Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Telecaster68

For asexuals who just haven't been able to take it any more

Recommended Posts

Telecaster68

Apparently this is too sensitive a topic to actually ask any asexuals specifically, so in general:

I've read a fair number of posts where the consequences of no sex (6 month ultimatum or multiple affairs), came as a huge shock, and others where asexuals are wondering if they should tell their sexual partners they don't want to have sex.

Chances are, we've noticed.

I'm curious - if/when you're in a relationship that included sex to start with, what did you think was going on in your partner's head when you stopped tolerating it?

At the points where you weren't having sex, and you knew, or at least could easily figure out, that your partner wasn't happy about it, did this seem like it might be a problem for your relationship?

I'm not on the attack, but my wife seemed shocked that it was a problem too, even though we'd had sex quite a lot earlier in the relationship. She doesn't really have an answer when I express my bafflement about why she didn't think it was a problem, so I'm curious for any other insights.

A couple of analogies. Since we got married, I've made my wife a cup of Earl Grey every morning. I couldn't care less about making myself one, and when she's away, I don't make myself one, but I know she likes it and puts emotional store by me being bothered to do it. She doesn't demand it, but she's grown to expect it, because that's what happens with repeated events. If I decided I couldn't bear to do it any more, I'd expect her to notice and probably be concerned about what it meant. As a complete minimum, I'd certainly wouldn't be stunned when six months later she said she was popping into Starbucks on the way to work.

Another analogy. If I'd been giving her a lift to work every day which went out of my way, and suddenly stopped doing it, I'd expect her to notice and ask what had changed for me.

So, any passing asexuals who've managed to bear up through this offensive line of thought:

Was it just so far off your radar it didn't occur to you that sex is one of the conventional expectations of marriage, so its absence might be an issue? Or was it just that you'd managed to avoid it, and didn't want to think about it or the implications of its absence on your partner?

Generally the answer to this is some version of 'we just don't think of sex'. Well, no. But people in relationships surely do think about, and notice, their partner's happiness, and what they obviously want out of life. It's part of caring about someone. So on that level - did the effects of absence of sex on your partner ever figure? I'm not accusing anyone of callousness, but there does seem to be some remarkable obliviousness. Whether you want it to or not, sex as a concept in a wider culture crops up rather a lot. And presumably your partner looms large in your life, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hardly any

No first-hand experience with this situation, but when a partner thinks I'm doing something wrong and doesn't tell me what it is I never figure it out. What's most helpful in such situations I'd imagine is asking the wife what's wrong before going to Starbucks. Perhaps when you first start missing it instead of 6 months later.

Also (you know this I'm sure, but saying it anyway) for the initial discussion don't go with "Why didn't you realize I needed and enjoyed that tea?" but rather "Hey we never have morning tea anymore, is something wrong?" The first is pretty dang confrontational to say to someone who up until 3 seconds ago didn't know their behavior offended you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dissolved

I know from being in relationships with people that I really didn't care about (and was actually happy for the "honeymoon period" to end), it's very much a case of "out of sight, out of mind". I'm not majorly oblivious, but having a full time job and plenty of other things to deal with during the day, being exhausted when you crawl into bed at night... I can see why it's very easy to suddenly find yourself months later, and having not had sex at all in that time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68

but when a partner thinks I'm doing something wrong and doesn't tell me what it is I never figure it out.

But this isn't something random. This is something you did do for them, that you stop doing for them. Wouldn't you pretty much assume they'd have a reaction to that?

Perhaps when you first start missing it instead of 6 months later.

And then when you get the answer 'It's only been three days. Why are you pressuring me to make you tea all the time. But I know you really like it, I'll make you some in a couple of days.' And then never touching the teapot again. What then?

(Maybe the tea metaphor needs to get dropped or we'll be heading for another AVEN comestibles analogy hell...)

Also (you know this I'm sure, but saying it anyway) for the initial discussion don't go with "Why didn't you realize I needed and enjoyed that tea?" but rather "Hey we never have morning tea anymore, is something wrong?"

Let's assume I did, and not keep turning this back on the tea-drinker, because that's not the point I wanted to discuss. It's the obliviousness, not the reaction it, that baffles me.

someone who up until 3 seconds ago didn't know their behavior offended you.

That's my point really - why is it such a shock that stopping something you know means a lot to your partner might bother them?

I know from being in relationships with people that I really didn't care about

See this is the thought that all sexuals have when sex stops - 'they don't really care about me'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awkward JoJoeh

I get what you're saying. 100%. Even though I've never been married or in a sexual relationship with someone for months and months and have that relationship end on bad terms because I came to terms with my true self. I've read stories about this sort of turmoil in marriages: one partner being sexual, the other - not so much. Either the less sexual partner has a lower sex drive/libido than their more sexual counterpart or they identify as Asexual. It would be nice to imagine the two married/dating individuals having a serious talk to decide how to handle the situation like adults without one having to go behind the others back ultimately breaking the other's heart. It's funny because the only solution I could see between two reasonable adults in a relationship having those problems would be having sex on specific days/occasions (i.e. holidays, birthdays, etc.).

Often times I wonder if the two in the relationship, whether that's only dating or married, know of the other's faults before the "lifelong" commitment:

Does the wife/husband know about their mates Asexual identity?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68

JJ - absolutely, if both sides know what they're getting into, and figure out a compromise, then it should be obvious what's happened and that it needs addressing. It's differen when one side's sexuality disappears, or they work out that asexuality is part of who they are and understandably don't want to try to be something they're not any more, or just don't have the mental energy to tolerate sex any longer (all of which are fine in themselves).

It's the being oblivious to the effect of this part that baffles me. And it's not all asexuals, by any means. I know many are really anxious about it. But many also don't seem to have a clue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ruqiah

Just curious.. Did you wait six months to actually bring this up to her? Maybe she actually was clueless to it. I don't know if I would be about sex, because I've seen here how sexuals are affected by the sudden lack of it. That's why I'm going to be up front about a no sex relationship if I ever meet someone that I am interested in. But I am clueless about a great number of other things.

I have the perception that unless someone brings up an issue with me, I assume everything's ok. I believe communication works both ways. On my end, I think everything's fine and dandy, but it may not be the same for the other person. It's caused problems because they have indeed waited months and months to tell me about issues they've had with me. So now, to alleviate the (once persistent) problem, I tell people up front that if they have an issue with me, they must tell me, or else I'm going to assume everything's ok. You may tell me that I should have noticed them feeling sad/angry/upset/whatever, but they could have those emotions about a great number of things. It shouldn't always fall on me to figure out what they are, because if they want to tell me, they can do so. I shouldn't have to spend time to pry it out of them. Of course I ould ask them, out of concern or politeness, but if they don't tell me the truth then I'm not going to keep bugging them about it. They can tell me when they so choose.

This probably isn't helpful to you.. But this could be actually what's going on in her head, especially if you waited a long time to let her know there was an issue. You may not understand why she'd drop sex all of a sudden, but she also may not understand that you may want it all the time. These things require discussion, not silence.

I'll admit I have no experience with romantic/sexual relationships, but this is what I practice in my friendships and it seems to work well now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ace11

i've had a few relationships end over this. it was before i knew i was asexual and i thought i just didn't have much desire. my partners after a while would understandably get fed up with that.

my response isn't going to be representative of all aces, because i'm really sex averse and when i was trying to pretend i wasn't, it was always very uncomfortable and traumatic. i mean it was just so painful to keep trying to do this thing and pretend i liked it, eventually i couldn't stand it.

and even though i knew intellectually that sex was something my partner wanted and it made them feel loved, i couldn't really understand it at all on an emotional level because i associated sex so strongly with pain. i don't think of any good feelings when i think of sex. just pain, anxiety, fear, and lots of others. so even though i knew it was pretty obvious that sex was something my partner wanted, and it made them feel good, and i really did want to make them feel good.....at the same time it was hard to really sympathise with them because i could never really understand why they wanted something that to me just feels bad. since sex feels so bad to me, it's hard for me to really understand how sex can feel good to anyone, even though i know it does. so i think i continue to underestimate its importance in the lives of people who DO desire sex. and i think that comes across as a sort of obliviousness.

i dunno if that made sense. i'm not good with explanations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Visenya

"I'm curious - if/when you're in a relationship that included sex to start with, what did you think was going on in your partner's head when you stopped tolerating it?"

I've never been in a relationship, but I'm pretty sure I'd be worried if I stopped having sex and my partner didn't seem to care. Hell, I bet I would even wonder if I'm being cheated on or something! Just because sex is not something I desire or care about, it doesn't mean I don't know that, to most people, it is an essential part of a relationship. So, just like you, I have no idea how aces could just forget that their partners miss having sex. O.o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68

Maybe she actually was clueless to it.

Well, yes, she was, and said a lot of what you said. But it baffles me as to how a person can stop doing something that means a lot to their partner and be clueless that there's a fair chance their partner may be anxious and wondering why it's stopped. Generally - not just sex, it works for the tea or lifts example too - that kind of behaviour means someone's really unhappy in the relationship, or just doesn't care about their partner's reaction.

You're right, both sides should communicate, but it seems like you're saying if that communication isn't explicit and verbal, you won't get it, hence the obliviousness. To the sexual, the communication is part of attempting to initiate sex, and the communication they're getting back is in the rejection. And since to sexuals, sex is an indicator of closeness etc. it's intimacy that's being rejected. That hurts. We're working on the assumption that our partners are in the 99% of people who 'get' that idea, because there's a 99% chance we are in fact working with one of those people.

In my particular case, she was going through a load of medical stuff, and I assumed that was behind it, and I felt I was being considerate by not pestering. Even so, I was doing the same stuff I'd always done to initiate, from time to time, and always getting rebuffed. She clearly somehow didn't notice she was always rejecting, which I also find baffling.

Akace

i dunno if that made sense. i'm not good with explanations

It makes a lot of sense, and I can understand how it's hard to sympathise - just as it's hard for sexuals to get their head round the idea that asexuals feel sex detracts rather than adds to a relationship.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ruqiah

By communication.. I don't mean implicit. Not everyone speaks the same body language and implicit directives. I mean words.

----> "Hey, I've noticed we haven't had much sex lately. This kind of bothers me, could we discuss?" <-----

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68
By communication.. I don't mean implicit. Not everyone speaks the same body language and implicit directives. I mean words.

Most people do read body language, moods, tone of voice etc. though. They are part of communication.

And marriage-esque relationships are different to friendships - you know the person better, you see them more, you care about them more. I don't think it's asking too much to be able to read your partner's mood to an extent, for instance checking the terrain to see if it's a suitable time to open up a big discussion. For instance, if you've had a really bad day at work, then bringing up 'we never have sex' that evening isn't going to help anyone. Even saying 'can we have a serious talk' is going to add stress, as now the bad-day-at-work person knows there's some other stuff to deal with too. Reading their mood by the way they move, tone of voice, how they sit, all that implicit stuff so you understand now's not a good time is actually going to help communication because timing is important.

Even without that - take the tea example. If you were the one stopping making the morning tea, with no explanation, you'd just assume this was okay and the other person wasn't going to start wondering what it meant?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ruqiah
By communication.. I don't mean implicit. Not everyone speaks the same body language and implicit directives. I mean words.

Most people do read body language, moods, tone of voice etc. though. They are part of communication.

And marriage-esque relationships are different to friendships - you know the person better, you see them more, you care about them more. I don't think it's asking too much to be able to read your partner's mood to an extent, for instance checking the terrain to see if it's a suitable time to open up a big discussion. For instance, if you've had a really bad day at work, then bringing up 'we never have sex' that evening isn't going to help anyone. Even saying 'can we have a serious talk' is going to add stress, as now the bad-day-at-work person knows there's some other stuff to deal with too. Reading their mood by the way they move, tone of voice, how they sit, all that implicit stuff so you understand now's not a good time is actually going to help communication because timing is important.

Even without that - take the tea example. If you were the one stopping making the morning tea, with no explanation, you'd just assume this was okay and the other person wasn't going to start wondering what it meant?

I do believe that it's weird that (as you say) she didn't realise that she was rejecting you. If I do something, or don't, I'm quite aware of it. So that's indeed strange, I quite agree. I forgot to mention it above.

If someone stopped making me tea every morning, I'd ask them about it. Perhaps my brain doesn't work the way most people's does, though.. this is natural for me to do. I'll wonder, sure, but I'll ASK. That way I don't have to wonder anymore. I'll know. On the other side of the fence, if I'm the one that stopped making tea every morning, I would expect the other person to let me know whether it's ok or not to do so. I'm sure they'll notice, but if they don't say anything, I'll assume it's ok. They may wonder, obviously, but I can't read minds. I'm not going to know what they actually desire unless they tell me. I can even guess all I want about what they MIGHT desire, but in the end it'll be the words "Can you still make me tea" or "I've noticed you stopped making me tea, but it's ok. I can make my own" that tell me truly what the desire is. But like I said.. my brain must not work like most people's, since this seems to be confusing. o.o

I realise that I'm more straightforward and prefer straightforward relationships, which is why I have a disclaimer of "if you have any issue with me or my behavior, please let me now or else I'll assume everything's ok" when I meet people who are potential friends. But also, verbal communication IS just as important as body language and those other things you mention. I've had friends fall apart from each other because of them reading each other's body cues wrong, or they were dropping "hints" that the other couldnt understand. Even for people that aren't straightforward, it can still be difficult, because ecah person reads the cues within their own perceptions.

You say that you were communicating implicitly that you wanted sex and were upset without it. Maybe she doesn't speak that language. Maybe she thinks you're upset with work, family, or whatever else you have going on in your life. Maybe she can't read the way you're showing your upsetness. Maybe she's ignoring it and doesn't want to confront it. Some people have disorders that make it impossible for them to read cues like that. Does she have one? There could be many reasons why she wasn't picking up on them, and it's not only problems that people like me face. People who are in tune with body language and implicit communications have this issue too.

Also, you may not be able to read her language too. Maybe she gave off some cues that you missed. Maybe she's been dropping hints of not liking sex, or anything else. I'm not saying implicit communication is bad. Lots of people, as you said, use it. But when that fails, you can always use words. Words, more than anything else, can clear up what would take ages to communicate with emotions that could be easily misread or ignored. It's much harder to ignore words.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68

If someone stopped making me tea every morning, I'd ask them about it. Perhaps my brain doesn't work the way most people's does, though.. this is natural for me to do. I'll wonder, sure, but I'll ASK. That way I don't have to wonder anymore. I'll know.

To strain the analogy even more - the teamaker in this case is having some medical issues that may or may not affect their ability to make tea. Only they can tell, and the tea-drinker assumes they'll get back to tea-making when they can. In the meantime, grilling them about the absence of tea is just going to add to what he assumes (based on the 99%...) is their stress about the situation, be selfishly putting their tea-needs above their partner's medical needs, and she'll be as anxious as anyone to get back to the teamaking. In the meantime, she brushes off requests for tea as though they're not happening...

Ultimately, it is about communication - when I did finally bring it up, she said 'you didn't say anything so I thought we were on the same page'. Pretty much your point.

I guess what's feeding my confusion here is that in a couple of two sexuals, there's just no way that not having sex for months on end wouldn't be on their minds, even if it was unspoken.

If someone stopped making me tea every morning...

I was thinking the other way round - if you stopped making the tea, wouldn't you assume the teadrinker (who keeps dropping the same hints as ever about tea) would get anxious and confused about your prevarication? And not be too shocked when they started going to Starbucks?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)

Well I know for many asexuals (even ones who can have sex without repulsion) it's actually an extreme emotional and physical toll. It's hard to explain just how "hard" sex can be for an asexual, even one who isn't repulsed and doesn't experience actual pain during sex. Its just so.. tolling. I compare the feelings emotionally and physically of having to have sex as how sexual people say they feel when they *aren't* getting sex, how difficult and emotionally painful and stressful that is for you, that's exactly what *having* sex feels like for me and plenty of other asexuals I have spoken with. On top of that, many of us *also* have intimate needs, but they go completely overlooked because it seems impossible for a sexual person to meet them in many cases *without* it leading to sex or the expectation of sex.. and the whole point of our intimate needs is that they are only met if there is *no* expectation of sex present, which sometimes is just impossible for a sexual person. Also, for us, as our intimate needs are so different from yours, sex literally feels like it's driving this massive rift between our love, where for you, sex is one of the expressions *of* your love. We end up feeling we are constantly giving, giving, giving hoping to make you happy, but *never* getting our own needs met in return and feeling like we are being driven apart from you instead of closer to you, which makes the sex itself even more tolling than it was originally because we get *nothing* while you get everything (that's how it feels anyway)

I was with my sexual ex for 5 years (before I learned about asexuality) and as I am well aware of how important sex is to sexual people (many asexuals aren't aware as they don't desire sex themselves and can't fathom why anyone else would - I have seen this time and time again on AVEN where people believe their asexuality isn't even worth telling their new sexual parnter about because "hey it's only sex and if he really loves me he won't mind that I don't want it" -sigh-) anyway, as I was always well aware of how important sex is for sexuals, I gave him sex twice a day, every day, despite the huge toll sex takes on me physically and emotionally. I figured it was my own fault I didn't want it, I was broken and he shouldn't have to suffer because of that. So you'd think he would be happy right? Sex twice a day with a big breasted 18 old (who is 14 years younger than him), anything you want in bed you can have, yay right? Nope, he ended up resenting me for not wanting it the same way other women do. Even though I would often even initiate in the hopes of making him happy, I would do everything I could to try to fake enjoyment (and I'm actually quite good at faking) but he ended up becoming more resentful and angry because he could tell my mind was always drifting (literally the only way I could cope was by trying to do maths in my head the whole time, because I'm really bad at maths so the equations would distract my mind enough to make it bearable) and I would often yawn and things by accident because it's so.. just so boring and mundane and tedious.. after years it just.. it becomes really hard to not yawn when someone is giving you oral for the thousandth time trying to force you to orgasm -sigh- .. he'd start accusing me of cheating because obviously I was getting sex elsewhere, or I'd orgasm. I must not want him, or I'd get something out of the sex. I mustn't love him.. Anyway the point is, he still ended up miserable because although he was getting sex, it wasn't the type of sex he *wanted*.. and I have spoken to other asexuals here (men and women) who experienced *exactly* the same thing, despite giving the sex, their partner was still perpetually dissatisfied.

So taking all this into account, I see why some asexuals just give up. Sex seems easier when you are still in the throws of new love, but once the honeymoon phase starts wearing off you're left with this big dilemma because sex is taking a huge toll, you're not getting your own intimate needs met in return, and you realize that to go on is just going to be this... massive sacrifice. I think you sort of secretly hope your partner won't notice, despite how much you know they enjoy the sex (Which is more a form of lying to yourself than anything else - it's so much easier than admitting you just can't keep giving them something they love so much) And as I said before, some asexuals themselves literally don't realize how important sex *is* to a sexual person, and can't wrap their heads around it no matter how many times it's explained (again, seen it time and time again)

I feel like many sexual people are the same as asexuals who don't understand the sexual need for sex, in that they don't seem to understand what it's like to not want it to such an extent that having it takes a HUGE emotional toll on you, even when you have a high libido, masturbate regularly, aren't sex repulsed in any way, have a very positive attitude towards sex, are very sensual, and love and are attracted to your partner.. how could sex be hard for someone like this? But it just is, its so hard, it's almost impossible to do a lot of the time. Its like this.. massive toll on all your resources trying to grit your teeth and make it through a sex session with the person you love, all the time hating yourself because you *wish* you could just need it the way that they do, because then everything would be okay.. and feeling empty inside the whole time because your own needs (for love with no expectation of sex) just cannot be met.

Anyway, not sure if that helped answer your question or not. I've answered many questions similar to this one before on AVEN, but it's generally a matter of both sides not being able to comprehend the others perspective, when it comes down to it.

Sorry if there are heaps of typos. I wrote all this on my phone and autocorrect likes to fuck with me (clearly it didn't get the memo that I'm ace)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ace11

*see above*

oh my god....thank you. just thank you. you explained it so well. this is what i've always wanted to explain to people but couldn't.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68

Pan

I agree with pretty much everything you've said. It's a major headfuck for both sides. It's like walking into someone's house and gravity not working. Something you'd just taken as a basic law of nature - people like sex - doesn't apply any more. Except you just have to take it on trust that gravity doesn't work for them because there's no evidence apart from things hitting you in the head at regular intervals.

And a partner insisting on twice a day would take a toll on a lot of sexuals too.

Understanding we're coming at it from different places and working on it would be fine for most sexuals, I think. It's the obliviousness - just rationally, nothing to do with libido/drive/whatever - that I can't get my head round.

I think you sort of secretly hope your partner won't notice


Yeah, seen that a lot too. It's actually quite insulting to be on the other end of.

it's so much easier than admitting you just can't keep giving them something they love so much


Denial, in the true sense, in other words.

it's generally a matter of both sides not being able to comprehend the others perspective, when it comes down to it

.

In the end, my point isn't about sex - it's about noticing and caring what's going on with your partner.

Sexuals get faced with the consequences of what's going with their partner pretty starkly: no sex. And then we try to reverse engineer things to figure out what's going on. Statistically, lack of sex is more likely about They're Just Not That Into You than having an asexual partner, and it's potentially fixable, so that's where we start. We can't really avoid dealing with the situation, even if it's just by sulking.

Asexuals don't get faced with anything so clear-cut: partners feeling hurt or distant and possibly trying to get past those feelings. Relationships and people being what they are, that could be pretty much anything. So quite often, they seem to sit there and hope it'll all go away without them having to address it. (And let's face it, stuff does, sometimes, in relationships).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dissolved

I know from being in relationships with people that I really didn't care about

See this is the thought that all sexuals have when sex stops - 'they don't really care about me'.

The stupid thing is they were always aware of it from the beginning and didn't seem to give a shit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68

Sounds grim on all fronts.

It just occurred to me - a lot of sexuals (me included) find sex is a glorious oasis of closeness and intimacy and pleasure which kind of centres us amid the shittiness of everyday life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
butterflydreams

Sounds grim on all fronts.

It just occurred to me - a lot of sexuals (me included) find sex is a glorious oasis of closeness and intimacy and pleasure which kind of centres us amid the shittiness of everyday life.

And there's the rub. Conceptually, I get that. It sounds totally plausible, pleasant, reasonable and sensible. But for me, when it comes down to it, I just don't see how I could feel that way about it. Even if I wanted to. Even if I wanted to be centered and grounded against the shittiness of everyday life. Part of me even would like that, but that's not how it works for me. So what it comes down to is that if that's your feeling, and that's important to you, then, being with someone like me for example is going to crash and burn.

And as for this question:

Was it just so far off your radar it didn't occur to you that sex is one of the conventional expectations of marriage, so its absence might be an issue? Or was it just that you'd managed to avoid it, and didn't want to think about it or the implications of its absence on your partner?

I've never been married, and I've never even been partnered, but you'd better believe even in my imagination it was off the radar. I mean, it's sort of a "given" for other people, but when it comes to me, yeah, it's not there. I sometimes still forget that, oh right, couples and married people generally have sex regularly.

And because I haven't been married or partnered, no, I didn't think of the implications of the absence on my hypothetical partner. BUT, since being here, especially in SFPA, my eyes have been opened quite a bit. I am getting a clearer understanding of how important it often is. It IS really important to people. Like, really important. Almost in such a way as I fear I'll never truly understand. And personally, I'm really hard on myself in this regard. He could've phrased it a whole lot better, but I'd be lying if I said I disagreed with Dan Savage's sentiment that asexuals shouldn't "inflict themselves on others". "Others" presumably being sexuals. I don't want to "inflict" myself on someone and take away something they need or even just really want, just because I don't understand it or want it myself. Maybe that's an unpopular opinion here, and I'm prepared to take flak for it, but there it is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Autumn Season

It just occurred to me - a lot of sexuals (me included) find sex is a glorious oasis of closeness and intimacy and pleasure which kind of centres us amid the shittiness of everyday life.

I recently had the same thought. Sometimes I wished, I could have such an oasis myself. In theory it sounds like such an easy way out of everyday stress.

Another idea to your original question:

It's also possible that an asexual partner thinks: feelings change. For example maybe in the beginning of the relationship they didn't mind sex and later it started being tiring. So they might think that their sexual partner's desire changed in a similar fashion. Especially if the sexual didn't look very enthusiastic about sex recently.

It is true that in marriage one knows one's spouse very well. But isn't it also true that the longer a relationship lasts, the less one questions the everyday happenings? So maybe the sexual partner stays quiet about not having sex and in theory it is unusual behavior. But silence and general grumpiness is not something extremely noticeable. And even if it is, it doesn't lead to thoughts about sex.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68

"I've never been married, and I've never even been partnered, but you'd better believe even in my imagination it was off the radar."

In your imagination is one thing, but sharing a living space with an actual living breathing person who you used to have sex with and now refuse to? It would never cross your mind that this person might have a view on an activity which was memorable to both of you (in a bad way) and now wasn't happening?

Inflicting goes both ways I guess. Sexuals are inflicting themselves just as much as the other way round.

Autumn

Yes all those things apply in my case. I'm a bit concerned that it's apparently so easy for so many to people to just not notice their partner is persistently quiet and grumpy, and not feel that maybe they could inquire if something was up. I know that I do notice that kind of stuff and I do ask, and I've never thought I was particularly over sensitive in that way. Maybe I am though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)

"I've never been married, and I've never even been partnered, but you'd better believe even in my imagination it was off the radar."

In your imagination is one thing, but sharing a living space with an actual living breathing person who you used to have sex with and now refuse to? It would never cross your mind that this person might have a view on an activity which was memorable to both of you (in a bad way) and now wasn't happening?

Inflicting goes both ways I guess. Sexuals are inflicting themselves just as much as the other way round.

Autumn

Yes all those things apply in my case. I'm a bit concerned that it's apparently so easy for so many to people to just not notice their partner is persistently quiet and grumpy, and not feel that maybe they could inquire if something was up. I know that I do notice that kind of stuff and I do ask, and I've never thought I was particularly over sensitive in that way. Maybe I am though.

I think actually, a lot of asexuals do know, they know even when their partner isn't outwardly grumpy or upset that the lack of sex is a massive elephant in the room.. But, you know that if you bring it up, a conversation will have to lead to some kind of compromise and you know the only kind of compromise that will work is sex sometimes, and sometimes it's just too hard to face that idea. Just as if your asexual partner made you compromise to have sex never that would suck for you, well it feels the same for an utterly drained asexual having to compromise to have sex at all. I know there are many asexuals who don't realize initially how important sex is to sexual partners, but very few won't notice how upset their partner is after they stop having sex. It's just so scary/exhausting/draining to bring it up, because you're so worried that conversation will have to lead to a compromise and sometimes it's just impossible to get into a headspace where you can be okay with that. I hope that makes sense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68

"if you bring it up, a conversation will have to lead to some kind of compromise and you know the only kind of compromise that will work is sex sometimes, and sometimes it's just too hard to face that idea. Just as if your asexual partner made you compromise to have sex never that would suck for you, well it feels the same for an utterly drained asexual having to compromise to have sex at all."

Thing is, there *is* no 'if' for the sexual. They're already living that 'compromise', without having any say in it, because at that point, they're not having sex. Rightly, no means no means no. To that extent - not having sex - the sexual is getting their needs met, and are effectively sticking their fingers in their ears when their partner shows any implicit dissatisfaction rather than picking up on it and trying to find a solution. And when the sexual spells it out, it becomes pestering and pressure, and the asexual is actually fairly okay with the status quo if the sexual would just shut up about sex.

This sounds like whining I know and in a way it is. I'm just trying to work through the mechanics of how the sex issue gets to the point where it feels to both sides like they're the ones being required to do all the compromising. It's painful for both sides.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
butterflydreams

"I've never been married, and I've never even been partnered, but you'd better believe even in my imagination it was off the radar."

In your imagination is one thing, but sharing a living space with an actual living breathing person who you used to have sex with and now refuse to? It would never cross your mind that this person might have a view on an activity which was memorable to both of you (in a bad way) and now wasn't happening?

Inflicting goes both ways I guess. Sexuals are inflicting themselves just as much as the other way round.

Well, sure, if we had been doing it, then I stopped or refused to. I feel like a committed partner is entitled to a "wtf?" in that situation. Something standard in the relationship changed. I don't see that as any different from anything else changing in a relationship.

But that's something I've learned here. That it may not be something on my radar, but it is on other's. I'm glad that I've learned how important it is, because I wouldn't have known otherwise. Saved me and some poor future partner a lot of anguish I think.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68

I'd say it was pretty much like any other big change too.

I wonder, if you had a partner, would you still need AVEN for the penny to drop? Or would knowing them be enough to figure it out?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)

Thing is, there *is* no 'if' for the sexual. They're already living that 'compromise', without having any say in it, because at that point, they're not having sex.

Yeah but it's exactly the same if the asexual is giving their partner sex. Then they are the one living the compromise. They know they can say no, but they also know that will mean they have an unhappy dissatisfied partner, so it comes down to the lesser of two evils. Do you choose to loathe yourself for making your partner unhappy by not giving them sex (and many asexuals experience deep self-loathing and feelings of inadequacy in this situation) or do you compromise your own needs and deal with the sex, no matter the tole it takes on you? That's literally the only choice the asexual has. To live the compromise, or to live knowing your partner is miserable so you can experience a greater degree of physical comfort in the relationship (having an unhappy partner because you can't give sex may be easier physically, but emotionally it's horrible)

So you see it's exactly the same issue for both partners: you have one happyish (that's not the right word) person and one extremely unhappy person, either side of the coin ... It's almost a no win situation UNLESS you happen to have an asexual who can enjoy sex when it happens so doesn't mind having it, and a sexual person with very little drive so they aren't wanting it too regularly. Yes then sometimes it can work. I also know some sexuals here who chose to live in long-term celibacy for their asexual partner, and some asexuals who have been giving sex every day for years despite the tole it takes on them, for the sake of their sexual partner.

All that aside, this is why I will now only ever have relationships with people on the asexual spectrum. It wouldn't be fair on either party (myself or a sexual person) if I was to enter a sexual relationship with anyone. Hence why visibility of actual asexuality (not that ''I love sex I couldn't be happy without it but I'm asexual'' bullshit) but actual asexuality, is so important. The more people who are aware of what asexuality is, the more chance of being able to identify it in yourself before getting into a committed relationship, to the detriment of both partners sanity regarding the whole ''sex issue''.

I'd say it was pretty much like any other big change too.

I wonder, if you had a partner, would you still need AVEN for the penny to drop? Or would knowing them be enough to figure it out?

Somehow for me I knew how important sex was for sexual people before I even started having sex. I thought it would be as important to me as well. It wasn't until I actually started having it that I realized there was something very ''wrong'' inside me. But I still knew how much sex meant to the rest of the world (at the time I thought I was the only person who desires love and intimacy but has no desire for, or interest in, having sex) .. I guess some people just know naturally, and some people have to figure it out through actually having relationships, reading online forums etc. I personally would have thought it was very obvious how important sex is to most of the world, but maybe it just comes down to upbringing or something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68

Yeah but it's exactly the same if the asexual is giving their partner sex.

I take your point, but going back to my original post, the premise was that the sexual had decided not to have sex any more, so they've made the decision for both sides. The sexual can't do that, for obvious reasons. The pain might be balanced, but the power can't be and loss of control of a key part of your life is another layer of distress. But let's not compete, its silly and distasteful.

As it happens I'm in the least worst of the situations you describe, after a fair amount of work from me on trying to get my distress across to my wife, and on her part on finding a way to find some kind of enjoyment in sex. Denial and avoidance was my best guess about how she managed to be apparently unaware of what was (or wasn't) going on, but she didn't want to discuss it so I was interested in other views.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
butterflydreams

I'd say it was pretty much like any other big change too.

I wonder, if you had a partner, would you still need AVEN for the penny to drop? Or would knowing them be enough to figure it out?

I'm a very empathetic and perceptive person, so I'd pick up on something for sure. But without the candid discussions and contributions from people here, I wouldn't have as clear an understanding of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nanogretchen4

Is there any chance that your wife could be avoiding sex more out of anxiety and depression than out of an engrained aversion to sex?

I have been through periods of depression when I became very anxious about checking my mail and somehow just couldn't make myself go to the mailbox for weeks on end. I knew very well that my electric bill was late, and I knew that if I let it go too long my power would be turned off. My guilt and anxiety about that were somehow even more paralyzing, and I would try to distract myself instead of just walking to the damn mailbox and opening it. A few times in my life I got stuck in this loop long enough that my power actually got turned off, which was nowhere near as bad in reality as my completely irrational dread of it. Actually it was a relief because it finally motivated me to take action.

I haven't really gotten into a loop like that with sex, but I imagine that would be even worse. The potential consequences of never having sex with a spouse are much worse than not paying an electric bill, after all, so it seems like there would be much more anxiety fueling the loop. Also, paying an electric bill is a simple sequence of easy steps, all of which are clearly within my power, yet I still felt like I could see the train wreck coming but couldn't take action to avoid it. Sex is different from paying a bill. I can see why I might have a somewhat more rational belief in that case that the action I needed to take was beyond my power. For example, I might worry that I was so unattractive that my partner would be repulsed anyway. Or I might fear that if I was unable to have an orgasm or could not muster a greater degree of passion than my brain chemistry would allow, my partner would be terribly disappointed.

To be clear, what I'm saying is not meant to apply to self identified asexuals. It could possibly apply to depressed sexuals who have lost their libido due to circumstance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...