Communication and Humanities
Romance Without Sex: Is It Still Romance?


Romance Without Sex: Is It Still Romance?


Charlie Rowe



Charlie Rowe, PHI401: Problems in Philosophy Seminar
Faculty Mentor(s): Professor John Draeger, Philosophy

Can romantic love exist without sex, sexual desire, or even sexual attraction? The average person is inclined to say, “No." If there is no sex, then the romance must be fading. When romance seems to fade, partners often feel like they've done something wrong. This sense of wrongness is directly related to fears that they aren't attractive enough or arousing enough to their partner and often the relationship will fail. This paper explores whether sex is a necessary requirement for a romantic relationship. While the most common accounts of romance are heavily linked to sex as an exclusive activity between partners, there are cases where a romantic relationship is founded in some other exclusive activity. Through Delaney's account of romantic love and loving commitments, we can clarify a definition of romance. Additionally, McKeever's accounts of sexual exclusivity can help to expand the roles that sex has in relation to romance, and why it is not exclusively required for romance. To further elaborate on the concept of romance without sex, we can explore the concept of asexuality. Looking into the accounts of asexuality we can further identify what a strong foundation for a romantic relationship looks like without sex as a necessary condition.

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Romance Without Sex: Is It Still Romance?