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PoisonPoppy

Is sex really that important for a relationship?

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IronHamster
On 11/30/2017 at 7:33 AM, PoisonPoppy said:

More so aimed at sexual/ asexual relationships but obviously open to all answers. Like, as an asexual I don't see what wrong with being loving, affectionate, cuddling, kissing and spending my life with someone without sex (other than to have kids).

 

1. Is sex really an important part of a relationship?

2. If it is, what would you compare its importance to? 

3. How would you compromise as an asexual? 

If sex is not important within a relationship,  then sex is not important outside the relationship.   

 

Sex is a way of bonding, and helping each other feel good.   

 

As an asexual, if I was, I would encourage my sexual partner to find a third.  I would love my partner enough that I would not want to see them in anguish over something I was not capable of helping them with.  

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Chimeric
On 11/30/2017 at 9:27 AM, WhyCantIBeACat said:

For an asexual there is a separation between romantic desire and sexual desire. This separation isn't present for a sexual, romantic desire leads directly into sexual desire and the stronger the romantic attraction, the stronger the sexual desire. Further, most sexuals also need to feel desired in return and when that isn't there they question whether the romantic love is there, and this continual doubt undermines the relationship, especially if they don't know about or understand asexuality.

This hasn't been my experience.

 

I am not asexual, but there is a tremendous separation between romantic and sexual desire for me. They overlap, but they aren't the same thing. And it may be a bit simplistic to imply that asexuals don't want to feel desired - maybe not sexually, but there are so many other ways to 'desire' someone, and no one wants to not feel loved in their relationship.

 

My ex-husband was very sexual, but it became quickly evident that it was also very carnal. The emotional attachment was rarely there. Even in the height of our relationship, he cheated, which makes me think he was more interested in the sex than in the bond.

 

My current partner identifies as ace/ace spectrum, and has done a way better job fulfilling my emotional needs than my ex ever did. 

 

Admittedly there are days when I just really need to get off - which I'm happy to do on my own - but there are more days when I need to feel loved and listened to and cared for. Sometimes I want these things to happen at the same time, but I am not willing to deal with the consequences of asking my partner to put himself in a situation that compromises who he is. I don't want him to resent me and I don't want to feel the guilt of having put him in that position. It's not worth it. But the rest of what I receive from the relationship very, very much is.

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:)(:

I did a bit of reading and I read that sex is a means of communication. I mean sexy only results in procreation (when done randomly) 5% of the time and in other species ( they were looking at bonobos who are similar to humans sexually) sex was a means to feel good. It was interesting because even bonobos did not always make heterosexual pairs. 

 

Going back to that 5% thing accidentally making kids is only happening beause humans enjoy sex so much. It would be easer if humans went into heat but they do not so sex cannot only be for procreation.

 

I never thought i would need to use this knowledge in discussion I read a book on this for fun...

 

so to to answer the question I don’t think so I think for most people sex is important I mean look at our culture. But their is always the differnt obese. Also as culture advances we may need sex less? I feel as if technology is screwing with us more than we know. 

Edited by :)(:
I forgot to answer the original question

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Lara Black

1. For me - very. It’s an expression of feelings, one of the signs that things are good in a relationship.

2. I agree with the favorite food metaphor. If I don’t get sushi for a long time, it becomes the only thing on my mind. I can survive without it, I can stop thinking about it if I dive into something interesting or important, but it’s important.

3. Our compromise is that my partner gives me sexual pleasure and satisfaction without him actually having sex. So, no traditional sex, but he’s learned to do amazing things within his comfort zone.

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Serran
On 11/30/2017 at 8:33 AM, PoisonPoppy said:

More so aimed at sexual/ asexual relationships but obviously open to all answers. Like, as an asexual I don't see what wrong with being loving, affectionate, cuddling, kissing and spending my life with someone without sex (other than to have kids).

 

1. Is sex really an important part of a relationship?

2. If it is, what would you compare its importance to? 

3. How would you compromise as an asexual? 

1) It will depend on the couple. For some people it is, for some people it isn't. For me, it's not really important. I can easily do without anything sexual. Though, I've come to appreciate the closeness it brings and the fact it can be fun to do some sexual stuff. Though, I still don't care to have sex itself. 

 

2) A good, long, meaningful talk. You can have casual conversation with anyone, but the people you connect most with are the ones you can have those really good talks that leave you feeling closer to them at the end. 

 

3) I used to be into compromise, but now I just won't. Either I am compatible with the person or I am not. I am compatible with my partner. We do things because we both want to. I wouldn't want to go back to a relationship model where things are done cause one side wants and the other doesn't mind. 

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roland.o
On 12/17/2017 at 3:06 PM, IronHamster said:

As an asexual, if I was, I would

Please do not try to second-guess how people with a completely different life experience than yours are supposed to feel or act.

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IronHamster
14 minutes ago, roland.o said:

Please do not try to second-guess how people with a completely different life experience than yours are supposed to feel or act.

If I had no interest in cooking, I would not care if someone taught my wife a new recipe, or came over and used the kitchen with her every Friday night.  

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)
12 hours ago, IronHamster said:

If I had no interest in cooking, I would not care if someone taught my wife a new recipe, or came over and used the kitchen with her every Friday night.  

As you yourself, right now, would you 1) care if your wife cooked with someone else regularly? 2) decided she actually wanted sex with someone that wasn't you and started screwing him regularly? Would they really feel like the same thing to you in those circumstances?

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IronHamster
6 minutes ago, FictoVore. said:

As you yourself, right now, would you 1) care if your wife cooked with someone else regularly? 2) decided she actually wanted sex with someone that wasn't you and started screwing him regularly? Would they really feel like the same thing to you in those circumstances?

My wife has rejected me to the point where I no longer have a sexual attraction to her.  In my case, this seems to be a very different situation than most asexuals have with not being sexually attracted.   I would actually like it if she found a compatible partner other than me. 

 

If sex inside marriage is not important, than sex outside marriage is not important.  

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alibali

Well many people have affairs but it usually ends up in a mess. For example you will always be seen as the guilty party regardless of what you see as good intentions and your wife breaking the original "agreement" . Unless it's something you both agree to. And that doesn't take into account the third variable....your lover. But we all do what we feel we should so there it is.

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Traveler40
5 hours ago, alibali said:

Well many people have affairs but it usually ends up in a mess. For example you will always be seen as the guilty party regardless of what you see as good intentions and your wife breaking the original "agreement" . Unless it's something you both agree to. And that doesn't take into account the third variable....your lover. But we all do what we feel we should so there it is.

Generalizations are simply that and aren’t helpful.  Each relationship is as unique as the decisions made with them.  Life is all sorts of grey, and we are all doing the best we can to get by with grace.  We’ve only got one shot, and I’d like to find some basic, much needed fulfillment along the way meanwhile protecting my incredible family.  It’s really an impossible situation that’s no one’s fault,  yet here we are dealing with it head on.

 

I debated on whether to go down the rabbit hole as it’s really neither here nor there, but decided to throw caution to the wind this morning.  Happy holidays! 

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Serran
7 hours ago, IronHamster said:

My wife has rejected me to the point where I no longer have a sexual attraction to her.  In my case, this seems to be a very different situation than most asexuals have with not being sexually attracted.   I would actually like it if she found a compatible partner other than me. 

 

If sex inside marriage is not important, than sex outside marriage is not important.  

People who are monogamous by nature don't tend to go with the if you aren't doing it with me, I should be free to do it with other people ideal. Otherwise, there would be very few couples that did not go outside their marriage, since most people don't have someone that meets every desire. Whether that desire be anal sex, BDSM, toys, a better frequency for sex... or going to the opera all the time, being able to discuss things on a deeper level, etc. There is typically something missing, because no one person tends to be able to fulfill every single desire a person has. 

 

So, for you, if a need cannot be met inside the marriage it is not important if it gets met outside of it. However, the majority of monogamous / monoamorous (since you seem to prefer that term I'll include it) people are not likely to agree with this sentiment. 

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Telecaster68
1 minute ago, Serran said:

People who are monogamous by nature don't tend to go with the if you aren't doing it with me, I should be free to do it with other people ideal. Otherwise, there would be very few couples that did not go outside their marriage, since most people don't have someone that meets every desire. Whether that desire be anal sex, BDSM, toys, a better frequency for sex... or going to the opera all the time, being able to discuss things on a deeper level, etc. There is typically something missing, because no one person tends to be able to fulfill every single desire a person has. 

 

So, for you, if a need cannot be met inside the marriage it is not important if it gets met outside of it. However, the majority of monogamous / monoamorous (since you seem to prefer that term I'll include it) people are not likely to agree with this sentiment. 

Most sexual couples aren't 100% compatible sexually in every way, but they are 'good enough', that they're okay with not having every last bit of sexual variety fulfilled, especially when you throw in the cultural taboo, relationship complications, and hassles of finding someone else. This is really different to being with a partner who just has no desire for any sex ever under any circumstances.

 

And the opera parallel doesn't work at all - there's literally no cultural taboo on getting any need except sex met outside a relationship. If someone found someone else for regular opera trips because their partner hated opera, nobody would blink an eye.

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Serran
1 minute ago, Telecaster68 said:

Most sexual couples aren't 100% compatible sexually in every way, but they are 'good enough', that they're okay with not having every last bit of sexual variety fulfilled, especially when you throw in the cultural taboo, relationship complications, and hassles of finding someone else. This is really different to being with a partner who just has no desire for any sex ever under any circumstances.

 

And the opera parallel doesn't work at all - there's literally no cultural taboo on getting any need except sex met outside a relationship. If someone found someone else for regular opera trips because their partner hated opera, nobody would blink an eye.

Most couples are not compatible in every way, period. So the idea of "if X isn't important inside the marriage, it's not important outside the marriage" does not work, unless you can apply it to all desires that are not met. Which, Ironhamster does seem to apply. Which, is beyond orientation. That is a relationship philosophy that many do not hold. And while I think it's a fine relationship philosophy, if both agree to it, it's one that would cause conflicts with a monogamous partner. 

 

And while society may not bat an eye at that, I know many couples that would consider that beyond the boundaries of a relationship. If my Aunt's husband started regularly attending the opera with another woman, for example, she'd be almost as upset with him as if he admitted to having sex with the woman. You can't blanket state that desires being fulfilled outside the marriage just because they are not fulfilled inside the marriage should not cause issues, because they do. And each couple has to negotiate within itself what is acceptable inside the marriage and outside the marriage. Some couples have things like "You can't watch this show with other people, cause it's our show" and such. I don't particularly care what society says (society says poly people are "wrong", even when it's ethical, so obviously they are silly). But, if you are in a relationship, then boundaries have been put forward and any time you violate said boundaries, of course your partner will consider it important and be upset. Even if it's something they cannot provide. In fact, perhaps even more so if it's something they cannot provide - cause then you have feelings of not good enough coming into play. 

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Telecaster68
Quote

 So the idea of "if X isn't important inside the marriage, it's not important outside the marriage" does not work, unless you can apply it to all desires that are not met.

It comes down to jealousy and insecurity, and perceiving whatever activity as a threat to the relationship. Opera, ice skating, going to galleries etc could all be a threat to a relationship but when the activity is the kind of thing that everybody also routinely does with friends, it's fairly straightforward to understand how they can not be a threat. Your uncle not liking your aunt going to the opera with another man isn't about the opera, it's about spending time with another man which could lead to a bond and threaten the relationship. It's pretty straightforward, if your uncle and aunt know it's purely because he'd hate going to opera that much, and she loves it, to see that it's just pleasant to spend an evening focussed on opera, and company is secondary, but a positive. If they can accept that about each other, all is fine.

 

Sex, on the other hand, even if it's just about sex, is inherently about a very intimate connection with someone else. It's far, far more likely to lead to a closer emotional bond. We don't do it with friends who are just friends, by and large (or if we do, it doesn't stay 'just friends' for long, generally). That's why sex is different, and you can't apply the same logic to it. 

 

Of course, asexuals don't see sex as bonding - frequently, quite the opposite - which is why it doesn't make much sense purely from that point of view to insist the objection is directly impingeing on a couple's bonding. The real problem is that asexuals understand that sexuals do bond through sex, and know that increasing bond is a threat. Understandably, they want to avoid that threat, which is why they're uncomfortable with their partners having sex with someone else. They're not having their cake and not letting anyone else have it either.

 

Polys understand the bonding thing, they just have no problem with bonding with several people.

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Traveler40
35 minutes ago, Serran said:

People who are monogamous by nature don't tend to go with the if you aren't doing it with me, I should be free to do it with other people ideal.

I have been a serial monogamist my entire life, can count my partners on one hand, and unwittingly married an asexual man that I love dearly and respect beyond words.  I will not, can not leave for so many reasons. 

 

However, after basically 8 years of spousal imposed celibacy, I could no longer “accept that which is unacceptable” as put by @IronHamster.  It was no longer an option for this monogamist.  I wish it weren’t my option as ideally sex would  be naturally occurring within my marriage.  In any case, I’m working with the Issue at hand.  It is what it is.

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Telecaster68
Quote

 In any case, I’m working with the hand before me.

You might want to rephrase, in the circumstances...

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Traveler40

Hahahahaha yes...too funny. 

 

That better? I’ve made an edit.  Thanks @Telecaster68  Off to work.  Carry on...

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Serran
10 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

It comes down to jealousy and insecurity, and perceiving whatever activity as a threat to the relationship. Opera, ice skating, going to galleries etc could all be a threat to a relationship but when the activity is the kind of thing that everybody also routinely does with friends, it's fairly straightforward to understand how they can not be a threat. Your uncle not liking your aunt going to the opera with another man isn't about the opera, it's about spending time with another man which could lead to a bond and threaten the relationship. It's pretty straightforward, if your uncle and aunt know it's purely because he'd hate going to opera that much, and she loves it, to see that it's just pleasant to spend an evening focussed on opera, and company is secondary, but a positive. If they can accept that about each other, all is fine.

 

Sex, on the other hand, even if it's just about sex, is inherently about a very intimate connection with someone else. It's far, far more likely to lead to a closer emotional bond. We don't do it with friends who are just friends, by and large (or if we do, it doesn't stay 'just friends' for long, generally). That's why sex is different, and you can't apply the same logic to it. 

 

Of course, asexuals don't see sex as bonding - frequently, quite the opposite - which is why it doesn't make much sense purely from that point of view to insist the objection is directly impingeing on a couple's bonding. The real problem is that asexuals understand that sexuals do bond through sex, and know that increasing bond is a threat. Understandably, they want to avoid that threat, which is why they're uncomfortable with their partners having sex with someone else. They're not having their cake and not letting anyone else have it either.

 

Polys understand the bonding thing, they just have no problem with bonding with several people.

There is nothing that would make my Aunt/Uncle accept spending large amounts of time with another person, that in itself would be seen as violating the relationship boundaries. So, no, all would not be fine. Even if they could accept that there was no risk of each other falling for the other person, the act of spending time with someone else like that would be off limits. That is how they have negotiated their relationship. Which is their right.

 

And, honestly, if sex with other people was just upsetting to people because of the risk of further bonding then one night stands would not be as big a deal. Because, yes, its intimate - but if you go to another country and sleep with a person on vacation and have no risk of ever seeing them ever again, don't even have a way to contact them, that is not a risk to the relationship. But, it's still very much going to upset most people. Even without threatening the relationship. 

 

Cheating is a very complex issue and a very individual one, when you get down to all the details. What constitutes cheating has been different in every relationship I've had. There isn't one reason or one activity that is always there. It's something that each couple really should go over, so they know where they stand. I accidentally did something one of my ex's considered cheating, even though I would have never thought it would be a problem, by sharing a bed with a friend cause the hotel room was full. To me it was just practical and nothing intimate. I mean, my mom, brother and brother's gf were all in the hotel room too, so what on earth could have happened? To him, it was a violation of trust that I don't think he'd ever forgive. My brother's gf had a rule that he could do oral and stuff with other people, but not PiV, cause that was just for them. 

 

For me, not being OK with poly isn't really about threatening the relationship. I understand and fully accept that someone can be interested in multiple people and still adore me, come home to me and everything would be fine. However, there are things I can only do with a partner and to me, those things are special. Once they are shared with someone else by a partner, then those things become less special. If they lose that, then I lose interest. It's really that simple for me. And if I'm no longer interested in anything beyond friendship level affection, I don't see a point in being "more than friends". And, though I do not like sex, them having sex with someone else would make things like cuddling/kissing/being naked around them/other sexual stuff not special to me and thus, I would have no desire for it. And our relationship would basically be over. Friendship might remain, but anything romantic would be gone. 

 

Of course, as I've stated multiple time recently, I do not ID as asexual. I do not like oral/anal/PiV sex. However, I do far too many sexual activities for my own enjoyment with my partner to be counted as ace. And I really do get it's something that can be bonding and trust building. Though, for me, that can be achieved through other ways too. But, cheating is still cheating, even if it's not sex. So, there are many needs that may not be met during a relationship that are not OK to meet outside your relationship, according to your partner. And, society frowns upon "emotional cheating" as well as sexual cheating, honestly. Keira Knightly's movie where she had an emotional affair while her spouse was having a sexual one was pretty good at showing the two cases and both are a no-no by societal standards. 

 

41 minutes ago, Traveler40 said:

I have been a serial monogamist my entire life, can count my partners on one hand, and unwittingly married an asexual man that I love dearly and respect beyond words.  I will not, can not leave for so many reasons. 

 

However, after basically 8 years of spousal imposed celibacy, I could no longer “accept that which is unacceptable” as put by @IronHamster.  It was no longer an option for this monogamist.  I wish it weren’t my option as ideally sex would  be naturally occurring within my marriage.  In any case, I’m working with the Issue at hand.  It is what it is.

Not being fully satisfied with a relationship is a reason most people use for cheating, honestly. One study I read asked people who had cheated on their spouses a series of questions, including if they were sexually satisfied with their spouse. Many said they were sexually satisfied, but not emotionally satisfied, so that is why they were having sex with other people (can make them feel special, will listen to what they have to say, etc, etc). "I'm not getting what I need, so I will get it outside my marriage" is not an uncommon reason, no matter what it is you're not getting. However, that reason is generally not well received by the person they have cheated on, understandably so. My cousin cheated on her spouse because after 18 years or so of marriage, she was tired of not being fulfilled sexually - he wasn't affectionate enough, he didn't want to experiment with new things, etc. I'm not saying the reason isn't one many have. I'm just saying you can't say your partner shouldn't be upset or consider it an important change to the relationship, as Ironhamster keeps saying, just because you can't provide something within the marriage. Of course it's still important to the monogamous partner, when their partner decides to go to non-monogamy. Even if the reason is that there is something that the partner cannot provide that the other one needs. 

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Telecaster68
2 minutes ago, Serran said:

There is nothing that would make my Aunt/Uncle accept spending large amounts of time with another person, that in itself would be seen as violating the relationship boundaries.

Presumably because the spending large amounts of time is the threat to the relationship - the more time you spend with someone, the more you'll form a bond, and it'll take time away from the main relationship. 

 

3 minutes ago, Serran said:

the act of spending time with someone else like that would be off limits. That is how they have negotiated their relationship. Which is their right.

The logical conclusion of it purely being about the opposite sex is that neither of them have any friends of the opposite sex. Is that the case?

 

3 minutes ago, Serran said:

if sex with other people was just upsetting to people because of the risk of further bonding then one night stands would not be as big a deal

They're not, for most people. They're still big, because of sex, but they're generally seen as less bad than an affair that goes on for years.

 

4 minutes ago, Serran said:

sharing a bed with a friend cause the hotel room was full. To me it was just practical and nothing intimate. I mean, my mom, brother and brother's gf were all in the hotel room too, so what on earth could have happened? To him, it was a violation of trust that I don't think he'd ever forgive.

This sounds like something you didn't know, and your motives weren't cheating. I don't see what trust has been violated. Boundaries aren't always reasonable or workable.

 

4 minutes ago, Serran said:

cheating is still cheating, even if it's not sex. So, there are many needs that may not be met during a relationship that are not OK to meet outside your relationship, according to your partner. And, society frowns upon "emotional cheating" as well as sexual cheating, honestly. Keira Knightly's movie where she had an emotional affair while her spouse was having a sexual one was pretty good at showing the two cases and both are a no-no by societal standards. 

Society does frown on it, but it doesn't have the iconic absolutist reaction in general. I think most people understand that tea and sympathy over a relationship problem, or just a well established friendship with someone of the opposite sex could easily veer into what some people might see as emotional affair territory, especially if the main relationship was in trouble. I've yet to see that spark the reaction 'just leave, it's irrecoverable and The End' in the same way a sexual affair will for many people. An emotional affair could well be worse for a relationship than a drunken one night stand for instance, but my experience is that people tend to be far more thoughtful in their reaction to it.

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Serran
5 hours ago, Telecaster68 said:

Presumably because the spending large amounts of time is the threat to the relationship - the more time you spend with someone, the more you'll form a bond, and it'll take time away from the main relationship. 

They go by the  thought that your spouse deserves the majority of your time, so you shouldn't be spending much time with other people.

 

5 hours ago, Telecaster68 said:

 

The logical conclusion of it purely being about the opposite sex is that neither of them have any friends of the opposite sex. Is that the case?

Neither of them really has friends they spend time with of either sex, since marriage. Don't spend as much time with family, either. Their preferred relationship model is a bubble with just them in it. *shrug* To each their own and as long as they are both happy with it.

 

5 hours ago, Telecaster68 said:

 

They're not, for most people. They're still big, because of sex, but they're generally seen as less bad than an affair that goes on for years.

They're still big and they're still likely to cause serious issues in a marriage, if not divorce. An affair that goes on for years is worse, but a lot of that is also it's living a lie with your spouse for years. 

 

5 hours ago, Telecaster68 said:

 

This sounds like something you didn't know, and your motives weren't cheating. I don't see what trust has been violated. Boundaries aren't always reasonable or workable.

I didn't know, but that doesn't mean hurt didn't happen and trust wasn't damaged. To him it was a big deal, to me it wasn't - but I still had to respect his feelings on the matter, rather than dismiss them. I don't have to agree with them (I really don't see that as a big deal and if my partner did something similar, I'd be fine with it), but to dismiss it as he should not have been upset would be even more hurtful to him. 

 

5 hours ago, Telecaster68 said:

 

Society does frown on it, but it doesn't have the iconic absolutist reaction in general. I think most people understand that tea and sympathy over a relationship problem, or just a well established friendship with someone of the opposite sex could easily veer into what some people might see as emotional affair territory, especially if the main relationship was in trouble. I've yet to see that spark the reaction 'just leave, it's irrecoverable and The End' in the same way a sexual affair will for many people. An emotional affair could well be worse for a relationship than a drunken one night stand for instance, but my experience is that people tend to be far more thoughtful in their reaction to it.

Hmm. People I know tend to judge both pretty harsh, if the person did anything to encourage the emotional affair (it's one thing if you just fall for someone and you didn't mean to, it's another if you noticed and didn't try to stop it). Both types in my personal experiences got a  mix of "they don't deserve you if they do that" and "are you two going to try to work it out?" from people. Some worked it out, some didn't. 

 

Though, if I am being honest, what society condemns tends to not make sense to me. My boss last week was telling a story about how her son invited her ex husband over to their house and she wouldn't let him in without his wife present, even to attend her son's birthday party, because it was disrespectful to his new wife. And every one of my coworkers was agreeing completely with that. And I was just sitting there thinking "But it's his son. Surely his wife can trust him enough to go to his son's party without her?" But, they were all judging him trying to show up at all without his wife, as if he was plotting cheating on her just by being near his ex-wife. 

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MrDane
6 minutes ago, Serran said:

They go by the  thought that your spouse deserves the majority of your time, so you shouldn't be spending much time with other people.

 

Neither of them really has friends they spend time with of either sex, since marriage. Don't spend as much time with family, either. Their preferred relationship model is a bubble with just them in it. *shrug* To each their own and as long as they are both happy with it.

 

They're still big and they're still likely to cause serious issues in a marriage, if not divorce. An affair that goes on for years is worse, but a lot of that is also it's living a lie with your spouse for years. 

 

I didn't know, but that doesn't mean hurt didn't happen and trust wasn't damaged. To him it was a big deal, to me it wasn't - but I still had to respect his feelings on the matter, rather than dismiss them. I don't have to agree with them (I really don't see that as a big deal and if my partner did something similar, I'd be fine with it), but to dismiss it as he should not have been upset would be even more hurtful to him. 

 

Hmm. People I know tend to judge both pretty harsh, if the person did anything to encourage the emotional affair (it's one thing if you just fall for someone and you didn't mean to, it's another if you noticed and didn't try to stop it). Both types in my personal experiences got a  mix of "they don't deserve you if they do that" and "are you two going to try to work it out?" from people. Some worked it out, some didn't. 

 

Though, if I am being honest, what society condemns tends to not make sense to me. My boss last week was telling a story about how her son invited her ex husband over to their house and she wouldn't let him in without his wife present, even to attend her son's birthday party, because it was disrespectful to his new wife. And every one of my coworkers was agreeing completely with that. And I was just sitting there thinking "But it's his son. Surely his wife can trust him enough to go to his son's party without her?" But, they were all judging him trying to show up at all without his wife, as if he was plotting cheating on her just by being near his ex-wife. 

I think, it is , not only about the quantity of time, but more about the quality. If I go out and share the best  time of my life with someone else, then there is a good reason to fear that I would like more of “fantastic” and less of “everyday-dullness”.

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)
8 hours ago, Telecaster68 said:

asexuals don't see sex as bonding - frequently, quite the opposite - which is why it doesn't make much sense purely from that point of view to insist the objection is directly impingeing on a couple's bonding. The real problem is that asexuals understand that sexuals do bond through sex, and know that increasing bond is a threat. Understandably, they want to avoid that threat, which is why they're uncomfortable with their partners having sex with someone else. They're not having their cake and not letting anyone else have it either.

I read all your responses after this one @Telecaster68and I have to say, I feel like the issue here is more an issue between naturally monogamous people and less naturally monogamous people, than sexuals and asexuals. An asexual (and I was functionally asexual with an asexual partner back in 2014, but not just going on my own personal experience here) can still feel monogamous desires as strongly as a sexual person regardless of how they feel about sex. They can still be hurt by the idea of their partner even holding hands or having an intimate convo with their partner, let alone something as close as sex where both people are naked and touching very intimate, private parts of each other's bodies. That's extreme, even for an asexual. Just because an asexual doesn't want sex doesn't mean they're like 'okay yeah anyone can touch my genitals and breasts and I can touch anyone else's genitals and breasts and that's totally fine because hey, it's not intimate, right?' Lol, just because they may not find the sex act itself intimate, touching someone else's naked body is still a very personal, private act and a total breach of the monogamy in the relationship in the same way (but obviously to a much greater extent) as holding someone's hand would be, or kissing someone, or even just lying naked in a bed with someone (all of which are a still a big issue for a naturally monogamous person).

 

Now, I understand you have very different ideas on monogamy than I do, but that's what I was getting at in the beginning of this comment. It's more that your ideas on what constitutes monogamy are so different than what deeply innately monogamous (monoamorous) people feel that it's just very hard to see it from our perspective. I think I've seen you say in the past here that if there's no sex, then there isn't monogamy because there needs to be sex for it to even exist? (Forgive me if it was someone else who said that, by the way!!) but that seems to also be the perspective that IronHamster has on the matter too. I'd wonder if we lived in a world where poly was totally 100% acceptable and even encouraged, if people on your side of the fence would maybe naturally congregate towards happy poly situations even if your partners were fully sexual but were fine with you having sex with other people and even encouraged it. Would you have multiple sexual partners and one main emotional partner? Or at the very least, be much more open to seeking sex partners outside a relationship if you knew your partner didn't have an issue with it, even if you were getting sex from her? Maybe you yourself wouldn't want that, but I've known many naturally poly people who would feel really happy with that situation. Whereas, to deeply naturally monogamous person, that idea is literally repulsive. It causes an actual physical reaction inside the body just considering the idea of either yourself or your partner seeking any kind of intimacy outside the relationship as you're literally only capable of wanting any kind of intimacy with ONE person, even if no sex is happening, and you *need* your partner to feel the same back. Anything else is too painful to even consider.

 

But yeah, sex is still an act involving deeply personal and private parts of the body, even for an asexual who places no importance on the act itself or at least, gets nothing from it even if they wish they could (because that would make life so much easier!). And the other thing is, asexuals still often desire deep emotional intimacy just as much as sexual people do, but through other means than sex. Their emotional needs are often also going unmet but not in the way the sexual person could ever be able to understand or even recognise. So knowing that not only are they not getting their emotional needs met, but the sexual is also out meeting their own needs with someone else? That can still cut deeply for a naturally monogamous person. A naturally non-monogamous person though won't see that as strange or odd and won't take any issue with it. I often see you assuming more the latter attitude for asexuals which is what leads me to think it's more an issue with different inherent feelings about monogamy than this particular issue actually being a sexual vs. asexual thing.

 

Regardless, this is all just another of many reasons why sexuals and asexuals will almost never be sexually compatible :P

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Traveler40
8 hours ago, Serran said:

However, that reason is generally not well received by the person they have cheated on, understandably so. My cousin cheated on her spouse because after 18 years or so of marriage, she was tired of not being fulfilled sexually - he wasn't affectionate enough, he didn't want to experiment with new things, etc. I'm not saying the reason isn't one many have. I'm just saying you can't say your partner shouldn't be upset or consider it an important change to the relationship

My husband isn’t being cheated on in my mind.  We came together in agreement to open our marriage as a solution to a clearly devastating problem.  While he may be upset on some level (he has said he feels inadequate and less of a man at times) I also believe he feels quite relieved....

 

For the record, I’ve never implied my husband should/should not feel a certain way about our mutually agreed upon arrangement.  It’s a work in progress that we deal with head on through ongoing communication.

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)
2 hours ago, Traveler40 said:

My husband isn’t being cheated on in my mind.  We came together in agreement to open our marriage as a solution to a clearly devastating problem.  While he may be upset on some level (he has said he feels inadequate and less of a man at times) I also believe he feels quite relieved....

 

For the record, I’ve never implied my husband should/should not feel a certain way about our mutually agreed upon arrangement.  It’s a work in progress that we deal with head on through ongoing communication.

It's only 'cheating' if it's done without the agreement of all involved (that includes the third party, they need to be aware if one already is in a relationship before sex happens). 

 

As a side-note about the monogamy thing, if monogamy can only be maintained if sex is happening then then that to me is like 'i can only choose to be celibate as long as I'm not having sex'.. I guess the way to look at it is monogamy can be practiced even if someone is not innately monoamorous (only able to desire intimacy with the one person they're emotionally attracted to and only able to be emotionally attracted to one person at a time), but someone can't be monoamorous without also being innately monogamous.

 

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Traveler40
28 minutes ago, FictoVore. said:

As a side-note about the monogamy thing, if monogamy can only be maintained if sex is happening then then that to me is like 'i can only choose to be celibate as long as I'm not having sex'.. I guess the way to look at it is monogamy can be practiced even if someone is not innately monoamorous (only able to desire intimacy with the one person they're emotionally attracted to and only able to be emotionally attracted to one person at a time), but someone can't be monoamorous without also being innately monogamous.

While I understand what you’re saying, strict definitions really don’t work in this circumstance I suppose. Marriage - as opposed to friendship - generally includes sex.  While I’m in partnership and friendship with my husband and committed on paper, I certainly do not maintain a husband and wife relationship by definition.  I believe I’m monoamorous and monogamous, but I don’t think being defined actually matters.  My point is that nothing is black and white as this is “abnormal” and trying to clarify that which can not be made inherently clear may be crazy making.

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Telecaster68
9 hours ago, FictoVore. said:

An asexual (and I was functionally asexual with an asexual partner back in 2014, but not just going on my own personal experience here) can still feel monogamous desires as strongly as a sexual person regardless of how they feel about sex. They can still be hurt by the idea of their partner even holding hands or having an intimate convo with their partner, let alone something as close as sex where both people are naked and touching very intimate, private parts of each other's bodies. That's extreme, even for an asexual. Just because an asexual doesn't want sex doesn't mean they're like 'okay yeah anyone can touch my genitals and breasts and I can touch anyone else's genitals and breasts and that's totally fine because hey, it's not intimate, right?'

I completely understand that an asexual can be hurt by holding hands, intimate conversations between their partner and someone else, because both imply emotional intimacy. But it's a very different thing than issues about sovereignty over their own body, which is the second part of what you're saying (and obviously everyone should have that). 

 

It seems to me that it's do to with people willingly giving up some element of sovereignty over not only their body but their life as part of being in a relationship - because that's what relationships are all about. Being in a relationship means we are happily saying 'this other person has a major say in what I do, and vice versa, because both our lives are enriched by being intertwined'. If it were otherwise, we'd just write off everything our partners thought and wanted, and it wouldn't really be a relationship. We all get to say how far that goes, but relationships aren't two lives running in parallel, never taking any notice of the other's wishes.

 

But... asexuals' position over sex seems to be 'when it comes to us having sex, it's not important enough for me to compromise because it hurts me too much, and when it comes to you having sex, you should compromise to the point of never having sex again because that would mean someone else was involved and that hurts me too'. The sexual points out that they're doing all the compromising here and the asexual's needs are being forced on both of them - in essence, the asexual has sovereignty over both people's bodies, and the sexual has no say in it - but this carries no weight. It's fundamentally unfair for one partner to say sex has no place in a relationship when they're avoiding hurt to themselves (by having sex), but does have a place when the consequences are going to hurt them (by their partner having sex with someone else).

 

9 hours ago, FictoVore. said:

It's more that your ideas on what constitutes monogamy are so different than what deeply innately monogamous (monoamorous) people feel that it's just very hard to see it from our perspective.

I think you're conflating mine and Hamster's views a little too much.

 

I am naturally monogamous, in an ideal world - at some (earlyish) stage in a relationship, I can almost feel a little switch trip emotionally and I genuinely, deeply have absolutely no interest in anyone else. For instance, I was in a LDR at uni, and despite the opportunities for getting away with 'extra curricular' activities all the time I was there, I had no interest whatsoever. It took no effort to remain faithful to my then girlfriend.

 

9 hours ago, FictoVore. said:

I think I've seen you say in the past here that if there's no sex, then there isn't monogamy because there needs to be sex for it to even exist? (Forgive me if it was someone else who said that, by the way!!) but that seems to also be the perspective that IronHamster has on the matter too.

I don't think I've said that outright, but I do have a lot of sympathy with the idea, at least if it's narrowly about sex. Once we get past the kneejerk religion-based 'infidelity is wrong' reaction we need to think about why it's wrong, and my answer is that there are things that only happen one-on-one between that couple (hence 'mono') and those things are what create that bond to make being in that couple a unique bit of both people's lives. Sex is one of those things, so if sex happens outside the couple it becomes no longer unique, no longer differentiating being in that couple from other relationships, and the emotional bonding will happen less in the couple, and more outside the couple, which will weaken that bond, cause all sorts of emotional conflicts and distress and could well end up destroying the relationship.

 

But where sex isn't about closeness and bonding for a couple, like if one of them's asexual, then sex isn't that unique, couple-strengthening, one on one experience. To that extent, there's no monogamy (or depending on how you define it, there could be monogamy, but it would have no value).

 

9 hours ago, FictoVore. said:

Their emotional needs are often also going unmet but not in the way the sexual person could ever be able to understand or even recognise.

Are they going unmet? Sometimes asexuals list their non-sexual emotional needs and they tend to be about conversations, shared experiences, trust, etc. I don't see why any of those should be missing.

 

If you mean asexuals' emotional needs aren't being met because they know their partner is unhappy, then one way of dealing with that is not to insist on sexual monogamy. If they feel they can't do that, I'd come back to my point about what they're asking of their partner: that their partner's needs are subordinate to their own and no compromise is to be made. No relationship is going to survive that.

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alibali

I suppose my issue if a sexual goes outside the relationship for sex, arent they going to form a unique bond with someone else?

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Telecaster68

Yes, that's the aspect I can understand and sympathise with. The bit I don't get is when asexuals don't feel sexual activity is anything to do with intimacy, but then feel the same kind of visceral, personal pain that most sexuals would have. To me, that means they do in fact have some emotional connection to sexuality after all. Perhaps they have other reasons for not wanting to acknowledge it even to themselves, but it's there. 

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IronHamster
11 minutes ago, alibali said:

I suppose my issue if a sexual goes outside the relationship for sex, arent they going to form a unique bond with someone else?

Is there any issue with a second unique bond, or a third?  

 

When my first child was born, I loved her with all my heart and soul.   When my second child was born I did not say, I'm sorry, but I already gave all my love to your big sister and there is nothing left for you.   

 

I do not buy into this notion that love is a limited commodity or there is something wrong with having a deep meaningful relationship with more than one person. 

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