DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: I was wondering if there was some advice you could send my way regarding the dating scene. Let me start off with some context. I am currently a college freshman nearing the end of the year and I have followed much of your advice over the last several months. I’ve improved my wardrobe, become much more self confident, become a much more attractive person, and have become much better at approaching women and carrying on conversations thanks to your help. With your help, I’ve gone from looking like an acne ridden My Chemical Romance member, to being frequently told (mainly by women) that I look like Andrew Garfield (I can totally live with that comparison).
The main thing I wanted to ask you about though, is kind of a problem I’ve encountered. I am looking to be in a relationships but one thing keeps coming up that I think could be a problem with that, I’m not really interested in sex. It just doesn’t interest me. Porn has never done anything for me. I’m drawn more towards that connection and companionship with another human being. I ask friends for advice on what to do, but when I get to the part about my complete lack of interest in sex and I get blank stares like I just told them that I’m a Neo Nazi.
I’m not sure what to do now, going out on the dating scene seems like it could be really difficult now despite my increased skills with women. I understand that sex is a major part in most relationships and it just seems like it would be a total deal breaker to someone if they realize that I’m really not into it at all. I’m completely lost and have no idea what to do.
I’m very aware of the fact that i’m an irregularity on this and advice on what someone in my predicament would be greatly appreciated.
Mister No Lover-Lover.
DEAR MISTER NO LOVER-LOVER: First of all: congratulations on all the improvements that you’ve made! You’ve put in a lot of work, and I’m glad you’re enjoying the progress you’ve achieved. You should be proud of what you’ve accomplished.
I also want to make sure that we get this out there right off the bat: you don’t have a “problem”. You aren’t broken, you’re not weird or defective. Your situation’s pretty uncommon, MNLL, but uncommon isn’t the same as “broken” or “wrong”.
The most likely thing here is that you’re asexual — that is, you simply have no libido or interest in sex. And while that’s not common, it’s fairly well documented, especially as more and more asexual people have been open about their experiences and identities.
So the question is: what do you do about this? And that’s where things come down to how you feel about all of this. Do you want to want sex and your lack of a libido bothers you? Or are you actually ok with who you are as a person and the issue is that other people’s reactions bother you?
If your lack of interest in sex bothers you because you WANT to want sex, then it’s not a bad idea to rule out any physical or medical issues. It certainly wouldn’t be a bad idea to visit your doctor and see if there are any underlying issues.
Low libido in men can have any number of causes from low levels of testosterone, to prescription medication (especially antidepressants), or psychological issues. If you’re not even getting erections – which, I stress, don’t always correspond to sexual arousal – then you may have a physical problem and you should consult with a urologist.
(Standard disclaimer: Doctor NerdLove is not a real doctor. Also, Dr. Google will just tell you it’s cancer.)
But it is also entirely possible that you’re a healthy young man who just has no interest in sex and that’s fine. That’s just who you are and how you roll. In that case, the best thing to do is to embrace it as part of what makes you uniquely you.
Now to one sure: this can make dating more complicated. Asexual folks make up a very small percentage of the population. Most people interested in romantic relationships will be expecting sex to be part and parcel. And in fairness, sex and sexual compatibility is an incredibly important part of relationships; not having any interest in sex is going to be a serious deal-breaker to a lot of women — likely the majority of women you meet.
But notice very carefully that I said sexual COMPATIBILITY. Sexual compatibility is a multi-axis graph. It’s more than just matching libidos or both of you being kinky in the same way. It’s also about having an outlook on sex and the sexual side of your relationship that line up in ways that work for both of you.
There are, for example, women out there who are ALSO asexual. There are women who can’t have traditional forms of sex for any number of reasons. There are also people for whom a sexual connection isn’t as important in their romantic relationships. There are women who are more interested in emotional intimacy and companionship, and others who are down for an open or non-monogamous relationship that allows them to get their sexual needs met elsewhere.
Similarly, you may find women who are cool with your lack of a libido, if you’re willing and able to give a helping hand for their pleasure and satisfaction, whether that means oral sex, using toys or giving a masturbatory assist. You may not be into sex itself, but you may well enjoy being able to please your partner, even if you don’t get a sexual thrill out of it.
That’s all something for you to determine for yourself and how you want to proceed with relationships in the future.
Now with that being said, It is going to be important that you’re interested in to be upfront and direct about this from the beginning with the women you’re interested in dating. If someone is looking for a standard-issue romantic relationship, including a sexual connection, then they’re not going to be right for you, and you’re not going to be right for them. It’s better to get that out there early on, so that neither of you are wasting each other’s time. This may mean that you’ll have more luck meeting people to date through your social circle and in your daily life — where people will get to know you as a person — than on dating apps. But at the same time, by making it clear that you’re not up for or interested in sex in your app profile, you may be cutting down the number of people who will swipe on you or message you, but you’ll also be ensuring that the ones who do are looking for someone just like you.
In the meantime, you should visit the Asexuality Visibility and Education Network at asexuality.org. They have a host of resources available, as well as forums and links that will help you find your community and help reassure you that you’re not unusual or alone in this.
Please send your questions to Dr. NerdLove at his website (www.doctornerdlove.com/contact); or to his email, firstname.lastname@example.org