Vegan Lisa, 29, who doesn't want kids, hopes to find a man who will embrace her asexuality Says she wants potential partner to accept cuddling as extent of intimacy If the man of her dreams wanted sex she would say no. 'I'd feel like I was compromising myself and I would detest them for it' Since writing for the Mail Lisa has heard from other asexuals but also had spiteful comments like: 'You can't get a man and this is how you cover it up'
People hoping to start a new relationship can generally expect a prospective partner will come with baggage of some kind. But Lisa Smith comes with one of the tallest orders of all - no sex. Ever. Speaking with Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Jones on the ITV This Morning sofa today, Lisa confessed she 'hopes to find a man who is wiling to embrace her asexuality'. While she is willing to extend intimacy to levels of cuddling, she finds the act of sex itself completely repellent.
Sitting with ITV psychologist Emma Kelly, Lisa said: 'I don't think anything's ever set completely in stone, but this is how I feel now.' Her teenage years at school were difficult, especially in sex education.
'It didn't seem like something I would ever do. I was embarrassed because everyone was giggling - especially girls. 'I saw it as a coming of age thing - something I wanted to get it out the way.' Speaking about her first sexual experience Lisa said: 'I was in a relationship with someone I trusted who was wonderful, but I saw it as a chore and I didn't want to do it.
'It was a case of "I want to be with him, and I have to do this in order to be with him".' 'All my partners were patient men willing to do anything to make me happy. They didn't pressure into anything.' But, she says, even after trying everything in the bedroom to rid her of her disgust for the act she still felt repulsed and found sex didn't 'do anything' for her. Emma Kelly said asexuality affects one per cent of the population in the UK - so it's a lot more common than people might think. Lisa said she gets frustrated when people say maybe she 'hasn't met the right man', she's 'not doing it right', or that maybe she just 'likes women but hasn't realised it yet'.'
'I'd love to be in a loving relationship and settle down,' she said. 'But the extent of intimacy would be cuddling.' When asked about her hopes for the future and finding a man to settle down with, Lisa's reply reveals her fears. 'I'm an asexual vegan who doesn't want kids - I'm thinking crazy cat lady.' 'I want to get married and have a house - but no sex.' She then admitted it was a 'tall order'. Psychologist Emma jumped in and said 'people underestimate men' and this is 'an opportunity'.
Lisa said that if she met the man of her dreams and he wanted sex, she would say no. 'I would have to tell them from the beginning. I'd feel like I was compromising myself and I would detest them for making me do something I don't want to do.'
Since her article for the Mail, Lisa said she's had really positive response from AVEN [the Asexual Visibility and Education Network].
'A lot of them don't feel they can come forward and say it,' she said. But, unfortunately, she said she has also had some 'horrible' comments, like: 'You can't get a man and this is how you cover it up'.
She finished on a final hopeful note that 'there are people who physically can't have sex and still have relationships', and that 'it's harder of men to admit to it as "being up for it" is expected of them 24/7'.
What does it mean to be asexual?
An asexual is someone who does not experience sexual attraction. Unlike celibacy, which people choose, asexuality is an intrinsic part of who we are. Asexuality does not make our lives any worse or any better, we just face a different set of challenges than most sexual people.
There is considerable diversity among the asexual community; each asexual person experiences things like relationships, attraction, and arousal somewhat differently. Asexuality is just beginning to be the subject of scientific research.