to touch my feet. The other night I woke up and he was licking my foot. Sometimes hell rub his penis between my toes. I love my brother, but this makes me uncomfortable. He comes in almost every night, and when he wakes me up, I cant get back to sleep for at least an hour. Im so tired in the morning, and my mom blames me saying I stay up too late. What should I do? Ive tried confronting my brother (sometimes when he wakes me up Ill tell him to get out of my room). He has to be really dense to think I dont know. I dont want to tell my mom or dad because I dont want him to get in trouble. Plus its embarrassing for the both of us. She Who Needs Sleep
A: Stop worrying about protecting your brother and start worrying about protecting yourself. Hes sexually assaulting you, SWNS, and hes using your fear of embarrassment to keep you silent! Youre being manipulated and abused get angry! Tell your parents whats going on, buy a lock for your door, and if your brother somehow manages to get into your room despite the lock, scream your fucking head off.
Your brother needs help not because hes a foot fetishist, SWNS, theres nothing wrong with that. He needs help because hes obviously developed through absolutely no fault of yours a thing for abusing, manipulating and terrorizing women. Your continued silence in the face of this abuse isnt helping you or your brother, SWNS, but making it more likely that he will attempt this with other women one day. If your brother doesnt get help now hes either going to wind up in jail or dead on the bedroom floor of a woman who sleeps with a gun under her pillow.
Q: Kudos to you for your love of the Dresden Dolls. But check them out live if you get the chance! Theres nothing more enjoyable than hearing the lyrics in Coin-Operated Boy change from I can even take him in the bath to I can even fuck him in the ass during the live show. Brilliant! Corey
A: Thanks for the heads up, Corey, but I discovered that the Dresden Dolls change I can even take him in the bath to I can even fuck him in the ass during their live shows all on my own. I love them so much I bought their live CD, which I took home and listened to while my 7-year-old son was in the room. This resulted in me having to explain to him what fuck him in the ass meant 18 years earlier than I had planned. (Wheres Tipper Gore when you need her?) Still, I love the Dresden Dolls, and anyone who wants to see the Dresden Dolls change that lyric live should check out their Web site dresdendolls.com for their upcoming tour dates in the United States and Canada.
Finally, a lot of readers smokers and nonsmokers alike took exception to my advice for the woman whose boyfriend has a smoking fetish. Go to www.metrotimes.com/savage to read their feedback.
Dan Savages new book, The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage and My Family, goes on sale Sept. 22.Send letters to email@example.com