Jump to content
ryn2

Another comparison...

Recommended Posts

uhtred
9 hours ago, TryingWife said:

This reminds me of all the "fix your marriage" experts that insist that lack of sexual interest from the wife means that she's not enjoying it enough, because obviously if she could reliably orgasm then she would want sex all the time.  So the focus is various versions of " learn to relax and teach your husband how to pleasure you".  This philosophy is especially popular with the Christian marriage advice crowd.  

 

How much inadequacy does that whole industry create....

I think its because asexuality is fairly rare, so most people really can't imagine not wanting sex unless there is some *problem*

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
uhtred
6 hours ago, mzmolly65 said:

Let me ask you all this; if your spouse was sexual but then suddenly injured and no longer able to move or feel anything from the neck down would you still feel this way?  Would you still feel inadequate, unloved, undesirable?  Would you still consider leaving the marriage?

Consider a different case.  Imagine how you would feel if your partner wanted to spend all day sitting on the sofa, not doing chores, not working, letting you do everything.   Doesn't that feeling change if they are doing it because of a serious injury / illness that make them incapable of doing those things?

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
uhtred
19 minutes ago, Philip027 said:

I'm not claiming that.  I'm responding specifically to the example in the OP; as in someone who would say sex isn't everything to them yet they would still break a relationship over it.  As far as I'm concerned, such a person is outright lying.

Then I think you don't understand.  Think about "necessary but not sufficient".  Think about links in a chain.  I think that there are a lot of things that are not "everything" but that many people would leave over:

 

Not doing a fair share of work / chores.   Not being there to help a partner when you are needed.   Never expressing love or affection in any way.  Never bathing. Never wanting to leave the house.   Never being happy.   

 

All those things are "deal breakers" with me - as is lack of sex. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
uhtred
9 hours ago, TryingWife said:

This reminds me of all the "fix your marriage" experts that insist that lack of sexual interest from the wife means that she's not enjoying it enough, because obviously if she could reliably orgasm then she would want sex all the time.  So the focus is various versions of " learn to relax and teach your husband how to pleasure you".  This philosophy is especially popular with the Christian marriage advice crowd.  

 

How much inadequacy does that whole industry create....

Yes, that one drives me nuts.  Enjoying sex and having an orgasm  are not the same thing at all.   Standard marriage counselor advice when sex is lacking is for the husband to slow things down and enjoy non-sexual cuddling for a few months.  In my case that is usual *all* we ever do. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68

Yep, that's the assumption that 'everyone wants sex in the right circumstances'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
uhtred
1 hour ago, ryn2 said:

Agreed.  I just didn’t agree that the grieving in a mixed relationship is one-sided.

I think it varies a lot.  Some asexuals are aware of how unhappy their partners are, even if they can't find any way to fix the situation. Others are completely unaware.  I'm a convinced that my wife thinks that we have a wonderful marriage.  She is aware that we don't have sex at the crazy frequency that I desire (say 1-2x/week) but views it as a trivial issue, not really a problem.  She views anything I say about it as just an attempt to pressure her into more sex, as my just selfishly wanting a bit more not not something important.  "Like a child who gets upset because they can't have desert every night" was her description.  

 

She will NEVER understand how I"m feeling and what I feel I've sacrificed for her unless I actually leave. and then it will be too late. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SusannaC

Do you believe that 2 times in a week is crazy frequency?  I don’t, and I believe many would agree.  To go months without sex is crazy deprivation to a sexual person!  ..... I also don’t understand why she views the subject as “trivial” and unimportant, since it’s important to you.  These are real adult relationship issues- and comparing you to a child having a tantrum is unfair and selfish, IMO. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
uhtred
Just now, SusannaC said:

Do you believe that 2 times in a week is crazy frequency?  I don’t, and I believe many would agree.  To go months without sex is crazy deprivation to a sexual person!  ..... I also don’t understand why she views the subject as “trivial” and unimportant, since it’s important to you.  These are real adult relationship issues- and comparing you to a child having a tantrum is unfair and selfish, IMO. 

I agree with you, but its easy for people to support almost anything that they want.   Its possible for a near-asexual like my wife to be raised by a conservative mother who teaches that sex is something women do *for* men,  coupled with a lack of desire, and end up with a very solid opinion about sex that is quite far from the mainstream. 

 

The thing is, it shouldn't be "selfish".  If she were not asexual, sex would be something she would enjoy as well.  The question would never come up at all. 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ryn2
1 hour ago, Telecaster68 said:

If the person with that attitude was unable or unwilling to change, I can see a relationship ending over it. 

Agreed, there’s just less of a sense of those items being hopeless.  Whether or not they actually change, there’s the promise that they can.

 

1 hour ago, Telecaster68 said:

But none of that means that the other person is making a relationship entirely about trust, or morality or life aims in the way that Philip is claiming sex is everything about a relationship to sexuals.

I’m not sure that’s true.  In my experience someone who breaks up over those items is likely to say “I just couldn’t deal with his bigoted comments anymore” or “I couldn’t handle her lying” when asked why he/she/they ended the relationship 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68

People tend not to say 'I just couldn't handle the lack of sex' because it's embarrassing, I suspect. I think the usual code is 'we were just growing apart/like room mates' etc.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ryn2
1 hour ago, uhtred said:

Consider a different case.  Imagine how you would feel if your partner wanted to spend all day sitting on the sofa, not doing chores, not working, letting you do everything.   Doesn't that feeling change if they are doing it because of a serious injury / illness that make them incapable of doing those things?

 

 

This isn’t the same situation.  The ace partner isn’t “not wanting” to experience sexual desire the way someone who doesn’t want to do the chores is.

 

The solution to laziness that’s getting on your nerves is to tell the partner to suck up and do the chores anyways.  You’ve already stated that’s not an acceptable solution to the sexual mismatch because you don’t want a partner who is “sucking up and doing it anyways”; you want genuine desire.

 

The equivalent with chores would be wanting a partner who vacuums and does the dishes out of a genuine, intrinsic love for the tasks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ryn2
1 hour ago, uhtred said:

Others are completely unaware

Genuine question - have you seen that persist in the presence of effective, ongoing communication about sex?

 

I can totally see how someone in a relationship where the tough stuff isn’t brought up regularly (for whatever reason) could mistakenly think thing are fine (great, even).  It’s harder to picture how someone could think things were fine when regularly and frequently reminded they aren’t.

 

ETA:  I meant outside your own relationship, where it sounds like there’s an obstacle to communication that just won’t budge)

Edited by ryn2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ryn2
23 minutes ago, uhtred said:

Its possible for a near-asexual like my wife to be raised by a conservative mother who teaches that sex is something women do *for* men,  coupled with a lack of desire, and end up with a very solid opinion about sex that is quite far from the mainstream. 

That actually was the communicated mainstream when/where I grew up, although in retrospect I suspect it didn’t reflect reality.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ryn2
14 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

People tend not to say 'I just couldn't handle the lack of sex' because it's embarrassing, I suspect. I think the usual code is 'we were just growing apart/like room mates' etc.

Agreed on the code, but that’s saying “I broke up over sex.”

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68
Just now, ryn2 said:

Genuine question - have you seen that persist in the presence of effective, ongoing communication about sex?

 

I can totally see how someone in a relationship where the tough stuff isn’t brought up regularly (for whatever reason) could mistakenly think thing are fine (great, even).  It’s harder to picture how someone could think things were fine when regularly and frequently reminded they aren’t.

Honestly it's difficult to tell. My wife says she just forgets in a day or two, which seems incredible to me, but I've seen other asexuals on here say the same thing. 

 

But the usual pattern (certainly applied to me) was that after an initial concerted burst of Talks, the asexual says they'll try to 'work on it', but they can't do it if they feel under pressure. So the sexual backs off for periods of weeks, mostly. And the asexual 'forgets' - I honestly don't know whether genuinely or not. Then it's brought up again by the sexual (diplomatically - we're not talking about sulking or demanding, just trying to initiate a calm conversation). Same as before. After a few weeks of nothing happening, sexuals raise it more persistently, and that's pressure, which makes sex definitely off the table.

 

So sexuals are very, very frequently in the Catch 22 of not mentioning it leads to forgetting or assuming all's well, but bringing it up is pressure, and pressure makes actual sex harder for asexuals.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68
2 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

Agreed on the code, but that’s saying “I broke up over sex.”

It's saying 'we broke up over sex'. Two people were unable to compromise sufficiently.

 

But it's just a gloss for public use. Generally, it's not 'just sex', it's the whole emotional ballgame of a sexless relationship, which I won't rehash here, and that emotional disconnection could just as well have been driven by lack of trust, clashing moral values, etc.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68
7 minutes ago, mzmolly65 said:

Fake it 'til you make it." does not work in the bedroom and only creates trauma.

Well, not with asexuals. I've read posts on other forums where it has, although not many, I admit. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ryn2
9 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Honestly it's difficult to tell. My wife says she just forgets in a day or two, which seems incredible to me, but I've seen other asexuals on here say the same thing. 

 

But the usual pattern (certainly applied to me) was that after an initial concerted burst of Talks, the asexual says they'll try to 'work on it', but they can't do it if they feel under pressure. So the sexual backs off for periods of weeks, mostly. And the asexual 'forgets' - I honestly don't know whether genuinely or not. Then it's brought up again by the sexual (diplomatically - we're not talking about sulking or demanding, just trying to initiate a calm conversation). Same as before. After a few weeks of nothing happening, sexuals raise it more persistently, and that's pressure, which makes sex definitely off the table.

 

So sexuals are very, very frequently in the Catch 22 of not mentioning it leads to forgetting or assuming all's well, but bringing it up is pressure, and pressure makes actual sex harder for asexuals.

I posted something about forgetting (in general) way up the thread, probably on page 2, but no one commented.  I’ll dig it up and quote it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ryn2
7 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Generally, it's not 'just sex', it's the whole emotional ballgame of a sexless relationship, which I won't rehash here, and that emotional disconnection could just as well have been driven by lack of trust, clashing moral values, etc.

But that would be “just trust” or “just conflicting morals.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ryn2
On 6/10/2018 at 6:36 PM, ryn2 said:

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.

This was the “forgetting” post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
uhtred
1 hour ago, ryn2 said:

Genuine question - have you seen that persist in the presence of effective, ongoing communication about sex?

 

I can totally see how someone in a relationship where the tough stuff isn’t brought up regularly (for whatever reason) could mistakenly think thing are fine (great, even).  It’s harder to picture how someone could think things were fine when regularly and frequently reminded they aren’t.

 

ETA:  I meant outside your own relationship, where it sounds like there’s an obstacle to communication that just won’t budge)

There is a woman I know who is married to a near-asexual man.  She reported very similar things - he would just roll his eyes and make fun of her for always being horny when she wanted sex. His response to varied sexual requests was things like "why would you want to do that".  He clearly didn't see it as a significant issue, despite her attempts to let him know.  I don't know if they are divorced yet, we've fallen out of contact, but if they do, I think he will feel blind-sided.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
uhtred
1 hour ago, mzmolly65 said:

One is a choice, the other isn't.  Lazy on the couch is a choice (unless of course the person on the couch is suffering from mental illness/depression, that's a whole different kettle of fish)

 

Asexuals are not "choosing" to be asexual, anymore than an accident victim chooses to be quadriplegic.  (I'm using "accident" simply because I know some people are suggesting that they came into the marriage having sex and it has been removed from the marriage.)  A person who is just discovering they might be asexual doesn't love their partner any less because they have discovered they are asexual, just like an accident victim doesn't love their partner any less because they are now quadriplegic.  Leaving someone because they no longer fulfill your sexual needs is churlish *IF* you truly love them in all other regards.

 

I would not stop loving my husband if he suddenly had an accident and could no longer be the active, busy person I married.

 

I also want to suggest that what I hear from many people is a desire to leave .. but they are not leaving.  Complaining about the lack of sex, is not making your partner want to have sex with you and it's only making both of you miserable.  Sitting on the fence wanting to leave or wanting your partner to change isn't helping you, your spouse or your marriage, so get off the fence.  Either get into the marriage with all your heart no matter what the other person is doing or not doing ... or leave. 

 

 

 

 

Its complicated.  Is the couch potato "choosing" or "depressed".  Sometimes its not clear.   I know a guy who stopped working because it was "too stressful".  OK, maybe for him it is - but its indistinguishable from laziness. 

 

Asexuality is different, but its actually a pretty new concept.  For new relationships, I strongly advise anyone getting into a mixed relationship.  For those of us in long term relationships it can seem too late to leave. 

 

FWIW, I very rarely complain. I've let her know what I want, and she has said she can't do it.  She loves me (in her way) and leaving her would hurt her terribly. I'm simply no willing to do that.  I love her and its not her fault that she doesn't have sexual desire.   If we were newly weds it would be easy, but do I leave her after 30 years? 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ryn2
1 minute ago, uhtred said:

I don't know if they are divorced yet, we've fallen out of contact, but if they do, I think he will feel blind-sided.

Interesting.  I’ve definitely been insensitive (sometimes justifiably, sometimes less/not so) about past sexual partners’ complaints but the net result wasn’t/wouldn’t have been shock so much as resignation with a side of anger.

 

In those cases I 100% knew they were unhappy.  I might have (mis)judged their concerns as trivial and shallow, but that didn’t stop me from seeing the end looming.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
uhtred
1 hour ago, ryn2 said:

This isn’t the same situation.  The ace partner isn’t “not wanting” to experience sexual desire the way someone who doesn’t want to do the chores is.

 

The solution to laziness that’s getting on your nerves is to tell the partner to suck up and do the chores anyways.  You’ve already stated that’s not an acceptable solution to the sexual mismatch because you don’t want a partner who is “sucking up and doing it anyways”; you want genuine desire.

 

The equivalent with chores would be wanting a partner who vacuums and does the dishes out of a genuine, intrinsic love for the tasks.

Not the same. Its more like wanting someone who does chores out of a sense of fairness and the idea that marriage means sharing work.  That is opposed to someone who only does chores if you threaten to leave them if they don't. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ryn2
1 minute ago, uhtred said:

Is the couch potato "choosing" or "depressed".  Sometimes its not clear.   I know a guy who stopped working because it was "too stressful".  OK, maybe for him it is - but its indistinguishable from laziness. 

In persistent cases I expect a medical/psychiatric diagnosis rather than just unsubstantiated claims.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
anisotrophic

 

On 6/9/2018 at 9:49 AM, ryn2 said:

I’m still trying to really get my head around how “sex isn’t everything”/“it’s not *all* about sex” and yet the lack of sufficient sex/the presence of sex without desire poses such a problem.

 

14 hours ago, Philip027 said:

It's difficult to get your head around it because it's a hypocritical, nonsensical argument (assuming the same person is fitting into both groups).  Such arguments have a tendency to cause that.

 

2 hours ago, Philip027 said:

If, as you say, what you are trying to say is more like "more than just sex is necessary for me to maintain a relationship"... then you could just say something like that instead, rather than a more ambiguous statement that tries to pass off sex as something that isn't THAT important to you (when it actually is).

I think it is about sex, but it is not "just" about sex – it's about the desire for sex. Attraction to having sex with one's partner. I would forgo sex for periods of time to experience being attractive to my partner. Having my partner desire that sex with me is more important than the sex itself.

I have a lot of trouble dealing with having sex with a partner I know is not attracted to me. Sure, one might have sex and it turns out a partner isn't really into it. But to forge ahead with sex, when mediocrity is the best possible outcome? Knowing one's partner does not feel desire, is just doing it to make you happy?

I have a lot of trouble with it. Can I possibly take pride in thinking: "My partner agrees to have sex with me even though he's not attracted to me!" It's hard to feel anything but sarcastic and dark about it. I feel disgusted with myself.

 

18 hours ago, uhtred said:

More commonly when someone's partner doesn't want sex, it is a sign of some sort failure in the person (not the partner).  Its deeply built into culture that if you love someone and they are a good person and behave in the right ways, then they will want to have sex with you as part of a romantic relationship.

This eats at me, this sense of failure, and/or the sense that I am perceived as a failure by others. And I feel so lonely and isolated by it, to have something causing me pain that is not a socially acceptable pain. It is a fool's errand, to hope anyone will give me sympathy.

 

The forums have helped, but I'm disconnecting from others now, because I can't talk to them about what makes me unhappy. (I think I should probably take a break from this.)

 

9 hours ago, mzmolly65 said:

Let me ask you all this; if your spouse was sexual but then suddenly injured and no longer able to move or feel anything from the neck down would you still feel this way?  Would you still feel inadequate, unloved, undesirable?  Would you still consider leaving the marriage?

I would not have to hide my spouse's health condition from the world. It is a suffering people would be aware of and have sympathy for – if not explicitly around "intimate relations", then broadly with the struggle of caring for disability (within which sadness around intimacy would fit).

Furthermore, that situation would not have the sense of rejection I currently experience – that my spouse simply does not want me (in this way). 

 

Also, some quadriplegics can and do have sex (and want to). c.f. https://www.self.com/story/this-is-what-its-like-to-have-sex-as-a-quadriplegic I think the extent to which this is possible helps describe how "sexual attraction" is not about the mechanical process, but about the states of mind. And that is what I think is going on when we say "sex isn't everything / it's not *all* about sex".

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ryn2
1 minute ago, uhtred said:

Not the same. Its more like wanting someone who does chores out of a sense of fairness and the idea that marriage means sharing work.  That is opposed to someone who only does chores if you threaten to leave them if they don't. 

Tele had suggested, though, that (for him, although several others have agreed) that sex performed out of a sense of fairness is not adequate/what they are looking for.  There has to be genuine desire for partnered sex, not just a wish to contribute to a partnership.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
uhtred
1 hour ago, Telecaster68 said:

Honestly it's difficult to tell. My wife says she just forgets in a day or two, which seems incredible to me, but I've seen other asexuals on here say the same thing. 

 

But the usual pattern (certainly applied to me) was that after an initial concerted burst of Talks, the asexual says they'll try to 'work on it', but they can't do it if they feel under pressure. So the sexual backs off for periods of weeks, mostly. And the asexual 'forgets' - I honestly don't know whether genuinely or not. Then it's brought up again by the sexual (diplomatically - we're not talking about sulking or demanding, just trying to initiate a calm conversation). Same as before. After a few weeks of nothing happening, sexuals raise it more persistently, and that's pressure, which makes sex definitely off the table.

 

So sexuals are very, very frequently in the Catch 22 of not mentioning it leads to forgetting or assuming all's well, but bringing it up is pressure, and pressure makes actual sex harder for asexuals.

The sad truth of course is that NOTHING will make the asexual want sex.  I've given up trying, there is not win in that direction. 

 

Leave, cheat, live like a monk / nun.     It will NEVER get better. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...