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ryn2

Another comparison...

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ryn2

As I’ve thought about this (and some of the other threads... but this one is mine so I don’t feel guilty taking it off-topic) more, it’s hit me that I’m not really all that different about sex than I am about other things.

 

I’m not “inspired” to do things.  Urges don’t typically come over me.  To make sure I do something, I have to do it regularly (daily works best, but I can go with specific days per week as well).  Once I let the rigid schedule slip, it’s very easy for me to stop doing the thing at all.  If/when I remember, there’s a big hurdle (with negative feelings) to get over before I can restart.  Often something worse than that  hurdle needs to happen in order to push me into restarting.

 

When I am doing something regularly, I may feel pleased with myself.  I may look forward to it more some days than I do others.  But it never just pops into my head spontaneously, not as something I want to do.

 

This is true for sex, sure.  It’s also true for working out (both cardio and strength training), writing, eating healthily, getting to work on time, keeping in touch with friends, keeping up with social media, remembering to fuel my car, and everything else I can think of.

 

I was raised by a parent with OCD and have OCD tendencies, but not the full-on disorder.  I used to massively frustrate my therapist who was trying to get me to eat mindfully because “what does your body want to eat?” is a hopeless exercise.  Left to my own devices I will cheerfully eat the same thing every day, although I do like a broad range of foodstuffs.

 

I know when I need to pee, defecate, yawn, cough, sneeze, etc.  I know when I am hungry, although if I put it out of mind the sensation will fade quickly.  I just never have the sense of *wanting* something (outside the inverse, where I want to avoid painful things).

 

Huh.

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TryingWife
5 hours ago, MrDane said:

Afterwards my batteries are charged. I believe in myself and feel worth something. It clears my mind of stress and worries. But thats just me!

I think this is an interesting and possibly enlightening observation.  I've been struggling with  "why does he seem to want to screw when I am totally broken down?"  And I'm wondering if in his world, sex is rejuvenating and restorative instead of draining?   Is it possible that he thinks he is reaching out to me and caring for me instead of my interpretation that he is just a horny guy totally oblivious to my pain and suffering at that moment? 

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)
35 minutes ago, TryingWife said:

I think this is an interesting and possibly enlightening observation.  I've been struggling with  "why does he seem to want to screw when I am totally broken down?"  And I'm wondering if in his world, sex is rejuvenating and restorative instead of draining?   Is it possible that he thinks he is reaching out to me and caring for me instead of my interpretation that he is just a horny guy totally oblivious to my pain and suffering at that moment? 

Well regardless of how he's looking at it,  it's still not okay to try to have sex with you if you're clearly in pain and totally exhausted mentally and/or physically. It's only 'rejuvinating' in the way Mr Dane is talking about when the other person desires and enjoys the sex as much as you do,that way you can feed off each other's pleasure which is a very exhilarating experience. What your partner is doing sounds very different from that if he's trying to initiate sex when you're clearly broken down 😕

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TryingWife
41 minutes ago, FictoVore. said:

Well regardless of how he's looking at it,  it's still not okay to try to have sex with you if you're clearly in pain and totally exhausted mentally and/or physically. It's only 'rejuvinating' in the way Mr Dane is talking about when the other person desires and enjoys the sex as much as you do,that way you can feed off each other's pleasure which is a very exhilarating experience. What your partner is doing sounds very different from that if he's trying to initiate sex when you're clearly broken down 😕

Maybe. I guess I was starting to look at it as maybe if he would find sex comforting and feel cared for if I wanted him sexually when he feels totally beaten by life, that maybe he presumed I would have the same experience.  Kinda like the extrovert who thinks you must want them to come visit when you feel like crap.

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)
1 minute ago, TryingWife said:

Maybe. I guess I was starting to look at it as maybe if he would find sex comforting and feel cared for if I wanted him sexually when he feels totally beaten by life, that maybe he presumed I would have the same experience.  Kinda like the extrovert who thinks you must want them to come visit when you feel like crap.

I can totally see how you'd (oh wow I just remembered a really creepy dream I had last night, somehow responding to your post reminded me of it) :o Anyway I can totally see how someone, especially an ace, may come to the conclusion that you have after reading Mr Danes comment, but it really doesn't work the same way when it comes to sex as it does for other things  (like the extrovert visiting example). We are kind of conditioned not to pressure a partner for sex if they clearly feel like shit. Unless they've shown previously that it really cheers them up quickly then it's just an automatic no go. And even then, it's kind of expected that they'll be showing some signs of wanting it to help them feel better. If they haven't responded positively in the past then sex is definitely just a no go if they're clearly in emotional and/or physical pain. Seriously I actually think very few people could even enjoy sex under those circumstances (having sex with a clearly emotionally drained and upset partner) unless the unwell partner was clearly indicating that they desire the sex to help themselves feel better!

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ryn2
6 hours ago, TryingWife said:

I think this is an interesting and possibly enlightening observation.  I've been struggling with  "why does he seem to want to screw when I am totally broken down?"  And I'm wondering if in his world, sex is rejuvenating and restorative instead of draining?   Is it possible that he thinks he is reaching out to me and caring for me instead of my interpretation that he is just a horny guy totally oblivious to my pain and suffering at that moment? 

Yes, it *is* interesting, and rather like the whole “what recharges you?” introvert/extravert distinction (“why would you drag me to a party when I’m exhausted?” v. “let’s go to the party; you’ll feel so much better!”).

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ryn2
4 hours ago, FictoVore. said:

We are kind of conditioned not to pressure a partner for sex if they clearly feel like shit.

The partner I had immediately before my current one lacked this conditioning...

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Telecaster68
7 hours ago, TryingWife said:

I think this is an interesting and possibly enlightening observation.  I've been struggling with  "why does he seem to want to screw when I am totally broken down?"  And I'm wondering if in his world, sex is rejuvenating and restorative instead of draining?   Is it possible that he thinks he is reaching out to me and caring for me instead of my interpretation that he is just a horny guy totally oblivious to my pain and suffering at that moment? 

I think most sexuals feel that sex is refreshing and enriching. If you're having a bad day, it can either turn round your feelings, or at least, make the day not a complete right off. The analogy with extravert/introvert is pretty good, I think. It's hard for intraverts to understand how socialising energises extraverts (and vice versa). However, once it's explained, it's not hard to grasp the difference, and allow for it. The problem arises when people who may be sexual but have to be relaxed, calm, happy, etc. persistently find life draining, so they're effectively never in the mood. Asexuality is a little different: however good they're feeling, sex is always an effort at least to start with, so anything draining puts them on the back foot right from the beginning.

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SusannaC

Agree with Tele- if sex is an unpleasant burden for my husband, I have absolutely NO desire. None. Whatsoever.  Regretfully- sex is refreshing, energizing- and makes life so much more tolerable, for me.  As stated above

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ryn2
4 hours ago, Telecaster68 said:

Asexuality is a little different: however good they're feeling, sex is always an effort at least to start with, so anything draining puts them on the back foot right from the beginning.

Yeah, it’s like the introvert’s side of the equation.  Even if it’s fine, or even enjoyable, it’s inherently draining and needs to be budgeted for.

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ryn2
5 hours ago, Telecaster68 said:

The analogy with extravert/introvert is pretty good, I think. It's hard for intraverts to understand how socialising energises extraverts (and vice versa). However, once it's explained, it's not hard to grasp the difference, and allow for it.

This gets a bit into what I was pondering over the weekend.  Since introversion and extraversion aren’t quite as directly tied into “relationship stuff,” there are usually - as long as the couple first work through their differences and learn to understand that the introvert doesn’t need fixing and that needing downtime is not a personal rejection - workable ways for the extravert to recharge batteries outside the relationship.  Whether because of societal pressures towards monogamy or internal monoamory (or both) this often isn’t the case with sex.

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ryn2

I.e., if the only way a partnered extravert could recharge batteries was with his/her/their partner, and that partner was an introvert, issues similar to those in mixed sexual/ace relationships would surface.

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uhtred
12 hours ago, TryingWife said:

I think this is an interesting and possibly enlightening observation.  I've been struggling with  "why does he seem to want to screw when I am totally broken down?"  And I'm wondering if in his world, sex is rejuvenating and restorative instead of draining?   Is it possible that he thinks he is reaching out to me and caring for me instead of my interpretation that he is just a horny guy totally oblivious to my pain and suffering at that moment? 

Quite possibly.  Some people have a very difficult time recognizing that other people don't feel the way that they do.  They think about what *they* would want in some situation and just assume everyone else will feel the same way. 

 

It can take many forms.  When I've had a tough day, my wife tries to make me an extra nice / fancy dinner - which for me is exactly what I don't want, but it is probably what she finds relaxing when she is stressed.     For me sex would be very nice to relax after a bad day, but its something my wife only wants under very specific non-stressed conditions. 

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Telecaster68
18 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

I.e., if the only way a partnered extravert could recharge batteries was with his/her/their partner, and that partner was an introvert, issues similar to those in mixed sexual/ace relationships would surface.

It's also more obvious who's what right from the start. A bookworm is going to know a party animal is a party animal and probably not go for them in the first place; and I guess compromise is easier to negotiate. Intraverts rarely never go out; even the most extraverted extravert stays in sometimes; and it's easier to meet halfway between staying in with a book and partying all weekend, in a way you can't half have sex. Then again extraverts might be more inclined to stay in with their new partner, and introverts to go out. So it does kind of work.

 

And yep, if it meant the other partner had to be the same, tensions would build.

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Telecaster68
18 minutes ago, uhtred said:

Some people have a very difficult time recognizing that other people don't feel the way that they do.  They think about what *they* would want in some situation and just assume everyone else will feel the same way. 

 

It can take many forms.  When I've had a tough day, my wife tries to make me an extra nice / fancy dinner - which for me is exactly what I don't want, but it is probably what she finds relaxing when she is stressed.     For me sex would be very nice to relax after a bad day, but its something my wife only wants under very specific non-stressed conditions.

A couple of years ago, I had an unsuccessful job interview, after being hugely messed around by the employer, and I really, really wanted that job. I was noticeably downcast when my wife got home. She asked me how it went, I said it was a screw up. She said 'okay' and went on to talk about a papercut she had, which really pissed me off. When I pointed this out to her later, she said that she'd have wanted it brushed over and to be left alone. She really had a hard time considering that I might want something different.

 

It definitely plays through to her attitude to sex. The first time I ever did The Talk, she was stunned. She said she thought we were 'on the same page' about not being bothered about sex. This assumption was based entirely on nothing, and also ignoring my (admitted nonverbal) attempts to initiate for years.

 

At the extreme end of this kind of thing, I think it's based on a lack of theory of mind.

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TryingWife

I think your natural reflex is to do what you would want to be done for you.  It takes very purposeful thinking and deliberate sacrifice to go against your natural response and do what your intellect knows might be a better response to the other person's needs in that moment.  I'm a total introvert and my natural reaction to somebody feeling lousy is to give them space because that's what seems like the normal thing to want when you feel lousy. It's natural and comfortable for me to do that.  To do different, I have to consciously process that this person is an extrovert and they truly might need companionship instead of space, and then purposely choose to do what's going to be uncomfortable for me in order to help comfort them in a way that is meaningful to them.

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Telecaster68

How much does it take to figure out what the other person wants though? Reading their body language? If they want company, staying with you, or initiating a hug? Or moving away if they don't? And how quickly can you expect the other person to figure it out?

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InariYana
1 hour ago, SusannaC said:

Agree with Tele- if sex is an unpleasant burden for my husband, I have absolutely NO desire. None. Whatsoever.  Regretfully- sex is refreshing, energizing- and makes life so much more tolerable, for me.  As stated above

I might have felt sexual attraction in the past and I call myself a 'grey-ace', but this really pushes me far towards the asexual side. I can't think of a single instance when sex was energizing or refreshing to me, ever.

It's always been the other way and if I came back home tired, sex would be the last thing on my mind. A shower? Yes. A cuddle on the sofa? Fantastic. Sharing some cheesecake, wine and watching a film? Great. "Let's have sex" would equal "hey, let's go wash our car, right now!" just no... :lol:  

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uhtred
42 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

How much does it take to figure out what the other person wants though? Reading their body language? If they want company, staying with you, or initiating a hug? Or moving away if they don't? And how quickly can you expect the other person to figure it out?

It depends.  Some people are unable to "believe" something even when they are told in very clear terms. 

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ryn2
1 hour ago, Telecaster68 said:

Then again extraverts might be more inclined to stay in with their new partner, and introverts to go out. So it does kind of work.

Yeah, and years ago people thought introversion was a problem, rather than a normal variant, so some introverts acted like party animals to fit in.

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Telecaster68
2 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

Yeah, and years ago people thought introversion was a problem, rather than a normal variant, so some introverts acted like party animals to fit in.

Depends how many years ago... I'm pretty sure that Puritans would've seen introversion as preferable. 

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ryn2
1 hour ago, uhtred said:

Quite possibly.  Some people have a very difficult time recognizing that other people don't feel the way that they do.  They think about what *they* would want in some situation and just assume everyone else will feel the same way. 

 

It can take many forms.  When I've had a tough day, my wife tries to make me an extra nice / fancy dinner - which for me is exactly what I don't want, but it is probably what she finds relaxing when she is stressed.     For me sex would be very nice to relax after a bad day, but its something my wife only wants under very specific non-stressed conditions. 

This is so true!  People also tend to try to help/comfort others this way.  My high school/early college boyfriend I had to unlearn this the hard way when our very different approaches to studying (me: OMG don’t tell me just give me the smallest hint possible; him:  I don’t ask until I’m defeated - just tell me the answer) quickly devolved into thrown textbooks and screaming.

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ryn2
1 hour ago, Telecaster68 said:

How much does it take to figure out what the other person wants though? Reading their body language? If they want company, staying with you, or initiating a hug? Or moving away if they don't? And how quickly can you expect the other person to figure it out?

Alas, “it depends.”  Some people are better readers than others, some wear their hearts on their sleeves where others go to great pains to mask their tells.

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ryn2
1 hour ago, TryingWife said:

I think your natural reflex is to do what you would want to be done for you.  It takes very purposeful thinking and deliberate sacrifice to go against your natural response and do what your intellect knows might be a better response to the other person's needs in that moment.  I'm a total introvert and my natural reaction to somebody feeling lousy is to give them space because that's what seems like the normal thing to want when you feel lousy. It's natural and comfortable for me to do that.  To do different, I have to consciously process that this person is an extrovert and they truly might need companionship instead of space, and then purposely choose to do what's going to be uncomfortable for me in order to help comfort them in a way that is meaningful to them.

Yes, and if someone is in crisis mode stopping to do that conscious processing can be especially hard.

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ryn2
5 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Depends how many years ago... I'm pretty sure that Puritans would've seen introversion as preferable. 

Agreed, but they likely weren’t weighing in on the topic circa 1980.

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Telecaster68

I read something when I was a teenager that was, in retrospect, golden. When you're, ahem, 'with' someone, the stuff they're doing to you is what they would like you to do to them. It works outside of sex too. 

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)
8 hours ago, ryn2 said:

The partner I had immediately before my current one lacked this conditioning...

So did the only 'real life' partner I've had (who I was with for 5 years) but what I was saying was that a decent partner who truly cares would never pressure you into sex if you're clearly feeling pain and/or emotional stress. The person I was responding to was wondering if her partner tries to initiate sex when she's in pain/turmoil out of care for her, because he knows sex makes him feel better so maybe he's just assuming it will be energizing and uplifting for her too.  But no it doesn't really work like that if you're putting your unwell partner's interests first: Sex is certainly something you won't be trying to get them to do under those circumstances if you truly care for their wellbeing.

 

And regardless of all the "it's natural to want to do the thing for someone else that you'd want done for you" comments, it's just different for sex.  It's just an unspoken rule that if your partner is obviously in pain or emotional turmoil, you don't try to have sex with them unless they're showing sure signs of wanting sex. Anyone who doesn't follow that rule is, well, a bit of a jerk.

 

1 hour ago, Telecaster68 said:

How much does it take to figure out what the other person wants though? Reading their body language? If they want company, staying with you, or initiating a hug? Or moving away if they don't? And how quickly can you expect the other person to figure it out?

And when it comes to sex, if the unwell partner is pulling away, showing reluctance etc, and has never actively wanted sex to make them feel better in the past, there's a good chance they don't want this sex this time either. Continuing to ask for it or try to have it with them when they're feeling like that and clearly don't want sex is just not okay.

 

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)
33 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

I read something when I was a teenager that was, in retrospect, golden. When you're, ahem, 'with' someone, the stuff they're doing to you is what they would like you to do to them. It works outside of sex too. 

Depends though 'cause a lot of guys who want to take a girl up the arse don't want her to take them up their arse with a strap-on in return 😛

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ryn2
2 minutes ago, FictoVore. said:

Anyone who doesn't follow that rule is, well, a bit of a jerk.

That was where I was going on that particular one... he was not motivated out of kindness or concern.

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TryingWife
4 hours ago, Telecaster68 said:

How much does it take to figure out what the other person wants though? Reading their body language? If they want company, staying with you, or initiating a hug? Or moving away if they don't? And how quickly can you expect the other person to figure it out?

Probably also depends on how transparent the "feeling lousy"  party is with their wants and needs. Until today, I thought it should be obvious that I wouldn't want that because who the heck wants to screw around when they feel like shit?

Edited by TryingWife
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