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Nonsexual Intimacies (Part 4 of 5) - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Nonsexual Intimacies (Part 4 of 5)
This series is part of my activity for Asexual Awareness Week.  Read Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 5.

Life Arrangements

This section concerns things that weave people's lives together. Many of them are medium or long-term aspects. Some can be short-term, but may have lasting results. These are often ways in which people express closeness with their family of choice, beyond their genetic relatives.

Letting someone drive your car. This involves trusting another person with an expensive piece of equipment that, for most folks, is vital to everyday function. There may also be insurance concerns. Usually this is reserved for family members or significant others. Occasionally, close friends may be allowed.

Sharing clothes, jewelry, other personal items. This is common between siblings or close female friends. Sometimes roommates do it too. Wearing someone else's shirt or bathrobe is typical in romantic relationships, so can suggest a similar level of intimacy even in the absence of sex.

Giving someone your password and/or asking them to post to your online account. Essentially you're trusting them to "be you" at least briefly, such as to post why you won't be online today if you are sick or your internet connection is down. A mistake here can wreck your online relationships or cost you an account. Most people reserve this level of trust for family members, lovers, or perhaps very close friends.

Sharing a bank account or other economic feature. Most often done in family, this can also involve professional partners or housemates. It requires a high level of trust with valuables, as a mistake can cause big long-term problems. But it's a good way to show reliance among family of choice or people who share a lot of activities and purchasing responsibilities.

Packing someone's bag(s) for a trip. This requires a detailed knowledge of the other person so you know the right things to put in it. Plus it involves handling someone's personal items. Getting there and finding something left out really sucks. Usually it's done by people who live together, in whatever arrangement.

Cleaning someone else's living space. This shows care and knowledge on the part of the cleaner, and trust on the part of the recipient. You have to know what NOT to throw away or move. It's typical of family members and roommates. Coworkers may clean each other's desk, office space, etc.

Living together. This is a big step, even if it's just for a little while. Housemates are in each other's pockets; it's hard to keep secrets. Family members and lovers often live together, but housemates who are family-of-choice form a category of their own. If you don't want a romantic partner, a permanent housemate is a good choice for someone to share your life with.

Raising a child together. While usually done by lovers who are the parents, this is sometimes done by other combinations of people. For instance, one parent might leave the other parent and connect (sexually or nonsexually) with a new partner. A woman might decide to have a child without involving the sire, but instead share childraising with housemates. Due to family tragedy, anyone might suddenly inherit a child from a relative. In any form, this is a long-term commitment to making a family that affects not just the adults but also the child(ren).

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6 comments or Leave a comment
fayanora From: fayanora Date: October 27th, 2011 08:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Giving someone your password and/or asking them to post to your online account.

Too intimate for me. I don't think I have or will ever trust ANYONE that much.

~ ~ ~

The talk of raising a child together reminded me of something. In the ageplay subculture of BDSM, there's a non-sexual element of all ageplay, and for some people, they need no sexual component at all. Bigs can be intimate with their littles by caring for them like they'd care for a child. Pretty much any aspect of child-rearing can be applied to age play, from diaper changes (for infantilists) to [insert suitably teenager-associated item here].

Hell, BDSM on its own has strong non-sexual aspects. There's a whole subculture of BDSM devoted to chastity belts, even.

~ ~ ~

Is there a term for someone who masturbates, even fantasizes about sex, and may even find sex enjoyable at times, but generally prefers cuddles?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 27th, 2011 10:22 pm (UTC) (Link)


>>Hell, BDSM on its own has strong non-sexual aspects.<<

Yes, many forms of alternative recreation can be nonsexual.

>>Is there a term for someone who masturbates, even fantasizes about sex, and may even find sex enjoyable at times, but generally prefers cuddles?<<

That could be "gray-ace" or "demisexual." Definitions and parameters vary.
westrider From: westrider Date: October 28th, 2011 12:04 am (UTC) (Link)
I'd add giving someone a key to your Apartment/House. That's a level that I'm really struggling with whether or not to go to in a certain friendship right now.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 28th, 2011 12:14 am (UTC) (Link)


That's a good example too.
cheriola From: cheriola Date: January 7th, 2012 05:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Opening someone else's mail. It's taboo even among family members, where I come from. But sometimes you do have to trust someone else with that, for example a friend who's supposed to alert you to anything important while you're on an extended trip abroad. Or you have a trusted secretary to screen your mail for you because you're too busy, or getting distressing hatemail.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 9th, 2012 05:30 am (UTC) (Link)


That's a good example. There are even laws about not opening someone else's mail.
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