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Crying

Guess there's no hope.

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Crying
Crying, on 14 Mar 2014 - 9:00 PM, said:

I have never said either, nor do I subscribe to either belief, yet somehow, from his perspective (which I increasingly believe IS the perspective of an asexual), my desire for a sexual expression of love seems to translate to him as "sex is the only acceptable way of showing love".

I've been asexual for a long time -- all my long life -- and I've always understood that sex is part of a loving relationship for the two sexuals I've known. I don't believe his perspective is an "asexual" perspective. But if he is feeling defensive, he may be pushing back with that kind of attitude.

Again, I think you need to realize he's just one person, asexual or not. He doesn't represent asexuals.

Edit later: Wow, he admitted that he was being hard on you. That's something. Not enough, I realize, but it kind of shows he's got some self-knowledge.

I am sorry, that wasn't the meaning I wanted to convey. I didn't mean for it to be taken as "all asexuals have the same perspective". Let me try again.

I wanted to state that I believe the perspective I am getting from my husband is his perspective as an asexual, and not his perspective as a heterosexual, which is what I originally believed him to be.

That's a bit clumsy, but I hope it clarifies and does not offend

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Sally
Crying, on 14 Mar 2014 - 9:00 PM, said:

I have never said either, nor do I subscribe to either belief, yet somehow, from his perspective (which I increasingly believe IS the perspective of an asexual), my desire for a sexual expression of love seems to translate to him as "sex is the only acceptable way of showing love".

I've been asexual for a long time -- all my long life -- and I've always understood that sex is part of a loving relationship for the two sexuals I've known. I don't believe his perspective is an "asexual" perspective. But if he is feeling defensive, he may be pushing back with that kind of attitude.

Again, I think you need to realize he's just one person, asexual or not. He doesn't represent asexuals.

Edit later: Wow, he admitted that he was being hard on you. That's something. Not enough, I realize, but it kind of shows he's got some self-knowledge.

I am sorry, that wasn't the meaning I wanted to convey. I didn't mean for it to be taken as "all asexuals have the same perspective". Let me try again.

I wanted to state that I believe the perspective I am getting from my husband is his perspective as an asexual, and not his perspective as a heterosexual, which is what I originally believed him to be.

That's a bit clumsy, but I hope it clarifies and does not offend

Yes, I now understand what you were saying. You are upset; some of us (including myself) can't always make ourselves plain when we're not upset!

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Serran

Interesting, so interesting. My husband often laments that "sex isn't love" and "why do you think sex is the only way to show love?"

I have never said either, nor do I subscribe to either belief, yet somehow, from his perspective (which I increasingly believe IS the perspective of an asexual), my desire for a sexual expression of love seems to translate to him as "sex is the only acceptable way of showing love".

I am not sure how this came to be. I have made it clear that sex is an intensely emotional experience for me, but I have never, ever said or behaved as though sex was the only valid expression of love.

He seems not to notice my non-sexual expressions of love, assuming that "people like me" only express love through sex. When I bring home his favorite candy for him or get up with him at 4am six days a week to make him a fresh lunch or sit with him to watch a movie, those are all expressions of love. He seems to only recognize my gestures of love when they are tied to the sex that he doesn't want.

It's easier to remember the negatives than the positives when it's a huge issue in something sometimes. If someone gets told they are awesome at something 100 times, but they suck 10 times, yes the positive expressions outweigh the negative in numbers.. but the person still might go "They're always putting me down!" Especially if resentment has had time to build.

I've fallen into the trap of "Oh god, he wants sex again, can he think of nothing else?" at times even though that isn't a fair thought. And I know my partner has fallen into "Oh god, I never get to have sex!" ... even if we just had sex 8 times last week, because THAT week I might have had to lower the amount for him. These are not FAIR thoughts, if you actually think of all the things you do for your partner, but when people are hurt or frustrated they often don't think rationally. And my partner has said it at times and I know I have said it at times. And those were not good things to say, for either of us, but it happens.

He does need to learn to recognize and appreciate your expressions of love that are non-sexual, for things to work, I would think. But, it's quite possible he doesn't recognize your love language. For example, my partner is more into WORDS of appreciation and I am more into ACTIONS or TOUCH. So, when he compliments me, I hardly even notice at times... compliments don't register with me much. When I brush his arm in passing or squeeze his shoulder when he's at his computer, that doesn't register for him. And cuddling and such actually bores him, unless it's just after sex, which I don't like it after sex. But, non-sexual cuddling is the ultimate way I show affection. Relationships are complicated when you're so different in so many ways. It's also quite possible you're over looking things he thinks are expressions of love that just don't register on your love language chart. My partner and I had to have a discussion and I try, but I suck at compliments so I know I fall short on expressing things the way he can understand. And he is not very good at touch, but he tries.

Have you told him how it hurts for him to say those things to you? If so, what was his reply?

Edit: And yes, please don't let the few negative posters scare you away. I think people can sometimes take some things said a bit too personally. Of course sexuals don't just want sex, but it's pretty important - just like cuddles may be important but it doesn't mean it is ALL I want out of a relationship. :cake: Being upset because your sex life is not at all like you'd hoped is perfectly valid and is even a perfectly valid reason to leave a relationship.

Edit edit: And I think the fact you are here and willing to try to figure things out and haven't left yet kind of counters the "you aren't giving your husband a fair shake" arguments. o.O

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Notte stellata

I have gotten the impression that many of the posters here were quick to covertly and overtly tell me that I really was being terribly demanding, and that I was going to have to learn to just not be so attached to sex and that my "poor husband" wasn't getting a fair shake. There was even the sentiment that he was putting up with me and that I shouldn't expect a satisfying sex life from marriage.. It was like "If I don't have any sexual needs,then you shouldn't either".

Just want to say I'm sorry about the harsh responses you got. It's difficult for some asexuals to think from the perspective of sexuals and understand that needing sex doesn't mean seeing sex as the only important thing in a relationship. However, most people in this forum are pretty understanding, and many have first-hand experiences with mixed relationships as well. Most of us don't condone lying about one's sexual orientation or preference (even if an asexual didn't know they were asexual, they could still tell a potential partner that they weren't very into sex or something to that effect), regardless of the motivation.

Anyway, I hope you'll stay and find more support down the road. :)

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lissi

Starry night is right, most asexuals here are very understanding of sexuals. My recent experience suggest that you might want to give the older asexuals forum a miss. As a sexual, I found recent posts there very disturbing.

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NakedApe

Sex is like that. There is sex that is easy, familiar, satisfying, comforting and grounding. That kind of sex is the loving kind that kept the connection strong between my partner and me. It was the sustaining sex, the sex that made us a couple, the delicious secret ingredient that made our relationship delicious. Now and then, there is over the top sex ( many people call this "vacation sex") where it's just longer, stronger, more intense and more astonishingly emotional.

Crying, This is a very excellent description of what sex is like for many sexuals. It's recharging and, for lack of a better term, a benefit. I guess that's where the term "Friends with benefits" comes from. Now, for my wife and, I suspect, many Aces, sex is a cost. Not a horrible, terrible cost, but it's not something that recharges them. It might actually drain emotional energy from them. Most sexuals that I talk to agree that the best kind of sex is mutually beneficial. I.E., both parties get something good out of the act. The tough part is that in a lot of mixed couples, that isn't really possible. Unless the benefit for the Ace is seeing their partner happy.

Let me give an analogy. Say that you are an extrovert and your husband is an introvert. You love to go to a party with friends, while he finds that going to a party is draining because he'd be expected to talk to people. So, when you hear about a party and ask him to go, he might do it for you out of love. But, in the end, he's paying a cost for your benefit. So, if you asked him to go to a party every night of the week, he'll eventually say something like "Why do we have to go to parties all the time?" and he'll stop wanting to lovingly pay that cost.

Sex for a mixed couple can be the same thing. Speaking only for myself, I don't ever want to ask my wife to pay a cost for me. It makes me feel selfish. I won't ask her to bring me a glass of water while I lounge on the couch and I won't ask her for sex. Especially sex. Because asking her for sex makes me feel a little bit like an emotional vampire. (Also because I know that she'll only have sex in the one way that is the least cost to her, which is far from that vacation sex that you refer to.... BTW, we call that "Hollywood sex".) So, in a nutshell, the only way I would ever have sex with my wife these days is if she initiates it. (Which she never does.) So, our compromise has come in the form of an open marriage. I know you said that that wasn't your thing. but some other form of compromise might work for you.

I'd ask your husband when he feels most connected to you. That will give you a hint at what his love language is. Once you know that, you can talk about taking turns expressing love in each other's language.

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Crying

Recharging. Yes. Yes. Naked Ape, your experience and mine have been similar. I won't pressure him for sex at his expense because that feels horrible, and he doesn't initiate. Stalemate.

<<Because asking her for sex makes me feel a little bit like an emotional vampire. (Also because I know that she'll only have sex in the one way that is the least cost to her, which is far from that vacation sex that you refer to.... BTW, we call that "Hollywood sex".) So, in a nutshell, the only way I would ever have sex with my wife these days is if she initiates it. (Which she never does.)>>

That sex is a cost to him and not a benefit defeats the purpose of having sex. When he answers "was it good for you?" with "as long as you enjoyed it, I'm happy", I am engulfed in sorrow and guilt. While I understand that many people assume that a romantic sexual woman like myself would be able to shrug off the lack of sexual connection with my husband and just get on with things, that approach doesn't feel good.

Sex with someone who is only having sex to do his part makes me feel smarmy and selfish, and it just isn't fun. Who wants to be endured? It's like having the asexual partner help bandage a wound that the sexual partner can't reach. "Here, honey, let me help you with that, I know that must be difficult.." Sure, it's kind, but ...eeesh.

Think of cooking a great meal for a guest, and asking the guest " did it taste good?", and having him reply "as long as you enjoyed cooking it, I'm happy". I'd want to disappear if that happened! Sex from the perspective of a sexual woman--at least this sexual woman--is as much about giving pleasure as it is about receiving pleasure. The best I can do to give my husband pleasure is let him go to bed and sleep against my back without asking for more.

We talked a little more today, and he said that he doesn't think he's asexual, and he's made it clear that he is not homosexual. I asked him if he married me for other reasons than being attracted to me, and he said he is very attracted to me. I asked then why our sex life was gone and that he had expected me to not even notice the loss.

He said "I'm trying. I'm trying to figure this out. I just don't think sex is that important. That doesn't make me asexual."

Well, what DOES it make you?? Maybe if he could clarify that, I'd have a better idea of how to proceed. His "just be patient" (yes, he has said that) seems selfish. Be patient while you keep me in the dark and meander around expecting me to go without indefinitely while you talk in riddles?

The day before I moved into my own room, I made an attempt to engage him. I did all of the things that went so well before we married--kissing him, stroking his face and hair, telling him that I wanted to make him feel good. His response after a few chaste kisses was "My feet are cold. I'm going to grab some socks." He refused to meet my eye, and I knew that he was not grabbing socks and running right back. He was creating a distraction. I ordered a new bedspread that afternoon and made the guest room my own. At least in there, I know what to expect because I am the only one there.

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Mycroft is Yourcroft

Recharging. Yes. Yes. Naked Ape, your experience and mine have been similar. I won't pressure him for sex at his expense because that feels horrible, and he doesn't initiate. Stalemate.

<<Because asking her for sex makes me feel a little bit like an emotional vampire. (Also because I know that she'll only have sex in the one way that is the least cost to her, which is far from that vacation sex that you refer to.... BTW, we call that "Hollywood sex".) So, in a nutshell, the only way I would ever have sex with my wife these days is if she initiates it. (Which she never does.)>>

That sex is a cost to him and not a benefit defeats the purpose of having sex. When he answers "was it good for you?" with "as long as you enjoyed it, I'm happy", I am engulfed in sorrow and guilt. While I understand that many people assume that a romantic sexual woman like myself would be able to shrug off the lack of sexual connection with my husband and just get on with things, that approach doesn't feel good.

Sex with someone who is only having sex to do his part makes me feel smarmy and selfish, and it just isn't fun. Who wants to be endured? It's like having the asexual partner help bandage a wound that the sexual partner can't reach. "Here, honey, let me help you with that, I know that must be difficult.." Sure, it's kind, but ...eeesh.

Think of cooking a great meal for a guest, and asking the guest " did it taste good?", and having him reply "as long as you enjoyed cooking it, I'm happy". I'd want to disappear if that happened! Sex from the perspective of a sexual woman--at least this sexual woman--is as much about giving pleasure as it is about receiving pleasure. The best I can do to give my husband pleasure is let him go to bed and sleep against my back without asking for more.

We talked a little more today, and he said that he doesn't think he's asexual, and he's made it clear that he is not homosexual. I asked him if he married me for other reasons than being attracted to me, and he said he is very attracted to me. I asked then why our sex life was gone and that he had expected me to not even notice the loss.

He said "I'm trying. I'm trying to figure this out. I just don't think sex is that important. That doesn't make me asexual."

Well, what DOES it make you?? Maybe if he could clarify that, I'd have a better idea of how to proceed. His "just be patient" (yes, he has said that) seems selfish. Be patient while you keep me in the dark and meander around expecting me to go without indefinitely while you talk in riddles?

The day before I moved into my own room, I made an attempt to engage him. I did all of the things that went so well before we married--kissing him, stroking his face and hair, telling him that I wanted to make him feel good. His response after a few chaste kisses was "My feet are cold. I'm going to grab some socks." He refused to meet my eye, and I knew that he was not grabbing socks and running right back. He was creating a distraction. I ordered a new bedspread that afternoon and made the guest room my own. At least in there, I know what to expect because I am the only one there.

Crying, that sounds awful for you.

I understand how your husband seems to feel, since I have experienced it first-hand myself with my ex-partner, but you sound so unhappy that I feel terrible for you.

Have you thought about taking some time off from each other? Not necessarily a long time, but an agreed period where you live apart for a little while. Him, so that he could 'figure out' what he needs to figure out, you, so you can try out being without him (idea is, seeing if you think you'd be happier single than in this relationship). I know that if you love someone you won't want to separate yourself from them, but it sounds like he isn't treating you very well in this subject, stringing you along like that. Being away from each other for a bit might make it easier on both of you to figure out things. He, for instance, might feel less pressured to adopt a label if, for a while, your presence isn't there to hurry him along. This in NO FAULT of your own, but in my experience, having my ex simply there, and knowing what he wanted, stressed me out, and made me feel like I had to decide something, anything, right then and there. You could organise terms, such as what you are and aren't comfortable with each other doing while you were separated.

You've tried communicating, but he doesn't seem to be prepared to sit down fully and commit to an in-depth, open discussion, more like he's brushing you off by saying what he intends to do rather than talk about how he and you feel, and asking you what you make of this. If he's missing you, he might be more prepared to think about and discuss your feelings and points of view.

You may not be prepared to separate for a while, in which case I think all the other posters said great things that are wise to listen to. :)

One thing someone said above which I agree with wholeheartedly, is asking him when he feels most connected to you, and talking about that with him. Touch? Gifts? Acts of help? Words? Time spent together? Everyone seems to tend towards one or two of these in particular. There are even tests online! :D

My sympathies to you Crying, I hope you find a helpful solution :cake:

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Lady Girl

That sex is a cost to him and not a benefit defeats the purpose of having sex. When he answers "was it good for you?" with "as long as you enjoyed it, I'm happy", I am engulfed in sorrow and guilt.

Sex with someone who is only having sex to do his part makes me feel smarmy and selfish, and it just isn't fun. Who wants to be endured? It's like having the asexual partner help bandage a wound that the sexual partner can't reach. "Here, honey, let me help you with that, I know that must be difficult.." Sure, it's kind, but ...eeesh.

Think of cooking a great meal for a guest, and asking the guest " did it taste good?", and having him reply "as long as you enjoyed cooking it, I'm happy". I'd want to disappear if that happened! Sex from the perspective of a sexual woman--at least this sexual woman--is as much about giving pleasure as it is about receiving pleasure. The best I can do to give my husband pleasure is let him go to bed and sleep against my back without asking for more.

I want to be as considerate in my response to this as possible, I know you are experiencing some crushing feelings in regards to all of this. However, when I think about asexual people who want to make a partner happy, or have sex with them because they love them and are part of an agreed upon arrangement (like Serran for example, or my own husband for many years) I want to give them some of that same consideration.

I understand full well the idea of wanting your romantic partner to want you sexually, but If they don't, I hesitate to say their offer of sex "isn't good enough." I do believe there should be willing consent, but it doesn't have to be enthusiastic to be legitimate consent or good sex. There are many sexual asexual couples on this site who have sexual compromises and their arrangements shouldn't be dismissed or made to appear lesser somehow. If it doesn't work for you, I accept that, but I think we should always be careful when talking about something we don't want but is something other people have that makes them happy in their relationship. People who have sex because they love someone instead of for their own pleasure just isn't that horrible in my book.

I've struggled with some of these thoughts myself, and ultimately for me the "he loves me" thought saved the day. I knew it in my heart. When it came down to it, I also realized that complaining about not enough sex was harsh, but then to complain about the motives behind it or the amount of emotional investment in it (for many asexuals there is none...love =/= sex) was like telling him there really is no way you can ever be good enough.

I'm not saying any of this to try to convince you to enter into a compromise situation. I just want to point out the positive aspects so it isn't all so bleak. A sexual compromise can be and is a satisfying and healthy solution for some couples.

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Feral_Sophisticate
A sexual compromise can be and is a satisfying and healthy solution for some couples.

Oh, I agree!

Too often, people see "compromise" and read "selling themselves/their interests short/out".

It need not be so blatantly cut and dried. Find what works for you. Communicate with your partner. See if there is some sort of common ground that you can meet on, and work from there.

A happy and successful relationship isn't about finding someone who works well with you. It's about finding ways for two different - even if only mildly dissimilar in interests or tastes - people finding a way to make something new, (and often better) together.

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lissi

Crying, I understand how you feel about the idea of sex with someone who does not desire sex. Having said this, I can see how sex with someone who loves you so much they would do something they have no desire to do could be viewed as the ultimate sign of love. Everyone is different. For me, on reflection, I think that a compromise solution was not for me for several reasons. First, at 13 years old, I found myself experiencing sex I did not want. Whilst my brain tells me consenting sex with an asexual is different, I cannot override my emotional reaction to it. Second, partnered sex for me is all about mutual desire, emotions and intimacy. I couldn't see a way of getting this with my ex, given that, (and I think this bit is absolutely crucial for me) he had spent over 3 years lying to me. I think to make a compromise work you need an enormous amount of trust. I could never have trusted this man to tell me honestly what he was feeling. He only ever said what he thought I wanted to hear, whatever would make me happiest. Communication has to be good too. I found myself with a man who felt broken and guilty. He found it impossible to talk about sex because of this. I rather hoped our relationship councillor would be able to help him with this after we split up. She didn't.

Good luck to all those making sex in a mixed relationship work. It wasn't for me and isnt for Crying now.

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Percivel

Sex is like that. There is sex that is easy, familiar, satisfying, comforting and grounding. That kind of sex is the loving kind that kept the connection strong between my partner and me. It was the sustaining sex, the sex that made us a couple, the delicious secret ingredient that made our relationship delicious. Now and then, there is over the top sex ( many people call this "vacation sex") where it's just longer, stronger, more intense and more astonishingly emotional.

Over the top sex, oh my, it's hard to describe. It bonds you together like glue, sometimes even ends in tears of joy and awe. Like a holiday, it takes you to a place where your roots are entwined, feeds your soul, nourishes your heart. To look into your partner's eyes and see that they are with you in that magical place where all that matters is that you are together and giving each other pleasure and love that defies words? Oh, my, it's life regenerating itself. It's fireworks and world peace all in one delicious bite. It's something that completes us, makes us feel like we are exactly who we should be, and we need nothing more. I usually say something that I normally might feel shy saying, reveal something wonderful to my partner like "I knew you in my last life just like I know you in this life and will know you forever." It makes no sense word for word, but when spoken while in that bonded heartspace, it means everything.

With a sexual partner, you will see in their eyes and in the helpless, vulnerable joy on their face that they get it. There's no shyness, no fear of not being accepted, no need to be anything other than exactly who you are. Sometimes, their eyes will fill with tears or they will hold you closer and say something in response like "Oh, God, how can I be so lucky as to have your love?"

It sounds corny and hokey and silly, but when it's happening it's absolutely perfect.

This is a wonderful description!!!!! And I agree!

Recharging. Yes. Yes. Naked Ape, your experience and mine have been similar. I won't pressure him for sex at his expense because that feels horrible, and he doesn't initiate. Stalemate.

<<Because asking her for sex makes me feel a little bit like an emotional vampire. (Also because I know that she'll only have sex in the one way that is the least cost to her, which is far from that vacation sex that you refer to.... BTW, we call that "Hollywood sex".) So, in a nutshell, the only way I would ever have sex with my wife these days is if she initiates it. (Which she never does.)>>

That sex is a cost to him and not a benefit defeats the purpose of having sex. When he answers "was it good for you?" with "as long as you enjoyed it, I'm happy", I am engulfed in sorrow and guilt. While I understand that many people assume that a romantic sexual woman like myself would be able to shrug off the lack of sexual connection with my husband and just get on with things, that approach doesn't feel good.

Sex with someone who is only having sex to do his part makes me feel smarmy and selfish, and it just isn't fun. Who wants to be endured? It's like having the asexual partner help bandage a wound that the sexual partner can't reach. "Here, honey, let me help you with that, I know that must be difficult.." Sure, it's kind, but ...eeesh.

I pretty much never initiate anymore. And for a long, long time I felt this way, as you do...about all sex with my ace wife. But I have come to accept that not very good sex was better then no sex. Sex without intimacy still usually snaps me out of the dark, depressing funk I would regularly get in. And that was important for our relationship and our overall demeanor's. She is also working at portraying sex as not such a burden...and making it sometimes even intimate. It's taken a long time to get here, however. But, this is a process that continues to develop as we go through our ups and downs and we keep trying. Even with our poor communication there is still a trust factor that's important.

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Skullery Maid

I have mixed feelings about unethusiastic sex. I've definitely waned significantly in my libido due to a feedback loop... my partner does a decent job of seeming "into it" during sex, and I'm so into it that it's easy to get carried away... but then afterward, her chilly response and disinterest in having sex again (I think for most sexuals, sex makes us want more sex), I'd start looking back and see her sexual performance as just that - an act. Then I'd feel much sadder and lonelier than I had prior to having sex. So, I don't really want it as often anymore.

Like Lissi, I have a strong emotional reaction to less than passionate sex. Consent is not enough for me to really enjoy it. Morally, I have zero problem with compromise (obviously, since I do it), but I can't stop from feeling badly. It's a sad/ lonely/ shame feeling and it is very isolating and unpleasant.

My partner and I talk about it several times a year, and she always gets (rightfully) irritated and says "I have never had sex against my will. You know that. I always say no and will always say no if I don't want to. Quit treating me like a victim". AND SHE'S TOTALLY RIGHT. If I were her, I'd feel equally annoyed that I have to keep asserting my right to consent to sex. Who knows... I'm hoping that eventually I get it thru my thick skull that we each enjoy sex in our own way and that's fine - even if, for her, it's just the after-effects of feeling connected and intimate.

EDIT: ps... I privately apologized to Tjirpling because I was totally out of line, and I feel like I should acknowledge that publicly as well. When I re-read the posts in a different mood I saw that I had grossly mischaracterized them and behaved badly. I'm sorry.

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sexualwife

Crying,

I know exactly how you feel. The way you described everything is how I could've written it. I've been with my husband for 12 years now, and it doesn't get any easier. I never knew asexuality existed. If I would've known this was never going to get better, I would've never married him, knowing a sexual relationship is very important to me, just as you described. I don't feel married or even like I'm in a relationship. We are just room mates. He doesn't understand how I can feel that way. My resentment has grown towards him even though I try to not let it. Even though he knows this is destroying me inside, he is perfectly happy because he's getting what he needs out of the relationship. I won't be able to live like this forever, I know that. We have been through counseling, both together and separate, and he has had all the tests for low testosterone and sleep apnea, which have all been corrected. Those corrections didn't change how his brain is wired however, just like you can't make a gay person straight, no matter how much hormones they take or more oxygen they breathe at night. He's always gotten erections easily, but just never wanted to use it. He is willing to try for my sake, but that just makes me feel worse. He might as well be doing the dishes. He has no feelings for what he's doing and it's very easy to tell that when you've been with other men prior to him that were really wanting to be with you. Wanting to want to is totally different than wanting to be with someone. I realize some say that's a show of their love for you. Maybe so, but it doesn't make the sexual feel very good about it. Sex may be .06 of your life, but when it's 0, it feels like 96% of what you need in life is missing. My husband loves to eat and is always thinking of his next meal. I liked your food analogy as I've used that in the past with him. I've told him what if all I fixed for you every meal was a lettuce salad, just lettuce and nothing else, every meal for the rest of your life. Would you be happy about that? It would sustain your life, but would you feel like you were getting everything you needed? And you could never go anywhere else for a meal. No more steak, no more momma's cooking, just lettuce salad for the rest of your life. He didn't think he could live that way. Well, there you go.

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Percivel

As difficult as it is for us sexuals...particularly for us married ones, I sometimes try to put myself in the aces shoes. For me I suppose it would be like getting married to a guy and without the knowledge and understanding of being gay. There is no way I would want to have sex! Even thinking of it would be gross! I would try to avoid it at all costs. Compromising would be extremely difficult to even consider.

Both spouses then learn about asexuality. But now you've been married a while and you have a commitment. You (the ace) love your spouse...very much...and you are experiencing this tremendous guilt because you make your spouse so unhappy. Your self esteem is in the crapper and you feel like a turd. You just want to be "normal" so you can make your spouse happy. But it's so hard to give your spouse what they so desperately want and need. It seems unnatural to you to have sex and is just plain disgusting.

What is the ace to do? Breaking up any relationship is hard to do, especially a marriage. Should the ace initiate a break-up? Should the sexual initiate a break-up? Should you both stay together and try to stick it out? The sexual feels like a self-centered, sex starved jerk for even thinking about initiating a break-up. The ace feels the love but can't grasp the value of sexual intimacy. Do we expect the ace to initiate a break-up?...particularly if they feel "who's going to love an ace...who won't have sex?"

It's a Catch-22 situation. If both are trying it can work. It will be very, very difficult...but it can work. If one is not trying...and trying hard...then there is little hope.

Even in the Catholic Church, where marriage is sealed as a lifetime commitment and called holy, the lack of sexual intimacy is grounds for justifiable divorce (annulment). The marriage is declared as never having happened because one party did not understand a serious, and expected, aspect of marriage...that being: sexual intimacy.

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Crying

Crying, I understand how you feel about the idea of sex with someone who does not desire sex. Having said this, I can see how sex with someone who loves you so much they would do something they have no desire to do could be viewed as the ultimate sign of love. Everyone is different. For me, on reflection, I think that a compromise solution was not for me for several reasons. First, at 13 years old, I found myself experiencing sex I did not want. Whilst my brain tells me consenting sex with an asexual is different, I cannot override my emotional reaction to it. Second, partnered sex for me is all about mutual desire, emotions and intimacy. I couldn't see a way of getting this with my ex, given that, (and I think this bit is absolutely crucial for me) he had spent over 3 years lying to me. I think to make a compromise work you need an enormous amount of trust. I could never have trusted this man to tell me honestly what he was feeling. He only ever said what he thought I wanted to hear, whatever would make me happiest. Communication has to be good too. I found myself with a man who felt broken and guilty. He found it impossible to talk about sex because of this. I rather hoped our relationship councillor would be able to help him with this after we split up. She didn't.

Good luck to all those making sex in a mixed relationship work. It wasn't for me and isnt for Crying now.

You get it. You really get it.

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Crying

Hey, it's Crying here. I thought those who kindly responded to my initial wail for help deserved an update.

We've been to a marriage counselor twice since the original post. I guess I didn't do counseling right, because I dumped out everything that I was upset about while the husband sat there reticent and glossing over things. He insists that he is not asexual, but just isn't as "into it" as I am. I said that he was so "not into it" that he lied and started fights to avoid it and said things like "Look, I'm doing the best I can! I can't perform every time you snap your fingers!", and the worst one, "So leave then."

My husband maintained that he was 'trying'. I said that hearing my husband had to "try" to be sexual with me wasn't encouraging. Clearly, the mutual desire I want isn't there, and who knows why? I don't, and I have a feeling that I will never really know.

The therapist said that our arguing wasn't going to help. Yes, I knew this to begin with. That is why I brought the argument to a counselor! I wanted the counselor to see the naked truth of what our relationship had become.

The recommendation is that my husband should continue therapy weekly and I should "sit in" once a month to check in. My husband liked this idea. I asked when I would get my concerns answered, and I was told that the monthly session would be for this purpose. I felt outraged. I feel like again, my concerns are being put on the back burner.

I was also asked why I was still with him. I told the truth, that I was still there because I'd hoped there was a reversible reason for his abrupt withdrawl, but the way things look, I'm only currently still here because leaving is more work and money than I can manage right now.

I realized from these two sessions that the marriage I'd expected and had every reason to expect doesn't exist and will not be happening. I don't know what the right thing to do would be. My choice is to put up with him as he is (yes, I did say that. I did not sign up to marry someone who did not like sex or feel desire for me, and I'm royally pissed and bitterly disappointed that this is who I got), or leave. It occurs to me that it does not matter what I want or what I deserve. Whatever it is that I deserve isn't available with this man. He sees no problem with this and wonders why I mind.

Oh well, Got fooled again, I did.

Anyway, there isn't much else to say. I don't know what the outcome will be, and it almost doesn't matter because any way it falls, I'm married to someone that I no longer like. How can I like someone who put me in this position and had all of these ridiculous ideas that I would just lose interest in sex once I had a ring on my hand? He blows hot and cold now, affectionate one day and harsh and shaking me off the next. He seems annoyed that I didn't get on board with the emotionless quarterly maintenance sex plan that he seems to believe comes after marriage.

Anyway, it is what it is. It sucks.

His lack of interest and harsh dismissal of my interest means that I pretty much better gear up for a break up. I was not expecting this. I really thought he loved me, and I don't mean in a platonic, asexual way. I did not marry to be serviced a few times a year by someone who can take it or leave it. This isn't the kind of relationship I want, and I'm furious about the bait and switch routine. If he couldn't maintain a sexual relationship, he owed it to me to say so before I was legally entangled. I'm no longer deluding myself that I can somehow create the relationship he pretended to be able to sustain. This is not to offend anybody, regardless of orientation. Addressing how others structure their relationships is not what this paragraph is about. I am watching my marriage fail because my husband pretended to be something he isn't, and the something he is leaves me devastated and bereft. The lack of mutual desire is a slap in the face. Horrible to think that I showed him genuine desire while he was just going through the motions ("well, I did what I had to to make you happy", he said. Had to??).

I don't think he loves me. Love does not entail dishonesty or trying to use harshness and humiliation to force me into acquiescing to his point of view that a proper marriage is sexless. Do I love him? Well, I loved who he claimed to be. I don't know who he actually is, so no, I'm not feeling any love for him right now, just sorrow and shame at being used.



I went out and got a new haircut and red hair color to feel less drab. Back to the drawing board. Peace, everybody.

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jimmyjjohn

It really depends on what type of asexual he is. My friend for example (I believe she's graysexual) enjoys sex, but she doesn't experience sexual attraction enough to the point that she'll ever miss it.

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Leelian

All I am hearing is "sex", and being vague is not going to help you get what you want. I am going assume that you entered the marriage with the idea that you two were going to stay married until the day you died (correct me if I am wrong), so sex is not always going to be an issue. In fact, it will probably only be an issue for a fraction of your marriage as your sex drive will die down as you get older. I wouldn't go throwing out something so big for like sex twice a month for five years until you have fully explored your options. Remove any accusatory tone (your partner probably wants you to be asexual as much as you want him to be sexual) and have a serious discussion about compromise. Talk about frequency. Talk about what is acceptable and absolutely unacceptable. Does it have to be penetration each and every time? Are oral, manual, mutual masturbation, make-out sessions, watching porn together, or masturbation with your partner helping good alternatives that your partner wouldn't mind? What about kinks and fetishes, are there any you can't do without? Any that would keep your partner interested? (Ex. Some asexuals are into BDSM for the power play.) Find out all that your husband does not like about sex. Is he repulsed? Is it simply boring and thus feel like a chore? Adding activities so the time isn't just 100% sex and more like games with sex on the side would go a long way. Make the event surrounding sex pleasing for your partner too (watch a show together, have a cup of tea, etc.).

As an asexual myself, I do indeed tell my partner that "as long as you enjoyed it, I'm happy". Why? Because it's friggin true! I don't think I could care any less about sex than I do now, but it makes me happy to have pleased my partner in a manner that we decided was only reserved for us. It's still a bonding experience and it's still intimacy, regardless of whether or not I'm screaming his name in ecstasy. I am doing that that . Maybe it truly does make your partner happy that you enjoyed it? Maybe it's enough for you to enjoy it that he engages in sex with you. Keep in mind that not every sexual couple has mind-blowing sex every day, some are content to have it a few times a year.

Perhaps the hardest part for you in all of this is separating sexual desire and sexual attraction from romantic desire and romantic attraction. Just because he doesn't look at you and want to sex you into oblivion does not mean he doesn't love you or is not attracted to you in other ways. He may desire you romantically. It took my sexual partner a bit to realize that I still wanted him. Remember, at the end of the day you both are normal and human, and that no one can change their sexuality. You are who you are.

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Sally

so sex is not always going to be an issue. In fact, it will probably only be an issue for a fraction of your marriage as your sex drive will die down as you get older.

That is not always the case. From what I've heard from sexual friends, they certainly don't count on their desire for sex dying down. My ex-husband and my ex-partner were examples of that not happening.

In any case, sex (again, from my observation) is pretty important to most sexuals as a part of a loving relationship, and no matter how infrequent the sexual occasions, they still have importance.

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Serran

so sex is not always going to be an issue. In fact, it will probably only be an issue for a fraction of your marriage as your sex drive will die down as you get older.

That is not always the case. From what I've heard from sexual friends, they certainly don't count on their desire for sex dying down. My ex-husband and my ex-partner were examples of that not happening.

In any case, sex (again, from my observation) is pretty important to most sexuals as a part of a loving relationship, and no matter how infrequent the sexual occasions, they still have importance.

Yeah. It isn't as if sexuals stop having / wanting sex when they get 55+ ... I know 70+ year olds with high libidos. Sex is important to many sexuals their whole lives. Grandparents have sex.

Crying, it sounds like telling him you are interested in separating may be the best thing for you. Save up, move out, do what makes you happy. Being miserable won't help much. Maybe tell the therapist you aren't happy with only sitting in once a month if you want to keep trying, but.. it doesn't really sound like you do. Hoping to fix what he doesn't seem to find broken isn't a healthy option for either of you.

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Philip027
Grandparents have sex.

I know you're just speaking honestly, but please don't talk about this. :<

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lissi

Hi Crying

I know this might not help you right now but he might love you. He might be acting out of fear because he is terrified of losing you. It is terribly hard to admit you are asexual in an sexual world. I think it might be even worse for men.

The thing to remember is that if he is asexual he is likely to have no idea about how important sex is to most people. When I say no idea I really mean none whatsoever. If you want some evidence of this please PM me and I will let you know of a thread elsewhere that demonstrates this. Not all asexuals are like the ones you see here. I think they have taken the time to understand their sexual partners and visa versa. Some honestly have no idea of the impact a sexuality can have on sexuals.

I am not saying that you shouldn't feel like you do. It's likely that you and your partner are speaking different languages though, and if you can understand this you might be able to treat him kindly whatever you decide. I understand how angry you are, honestly I do. I just want you not to judge him too badly. I've probably said it before but the lie might've seen like a tiny lie to him, when for you and I this is massive. Imagine if he had pretended to like shopping with you before marriage and you found out he didn't. Imagine how you would react on finding out. That might be the reaction he was expecting to his lack of interest in sex. He is likely to be very confused right now.

That said, I am worried about your arrangements for the therapy. I had a year of it. A year if treating the wrong problems. Individual therapy within couples counselling can be hugely problematic. I think you need some help to cope with how you are feeling too.,

Take care xxx

Edit: typo

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Sally
Grandparents have sex.

I know you're just speaking honestly, but please don't talk about this. :<

Ha. That's why I don't think young asexuals should necessarily tell their parents -- parents don't want to think about their kids' sex lives any more than kids want to think about their parents -- or grandparents.

But back to the issue here:

Crying, I agree with Lissi about the probable non-utility of going through the therapy you describe. The difference between you and your husband is not going to be "fixed" by a therapist. It's a difference between two individuals, who want very different things, because they are who they are.

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Philip027
Ha. That's why I don't think young asexuals should necessarily tell their parents -- parents don't want to think about their kids' sex lives any more than kids want to think about their parents -- or grandparents.

Yeah but... if anything, we're probably talking not about a sex life but rather a lack of one >_>

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WünderBâhr

I have to say, i've noticed quite a few times where the husband in all of this has said he's not asexual, only to have it seemingly dismissed throughout the thread. It is actually possible for sexuals to have low libidos and to see sex as not that big of a deal. There is just as much a variety of sexuals as there are asexuals and so on.

It may be (and i'm just hypothesizing) that he feels incredibly embarassed to be confronted about sex as a topic. Obviously, he felt a connection strong enough to marry the OP, and i'm pretty sure sex wasn't the only reason for that. It seems that people are much quicker to comprehend a woman not wanting to have sex (ie. All those "I have a headache" jokes) than a guy saying "eh, there are more important things in life" without there being something inherently wrong with him. Not as an asexual male, but perhaps a very regular sexual male with a less-than-frequent sex drive.

So, let's imagine, for the sake of argument, that he reasoned out marriage being the uber act of commitment. He showed the OP that he wants her in his life for always, as something much more important than an act of buying flowers, leaving love notes every day, or any one particular act of intimacy (act as in action, not blatant performance). So, he's already in it for the long haul. He's comfortable in his love for the OP, and continues with life more relaxed about what is expected, possibly dismissing the fact that even marriages need maintenance in romance and intimacy--even "normal" marriages go through this. Then, she expresses doubts about their sex life and how much he loves her because she feels the inaction is a personal msg (no sex = there must be something i'm doing wrong). He tries to brush it off as a silly thought. He may not be quite sure what to say, only to be confronted more frequently that there is a problem. He experiences more guilt, though he knows he still loves his wife, and it then turns into "you're not having enough sex, what is wrong with you" rather than a discussing of why it is a problem in the first place and how BOTH can work together to make things feel normal again. Each discussion then presents itself as an eventual ultimatum, "have more sex or we'll both be unhappy", leading to increased frustration at the mere mention of it. It would be difficult to talk about it for anyone at that point.

I don't know your husband, Crying, so I have no idea if this is anything close to what he may have experienced. I think there is merit in individual counseling for him because he obviously has an interest in figuring things out (in a outside, non-judgmental environment). He may see that as another compromise, though he's not doing a good job of communicating that or anything else for that matter. I don't think it is to purposely deceive you, however. As a hetero-Sexual male (he has yet to claim anything else), he may even be embarassed or feel too guilty to admit there is an issue until he understands more about why he feels the way he does.

Again, this is all just theory. I think ppl were too quick to stamp the asexuality label on this when it could be way more complicated than that. I would suggest that he check out AVEN or other pertinent educational materials about asexuality, just in case, but I don't know if him seeing this thread would be awkward for you.

I don't know if any of what i've written has made sense/helped for your situation. I'm not a counselor, but as I see it, if you two can't establish some sort of mutual language to communicate with one another, it will be much harder to see a positive outcome.

I sincerely hope you will be able to find some peace from the anguish you are feeling and that both of you will find the answers you need.

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Serran

Bear - Regardless of label, he has said he had sex to "do what he had to do" ... so whether it is low libido, lack of interest in sex, or asexuality isn't really the point. He didn't adopt the label, so we can't put it on him. But, he has (according to the OP) clearly stated his views on sex do not line up with hers. Even sexuals can break up over mismatch in the sexual department. There is not much you can do to get a low-libido sexual to become a high-libido sexual, or someone who views sex as unimportant in a relationship to suddenly find it incredibly important. Regardless of reasons. My ex was sexual, but only wanted sex once every two weeks or so. To someone that wanted it daily, he would not be a good match. Someone expecting him to change would be sorely disappointed. People of all orientations have varying feelings about sex and to some, sexual compatibility is extremely important.

@Phil - Sorry lol if it makes you feel better some grandparents become celibate, like mine. :)

@Sally - Not all parents. Some want to know all the details of your sex life as their kid. :P

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Crying

so sex is not always going to be an issue. In fact, it will probably only be an issue for a fraction of your marriage as your sex drive will die down as you get older.

That is not always the case. From what I've heard from sexual friends, they certainly don't count on their desire for sex dying down. My ex-husband and my ex-partner were examples of that not happening.

In any case, sex (again, from my observation) is pretty important to most sexuals as a part of a loving relationship, and no matter how infrequent the sexual occasions, they still have importance.

Die down? Not here...I'm over 50,and nothing's dying down in any way.

Grandparents have sex.

I know you're just speaking honestly, but please don't talk about this. :<

Sorry my friend, but I am a grandparent, and well...

I have to say, i've noticed quite a few times where the husband in all of this has said he's not asexual, only to have it seemingly dismissed throughout the thread. It is actually possible for sexuals to have low libidos and to see sex as not that big of a deal. There is just as much a variety of sexuals as there are asexuals and so on.

It may be (and i'm just hypothesizing) that he feels incredibly embarassed to be confronted about sex as a topic. Obviously, he felt a connection strong enough to marry the OP, and i'm pretty sure sex wasn't the only reason for that. It seems that people are much quicker to comprehend a woman not wanting to have sex (ie. All those "I have a headache" jokes) than a guy saying "eh, there are more important things in life" without there being something inherently wrong with him. Not as an asexual male, but perhaps a very regular sexual male with a less-than-frequent sex drive.

So, let's imagine, for the sake of argument, that he reasoned out marriage being the uber act of commitment. He showed the OP that he wants her in his life for always, as something much more important than an act of buying flowers, leaving love notes every day, or any one particular act of intimacy (act as in action, not blatant performance). So, he's already in it for the long haul. He's comfortable in his love for the OP, and continues with life more relaxed about what is expected, possibly dismissing the fact that even marriages need maintenance in romance and intimacy--even "normal" marriages go through this. Then, she expresses doubts about their sex life and how much he loves her because she feels the inaction is a personal msg (no sex = there must be something i'm doing wrong). He tries to brush it off as a silly thought. He may not be quite sure what to say, only to be confronted more frequently that there is a problem. He experiences more guilt, though he knows he still loves his wife, and it then turns into "you're not having enough sex, what is wrong with you" rather than a discussing of why it is a problem in the first place and how BOTH can work together to make things feel normal again. Each discussion then presents itself as an eventual ultimatum, "have more sex or we'll both be unhappy", leading to increased frustration at the mere mention of it. It would be difficult to talk about it for anyone at that point.

I don't know your husband, Crying, so I have no idea if this is anything close to what he may have experienced. I think there is merit in individual counseling for him because he obviously has an interest in figuring things out (in a outside, non-judgmental environment). He may see that as another compromise, though he's not doing a good job of communicating that or anything else for that matter. I don't think it is to purposely deceive you, however. As a hetero-Sexual male (he has yet to claim anything else), he may even be embarassed or feel too guilty to admit there is an issue until he understands more about why he feels the way he does.

Again, this is all just theory. I think ppl were too quick to stamp the asexuality label on this when it could be way more complicated than that. I would suggest that he check out AVEN or other pertinent educational materials about asexuality, just in case, but I don't know if him seeing this thread would be awkward for you.

I don't know if any of what i've written has made sense/helped for your situation. I'm not a counselor, but as I see it, if you two can't establish some sort of mutual language to communicate with one another, it will be much harder to see a positive outcome.

I sincerely hope you will be able to find some peace from the anguish you are feeling and that both of you will find the answers you need.

Thank you for your thoughtful reply. It was very caring and appreciated.

The part I realized that I have not mentioned is that his attitude toward me is chilly. There is no kind apology, no words of needing me or really, anything for me to hang my hat on. He's become clinical in his approach to our marriage, making comments like "You don't have to stay. If you want to leave, leave. That's up to you.". If I try to get to the bottom of the thinking that brought us here by asking him questions about his thought process, he accuses me of trying to trap him, parrots back what I said to him, and insists that his answers are a result of his trying to tell me 'what I want to hear' instead of any kind of workable truth.

He doesn't do this around any other topic, just sex/desire issues.

True life example:

Me: "When you said you loved me, did you mean you loved me like a sister, and not sexually?."

Him: "Yes, I meant that I loved you like a sister and not sexually"

Me: "Really? You only loved me like a sister?"

Him: ":Well isn;t that what you want me to say?"

Me: "I want you to tell me the truth! Is that the truth? That your love for me is platonic and not sexual?"

Him: "If that's how you want to see it."

Me: "I want to see it how it really is! I can't do that if you won't tell me!"

Him: Well you keep coming up with these ideas. If that's what you believe, I'll tell you what you want to hear so you can be right. Isn't that what you want? To be right and make me the bad guy? Ok, you can be right. It's all my fault. I only love you like a sister."

At that point I usually lose my temper.

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Lady Girl

I'm sorry to hear that things aren't getting any better for you Crying. To be honest, it doesn't sound as though he is any happier about the situation. I hope you are able to move on and be happier very soon!

The thing to remember is that if he is asexual he is likely to have no idea about how important sex is to most people. When I say no idea I really mean none whatsoever. If you want some evidence of this please PM me and I will let you know of a thread elsewhere that demonstrates this. Not all asexuals are like the ones you see here. I think they have taken the time to understand their sexual partners and visa versa. Some honestly have no idea of the impact a sexuality can have on sexuals.


I have to address this, because it is a broad generalization and in more cases than not, possibly untrue...it is more than likely the opposite. I actually think many asexual people do know how important sex is to sexual people and that knowledge may even be how they know they aren't sexual. I am quite sure that even though sex may not be important to an asexual person, they are often aware of how important it is to sexual people.

Some mixed couples don't have the same problems as others. Sometimes a compromise is made early on (even nonverbally) and the relationship is happy and healthy for both people. Other times, the couple struggles to find a compromise that each finds satisfying, but eventually do. There are also times when one or both people cannot find a comfortable middle ground and they decide to part ways. None of these situations is more or less indicative of either partner being oblivious to the other's needs.

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Sally
Lady Girl, on 23 Mar 2014 - 10:13 PM, said:

I'm sorry to hear that things aren't getting any better for you Crying. To be honest, it doesn't sound as though he is any happier about the situation. I hope you are able to move on and be happier very soon!

lissi, on 23 Mar 2014 - 12:20 AM, said:

The thing to remember is that if he is asexual he is likely to have no idea about how important sex is to most people. When I say no idea I really mean none whatsoever. If you want some evidence of this please PM me and I will let you know of a thread elsewhere that demonstrates this. Not all asexuals are like the ones you see here. I think they have taken the time to understand their sexual partners and visa versa. Some honestly have no idea of the impact a sexuality can have on sexuals.

I have to address this, because it is a broad generalization and in more cases than not, possibly untrue...it is more than likely the opposite. I actually think many asexual people do know how important sex is to sexual people and that knowledge may even be how they know they aren't sexual. I am quite sure that even though sex may not be important to an asexual person, they are often aware of how important it is to sexual people.

.

I think it would be difficult for an asexual partner to NOT know how important sex is to a asexual partner.

Crying, regardless of whether your husband is asexual or not, you're being treated very badly. Please think carefully about whether you want to continue this relationship with someone who is, at the very least, not being kind.

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