Dear Annie: I am a single female in my 60s who feels very different from anyone else. I have never had any sexual desires — not for men, not for women, not for anyone. Is this what the term “asexual” means?
The idea of engaging in sex makes me cringe and that includes kissing anyone on the mouth. This does not, however, translate into a lack of interest in dating or even marriage. I don’t want to remain alone the rest of my life. I would love to have a close, loving (but sexless) relationship with a man. I just don’t know how to go about finding a man who lacks interest in sex but still wants to marry.
I have rarely dated and am not able to enjoy it because men nearly always want at least to kiss on the mouth on the first or second date and I don’t know what to say when that happens. Am I as unusual as I think I am? I am a loving, caring person. — Tired of Being Alone
Dear Tired: Someone who is asexual has no interest in sex — with anyone. While some asexuals enjoy kissing or cuddling, others don’t want to be touched at all, but it is possible for you to have a loving relationship with someone who does not require sex. We recommend you contact AVEN (Asexual Visibility and Education Network) at asexuality.org for information and support.
Dear Annie: My friend, “Giselle,” is intelligent, well educated and honest, but she is a complete Luddite. She shuns technology. Until a few years ago, her lack of computer savvy was not a problem. However, now she is looking to expand her career opportunities and this requires e-mail.
Giselle has many friends, and we set up an e-mail account for her and patiently taught her how to use a computer. We even gave her our old computers and hooked them up.
The problem is, she refuses to pay for Internet access and relies on us to get online, even though she can easily afford the service. We tried to arrange free access, but that requires dial-up and she doesn’t want to tie up her only phone line. (Naturally, she doesn’t have a cell phone.) We’ve suggested the library, but she is uncomfortable using public computers.
Last week she monopolized my computer for three hours while telling me she thought another friend seemed irritated by her constant requests for Internet time. I explained that most of us now rely on our computers for everything from banking to family mail, but she didn’t get it.
We don’t want to be rude to Giselle or hurt her feelings, but she’s driving us nuts. What should we do? — The Luddite’s Friends
Dear Friends: Giselle may have been a Luddite at one time, but now she’s simply a cheapskate. She’s willing to use technology but won’t pay for it. Tell Giselle she’s become proficient enough to use the computer at home and that will require paying for a server. Give her some recommendations. Offer to make the call for her if you like. Be excited when you keep insisting that she absolutely MUST do this, and don’t take no for an answer.
Dear Annie: “Worried Niece,” who was concerned about her aunt mixing Xanax and alcohol, was wise to be concerned. However, she is wrong when she claims she has no legal authority to speak to her aunt’s doctor. Anybody can come to me and tell me anything about a patient. I simply cannot tell them anything back. But all sources of information that may help in the proper care of a patient are greatly appreciated. — John R. Dykers Jr., M.D., Siler City, N.C.
Dear Dr. Dykers: Our readers will appreciate the clarification. “Worried Niece” called her aunt’s doctor and left a message, but it didn’t seem to help — which is likely not the doctor’s fault, but that of an aunt who refuses to follow directions.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611.
To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
Published in The Messenger 5.19.08