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anamikanon

A question for asexuals

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squaggly

sometimes I think I could be able to bring myself to do the deed, but I swear when things happen sexually with me sometimes I feel like I have an out of body experience and people ask if everything is okay. I think I could be in a relationship with someone who was sexual, but they wouldn't get what they want as much as they want, as well as there being some awkward moments for both of us

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Telecaster68
5 minutes ago, squaggly said:

sometimes I think I could be able to bring myself to do the deed, but I swear when things happen sexually with me sometimes I feel like I have an out of body experience and people ask if everything is okay. I think I could be in a relationship with someone who was sexual, but they wouldn't get what they want as much as they want, as well as there being some awkward moments for both of us

That wasn't the question though.

 

The question was if your partner wasn't interested in providing  [thing you need for intimacy], would you be able to accept that? Or would you expect them to make some effort to meet you halfway, assuming it wasn't painful or distressing?

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Serran

My ex actually didn't like cuddling, or any physical intimacy I enjoyed... he considered it all a means to an end, sex and it was boring and something to get out of the way to get the "fun stuff". Since he didn't like cuddling just to cuddle, I didn't ask him to, because 1) Why put him through hating doing something and 2) It ruined the activity for me to know he was sitting there counting down the minutes til it was over.

 

Sounds a lot like people describe sex, yes, because it is... an incompatibility that makes intimacy hard to reach.

 

As to why it's so hard to have sex if not repulsed, as Pan said, it can be a boring/draining chore that makes you feel very alone / isolated and like there is a wall between yourself and your partner. All the while they're there enjoying it, wanting you to enjoy it and it's the only way they can feel close enough to you. The sheer amount of emotional energy that requires is daunting. It can make it hard to be around them after a while. I used to dread when my partner would come home from work, I began celebrating when he'd say he'd be really late cause that meant a precious few more hours with absolutely no risk of sex where I could do whatever I wanted without worrying about it. Which, you aren't supposed to feel that way about time with your spouse. 

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Telecaster68
1 minute ago, Serran said:

As to why it's so hard to have sex if not repulsed, as Pan said, it can be a boring/draining chore that makes you feel very alone / isolated and like there is a wall between yourself and your partner.

This is what knowing you'll never be desired and sex will always be a concession feels like to a sexual partner all the time, not just the few minutes when sex is happening.

 

3 minutes ago, Serran said:

The sheer amount of emotional energy that requires is daunting

Similar to the amount of energy involved in talking yourself out of the feelings of rejection as a sexual.

 

3 minutes ago, Serran said:

I used to dread when my partner would come home from work, I began celebrating when he'd say he'd be really late cause that meant a precious few more hours with absolutely no risk of sex where I could do whatever I wanted without worrying about it. Which, you aren't supposed to feel that way about time with your spouse. 

Before I gave up entirely on the idea of sex with my wife, I used to dread bedtimes, and waking up, too, because it emphasised what was missing.

 

I'm not flipping those quotes to compete. I'm making the point that it works that way for both sides - and asexuals can just say 'no' to avoid the draining boring chore that requires a daunting amount of emotional energy.

 

Sexuals don't get that choice.

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uhtred
49 minutes ago, Thea2 said:

Exactly. I cannot compromise with my body. Some things one cannot compromise on. E.g. one partner wants children and the other doesn’t.

I think its important to recognize where you can't compromise.  If you and a partner have a difference where that is true, then I think you need to end things. No fault, no blame, but some people are simply not compatible with each other. 

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Serran
Just now, Telecaster68 said:

I'm not flipping those quotes to compete. I'm making the point that it works that way for both sides - and asexuals can just say 'no' to avoid the draining boring chore that requires a daunting amount of emotional energy.

 

 

 Saying no doesn't take away the drain. The sexual giving up on sex doesn't even take away the drain. Because you have to be on guard at all times to avoid hurting them even more and you know at all times you're hurting your partner by just existing as you are. It's a constant drain. It's just more of a drain to have the sex, which lessens the other drain for a day, or maybe two, before it starts all over again. Being wanted sexually is draining when you don't want it. Just like not being wanted sexually is draining if you do want it. And if you say no, or don't give it as often as they want, you also get to deal with the extreme guilt of not being "good enough" to please your partner, because you don't want this thing that they need and to take care of yourself even a little, you have to say no, because otherwise it's going to feel like a disgusting violation you're forcing yourself into unless you get a break from it. 

 

I'm not saying either side has it easy. Both sides have it hard. Both sides hurt, a lot. And often, it's too hard on both sides to keep things going. Both me and my ex are happy the relationship is over. I could never have a relationship that sexual again. He could never have a relationship so non-sexual again. Both of us had things that took years to overcome and get back to "normal", emotionally and psychologically, after the failed attempt at making it work with such a huge mismatch. He struggled to have a normal sex life again. I struggled to trust I could be myself without that causing people to want sex from me. And after he finally admitted I never wanted sex the whole time, his reaction was to apologize for me having to give it to him so much and thank me for doing so much that was so hard for me to do for him, because it finally sunk in how much the constant hurt and anxiety was not just on his side. 

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Telecaster68

@Serran

 

Obviously everything you say can be flipped to apply the inverse to sexuals too, so in a way we can set that aside. It's not about pain/distress caused by sex or the lack. It's about being able to control the source of that pain. Asexuals have that control, by simply saying 'no'. Sexuals can say 'yes' as much as they like, but if their partner says 'no', it doesn't matter. The bodily sovereignty of the asexual over-rides that of the sexual, and clearly it has to be the way, because:rape. I wouldn't for a second argue any different. 

 

But - it does mean the sexual has no agency in a very important part of the relationship, and that's an additional source of pain in itself. It frustrates me that I've never, once, seen an asexual concede this, but to me it's just logic, rather than something involving blame.

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squaggly
33 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

That wasn't the question though.

 

The question was if your partner wasn't interested in providing  [thing you need for intimacy], would you be able to accept that? Or would you expect them to make some effort to meet you halfway, assuming it wasn't painful or distressing?

If all the person wanted in the relationship was sex and didn't ever want to go get ice cream and watch a movie or something like that, I don't think it would be a relationship. I would just be like a sex toy to them, which is something I just can't be. Relationship would be ended.

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squaggly

I don't see why someone would want sex with someone who doesn't enjoy it they don't even want to be with for anything else.

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Telecaster68
3 minutes ago, squaggly said:

If all the person wanted in the relationship was sex and didn't ever want to go get ice cream and watch a movie or something like that, I don't think it would be a relationship. I would just be like a sex toy to them, which is something I just can't be. Relationship would be ended.

Assuming everything else in the relationship was fine, but they didn't want to cuddle or whatever it is that would make you feel it was an intimate relationship, would that be acceptable?

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Serran
11 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

@Serran

 

Obviously everything you say can be flipped to apply the inverse to sexuals too, so in a way we can set that aside. It's not about pain/distress caused by sex or the lack. It's about being able to control the source of that pain. Asexuals have that control, by simply saying 'no'. Sexuals can say 'yes' as much as they like, but if their partner says 'no', it doesn't matter. The bodily sovereignty of the asexual over-rides that of the sexual, and clearly it has to be the way, because:rape. I wouldn't for a second argue any different. 

 

But - it does mean the sexual has no agency in a very important part of the relationship, and that's an additional source of pain in itself. It frustrates me that I've never, once, seen an asexual concede this, but to me it's just logic, rather than something involving blame.

You're sort of missing the point of my post. I was highlighting that both feel similar. So of course things can be said of both sides that can be said of one side. 

 

As far as "control the source of pain"... I think you're looking at it in the wrong light, personally. The source of pain isn't the act of sex, really. It's the lack of desire for it on the asexual's side and the desire for it on the sexual's side. Neither party has any control over those feelings. 

 

Say for example, your wife decided to give you sex every time you desired it from now on. She's giving you what you "want", yes? Only on paper. I can't see you being satisfied with knowing she's sitting there miserable, tolerating you using her body and having no desire or enjoyment from the activity and basically letting you use her as a sex toy. It wouldn't solve your pain at the situation. Just like saying no doesn't remove the pain from the asexual's side, because no matter what activity is or isn't happening, the feelings don't change on either side. And those feelings are the source of pain within the relationship, not the activities that happen or don't happen. Well, in most cases, some people can be satisfied with sex no matter what is going on with their partner during it, so the activity matters... but not many. 

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squaggly
11 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Assuming everything else in the relationship was fine, but they didn't want to cuddle or whatever it is that would make you feel it was an intimate relationship, would that be acceptable?

It would be acceptable and bearable, but not preferrable.

If no one is getting what they want from a relationship like the one mentioned, I think it's better as just friends though. I can't make the other person happy sexually, and I doubt they would make me happy cuddly/platonically

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Telecaster68
2 minutes ago, Serran said:

As far as "control the source of pain"... I think you're looking at it in the wrong light, personally. The source of pain isn't the act of sex, really. It's the lack of desire for it on the asexual's side and the desire for it on the sexual's side. Neither party has any control over those feelings. 

There are multiple posts on here from you about how the act itself is stressful, painful, anxiety inducing, etc., and that's why it's too much to ask as a compromise. Now you're saying the act itself isn't the source of the problem? Are you really saying asexuals are no happier not having sex than having sex?

 

If the act isn't painful (mentally or physically), why is a compromise so impossible? Or are all those posts about how sex when you don't want it is intrusive, painful, stressful etc. wrong?

 

And the act simply is totally under the asexual's control.

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squaggly
1 minute ago, Telecaster68 said:

There are multiple posts on here from you about how the act itself is stressful, painful, anxiety inducing, etc., and that's why it's too much to ask as a compromise. Now you're saying the act itself isn't the source of the problem? Are you really saying asexuals are no happier not having sex than having sex?

 

If the act isn't painful (mentally or physically), why is a compromise so impossible? Or are all those posts about how sex when you don't want it is intrusive, painful, stressful etc. wrong?

 

And the act simply is totally under the asexual's control.

 some asexuals can't stand sex, I cant stand it sometimes, and some are okay with it. Everyone is different 

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Telecaster68
6 hours ago, anamikanon said:

Asexuals aren't interested in sex, but many even are able to enjoy it (and this is strictly about those, not forcing those who are repulsed), so what is the big deal to cause such a big chasm?

Clearly. This thread is aimed at explicitly at the neutral/positive asexuals.

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)
1 hour ago, Telecaster68 said:

This is what knowing you'll never be desired and sex will always be a concession feels like to a sexual partner all the time, not just the few minutes when sex is happening.

No, it's not just when the sex is happening. It's 24/7 because you constantly know your partner will need it soon and you're in a constant state of trying to prepare for it while still being drained from the last time. And it's not a 'few minutes', sex for my partner was an hour minimum and I'm pretty sure I've heard Serran say the same thing (at least 40 mins) in the past. Sex is like a marathon you have to be constantly prepared for even though you know only the other person will enjoy it. It's easier at the start, a lot easier, but after a few months or years, even just knowing it's going to happen in a few days when he gets back from a trip of whatever is enough to make you want to crawl into a hole. At the same time, you love the person and feel that leaving them due to your pain would be cruel.. but that doesn't stop the constant, endless drain that knowing you'll have to have sex causes, while you're still trying to recover emotionally, energetically, and physically from the last time.

 

1 hour ago, Telecaster68 said:

I'm not flipping those quotes to compete. I'm making the point that it works that way for both sides - and asexuals can just say 'no' to avoid the draining boring chore that requires a daunting amount of emotional energy.

 

Sexuals don't get that choice.

You are flipping around, but you keep using inaccurate examples to downplay how it feels for asexuals. Saying 'no' certainly doesn't avoid the drain when your with a partner like mine or Serran's, because 1) you'll have to do it eventually anyway so you're only delaying the inevitable and 2) you'll end up with a very pissed off partner who will probably stomp around expressing how disappointed they are with you, or threaten to leave, or some other way to ensure you feel guilty about not having sex. At the same time, you ALREADY feel guilty that you can't give them what they want in the way they want it. You again, make a blanket statement about sexuals not getting that choice, but for my ex his response if I'd said no would have been to become very angry, smash things, and accuse me of having sex with other men. While obviously not all people react THAT badly, you still know you're going to have to face massive negative consequences for saying no or trying to get out of sex, so in that case it's the sexual that has the power and the asexual that just has to go with sex to avoid the consequences of 'no'.

 

And no, I'm not trying to 'compete on the suffering scale', I just find myself needing to constantly correct these blanket assumptions you have about the asexual side of this. It's frustrating, because we've been explaining this to you for years now, but you still seem to think that every asexual has it easy as pie and can just say no and live in happiness. It's not LIKE that for every asexual though :/

 

23 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

There are multiple posts on here from you about how the act itself is stressful, painful, anxiety inducing, etc., and that's why it's too much to ask as a compromise. Now you're saying the act itself isn't the source of the problem? Are you really saying asexuals are no happier not having sex than having sex?

 

If the act isn't painful (mentally or physically), why is a compromise so impossible? Or are all those posts about how sex when you don't want it is intrusive, painful, stressful etc. wrong?

 

And the act simply is totally under the asexual's control.

It's almost always painful mentally and emotionally eventually, even for an asexual who confesses to 'enjoy' sex (and those are few and far between, they're usually either a regular sexual person OR, they've never actually been in a long-term relationship where they had to have a lot of sex a lot of the time). Ciri (I'm not sure if she's still around on AVEN?) always confessed to enjoying sex even though she said she was asexual. Anyway, I remember very clearly when she went from saying 'I'm asexual and I love having sex' to 'sex is a constant drain, I feel energetically completely empty after, I know my boyfriend wants it but it's taking such a toll on me emotionally', etc etc. Maybe she has someone new now, maybe she likes it again, I don't know.. but for an asexual, even if they 'enjoy' the feelings of sex, it'll still almost always end up being a drain for them and something they want to avoid.. Because otherwise they wouldn't be asexual. If they loved sex just as much as a sexual person, and were able to get as much enjoyment out of it as their sexual partner, and it was never a drain for them.. then they obviously wouldn't be asexual, they'd be sexual.

 

 

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Serran
28 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

There are multiple posts on here from you about how the act itself is stressful, painful, anxiety inducing, etc., and that's why it's too much to ask as a compromise. Now you're saying the act itself isn't the source of the problem? Are you really saying asexuals are no happier not having sex than having sex?

 

If the act isn't painful (mentally or physically), why is a compromise so impossible? Or are all those posts about how sex when you don't want it is intrusive, painful, stressful etc. wrong?

 

And the act simply is totally under the asexual's control.

The act is painful, anxiety inducing, etc, of course. However, as I said, saying no doesn't take away the pain, or anxiety, it just replaces it with a different type. Here are the two options I had to choose from:

 

Having sex:
Potential for physical pain (for me, it sometimes felt like being punched, cause I wasn't aroused)

Anxiety from having to have it

Feeling used and disgusting if having it too often, as you really, really want to say no and are saying yes out of obligation

Bored

Feeling distant from partner

 

 

Not having sex:

Guilty

Low self-esteem and feeling like a bad person, or broken, for not being able to be normal for a partner

Anxiety from knowing saying no causes negative emotional responses

Tense and on guard, trying to avoid doing anything that could be taken as even slightly sexual or arousing

Feeling distant from partner

Expecting a fight to happen soon because they are hurt, stressed and feeling rejected and it usually bleeds out into small things becoming huge blow ups

Having to avoid all physical contact because it's unfair on them since you said no to sex

 

 

The majority of the times, I said yes. However, if I said no, it was because it had become so much that I just literally could not do it without having a very, very serious mental health issue caused by doing so. It's hard to subject yourself to feeling disgusting and used. Especially if you've had sexual trauma in your past. My options were basically feel miserable having sex, or feel miserable not having sex. Sometimes I took barely talking to my partner, hiding in my room (not even getting water if I was thirsty), not eating and trying to not exist to avoid sex for a day because the alternative was that mentally and emotionally bad for me. But, that doesn't mean I was happy go lucky enjoying the no sex time... 

 

6 minutes ago, FictoVore. said:

No, it's not just when the sex is happening. It's 24/7 because you constantly know your partner will need it soon and you're in a constant state of trying to prepare for it while still being drained from the last time. And it's not a 'few minutes', sex for my partner was an hour minimum and I'm pretty sure I've heard Serran say the same thing (at least 40 mins) in the past.

 

 

And yeah... I don't get the people who say few minutes for sex? Like, the shortest sexy times I've ever experienced was half an hour? With my ex it was 40 minutes from the time you started stimulating his penis to the orgasm... and he wasn't into foreplay, thankfully, so didn't have to extend it with that. But, often times it is an hour or more ? o.O I wish it was a few minutes! But, out of now five partners, I've never had sexual encounters that were that short. 

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squaggly

the more my relationship asked for sex, the less I felt I could give.

after the first month: Okay with sexual talk and touching because she wants it

after the 6th month: Not "okay" with it but would do for her and wondering why she wants so much

after 10th month: Actually feel like being raped when she kisses you, and forcibly get her off of you

after 1 year: Be broken up for a month because no one can be happy anymore and realize you are asexual

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Telecaster68

Even accepting all that - which I do, and I've never denied, we still get back to the agency thing. Asexual doesn't want sex - that's what happens, whatever the sexual wants. Sexual wants sex - not going to happen unless the asexual does too.

 

I'm not attaching any blame, or saying the asexual shouldn't have the right to say no. I'm just asking for recognition of how it works instead of putting up chaff about how awful sex can be for an asexual.

 

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squaggly
9 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Even accepting all that - which I do, and I've never denied, we still get back to the agency thing. Asexual doesn't want sex - that's what happens, whatever the sexual wants. Sexual wants sex - not going to happen unless the asexual does too.

 

I'm not attaching any blame, or saying the asexual shouldn't have the right to say no. I'm just asking for recognition of how it works instead of putting up chaff about how awful sex can be for an asexual.

 

I understand what you are trying to say. I just don't see how someone could want sex but not anything else. That's just me being ace and not understanding of sex though, I guess.

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Telecaster68

It's not about wanting sex in an otherwise arid relationship, it's about understanding that a fundamental ability to choose something important about your life - whether, when and how you have sex - has been removed unilaterally by the closest person in your life. 

 

This isn't petulant whining. Having a degree of control and agency over things that are important to us is important in our sense of having a worthwhile life, and its lack is often a cause in depression. It also is a lack of reciprocity, which makes most people feel undervalued in a relationship, again leading to depression and emotional withdrawal. 

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squaggly

I still don't understand why there would be a lack of cuddly things, but there would be sex. To me that's the part that's confusing about what you are trying to say

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anamikanon

Following this conversation. I don't see why it is so hard for asexuals to see what @Telecaster68is saying. It is simple circumstances. Short of rape/abuse, an ace can make his preference happen unilaterally. A sexual can't.

 

Both aces and sexuals compromise or impose to varying degrees in a relationship, but the odds are stacked against the sexual inherently, because they cannot actualize their preference without the cooperation of someone opposed to it. This isn't laying blame on everyone, but the reluctance to acknowledge this basic handicap that is unfair, but also unavoidable has started reading like rubbing salt to a wound. Not just are you at a disadvantage, it cannot even be recognized. I have no idea why. It is just basic rational reading of the situation, not a blame game.

 

Sexual wants sex (S), Ace doesn't (A)

 

S asks + A agrees = Sex

S doesn't ask + A is not asked = no sex

S asks + A disagrees = no sex

S waits to be asked + A doesn't ask = no sex

 

Rest you can argue up and down the town with selective examples of suffering. 

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squaggly
1 minute ago, anamikanon said:

Following this conversation. I don't see why it is so hard for asexuals to see what @Telecaster68is saying. It is simple circumstances. Short of rape/abuse, an ace can make his preference happen unilaterally. A sexual can't.

 

Both aces and sexuals compromise or impose to varying degrees in a relationship, but the odds are stacked against the sexual inherently, because they cannot actualize their preference without the cooperation of someone opposed to it. This isn't laying blame on everyone, but the reluctance to acknowledge this basic handicap that is unfair, but also unavoidable has started reading like rubbing salt to a wound. Not just are you at a disadvantage, it cannot even be recognized. I have no idea why. It is just basic rational reading of the situation, not a blame game.

I sort of understand I think. I just think the original phrasing of the question was a little confusing. It got me thinking more about a relationship without anything but sex and I don't see how that would be good for anyone. I can't think of anyone who would want this, but there is probably someone. I see the handicap for the sexual people, but neither side understands the handicap for the other. I don't see how no sex could be bad, and sexual people don't see how no sex could be good. As I've said before, I could probably bring myself to do the deed sometimes on occasions, but not nearly enough for someone who wants it. And for me this limitation sometimes shows itself physically. It's hard to explain, but I think it's easier for some sexuals to have less than it is for some asexual to have more

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squaggly

and again, there is misunderstanding from both groups. We don't understand them, and they don't understand us. We're both going to have differing opinions, probably until the end of time

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squaggly

Another thing, if someone I'm in a relationship with wants to have sex more than I can give, I would be fine if they moved in to a poly relationship if they tell me. I don't know if that would work for everyone, but I think it could help settle it so that no one is really giving up anything. The person in the relationship could be my QPP, and they could have someone for the sexual stuff they want as well.

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Telecaster68

It's nothing to do with enjoying sex or not, it's just logic. 

 

I'm starting to think it's not that asexuals can't recognise it, but they won't recognise it, because it creates a cognitive dissonance with the in-group identity of asexuals being victims. 

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Thea2
19 hours ago, Telecaster68 said:

It's not about wanting sex in an otherwise arid relationship, it's about understanding that a fundamental ability to choose something important about your life - whether, when and how you have sex - has been removed unilaterally by the closest person in your life. 

 

This isn't petulant whining. Having a degree of control and agency over things that are important to us is important in our sense of having a worthwhile life, and its lack is often a cause in depression. It also is a lack of reciprocity, which makes most people feel undervalued in a relationship, again leading to depression and emotional withdrawal. 

@Telecaster68 Yes. I do sympathize 🌸

 

(1) The asexual can say no. (2) you are a gentleman and love her.

So what happens is out of your control (1) and how you can respond to it is out of your control (2).

Result is a lack of agency that can cause depression.

 

(3) Lack of reciprocity. (4) you are who you are and it makes you feel undervalued.

Again, what happens is out of your control (3) and how one feels is difficult to change (4)

Again lack of agency. Emotional withdrawal is a natural reaction but will start a vicious circle. 

 

I have no answers. It’s Life 101:

- You can’t always have what you want 

- Some things you have to deal with on your own

 

Best wishes to you in a very difficult situation 🍀

 

 

 

 

 

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squaggly
2 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

It's nothing to do with enjoying sex or not, it's just logic. 

 

I'm starting to think it's not that asexuals can't recognise it, but they won't recognise it, because it creates a cognitive dissonance with the in-group identity of asexuals being victims. 

I don't understand sex and I never will. That's my problem, and I'll have to live with that. But people who do understand sex don't understand that I don't understand, and take my lack of understanding as ignorance. I personally don't think I'm a victim of anything though

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anamikanon

You'd be surprised by how much women can understand a reluctance to have sex. You spend your life wary of unwelcome gropes, potential for rape. Even a FULLY sexual nymphomaniac fully "gets" sex aversion when you don't want sex. Forget threats from strangers and rape, a lousy sexual partner in a consensual relationship can make sex very unpleasant. Men are more likely to get off regardless. Also less likely to be physically dominated, touched roughly in tender places to the point of getting tears and more. We are talking about sex being unpleasant and repulsive and painful? Women are disproportionately injured as a result of sex. We UNDERSTAND reluctance, aversion, drain, violation, even if we are sexual.

 

In the sense of, I have absolutely no difficulty understanding my ace's reluctance. I catch it way before he objects. Every single time. Because I've been there. I know what a wary silence of the body means, and I don't need it to escalate to a flinch and refusal to not wish to harm him. (you may be able to recognize this sequence within you when you are averse. You freeze, you move away, you object. How did I, a sexual know this?)

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