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The Asexual-Sexual Q&A Thread

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Prof.Owl

I am curious on an academic level. Apparently romance is a feeling? I thought it was something you do? What does it feel like?

 

There are words that describe feelings and emotions that I always thought were just the product of other emotions. Like you get romance when you add friendship with quality time or sexual attraction is when you add aesthetic attraction and romance? I've recently been made aware they're kinda their own things. The bonding I experience with partners is usually platonic. No strings kinda thing. I didn't know platonic was a feeling either. I thought those were just boundaries people set and agreed not to cross.

 

Like my husband super best friend and companion. I feel affection toward him sometimes but it doesn't feel any different than the affection for my kid or cat. Like it's just wholesome and innocent love. He's my favorite person to spend time with, my best friend, and I'm very content with our life. Contentment feels nice.

 

Is it wrong that I like the way I experience things? I don't think I'm missing out, and I think without hormones or highly passionate emotions in the way my feelings are truer somehow. Like I know I'm not biased because he makes me want to sex.

 

I realize I'm asking something along the lines of  "what does popcorn smell like' and I did ask my husband but he's terrible at explaining things

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Apostle
On 1/4/2018 at 4:09 PM, Telecaster68 said:

 

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Apostle
On 1/5/2018 at 9:10 AM, roland.o said:

 

x.

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Apostle
On 1/4/2018 at 8:53 PM, alibali said:

 

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Twisters
On 2/13/2018 at 8:44 PM, Apostle said:

I spent a lot of time and effort trying to please my SO but forgot to enjoy myself in the process as I was only thinking of pleasing her. I think that is where many people make a mistake. Men are especially prone to this as it is not possible to get an erection without arousal whereas women can, if they want, seem to make all the right noises and not fully engage. 

There is an old adage that depicts a woman lying on her back whilst being made love to and her thinking what colour to decorate the room. There is a lot of truth in this.

Please believe me, when you are having sex with an asexual partner, who indeed is thinking about the colors she would like to decorate the room in, you notice. I did at least.

 

It’s a horrible experience. I decided, 3 years ago that, that was the moment I gave up on our sex life. I told her. But as it didn’t bother her, and still doesn’t today, that we haven’t had sex since, I now have to find a way to discuss the whole thing with her. I sometimes question my self and my intelligence that it took me so long to figure out the obvious, the fact that she is asexual, and what the consequences are for me and our relationship.

 

It is massively frustrating. Who would break up a 20+ relationship over something as “trivial” as sex (no one ever died of a sex deprived life, right?) especially with kids involved. We have so much to live for together, she is my soul mate in almost every aspect of life. She wouldn’t mind never having sex again, but I’m sure I can’t.

 

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Apostle
On 2/19/2018 at 9:27 PM, Twisters said:

 

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Twisters

Dear Apostle,

 

I think you’re a little further down the windy road of a sexual/asexual relationship than Iam/we are. 

I have just told my wife, about two weeks ago, that I think that she is asexual. She doesn’t acknowledge it, doesn’t want to talk about, yet, but shared that she is very happy continuing life without sex. She doesn’t care about it one single bit.

I still want to have an honest conversation with her about the option of compromise (we used to have sex once every blue moon) as I would like nothing more than having an intimate relationship with her. But it has gone from little to nothing over the past years. As frustrated as I am, I did believe all the excuses and was hoping it would improve at some point. About two months ago she asked me to sleep in the guest room. Apparently because I snore too much (not according to the app I installed on my phone) and because I get up so early every morning (however no exceptions are made for weekends or vacations).It was the straw that broke this camel’s back. And that’s when I discovered “asexuality” is a real thing.

 

As mentioned I think we still need to have a few, probably very confrontational, heart to hearts. I hope she’s open for compromise, although after having had sex twice in the past 8 years and with the recent developments, I’m sceptical about it. I’m open to see what she’s willing to accept in terms of me seeing someone else. Although I have no clue what I would be looking for and what would give me the “wholeness” that I am so desperately looking for.

 

Have you had those conversations? Have you come to a conclusion about your partner’s willingness to compromise? Have you ever thought about seeing someone else or about having casual sex outside your relationship?

 

I'm curious to hear your opinion!

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Purple Wanderer

Other side of the coin. I spent years trying to force myself to be sexual to keep the partner happy. I wouldn't have been able to deal with knowing she was with other people. My case was an Impossible situation.

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Twisters

Hi MrJ,

 

I get you! I have absolutely no interest to force her to do anything against her will. How could I? She’s my soulmate, best friend and mother of my three kids.

 

I was merely asking if it has been a consideration for Apostle.

 

For my relationship, I just want to go one step at a time. I’m not leaving any stone unturned and will not make any assumptions on what I will find under a next stone.

 

I understand your position of not being able to see your partner with someone else. Quite frankly I haven’t thought about all the implications if I was ever to see some else. I can only imagine it to be complicated and confusing. Than again, just “relying on myself” to express my deep desire to have a meaningful intimate relationship and get rid of urgent sexual frustration isn’t too appealing either.

 

Im deeply sorry your relationship became “impossible”.

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Purple Wanderer

Hi,

Impossible because I felt I was hurting them,  my partner was just so frustrated and I knew it meant something I just didn't want to see them stressed and annoyed over it!  - we have no kids or marriage or anything so it was easier just to end things

 

Just want to point out that by no means did I mean to infer you'd force her into anything! (that was just how I felt at the time!)

 

I hope it works out for you both, I have alot of sympathy for the situation!

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Apostle
On 2/20/2018 at 8:18 PM, Twisters said:

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

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anamikanon
On 17/01/2018 at 11:19 AM, HeyTay said:

I am a gray asexual with a question for sexual partners.

 

I have recently entered my first sexual relationship and my desire to be with my partner actually surprises me. I am very attracted to him and enjoy all aspects of our intimacy, but I have been unable to orgasm. I've read it can be harder for women, but I think I can get there after a bit of trial and error. He still seems really worried about it. He told me he thought it meant he was a bad partner. When we first started this, he would apologize when he finished before me and shrink away. Occasionally, he would hide his face or lock himself in the bathroom. I have trouble wrapping my brain around it.

 

I was wondering if any other couples have this issue with their sex positive ace partner not orgasming or even not wanting to (as I initially did not want to). Or any insights into some of his way of thinking that can help me in communicating with him? I know he is his own person with his own thoughts, but he doesn't seem too keen to elaborate further on this yet.

TMI Alert. 

Spoiler

 

Net practice ;)

 

Masturbate. Masturbate often. Practice reaching a climax. Women often don't reach climax as easily as men. If you are new to masturbating it isn't uncommon even to be unable to get yourself off!!! Once you are able to get yourself to a climax reliably, you'll find it easier to identify what is preventing you from climax during sex. You will be able to describe the sort of stimulation you desire. Ability to climax is different from being asexual - unless you are also impotent/frigid/etc in addition, which doesn't sound like your case. You can, if you do the actions it takes to build the stimulation. It is like riding a bicycle. Once you figure it out, subsequent attempts get easier.

 

My ace partner identifies as "sex neutral", but is very positive about sex with me due to his feelings for me and wanting to share something that matters to me.

 

Some things observations from my/our experiences together:

  • If the "machinery" is there, it will work. Matter of finding out how, matter of finding the motivation to find out how (this can be an issue for asexuals) - one of the reasons he also likes sex with me rather than masturbating, because I'm actually better at getting him off than he is at it (he is very infrequent, while I have decades of sexual experience). A patient, observant and experienced partner is really useful. 
  • Suggest that your partner do less rather than more. If he overstimulates you, it will become harder to reach climax. The more he finds himself wanting to get you off, the more important it becomes that his actions are gentle. That is some very sensitive skin and soreness is not condusive to pleasure.
  • Maintaining arousal can be hard. Generally, whether for men or women, climax sort of builds sensations on top of each other, intensifying them. My ace is male, but he has found out that a stray thought can distract him so thoroughly that he can be thinking of something else altogether and have completely forgotten the sex he is in the middle of. Like say.... he's thrusting into me, he thinks of some dialogue from a play he had seen, which triggers something he'd been thinking about the director.... and he's elsewhere with his penis inside me! He has found that actively being involved helps focus attention better.
  • Experiments work better when you're not tired. My ace has fallen asleep in the middle of sex so abruptly that I'm still in a "MOVE, damnit!!!!" phase when I hear the snore!
  • He enjoys sex more if there is some sort of a "lead in" that he associates with a "sexy situation". Specific lighting, low stress at work, nobody else home..... are things known to help. Also apparently the scent of a shampoo I use. You could identify things you associate with an enjoyable sexual situation and make them happen.
  • Use toys. Women can need a lot of stimulation - particularly if new to climaxing and the rhythm that works can be hard to sustain for the duration. Even among sexual people, it isn't so uncommon for the woman to go "Yes, that is it, DON'T STOP" and the man.... stops.... to pay attention to what she is saying. lol A vibrator can be a woman's best friend for when sex isn't working on its own. For that matter, even dildos that you can move in exactly the rhythm you need rather than depending on a partner to read your already tentative mind.

Educating a partner also helps. While a climax is great and fun and all that, The world view of men on climax is largely that of one event. Women can enjoy sex quite well without a climax if they fail to reach one. They can also have multiple orgasms. More of a spectrum than an event. So it may also take some explaining to convince him that you do enjoy what you do with him, regardless of a climax. Easiest way to convince is to ask for a repeat. Climax or no climax.

 

I'm just putting all this out there. All the ideas may not work for you. Or even be applicable. you seem to enjoy sex well, so losing focus or sleeping may be absurd even.

 

I am very outspoken about sexuality and have decades of experience enjoying it and facilitating my own pleasure. Feel free to message me if there are things you'd like to discuss that arne't suitable for a public discussion.

 

 

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Sweet Potato

Question:

 

In a long term committed relationship, how important is it to give your partner sexual pleasure compared to receiving pleasure from them? If your partner wanted to please you but had no expectation/desire to have it returned could it still be a satisfying experience?

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Telecaster68

Definitely could bebetter than nothing, by far, though everyone's different. It would depend on *how* it was done though. If it was a robotic, reluctant, unengaged giving, then I know from experience it can be horrible; rapey even and maybe worse than nothing. 

 

But if it was done with a clear sense of them taking pleasure in doing it, even though it's not sexual, it could be a pretty okay experience. 

 

Overall though, it would be a compromise for most sexuals. Generally shared pleasure is as important as our own, or more. 

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Skywise

Twisters and Apostle,

 

I feel I am in a similar situation as you both are.  2 Kids, soul mate of 25+ years.  I am lucky in that she came out to me and pointed me to this forum as a resource.  It has only been a few weeks, and so I don’t really know where this is headed.  We are going to be seeing a marriage counselor.

 

There has been an interesting peacefulness that has not been there for me since my wife came out.  I am no longer wondering if maybe this morning she will want to be intimate, or when we are planning out next vacation there will be a romantic component.  Now it is completely off the table for me and not even a factor. 

 

With that peace comes a huge sense of mourning and loss.

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uhtred
5 hours ago, Sweet Potato said:

Question:

 

In a long term committed relationship, how important is it to give your partner sexual pleasure compared to receiving pleasure from them? If your partner wanted to please you but had no expectation/desire to have it returned could it still be a satisfying experience?

It depends on lots of  details and on the person.

 

For me, the mutual pleasure of sex is important.  Sexual favors that are one-directional are fine, but as an occasional thing.

 

I could still be OK with my wife just doing things for me IF it was clear that she was doing them out of a legitimate desire to make me happy, not because she felt she *needed* to do them. Even at its best though, its not as good as something mutual - for me. 

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Skywise
8 hours ago, Sweet Potato said:

Question:

 

In a long term committed relationship, how important is it to give your partner sexual pleasure compared to receiving pleasure from them? If your partner wanted to please you but had no expectation/desire to have it returned could it still be a satisfying experience?

I can only speak for me.  I suspect in the moment I might get caught up in the experience.  Afterwards, reality would insert itself and I would simply feel hollow as the experience was only one sided.

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spazzticsoda

I recommend any ace that is more receptive to trying sex to fiddly diddly yourself and set a time frame to practice every week. I used to barely do it , but I was curious if I could get more out of what I was already doing. It worked, but it took me three months of perseverance X_________ e . I started like once a week ;  When I first started , it could take me two hours, then I would give up. I suspect this could be a female anatomy problem cuz things are complicated, but you also gotta be into it..When your body sorta understands more , it makes it easier to get into faster. I've never had a big O though ,and don't expect it to happen but I do get more out of the old jam session. 

 

I do sometimes wonder if ace-allo relationships could work out better if some of the anxiety about being expected to perform were lifted, like if the couple started out really really slow. Like maybe an hour of just sensual stuff and figuring out what you like. I've figured out that I really like having my neck played with, but not much else . It may take a year for all I know to build to a shazam, but it wouldn't be so scary.

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ryn2
On 6/14/2018 at 9:27 PM, spazzticsoda said:

I do sometimes wonder if ace-allo relationships could work out better if some of the anxiety about being expected to perform were lifted, like if the couple started out really really slow. Like maybe an hour of just sensual stuff and figuring out what you like. I've figured out that I really like having my neck played with, but not much else . It may take a year for all I know to build to a shazam, but it wouldn't be so scary.

If I’m understanding them, though, the issue for most sexuals here isn’t whether or not the ace can achieve orgasm/physical pleasure from sex; it’s the feelings of genuine sexual desire that (don’t, for the ace) underlie sexual activity.

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Sweet Potato
On 6/14/2018 at 6:27 PM, spazzticsoda said:

I recommend any ace that is more receptive to trying sex to fiddly diddly yourself and set a time frame to practice every week. I used to barely do it , but I was curious if I could get more out of what I was already doing. It worked, but it took me three months of perseverance X_________ e . I started like once a week ;  When I first started , it could take me two hours, then I would give up. I suspect this could be a female anatomy problem cuz things are complicated, but you also gotta be into it..When your body sorta understands more , it makes it easier to get into faster. I've never had a big O though ,and don't expect it to happen but I do get more out of the old jam session.

lol, I tried that when I still thought something was wrong with me. learned how to give myself an orgasm in under 3 minutes, but involve a partner and its a chore and a half just to stay wet long enough for them to finish. my turn ons are completely random shit at random intervals, my turn offs are partnered sexy time. yeah I'm weird.

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if only I was a dragon

Can someone explain kissing to me? I've tried envisioning it and it just seems... odd, to mash my lips with another person's, except specifically as a gesture of trust and intimacy. Like... if the culture was to casually lock pinkies with your significant other - there's no good reason to do it other than the meaning in it.

 

Does it feel good? Why/how? I especially don't understand why putting your tongues in each others' mouths makes it better. How do people just instinctively want to go for a kiss even if they've never had one before?

 

At least with, er, activities involving your genitals - it's like, okay, touching in that way feels good, physically, and regardless of source to an extent - it's a (semi-)consistent response to a given input. But with kissing... I'm assuming that just sticking something slimy and tongue-like in your mouth would not be physically pleasurable to the average person. Or kissing something inanimate that has a similar texture and flex as lips. But doing it with somebody is? I just don't understand.

 

To clarify, the attempted envisioning involved someone I was attracted to in some manner (still have not definitively concluded the extent, there - 85% certain it was at least romantic attraction), and that was the only person I have ever had any amount of attraction to, so if it was going to click, that would've been the time.

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Apostle
On 7/4/2018 at 8:47 AM, if only I was a dragon said:

 

x

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Browncoat10
4 hours ago, Apostle said:

Romance is a myth in today's western society with gender equality. Sticking tongues into each others mouths is replicating sex, full stop. Don't do it, it is unhealthy!

I'm ace. I've never kissed anyone and never wanted to. And even I know this is ridiculous.

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uhtred
7 hours ago, if only I was a dragon said:

Can someone explain kissing to me? I've tried envisioning it and it just seems... odd, to mash my lips with another person's, except specifically as a gesture of trust and intimacy. Like... if the culture was to casually lock pinkies with your significant other - there's no good reason to do it other than the meaning in it.

 

Does it feel good? Why/how? I especially don't understand why putting your tongues in each others' mouths makes it better. How do people just instinctively want to go for a kiss even if they've never had one before?

 

At least with, er, activities involving your genitals - it's like, okay, touching in that way feels good, physically, and regardless of source to an extent - it's a (semi-)consistent response to a given input. But with kissing... I'm assuming that just sticking something slimy and tongue-like in your mouth would not be physically pleasurable to the average person. Or kissing something inanimate that has a similar texture and flex as lips. But doing it with somebody is? I just don't understand.

 

To clarify, the attempted envisioning involved someone I was attracted to in some manner (still have not definitively concluded the extent, there - 85% certain it was at least romantic attraction), and that was the only person I have ever had any amount of attraction to, so if it was going to click, that would've been the time.

For many people it feels good and is sexually arousing.  If you are asexual and don't feel sexual arousal and / or don't like close physical contact, I expect it is something you can't enjoy. The first serious kiss I had was shockingly nice.   Its all about the person - kissing a rubber set of lips would not be fun....

 

I don't think that there is any way to describe it. If you like cats, why is having a cat sleeping in your lap better than a hot water bottle?  Or if you like music why does one set of tones sound better than the same notes arranged in a random order. Why is a cathedral beautiful but a parking lot is ugly?  I don't know how to explain these things. 

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ryn2

I can see how someone who does not find kissing sexually arousing could still enjoy it from a sensual/sensory standpoint, similar to massage.

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if only I was a dragon
8 hours ago, uhtred said:

For many people it feels good and is sexually arousing.  If you are asexual and don't feel sexual arousal and / or don't like close physical contact, I expect it is something you can't enjoy. The first serious kiss I had was shockingly nice.   Its all about the person - kissing a rubber set of lips would not be fun....

 

Huh. Okay. So it's just... conditional. Two 'if' statements (touch; the right person) to get to 'then it feels good', instead of one (touch). The thing is I think I wouldn't mind kissing someone - I'm actually a pretty tactile person with people I trust - but the pleasurable part probably wouldn't be there, yeah.

 

Thanks for giving me your thoughts, everyone.

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Maristine

How do you experience platonic vs romantic vs sexual attraction? I’m demisexual, and I have to be strongly platonically attracted to a person (and that person probably has to be male) in order for me to feel romantic attraction, and I have to feel both platonic and romantic attraction before I can feel sexual attraction. Attraction is not guaranteed, but it’s possible.

 

I realize every individual is different, but for any of the allosexuals here, how are these three different attractions linked for you? Are any of them predicated upon others? Like maybe you need platonic attraction to feel romantic attraction, but not necessarily sexual attraction? Does it just depend on the person or circumstance?

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Apostle
On 7/18/2018 at 4:39 AM, Maristine said:

 

x

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Telecaster68

They're so interwoven that the whole mixed model so beloved of AVEN makes very little sense to me. If one element is missing, the other two are very superficial and transient; or at best the relationship is a friendship or acquaintanceship.

 

The glimmerings of sexual attraction i are either there or not, right from the start, and either increases or becomes irrelevant as I get to know them better. Even with a one night stand, or a FWB there has to be some element of romance there, even if it's faint and transient. All three elements have to be there, and they increase in parallel. It's not a linear process for me.

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ryn2
29 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

They're so interwoven that the whole mixed model so beloved of AVEN makes very little sense to me. If one element is missing, the other two are very superficial and transient; or at best the relationship is a friendship or acquaintanceship.

I feel like this varies greatly from person to person, not just on AVEN/with asexuals but with people in general.  Some - most, in my experience - FWB-seekers specifically want only platonic (friends) and sexual (benefits) attraction in their arrangements and as such avoid/end any situations where romantic attraction/feelings arise.  Likewise, some people prefer to pursue sex in the presence of sexual attraction only and are completely turned off by any sort of romantic or platonic engagement (essentially the reverse of romantic aces, who experience romantic and platonic attraction but not sexual attraction).

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