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The Asexual-Sexual Q&A Thread

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uhtred
9 hours ago, questdrivencollie said:

Allosexuals--before you had sex, how did you know you were allosexual?

 

Asexuals--how did you find out you were asexual? Did you find out before having sex, if you have at all, or did you "try it" before knowing?

I knew I was sexual before I was in any relationship - but it wasn't something I thought about.  Women were attractive to me in a sort of natural unthinking way.  There was no real distinction in my mind between general attactiveness and sexual attactiveness - they all just blended together. 

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Kimchi Peanut
On 10/8/2019 at 6:03 AM, questdrivencollie said:

Allosexuals--before you had sex, how did you know you were allosexual?

I didn’t! I actually thought I was asexual until my first real relationship in my 20s. Until then, I had no desire to have sexual experiences. But when I had a serious partner, I did. So now I identify as sexual.

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PeanutButterCookieMonster

Hi, I need some advice.
 

My boyfriend came to terms with being gray sexual the other day. And I’m 100% ok with that. I support him and love him just the same. It hasn’t changed how I feel about him or anything.
But I am sexual and my drive is on the high end. I refuse to pressure him, because that’s not ok. But I still need sexual attention. It’s a base need for me. I’ve been patient for 2 years while he figured it out. But now that he has we need a way to move forward and both have our needs met. The proposed solution is that I back off him sexually, I take care of myself, but in order to blow off steam I text this other guy. Text only. I have no desire to get physical. I don’t want to date him. And then whenever the mood strikes my boyfriend we have sex. 
 

But I’m still not wild on that idea. I only really want him. But I can’t pressure him. And if this is who he is I don’t want to try and change him. 
 

Does anyone have thoughts? Or ideas on other solutions? 
 

Please be kind. I’m doing my best. Thanks everyone. 

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anisotrophic

Welcome to AVEN, @PeanutButterCookieMonster! (and I love peanut butter cookies!) Here is the traditional welcoming slice of cake – :cake: – or perhaps a cookie. 🍪

 

It's a tough thing to negotiate, and can be very painful! When I realized my partner had been going along with sex but was stressed by it – that it was a chore for him – it was really upsetting, and I backed way off. I did try taking care of myself, and still do, but it's not a full replacement... I tried briefly connecting to others, chat, but it was weird, not the same. I came to recognize that, like many sexuals, my romantic feelings are very intertwined with my sexuality. But that it wasn't that way for him.

 

From that came some productive changes (and they took a long time to work through, many months). We focused on communicating love in ways the other person experiences as being loved. So when we are sexually intimate, I check in a ton and thank him – to make it a positive thing for him – and he's learned how important it is to me emotionally. I also don't want him to ever feel like he has to have sex; sometimes I try to avoid it entirely, and the relationship is technically open. And we focused a *lot* on communicating love in other ways.

So... my thoughts are to focus on love, and understanding what sex with him means to you, and what it feels like for him, and being conscious of wanting each other to feel loved for who they are, including their sexualities (or lack thereof!).

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PeanutButterCookieMonster
50 minutes ago, anisotrophic said:

Welcome to AVEN, @PeanutButterCookieMonster! (and I love peanut butter cookies!) Here is the traditional welcoming slice of cake – :cake: – or perhaps a cookie. 🍪

 

It's a tough thing to negotiate, and can be very painful! When I realized my partner had been going along with sex but was stressed by it – that it was a chore for him – it was really upsetting, and I backed way off. I did try taking care of myself, and still do, but it's not a full replacement... I tried briefly connecting to others, chat, but it was weird, not the same. I came to recognize that, like many sexuals, my romantic feelings are very intertwined with my sexuality. But that it wasn't that way for him.

 

From that came some productive changes (and they took a long time to work through, many months). We focused on communicating love in ways the other person experiences as being loved. So when we are sexually intimate, I check in a ton and thank him – to make it a positive thing for him – and he's learned how important it is to me emotionally. I also don't want him to ever feel like he has to have sex; sometimes I try to avoid it entirely, and the relationship is technically open. And we focused a *lot* on communicating love in other ways.

So... my thoughts are to focus on love, and understanding what sex with him means to you, and what it feels like for him, and being conscious of wanting each other to feel loved for who they are, including their sexualities (or lack thereof!).

Thank you. I definitely have a lot of soul searching to do about why sex is so important to me. It definitely has to do with my romantic feelings for him. That's a huge chunk of it. But I am already getting and giving love in the ways that fit him. And I love them. I love writing letters to each other. I love snuggling. I love cooking together. But sex is also just a basic need for me. I've been a sexual person for as long as I can remember. And I don't want to have to deny that part of myself. But I cannot and will not pressure him into sex. I just won't. He's welcome to come to me for sex whenever he wants it, and I try to make it enjoyable for him. But I still need sexual attention on some level on a regular basis. I think part of it is the message I was raised on about my worth being tied to my sexual desirability. 

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PeanutButterCookieMonster

To my fellow sexuals, 

 

How did you explain your need for sex to your asexual partner? I've tried explaining it every way I know how and he just doesn't get it. He doesn't understand why I need it. And it's not just about the romantic feelings although they are a big part of it. Another big part of it is the basic physiological drive I have. It's like sleeping and eating for me. But he doesn't see it as a need. He wants me to just ignore it because he doesn't feel the need. 

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Anthracite_Impreza
6 hours ago, PeanutButterCookieMonster said:

To my fellow sexuals, 

 

How did you explain your need for sex to your asexual partner? I've tried explaining it every way I know how and he just doesn't get it. He doesn't understand why I need it. And it's not just about the romantic feelings although they are a big part of it. Another big part of it is the basic physiological drive I have. It's like sleeping and eating for me. But he doesn't see it as a need. He wants me to just ignore it because he doesn't feel the need. 

From an asexual, is there anything in his life that he needs to feel fulfilled and happy in life, that isn't technically a need to stay alive? A hobby or a career perhaps? Equate that to your need for sex.

 

Honestly the only way I can fathom a need for sex is by equating it to my need for driving. I absolutely need to drive or I get completely fucking miserable and lose an entire chunk of my soul; apparently that's what missing sex is like for sexuals.

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Apostle
9 hours ago, Anthracite_Impreza said:

I get completely fucking miserable and lose an entire chunk of my soul; apparently that's what missing sex is like for sexuals.

Quite right @AI.

There are three solutions to Peanuts quandary: to accept no sex (some people on this post mention 'gift' sex or 'charity' sex which is completely unacceptable to any right minded sexual), finding another partner, in or out of the relationship or just leave your partner for a better and less stressful relationship.

If you stay in the relationship you will always have the feeling of missing out on part of your identity.

 

 

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anisotrophic
5 hours ago, Apostle said:

There are three solutions to Peanuts quandary: to accept no sex (some people on this post mention 'gift' sex or 'charity' sex which is completely unacceptable to any right minded sexual), finding another partner, in or out of the relationship or just leave your partner for a better and less stressful relationship.

Two responses to this.

One: I could laugh and say "gosh I suppose many of us sexual partners must be wrong-minded!" but it's really not that funny. Accepting a gift or charity means setting aside various reasons for repulsion – feeling vulnerable, feeling offended, etc. There have been times I struggled and pushed myself through those feelings, and I don't think I'm wrong-minded to have done that. You don't think that's for you? That's fine. But there are many sexual partners that do choose to seek and accept sexual intimacy with a partner that doesn't desire them, and I don't think that should be derided.

Second: the options here aren't necessarily exclusive, it's possible to have some sexual intimacy and also have permission to sleep with others. In my personal experience, this can reduce pressure on both partners.

@PeanutButterCookieMonster I think a couple things came together for my partner to be understanding of what sexuality meant for me. One was him reflecting on how much people risk to be in gay relationships, in places where homosexuality can have severe negative consequences when known/discovered – and that this was largely because of the human desire for sexual intimacy, despite the dangers. (Therefore: it really must be that important to a lot of people.) Another was observing me; he saw an LGBTQIA+ therapist who prompted him to observe my mood in response to sex & unbeknownst to me at the time, he observed that it made me happier. (Later he told me, and I realized it was true – and even after that, when self-aware, it still had that effect on me.)

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Apostle
16 hours ago, anisotrophic said:

But there are many sexual partners that do choose to seek and accept sexual intimacy with a partner that doesn't desire them, and I don't think that should be derided.

But you see it's so soul destroying for someone who needs to communicate their love with another. Both know in the bottom of their hearts that it is only a sexual release and nothing more than that and so it really means nothing.

It is shallow love in my opinion and somewhat shows a disrespect and lack of trust in a true loving partnership.

 

If my SO suddenly (and unlikely) said to me that she would have a sex with me, both knowing that she is not really interested, I would be devastated.

 

Better to find a new partner if you want a true soulmate.

 

That's what it's all about for a sexual relationship with someone else; having a soulmate who fully embraces ALL aspects jointly and with real meaning for BOTH partners.

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Mike39

@Apostle, I had this discussion some time ago about that gift in the merriage.

 

Some people look to the desire sensitive and refuse to do or accept anything that is not under this condition. But think about, even for sexual partners desire can fluctuate.

 

There is another option. For example:

No one desires the massage, but it is just nice to do it for your partner? True?

Some partners are quite alright to do the massage with "happy ending", just like that, without some specific desire, just for fun.

Some partners are ok with having sex to you just to see how funny you are breathing and how charming you are during orgasm, just for fun.

 

I mean, if the "gift" sex is not considered by both partners as something so mentally demanding thing, if is seen like playful massage where nobody is hurt, why not to enjoy that?

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SusannaC

@Apostle , I don’t understand why you would be “devastated” if your wife offered sex to you.  I know you say this hypothetically but why be offended, or hurt, by an offer of sex ?   
We both know by now that sexual intimacy isn’t needed by an asexual person for a romantic loving fulfilling relationship- for them..  Have you considered if she offered sex, maybe she was trying to recognize the importance of this act to you....seems like lots of asexuals on AVEN have sex with their partners because they recognize it’s important to their partners.   Do you have  a loving relationship in other ways with your wife?  Do you perform little acts or assistance while living together  out of respect and affection for your partner?

I am not saying you SHOULD have sex with your wife.  I would not want sex with my husband, not that he’d ever offer.  I can’t desire sex without mutual desire....but I wouldn’t necessarily believe his offer, if it occurred,  was done to “disrespect “ me.. so why do you believe the worst  about her motivations?

Perhaps she’s not YOUR “soulmate” because your marriage has been incomplete and unfulfilling for YOU.  However if you have a good working relationship and she has affection for you- maybe she views you as HER soulmate. Have you ever asked her?  After all, her requirements for life with her mate differ at least sexually, from yours. 

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Apostle
46 minutes ago, SusannaC said:

I don’t understand why you would be “devastated” if your wife offered sex to you.  I know you say this hypothetically but why be offended, or hurt, by an offer of sex ?

Why? Because 25 years has passed without any hint of sexuality on her part and refusing to talk about clearly her issues with this aspect of her life, not mine. I do suspect that it may be something to do with her younger upbringing though as her mother was prone to schizophrenic outbursts and this may have affected her in ways that I cannot fathom.

 

47 minutes ago, SusannaC said:

Have you considered if she offered sex, maybe she was trying to recognize the importance of this act to you

Well, we did have sex a long time ago and it was probably just to please me. However, for me, sex is a two way thing. I cannot enjoy a physical relationship without the other person wanting one also. I can't get any information about why she has never initiated sex either. I'm just baffled and have never met anyone like her before and hopefully never again.

 

I'm sure, as you state, that we are soulmates but it's the lack of communication on her part that continues to be the pebble in the shoe. I wouldn't want to have a sexual relationship with her anyway solely due to our circumstances regarding the longevity of the sexual desert. I have however remained faithful due to my moral compass, not due to my sexual appetite.

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Mike39
On 10/30/2019 at 3:44 AM, Anthracite_Impreza said:

From an asexual, is there anything in his life that he needs to feel fulfilled and happy in life, that isn't technically a need to stay alive? A hobby or a career perhaps? Equate that to your need for sex.

 

Honestly the only way I can fathom a need for sex is by equating it to my need for driving. I absolutely need to drive or I get completely fucking miserable and lose an entire chunk of my soul; apparently that's what missing sex is like for sexuals.

 

Hi, here is my example. My wife is really smart basically for her it was enough to really think about the Maslow's pyramide and ask questions to several other sexual friends. Basically, most people have the significant SEX in their life, so lack of it will crack all your personal integrity.

 

From the bottom:

  • Lack of sex can affect
  • security of body, morality, health
  • unbalance your family life, and of course, need for intimacy
  • that cracks self esteem confidence, respect of your partner, respect by your partner
  • that affects all the cognitive abilities

1*nLgV-S8xLuA3ZxmMpiaX2Q.png

 

In the terms of building, if you remove the part of the foundation, you unbalance the house, you have cracks everywhere. With a therapy, lots of talking, lots of understanding you can glue some parts of your building together, but it will be still unbalanced structure with some glue.

 

Think about, there are studies that show how judges gives stronger punishments if they are hungry. Can you imagine how their cognitive abilities changes if they undergo such issues that we discuss here?



staple-installation-complete.jpg

 

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Apostle

@Mike39All very descriptive but from an asexuals point of view, totally irrelevant unless they have a sexual partner which can then affect their behaviour.

 

Asexuals do not have the DNA capable of understanding why sex is an important part of their or their partner's life balance.

 

A description between the two different beings is that a sexuals' cake is made with self raising flour and an asexuals' cake is made with plain flour.

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anisotrophic
3 hours ago, Apostle said:

Asexuals do not have the DNA capable of understanding why sex is an important part of their or their partner's life balance.

This is a broad statement that I don't think anyone should be making, it's a stereotype of asexuality that @SusannaC observed is demonstrably untrue – there are many asexual folks on this site that clearly do care about and worry about the effect on sexual partners.

 

 

@Mike39 I think it's more in the green/purple level rather than the bottom part of the pyramid, but my partner did become a lot more understanding when he reassessed how typical his experience was!

Maybe it's fair to observe that it is in some ways physiological… but I think that can also have a trivializing effect. It's enduring part of who we are (one need only look to how much struggle gay folks experience), I think it's reasonable that having it misunderstood (e.g. being made to feel shame for it) hurts our self esteem & sense of being loved. (And I think the same is true for asexuality as well.)

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AceMissBehaving
3 hours ago, Apostle said:

@Mike39All very descriptive but from an asexuals point of view, totally irrelevant unless they have a sexual partner which can then affect their behaviour.

 

Asexuals do not have the DNA capable of understanding why sex is an important part of their or their partner's life balance.

 

A description between the two different beings is that a sexuals' cake is made with self raising flour and an asexuals' cake is made with plain flour.

I’m capable of understanding it, I lack desire for sex with another person not empathy.

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Apostle
13 minutes ago, AceMissBehaving said:

I’m capable of understanding it, I lack desire for sex with another person not empathy.

Perhaps you can explain that to my SO then? 

I expect that some do and some don't.

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Apostle
44 minutes ago, anisotrophic said:

This is a broad statement that I don't think anyone should be making, it's a stereotype of asexuality that @SusannaC observed is demonstrably untrue – there are many asexual folks on this site that clearly do care about and worry about the effect on sexual partners.

Yes, probably true. I should have stated 'generally'. or at least a significant number otherwise we wouldn't be having conversations on this website would we?

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Anthracite_Impreza

I have to equate it to things I feel myself to understand. I feel empathy, sometimes too much, but probably because I'm autistic I struggle to see things from others' point of view directly. There's a big difference between understanding intuitively and academically.

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AceMissBehaving
12 minutes ago, Apostle said:

Perhaps you can explain that to my SO then? 

I expect that some do and some don't.

You’re on a forum with thousands of different asexual people, it might be worth looking at that larger sampling than a sampling of one.

 

I don’t know the particulars of your relationship, but asexuality is only one data point, it’s not the entire picture of whatever struggles the two of you might face.

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SusannaC

@Apostle, it sounds as though your partner has no empathy for your sense of loss and disappointment.   I know that sucks.

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alibali

I can intellectually understand that it is life defining and I can empathise with life defining.  Unfortunately I will never know what it feels like to desire sex but be prevented from it just as others who have not experienced my life defining experiences will not know what those feel like. 

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Apostle
19 hours ago, AceMissBehaving said:

 

I don’t know the particulars of your relationship, but asexuality is only one data point, it’s not the entire picture of whatever struggles the two of you might face.

Yeah, I figured that out a number of years ago. I didn't however, know the extent of asexuality, the diversity or even what it meant so the internet has been a great help in the direction of asexual knowledge. It doesn't solve the problem of compatibility/incompatibility though and won't in my lifetime for sure so there will always be that element of 'why' in the air.

 

17 hours ago, SusannaC said:

@Apostle, it sounds as though your partner has no empathy for your sense of loss and disappointment.   I know that sucks.

Yes, sadly seems to be the truth. 

The missing ingredient for sure.

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Mike39

@anisotrophic, thank you for the answer. I think all versions and variations of understanding should be discussed if the couple is truly close.

 

In case of the recent discussion of @Apostle and others. If the empathy is doubtful then the "truly closeness" does not exist and the situation has no positive solution.

 

Someone in this forum wrote an example that I like. Consider these countries where you will be killed if you are gay. Even there gay people seek for intimacy knowing that probably they will be killed someday. Intimacy for many many people It is that important. What about empathy for them? Or even this can be blocked?

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NicoleHolmes
On 10/27/2007 at 2:33 PM, Hallucigenia said:

No, that's not sexual attraction. Sexual attraction is when you actually like the idea of having sex with them. (That's an oversimplification - it's possible to like the idea for non-attractional reasons, but you should get the idea.)

I think what you're describing has more to do with comfort and the willingness to take risks and be vulnerable. If you have a high comfort level being physical with someone, you're going to have less of an aversion to sex with them, but "not averse" isn't the same as "attracted".

Oh. 

Thus far that has happened once. Maybe twice. And I am definitely not sexually attracted to the guy I currently have romantic feelings for. It would be more like, I'll suffer through it to make him like me or to make him happy. 

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Apostle
14 hours ago, NicoleHolmes said:

Oh. 

Thus far that has happened once. Maybe twice. And I am definitely not sexually attracted to the guy I currently have romantic feelings for. It would be more like, I'll suffer through it to make him like me or to make him happy. 

@NicoleHolmes what you are describing are definite signs of asexuality or of aromanticism or both. Does he know that you are?

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Serran
15 hours ago, NicoleHolmes said:

Oh. 

Thus far that has happened once. Maybe twice. And I am definitely not sexually attracted to the guy I currently have romantic feelings for. It would be more like, I'll suffer through it to make him like me or to make him happy. 

Someone "suffering through" sex doesn't make a lot of sexuals happy. Make sure you're both on same page with that being OK. 

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NicoleHolmes
3 hours ago, Apostle said:

@NicoleHolmes what you are describing are definite signs of asexuality or of aromanticism or both. Does he know that you are?

I just told him yesterday that I'm a gray asexual, and gave a brief explanation of what that means. Then I told him to ask me, if he has any questions. 

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