Asexuals people’s honest stories about dating

By Phan Duong   November 10, 2021 | 05:44 am PT
Asexuals talk about their struggles to find a partner with whom they can connect intimately for the rest of their life without sex.

Ha Anh, 35, a translator, once posted a message on a dating app that she was looking for someone five to 10 years younger who would be her "life partner without sex".

An asexual, she had dated two men in the past, the first time when she was in college, a long-distance relationship that lasted nearly four years. Her heart used to flutter when she was with her boyfriend, but she wanted gentle hugs and kisses and nothing more, she says.

"When he wanted to have sex with me, I stopped him and pushed him away saying it just felt disgusting."

Later, when she fell in love with another person, she had the same reaction. Both her boyfriends and friends had advised her to see a doctor.

"My ex-boyfriends told me that if I don't go to the doctor, 'we should reconsider our relationship’.

"But I feel like I'm a normal person. I just hate sex."

When studying abroad six years ago, she thought she had found her perfect partner when a man told her he did not like having sex either.

"But it turned out that he did not mean it".

They have been friends since.

A 2020 study on ‘The reality of building romantic relationships of asexual people in Vietnam’ by Asexual in Vietnam, an online group which has over 23,000 followers on Facebook, found asexual people want to have romantic relationships like everyone else but with mutual respect and understanding of each other's sexual orientation.

Most surveyed people believe that an asexual person marrying someone similar will have a happy and long marriage.

On the other hand, heterosexuals still have sexual desire and their asexual partner will feel guilty when seeing them sacrifice their need to maintain the marriage.

Cat Hat Tuan, one of the administrators of Asexual in Vietnam, says asexuals may struggle to find love and marry someone similar since Vietnamese asexuals often keep a low profile, making it difficult for others to find them.

Cat Hat Tuan gives a speech at the 8th birthday of the group Asexual in Vietnam, March 2021. Photo courtesy of Tuan

Cat Hat Tuan speaks at the eighth anniversary of the Facebook group Asexual in Vietnam in March 2021. Photo courtesy of Tuan

The group began a program called ‘Heart Of Color’ in March this year to bring together the asexual community in the country.

While it has made people happy they are able to migle with members of their community, it has not helped them find a partner.

"Some members have started dating, but there has been no marriage," Tuan says.

Anh became a member of an asexual online community seven years ago and has met a lot of its members. She also posts online that she is looking a platonic relationship even if it is with someone 10 years younger than her.

Some did reply, but she has been unable to find anyone meeting all her conditions.

"Now I no longer dream of finding a partner. I'm determined to be single".

Dang Khoa, 29, a good-looking IT engineer in Hanoi, has had two relationships in the past, but both stopped at hugging and kissing.

There were even times when his girlfriends took the initiative to have sex, but he refused.

Like many people in the community, Khoa wishes to have a wife to grow old with and raise children had through assisted reproductive technology.

He actively participates in asexual community groups and posts on dating apps to find a partner with the same mindset.

He says: "I know it is very difficult to find a girlfriend I like, who is also asexual like me. But I won't give up".

Sex is the biggest barrier to finding love for asexual people. The idea that "love goes hand in hand with sex" or "sex is a need that everyone must have" prevents asexual people from maintaining a lasting romantic relationship.

Family pressures force some people to get married, and it invariably ends up tragically.

Mai, 35, of Quang Ninh Province married a man with a high sex drive.

Their three-year marriage broke up when Mai was 26.

She says: "He did not care about my feelings. Sometimes he insisted and forced me even though I did not want to".

She became determined to raise her children by herself as a single mother without men in her life or sex.

But two years ago she was attracted to a man who had divorced. They soon became business partners. When he confessed his love, Mai also made it clear she was a person who did not want sex.

"It was surprising when he said he wanted to grow old with me, love me just for who I am and not for sex".

Mai, getting married with the man, now has a happy family and is about to welcome a new member. She wanted to have a child with her husband and so agreed to have sex.

She feels lucky her husband fully understands and respects her.

Family pressure was the reason Bich Thuy’s parents, who live in HCMC's Binh Thanh District, married 25 years ago.

Both were asexual.

The 24-year-old girl says: "My parents never locked the bedroom door. I have never seen a condom in the house or my parents look at each other lovingly."

When he was 39, her father’s mother forced him to marry.

Thuy’s mother had then been 29. She hated sex, but ended up marrying Thuy's father and giving birth to Thuy and her younger sister.

"My parents said they never kissed," Thuy says.

Their marriage has been a happy one between two people who are close friends, and they pluck each other's gray hairs, cook together, clean the house, and raise their children together.

Thuy and her sister grew up in a loving and happy family.

Thuy is also asexual, and is not interested in sex or romantically attracted to any gender. But she wants to find a partner, but an asexual woman rather than a man.

"It will be a family of two close friends, living happily and relying on each other like in families that exist in some Western countries."

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