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Serran

What does your compromise look like? TMI warning

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Serran

In this scenario, asexuals want to not have sex. This makes a relationship better for them than one in which there is sex. When they say 'no', no sex is what happens. On that level, they are getting what they want.

In this scenario, sexuals want to be desired. This makes a relationship better for them than one in which they are not desired. This cannot ever happen with an asexual. On this level, they are not getting what they want.

You're judging the want by two totally separate standards. Now your position makes more sense.. though I still disagree with it. I think we'll have to agree to disagree though. It was never the sex or no sex that made the relationship worse for me (the act of sex was a 40 minute activity that ended and I got back to my day). It was the sexual desire component. So, for me it would be more like:

In this scenario, the asexuals wants to not be sexually desired. This makes the relationship better for them than one in which there is sexual desire. This cannot ever happen with a sexual. On that level, they are not getting what they want.

And... Myst beat me. :D

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Mysticus Insanus

The problem wasn't the semantics... it is that you made it sound a lot less parallel/symmetrical than I think it is. :p

While AVENites could, as always, debate about the perfect wording until the cows come home, at least my post pointed out the exact (two) area(s) where the conflict lies, and that they're the same area(s) for both the ace and the sexual partner.

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Tarfeather

I'd say it's much more to the point of the problem saying that (most) asexuals do not want to be (sexually) desired, and can't ever feel sexual desire, themselves.

Language problems again. Are you referring to the presence of a wish not to be desired, or to the absence of a wish to be desired?

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Mysticus Insanus

I'd say it's much more to the point of the problem saying that (most) asexuals do not want to be (sexually) desired, and can't ever feel sexual desire, themselves.

Language problems again. Are you referring to the presence of a wish not to be desired, or to the absence of a wish to be desired?

More the latter, which I do consider to be close to universal among aces.

The former isn't that uncommon, either, though, as a more extreme/proactive version of the latter. (The wish not to be desired sure is very firmly there, in my own personal case... but I've seen other people on here - whose self-identification as asexual I have no reason to doubt - say that it's only absence of a wish, not wish for an absence, in their case.)

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skullery

In this scenario, the asexuals wants to not be sexually desired. This makes the relationship better for them than one in which there is sexual desire. This cannot ever happen with a sexual. On that level, they are not getting what they want.

Yeah, this seems accurate for my relationship as well. It's not the sex as much as everything else that goes along with the sex... the emotions, the sadness I feel, the desire that seems creepy if you're not also feeling it, the objectification. She says she knows it's a good thing/ coming from a good place, but that it makes her very uncomfortable. In that sense, I'm sure asexuals having sex together would be far less stressful than a mixed relationship because the desire would be totally lacking.

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Serran

In this scenario, the asexuals wants to not be sexually desired. This makes the relationship better for them than one in which there is sexual desire. This cannot ever happen with a sexual. On that level, they are not getting what they want.

Yeah, this seems accurate for my relationship as well. It's not the sex as much as everything else that goes along with the sex... the emotions, the sadness I feel, the desire that seems creepy if you're not also feeling it, the objectification. She says she knows it's a good thing/ coming from a good place, but that it makes her very uncomfortable. In that sense, I'm sure asexuals having sex would be far less stressful because the desire would be lacking.

And the complete disconnect between you and your partner, as they go off somewhere you have no way of following... which just highlights how vastly incompatible you are, so instead of making you feel closer, it makes you feel further and further apart.

Plus, the desire infects other interactions. I could see it when I wore a tank top, so that made wearing tank tops uncomfortable. I could see it when I bent over, so I stopped bending over and started squatting... it was just everywhere, all the time. Some days I'd hide in my room and not even see him to avoid it.

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skullery

Yup! Very much so. I made an effort to stop objectifying and lusting... I'd like to cut it off completely, but I think some of it is just my personality at this point... but my partner said that she feels much more comfortable and isn't afraid to, like, hang out in bed or whatever because she doesn't feel like she's gonna get... I don't know what... but I guess it all just feels like a combination of pressure, passive aggression, and disconnection. Is that about right?

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Telecaster68

Which, to bring the thread mildly back on topic, means the compromise has to be around each partner's ability to act 'as if' and reach a middle ground.

That means either asexuals faking a show desire, or sexual suppressing any show of desire. Or a combination of both.

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Telecaster68

Yup! Very much so. I made an effort to stop objectifying and lusting... I'd like to cut it off completely, but I think some of it is just my personality at this point... but my partner said that she feels much more comfortable and isn't afraid to, like, hang out in bed or whatever because she doesn't feel like she's gonna get... I don't know what... but I guess it all just feels like a combination of pressure, passive aggression, and disconnection. Is that about right?

So what bit is she compromising on?

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skullery

Yeah, I suppose you could frame compromise as: "no one gets what they want but they both pretend they do."

I dunno, ya'll know my feelings on sexual compromise, which is, I think it's a theoretical concept without roots in reality.

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Telecaster68
I suppose you could frame compromise as: "no one gets what they want but they both pretend they do."

Or they each get enough of what they want to avoid resentment.

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Serran

Yup! Very much so. I made an effort to stop objectifying and lusting... I'd like to cut it off completely, but I think some of it is just my personality at this point... but my partner said that she feels much more comfortable and isn't afraid to, like, hang out in bed or whatever because she doesn't feel like she's gonna get... I don't know what... but I guess it all just feels like a combination of pressure, passive aggression, and disconnection. Is that about right?

Mmm. Pretty much.

Which, to bring the thread mildly back on topic, means the compromise has to be around each partner's ability to act 'as if' and reach a middle ground.

That means either asexuals faking a show desire, or sexual suppressing any show of desire. Or a combination of both.

I don't think faking is a healthy method of compromise, personally. A compromise is generally "I want this" and "I want that" and finding a middle ground that works, where neither of you is really getting what you want, but you are getting "good enough" to be content. So, finding something both can enjoy, or give and take of sex one day and no sex (with as little pressure as possible) the next, etc is better, imo. Faking, for me, would automatically put it in the "hate it" category so would be an unworkable compromise. Though, others might not mind as much.

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Mysticus Insanus

Or they each get enough of what they want to avoid resentment.

I'm not sure if you see that as a bad thing. I'm enough of a cynic realistic, rabidly independent loner that I consider that to be a close to optimal situation for social contact, in general. ;)

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Telecaster68
sex one day and no sex ... the next

Wait... people count periods between sex in units of days? I thought it was weeks or months...

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Serran
sex one day and no sex ... the next

Wait... people count periods between sex in units of days? I thought it was weeks or months...

Well, it would depend on the people :P Personally, I don't think I could do more than once a week at this point. Which, is low for most sexuals. And high for many aces.

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Telecaster68

Or they each get enough of what they want to avoid resentment.

I'm not sure if you see that as a bad thing. I'm enough of a cynic realistic, rabidly independent loner that I consider that to be a close to optimal situation for social contact, in general. ;)

I was being realistic. The aim being to remove 'lack of sex' from the list of potential things to be resentful about in a relationship, so the other, positive, stuff comes to outweigh it.

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Telecaster68
I don't think I could do more than once a week at this point. Which, is low for most sexuals.

Actually, Kinsey numbers would say it's average-ish for couples over 30.

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Tarfeather

Yeah, this seems accurate for my relationship as well. It's not the sex as much as everything else that goes along with the sex... the emotions, the sadness I feel, the desire that seems creepy if you're not also feeling it, the objectification. She says she knows it's a good thing/ coming from a good place, but that it makes her very uncomfortable. In that sense, I'm sure asexuals having sex together would be far less stressful than a mixed relationship because the desire would be totally lacking.

When things are going well between me and C., a part of that is that I feel strong sexual desire for her, and can express that, and she will be able to feel that as something positive.

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CBC

My sexual compromise looks like not compromising. I wouldn't be able to handle a relationship with someone who wasn't either asexual, or sexual and happily willing to be celibate unless I expressed genuine interest in sexual interaction. And on the rare occasions I have felt what I thought was "genuine interest", it wasn't necessarily always the case. My feelings on sex can be very mercurial and I've learnt to play it safe and not really trust what I perceive as "interest". Or rather, not to trust that I'll actually be okay with it.

My no compromise stance is not because I'm an asshole, btw. (I mean, okay, I am an asshole, but that's not relevant here.) I won't compromise because I won't voluntarily put myself through something that would end up repeatedly traumatising me and lead to extremely negative thoughts and behaviours. I already have enough of that shit in my life. So I think my stance is reasonable, given that I'm trying to protect my mental/emotional wellbeing from trauma. Obviously if someone is unable to deal with that, they can leave.

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Mysticus Insanus

CBC, you're one of the nicest assholes I know. :lol:

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)

Or they each get enough of what they want to avoid resentment.

I'm not sure if you see that as a bad thing. I'm enough of a cynic realistic, rabidly independent loner that I consider that to be a close to optimal situation for social contact, in general. ;)

I was being realistic. The aim being to remove 'lack of sex' from the list of potential things to be resentful about in a relationship, so the other, positive, stuff comes to outweigh it.

I gave my ex sex twice a day every day and he still resented me because I didn't enjoy it or want it the way other women do. Other women he'd been with enthusiastically wanted it and enjoyed it as much as he did - and even when I fake initiated and fake enjoyed it hoping to make him happy, he'd resent me even more because he knew I was faking. It's not *just* the sex - it's having someone want and need you in the same way you want and need them and that's something that *can't* be faked.. all the sex in the world can't make up for that when the person is only doing it to try and make you happy and you know they're hating every second of it (well, that doesn't go for all sexuals, but many feel that way)

Regarding Skullery's comment, this whole: asexuals having sex together thing is just another reason I'm not identifying as asexual anymore. I'm clearly not asexual. I don't want to have sex with asexuals or anyone else and am never interested in people in a way that would make me want to have sex with them. Definitely not ace.

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skullery

Just as a note, I agree with you, Pan... asexuals having sex with each other for fun is an oxymoron.

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Float On

That situation is a bad analogy. The family giving bread or broth would make the homeless guy happy.

but - isn't that a direct analogy to the ideal of compromise? that the asexual gives just a little bit of sexual attention, that is enough to make the sexual happy?

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Float On

In this scenario, the asexuals wants to not be sexually desired. This makes the relationship better for them than one in which there is sexual desire. This cannot ever happen with a sexual. On that level, they are not getting what they want.

Yeah, this seems accurate for my relationship as well. It's not the sex as much as everything else that goes along with the sex... the emotions, the sadness I feel, the desire that seems creepy if you're not also feeling it, the objectification. She says she knows it's a good thing/ coming from a good place, but that it makes her very uncomfortable. In that sense, I'm sure asexuals having sex together would be far less stressful than a mixed relationship because the desire would be totally lacking.

the way skullery maid said it, I agree. the way serran said it, I didn't :unsure: not every asexual wants to not be sexually desired. I don't care about that. but then.. the reality is that when I'm faced with the way my partner behaves and feels during sex, I am intimidated, scared, and a little creeped out.

I guess some of the time, it is true that being sexually desired was something I wanted to not happen. but others of the time, I was completely fine with that, just it really depended on my mood and the situation.

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Telecaster68

The entire asexual discourse is increasingly a hall of mirrors to me.

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Float On
I suppose you could frame compromise as: "no one gets what they want but they both pretend they do."

Or they each get enough of what they want to avoid resentment.

I think this. whenever I imagine compromise, an immediate analogy I hold is to a business sale. the seller wants to sell high, the buyer wants to sell low. they get a sale if both of them have enough that they are willing to make the exchange, but neither gets the full goal.

it's obviously not a perfect analogy, since cost is a linear scale and sexual compromise cannot be described with a one-line model. but the theory is still the same - there is some middle ground that involves some manner of sexual activity, but not too much that the asexual is overwhelmed by it.

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Mysticus Insanus

Just as a note, I agree with you, Pan... asexuals having sex with each other for fun is an oxymoron.

Yes, this. I could understand it if two aces, who up to that point happen to be near totally sexually inexperienced, chose to boink each other once or twice, to find out how it feels at all and doing so in a kind of "safe space". But doing it repeatedly, even regularly, for fun?

I don't see how that can be called "asexual" in any way that does not directly translate to "special snowflake". Sorry. Just can't. Does not compute, syntax error, too logical-minded for that... no matter how un-PC it may be rated to say that on here.

The natural state of two aces together is celibacy. If that is not what happens, hell yes it does put the validity of their asexual identity into question, unless they can cite pretty darn massive "mitigating circumstances".

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Float On
sex one day and no sex ... the next

Wait... people count periods between sex in units of days? I thought it was weeks or months...

Well, it would depend on the people :P Personally, I don't think I could do more than once a week at this point. Which, is low for most sexuals. And high for many aces.

and me, in contrast, was "comfortable" with sex almost daily - it got overwhelming after awhile, but if I had had known well enough to talk to her and say "not today" and she understood well enough to not push me once I said that - that's all I would have needed.

er, comfortable as in, tolerated/ managed to psych myself up enough to be willing to

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Serran

In this scenario, the asexuals wants to not be sexually desired. This makes the relationship better for them than one in which there is sexual desire. This cannot ever happen with a sexual. On that level, they are not getting what they want.

Yeah, this seems accurate for my relationship as well. It's not the sex as much as everything else that goes along with the sex... the emotions, the sadness I feel, the desire that seems creepy if you're not also feeling it, the objectification. She says she knows it's a good thing/ coming from a good place, but that it makes her very uncomfortable. In that sense, I'm sure asexuals having sex together would be far less stressful than a mixed relationship because the desire would be totally lacking.

the way skullery maid said it, I agree. the way serran said it, I didn't :unsure: not every asexual wants to not be sexually desired. I don't care about that. but then.. the reality is that when I'm faced with the way my partner behaves and feels during sex, I am intimidated, scared, and a little creeped out.

I guess some of the time, it is true that being sexually desired was something I wanted to not happen. but others of the time, I was completely fine with that, just it really depended on my mood and the situation.

If you notice in my post I said for me it would be : ...

As in, for ME, my personal comparison to the wanting to be sexually desired issue. I never said all asexuals.

As for the ideal of compromise ... no. As I said compromise is both accepting they don't get what they want. That is what compromise is. I want this, you want that , where can we both be content even though we aren't getting what we want?

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Mysticus Insanus

A fair, working, equitable compromise means neither side is fully getting what they want, but all sides get a big enough part of what they want to at least be able to fully live in peace with it.

Anything less than that is a foul compromise at best, and oppression at worst.

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