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Savage Love: Aces 

Dear Dan,

I've been reading your advice column in the Coast in Halifax for a while, and it seems that most solutions to relationship problems revolve around sex. Everyone wants it or needs it, we should fuck before dinner, or we can spice up our sex life in this certain way to be happy. What about someone who doesn't want to have sex, ever? I've asked other people for advice, and the answer is usually "take one for the team," have sex to keep them happy. Is that the only way I could find happiness in a relationship? It's not something I want to do — but at this point, I don't see any other options.

— All Alone Ace

I'm a sex-advice columnist. Consequently, AAA, people tend to write me when sex (needing it, wanting it, getting it but not the kind you want, etc.) is the problem, and sex (in some new and improved form) is often-but-not-always the solution. I also get and respond to questions from asexuals, and I've urged sexuals not to regard asexuals as defective — or, for that matter, to view committed-but-sexless relationships as defective. So long as both people in the relationship are content and happy, it's a good and healthy and functional relationship, whether the sex is vanilla or spicy or nonexistent. Strictly companionate marriages can be good marriages. As for "taking one for the team," that's not advice given only to asexuals. A woman who's married to a foot fetishist, for instance, may be advised to "take one for the team" and let her husband perv on her feet. A vanilla guy married to a woman corrupted by Fifty Shades of Grey (it's baaaaaack) may be advised to "take one for the team" and tie the wife up once in a while. And while there are certainly lots of asexuals out there taking one for the team — having sex to please/keep/shut up their partners (or allowing their partners to seek sex elsewhere) — you know who doesn't have to take one for the team, ever? Asexuals with other asexuals. Dating another asexual is the other option, the obvious option, and may be the best option for you, AAA. (Don't want to take one for the team, ever? Don't draft anyone onto your team who wants one, ever.) A quick Google search brings up several asexual dating sites: Asexualitic.com, AsexualMatch.com, Ace-Book.net, AsexualPals.com. You can also choose to identify as asexual — and search for other asexuals — on mainstream dating sites like OkCupid and Match. I can already hear you composing your response, AAA: Asexuals are just 1 percent of the population. There are 400,000 people in Halifax, which means there are 3,999 other asexuals. Sounds like a lot, but most will be too young, too old, or unappealing for political or personal reasons (loves Kevin O'Leary, hasn't seen Moonlight, picks their nose with an oyster fork). And a significant chunk of that number may not be aware — yet —that they're asexual. So realistically, AAA, your local dating pool is much smaller than 3,999. But! Good news! There are 7.5 billion people on the planet! And 75 million of them are asexual!

I have a good friend with a unique array of kinks — a crazy, specific, and rare constellation of kinks — and he cast a wide net on kink dating apps. After he met someone on the other side of the world with all the same kinks and they hit it off via Skype and the guy provided my friend with references (put my friend in touch with friends who could vouch for him), my friend flew to the other side of the world to go on a first date. Two months later, he went back, stayed for a few months, and then moved abroad to be with Mr. Kink Match On The Other Side Of The World. My friend did things people are typically advised against — who gets on a 12-hour flight to go on a first date? — because he knew there weren't many lids out there for his particular pot.

Asexuality isn't a kink, I realize, but you can and should cast a wide net, AAA, like my kinky expat friend. Don't let geography limit you in your search. You may not be able to afford to do what my friend did — fly halfway around the world for a first date — but you can get your ass to the next province over if you hit it off with an asexual in New Brunswick or Quebec.

Good luck.

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