• 2date4love.com is a dating site for people who cannot or do not want to take part in sexual intercourse to enjoy companionship, intimacy, and hopefully love’. (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
In a land far from Tinder lives a different style of dating site, where one thing is definitely off the table.
By
Jo Hartley

31 Jan 2017 - 2:08 PM  UPDATED 31 Jan 2017 - 3:41 PM

2date4love.com isn’t your typical dating website.  In fact, it’s about as far removed from the likes of Tinder as you can get.  While the premise is the same – single people looking for partners – this site comes with an unspoken agreement: sex is definitely off the table.

The site was founded in 2011 by Laura Brashier in California. Following her recovery from cervical cancer, Brashier found that she’d changed in many ways, particularly physically.

“While my positive attitude and curious mind are still who I am, my physical body took a few years to heal and I now have a ‘new normal’,” she says on the site.

“Despite all the physical challenges, I had to then deal with the dating scene, and wondering silently how I would actually tell someone, ‘Intercourse wasn’t happening!’”

Having a low libido or not placing as much importance in the physical aspect of a relationship can still work if you’re with someone who shares the same reduced desires for sex or physical intimacy.”

It wasn’t long before Brashier began to wonder who else was living like this. She saw a gap in the market and, subsequently, created the 2date4love business.

According to the site, ‘2date4love.com is a dating site for people who cannot or do not want to take part in sexual intercourse to enjoy companionship, intimacy, and hopefully love’.

At the present time, there’s nothing as unique as this organisation in Australia. However, dating site eHarmony does question their clients about their sex drives and desires when they sign up.

“The dimension which we call “sexual affect” is used in our compatibility matching recommendation system and is an important part of the matching process,” says Jonathan Beber, eHarmony’s Research Scientist.

“Basically, if the partners have different levels in sex drive it can take a toll on their relationship, because one person with higher sexual affect may feel rejected and unsatisfied, where the other may tend to feel smothered by the numerous advances.”

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Beber notes that because physical passion is one aspect of the triangular theory of love, it has a significant effect on overall happiness in a relationship.

So does Beber think that a low libido deters people from dating?

“Not necessarily,” he says. “Having a low libido or not placing as much importance in the physical aspect of a relationship can still work if you’re with someone who shares the same reduced desires for sex or physical intimacy.”

“A lower libido doesn't necessarily deter anybody from wanting to connect with another person, it may just be at a different level.”

Isiah McKimmie is a relationship therapist and sexologist. She says that some women naturally have a low libido. For others, the fear of being vulnerable, lack of attraction to someone, unresolved relationships issues and the impacts of medications can contribute.

Despite this, it doesn’t mean that you can’t date or have a happy long-term relationship.

“Despite all the physical challenges, I had to then deal with the dating scene, and wondering silently how I would actually tell someone, ‘Intercourse wasn’t happening!’”

“We need to change our view to look for ways to cultivate and stimulate our desire so it arises in response,” says McKimmie. “Focus on what you enjoy physically, intimately and sexually, and then build on that.”

Cuddling, kissing, massaging and having showers together are all ways to connect without sex. Similarly, being open to your partner’s initiation when you’re not necessarily feeling in the mood, can sometimes get you in the mood.

“I often suggest that one partner pleasures themselves while the other hugs, strokes and stays connected to them,” says McKimmie. 

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“Start to see sex as important to your relationship. Make time for it and become more connected to your sense of arousal. Perhaps buy things that make you feel sexy, or think about what turns you on or used to turn you on.”

McKimmie also suggests researching what you might enjoy and communicating this to your partner. The more we have sex, the more we tend to want it, so this can start the ball rolling

Joanna Fishman, a director at Associated Relationship & Marriage Counsellors, reiterates the point that communication can help and recommends speaking with a professional.

“In speaking to our counsellors about sex, the juices start to flow,” she says. 

“It’s often the secrecy, anxiety and shame that causes stress and blocks sexual desire. Once that anxiety is relieved by open communication, the stress relief is often replaced with excitement.  This then gives people a platform to explore creative options to keep their spark going.”

Undressed airs weekly from Monday 16 January at 9.30pm on SBS. Join the conversation: #Undressed. Catch-up on episodes online via SBS On Demand here or watch episode 5 of season 1 below:

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