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spideycat

My roommate knows I'm ace and wants to be friends with benefits?!

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spideycat

Recently I overheard a private conversation between my two college roommates. I know I shouldn't have been eavesdropping, but it was about me, and I couldn't resist.

I'm an asexual who's primarily romantically into men but sometimes other genders, my roommate "Rose" is demisexual panromantic, and my other roommate "Jenna" is a lesbian. We're all good friends in our early 20's with a similarly off-color sense of humor. Not a day goes by that we don't exchange at least a dozen innuendos and flirtations with each other in jest--it's just the way we communicate. None of it is actually sincere. Or so I thought.

During the course of the conversation I overheard between Jenna and Rose, I found out:

  • Jenna told Rose that even though I'm not her (Jenna's) type, she's extremely sexually attracted to me anyway. (She then enumerated all the parts of my body that she was most into. It got pretty explicit. It was flattering but also kind of bewildering because I just can't relate to those feelings.)
  • Jenna just has friend feelings for me, not romantic feelings, and is sure she'd never develop romantic feelings for me. She wants to be friends with benefits and has wanted this for a long time, apparently. She's been trying to hint to me that she wants this, but she doesn't really know how to bring it up to me. She joked to Rose that every time we're alone together in the room, she thinks about propositioning me, which makes me a bit nervous.
  • Jenna knows I'm asexual, so she wanted feedback from Rose on whether an asexual person would ever be open to having sex. Rose explained about how some aces are sex-repulsed while others are sex-neutral or sex-positive. Jenna wants to find out what kind of ace I am so she can know if she has a chance with me.

Certain things Jenna does, or has done in the past, make more sense to me now, like why she asked me last year out of the blue if I was into girls and why she always initiates cuddling when we watch TV together. Still, I'm genuinely shocked that this is what she wants because 1) she knows I'm ace, 2) I've known her type for a while now and I knew I wasn't her type (she likes curvaceous femme girls with long hair... I don't wear feminine clothes or makeup, I'm skinny, and I have short hair), and 3) we've been friends for four years and she's never made a move.

I'm really not sure what to do with this information, or how to respond if she does ask to sleep with me. It's even a bit awkward now when Jenna says or texts something jokingly sexual to me because, even though I'm able to joke back at her, I'm newly aware that she actually means it.

My thoughts:

  • I'd like to experience sex at some point to see what it's like, and I know in theory how to do it, but I can't imagine how I would get aroused enough for it to be pleasurable. I can't imagine I would be that good at it because the passion wouldn't be there. From what I understand about sex, it's not enough just to do certain actions; you also have to be psychologically into it.
  • I'm not romantically or sexually attracted to Jenna, but I am comfortable around her, and I feel like, if I did sleep with someone, I'd want it to be someone I trusted and knew well.
  • If we tried it and it didn't work out, would it make our rooming situation awkward? The three of us share one dorm room, so it's pretty tight quarters.

Any advice would be much appreciated. :)

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Kawaii Sushi

First of all, do you want to have sex with her? You say you want it someday and with someone you trust but how important is it that you are romantically attracted to this person (I guess you are not aromantic?)? I think you have to decide what you want to do, are you ready to take the step? Are you comfortable with it? And if you are comfortable with having sex, are you okey to have it with her? It is your body, if you begin with something you can always say stop, so are you comfortable doing that with her? This is good to know if she takes the step, then you know how you can react without regretting anything you might do.

I mean, the best thing... and probably the hardest because you have to tell her you listened to them, is to talk her, But I understand if you don't want to do that. If you are good frieds just tell her how you feel about this and what you would be okay with. If you don't want to be friends with benefits you don't have to. Otherwise, if you don't want to talk to her, I think you should make sure you know what you want and what you are okey with, know your limits.

I don't have experience of this so I don't know if trying would make things awkward if it don't work out. But I think it depends on if you talk about it afterwords. After all you would still be friends, and probably have shared a pretty weird story together. Me and my boyfriend have done some weird stuff and it was fine because we was able to talk and laugh about it afterwards, and of course, we trust each other to say stop if the other person don't want to continue.

Hope this helped you and didn't make you more confused ^^

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RainedMeadow

I would personally say no. It sounds like they're excited by the tension as it is right now. Yes, I think it would change the dynamics (probably not in a preferable way) if I were to engage with them.

I think if you want to try sex out with Jenna, do it a week before you move out so if it creates a problem, at least that problem doesn't involve your living situation.

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FictoVore.

Yeah i'd be so fekking uncomfortabIe about this.

Yes, it wouId change a Iot of things if you don't enjoy it, she wouId feeI aII awkward around you, and you'd feeI bad that you made her unhappy. It wouId aIso change things if you started to activeIy want more sex as weII (you'd have to start questioning your orientation identity) so there's that to consider (I don't think it's a bad thing, I just see it happening here a Iot)

And don't just have sex with someone because you found out they want to have sex with you T_T if you weren't aIready thinking ''I'd try sex with Jenna'' then it sounds Iike you're just interested because you heard she is, which doesn't sound Iike something you IegitimateIy want.

And just to be cIear for Jenna, sex-positive asexuaI doesn't mean ''asexuaI who desires and enjoys sex'' .. it means an asexuaI who has a positive attitude towards others having sex, and see's sex as a heaIthy thing in generaI as Iong as everyone is consenting etc. Doesn't mean ''they want to have sex for pIeasure'' ..That's a sexuaI person.

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nanogretchen4

I think at this point your rooming situation is going to be awkward no matter what. Awkward college roommate situations are common, though, and I doubt most students make it through four years with the same roommates. If I were you I would indeed start researching the prospects for alternative living arrangements.

If you want to try sex to see how it goes this might be an okay opportunity. Unless Jenna actually makes a move, you should probably wait until soon before you were going to move out anyway.

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ghost-light

I mean, the best thing... and probably the hardest because you have to tell her you listened to them, is to talk her, But I understand if you don't want to do that. If you are good frieds just tell her how you feel about this and what you would be okay with. If you don't want to be friends with benefits you don't have to. Otherwise, if you don't want to talk to her, I think you should make sure you know what you want and what you are okey with, know your limits.

This was my thought on the matter. I think with any sort of potential sexual relationship, it's important to establish an open line of communication with the person you may (or may not) be interested in having sex with. At least then you two can get everything in the open, discuss options, and have a better idea of each other's needs / wants. It's good to be wary of any coercion or manipulation though - a person is not entitled to your body, nor do you "owe" anyone sex. Be aware of red flags.

If this isn't discussed and things continue as before (with cuddling, flirting, etc.) you'll be questioning every action, assuming there is an ulterior motive and (at least in my experience) it can rot a friendship from the inside out.

If you're not comfortable talking it out, then perhaps take the passive route of looking into a new living situation, if possible. I'm not sure if your college is like this, but we were allowed to make requests after a semester to change our living situation if there were compatibility issues. Even so, I'd assume you two would still remain friends even after moving, so this doesn't quite solve the flirtatious chatter. :c

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Snao Cone

Don't do it. Jenna has to deal with her own feelings. Every sexual and/or romantic person goes through the experience of non-reciprocation and it's a necessary emotional skill for people to have. Curiosity should not be explored with people you live with, generally speaking.

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spideycat

Thanks to everyone for the feedback. It’s really helpful. A few specific things…

First of all, do you want to have sex with her? You say you want it someday and with someone you trust but how important is it that you are romantically attracted to this person (I guess you are not aromantic?)? I think you have to decide what you want to do, are you ready to take the step? Are you comfortable with it? And if you are comfortable with having sex, are you okey to have it with her? It is your body, if you begin with something you can always say stop, so are you comfortable doing that with her? This is good to know if she takes the step, then you know how you can react without regretting anything you might do.

I mean, the best thing... and probably the hardest because you have to tell her you listened to them, is to talk her, But I understand if you don't want to do that. If you are good frieds just tell her how you feel about this and what you would be okay with. If you don't want to be friends with benefits you don't have to. Otherwise, if you don't want to talk to her, I think you should make sure you know what you want and what you are okey with, know your limits.

Yes, I am romantic, just not sexual.

I guess I’m not sure how comfortable with sex I am. I feel like it’s something I’d have to figure out from experience. I’ve backed off from relationships in the past when the other person wanted to make it sexual, but it’s always just been because I didn’t want to do it with them, and beyond that lack of desire, idk. Imagining it happening doesn’t really make me uncomfortable, it’s just not very interesting to me, but I dunno if actually participating in it would feel different.
I feel like I would like to bring this subject up in conversation. I can’t just go on as things were without ever bringing it up, if only because she’s still going to be thinking about it and now I am, too. How I can bring it up in a smooth way is another question…

Yeah i'd be so fekking uncomfortabIe about this.

Yes, it wouId change a Iot of things if you don't enjoy it, she wouId feeI aII awkward around you, and you'd feeI bad that you made her unhappy. It wouId aIso change things if you started to activeIy want more sex as weII (you'd have to start questioning your orientation identity) so there's that to consider (I don't think it's a bad thing, I just see it happening here a Iot)

And don't just have sex with someone because you found out they want to have sex with you T_T if you weren't aIready thinking ''I'd try sex with Jenna'' then it sounds Iike you're just interested because you heard she is, which doesn't sound Iike something you IegitimateIy want.

And just to be cIear for Jenna, sex-positive asexuaI doesn't mean ''asexuaI who desires and enjoys sex'' .. it means an asexuaI who has a positive attitude towards others having sex, and see's sex as a heaIthy thing in generaI as Iong as everyone is consenting etc. Doesn't mean ''they want to have sex for pIeasure'' ..That's a sexuaI person.

Hmm, I feel like I’m pretty sure I’m ace? But it could make me question whether or not I’m an ace who likes sex. Either way… eh, I think self-discovery is a good thing.

"if you weren't aIready thinking ''I'd try sex with Jenna'' then it sounds Iike you're just interested because you heard she is, which doesn't sound Iike something you IegitimateIy want." That's an interesting thought and something I hadn't considered before. Thanks~

The whole “sex-positive” thing feeds into my confusion about why she’d want to be friends with benefits with an asexual person… I’d consider myself sex-positive, but I don’t run around thinking, “Man, I really want to have sex.”

It's good to be wary of any coercion or manipulation though - a person is not entitled to your body, nor do you "owe" anyone sex. Be aware of red flags.

If this isn't discussed and things continue as before (with cuddling, flirting, etc.) you'll be questioning every action, assuming there is an ulterior motive and (at least in my experience) it can rot a friendship from the inside out.

If you're not comfortable talking it out, then perhaps take the passive route of looking into a new living situation, if possible. I'm not sure if your college is like this, but we were allowed to make requests after a semester to change our living situation if there were compatibility issues. Even so, I'd assume you two would still remain friends even after moving, so this doesn't quite solve the flirtatious chatter. :c

Thanks. I’ve kind of fallen into this manipulation mindset before… Went out with a guy on a date and he paid for my drink, so at the end of the night when he went in for a kiss and I wasn’t feeling it, I let him kiss me a little because I felt like I owed him… In hindsight I wish I hadn’t done it, and I’m trying to be better about that. In this case I feel like Jenna wouldn't try to get me to sleep with her through manipulation. I think we have a pretty healthy friendship (except for the part where she secretly wants to sleep with me).

I definitely am questioning every action on her part, though. One thing I wonder, on that note, is how much a conversation could resolve. I mean, she’d still be sexually attracted to me even if she tried to stop feeling that way, right? Idk how sexual attraction works, but I think it’s involuntary for people who experience it??

Anyway... I think no matter what happens, I'll continue rooming with them because I'm graduating at the end of this semester. Not worth it to move to a new dorm for only like a month or 1.5 months of school, even if I do decide I don't want to live with Jenna. Right now I'm not feeling a desire to move out, though.

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Skullery Maid

Don't move out with only 2 months left, no. But do not under any circumstances sleep with Jenna. If I were you, Jenna would no longer be my friend after hearing that conversation. She's been cuddling with you and sexual innuendoing you for a long time and getting a lot more out of it than you are. That kind of imbalance is not good, and the fact that she seems to feel proud of it is not a good sign of future boundary respecting.

Don't worry about why Jenna wants to sleep with a sex positive asexual. It doesn't matter. She clearly doesn't understand what the terms mean, but even if she did, I promise you... she isn't onto some big secret about yourself that you don't know. She's not a sexual psychic. She's just being selfish, that's all.

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spideycat

Don't move out with only 2 months left, no. But do not under any circumstances sleep with Jenna. If I were you, Jenna would no longer be my friend after hearing that conversation. She's been cuddling with you and sexual innuendoing you for a long time and getting a lot more out of it than you are. That kind of imbalance is not good, and the fact that she seems to feel proud of it is not a good sign of future boundary respecting.

Don't worry about why Jenna wants to sleep with a sex positive asexual. It doesn't matter. She clearly doesn't understand what the terms mean, but even if she did, I promise you... she isn't onto some big secret about yourself that you don't know. She's not a sexual psychic. She's just being selfish, that's all.

Thanks for the feedback~

I'm not sure I get what you're saying about future boundary respecting? I mean, so far she's been very careful to try to figure out my boundaries. For example, at some point in our friendship she asked, "Does it bother you when I make sexual innuendos about you?" (I said no, it didn't... Of course, this was before I found out what she's been thinking about me.) I don't think she would want to make me uncomfortable.

Your second point gave me a lot to think about. Like... it's selfish because she knows I'm not into sex and she wants to get me to do it anyway, just for her pleasure? Is that what you're getting at?

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Skullery Maid

No, it's selfish because she wants what she wants. It doesn't matter if you are or are not asexual. TBH I have no idea what being asexual has to do with any of this... it doesn't really matter what your orientation is.

She's trying to figure out your boundaries by pushing them. Which means she doesn't respect boundaries, not really. Of course she doesn't want to make you uncomfortable... she likes you... but she also clearly cares more about what she wants than being respectful. Let's just think for a minute. If you had a crush on someone and you didn't know if they liked you back, would you cuddle with them and sex talk with them and all that? Because if it was me (and it has been me, many many times), I wouldn't touch the person because I wouldn't want to take advantage of the situation. She doesn't mind taking advantage of the situation, and that's not good. Anyway, it's whatever, I'm pretty sure based on your responses that you'll be banging this girl by the end of the calendar year. Good luck. You're at the age where experimentation is a good thing to do, so knock your socks off. Just, don't expect miracles. It's highly likely it'll kill your friendship.

Just my own words of wisdom.

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Jayce

Awkward..I'd try and find anothe room mate asap.

Why do you want to try sex with her for her pleasure if you don't feel comfortable with having sex at all? I would only do that if you feel comfortable with it and not just to please her.If she really likes you then she should be able to respect your boundaries, if that is an issue for Jenna then you should honestly question if you really are ready for a relationship with her.

To have sex with her just for her pleasure against your will would definetly cause serious issues in your relationship with her on the longer term.

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