What to Make of Loving Couples Who Never Have Sex

An article in the NYT recently described the phenomenon of "platonic spouses", people who choose to marry because they cannot imagine being without one another but who have zero interest in being lovers.  Various people, mostly millenials and Gen Z, reported that they had found their person--the one being on whom they could count for emotional support.  The partners might consider themselves best friends, or they could be romantic partners who might or might not have a physical relationship, but a relationship that doesn't include sex.

Traditionally, people would assume that those who have platonic marriages are asexual, an umbrella term to describe the people who have no interest in sexual activity.   Not everyone in the article was asexual however; some also identified as bisexual, heterosexual, queer, and/or gender nonbinary.  Whatever their identity, they cause us to question why people must be in an emotionally as well as sexually intimate relationship to benefit from the privileges of a legal marriage.

Additionally, when you think of it, there is no requirement that secure attachment happen only with partners who are sexually active with each other.  It makes more sense from a survival standpoint that people can attach to lots of different people, in lots of different ways. 

But if someone came into a therapist's office stating that they were going to marry their platonic best friend, would the therapist be concerned--or would they be able to listen to and support them in their decision?  Does every couple have to have sex in order to demonstrate their commitment to one another?  People who are uninterested in sex should not feel that they have to miss out on the opportunity to intimately connect and marry another person.  Here is another way for us to expand our ideas about human relationships.

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