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GeorgeSand

Asexuals: It's like being struck blind

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GeorgeSand

I was speaking to an asexual earlier tonight about what it's like to be a sexual and figuring out that the lack of sex isn't just temporary; it's forever. And why it's such a big deal to me and other sexuals.

I had this revelation that it's like being struck blind. You go your whole life seeing marvelous things, knowing your loved ones' faces, seeing the ocean and mountains and art and blue skies and flowers. And then, one day, you wake up blind. This wasn't your choice. You'll never see anything marvelous again. You'll touch, smell, taste, hear... but you won't see.

It wasn't my knowing choice to marry an asexual. He didn't know or understand he just fundamentally didn't have a sex drive before we got married. And I miss sex like I imagine many blind people miss seeing the world. It was beautiful. The ability to connect with another person that way! To be shown such adoration and held so close and made to feel safe! To revel in the beauty of each others' bodies; the wondrous feelings before, during, and after sex. To know I'm making another person feel really, deliciously good! This is all taken away from me.

Does this make any better sense to any asexuals, or resonate with any other sexuals? I'm sure the description of sex makes about as much sense as describing a stained glass window to a person born blind, but hopefully it gets the point across.

EDIT: Okay, so there seems to be resistance to the idea because blindness is a permanent issue, whereas staying with a relationship is not. Let me adjust:

Imagine you entered a house, and a few steps into the room, you begin to lose your eyesight. But the house is full of warm, wonderful smells, silk sheets, beautiful fireplaces, fine things, and what's more, it's totally safe from any disaster known to man. Still, losing one's eyesight is quite alarming. But when you go to leave (which takes quite a bit of fumbling around, blind as you are), the doors are locked. A Voice from somewhere tells you: "You may remain here and blind, or walk through a tunnel of fire and leave. What is your choice?"

Some people seem to be fine choosing living in the beautiful house. Some people find it too much of a sacrifice to be visionless. And, of course, for some it isn't a painful situation at all, while for me, it is.

But also, keep in mind... This is a metaphorical situation. When the speaker in the Songs of Solomon told his beloved that her "breasts were like twin roes, grazing in the valley", he didn't mean they were furry and hoofed with big ears and had a habit of destroying gardens...

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Star Bit

So am i correct in assuming that you don't feel connected, adored, or safe in your current relationship? (as you said sex makes you feel that way and you are now without it) Does he not hold you closely anymore? There is nude cuddling. Or you could be half naked if he's not comfortable with that. Are you not satisfied making him happy in other ways he clearly enjoys? (since you said you miss making someone else feel good)

Perhaps knowing this can help you in a way; we can feel all that you adore about sex without it.

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LKR

I don't necessarily think asexuality should be compared to a disability. It's a sexual orientation that probably has as many advantages as it has disadvantages. It's a different way of living and it's ok to be different.

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Tarfeather

She's comparing celibacy to being struck blind. Also, it has truth to it, actually. Sexual attraction is a unique kind of experience, as unique as the feeling you get when you look at something aesthetically pleasing. If you couldn't find things aesthetically pleasing any more, wouldn't you in a sense feel blind?

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Marian the Herbalist

She's comparing celibacy to being struck blind. Also, it has truth to it, actually. Sexual attraction is a unique kind of experience, as unique as the feeling you get when you look at something aesthetically pleasing. If you couldn't find things aesthetically pleasing any more, wouldn't you in a sense feel blind?

Not really, she's comparing it to being blind = not seeing anything at all anymore, which is (imo) a bit extreme.

However, OP: if you are feeling so miserable you could get a divorce. If your partner is indeed asexual I doubt they will change and begin to love sex the way you do. Some asexuals compromise with their sexual partners but not all want to, some don't mind sex while others dislike it.

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Tessc

You know what? This actually makes a hell of a lot of sense. I wouldn't go so far as to compare it to something so permanent, but having something that is - for all intents and purposes - an intricate part of your life taken away from you not by your own choice has to be hard. (No pun intended, sorry!) I honestly don't get why people on here don't seem to understand that sex is, to many people, a fundamental part of human interaction. I'm an ace and I was raised by a family of incredibly sexual people. I was never taught to shy away from things like this, so I understand that a lot of people use things like that to get to know each other better and share a special kind of intimacy.

Have you spoken to your husband about this? Some aces are willing to have sex to please a partner and while it's definitely not the same thing, maybe it would be better than absolutely nothing, if he's willing?

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Tanwen

The difference is that loss of sight is not something anyone would choose or continue to live with if there were an option. As has already been suggested, talk to your husband; use a mediator if necessary. If things can be resolved then do it; if they can't then you will both have to make a decision whether to continue in the relationship.

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Tarfeather

The difference is that loss of sight is not something anyone would choose or continue to live with if there were an option.

... You don't know anything about blind people, I take it.

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Corretto

Asexuality is not an illness, or a disability. Aesthetic attraction is a vital component in my life; whether they be an art-work, a mountain range or a person sitting in a cafe.

To extend OP in a positive sense...I believe I'm just using a pair of aro-ace adapted Raybans. :ph34r:

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Philip027
... You don't know anything about blind people, I take it.

I certainly don't know any blind people saying "fuck yeah, I love being disabled and I wouldn't give it up for the world"

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Tarfeather

So you don't realize that there are entire movements who argue against methods to prevent the birth of children that have disabilities, because for them these disabilities represent part of their culture and they wouldn't want it gone from the planet. Okay. Fact is, they exist, and your assuming there can't possibly be such a thing just shows that you are as uneducated and ignorant about these people, as the general sexual society is about you. Well done.

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Philip027

I don't know what caused you to go into a tirade about cultural minorities or whatever. All I was saying is that if you go up to people and said "hey, you wanna be blind?" you're probably going to get an entirely negative response, because (surprise!) most people would prefer not to be disabled.

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RedOwl

Honestly, if having a sexual relationship is so important to you, you should think about your future with this guy.

Wanting sex is not bad and it's not selfish, but you are not going to change him. If what he wants and what you want differ so much, maybe you need to reconsider things.

Even if you think your relationship with him is worth the sacrifice, your happiness is also important.

Obviously for us (and honestly, a lot of sexual people), there are other ways to show affection and how much we care about others. We can certainly show adoration and trust without sex, but I repeat, it doesn't have to work for you.

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digi6

This convo derailed a bit there, but it should probably be specified that in this comparison it isn't actually referring to people born without sight (the equivalent of an asexual in this case I suppose?) - only people who have had sight and then lost it (as a sexual person who enters a relationship where they don't engage in sexual activities). Which feels extreme imo, but hey maybe sexuality is a 6th sense for sexual people.

I think what Tarfeather was trying to say is that there are definitely some people without sight - particularly some people who are born blind - who are content to remain as such because that's the world they've known. They may not feel they need sight since they can live just fine without it (though this won't be true for everyone of course). And while being blind is classified as a disability, disability ≠ bad. Disability isn't inherently synonymous with "things people don't want".

To OP - I'm not sure if you were just venting/wanting to know you weren't alone but I agree with everything RedOwl ^^ said. It doesn't sound like your partner will be changing anytime soon, so it might be best to discuss this issue with him now - rather than stay and come to resent him later on for not sharing your sexual needs.

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GeorgeSand

Thanks, guys. I'm not really venting, well... maybe a little bit. I said what I said because it seems like the best way to describe sexuals' experience to those of you who have never really experienced sex in the same way... that is, as a beautiful experience.

I'm not trying to change ANYONE's mind about whether sex is a good thing or not. Obviously, it's different for every single person on earth, including my husband. But there are those of us for whom it's a really, really good thing, both physically and emotionally (and spiritually?), and how to describe why it hurts so much to have it taken away to someone who never really experienced it as amazing in the first place?

So no, I don't look at asexuality as a disability. In fact, if we're being honest, both sexuality AND asexuality can be handicaps. I wish my husband could experience the deep joy and connectedness that comes from making love. He probably wishes I could feel the deep joy and connectedness that comes from... oh, I don't know. Just being in the same room together. Both our experiences are limited.

As for my own situation... I wish I could say that other forms of touch could fill the gaping hole that my absent sex life left. I don't understand why it's so important to me to be made love to, either. Why isn't his taking my hand, or poking me in the nose, or random hugs enough? I've tried my hardest to accept it as enough. But it's not, it's just not. I still feel empty; it's like these things satisfy a surface level of love, but in my deepest being, I am not loved. I know my husband wants me in his life; I know I mean an incredible amount to him. And STILL I can't escape this feeling of rejection and incredible loneliness.

So, yeah, I know that I may have to leave him, if he is unable to work with me on the intimacy thing. (Events of this past year lead me to hope that we may be able to work on this...that we can at least try...)

But of course he means a lot to me. Leaving him means leaving the house, which isn't about the actual material value - it is the amazing memories of working on it, and the plans we have for it, the things we've built and want to build together. It's leaving ALL our plans - the trips, all the things we want to do together. It's his unique intelligence and wit, the amazing conversations we have. It's knowing what he looks like when he's totally devastated and knowing that's what would happen. It's fear that leaving him would break him, and he'd never allow himself to get close to anyone ever again - because that's who he is, that's how he operates.

As far as I can tell, there's a slim chance of hope, and then two options of total destruction .... destruction of me as a person, or destruction of our marriage (and possibly of him as a person).

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Sally

Your current partner is not the only person in the world with whom you could be happy. Or rather, there are probably a number of people with whom you could be happy, who feel about sex as you do.

If you say "I don't want to split up, but he's not the person with whom I can share what's extremely important to me", what do you suppose the logical response would be? And why do you assume that he would be destroyed if the marriage didn't work out?

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GeorgeSand

Asexuality is not an illness, or a disability. Aesthetic attraction is a vital component in my life; whether they be an art-work, a mountain range or a person sitting in a cafe.

To extend OP in a positive sense...I believe I'm just using a pair of aro-ace adapted Raybans. :ph34r:

I'm not saying asexuals are blind... you're going further down the path of my metaphor than I intended. I'm saying being a sexual and having sex taken away from me is like being struck blind.

In other words, being unable to experience something that was really wonderful. Not absolutely necessary for life, clearly, but that doesn't mean anyone struck blind should be expected to be totally content with it.

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Tarfeather

I don't know what caused you to go into a tirade about cultural minorities or whatever. All I was saying is that if you go up to people and said "hey, you wanna be blind?" you're probably going to get an entirely negative response, because (surprise!) most people would prefer not to be disabled.

Well, let me just assume you are speaking truthfully and actually want to understand what I was saying. The reason is context. Someone said that obviously being asexual is totally different from being blind, because nobody would ever choose to be blind. I pointed out that this is untrue. You pointed out that it's true for everyone you know. I made the leap that you assume that, because it's true for everyone you know, it's a general truth and should be treated as such. So I take it that was not what you were saying. Instead you just chose to comment that it's true for everyone you know, without meaning to make any implication with regards to the ongoing discussion. Do you see how that could lead to confusion?

EDIT: On a tangent, I assume that I'm rubbing some people the wrong way by comparing aseuxality to blindness. Well, tough luck. I'm not going to tell you that you're any better, more functional, or more complete than a blind or otherwise disabled person. That's because I don't believe any such thing, not of myself, not of asexuals, not of anyone.

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GeorgeSand

Your current partner is not the only person in the world with whom you could be happy. Or rather, there are probably a number of people with whom you could be happy, who feel about sex as you do.

If you say "I don't want to split up, but he's not the person with whom I can share what's extremely important to me", what do you suppose the logical response would be? And why do you assume that he would be destroyed if the marriage didn't work out?

Well, no, I daresay that most of what goes on in anyone's relationship is illogical. Marriage is fundamentally illogical.

My husband doesn't trust people. His girlfriends before me all cheated on him/left him for another man. With his friends. So, consequently, in the ten years I've known him, my husband has not made a single friend. Not one. He talks to people at work, but there is no one outside of that. He has an extremely negative view of people. "They aren't worth the trouble," he claims. He often makes comments that indicate he expects the worst out of people in general. I am his only, his ONLY, friend and confidant, and he doesn't confide much in me, honestly. But he laughs and shares his thoughts on the world with me. Just not his thoughts on himself.

I, in an act of desperation last summer, made the horrible decision to secretly find a sex buddy... my other option being leave him, which I didn't want to do. I didn't want to hurt him. Well, that was stupid. (I don't need to be told how stupid it was, trust me.) I just ended up hurting him anyway because he found out three weeks later. We came thisclose to getting divorced then. There were a few days in which we had decided to divorce. So. I have already seen the devastation that will be his if I leave permanently. And of course, I've added fuel to the fire of his low opinion of people in general. So, no, I don't think it's likely he will allow himself to be hurt by someone else. And I feel obligated to do what I can to help him heal from my own actions, and his past girlfriends'.

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Sally

So what you've just said sounds like: I can't leave him because he reacted badly before and I'm afraid it will destroy him if I left. And I also have to stay to make up for the bad things he suffered because of past relationships and help him heal from those experiences. But at the same time, I'm not getting what I want out of the relationship.

So are you a wife or a therapist?

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GeorgeSand

So what you've just said sounds like: I can't leave him because he reacted badly before and I'm afraid it will destroy him if I left. And I also have to stay to make up for the bad things he suffered because of past relationships and help him heal from those experiences. But at the same time, I'm not getting what I want out of the relationship.

So are you a wife or a therapist?

I dunno, seems like we all should help each other heal from our wounds, marriage or no, if we can. I'm not really for the "Every man for himself" mindset. But I realize, too, that if this becomes so personally devastating for myself, I'll only be of harm, not help, to him. I'm trying to walk that line.

But also, it would be terrible for me. He's a PART of me. So many of my life plans are built around him, first of all. But then, he's a part of my heart. I love him. I care for him. I want him in my life. (I'm pretty sure he wouldn't continue a friendship in the case of divorce, sadly.) Over our ten year relationship, I've grown to love him MORE, not less. We've come to work together BETTER, not worse; fight less, compromise more. Except for the sex thing. It's incredibly difficult to decide to chuck all that out the window.

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GeorgeSand

Hmmm, occurs to me that perhaps the title of my original post is misleading. I don't mean being asexual is like being struck blind. I just mean to explain to asexuals how it feels as a sexual in a celibate relationship, because I grok that, having never really experienced sex as a unique and amazing thing, they may not get what's to miss.

If you've never been able to hear, or see, or hell, taste my famous guacamole - how are you supposed to understand what it's like to miss it? It doesn't mean you're a lesser person because you've never experienced vision; it just means that I have the ability to experience something you don't. And you have the ability to experience things I don't. The trick is how to share those with each other in ways we can understand.

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Orthonomous

But it's not, it's just not. I still feel empty; it's like these things satisfy a surface level of love, but in my deepest being, I am not loved. I know my husband wants me in his life; I know I mean an incredible amount to him. And STILL I can't escape this feeling of rejection and incredible loneliness.

So, yeah, I know that I may have to leave him, if he is unable to work with me on the intimacy thing. (Events of this past year lead me to hope that we may be able to work on this...that we can at least try...)

It sounds more to me like you are struggling with insecurity then not being loved properly. Sex may be a good thing, but it is not the best thing. It does not give meaning to an otherwise meaningless life. It does not bring love in to an otherwise loveless relationship. Consider that you feelings of rejection and loneliness have more to do with you than him. And remember that whether you choose to leave him or stay with him, you don't "have" to do either. The chose is yours, and you will live with that choice, and whatever hurt it may cause. I am pointing this out because I believe that once you left him you would soon realize that no amount of sex would fill the emptiness that you believe it will fill. Most people I know are sexually active and about half of them are empty and half of them are not. The emptiness comes from somewhere else, but we look for patterns and explanations wherever we can to try to make sense of our experience.

“If you really want to escape the things that harass you, what you’re needing is not to be in a different place but to be a different person.”

Seneca

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honor is all

Go Tarfeather and go Digi6!

You are both spot on. Many disabled people, especially Deaf people don't see their lack of hearing as a grievance but as THEIR way of experiencing the world around them.

Also nobody here was saying that asexuality IS a disability much less an ilness, sexualsadwife was just making a COMPARISON to having something then not having it. And having eyesight then not having it is a bit like having something else and then not haivng it including sexuality/libido. Just like seeing colour, hearing and smelling is an intrinsic given to most people so is sexuality. Us humans as a species don't seem to like sudden changes to what we felt was intrinscially ours from birth.

Phillip027, if you asked most people born and raised sighted if they'd want to become blind they would say no. Which doesn't make beiing blind have an objective lesser value than being sighted. People are just scared of having to live with circumstances so foreign to their previous experiences. Sure, it's less CONVENIENT to be blind but that's due to the fact that most people in the world are NOT blind just as most are not asexual. It's the inconvenience of having to live in a world not adapted to you that's annoying not you being different.

Here in London for example our roads, public transport system and education seem to be very blind friendly. All the people born blind whom I asked if they'd want to become sighted unanimously answered with a resounding NO. When I asked why they all answered along the lines of: "life is swell as it is. Why would I want some additional nuisance (read sensory input) interrupting it?" Quite a few of those not born blind also answered with a no surprisingly enough. There's even an article written by an elderly gentleman about how his progressive blindness was a blessing to him. He felt freer, more peaceful, less tied to visual and aesthetic norms and more introspective. To him those qualities were valuable enough not to feel that he lost much by losing his sight.

There is a famous Indian musician who said in an interview that he feels annoyed by people feeling sorry for him losing his sight. HE said: had I not lost my sight I'd be a sighted beggar boy witnessing my family die of preventable diseases, with few opportunities for education and exploring and would have never discovered my gift for music because circumstances would have never forced me into it. Now I am a waelthy, educated, well travelled man who can use those advantaes to help his relatives.

Nothing is black and white.

Sorry for the long post but it needed to be said.

It's not what cards the stars give you it's how you arrange them and what you actually WANT out of them."

I don't know what caused you to go into a tirade about cultural minorities or whatever. All I was saying is that if you go up to people and said "hey, you wanna be blind?" you're probably going to get an entirely negative response, because (surprise!) most people would prefer not to be disabled.

Well, let me just assume you are speaking truthfully and actually want to understand what I was saying. The reason is context. Someone said that obviously being asexual is totally different from being blind, because nobody would ever choose to be blind. I pointed out that this is untrue. You pointed out that it's true for everyone you know. I made the leap that you assume that, because it's true for everyone you know, it's a general truth and should be treated as such. So I take it that was not what you were saying. Instead you just chose to comment that it's true for everyone you know, without meaning to make any implication with regards to the ongoing discussion. Do you see how that could lead to confusion?

EDIT: On a tangent, I assume that I'm rubbing some people the wrong way by comparing aseuxality to blindness. Well, tough luck. I'm not going to tell you that you're any better, more functional, or more complete than a blind or otherwise disabled person. That's because I don't believe any such thing, not of myself, not of asexuals, not of anyone.

YEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSS! MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY!!!!!!!! Having some accessibility barriers in life doesn't make anyone lesss valid, valuable, complete or skilled than a person who doesn't have those barriers.

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Philip027
Having some accessibility barriers in life doesn't make anyone lesss valid, valuable, complete or skilled than a person who doesn't have those barriers.

It absolutely does make a difference and you're simply kidding yourself if you believe otherwise, bottom line.

This is along the same sort of BS often perpetuated to kids when they're younger, about how they are able to do anything they put their minds to. Which is also a load of crap. There will be things in life that you simply will not succeed at doing no matter how hard you try, and I think the sooner people realize that the better off they will be.

That's not to say that a disabled person can't be important, can't have value, or be otherwise useful. But they *are* less capable, which means they certainly can be any one of the other things you mentioned too. It's called a disability for a reason.

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)

WTF is up here? Tarfeather I'm looking at you mainly, for just utterly missing the point, calling Philip ignorant and uneducated about blind people, and just taking the whole argument too far in the wrong direction.

I just read this whole thread, and just had to comment about this whole "some people want to be blind" argument.

I think the point some people here were (very accurately) making was that about as many fully happily sighted people would actively say "fuck yeah, I wanna become totally blind and stay that way" as very happily sexual people (like the OP) would say "fuck yeah I wanna be denied sex for the rest of my life! woohoo!" ..sure I guess there are very happily sexual people who would actively choose and love to have sex taken away from them forever (while still wanting sex, but having no ability to have it) but the number of people who would love to be struck blind with no hope of ever seeing again would be far fewer (because being blind causes a massive range of difficulties that being fully sighted does not come with) People who are born blind can learn to adapt to the world without site because they know no different, but for the vaaaaaast majority of people struck totally blind, and for people who know blindness may be inevitable for them, having to adjust to a world without sight is extremely, extremely hard because they know what the have lost. Sure many of them cope, But the vast, vast, vast majority (like 99.99%) would have their sight back in a second if they had that choice. they wouldn't CHOOSE to remain blind if the choice to have their vision fully restored was available to them. Sure there are people like the piano player honor is all mentioned, but his experience makes up the extreme minority of people who have been struck blind.

Being "struck sexless by choice" (like in the OPs situation) is a CHOICE because she could choose to leave her partner at any time and start having sex again, she is CHOOSING to live like this, when she could change it at any time by leaving the relationship and finding a new partner.. Whereas someone struck blind can't just say "okay I've had enough of this, I choose to see again" .. which is why comparing a lack of sex from ones partner to sudden irreparable blindness is actually pretty darned offensive, no matter how much the OP loves sex.

No matter how amazing sex is for someone, choosing not to have sex and sudden irreparable blindness are utterly, completely incomparable. The person choosing not to have sex can choose to have sex again (by finding a new partner) any time. Sure it's hard to leave someone, I know, but the sexual person in this is situation is still making the conscious choice to stay in that situation. Blindness, you can't just make the choice to get out of it oneday and if you were GIVEN the choice to get out of it, many, many blind people would (I'm talking about people who have been struck blind or gone blind after having previously been fully sighted, not people who were born blind)

I have an eye condition that could potentially leave me permanently blind before the age of 60, I am already completely unable to function without corrective lenses, I have terrible balance and coordination due to having no ability to judge distance (even with glasses) and have no peripheral vision (just one disadvantage of which is that I will never be able to drive as it's too dangerous) .. This condition is either meant to continually get steadily worse year after year until I'm completely blind, or stop getting worse and just remain as is after about the age of 30. There is no predicting exactly what it will do, but let me tell you, it's not fun. There is no saying "nope I'm done I choose to go and see fully right now" the way a sexual person in the OPs situation could say "nope I'm done I choose to leave my partner and seek a relationship with a sexual person" so comparing sudden total irreparable blindness to having ones partner not give one sex when one could just choose to leave and have sex with someone else is well, incorrect. and offensive.

To reiterate: The OP is talking throughout this thread as though she literally has no choice in this matter the same way a person struck blind has no choice, but she could walk away from her situation any time which a person struck blind is unable to do. She is willingly choosing to remain in this situation with the freedom to leave at any time, whereas the person struck blind with no hope of cure has no other choice.. they must learn to live with it because that is the only choice available to them ..So the two situations are utterly incomparable and again, like I said, it's actually pretty offensive to 1) see that a comparison between lack of sex and being struck totally blind has been made here by someone choosing not to have sex, and 2) see it defended by others so vehemently (to the point of pretty much derailing the thread)

rant over.

Just as a side-note;

If the sexual person who loves sex had their spine broken and could literally no longer experience sexual pleasure, ever, due to paralysis, then to me that would be a valid comparison to suddenly being struck blind with no hope of cure.

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GeorgeSand

It sounds more to me like you are struggling with insecurity then not being loved properly. Sex may be a good thing, but it is not the best thing. It does not give meaning to an otherwise meaningless life. It does not bring love in to an otherwise loveless relationship. Consider that you feelings of rejection and loneliness have more to do with you than him.

And remember that whether you choose to leave him or stay with him, you don't "have" to do either. The chose is yours, and you will live with that choice, and whatever hurt it may cause. I am pointing this out because I believe that once you left him you would soon realize that no amount of sex would fill the emptiness that you believe it will fill. Most people I know are sexually active and about half of them are empty and half of them are not. The emptiness comes from somewhere else, but we look for patterns and explanations wherever we can to try to make sense of our experience.

“If you really want to escape the things that harass you, what you’re needing is not to be in a different place but to be a different person.”

Seneca

Oh, noooooo. Nope. Nope Nope Nope. Sorry, but you are wrong.

My sister recently asked me in an email if part of the reason I was staying with my husband was because of low self esteem, and I replied, quite seriously, "Are you kidding me? No way. I'm fucking awesome."

I'm smart, talented at many things, a good friend, sister, and daughter; I'm a hard worker and a hard thinker. I'm not drop dead gorgeous, but I'm beautiful enough - not that that matters; even if I was terribly ugly, I would be worth love. I'm a great music teacher, with many loyal students. I bring goodness to others' lives. I use my talents to make others happy. I'm funny, when I'm with those I love. I have so, so, sooooo much love to give others. I am not perfect. I don't think I'm better than other people. But I am comfortable with who I am, while always looking for ways to improve so that I can bring love and happiness to those around me.

I have no doubt that I'd be able to find plenty of people to love me, and whom I could love, if I left my husband.

POSSIBLE TMI AHEAD.

So sex is no filler to my void, huh? When I had the affair last summer... oh my god, it was amazing. It wasn't quick-fuck-with-a-stranger sex. It was probably the best experience I've ever had in my adult life, period. That I can recall, anyway. Being so free to revel in touching each others' bodies; getting lost in long, warm kisses; finding ways to make each other feel so good. Being unafraid to touch him and knowing he wasn't reticent to touch me. Knowing he was enjoying every moment. Talking in between the "rounds," nestled in his arms, fingers intertwined, laughing softly, comfortably. I didn't even climax. Not once. I do every time with my husband. Forget climaxing. I can do that for myself. I felt loved, taken care of, cherished, adored, free, useful. I was able to give someone ELSE pleasure, oh heavenly joy! I felt connection. I was able to share something so special (to me) with someone else who really appreciated it. It feels good to share my sensuality with someone else.

It felt like coming off a long hiking trip having eaten nothing but MRE's the whole time (and half of those lost to bears), and feasting on real, hot food until I was full.

I'd known this guy via chat for five days. He was the third lover in my life.

I will consider that perhaps there's something I need to fix within myself to erase that void. Heck, I HAVE considered it. A lot. And done everything I can to grow respect for myself. I don't want it to be portrayed as something my husband's failure anyway. Maybe it has to do with how I grew up; but I can't see how. Small town Iowa? I wasn't exactly inundated with the expectation that we must be sexual. Maybe the years where I believed he was rejecting me because he was repulsed by me are still having their impact, even though I don't believe that any more.

Or, maybe it's an intrinsic part of rejection, whatever the reason for the rejection, to feel hurt. And, probably, some people feel it more acutely than others.

And maybe it's because sex is an essential way for me to feel like I'm in a fulfilling relationship. If it's possible for a group of people to feel that something that is as basic and physical as sex, something so absolutely necessary for the survival of the species, is not important or even sometimes likable, why is it so hard to believe that it is intricately tied into my happiness in my marriage?!

Everyone experiences love in their own ways. Many experience it through sex. Now, I will respect you when you tell me that you don't feel it through sex, and in fact maybe even feel unloved in sexual experiences. Or that you don't think it's important, and that you can't change that about yourself. But it is important to me. And I am nearly certain I can't change that about MYself.

To your last point and the point so many others have made to me: Yeah. Obviously I can choose to leave my husband. But I married him; that's quite different than just moving in with him. Vows. Serious vows. I already broke one, and it took me eight years and no small amount of working up to it to do that. And a serious amount of emotional investment. I can choose to cut my wrists, too. Great.

So no, it's not as permanent as being blind, but I stand by the metaphor, political correctness aside. I can trade my blindness in for, say, my left hand. Because either way, ten years into this marriage, I have to give up something very precious to me.

If you don't like the blindness metaphor, aces, trade it in for something else you can understand. I figure most, not all, people can understand how lovely it is to see and would be devastated if they had to give it up. I'm not talking about giving up coffee, or cigarettes. I mean, your voice. Your ability to sing. Or read. Or whatever it is that brings joy to your world. I'm talking about giving up an important part of who I am and how I experience the deepest love connection with others.

And seriously. I think it's offensive for anyone to tell someone else, "Just leave the most important person in your life. It's your choice."

How DARE anyone tell anyone else that this choice is simple and relatively painless?

How DARE you make it seem like it's no big deal?

No SHIT it's a choice. A choice that has lasting and resounding consequences. Life-altering, pain-inducing, possibly soul-killing consequences.

The choice I DIDN'T have was whether or not I married an ace in the first place. Neither of us knew. And now, our lives are melded together. If you think heartbreak isn't as damaging as something that belongs in a doctor's diagnosis handbook ... you're wrong.

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Lady Girl

I don't think anyone has implied that leaving would be easy...it seems like most have said it would be difficult, but is an important option to consider if living without sex is this devastating. Staying or leaving is factually your choice though (as being blind isn't and I think that's why there was an emphasis placed on that).

I can relate to some of your feelings (probably many of them actually). My husband and I were married 25 years before he began to identify as asexual. Personally, I wouldn't compare sex to something like vision, but rather a favorite activity; something that you love doing and doing it makes you feel awesome. And the clincher (to this comparison) would be if you had to be around said activity everyday, but not be allowed to participate.

I also understand your frustration with your husband not wanting to talk about it. However, I know from my own attempts to talk it through and get my husband to meet me halfway that there are a lot of variables involved. I think that every time I wanted to talk about it, he immediately went into "I'm a failure" mode. He also knew that telling me he would try to do certain things was a sure way to disappoint me and consequently "fail again".

I know the sadness, frustration (trapped feeling), and anger that can come with all this. I know how it feels to want something because they are really the only person you want to be with. Ultimately though, it comes down to deciding if and how you can be happy in the relationship, and obviously, that's a different formula for each individual. AVEN is a great place to get different ideas and perspectives. :)

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GeorgeSand
In this and other threads:
"However, OP: if you are feeling so miserable you could get a divorce. "
"Also, remember that you have the choice to reject him and his behavior and opt out of this marriage. You don't have to be "trapped" unless you choose to be."
"Honestly, if having a sexual relationship is so important to you, you should think about your future with this guy."
"Maybe you two can find a way to that, but if not, then you shouldn't feel bad for not continuing something that's not working out."
"Your current partner is not the only person in the world with whom you could be happy. Or rather, there are probably a number of people with whom you could be happy, who feel about sex as you do."
" If things can be resolved then do it; if they can't then you will both have to make a decision whether to continue in the relationship."
So many casual suggestions of divorce that, whether intended to or not, make it seem like an easy choice. I've been a member for a number of days and I've been told multiple times that I don't have to stay in my marriage. Okay. No. I don't. But how is that helpful? Marriage is not so casual. People's lives are not made up of menu items: "Hmmm, do I want the avocado salad or the grilled salmon?"
I just think it's fundamentally insensitive to imply that anyone in a marriage could just leave, anytime. As if every married person ever hadn't thought of that possibility already. You may be semantically right...but it totally misses the point...

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Sally

I just think it's fundamentally insensitive to imply that anyone in a marriage could just leave, anytime. As if every married person ever hadn't thought of that possibility already. You may be semantically right...but it totally misses the point...

NO ONE has said or implied it was easy.

I'm not sure what your point is in all this. All anyone has said is that it is your choice what you do in the future. Are you saying that it is someone else's choice?

I was divorced years ago. I had two small children at the time. I felt the divorce was necessary, and I still think it was, because I was miserable. Now whether you are as miserable as you have sounded on AVEN, or whether you think being miserable is not a good reason to consider splitting up, we don't know. But we know what we said, and it wasn't "Get a divorce, it's easy!" Please stop claiming that.

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