Complexity in Sexuality and Relationships Part 1: Non – Normative Marriages

I want to do a… well, mini – series at the moment, on non – normative relationships and complexities in feelings and interactions that people may have. I’ll explain.

I found a link to a Facebook group a few days ago about a gay man and a lesbian intersex woman; Linda and Dennis Alfunso, who have beenĀ married to each other for over 30 years. They still are.

I’ll be frank, when I first saw this story, I was sceptical. American studies have shown in the past that marriages, where one person is gay and married to another person of the opposite sex, frankly rarely work out (the divorce rate is believed to be 80%).

When my scepticism subsided, my second reaction was that, love and marriage is not always clear cut. This couple do seem to genuinely care about each other. The man is actually the woman’s carer, as Linda has a form of Muscular Dystrophy.

When they first married, they did fall in love, and, because of that, Linda, as she described in the video, thought that she maybe bisexual. That thought was apparently debunked early on.

It really shows what love is, and the different ways that people feel it, regardless of orientation. It shows that sacrifice and commitment are the foundation of a relationship, not sex (although, let’s face it, for most people, it plays a part).

The article does say that they did “fall in love”. I’m not sure about you, but I’m guessing it was sparked by romantic attraction. So maybe we’re talking about people who are bi – romantic, but gay? Anyway, enough with the analysis.

What I’m getting at, is that people love in their own way. Obviously, not all relationships and marriages include sexual chemistry (including for non – aces, because, well aces, there’s very little likelihood that sexual chemistry will play a part of that, but moving on).

What I do admire about this story is the way Dennis and Linda have stuck by each other. I take my hat off to Dennis for looking after Linda during her illness, which apparently started pretty early on in their marriage. That’s something that doesn’t seem to be talked about these days (that’s the sceptic in me again!). Anyway, overall, nice story, I think. Really makes you think about, not just what love and sacrifice is, but also how different people experience it, even in marriages.

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Why Is Singleness STILL Looked Down Upon?

I was reading an article in this month’s issue of Australia’s Matie Claire today and there was an article on how women are still pitied or feel pressured by friends to find a partner. Seriously? This annoys me for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, it means we still value people (particularly women) on their relationship status, and ultimately, their sexuality. Apparently we haven’t got the whole ‘tolerance’ thing down pat, yet. Women still can’t choose how they express their sexuality. They have to still fit a ‘norm’. This is frustrating to hear, because, like I said in a previous post, it’s a barrier that asexuals, especially aromantic or non – partnered asexuals deal with. Why can’t we just stop judging each other on this issue so much? NEWSFLASH: some people actually LIKE being single. For some people, it’s hard to find a partner/ spouse. The last thing they need is to feel crap about it!

Secondly, there is a double – standard between men and women. It takes two to tango, right? I know there are women who’s ‘biological clocks’ are ticking away, and I do believe all women, when and if they decide to have children, should be mindful of their fertility. I’ve got to say that I don’t have any moral objections to procedures like IVF, but that’s no guarantee either. OK, I’m going to say something people will find controversial… currently, in New South Wales, I think IVF can be legally accessed by single women and same – sex female couples. In Victoria, before the last State election, Labor candidate (and current State Premier), Daniel Andrews did mention that he might also loosen IVF laws to allows same – sex female couples to access IVF. Also, recently, some foster care agencies have also allowed same – sex couples and singles to apply to take a foster child due to demand. Before anyone jumps on me, I’m not saying this to promote anything. I’m not trying to destroy the nuclear family. I’m just simply stating what’s currently allowed in Australia that I’m aware of. I get that people are morally opposed to these things. And if you are, then that’s fine.

Thirdly, let me ask a question: is it better for anyone (regardless of gender or orientation), to enter a relationship when they reakly don’t want to? Or get into a relationship with the wrong person because they feel like they’re under pressure? Do I really need to explain why this could be a really bad idea?

 

So, women (and men, and any other people of non – binary gender), shouldn’t be pressured into relationships. If you want a partner, good luck to you. If not, then people should be able to respect that. Stop valuing (or degrading) people due to their sexuality! That includes their relationship status.

 

Have you ever felt pressure to enter a relationship?