I'm taking a vacation far away from the wild internet this week, so there'll be no podcast. Hold on tight though, I've got something good cooking for when I get back.
I got the following message from a listener a few days ago:
I just listened to the second podcast - I found it really interesting - and that it really spoke to me and my problems/concerns with identifying as an asexual. I think that I struggle against labelling myself, and remain hopeful that sexual attraction will happen for me someday (unlikely as I am 23...), b/c I want to have a relationship like the ones my sexual friends enjoy just without the sexual part. You know - that one relationship that you value above all others...I gathered from what you said, that you don't think that's necessary or, maybe, even possible with an asexual relationship. Let me know if I've misinterpretated what you said, though...
Interesting thing though that I wanted to share with you - an observation I have seen from watching my friends and my behaviour when we are out. If we go clubbing or something and have a little too much to drink - most of my friends will end up (or will want to end up) fooling around with someone on the dance floor or going home with them... I, on the other hand, end up meeting complete strangers and having the most bizarre, philosophical conversations...
I wouldn't go so far as to say that committed partnered relationships aren't possible for asexual folk, a number of us seem to be doing that just fine, but I do think that we're forced to think about commitement in a few ways that most sexual people are not. There is a lot to admire about straight-up partnered intimacy, but it's also far from the only way to do your business.
...the conversations that you talk about being a case in point. Functionally the conversations that you're having and the hooking up that your friends are doing may be very similar- both give you an excuse to meet new people, go through all the fun parts of getting to know them, and then spend a good deal of time just letting yourselves be vulnerable and exploring one another.