AA: Desire, Dating, and Size

[cw: sex talk, sex as a site of conflict, insecurity over weight]

Breanne wrote in:

Hello. I found your FAQ about dating an asexual really helpful.. but it doesn’t take away my own anxieties about my relationship..

We met when we were seven, and we have been inseparable since then. Our best friendship evolved into love when we were teenagers. We lost our virginity to each other, and even continued fucking when we broke up and “hated” each other. Fast forward to me at age 18, her 19 = we started dating again. She’s 25 and I’m 24 now, and I can’t picture my life without her in it.

However, I can count on one hand the amount of times she’s come onto me in a sexual manner. I’m always the one to initiate any sex. We realize now that this is her graysexuality. I always knew there was something wrong. We could go for months without having sex, because I was sick of being the one to initiate any sort of sexual contact (I thought it was “lesbian bed death”). It’s nice to have an explanation for why our sexual relationship is the way it is, and I understand and accept where she is coming from… in my mind.

In my “heart”, it’s harder. I’m plus size. I’ve always been a bigger girl. She’s not. I’ve always hated myself and the way I look naked. She’s always said that I’m sexy and attractive, and a part of me believes her, but the part of me that hates myself overrides her supposed attraction to me. I know it’s not on her to make me feel better about myself, but it’s hard, being an extremely sexual being and not have my partner come on to me. So my “heart” has completely convinced me that I am so fucking disgusting and undesirable that the love of my life doesn’t want to have sex with me.

Over the years, a great bitterness and resentment has grown inside of me towards her, and it’s not fair to her or to me. She always makes sexual comments at the most inconvenient of times, like how she likes how I “taste” or that she wants to fuck me (when we’re cooking, or out shopping) but she never follows through once we’re actually alone and in our bedroom. When she let me know about her sexuality, she asked me what I needed as an allosexual. I told her.. I NEED her to come onto me, or else this resentment will grow, and never go away. I need to feel wanted by my partner. We’ve discussed this issue multiple times with each other and I’ve been very clear on how I feel about this situation. But nothing has changed, and I don’t know what to do anymore. I don’t know what compromises I need to make as an allosexual that I haven’t already been making for years of not having sex.

I feel so helpless, depressed and lost. I don’t want to lose her because of this sexual incompatibility.

Thank you.

Hi, Breanne.  I’m sorry you’ve been having a rough time, and I hope you can find something useful in what I’m about to say here.

When you’re already facing a lot of ambient negativity because of your size, it can be easy to accept any reason to look down on yourself.  You said that inside you feel like her reason for not wanting sex with you is your body, even though you know in your head her sexuality is not proof of anything.  I can’t banish those feelings for you, much as I wish I could, but what I can do is suggest a thought exercise here.  Notice — is she having sex with anyone who’s not you, either?  No?  This isn’t the best way to prove the point, but you can hold onto that as evidence that it’s not indicative of anything.  And notice — when you look up at the sky and see what color it is, do you feel like it’s that color because of your size?  No?  They’re two things that have nothing to do with each other, right?  So, if you can: try thinking of her and her sexuality as like the sky.  Something that exists independently of you, no matter what you look like.

You mentioned her making comments in public or at inopportune times, and that you wish she wouldn’t do that.  You also mentioned that you told her you need her to come on to you.  I may not have the full details here, but it sounds like, from what you’ve told me, she may possibly have interpreted that conversation to mean she should do what she’s been doing: coming on to you.

For all I know, maybe you can rule that out, but otherwise — it sounds like you haven’t had a conversation with her about these specific things bothering you, so you might want to ask her about it.  If she cares about you, she won’t want to knowingly tease you in a way that crosses a line like you’ve described.  And — trying to cover multiple possibilities here — on the off chance that you have told her to stop saying those things and she’s doing it still, that’d be a pretty awful way to treat someone.

Onto my last piece of advice.  Feeling loved, wanted, and cared for are absolutely understandable needs in an intimate relationship.  If you’ve decided that sex is a strictly necessary ingredient in creating those feelings for you, then it does sound like you need to reconsider the nature of your relationship.  Whatever your thoughts on that, however, I’d encourage you to think about some other ways that people have made you feel wanted, to determine what works best for you, either for the benefit of this relationship or others to come.  Since your size is a site of insecurity for you, and since you want to physically engage with your partners, you might think of additional, more diverse ways to bridge the gap.  And I don’t just mean cuddling.  You’ve indicated that you want her to show interest in your body, and there are all kinds of cute ways to do that, from complimenting you to drawing you to booping your nose to playing with your tummy.  It all depends on what you like, so the best I can do is throw out some ideas here to get you started on some introspection.  Also, you might look into something like “love languages” to get you thinking — you don’t need to buy into it or anything, but that quiz did help me take the time to think about the fact that I prefer time and attention over a lot of other things, and maybe it can help get you thinking about your own preferences, too.

I’m sorry I’m not wise enough to give you better insight than that.  God bless and good luck.



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