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Tarfeather

Doing sexual things with an asexual [TMI]

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Tarfeather

Geez, I've held off a long time on this post, but here goes.

A month ago or so, my girlfriend visited me again and we did some more "experimenting". One thing I noticed was that she was very sensitive to physical touch and seemed to enjoy our "cuddling" more than usual. She also kissed me out of her own volition several times; I have to add kissing normally doesn't make her "feel" anything and she rarely initiates.

I already said TMI in the topic, but this gets really explicit, so I'll add another spoiler. Sorry if this is against the rules, but it's hard to phrase my question without giving at least some detail. I'll try to stay as vague as possible.

I've developed really good control over my sexual "desire", so that time I allowed myself to go a bit further than until this point. Basically, I felt a kind of "rage" coming on, and I allowed myself to follow it and ended up doing all kinds of things to her upper body in a sort of "heat". She didn't withdraw from me that time, either, instead she allowed it and she seemed to react in some way, for instance I noticed her twitching a little several times.

While I allowed myself to go loose a little, I still had to restrain myself a lot from going any further, and it actually gave me a headache that lasted for a day or so. Still worth it, though. I actually think I changed something in my brain with that. You know, taking an existing "path" in my brain and rewiring it to do something else. Anyway.

After that, I asked her if she'd felt anything. She said she hadn't felt any arousal, but that it was very "exciting" and she had never experienced that before. So.. I guess she reacted in some way to what I did, and it wasn't a bad way, but it also wasn't arousal? Strange. We discussed a bit about why she didn't feel arousal, and she said to her it's a bit like with tickling, the more comfortable with and used to the other person you are, the less you have that reaction. I think that's truly something only an asexual can say about arousal, hahah. ^^

I'd also like to note that after that she was very "connected" to me, there seemed to be some kind of energy between us. Even though later she said that she considered the experience more neutral than positive, but to me it definitely seemed to have had a positive effect on both of us. In fact, since that event our relationship has been even closer in general from my perspective.

But I also noticed that it was really hard for me to be satisfied without "more". So now I'm in a bit of a weird situation where I'm slightly averse to doing sexual things with her because I don't want to feel such strong desire.

And it's a bit weird, but in the weeks since then my brain has done some thinking, also with regards to some things said by asexuals on here, and it feels like I've made a kind of "leap". I no longer feel that sexuality is something I need to "fight" for to get from her. Instead, I feel that I am very important to her, and sexuality is thus something she will try to give me anyway. If she doesn't do these things with me, it's not because I'm undesired, it's not because I'm not important to her, it's simply that she needs more time to become comfortable with these things. And so I'm kind of at a point where I'd rather just give her time, wait for her to become less tight and constrained (which is something that has been continuously happening since we got together), rather than trying to get her to do anything.

I have this weird conviction that one day she'll be okay with trying sex out of her own. Not that I expect her to, not that I'd be angry or disappointed with her if she didn't, but it just feels like I know her and that that is a change she'll eventually go through. Just my intuition. I want to still be prepared for that not happening, I want to still look into making myself attractive to other women and keeping the option of poly in the long run, yet I'm also at peace because I am so convinced that she is doing everything she can to make me happy. Hm.

Well, that's my rant. Thanks for reading.

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Telecaster68

I think you're right, Tar, and you're doing exactly the right things for her, you and your relationship. Genuinely no pressure and she gets that, and is slowly, slowly feeling safe with you, and relaxing with you,and discovering maybe this sex thing could be okay. I know that's not any kind of game plan, rightly, but it's how I'd read the situation too, as a non virgin. Just keep letting her set the pace, which I know you are doing.

Funnily enough I do get the ticklish thing. An ex of mine started getting ticklish when we were getting towards the end of the relationship, I think it's a way of dealing with sensations that are actually pleasant but we have conflicted feelings about.

Maybe one day you'll look back on this period as the world's most protracted foreplay...

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Jade Cross

Dont think you have to be a non virgin for it. I got the same conclusion after reading the post.

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Frigid Pink

I definitely think no pressure and no obligation are the best ways to handle partnered sex. Personally, while I'm generally willing to consider partnered sex with someone I have romantic feelings for and also feel emotionally and physically comfortable with, it's absolutely repulsive to me and something I'm not even willing to consider if I feel pressured or obligated to share it. While I know my personal experience doesn't apply to everyone, I think people, in general, may respond similarly (and negatively) to pressure and obligation for partnered sex, regardless of sexual orientation.

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Tarfeather

Kay. So now that I'm at peace with everything, apparently she needs to do her best to ruin our relationship in some other way. Yeah, I don't know anymore. I would do anything to make this relationship work, but there's like, a limit.

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Telecaster68

What's up? Your update earlier was saying about her uncle...

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Tarfeather

I don't even know. She's basically treating me like a stranger. It's like she's lost most of the connection to me due to us spending two weeks apart. Which I wasn't even in favour of, but she insisted, so who am I to object? Except that now I'm hit with the consequences.

I really believe in this relationship and everything, but unfortunately in this instance I don't think there's any way for me to just take it. In the instances where it's just a result of who she is, fine, I get it. But now she's making conscious choices that end up hurting me. I don't see myself continuing a relationship where this is the case. :/

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Telecaster68

Sounds grim. Is she just flatly refusing to talk about you being pissed off?

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Skullery Maid

Is it possible she was less pleased with the experimenting than she seemed?

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Tarfeather

Sounds grim. Is she just flatly refusing to talk about you being pissed off?

Not really. It's complicated because this of course involves all these real life signals and interactions that are hard to put into words. She's clearly trying to have things back the way they were, but it's not working. Honestly, the way she's acting around me reminds me of one day a long time ago when my then girlfriend broke up with me the day after. The difference, though, is that time there was like a lead up of bad things happening and us trying to make the relationship work and failing. In this case, everything was just fine and dandy before the two week break, and now it's like her feelings are completely gone for no reason other than having spent time apart.

Is it possible she was less pleased with the experimenting than she seemed?

*looks in relationship diary* No, that was like a month ago. We had two weeks after that together, and those weeks were among the best times in our whole relationship. It doesn't make sense I'm telling you. Also, yes, I keep a relationship diary just for the purpose of making sure that her crazy mood changes aren't my fault somehow..

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Skullery Maid

Hahaha I did the same thing a couple years ago. When the ladyfriend found out, she was NOT pleased. :D

So, here's an unsolicited bit of info about moi, which is probably true of many other people (particularly girls).

If my partner knows I don't like something but asks for it anyway, I will never say no. Never. Because, what's the point? She already knows I don't like it, which means she theoretically already took that into account and is asking anyway. I don't say "no" to things I don't want to do or that I don't like when it feels as though the other person is discounting what they know to be my position on it... it's like, fine, don't want to respect my preferences? Then we'll just do everything your way, I guess. As a non-sexual example, I get really bad motion sickness. There's a way to get to our house driving open, straight roads, and there's a way to twist around windy, hilly roads. My partner almost always takes the hilly roads despite knowing that I get motion sick, and despite me saying I'd prefer we not go that way. So now whenever she asks if we can take the twisty roads, I just say "sure" because wtf? Clearly that's the answer she wants or she wouldn't have asked, so whatever. It feels... maybe not manipulative, but very much coercive, to continue to ignore your partner's preferences and instead make them say "no" all the time. No one wants to say "no" all the time. No one wants to be the person who doesn't let their partner do what they want to do, or not get their needs met, or whatever.

My concern, Tar, is that your girlfriend is doing the same thing. Like, "great, he knows I'm not into sex but he keeps asking anyway so I guess the fact that I'm not into it just doesn't matter to him, so whatever."

My position is that if your partner states a preference/ need/ whatever, consider that a standing order until its revoked. Asking them to go against their stated preference isn't significantly different than saying "I know you don't like this but I need it so we're doing it anyway", but then acting like you gave them a choice because in a technical sense, you did. But you didn't account for the incredible difficulty in saying "no", so it doesn't feel much like a choice at all.

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Tarfeather

No, she really was okay with it when we did it. But you may have a point in that she might not be okay with it again, and this is what's causing her distress. Good observation.

Then again, even if this is the case, I don't see how it matters besides of making the situation clearer. She clearly enjoyed it. She clearly was happier, more relaxed, more close in the following two weeks. I think what she's actually uncomfortable with is that.. Having actual feelings and connections, instead of living in her closed off isolated world. And if that's the case, then a happy relationship can not last either way, sexuality or no.

Yeah, now that I think about it, that's kind of it.. She made so much progress, I was really proud of her. So proud and confident that I decided to just leave her be and allow her to do as she likes, fully trusting her. The result? Full regression into her previous patterns and problems.

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Skullery Maid

I have the same confusion with my partner. And she even says she likes the closeness and happiness and all that... but for whatever reason it doesn't translate into wanting it. Well lol I guess the reason is asexuality. :P

But yeah, ultimately if she can't break out of her own mind, then she can't break out of her own mind. I personally have a hard time telling someone who isn't an objective observer to continue to push her, because admittedly you want to see certain things in her and don't want to see others... have you guys considered seeing a therapist to get an objective assessment of whether continuing to push her is good for her or bad for her? It's just far too coincidental, IMO, that what you want out of the relationship happens to coincide exactly with what you think is best for her. But, what does she think is best for her? Or what does an objective third party with psychological knowledge thinks is best for her? Quite frankly, you're too entangled in it to be a reliable judge of what is or isn't in her best interest. Again, that's just my opinion, but if she's left to be her and do as she likes and what she does is withdraw, then maybe that's a sign that that's what she is, how she's happiest, and what she wants in her life. My mom, she's always trying to make me go out to dinner. I hate going out to dinner, it gives me horrible anxiety. While I don't disagree that learning to kill that anxiety would ultimately be "good", I'm totally happy as I am and it irritates me to no end that she thinks she has a right to try to "fix" me. Even if it is helpful, it's not help I asked for or want, so it's best just left alone.

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Tarfeather

I have a pretty good idea of what's good for her, that's not really the issue. The issue is that I don't know if I can keep doing that, because I kind of also need to do what's good for me.

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Skullery Maid

Yeah well I know you think you know what's good for her. I guess my issue is... I can't imagine ever, ever, ever trying to fix someone or do what I think is "good for them". It reeks of hubris and there's no way to control for impropriety. I'm really really trying not to be insulting... it's just that a partner shouldn't be an experiment. You're taking the upper hand by designating yourself her helper, her fixer, her "I know what's good for you" mentor. Those roles are completely incompatible with the role of a romantic partner, IMO.

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Tarfeather

Yeah well I know you think you know what's good for her. I guess my issue is... I can't imagine ever, ever, ever trying to fix someone or do what I think is "good for them". It reeks of hubris and there's no way to control for impropriety. I'm really really trying not to be insulting... it's just that a partner shouldn't be an experiment. You're taking the upper hand by designating yourself her helper, her fixer, her "I know what's good for you" mentor. Those roles are completely incompatible with the role of a romantic partner, IMO.

It often surprises me how little you know about me. I'll explain later, need to do some thinking.

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Snao van der Cone

No, she really was okay with it when we did it. But you may have a point in that she might not be okay with it again, and this is what's causing her distress. Good observation.

Then again, even if this is the case, I don't see how it matters besides of making the situation clearer. She clearly enjoyed it. She clearly was happier, more relaxed, more close in the following two weeks. I think what she's actually uncomfortable with is that.. Having actual feelings and connections, instead of living in her closed off isolated world. And if that's the case, then a happy relationship can not last either way, sexuality or no.

"Okay with it" has a range of meanings, from "finally open to try" to "yeah, for totes, my dear lover" and I get the sense that in her case it was way, way closer to the first one.

I'm glad the two of you had a positive experience. However...it doesn't sound like it's sustainable, for a number of reasons that come from both sides. You can't control how she feels about the situation after the fact and you can't change her mind. To attempt to change her mind would be pretty disrespectful, eye em aitch oh. If she doesn't return to the happier place with that memory, I think it's best that you end the relationship so you don't get dragged into the same regret she might have. You're not responsible for fixing her problems, and you can't assume you understand them either. So just do what you can for you.

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Tarfeather

*sigh* I just needed to be a whiny bitch yesterday, didn't I? Thanks for listening, guys. I wish I hadn't made a scene, but I'm really thankful I can make a scene with online friends (if you don't mind my calling you that) instead of having to deal with these feelings completely on my own without someone who isn't involved to give some advice.

Anyway, I woke up this morning and I honestly can't tell you what my problem was anymore. Like, yeah, our emotional connection is just as unreliable as anything sexual between us, and I should have just as low expectations on both aspects, but I kinda knew that since we've started being together. I don't really know why I ever thought that we had some stable emotional connection going on, because we just don't. And without an expectation of that, there really isn't a huge problem.

Maybe one issue with this whole thing is society's idea of a relationship. From my perspective, she's more like my best friend, who I also happen to kiss and cuddle with and all that when she's in the mood. The "relationship" aspect is kind of fickle and unreliable, and I really think it'd be more healthy for me to have a different "partner" from her, but I think that'd be really hard to reconcile with the relationship I have with her. People in general are pretty jealous.

But anyway. Today I feel pretty good about things again. And with my lower expectations of her, she's warming up to me again, as is pretty normal with us. So yeah, while the "relationship" status of this is questionable, it's certainly a connection that is very important to me.

Thanks for listening, guys.

@Skulls: I know the best thing I can do for her, and that is to stay with her and accept her as she is, without trying to change her. That is what I meant by "I also need to do what's good for me", as placing no expectations on her is pretty damn tough and frankly somewhat hard to bear for me. But, I don't really have a choice. My ideal solution would be to keep my relationship with her as it is, as more of a friendship (but not *just* a friendship), and meet my needs elsewhere. But I don't really have that option, partly due to my relationship with her, partly due to my issues with society / women in general. That said, I still stand by everything I said in the OP, it's just.. It potentially means going for my whole life without getting some things that are very important to me. And I simply don't know if I have the strength.

Oh, and thank you for advocating for her. It's not like I don't consider all these aspects myself, but it's good to think about it explicitly every once in a while.

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closetPonyfan

I tend to feel in the same boat often, Tarfeather. And I too know that emotional High and then depression ride it sounds like you just went through. My wife and I will have two or three off the best days in a row, then it's like everything just flips off for two or three weeks. When she's happy, she's always reassuring me that she does enjoy what we have, and that she even likes having sex. But then she'll seem to inexplicably distance herself for a couple weeks. I've found usually the best thing to do is to confront that directly when it happens. Not with accusations, or anything, and not with any ideas or theories km the cause. Just genuinely ask her what's on her mind, and if that doesn't reveal anything, push a little and say; "I ask because it feels like something is wrong" and cite what it is that's on your mind.

A lot of times I find that something is bothering her, but it has nothing to do with me or our relationship. It could be something that happened in a video game or book, or something a friend is going through.

As an Ace she probably didn't notice the sudden emotional distance that was perceived when she was busy thinking about else entirely. And if you seemed distressed to her, she wouldn't have any clue why.

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Tarfeather

Well, everything is fine again, and neither of us really understands what our problem was on that day. If it's one rather terrible day to several weeks of feeling good around each other, I'll take it.

Also, I asked her whether what we did was an issue for her and might be what caused her to disconnect, and she said that wasn't it. She also said she's okay with experimenting with this stuff for my sake (even after I told her I'd still try my best to make the relationship work if she didn't). So I really don't think there are any problems there.

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Telecaster68
As an Ace she probably didn't notice the sudden emotional distance that was perceived when she was busy thinking about else entirely.

You've encapsulated something I've been thinking about. Not noticing absence of sex is one thing, which I understand. But from various posts from asexuals it seems like they don't notice the emotional distance either. Maybe it's because since they don't get that extra energy in closeness from sex, they don't notice when it's missing.

(Sorry to hijack the thread, Tar)

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Jade Cross

I have to agree with closetPonyfan's post. A sudden withdrawal is best countermeasured by asking directly.

I may be in the dark here but would aces be really so oblivious of a missing emotional bond due to lack of sex? It doesnt fit somehow that a person can become withdrawn and not be noticed, be it to lack of sex or otherwise. The dynamic changes drastically so I would find it difficult to think that aces would not notice it, even if it does come as a result of sex.

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Telecaster68
I may be in the dark here but would aces be really so oblivious of a missing emotional bond due to lack of sex? It doesnt fit somehow that a person can become withdrawn and not be noticed, be it to lack of sex or otherwise. The dynamic changes drastically so I would find it difficult to think that aces would not notice it, even if it does come as a result of sex.

I agree, but it seems to be the frequent response - 'we're not mind readers, you have to say something' and variants thereof, and the whole 'we're just oblivious anything's wrong' position. Hence my bafflement.

Thing is, human beings are mind readers to an extent. We read facial expressions, body language, tone of voice, context, changes from the norm and impute meaning to them. It's how babies get socialised. And the whole 'it's your job to say something's wrong' line too: yep, it is, but also, surely being in a relationship with someone means you notice their state of mind, and care enough to ask them what's going on if something seems off?

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Jade Cross

My point exactly. Even if aces are (and lets take it to an extreme) 100% devoid of any chemical reactions that otherwise happens as a result of sex, the behavioural pattern of a person changes. At least to me, if I get along well with a person and theres a sudden change in mood and behavior, my first response will be "Whats wrong?"

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Telecaster68

And yet, apparently this doesn't happen with many aces.

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Tarfeather

TBH I don't know what you're on about. My girlfriend notices when something is wrong with me. In fact it once made her cry just seeing my facial expression of disappointment. :/

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Jade Cross

I cant really talk for others. Maybe its not so much being oblivious as it is getting side tracked (if it can be put as such) by a "Finally!! No sex for today" feeling.

I imagine that something that would normally bother or preoccupy a person would grab their immediate attention quicker and probably longer. Or at least thats one possible explanation. Sorta like work. If you hate work, its tiring, draining and it overly "depresses" you to have to put up with it, having a day (or more) off is feeling like youve won newfound freedom.

Still, I guess the amount of time it would take to notice depends on the person. Im inclined to think that at least.

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Jade Cross

TBH I don't know what you're on about. My girlfriend notices when something is wrong with me. In fact it once made her cry just seeing my facial expression of disappointment. :/

We were talking in a more general sense. It doesnt necessarily apply to everyone, just looking for possible explanations.

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Telecaster68
Maybe its not so much being oblivious as it is getting side tracked (if it can be put as such) by a "Finally!! No sex for today" feeling.

Yeah, that was what I was wondering - but the general consensus was 'no we just don't think about it', rather than 'thank god they've dropped the subject'.

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Jade Cross

Remember, saying something like "we dont think about it" is not as painful as openly admitting that their glad sex is dropped. After all, a partner will be looking out for your feelings as well.

Its not exactly the same to say "I do this for you" instead of "I do this because of you". They both sound the same at face value but thats not the hidden message many times.

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