Monday, September 3, 2007

Boston Marriages, Part Deux

I'm not done with Boston Marriages. This is a good thing, because it means I haven't been on any godawfully long bus trips. But even if I had been, this book would have been a good thing to take along. I'm enjoying it. Especially now that I've gotten past the theoretical articles and on to the personal stories. I've just finished one called "When we were whatever we were: Whatever it was that we had". I can only relate to the lesbian experience as far as it isn't the heterosexual experience, which isn't saying a lot. But there were definitely passages that made me go, "mmHMM" and even a bit of "Amen, sister!" Like this one:

I think a nonsexual relationship is functional. I think there are a lot of relationships in our lives that we don't give the importance we should because they're not sexual. One of the experiences I have had in San Francisco is that a lot of women I have become friends with have moved away. It's a very transitional city, and I feel very settled here. I feel if a friend is thinking of leaving town, she should come to me and say she's thinking of moving, what do I think. But they don't...I have very close lesbian friends, and I would like to see us have more options. We need words to say we're committed to each other, and that we will talk about life decisions together, but that we're not lovers. --Laura Moxie

So it's not only asexuals-- and I'm sure it's not only asexuals and lesbians either-- that can have trouble forming committed friendships in a society that's awfully wishy-washy about their existence. On the one hand, we (as women, I can't speak for the guys) are shown images of devoted Sex & the City-style friendships (see earlier post) and on the other hand, we're pressured to get and keep boyfriends and/or husbands. We're told our friends are not enough; that they won't love us as much as a boyfriend or husband will.
This story in Boston Marriages reminded me of the pain I felt when I realized I was much more committed to a friend than she was to me. It hurt like losing a romantic relationship would hurt, only I never received the closure. The story also reminded me of a straight female friend who once declared: "I would totally move across the country with a friend. What's so weird about that?" Indeed. If only more people were aware that it isn't 'weird' to share that view.


Matt said...

This pain of loosing a friend, the sadness of their leaving, etc. Would you have the same feelings if they weren’t leaving, but spending less time with you and more time with others or when you’re with them, there are other people? Has this ever happened to you? Call up one of your friends to see what’s happening for the night and they say that they’re going to a party or bar without you, or when you go over to visit them, someone is sitting in your chair and acting like that they’ve been their friend as long if not longer . . . they act all comfortable and cool around your friend, like they’ve been hanging out for years. Would something like that make being Asexual more difficult, given that your emotions feel that it should spend everyday with that one friend more than others, when that one friend feels like sharing their time with others as well?

Ily said...

I think everyone's been hurt in a friendship at some time or another...we're just told that it doesn't really matter as much as other relationships, and I think that's the aspect that can be hard for asexuals. Otherwise, I don't think friendship is necessarily that different for asexual and sexual people. There are a lot of sexual people who want 'best friends'-- it's just important for all involved that it be mutual.

Maxwell said...

Obviously been a long time, but.

This is Sobriquet from the AVEN forums! Hi ^_^

I am fortunate to form these relationships quickly, because I'm everyone's friend, and because I have a large family and my two siblings closest to me in age are my best friends, plus my big brother. I take my big sis (Jen) out to the movies, I buy her gifts, we spend all our time together.. we are more commited to each other than any romantic relationship I've seen at my age. She's now 2.5 hours away by car, but I still go up to see her every two weeks.

It's wanting a partner. Like in cowboy movies. A staunch ally.

~ Ily <3

Ily said...

Thanks for commenting, "a staunch ally" is a really great way to put it.

You signed your comment "Ily", does that have some other meaning?