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“How do I maintain a meaningful relationship when I don’t want to have sex, but do want intimacy?”

Cancer nurse Beth says...

Remember that physical intimacy doesn’t necessarily have to mean penetrative sex. Focus on building up quality time together until you feel ready to take things further.

This could include:

  • Holding hands or kissing
  • Date nights – which could be anything you both enjoy doing together
  • Texting or sexting
  • Massages, even a hand or foot massage
  • Taking a bath or shower together
  • Naked cuddles (if you are comfortable with that)

These are just suggestions and there are many other ways to feel close to a partner. Think back to a time when you were intimate without sex – what did you do? Could you recreate that? The most important thing is that you both feel comfortable with the activity.

Sex toy expert Renee says...

Sex can be an essential ingredient in relationships, but actually, not everyone wants or needs it. Being upfront and honest about not wanting sex is imperative, especially if the other person has sex high on their list of desirables. Or, in some cases, some couples come to an agreement whereby one is allowed to date or have sexual connections outside the relationship. Looking for friends or a partner within the asexual community would be one way forward. 

We found a list of platonic dating sites (but we haven’t tried any so we can’t vouch for the quality).

Patient advocate Maria says...

Being honest with your partner from the onset will help a lot. As hard as that might be, making time to regularly communicate with your partner is very important, as feelings can change over time, as can prioritises.

Buying toys and props together and being open with trying new things in the bedroom.

Couple massages is a great way to introduce intimacy into your relationship.

Reading or listening to erotic stories together could give you something else to talk about an evoke new feelings for you both.

Taking a trip, or finding time for just both of you, and allowing one and other to communicate feelings, wants and needs and things that turn you both on and off is very crucial.