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To Sexual Partners

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tanman

Well written Black Wolf. In my case, I also very much believe in the institution of marriage and think that when two people are determined and really love eachother, a way can be found.

In a way I was deeply relieved rather than shocked to know that my wife was asexual. Like Black Wolf I also assumed that "sex is a very fundamental and powerful urge like eating and sleeping" and that absence of this urge was pathological like anorexia or sleeplessness. She was also relieved to know that she was not just one but one among many and was able to vocalize her feelings better. So it worked for both of us and showed us that we were both normal. :D

Definitely we are interacting better and both of us are able to understand from where each of us are coming from. This has relieved a lot of tension. Luckily she is also not phobic and can really feel love for me although not in a sense of sexual attraction and I am fine with it. I am also happy that she is not averse to any physical interaction but only some aspects of it and so we are trying to figure a way that is comfortable to both of us. We feel that with this new discovery there is hope that the love will surpass any of the obstacles in our relationship.

From a sexual point of view, I think asexuals would need to be more sympathetic to our feelings and figure out a way that will allow physical intimacy (without sex) frequently to enable to sexuals feel more loved. For example, these days I get more pleasure from hugging, and feel so much better when we just cuddle and talk. I think this is because I am able to understand that, to her hugging and cuddling is the greatest form of love towards me and that makes me appreciate that even better now. I think that like eating and sleeping, if we know that a certain quantity is sufficient for a good life, even sex can be controlled without loosing the excitement in life. So, I think that it is now a rebalancing act and reconfiguring act to recalibrate our impression of each other.

I am really sorry if this comes across as too boring or academic. Anyway, that is the way we are handling this now and I feel that we are making progress.

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gypsylady

Welcome tanman!

Great post - and not at all dry or academic!

It's very important, I think, to hear from the point of view of sexual people who are involved with asexuals. We rarely get to do that here and it's more than welcome.

I'm SO glad that you are both talking about it now and that you are both committed to your marriage and willing to negotiate your way through this. It says *tons* for the two of you. And it's good news for *us*, because so many of us have given up hope that we will find someone who is understanding of us.

Thanks for your post and your input. I hope you'll continue to post.

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pablo

Here goes - first posting!

This set of postings is of interest to me because as it turns out I am a heterosexual male in a relationship with a great woman but who is asexual.

I really must say thanks to everyone on the site for getting the information out there. Up to a month ago my wife simply felt that the lack of sexual desires meant that she was (and I wish I could think of a better word) - 'abnormal'. I saw an article in the Times newspaper about asexuality and together we looked at the web site and my wife was able to point out various postings that articulated what she has been trying to say for years - perhaps all her adult life.

My wife has had a number of relationships fail and there is no doubt that sexual tension and the inability to explain the situation had its part to play.

We have been together for 6 years and married for just over 2 years. I have to say that periodically we would hit times of tension in the relationship usually when my desire was high! The awful thing was that my wife felt the pressure build realising that my desires were building but despite her wishes to help me there was simply no urge on her part.

I think a little like Black Wolf I sometimes turned rejection into a failing on my part and felt that the lady I love would find someone else with the answer to her problem.

This site has helped give a label to her state of being and whilst I would not have thought a label would make much difference - it does. I have tried to figure out why this should be the case.

Lack of sex drive is clearly viewed by many professionals as a curable condition which kind of means that my wife was viewed as being 'ill'. Her first marriage collapsed at the age of 21 (barely made it through a year) and she saw a sex therapist. The problem was she was too attached to her mother. Her commitment to our relationship is such that having tried the herbal remedies and seen the doctor we were referred to ...a sex therapist (answer after 6 weeks and alot of tears - I need to be more agressive and the wife should get used to the feeling). It is the suggestion that the asexual partner is simply not trying hard enough that can lead to a hell of a lot of frustration and misunderstanding.

To me it seems logical that states of being can encompass asexual, heterosexual and homosexual and I can accept asexuality in the way I accept homosexuality. In other words the presence of this site has helped alot. It has helped me see just how hard my wife was trying and how committed she is to the relationship to go through all the so called cures knowing in her heart of hearts that they would not change the feelings of a lifetime.

We are now settling down to relearning our boundaries in the relationship. It is early days and I do not know how we will reconcile my sexuality with her asexuality but knowing that others are on the same path helps.

Most of all thanks for giving us a release from seeking a cure. We can now focus on why we have stuck together for 6 years despite the difficulties about sex - in particular our deep rooted friendship and understanding.

I didn't intend my first posting to be so long but I hope it helps adding another sexual beings thoughts to the debate.

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Samaritan
I didn't intend my first posting to be so long but I hope it helps adding another sexual beings thoughts to the debate.

Every last word was worth reading, and it does. Thank you, and welcome.

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Orbit

Pablo: We can now focus on why we have stuck together for 6 years despite the difficulties about sex - in particular our deep rooted friendship and understanding.

This brought tears to my eyes.

In a culture that often presents 'great sex' as the evidence or the epitome of a good relationship, asexuals would seem incapable of such intimacy and devotion.

However, it's becoming more obvious to those of us living with asexuality (sexuals and asexuals) that while sex is important for the sexual, the relationship isn't dependant on it and there are many other ways to be intimate and express committed love.

btw- I've mentioned to wolf that there are responses here and he's going to try to get back. :)

hawke

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gypsylady

pablo,

I'm SO happy the two of you found this site and that it has helped you so much. I'm *excited* for the new hope this gives your relationship and for your future together.

I hope you'll check back and stay in touch. I'm *very* glad you're here!

hawke, thank you also for your presence here. You are helping to bring so much to this topic. God bless you and wolf both.

Gypsy

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Black Wolf

Glad to see that some others are going through this too and that folks are willing to share about their experiences. You know, it reallty does help just to know that there are others out there gong through the same thing. The common threads I see are, first, that talking about it helps. Second, that persisting and treating this like other differences and issue in a relationship (although this brings some unique challenges) where you commit to working through it seems like the best way to ensure that you stay on track. I think we were pretty much all on the same page here. That's encouraging. Good luck all!

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karan Craigie

I came across this site while trying to find out about asexuality. my partner of six years is 'A' sexual and I am sexual. We are in a lesbian relationship and I love her very much. I have found the sexual side ( or lack of) very hard over the past few years. At the beginning of our relationship she could,nt get enough of me. Even pregnant with our son, now five months old, she was quite horny. but once again she has lost her sex drive. I find this quite difficult to deal with even though I love her lots. She has even told me to "go have an affair" which has left me feeling even worse as morally this is wrong for me and I take this as some kind of backhanded rejection. We have talked several times about this. I've explained that I hold back from sexual advances as I feel guilty for pressuring her and she feels guilty for not "putting out". Frustrated. Confused. I feel it all. But what can I do I still love her. Living in hope of a miracle!

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hafnium

its great that you made an effort to solve the situation. generally asexuals caught in sexual relationships post here. the situation is bad, i know. there is really nothing you can do right now ,except hope that she would return to her sexual ways. you sure dont wanna try an affair solely for your physical needs? you need not commit to the other woman.

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Guest Ladylove

Thanxs Hafnium for replying to my post. I guess I really just wanted/needed to get this off my chest and perhaps talk to someone who would understand. I feel very priveledged that youv'e taken the time to reply. Thanx again. I really don't feel I could go out and have an affair, not that I haven't given it some thought. I just know that I would feel terribly guilty because I wasn't remaining faithful. It's just not for me. mind you I haven,t been in a situation that would tempt me either so I guess it all depends on how desparate I am! No, I'd still feel guilty. It's not worth it. I couldn't lie to her either. I know that if I had an affair, for me our relationship would be over. As far as commiting to her, I think that's already been decided. It's just nice to talk to someone and get anothers thoughts on the subject. Thanxs yet again for yours!

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Guest ladylove

Thanxs Hafnium for taking the time to reply to my post. I am not sure that having an affair would do the trick for me. not that I haven't given it some thought. I know for me it's not the rightr thing to do because I would wind up feeling terribly guilt ridden and I couldn't hide it from my partner. This I feel would spell the end of our relationship. Not committing to her is of course a bit too late as I already have. I guess I will eventually come to my own answers about our relationship. I'm so glad to have got the subject off my chest. It has been very nice to talk to someone who understands. Thanxs once again.

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Naissur9

thread hid

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HauntedStarling

I think this is super-tough. It depends on your level of asexuality. For example, I never realized that I was asexual because I do have a sex-drive. In fact, I can really enjoy sexual interactions if I get into them. For me, though, sex itself or oral sex is not something I can really perform or watch. I don't like looking at my boyfriend's penis, I can't put it in my mouth without feeling sick, and I can't smell him or watch him do anything to me unless I can't see any of his face. I can't connect sex to a person or I find it disgusting. So we've learned to do it without him looking in my face, or with our eyes locked instead of on each-other. Anyone else this way?

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smoo_21

I think that they can work, as someone said communication is SO important. If a sexual loves an asexual then they will respect and understand the situation and something can be figured out...

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NeeNoon
I'mI've heard that Avilmil stuff is just crap though. Now we are talking about going to sex therapy, to help me with my 'problem'. I don't consider it my problem, b/c I am not the one bothered by not having sex.

Your bf sounds very closed minded and focuses on just himself. You're right, it doesn't sound like you have a "problem" with not wanting sex, he does. So it's HIS problem. Whether you are asexual or not, you don't have to be a sex freak just to make someone else happy. In relationships are you supposed to compromise, and it doesn't sound like he is willing to do that.

THANK YOU :!: I said something very similar to my ex when he complaint that he was sexually frustrated, and I let him . :oops: make me feel like I was wrong.

Basically I told him I was not responsible for his sexual frustration, he was responsible for his own sex life, and I'm responsible for mine.

Thank you again, for bringing this up so that I can deal some of that out of my system :roll:

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SnowBird

there are no words to express how happy i am to find these conversations here. i googled "asexuality" just hoping for an explanation, what does it mean? does it apply to my situation? your thoughts and concerns and individual situations have breathed hope into my heart. let me explain. i am a 32year old, highly sexual woman, married to what i am now almost certain can only be described as my 32 year old asexual husband. we have been together for 6 yrs. and married for 4. we are like 2 halves of a very comfortable and loving whole, except in the bedroom. there have been times in our 6 yrs. that he has been very demonstrative and affectionate and even flirtatious and sexual, but for the most part he is cool and aloof when it comes to intimacy. i have never understood,and have always assumed it was something about me. something i am doing wrong, etc. we have been to couples counseling, which helped immensely (for a time) but it seems we have fallen back into old bad habits. not communicating as well and as openly as we are capable of. i miss the times when we are close and sexual so much it hurts and i cry. why do they go away? i was previously married to my HS "sweetheart" for 9 yrs. someone who i now know i was never sexually attacted to, but loved very much for the simple fact that we had known eachother since grade school, had grown up togther and married because it seemed logical at the time. (we were 19) our relationship was always strained because of "bedroom issues" (he wanted sex and i didnt) and i now feel we were (in my eyes) more like a brother and sister rather than husband and wife. my deepest darkest private worry, now is, am i being punished for being such an unresponsive unwilling lover in my first marrige, by forging into a new relationship with someone who is very much like i WAS? thank you so much for giving me a place to come and hopfully talk this out with like minded people and hopfully learn how to talk about all this with my husband. best wishes to you all!

~SnowBird

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HermitCrone

After reading this thread I am, at least for myself, questioning the idea of asexuality.

Example 1) karan Craigie

whose lesbian partner has been very sexual until the birth of the child, after which she *became* asexual. This seems to me a clearly hormonal issue. Can it be that for many other sexuals there is a simple hormonal disturbance that indeed *could* be fixed, if we knew how and wanted to

Example 2) Snowbird

She was very clearly asexual (uninterested in sex) in her first marriage, now she is "highly sexual" in her second marriage to an asexual partner. Isn't this a living proof (at least this once) of that "ridiculous" notion that "you just haven't found the right person yet"

Example 3) Haunted_Starling

I was her. Exactly! He could not touch me unless he had a thorough scrub, and still he stank. Even though we were clean, and due to cyst issues I was on the pill, I required him to have a rubber on, the idea of his body fluids in me was repugnant. And eyes, I was doing that too. That was the only way I could manage it, by looking into his eyes. He was my best friend, my constant companion, my world, after my family died off one by one and I was all alone, but for him. Still the sex disgusted me (and made him sad). I became so armored that I could not even bear when he was trying to give me pleasue of oral sex (in hopes it would be less objectionable)

Currently I am with a guy who is delicious. I can lie and breathe the scent of his skin (even when he did not have shower for days), I can lick and kiss every inch of his body, and can't get enough looking at his naked body. I adore him, it just doesn't excite me in the least. He feels I pet him as if he were a cat. He doesn't like it. Possibly over 15 years continual suppression as a result of submitting myself to sex I found revolting had made me unable to run my sexual energy now. In my extreme frustration I sought any explanation, and concluded I must be asexual.

I guess I am looking for a way to "fix" myself. I am not saying anyone else here should. We are all separate stories. I learned from you. Thank you.

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Lonely in Love

Recently my husband came up to me in the middle of me doing bills and said: "Do you want me to leave?"

I replied, "Go to the store now?"

"No, do you want me to leave. I'm not happy, you're not happy, would it be better if I just left?"

That's the conversation that made me seek out this forum. I am a 29 year old mother of three (first child not my husband's - before we were married) who has been married for 5 years.

At first the sex was not an issue as we were doing it. I got pregnant a month after we were married. Sex stopped. Sex stayed stopped. Around the time that child turned one, we had a two week period of time that sex happened regularly...frequently even. I got pregnant with our last child. Sex stopped again. I had my tubes tied during the birth, knowing my husband didn't want any more children, thinking that his fear of my becoming pregnant might have been the driving force behind his lack of sexual desire.

Apparantly it wasn't. It has been three years since she was born, and I can count on my fingers the number of times we have had sex. We argue about it. I feel like he must be getting it somewhere if he's not getting it here, and he thinks I am crazy and a nymphomaniac or something.

It has been very hard on us. He doesn't understand *at all* why I A)feel the urge to be with him "all the time" and B) that when I initiate close behavior and he rejects me or gets huffy that it hurts more than if he had hit me.

I don't understand how he can not feel the urge ever, and how come he won't even allow me the oppertunity to get him aroused to see if maybe he might want to then.

I feel so lonely and confused and frightened, all at the same time. I DO love him, and feel selfish that I wonder if perhaps we would be better off apart. Sex is important, and yet it's not impoartant ... just saying that is confusing!

I've thought about writing to Dr Phil... but who wants to go on national TV and discuss private affairs like that??

I'm just not sure how to cope with this and make it work. The whole situation seems so completely unfair to both of us: my needs shouldn't always be denied and ridiculed and he shouldn't have to do something he doesn't want to do.

Unfortuantely, it seems he is on one extreme, and I am on the other.... and I am confused as to how he could be this way, considering during our courtship and first month of marriage he was "normal".

It's just such a heart breaking situation to be in, it seems like no matter what we do it will be wrong.

Thank you for listening, Lonely in Love

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emberlocks

Such as, if you and your partner are open about the topic of asexualty, what are some of the questions people ask you, being a sexual in a relationship with an asexual, and how do you respond?

I haven't discussed my friend's asexuality with many people. Their first thought is that maybe he's gay and just doesn't know it. I just say something like, "yeah, that could be" since we don't know for sure he's not. That tends to end the conversation (which is fine with me). I think that's about the best I can expect without having to explain a lot.

Also, is there anything you'd like to say to any other sexuals that are in a relationship with an asexual or someone they suspect may be asexual, or anyone that may be in pursuit of an asexual?

I think what I'd say is to be honest and communicate as much as possible. I think people are more capable of being flexible about sex than they realize although I tend to think it's more reasonable to expect someone to refrain from sex than someone to make themselves have sex.

I'd like to say something to asexuals too: be careful about pushing yourself to be more sexual early in the relationship. My friend was still a bit unsure about what his preferences would turn out to be when we were first seeing each other. I think having the idea that maybe he'd come to like it with me made it more painful for me when it finally became clear that it wasn't going to happen. Then again, I'm glad we tried. I think it helped me to accept that he cared for me but just didn't have an interest in that particular activity. I could believe it "intellectually" early on, but it took some time for me to really feel that he cared for me. I kept thinking that since he didn't have that particular bond with me, he'd be more likely to decide he preferred being alone or anyone else - since he didn't need the sexual aspect. I've learned, though, that attachment to someone can be much stronger than sexual desire...

I think being able to be affectionate (hugs, light kisses, snuggles, holding hands) really helped me. I'm not sure if I could handle a relationship where there was no/little touching.

And finally, if you'd like to write up something about it as to your experience in such a relationship, please feel free!

I'm a female (sexual) friend to a male who pretty closely fits the description of an asexual. I say friend because we've always called each other friends and "boyfriend/girlfriend" sounds out of place to us. We live and sleep together. We snuggle and kiss (not too intensely) .

We have an open relationship - not because of his asexuality, but because we both believe it's the right way to generally be. I don't think a person has done something "wrong" if they love more than one person at a time. Neither does he. I think the main rule I would have is that people should be honest with each other and communicate about these things. If he found someone else and wanted to be with them a lot, I'd be a bit sad and miss him, but I wouldn't think he did something wrong.. unless he didn't tell me why I suddenly wasn't seeing him much anymore.

Poly people say that when one has met a new person, one might experience "new relationship energy". Eventually, this enthusiasm for a new person settles down and one might miss one's longer term relationships and also not want other people to feel abandoned/lonely, so one should be careful to not neglect other loves when one has found someone new. I think there is some wisdom in that.

Before I was "romantically" interested in my asexual friend, he mentioned that he had little interest in sex. I thought I had little interest in it also although I later came to understand that we had very different perspectives on what was "little". Now that I'm no longer in a longterm relationship where I push myself to keep a more sexually interested person "satisfied", I'm finding that I don't really want sex 3 times a week. Physically, I might have a strong desire for it once a month for a few hours. I also sometimes find myself thinking about it and missing it although not necessarily having a physical desire for it.

Anyway, even once a month is more than my friend seems to want. I think he would be fine with never doing it again, ever. I sometimes wish he'd try anyway (usually when I'm most wanting it), but I also don't want him to feel like he has to push himself.

I have a "boyfriend" (sexual) who lives pretty far away. The timing was such that I considered having one or the other or both move in with me. For various reasons, I ended up having to choose one (or none) to live with. I tried staying with my boyfriend and found that we got along very well and the sex was good. I still didn't want it that often. I no longer thought of it as something wrong with me, so I couldn't even get into pushing myself to do it. I did it some just because I like making people happy enough that I could enjoy it just for that, but if it weren't important to him, most of the time I'd have been happy to watch a movie together or snuggle (or both).

I found that I really missed my friend and couldn't quite feel that I was "home" without him. It was a very painful decision to have to make. They have very different personalities and we share different interests and styles of interacting. It was a painful decision. I still wonder if I did the right thing. I think I did (for other reasons that are private as well as sexual,physical preferences). I still talk to my "boyfriend" often, but we can't afford to see each other very often (it could be years). I hope someday things will work out for him to move nearer. I really don't have the time,energy,emotional courage to try to take on any more relationships right now.

I guess when it comes down to it, I am more likely to distance from my friend than he is from me, but he does have other friends that he talks to and would be affectionate with if he had the time to visit them. I think that has more to do with the particular people we know than our sexual preferences.

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skiter
It has been three years, and I can count on my fingers the number of times we have had sex. I feel like he must be getting it somewhere if he's not getting it here, and he thinks I am crazy and a nymphomaniac or something.

I feel so lonely and confused and frightened, all at the same time. I DO love him, and feel selfish that I wonder if perhaps we would be better off apart. Sex is important, and yet it's not impoartant ... just saying that is confusing!

I'm just not sure how to cope with this and make it work. The whole situation seems so completely unfair to both of us: my needs shouldn't always be denied and ridiculed and he shouldn't have to do something he doesn't want to do.

Dear LIL - I know exactly how you feel - I am a sexual M with an asexual F - married with kids - with many of the same issues you describe.

I lived with years of frustration, feeling angry and rejected. A few months ago I came to the understanding that my wife was wired for asexuality and was never going to change. Coming to that understanding was actually helpful - peaceful and calming.

With that I stopped asking my wife for sex and found a lover. This lowered the tension in our house a lot. With the sexual tension off the table, my relationship with my wife has been quite good. My goal is to maintain a stable home for our kids as long as possible, and keep working to form some kind of an accomodation with my wife that works in the long term.

Well, obviously this is a lousy situation. As you say, it is heart breaking and it seems like no matter what we do it will be wrong.

I think the best you can do is somehow find a way to lower your frustration and then commit to a long struggle to work out your issues with your spouse.

God bless and good luck...

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mkt

Having read many of the posts here, I appreciate the vast diversity of approaches to relationships and navigating sexuality within a relationship. I'm a (very) sexual woman in a relationship with a man whom I suspect is asexual. First year was great, sex was just fine, although I realized his libido was lower than mine. Six months ago all sex stopped with all my attempts at figuring out why getting nowhere. He says he has no physical or emotional problem, etc etc. He's just not interested in sex anymore - although we are still very much in love, love each other, like each other, respect each other, and consider ourselves to be in a serious relationship. What most bothers me most is his lack of ability to compromise. I have thought long and hard about the definition of good mental health and it seems that a core part of good mental health is the ability to be flexible and adaptable in order to accomplish one's goals. If his goal is to have a loving relationship with me, then something is seriously wrong if he cannot be loving enough to compromise and have some kind of sexual interaction with me, or adapt to a polyamorous relationship so I can get my sexual needs satisfied elsewhere (he says no to an open relationship). I've tried to be extremely flexible - I've offered every creative solution I can think of. I consider myself more than open and willing to experiment sexually to see what we can negotiate to keep me satisfied ... but he won't even kiss me sexually, won't even just hold me while I masturbate. All kinds of nonsexual warmth and affection exists between us... but no sex of any kind. As a sexual person I am deeply hurt and frustrated. Maybe some asexual individuals don't understand the immense depth of emotional bonding and intimacy that sharing sexual pleasure creates between two people. I have learned a lot about feeling close and connected in other ways, but for me there is no substitute for a sexual connection (of whatever variety - I am not talking about any specific physical act). I'm so sexually and emotionally frustrated I am deeply angry. I feel he has exiled me from his deepest, most private soul, I feel he is disregarding my needs, I feel as if he is unable to overcome his asexuality to meet me half way and sometimes put aside his own discomfort to ease my discomfort. I put aside my needs: the physical need for sex - yes need - to the point where I am almost out of my head! the need for sexual intimacy, the need to have that very private space with him... I put aside my needs for months on end. If a sexual person can do that to make a relationship work, then I think a sexual person should please the other person sometimes and put aside his/her needs *sometimes* to satisfy the other person. Aren't relationships about compromise? If both people can't compromise, then there is no way to work it out... which is very sad, very depressing if you love each other. I am encouraged by how people in sexual/asexual relationships on this forum seem willing to work together - I've read a lot of positive things. For me as a sexual person involved with an asexual person whom I love and respect very much, I can't even communicate how painful the situation is. It is infuriating, and deeply deeply depressing. I am lonely as hell and feel helpless... and very angry at our incompatibility. I have read all kinds of opinions here about how asexuality is not "abnormal" -- alright, but it is very unusual/atypical (I don't care what the 1% stat claims) and an asexual individual involved with a sexual person needs to have some empathy and compassion for how difficult negotiating this is. Sometimes I get very angry. Sometimes I get very very sad. Most often I am very scared this kind of relationship can't work and I will lose a relationship I care about a lot. For me, I can't imagine a life w/o sexuality.., for me sexuality is part of my every day life, part of moving through the world. Sex is a beautiful act in which two people share their most vulnerable selves, and show their emotions without words, without even thinking. It is one of the ways I feel closest to another human being, one of the ways I feel human, one of the special private things I want to share with a person I trust and love. My sexuality is such a core part of my identity that I cannot feel wholly loved as long as my partner rejects taking part in sexuality with me. I am afraid my relationship is doomed, but if these words can help other sexual/asexual understand each other, than that is a good thing.

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gypsylady

mkt,

I'm *truly* sorry that you are hurting so much. I've been on both sides of the fence (am now much more comfortable identifying as A), but I can somewhat understand what you must be going through.

My advice is very simple, unfortunately. You are angry and frustrated and disappointed (maybe heartbroken?). If sexuality is as important to you as you say (and I *know* that for some there is no substitute for the deep bond it creates - I'm not putting you down for that), then you need to seriously contemplate moving on. The two of you, no matter how much you may love each other, are probably not going to be able to reach a meeting of the minds. The other other possible thing I could recommend would be couples counseling and, if both of you are willing, it could be money well spent. However, if this is not an option for you, whether because of availability or because it's unacceptable in some other way, once again, making a break so that the two of you can get on with your lives may be the only option.

I have had two relationships end, where we each loved the other deeply, yet we discovered (and my Aness was only a minor issue in the second case) that "love does *not* conquer all", much to our heartbreak and consternation.

Sometimes a relationship is there as purely a learning experience for us. While you never planned to fall in love with someone who would lose his sex drive and ability to connect with you sexually, I doubt that he planned anything of the sort from his end. In his case (if he is asexual and has not lost his drive for another reason, whether it be childhood junk or a physical problem), his inability to meet you halfway has nothing to do with you or his love for you. He may be just as incapable of being sexual as you are being nonsexual. Believe me, there is nothing personally meant by his lack of sexual interest. I'm guessing that if he could find a way to turn it ON, he'd do so, just to keep you.

I wish you all the best, mkt.

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mkt

Thanks for that kind reply. It's been a long, confusing, intense journey... I appreciate your empathy. In some ways this sexual/asexual dynamic is very unique, in some ways it is the same as any problem a couple faces -- is there a space to compromise or not? Sometimes there just isn't - often the best analogy I can think of is when one person feels the need to have children in order to be happy and feel complete and the other can't abide the idea. If two people are that far apart in their lifestyles, perhaps there is no possibility of success. I too, have wanted to think love (and enough communication and empathy) can conquer this... and it is very hard to accept that it cannot. I know it is difficult for both people when this happens. I remind myself often how hard it must be for my partner -- I think he would change our situation if he could, because I know he loves me very much. One of the confusing contradictions is that he won't try anything to see if we can negotiate this problem - no therapy, no open relationship, no unconventional sexual activities that would require minimal participation from him. He seems willing to just give up before trying any compromise. While I do respect his desire to be himself, I feel he is often making this my problem rather than a problem for us together.

That is in part why I wrote... in the wide range of approaches I've read here, it seems that *some* asexual individuals see the desire to have sex as the sexual person's "problem" (and a very few people even see it as selfish to want sex from one's asexual partner)... and yet if two people are in a relationship together trying to make it work, *any* conflict that arises has to be addressed by *both* people. I don't want to think I am being selfish. I don't want to think my partner is being selfish. I'm not to blame for this conflict - and neither is he. Neither of us asked for it to be this way between us (my god, what person would *want* to tackle this kind of incompatibility?) We are incompatible - unless we can find some way for us both to change and flex a little to create a life together that is good for both of us.

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gypsylady
We are incompatible - unless we can find some way for us both to change and flex a little to create a life together that is good for both of us.

I'm sorry to hear that he doesn't seem able to consider other options so that the two of you can maintain your relationship. Sometimes that happens - I would have a hard time with it too.

I think it's cool that you've been willing to seek out solutions and even come here asking for help. You may not be getting any other responses because no one else has anything they think will help you. It would be wonderful if he could "flex" just a bit. He must feel threatened in some way. I know that, when I first hit the point where I just couldn't pretend to be sexual anymore, I felt *very* defective and my self esteem plummetted.

Can he acknowledge that asexuality could fit him? Would he be offended if you pointed him our way? I don't know that we could do much for the two of you if he isn't able to ask for directly for opnions, but maybe he would pick up on some stuff that would open up a discussion between you... Just a thought.

Still, I wish you good luck and great thoughts, no matter what course your life takes!

Gypsy

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mkt

So far, I haven't been able to broach the topic of asexuality in depth with my partner. I mentioned it and asked him to read the NY Times article which I had cut out... clearly he was familiar with the topic, but he still hasn't read the article. I hate to say, but I think he looks on all my efforts to understand the lack of sex in our relationship as a pain in his ass. It's not a problem for him, so why can't I just stop thinking about it? He has always acknowledged he is not a very sexual person - and I am learning to accept that, but it has been a complicated process to separate myself out of the equation. Asexual individuals are not the only ones who struggle with cultural messages about sex that are forced down all of our throats! Messages that ensure many people (sexual or not) don't even question associating our sexuality with our self-worth.

What has struck me most about reading this site is the recognition most people seem to feel... I'm glad there is a (virtual) place where people can discover more about themselves and feel validated. I don't think it is easy for anyone who goes outside social heterosexual norms to grapple with their outsider status - and I truly believe that all sexualities/asexualities (between 2 consenting adults) need to have space.

BUT, then relationships are tricky... I can't even imagine being in a position in which one loves another person and yet feels unable to give him/her what he/she wants in a relationship. It must be painful to have to choose between the relationship and being true to oneself. In any relationship self-awareness is important --- if only we lived in a world where everyone was fully self-aware, fully self-accepting and able to communicate his/her expectations, desires, limits and feelings to others in a kind, nonjudgemental way! But each of us is on a path of learning about ourselves, life, others... we travel as best we can, as fast or slow as we can. Like you said, we learn as we go. I've certainly learned a lot in the past 6 months :?

Because the first posting solicited thoughts from sexuals, I thought I'd share a bunch... it's nice for me to have a place where I've been heard.

As you can see I'm a very verbal person... ha! maybe there should be a thread for verbal / averbal relationships. Isn't that half the battle as well? After all, I doubt there is any couple that is perfectly sexually matched - 90% of any long-term sexual relationship is a process of exploring, negotiating, compromising... and self-awareness and communication is a huge part of that process.

... thanks for listening and responding...

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gypsylady

It really sucks that he doesn't seem able to consider and explore possibilities with regard to himself. He must be stubborn, or maybe really closed off to his feelings (reminds me of my brother who comes across as a very cool person but who has control issues and self esteem problems that have made him really rigid and defensive).

Asexual individuals are not the only ones who struggle with cultural messages about sex that are forced down all of our throats! Messages that ensure many people (sexual or not) don't even question associating our sexuality with our self-worth.

Amen! I think most here would acknowledge the pressure society puts on all of us to be sexual - especially men, who are force fed this crap from before they hit puberty. And, increasingly, girls are feeling the pressure as well. It's all around us - almost everything we see has sex imbedded in it - especially *any* form of media.

if only we lived in a world where everyone was fully self-aware, fully self-accepting and able to communicate his/her expectations, desires, limits and feelings to others in a kind, nonjudgemental way! But each of us is on a path of learning about ourselves, life, others... we travel as best we can, as fast or slow as we can. Like you said, we learn as we go. I've certainly learned a lot in the past 6 months :?

Yeah, I wish it were easier! Life is sometimes a rough school, but I believe that relationships are the *real* classroom (I mean relationships of any kind - dealing with family can be as "eduactional" as with a SO).

ha! maybe there should be a thread for verbal / averbal relationships. Isn't that half the battle as well? After all, I doubt there is any couple that is perfectly sexually matched - 90% of any long-term sexual relationship is a process of exploring, negotiating, compromising... and self-awareness and communication is a huge part of that process.

:lol: There needs to be an entire site for verbal/averbal relationships!! Maybe *many* sites! I agree that, within a "couple" relationship, sexuality is one of the leading "challenges".

I'm glad you're still hanging around.

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mkt

ditto. One of the ironies of my situation is that for a long time I've considered myself pansexual -- for a long time I've advocated serious acknowledgment and equality for alternate sexualities and social structures - gay, bi, poly, the fetish and s/m communities, -- and now asexuality -- etc - like I said, anything that 2 (or more) consenting adults do that makes them happy is great. The stasis and emotional morass of my dilemma aside, I am glad this site exists. In the past I've seen social forms of controlling/regulating sexuality as oppressive and heartily wished every individual could be liberated from shame and guilt about sexuality... the old "if everyone was occupied with the organic pleasure of sex, we could chip away at the absurdity of consumer culture and the aggressive pursuit of war" (yeh, I know this is niave, I know it is more complicated than that). Anyway, this site has prompted me to think about the ways in which asexuality could also be a pivotal force in breaking down the social norms that compromise the intergrity of individuals... I read an interesting post on this site in which one person described asexuality as a "radical stance." I'm not sure this applies to individuals who are struggling with it on a daily basis, but as a mode of interacting with society it may have potential. Anyway, forgive me, I am rambling on and on and getting away from the exact topic of this thread. Maybe a thread on asexuality and social norms/culture would be interesting... any takers?

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gypsylady
Anyway, this site has prompted me to think about the ways in which asexuality could also be a pivotal force in breaking down the social norms that compromise the intergrity of individuals... I read an interesting post on this site in which one person described asexuality as a "radical stance." I'm not sure this applies to individuals who are struggling with it on a daily basis, but as a mode of interacting with society it may have potential. Anyway, forgive me, I am rambling on and on and getting away from the exact topic of this thread. Maybe a thread on asexuality and social norms/culture would be interesting... any takers?

Hmmm... Well, for me, I just don't have the brainpower to go there. But I think it's SO cool that it's prompted more personal thought in you as to the possible impact of asexuality on social norms and culture, at least from our pov. I know that there are several members who are volunteering their time to increase social awareness when it comes to Aness. Beyond that, I hope that others here will chime in, cause I don't know what else to say right now.

Thank you, mkt, for you exploration of "us" and your openmindedness when it comes to sexual matters. I think you are an *exceptional* person!

And I wish you all the blessings in the world in your relationship.

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First off I would just like to say that everyone on this site is awsome....If you haven't read anything I've posted let me give you a brief introduction. I have been in a relationship with a sexual for 15 years (today being our 1st wedding anniversary.). My husband is wonderful. He is trying to understand that I just have no desire for sex....he clearly doesn't understand but he is trying. He has never intentionally made me feel bad for not wanting to have sex but many times he has felt that it is his fault somehow. He thinks that maybe he just doesn't know what buttons to push so to speak.

We have had many discussions about my "problem" (his words not mine) but just can't seem to get on the same page. I haven't actually explained to him that I am asexual having only come to this conclusion recently myself.

I don't know how to tell him. In fact I'm scared to death. The past 15 years he has lived with the hope that we will find that majic pill that will make the "problem" go away. Once I tell him, things are going to change, our life together will change.

I'm not opposed to a comprimise but I'm not sure just how much I am able to. I know that I am warn out trying to come up with reasons for not wanting to have sex. I'm tired have having sex looming over my head.

I like romance, kissing and cuddling but we don't do that very much any more because he wants more and I just can't give it to him. I get so depressed cause i know it hurts him when i constantly turn him away. Is there any hope that things will improve for both of us once I tell him? I realize it will be a long road uphill but I want so much to make things work.

Thanks everyone,

TinyT

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Orbit

TinyT, Even though my husband and I have talked everything through and have come up with compromises and understanding and love each other - we still struggle.

It's a constant thing to remind each other that we love each other - and to keep trying. I don't imagine it's ever going to be easy or get 'fixed'... But what relationship is easy? There are always issues people deal with and many sexuals can't work things out sexually either - or they have other relationship issues.

It's just how life is... we have to work with what we are given- imperfect bodies with imperfect minds and hurting, needing hearts. The best thing to do is acknowledge it and do your best... try to forgive, try to give.

And most importantly - fully enjoy and focus on the GOOD things about the relationship. My husband and I may struggle with sexual issues - but we are so darn happy with the rest of our relationship that I feel blessed and happy and VERY lucky.

I wish you the best!

hawke

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