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GeorgeSand

Asexuals: It's like being struck blind

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Lady Girl

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...

I don't agree. I think it's really important to have that option put forth as a viable and fully acceptable route to take. I don't think any were casual mentions (my opinion, I know)...in fact, if I'm not mistaken, one of the members you quoted is divorced and knows full well how heartbreaking that can be.

Yes, every married person may have thought of it, but they also may have feelings that it's shameful, or have thoughts of guilt/failure attached to that option. I truly think the people responding are sincere in their posts and aren't being insensitive at all.

I'm sorry, I know it's frustrating and sad...but I do think it's important to own your choice to stay married. This isn't to say you have to be happy every single minute about it. I totally realize you desire support from others in similar situations.

I know it's not something you want to hear (the leaving option), but it kind of comes with the territory when one partner in a relationship says their fundamental needs aren't being met.

Mostly though, I'm sorry you are in this predicament. I truly do know what a struggle it is.

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Prairie

I think that the situation is more akin to someone building the house of themselves over the years on what felt like bedrock (being sexual), and then having that give way and seeing a sinking house as a sign that one cannot have a full life without bedrock in that particular location. Other people built themselves in a different location (asexuals) and live full lives, and don't see the lack of bedrock there as any big deal.

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GeorgeSand

Well, I do need to simmer down.

I still feel it is insensitive to tell someone something to the effect of, "You don' t HAVE to stay with the marriage" without immediately acknowledging what a horrible and painful option that also is. I think it is the lack of this acknowledgement that makes it seem so callous. I don't think most people suggested it callously, but it comes off as such.

Because I do believe that many of us ARE trapped. We are trapped in between being married to someone who is incompatible in a way that is very important in love and marriage, and having to give up the most important person in our lives. Not to acknowledge that when telling someone they could choose to end the marriage is, again, insensitive, or missing a big part of the picture, maybe.

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Sally

I was married for 10 years. My children were 7 and 8. I did not have a fulltime job when I left. If that wasn't painful to end that marriage at that time, in that situation, I don't know what would be. Please don't underestimate others' pain in making the decisions they felt they had to make.

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Corretto

@sexualsadwife

I see you may of found some of our responses were not what you were looking for. But you've stuck-to-your-guns and seem to have 'come out' of it OK. I would have run-off long before now and gone to hide recover in Just for Fun forum.

IMO you seem to have made up your mind on where you were at, long before you OPed. Fair enough... :ph34r: *taking-off my rose-tinted Ray-bans*

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Tarfeather

I don't have time right now to read all the new posts, but I slept over it and yeah I'll apologize. There's a point to what I was saying, but I don't think I reasoned it very well, nor was I actually aware of what I was trying to say. Maybe I'll reply to the other posts later, but right now I have other stuff to do.

EDIT

Okay. So in order. First, the comparison in the OP is of course not accurate. I should've been clearer about that.

There are two ways in which it is inaccurate. The first is that functionally and pragmatically the two have different effects. However, the OP never claimed that the two conditions were similar in that regard. Instead, she was referring to the effect on emotional perception, etc. (where the case could more easily be made)

Secondly, even if we just look at the effect on how one emotionally perceives the world, not having sex isn't the equivalent to being blind. Not experiencing attraction, is. So, we can not compare not having sex as a sexual to being struck blind.

As for the other discussion, re-reading it, it makes literally no sense to me what the person I replied to was trying to say. I thought they were saying, "becoming asexual is totally different from becoming blind", which I disagree with (to me the two things would be equally devastating). But that was never the topic, so I have no idea what they were saying.

And yeah, as for that sub-discussion, that's basically what I was trying to say, yet miserably failed to reason out the feelings I had on the matter: To me, becoming aro/ace all of a sudden, would take away an equal amount of my perceptions, of what I care about in life, as becoming blind would. So from my perspective, choosing to be blind makes just as much sense as choosing to be asexual. So if people can be entirely happy and content with the one condition, why not with the other? Practical considerations aside, just looking at how it changes the way a person perceives the world, why would asexuality be something that people can make part of their identity, while blindness could not be?

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GeorgeSand

I was married for 10 years. My children were 7 and 8. I did not have a fulltime job when I left. If that wasn't painful to end that marriage at that time, in that situation, I don't know what would be. Please don't underestimate others' pain in making the decisions they felt they had to make.

I'm not underestimating others' pain. Some of the quotes were from responses to other OPs, in fact. And I didn't even originally post as a way to describe MY personal pain. After reading stories of other sexuals trying to cope with the realities of marriage to an asexual partner, it seems that there are some asexuals who don't understand that it really is painful. My whole intent in the first place was to try to explain that, no, our pain is real. I'm not sure why you thought I was underestimating your pain, but I'm sorry it came across that way. Oddly enough, that's why I flipped out... I felt the pain of the choice was being underestimated.

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Venusflytrap

@ sexualsadwife

I have been searching this forum for others in my situation who are able to express their feelings about this issue, perhaps to offer mutual support or just to share. Sadly, each time I have found a thread such as this one, an angry sounding asexual has jumped in with unsolicited advice and pedantic semantics which only thinly disguise personal frustrations. At that point, I stop reading. :mad:

Just to be clear from the start, I am not looking for advice from those who know how it feels to be asexual on how to be nicer to my asexual partner. I will discuss that directly with my partner, thank you. I am interested in hearing the voice of others like me; a sexually charged partner in a sexless relationship.

So, to sexualsadwife - yes, to me it is like being struck blind. Your analogy makes perfect sense to me. This is my story, which I share with you as a response to your own eloquent rendition of your situation.

I met my partner almost three years ago. We are both older and he is a good deal older than me. We came together with more than our fair share of broken marriages, hurt and loss. We were kind to each other; he is the kindest, sweetest, most romantic man I have known. Our first sexual fumblings were unsuccessful but it didn't matter much. We weren't teenagers, I reasoned, we weren't planning a family - our children have grown up and have children of their own. Sex would happen eventually when we both relaxed a little. This was the story I told myself and - to a degree - the story he confirmed. It was he who insisted we live together, he who proposed and bought me a ring. There was always some point in the future when he would be able to 'get it together'; our first Christmas together when he would be free of the stress of work, in the summer when he could get out to exercise more, in the Fall, when the legal tussles with his ex were resolved.

A year went by, then two. We had rough moments, but we also developed an amazingly strong, loving friendship. We shared so many good times - and still do. Before either of us figured out what was really happening, or not happening, we were in too deep to get out without pain.

Sex, of course, was the elephant in the room. Our relationship had begun with the assumption that we would progress towards physical and emotional intimacy. It is, after all, the social norm and we don't need to speak of norms, we assume them. He gave me no indicators that it would be otherwise. Yet a pattern emerged wherein if I made a move towards sexual activity of any kind he would withdraw - withold any form of touching, create an argument, sleep with clothes on, move into the spare bedroom. When I backed off, he would slowly return to his usual chaste hand holding, pecks on the cheek and clothed hugs affection. I accepted it because I loved him. I accepted it because I thought it would change. However...

I felt bullied and manipulated. He got to have his choices fulfilled while I had to accept enforced celibacy. It seemed like classic passive aggressive behaviour which is often characterised by withholding sex.

I felt tricked. I never signed up for this, he gave no warning signs that sex was forever off the menu.

I felt undesirable and dirty. Every attempt at intimacy brought a response that made me feel like a pervert, like I was too disgusting even to touch.

I felt confused. He was loving and affectionate and insisted that we were meant to be together, but then would turn on me as soon as I tried to be intimate. I wondered if I had 'battered wife syndrome', that I was addicted to the cruelty / kindness cycle that had become our habit.

I felt embarrassed. This is something that I couldn't, still can't, talk about with even my closest friends - that I have consented to forego sex for years while still wanting and needing both physical satisfaction and emotional intimacy.

We are now at a point where our external situation is about to change radically. It is a crossroads and an opportunity to go our separate ways - or to finally commit. If there is to be a future for 'us', we have to decide terms, and soon. Consequently there has been much anger, discussion and soul searching in the last few months. One of the outcomes of this has been the discovery of this website. It was a big 'AHA!' moment for me.

For the first time I am able to see that witholding sex isn't necessarily a form of manipulation. I have replayed conversations in my mind where he told me, piecemeal over the years, about his previous relationships which all ran aground on the rocks of sexual disinterest. I just wasn't ready to hear it first time around. I can now empathise with his lack of sexual interest. Of course I have experienced periods when, as a busy, exhausted mother, I looked at my husband and thought 'Really? you want to do it to me now? Even when I tell you I'm not interested?'. And it must be hard to express these feelings of sexlessness as a man in a world where men are identified as men by their sexual prowess and power.

Yes, I can empathise now. My anger and frustration has dissipated as a result. However, empathy is only part of the solution.

I still have to decide if this is what I want for my future. Now, as an out-of-the-closet asexual, his preference is clear and immutable. He wants us to stay together and accept that sex will never, ever be an option. The only choice left is mine to make - do I agree to a future without sexual intimacy?

We have discussed the possibility of my taking a lover. He suggested it first, in fact. He would have no problem with it if I was discreet and safe. This raises two issues for me.

The first is that, from the outset of our relationship we both declared fidelity as a priority. We have both been hurt by straying partners and we agreed that monogamy was what we both wanted. This doesn't change for me because of the second issue. I don't want sex per se. I want physical and emotional intimacy. In my fantasies, in my occasional 'wet dreams', I am making love with my man. Not Brad Pitt or some well-hung stud. My sexual desire is all about the man I love, the man who has no sexual interest in me at all. I'm pretty sure that if I did embark on a sexual relationship with someone else it would either be a fiasco, or I would fall in love.

So, sexualsadwife, yes, it is like having caught a glimpse of that room and all its beauty, only to be told that you can no longer see. Perhaps if I were to modify the analogy at all I would change the sensory deprivation to a lack of touch - a room you can see, smell, hear and taste but your skin is forever covered - you can never feel warmth, cold, rough or smooth. If I, or any of us, didn't appreciate all that we do have, we would not be here questioning if it was worth hanging on to. Whether it is worth the long term frustration, or how we deal with that frustration, is the issue.

I have more thoughts on the matter, of course, but this is already long enough. I appreciate the opportunity to offload to a hopefully sympathetic ear, and offer my own as you work through your relationship too.

:excl: Remember, folks, I'm not looking for 'advice', just a chance to share in a safe environment. :excl:

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Star Bit

Sex produces the bonding hormone oxitocen. Some sexuals can't get a high enough dose of this any other way, so this may be why you feel inadequately from other sensual things. It sounds like your husband needs a therapist regardless if you divorcee or not; it seems he needs to talk out a few issues. Not that having issues is bad, but these seem to be the self-destructive kind if you step on the land mine right. You can give him hope after divorcee by tell him about AVEN, asexual dating sites, and the meet up section on here. (I'm sorry if the previous sentence is worded offensively, I'm tired and will try to reword it tomorrow)

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GeorgeSand

I felt bullied and manipulated. He got to have his choices fulfilled while I had to accept enforced celibacy. It seemed like classic passive aggressive behaviour which is often characterised by withholding sex.

I felt tricked. I never signed up for this, he gave no warning signs that sex was forever off the menu.

I felt undesirable and dirty. Every attempt at intimacy brought a response that made me feel like a pervert, like I was too disgusting even to touch.

I felt confused. He was loving and affectionate and insisted that we were meant to be together, but then would turn on me as soon as I tried to be intimate. I wondered if I had 'battered wife syndrome', that I was addicted to the cruelty / kindness cycle that had become our habit.

I felt embarrassed. This is something that I couldn't, still can't, talk about with even my closest friends - that I have consented to forego sex for years while still wanting and needing both physical satisfaction and emotional intimacy.

Venusflytrap, thank you for your much more eloquent response! Yes. I can relate to nearly everything you said - as, I suspect, can many others in this situation.

To add to the problem, these things you explained in the quote above - the negative ways in which to perceive the lack of intimacy - they're made worse, at least for me (and for others, perhaps?) by explaining it to others. My closest friend and my sister, for example. They love me and hate to see me in a less than perfect situation - and they also are not very familiar with asexuality or aromanticism, and so many of my conversations, for a long time, resulted in them labeling my husband's actions (or inaction) as emotional neglect. I suppose that is a form of manipulation.

Of course, I'm coming to understand that this is not the case, as you are. It helps me keep the anger at bay, as it does for you. But not the emptiness... which I'm working on.

I don't want sex per se. I want physical and emotional intimacy. In my fantasies, in my occasional 'wet dreams', I am making love with my man. Not Brad Pitt or some well-hung stud. My sexual desire is all about the man I love, the man who has no sexual interest in me at all. I'm pretty sure that if I did embark on a sexual relationship with someone else it would either be a fiasco, or I would fall in love.

I have thoughts on this, which I won't expand on right now, other than to say that you're probably right to feel cautious about this. I had no intention of falling in love with my sex buddy, and yet three weeks later, I was more infatuated than I'd ever been in my entire life. I wonder if it may take practice NOT to fall in love in these situations.

I "should have" thought about what I wanted from this site before opening my big ol' mouth, perhaps. But, that's me, I have no filter... the thoughts must come out and come out they will...It's a family trait. :) I respect that you've got a clear idea of what you want and you have stated it quite nicely.

I am interested in hearing the voice of others like me; a sexually charged partner in a sexless relationship.

I have those weeks when I am feeling optimistic and fairly content with my situation, and weeks when it feels hopeless, and the both choices laid before me induce great sadness. Bordering depression, perhaps. I need help getting through the darkness of those times, whether it's just by venting my frustration or reaching out and connecting with others in similarly frustrating situations. Knowing I am not in a unique situation is so helpful, I'm finding.

But, contrary to current evidence, personally I am finding some asexuals' stories and shared frustration and advice helpful too. I may argue against an idea with full fury, but that doesn't mean I'm not thinking about it. I've been thinking about everything I've read, and already I have found it helpful in communicating with and understanding my husband. I know I need to make lots of changes to encourage a feeling of safety and trust in him so that we may continue towards compromise together.

I think there's a lot of learning to be had from both sides of this situation. Empathy is an incredibly useful tool.

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teagansk

You are not the first person to offend someone trying to find an analogy to explain what it is like to be in a mixed relationship. I am sure you won't be the last.

I tried to explain my personal pain to my wife. Her response is that she makes compromises also because she married a person that does not share her love and passion for music. (I love music but can't sing or play an instrument). I was and still am dumbfounded that she put that burden on a comparable level as not being able to share the experience of physical love or feeling desired. She brought the conversation to our therapist looking for confirmation that she was using a good example to demonstrate that she understands. Here is the how I responded (trying not to offend anyone, really).

Imagine all of the fulfillment, enjoyment, and pleasure you feel when you are doing something you absolutely love. Think about how it makes you feel spiritually alive, confident and happy. Now, imagine the world of physics is such that you can't feel any of that unless it is a shared experience with the person you have chosen as your life partner. You can't sing, listen to music, play piano, go to a concert, or can't hear the choir in church unless your life partner is there with you. Now imagine that your life partner really isn't into music. They might be able to enjoy or they might be repulsed by it. Either way, you now can't have that pleasure in something you love in the way you envisioned or might if you were with someone else. You feel you got cheated in life. Now imagine that you tie a portion of your self worth to your partners enjoyment in that activity. You don't feel attractive because this is missing in your life. If all this was true, it would be perfectly reasonable that depression could become a very real problem. Yes, we could walk away and it is my choice to stay. I have total accountability for my life choices. Without going into my life story, I can say that walking away is not a choice for me for many reasons but when I am not mentally healthy and feeling sorry for myself, I can feel like I got screwed in life. I most definitely choose to stay because in the whole big picture it is totally worth it and I am happy but I am not always of sound mind to recognize and acknowledge that.

My wife's response to my attempt at a metaphor was to say that example made no sense because no one should tie their self worth to an activity. Correct but darn it, that wasn't what I was going for. (I hit hand to head). All I wanted from her was "I can imagine how difficult that must be." (See this link for funny video on that: It is not about the nail. ) I should say most of the people on this forum are very thoughtful and do get that is all we are looking for when we try to explain how it feels.

While I understand people calling out how a mixed relationship is not like a disability, I always wonder if those people are taking some offense to the underlying idea that they should somehow feel blame or shame when they shouldn't. I guess when you love someone and they are in pain, it is hard not to feel that. But all we really seek is understanding and maybe a little empathy. No way is any of the pain or discomfort that either the asexual or the sexual experience in a mixed relationship the fault of either person. There is no fault or blame. It is what happens when very dissimilar people decide to share their life together. You can be frustrated if a partner doesn't want to work to find common understanding in these situations but you can't feel bad about who we are.

I think for a lot of folks that study philosophy and psychology if they were asked to define the meaning of life and happiness, they would say that it is present in our connection to other people ( add the words "through God" for those that are religious). That covers all of the relationships we have with others including coworkers, friends, family, and lovers. One very special type of connection to another person is in a love that extends beyond what you feel for family or friends. It is hard for those of us in mixed relationships to navigate that connection since we both experience it so differently. For me, coming to this forum has helped me confirm that the love connection is fully present for both my wife and I even if we don't experience in the same places within us. Feelings usually override logic so I still grieve what I wish I could feel from my partner. I know it is there but hard to take fulfillment in when I can't physically feel it.

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Star Bit

Just a thought-- do you frequently do romantic/emotionally intimate things with your partner? I'm asking because i heard doing so can curve a sexual person's sex drive, so perhaps the fixation/fluster of negative emotions is because you're concentrating on a strong negative because there isn't a strong positive/the romance lacks. Not that I'm criticizing anything...just that maybe increasing that could help-- idk what you're gunna take offensively next. *closes eyes; don't hit me ><*

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Venusflytrap

@sexualsadwife and Reagansk, yes I agree that listening to others' stories on this forum help a lot. I am calmer and more open to listening to my partner now and I can feel that he is trying to open up to me as trust between us builds again. It really helps to know I'm not alone in this and I feel I can't share it with friends for reasons you mentioned. I know they would only see it as a bad relationship for me to be in.

Star Bit - my man is super romantic. I am much less so. Maybe I am a little on the aromantic spectrum normally! However, I have played along with him so far and returned the silly gestures and cute messages. Often it was exactly these moments that led to my frustration, taking them as signals of him wanting to go further. Now I begin to see them as his alternative to sexuality - the one thing he shares exclusively with me, as his partner. I am going to try indulging them some more, overcome my inherent sensibility and see if this can to some degree replace the sexual intimacy I miss.

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Serran

Just a thought-- do you frequently do romantic/emotionally intimate things with your partner? I'm asking because i heard doing so can curve a sexual person's sex drive, so perhaps the fixation/fluster of negative emotions is because you're concentrating on a strong negative because there isn't a strong positive/the romance lacks. Not that I'm criticizing anything...just that maybe increasing that could help-- idk what you're gunna take offensively next. *closes eyes; don't hit me ><*

Whether or not increasing other forms of intimacy can help with sexual frustrations depends on the person. Some people can find say, spending the night being held helpful if they need to feel close and aren't getting that due to lack of sex. But, for others, it may actually make them more frustrated as the closeness makes them want sex all the more.

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Star Bit

Just a thought-- do you frequently do romantic/emotionally intimate things with your partner? I'm asking because i heard doing so can curve a sexual person's sex drive, so perhaps the fixation/fluster of negative emotions is because you're concentrating on a strong negative because there isn't a strong positive/the romance lacks. Not that I'm criticizing anything...just that maybe increasing that could help-- idk what you're gunna take offensively next. *closes eyes; don't hit me ><*

Whether or not increasing other forms of intimacy can help with sexual frustrations depends on the person. Some people can find say, spending the night being held helpful if they need to feel close and aren't getting that due to lack of sex. But, for others, it may actually make them more frustrated as the closeness makes them want sex all the more.

Yah, i know about that possibility too.

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)

This this is sort of what's happening here:

OP: "To Asexuals, you make our lives a living hell"

Aasexuals: "hang on, that's pretty harsh"

Other sexuals: "God, asexuals always come to threads like this and get butt-sore, it's our subforum they need to get over it"

..Okay, rant coming up.

It's frustrating that sexual people think that asexual people don't understand their pain. I avoid topics like this as a rule (as this is the sexual subforum) but the OP titled this thread as though it was directed AT asexuals, trying to explain their suffering to us. Not for support from other sexual people but directly trying to educate us on how important sex is for sexual people, and what not getting it is doing to them. The OP is not the first person to make a topic like this, trying to direct it AT asexuals as though we don't understand and they can enlighten us (and yes, many asexuals will find this offensive in many ways) and no this OP won't be the last to post such a thread.

Why do we understand your pain? Because many of us feel it too! We have felt that deep, soul-destroying pain of having to give away a part of ourselves to try to please a sexual partner, and knowing that no matter how hard we try, it will never be enough for them to feel truly loved because we just can't *want* it the way they do.. So many of us suffer under them, or on top of them, fighting off tears, trying to fake pleasure, feeling like we are being torn open.. and knowing that the sex alone isn't enough for them anyway be cause they *need* us to *want* it the way they do. It hurts so fucking much because we KNOW how much you want it, how much it means to you, okay? I would fall asleep crying every night for 5 years, in pain from all the sex I had to give, but the tears weren't from the physical pain, they were because I knew the pain was for nothing because I could *never* truly satisfy my sexual partner. He was miserable, angry, jealous..because I didn't *want* the sex the way he did and he assumed that must mean I was cheating or didn't love and/or want him.

And the thing is, we LOVE you, many of us would give anything to be able to want it the way you do so we can make you happy. Many, Many asexuals suffer in this way. We KNOW what you want and how much it means to you, and that makes us *hate* ourselves for not being able to give it. And while all this is going on, OUR needs are going utterly unmet by our sexual partner. Our need to be loved deeply without the condition of sex, to be able to just kiss and be held without that having to lead to sex, *our need for you to not want sex from us* and to just be happy with who *we* are (just as you have the need for us to want sex from you, different sides of the same coin)..

And then sexual people like you, OP, come here to an online forum where the vast majority of members are asexual and try to educate us on how miserable you are by making threads titled things like "asexuals: this is what it's like for us" ..and it's deeply, deeply offensive for many of us because we KNOW, we KNOW how much it hurts you, we KNOW how much you suffer, but you come along and make these ridiculous analogies to try to make us understand, and only manage to achieve offending many of us because the analogies are just so damn cruel and don't seem to take into account just how deeply many of *us* suffer also. Another recentish example of this was a sexual person trying to educate us that it's like we keep our sexual partners locked in a cold dark prison that they are not allowed out of, and they are tortured by having to look out a little window and see the light but know they are never allowed to feel it on their skin again (though that person actually went so far as to say that this is why we need to give them sex, because the pain we cause our partner is not fair on them) .. It's just so bloody offensive and you don't seem to get that because of how offended you get when we defend ourselves or try to explain why we are so offended!

Sure some asexual partners are oblivious to their partners needs like the above example of the wife comparing her partners need for sex to her needing him to have similar taste in music (let's not forget that many sexual people are also oblivious to *our* needs, so it's a two way thing) but the vast majority of asexual romantic partners suffer just as much as you do, for different reasons. Believe you me.

Now I see some sexual people have come to this thread and complained about how asexuals will often take offence and have a bitch in threads like this, but do you get that it was aimed AT us, by the way the title was worded?
If I went to the asexual ranting subforum and made a topic titled "Sexuals: it's like being tortured for us" and then proceeded to write a thread comparing how having to give sex is for some asexuals, a bit like torture that we endure for the sake of loving you.. imagine how many offended sexuals would come to the thread to speak their minds?

Being told it's like you have been struck blind by your partners refusal to give you sex really is offensive. We get it okay? But maybe save topics like this to share amongst yourselves? ie title example: "Do any other sexual partners compare it to being struck blind?"..That way it doesn't come across as being directly aimed at asexuals as a form of education (because again, we already get it okay?) and you can happily discuss it amongst yourselves to your hearts content and people like me won't come along, as I'll see that it's aimed at sexuals and I'm generally not interested in those topics.

Rant over.

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Venusflytrap

Sorry, but I'm struggling to understand your anger. You read a title and felt it was a message to you and you were compelled to read it. It was written in the 'Sexual partners, friends and allies' sub forum. You know from experience that 'sexuals' feel hurt by asexual partners and fumble around trying to find analogies to explain and work out their hurt and pain and share with others in a similar situation. Yet you still chose to read it. And it still made you angry. :huh:

As a 'sexual' I looked under the sub forum of 'sexual partners, friends and allies' for other souls out there who are in the same place as me - an unwitting partner in a relationship that took a turn down a path I could never have imagined. I am very happy to read all the cob analogies, hear the tears and frustrations and moments of insight from those who write on this sub-forum. It means everything to me. It really helps. If you don't want to read them, just don't. You have that choice.

I am really happy that a forum exists for asexual people to get together and be recognised. If it had existed 50 years ago my partner would probably not have led me into a relationship that would cause us both hurt and anger. He would have better understood how he felt about sex and better expressed what he wanted and expected from relationships. Unfortunately it came too late for us, but for you, you have a place to share and rant and complain and feel the injustice of being an invisible minority. You have the opportunity to be heard, to make a difference to society. That is fantastic. But please, understand that for those of us caught up in this world through the old ignorance, we need to find our own ways of dealing with it. The OP seems to be struggling with a predicament she didn't choose. Why be angry at her?

I am not here as an activist trying to understand the world of asexuality. I am not here to enlighten the world about an issue that I never even knew existed until recently. I am here simply to try and make the best of my troubled relationship, and if I chose to do that by using imperfect analogies to express that, then so what? You are equally free to express yourself to other sympathetic ears in whatever way you choose. By default, the 'sexuals' on this forum are not the enemy, but are allies caught up in your fight and are on your side. :)

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)

I explained myself very clearly in my post. If you still don't understand where I am coming from, that's your problem, not mine.

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Francoise Wang

I'm romantic asexual, but I personally don't feel offended by the OP of this thread. Because I'm always very curious about what being sexual feels like. So I actually find this thread helpful for me to know what sexual attraction and desire feels like for sexuals, and what's the actual difference between me (as an asexual) and sexual people.

I think when a sexual person isn't allowed to have sex for a long time, it is as painful as when a romantic person isn't allowed to be in a romantic relationship for a long time. Since most of the asexuals are still romantic, I think most of the asexuals do understand that kind of pain. Actually, I think this is the main reason for why being a romantic asexual is difficult. Most romantic asexuals have difficulties in finding a functioning longterm romantic relationship because of their asexuality, and this is painful for them.

But I think the most difficult part of mixed relationship between sexual and asexual is not the nonexistent of sex. It is that when a sexual person say they "need" sex, it doesn't just mean that they need to put their genital on their partner's genital. It has been mentioned in this thread that they tie a portion of their self worth to their partner's enjoyment in sex. They need to be sexually desired to feel they're loved by their partner. So even when their asexual partner compromise to have sex, it doesn't solve the problem, because asexuals can never "like sex in that way" as they need, and there's nothing asexuals can do to solve this.

So I guess that's why some of the asexual partner of sexual people seems to be not empathetic with sexual partner's needs, and some even aren't willing to talk about it. Because although they know the pain of their partner, but they think that even if they compromise to have sex, it wouldn't be meaningful because they aren't able to "pretend that they like it the way as sexuals do", so they feel very stressful under this situation.

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Venusflytrap

Yes, this is exactly what I'm coming to see. My partner is incredibly romantic. I am not, usually. However, in beginning to understand life from his point of view I've been getting more and more into his romantic ways and just enjoying it for what it is. It works, much of the time, and he is clearly much happier now that I respond in a more positive way to his romantic gestures and also that I understand now that he isn't capable of responding to my sexual desires.

It's kind of funny but, having been known as the hard-ass, no nonsense, 'keep your fluffy kittens and cute baby videos to yourself' type for all of my life, I would probably be more embarrassed by how soppy and romantic I've become with him than if my friends discovered I was into some weird sex fetish (which I'm not) ! :blush: I'm actually enjoying finding a whole new, softer me. Then again, I still don't know if I will cope without sexual intimacy forever, but today is a good day.

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teagansk

Rant over.

That wasn't a rant at all. That was a very thoughtful and moving post. I got a lot from it. Thank you. I tend to be idealistic sometimes so in my way of thinking if my wife identifies as grey-asexual and I fully acknowledge that than the beauty is that my frustration is not directed towards her but rather the set of circumstance we found ourselves in so there is no need to take offense when I complain. I have struggled with the idea that the burden was left for me to carry mostly on my own which causes me to vent at times. Your post reminded me of a truth which is that my grey-asexual wife has suffered in many of the ways you mentioned and I need to better recognize that. I probably need to acknowledge that what appears to be my wife's inability to understand might simply be her internal coping mechanism for the pain she feels because she loves me so much. While I think I am a pretty darn good sexual husband of an grey-asexual today, I put a ton of pressure on her in the past to fix the problems we faced before we both understand that her lack of desire wasn't a problem to be fixed. There were many years of that of frustration directed totally at her and just because that was in the past that doesn't mean it is OK to forget it. While my wife is incredibly forgiving, I need to remember she has carried a burden for many years and still does.

I have had difficulty fully feeling all my love for my wife because I have felt frustrated that she doesn't understand. I think I might be able to better let go of that if I better remember we have been in this together for many years and we have both had burdens.

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Serran

I don't understand how someone can suddenly become asexual, unless they have a hormone condition. Sexual orientation is hardwired into your brain.

No one really knows what "causes" orientations. But, many don't "suddenly become asexual" but, discover that asexuality exists and / or fits them. Just like there are homosexuals who THOUGHT they were straight but just didn't feel "right" for a while and eventually figured out what they are and admitted it to themselves. One can think it's easy to just KNOW your orientation, but it's hard sometimes and sometimes you can end up married 20 years before you figure it out, or are willing to stop lying to yourself because you're scared to be "different". And when you don't even know the orientation exists and are told you just need to find what you like, just need to get a partner you like more, just need to experiment, just need to do it more, etc etc... what then? You come up with "Every person in the world, including psychologists I have seen, are wrong... I am a new orientation!" ? Not many are able to do that.

I just assumed I was heterosexual until I was 25 or so. I liked guys. I liked romance with guys. I just wasn't that into the whole sex thing. Everywhere I turned, people said it was either 1) Normal cause I was female, no women liked sex, they just faked it for men or 2) I just needed to find my kink/preference/a better sexual partner etc. No one ever, ever said "some people just don't like sex, maybe you are one of them". No one. So, I pushed through and had sex. And sex. And more sex. And lots of sex. And over 3,000 times later, through BDSM experimentation, experimenting with maybe I like women, flirting with the idea of poly (but ultimately couldn't do it) and doing A LOT of things I completely regret because I was pushing myself beyond my limits severely to try to "fix" what was "broken" ... I finally, finally stumbled on a forum somewhere where someone mentioned asexuality instead of all these other "fixes" for a lack of sexual interest. Which lead me to AVEN. Which was the first I had EVER heard of someone not wanting sex and it being OK, rather than something to fix. I mean, geez, you google something like "My husband wants sex daily" and the first page that pops up is some famous therapist's website telling the person who wrote in saying she doesn't really want sex at all that if she denies her husband when he asks for sex, she's denying his love and then goes on about how it's important to have sex, even if you are a low libido partner, or you should just get a room mate and forget romance/marriage.

My partner jokes he caused "onset adult asexuality" ... because when we got together, I acted sexual, cause I thought that was how I was going to fix me. He even told me that was how I was going to fix me when we first got together. I mentioned I had issues with interest in sex, he told me it was because I had dated "boys" (largely inexperienced and / or virgins) and I needed an experienced partner. *shrug* I did tell him my issues, he shrugged them off, so I did too. But, really, I was this way all the time and just didn't realize it wasn't going to change. It's not like you can get advice from anyone when you're the "invisible orientation".

Then, there are very rare cases of what people call fluid sexuality. Someone was fully sexual, then they just stopped feeling attraction/desire for it. Some of these people have had the full battery of medical tests and nothing is wrong. *shrug*

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SkyWorld

Sorry, but I'm struggling to understand your anger. You read a title and felt it was a message to you and you were compelled to read it. It was written in the 'Sexual partners, friends and allies' sub forum. You know from experience that 'sexuals' feel hurt by asexual partners and fumble around trying to find analogies to explain and work out their hurt and pain and share with others in a similar situation. Yet you still chose to read it. And it still made you angry. :huh:

As a 'sexual' I looked under the sub forum of 'sexual partners, friends and allies' for other souls out there who are in the same place as me - an unwitting partner in a relationship that took a turn down a path I could never have imagined. I am very happy to read all the cob analogies, hear the tears and frustrations and moments of insight from those who write on this sub-forum. It means everything to me. It really helps. If you don't want to read them, just don't. You have that choice.

Not necessarily. That's like saying sexuals aren't "allowed" to come to a site called "asexuality.org" as if it was for "asexuals only". Which... it's not. It's for everyone! Because the sub forum is "Sexual partners, friends and allies", it doesn't mean that asexuals aren't "allowed" to come... It really is for everyone; nobody should be excluded. Sexuals are completely welcome to check out more of the site. It says so in the description of this sub forum, "You're welcome to use the rest of the board, of course."

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jkadlubo

For me a better metaphor is being atheist in a highly religious society. The atheist (asexual) cannot comprehend what is so great about religion. He finds it strange, sometimes disturbing, always something that the world would be better without. And the religious fervor of religious people is so... confusing to the atheist. They (the religious/sexuals) have this nonsensical thing and their lives are all the time about their religion that it baffles the atheist/asexual. He can preach as much as he wants that religion only makes life more complicated and that it's full of contradictions, but the religious people also cannot understand how he can live without the warmth and happiness of knowing that you are a God's child.

(Remember: this is a metaphor, not an attepmt to make people lose/gain faith)

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GeorgeSand
For me a better metaphor is being atheist in a highly religious society. The atheist (asexual) cannot comprehend what is so great about religion. He finds it strange, sometimes disturbing, always something that the world would be better without. And the religious fervor of religious people is so... confusing to the atheist. They (the religious/sexuals) have this nonsensical thing and their lives are all the time about their religion that it baffles the atheist/asexual. He can preach as much as he wants that religion only makes life more complicated and that it's full of contradictions, but the religious people also cannot understand how he can live without the warmth and happiness of knowing that you are a God's child.

I can see this working pretty well. Except, again, you're undervaluing sex. (Maybe I say that because I was a deeply religious person who gave up religion, and hey, that's working out for me just fine. Much happier now.)

In any case, I still suspect having your vision leave is easier to understand for more people than giving up religion, as vision is something that is important to the majority of people, and religion may or may not be.

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*a*rteest

Instead of getting into semantics about metaphors, definitions, and who-said-what, let me give you some thoughts about the kernels of your post and what goes through my mind as an acer. My thoughts are in line.

. 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!




How "safe" can you possible be in that position?? How does it make you "safe" when there's so many things to think about...unplanned pregnancy, diseases, relationships ending, etc.

"To revel in the beauty of each others' bodies;"

This will clearly get old over time, even with a sexual partnet who wants you every hour of every day. And what if you lose limbs or something?? Is it jsut the completeness of the bosy that you like??

"the wondrous feelings before, during, and after sex."

I have wonderous feelings when I'm given soup when I'm sick. Obviously, that has NOTHING to do with sex and can be done by anyonwe who'se nice enough to give me soup when I'm sick. But I don't NEED that.

And if you're dependent on FEELINGS before during and after, prostitutes can give that impression, and hey, many of them I'm sure like sex anyway. So why can't that be the same???


"To know I'm making another person feel really, deliciously good!"

No, you've simply stated that YOU want it because it makes YOU FEEL GOOD. And some people are simply not wired that way.


"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."

Basically what you've done is described sex as making you feel "safe", and to me as an acer there is absolutely no "safety" in the world, or at least very little. I cannot comprehend how something so exposing can make ANYONE feel "safe". Helping me pay bills on time helps me feel "safe". Being available to call when my car blows a gasket on the highway makes me feel "safe". Being nice enough to simply remember that I don't eat certain foods makes me feel "safe". And this sex=safety seems to be a common theme with sexually-charged people.

And, the relationship can STILL end overnight even if i can call you about my car, if you remember the foods I don't like, and if you pay bills on time. So you can imaging my repulsion having anything to do with being totally naked in front of something and everything else it entails.

Do you know what I'm getting at? I'm simply trying to get sexuals to understand at least MY thought process and why I simply do not understand a loving relationship being so, so SO dependent on sex to survive.

it could also be I simply don't understand the point of relationships at all other than utilitarianism. And i'm curious to what goes through your head, too. :twisted:

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GeorgeSand
Being told it's like you have been struck blind by your partners refusal to give you sex really is offensive. We get it okay? But maybe save topics like this to share amongst yourselves? ie title example: "Do any other sexual partners compare it to being struck blind?"..That way it doesn't come across as being directly aimed at asexuals as a form of education (because again, we already get it okay?) and you can happily discuss it amongst yourselves to your hearts content and people like me won't come along, as I'll see that it's aimed at sexuals and I'm generally not interested in those topics.

Panfictosaurus, (sorry if I butchered the name), I can see why you take such offense to this, but I think it comes from a misunderstanding of intent. You're right, I maybe should have given it a different title.

If you read anything else I have written, you'll understand that I am not angry at my husband for withholding sex from me. I don't want to make him or you or anyone else feel guilty about not wanting sex, and if that is what came across, I apologize. I want to make him feel LESS guilty, really, if I can. HE is not the one who "struck me blind." I don't blame HIM for my blindness.

Nor did I necessarily want to convey the simple message of, "This is painful for me!" Instead, I was hoping to explain it in a way that conveyed the nature of the problem, in a way that most people could imagine.

I do think that you're incorrect in stating, "We get it okay?" Because a number of posts in the asexuality section of forums specifically ask, "What is the big deal with sex? Why is it so hard to go without it?" So maybe YOU get it, but not everyone does. And they don't have to. But it seems many of us are here trying to understand our spouses, so it doesn't seem like such a terrible thing to try to explain.

To me, it IS exactly like describing a sunset to a blind person. The best you can hope for is empathy, not understanding. But if you can describe it in a way using sensory information they've experienced, such as ... "It's like a fire in a fireplace, the stones hot to the touch nearer the fire, but gradually cool the farther from the fire they are"... You may have more luck helping them understand.

Metaphors are useful, I think, in this way. For instance... maybe this makes more sense. When I hear Sibelius' Symphony No. 2, I can feel, and taste, and see, in my mind's imagination, what it's like to be on a ship floating between glaciers, or traversing a majestic mountain range. It isn't the same as actually floating on a boat off Finland's coast, but he has still been able to translate that experience into music on some level. That's all I hoped to do in the original post.

Not because I want to blame you or make anyone feel bad. People are going to feel bad about their relationship whether or not they read my posts, I suspect. I'm sure my husband does. I agree with you - he's struggling, too. I'm like, the opposite of everything he is: I'm outspoken, emotional, enthusiastic, optimistic, reckless, artistic, whimsical, hopeful, a workaholic. And those are (mostly) good things, but they aren't always necessarily good for him.

So. You can choose to read my posts and be offended, just as I've chosen to be offended at the number of times I've been told I "have a choice to leave". That's fine. We've all been frustrated. You don't have any obligation to try to understand what it's like being a sexual in this circumstance. You don't have to agree with my metaphor.

But know that I AM sorry that you are upset, and that it was not my intent to make you or anybody else look like "the bad guy". There's no bad guy. Just a bunch of frustrated people trying to figure out how to work through this.

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Serran
For me a better metaphor is being atheist in a highly religious society. The atheist (asexual) cannot comprehend what is so great about religion. He finds it strange, sometimes disturbing, always something that the world would be better without. And the religious fervor of religious people is so... confusing to the atheist. They (the religious/sexuals) have this nonsensical thing and their lives are all the time about their religion that it baffles the atheist/asexual. He can preach as much as he wants that religion only makes life more complicated and that it's full of contradictions, but the religious people also cannot understand how he can live without the warmth and happiness of knowing that you are a God's child.

I can see this working pretty well. Except, again, you're undervaluing sex. (Maybe I say that because I was a deeply religious person who gave up religion, and hey, that's working out for me just fine. Much happier now.)

In any case, I still suspect having your vision leave is easier to understand for more people than giving up religion, as vision is something that is important to the majority of people, and religion may or may not be.

I think undervaluing in this case would vary. To some, religion would be MORE important than sex (my family is very religious, if you divorce, you are not allowed sex again or you get disfellowshipped). Some don't value religion at all. And some don't really value sex that highly, even if it's nice / they want it. Then again, the music metaphor is also up to the person. I know someone that considers not sharing the passion for music they have a deal breaker, makes it impossible for them to feel close to theperson. *shrug* Everyone has a different value on everything. So, none of these metaphors will work for everyone.

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*a*rteest
But know that I AM sorry that you are upset, and that it was not my intent to make you or anybody else look like "the bad guy". There's no bad guy. Just a bunch of frustrated people trying to figure out how to work through this.

I agree, SSW. And my post above i think is an example of the communication that you need to be doing. Of course, eventually you just boil down to "I jsut want what I want because I WANT it!" but asking each other WHY is a great start.

It's simply not fair for you to be totally completely celibate. Just like it's simply not fair for someone to expect me, for example, to stay in a relationship where the partner wants a child. i'm childfree, and you simply can't have half a child....not exactly equivalent but that's be my one BIG dealbreaker in which I'd have to end it, and the only thing currently i can compare it to.

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GeorgeSand

Instead of getting into semantics about metaphors, definitions, and who-said-what, let me give you some thoughts about the kernels of your post and what goes through my mind as an acer. My thoughts are in line.

. 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!

How "safe" can you possible be in that position?? How does it make you "safe" when there's so many things to think about...unplanned pregnancy, diseases, relationships ending, etc.

"To revel in the beauty of each others' bodies;"

This will clearly get old over time, even with a sexual partnet who wants you every hour of every day. And what if you lose limbs or something?? Is it jsut the completeness of the bosy that you like??

"the wondrous feelings before, during, and after sex."

I have wonderous feelings when I'm given soup when I'm sick. Obviously, that has NOTHING to do with sex and can be done by anyonwe who'se nice enough to give me soup when I'm sick. But I don't NEED that.

And if you're dependent on FEELINGS before during and after, prostitutes can give that impression, and hey, many of them I'm sure like sex anyway. So why can't that be the same???

"To know I'm making another person feel really, deliciously good!"

No, you've simply stated that YOU want it because it makes YOU FEEL GOOD. And some people are simply not wired that way.

"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."

Basically what you've done is described sex as making you feel "safe", and to me as an acer there is absolutely no "safety" in the world, or at least very little. I cannot comprehend how something so exposing can make ANYONE feel "safe". Helping me pay bills on time helps me feel "safe". Being available to call when my car blows a gasket on the highway makes me feel "safe". Being nice enough to simply remember that I don't eat certain foods makes me feel "safe". And this sex=safety seems to be a common theme with sexually-charged people.

And, the relationship can STILL end overnight even if i can call you about my car, if you remember the foods I don't like, and if you pay bills on time. So you can imaging my repulsion having anything to do with being totally naked in front of something and everything else it entails.

Do you know what I'm getting at? I'm simply trying to get sexuals to understand at least MY thought process and why I simply do not understand a loving relationship being so, so SO dependent on sex to survive.

it could also be I simply don't understand the point of relationships at all other than utilitarianism. And i'm curious to what goes through your head, too. :twisted:

I think this is interesting. I've thought, a number of times, that I'd rather be poor and have my husband act like he's hopelessly in love with me than to be, as we are, financially secure, in which one of the only ways he shows his affection is by buying me stuff and paying for my life.

It's not that I don't appreciate it. I understand being responsible for our household is a huge burden upon him.

I think it's a question of what safety means to each person!

Emotional safety means so much more to me. Not having to feel afraid to touch him, anywhere, or cuddle up next to him in bed. I think think the big one is not being afraid of the rejection, which hurts so damn bad. I had no fear whatsoever that my lover wanted to touch me and wanted me to touch him; no fear that he would turn me away; no fear that I meant something to him. You can say it is an illusion. Doesn't matter. I felt it.

The body... hmmm. I don't think losing a limb would affect my appreciation for the body. Nor wrinkles. My husband's overweight and has a problem with eczema. Didn't keep me from being totally turned on by him when we met. My lover was very skinny, which I normally don't "like". Again, didn't matter.

I will say, I don't think I would have felt this way about just anybody. My lover and I connected in many ways that my husband and I have not been. His enthusiasm, love for the world, love for music, love for people, love for writing, love for discussing politics and religion, love for sensuality... all these things matched mine nearly perfectly. I felt, still feel, he is a beautiful person, a person whom I could love and respect. It felt so good to meet on all these levels, and on top of that, be able to share our enthusiasm for touch and sex as well. Plus, we talked, a lot. Can you tell I'm talkative? :)

The wondrous feelings also probably have a lot to do with dopamine, I understand that. And other neuro-chemicals.

There's a very logical and medically correct reason that some of us feel so great when we have sex.

"Semen is best known for what's not absorbed by the vagina, sperm...The rest is seminal fluid: mostly water, plus about 50 compounds: sugar (to nourish sperm), immunosuppressants (to keep women's immune systems from destroying sperm), and oddly, two female sex hormones, and many mood-elevating compounds: endorphins, estrone, prolactin, oxytocin, thyrotrpin-releasing hormone, and serotonin."

Whoops, accidentally posted that before I was done. Anyway, here's the SOURCE.

*****EDIT: I Realized that I was leaving sexual lesbians and gays out of the equation when explaining this. Sorry. Obviously the explanation can't apply to all sexual people.*******

I can assure you, and you will have to just trust me on this, the wondrous feelings of eating soup and having sex are altogether and entirely different...At least for me.

"To know I'm making another person feel really, deliciously good!"

No, you've simply stated that YOU want it because it makes YOU FEEL GOOD. And some people are simply not wired that way.

I don't understand what you're getting after with this? Um.

I was enjoying making my lover feel good, which was communicated to me, so either he was lying or I WAS making him feel good. I, personally, take a lot of pleasure in hearing, sensing, seeing, knowing that my lover is enjoying himself. Of course, not everyone feels the same.

As for nudity - the only way I can imagine not feeling safe when you're nude is if you live in a cold climate or if you're insecure about your body, but maybe this isn't the case for you. My experience currently only lends itself to that far down the path of my imagination.

Being nude didn't make him any more likely to kill me, I guess. If he didn't like my body, I could leave and never see him again. But then again, if I hadn't instinctively felt safe with him in the first place, I probably wouldn't have been nude with him either.

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