butterflydreams

Navigating a sexual relationship

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butterflydreams

I’m posting this here because I know the people here have experience with this kind of thing, and I’m most interested in the sexual viewpoint.

 

I’m in a sexual relationship. My first. And only just over 3 months old. My partner would say, “Asexual my ass, we have sex all the time!” But I clearly don’t get as much out of it as they do. I’m also navigating my own sexuality in an ever-changing physical body. I almost never feel a desire for sexual activity before we start doing anything. In other words, I feel like I have to just go with it and maybe after a lot of foreplay I’ll be somewhat into it enough to somewhat enjoy myself. One of the best things for us was discovering that I needed a lot of foreplay.

 

It’s confusing because my body gets aroused, and responds like it should, even though I’m not always sure I want it to. 

 

I definitely feel like I’m the kind of person who’ll do pretty much anything a partner asked for, because I want to make someone I care about feel good. Regardless of how it makes me feel. I know that’s bad, and we’ve crossed a few of those speed bumps with mostly success. We have sex way more often than I’d like, but again, I want to make my partner happy so I do it.

 

The kind of problem that comes up is that my partner obviously doesn’t want to be just taking all the time. They want to be able to give back the same pleasure and good feelings I give them. But I don’t have any answers for what I’d like, other than maybe just making out without it leading to sex. Sexually there isn’t much I want. I have trouble navigating and recognizing when I’m feeling *ahem* horny and I don’t think it happens very often.

 

So that’s kind of it. I’m wondering what advice sexual people in relationships with asexual people might have to say. How you navigated it, what matters to you, and so on. Thanks!

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Telecaster68

It sounds like you may have responsive desire - only getting aroused once you start sexual activity - which is more common in women than men. The idea that spontaneous desire - horniness out of nowhere - is the 'norm' is just down to male normativity.

 

Emily Nagoski is the main writer about this - eg https://medium.com/@enagoski/pleasure-is-the-measure-d8c5a2dff33f .

 

She's also written a book about it, called Come As You Are.

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butterflydreams
10 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

It sounds like you may have responsive desire - only getting aroused once you start sexual activity - which is more common in women than men. The idea that spontaneous desire - horniness out of nowhere - is the 'norm' is just down to male normativity.

 

Emily Nagoski is the main writer about this - eg https://medium.com/@enagoski/pleasure-is-the-measure-d8c5a2dff33f .

 

She's also written a book about it, called Come As You Are.

Hmm, that’s a very interesting article. I guess some of it lines up with what I’m experiencing. My partner definitely experiences a more spontaneous desire, and I’m sure would be thrilled if I experienced the same. Though as I said, they seem to understand that I’m more responsive, hence the warning label on my forehead, “some foreplay required”. 

 

So does that alone mean I’m not asexual? Not that I really care, I’m just curious. I’m very clearly not on the same sexual level as my partner.

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Telecaster68

The usual definition on AVEN is 'someone who doesn't experience sexual attraction', but that tends to lead to endless debates about what 'sexual attraction' is.

 

Basically, if you want to have sex with someone because you'd enjoy it for yourself (rather than purely vicariously), you're not asexual. It seems pretty common on AVEN for people to assume all sexuals walk around in an aroused fugue, constantly having to restrain themselves from shagging good looking people on sight.

 

Another way to think about it is this:

 

Would I be bothered if I never had sex again?

Would I be bothered if my partner never wanted to have sex again?

 

As a rule of thumb, sexual will have a very definite 'yes' to both of those; asexuals a very definite 'no', and anything in between is ... well anything in between.

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Bloc
53 minutes ago, butterflydreams said:

I’m in a sexual relationship. My first. And only just over 3 months old. My partner would say, “Asexual my ass, we have sex all the time!” But I clearly don’t get as much out of it as they do. I’m also navigating my own sexuality in an ever-changing physical body. I almost never feel a desire for sexual activity before we start doing anything. In other words, I feel like I have to just go with it and maybe after a lot of foreplay I’ll be somewhat into it enough to somewhat enjoy myself. One of the best things for us was discovering that I needed a lot of foreplay.

 

It’s confusing because my body gets aroused, and responds like it should, even though I’m not always sure I want it to. 

I can only tell from the (grey-)asexual side of the relationship. I can totally relate to not having desire for sexual activity before starting making out. When I am in the right mood I can enjoy some sexual stuff. However I have clear boundaries where I am not comfortable (maybe gender dysphoria, I am still trying to figure it out). What we do is mostly foreplay. I get aroused, but I don't want most of what most (straight) people would call sex.

 

53 minutes ago, butterflydreams said:

I definitely feel like I’m the kind of person who’ll do pretty much anything a partner asked for, because I want to make someone I care about feel good. Regardless of how it makes me feel. I know that’s bad, and we’ve crossed a few of those speed bumps with mostly success. We have sex way more often than I’d like, but again, I want to make my partner happy so I do it.

For me it  is different. Anything involving my genitals is so uncomfortable for me that I would not compromise on it. We don't have two much sex. With my first partner I meet on average once per week and we don't have sex every time. And with my second partner, who I meet about once per month we do mostly kinky stuff and making out.

 

Both are happy with what we are doing.

 

53 minutes ago, butterflydreams said:

 

The kind of problem that comes up is that my partner obviously doesn’t want to be just taking all the time. They want to be able to give back the same pleasure and good feelings I give them. But I don’t have any answers for what I’d like, other than maybe just making out without it leading to sex. Sexually there isn’t much I want. I have trouble navigating and recognizing when I’m feeling *ahem* horny and I don’t think it happens very often.

Do you like to be touched, massaged, etc. on specific parts of your body? For me it is my chest where I enjoy being touched, kissed, massaged which sometimes lead to orgasm. Or maybe you have some kinks, which don't need to be sexual but make you happy.

 

20 minutes ago, butterflydreams said:

Though as I said, they seem to understand that I’m more responsive, hence the warning label on my forehead, “some foreplay required”. 

For me it is "a lot of foreplay required" or even "foreplay only".

 

20 minutes ago, butterflydreams said:

So does that alone mean I’m not asexual? Not that I really care, I’m just curious. I’m very clearly not on the same sexual level as my partner.

For me it was clear from the first time about learning about asexuality that I am grey ace, not completely ace, even I did not had any sex then. From what you told, you may be grey ace.

 

My partners are both sexual and would enjoy more classical sex with me. However they have other partners where they get it. You should find ways of intimacy or sex you both enjoy. For me it is important to be able to tell a partner what I don't like and being respected with it. Both of my partners are sometimes to careful and shy away from trying so I have to encourage them, because they fear to break my boundaries. But I like it this way more than the other way around.

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Snao Cone

It might take time to figure out if you're a sexual person who requires a lot of foreplay, or if you're asexual but willing to compromise within parameters (ie after adequate foreplay). Adding to what Telecaster said, it might take you some time to determine if you would be bothered if sex disappeared from your relationship/life. All of these things are totally fine. You're still figuring yourself out. Most sexual people require time, and perhaps different relationships, to discover their needs and boundaries. Many asexual people have needed that time and experience as well. 

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butterflydreams
24 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Basically, if you want to have sex with someone because you'd enjoy it for yourself (rather than purely vicariously), you're not asexual.

I feel terrible saying it, but I really don’t think, “oh man, sex would be really great right now.” It’s nothing I can’t do for myself. I like the intimacy of it, and making my partner feel good, but that’s pretty much it.

 

25 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Another way to think about it is this:

 

Would I be bothered if I never had sex again?

Would I be bothered if my partner never wanted to have sex again?

 

As a rule of thumb, sexual will have a very definite 'yes' to both of those; asexuals a very definite 'no', and anything in between is ... well anything in between.

Now that I’ve had it and know what it is, I wouldn’t really be bothered by never having sex again. If my partner never wanted to have sex again, I’d be fine with that as well. There are plenty of other aspects of a relationship that add depth and meaning for me. I definitely like making out and cuddling.

 

I’m imagining my partner reading this and I feel like a terrible person :( I do truly love them!

 

21 minutes ago, Snao Cone said:

It might take time to figure out if you're a sexual person who requires a lot of foreplay, or if you're asexual but willing to compromise within parameters (ie after adequate foreplay). Adding to what Telecaster said, it might take you some time to determine if you would be bothered if sex disappeared from your relationship/life. All of these things are totally fine. You're still figuring yourself out. Most sexual people require time, and perhaps different relationships, to discover their needs and boundaries. Many asexual people have needed that time and experience as well. 

Now that I’ve had sex, the curiousity about it is gone. So I don’t think I’d be too bothered if it disappeared from my life. Like I said, I’m a real people pleaser, and for someone I care a lot about, I’m willing to go pretty far. I don’t really want to disclose it here, but there’s only one real thing I genuinely get pleasure out of when we are together. For my partner, it’s probably just foreplay, but for me, I genuinely enjoy it and would probably miss it if it were gone from my life.

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Telecaster68
3 minutes ago, butterflydreams said:

I genuinely enjoy it and would probably miss it if it were gone from my life.

Would you bracket that thing as sexual? To you get aroused, get a kind of hunger for it?

 

When I say sex, I don't just mean PIV - I mean any broadly sexual activity.

 

Quote

 

 It’s nothing I can’t do for myself. 

 

That's a pretty asexual experience. For sexuals, most of the point of sex is doing it with someone else, often as an integral part of a relationship. Feeling that sex is just a more hassley version of masturbation is pretty much an asexual thing, however willing you are to go through that hassle for your partner's benefit.

 

Quote

 

I like the intimacy of it

 

Would you feel there'd be a loss of some intimacy for you (forget about your partner for a second) if you didn't have sex?

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butterflydreams
1 minute ago, Telecaster68 said:

Would you bracket that thing as sexual? To you get aroused, get a kind of hunger for it?

 

When I say sex, I don't just mean PIV - I mean any broadly sexual activity.

I mean, it’s not something you’d do with a friend. It definitely gets me aroused when we do it. I don’t know that I have a hunger for it though. If it never happened again, I’d be a little sad, but I’d get over it. I didn’t even know it was a thing people did when we first started dating. My partner introduced me to it. 

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Telecaster68

You do sound pretty asexual, from what you've said. But some asexuals are sex-positive; they get some enjoyment from sex through their partner. In the longer term though, it may not always be like that - you may find constantly compromising gets old, and then you're in a length relationship where your partner's needs aren't going to be met.

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butterflydreams
7 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

You do sound pretty asexual, from what you've said. But some asexuals are sex-positive; they get some enjoyment from sex through their partner. In the longer term though, it may not always be like that - you may find constantly compromising gets old, and then you're in a length relationship where your partner's needs aren't going to be met.

Yeah. We seem to have worked through things so far. A lot of it is based on my dysphoria which I’m working on treating. I guess the good thing is we seem to communicate pretty well. When either one of us has a problem we’re able to talk about it. I just might need to get a little bit better about asserting that “hey, I’m just not up for sex today.”

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Lara Black
48 minutes ago, butterflydreams said:

there’s only one real thing I genuinely get pleasure out of when we are together. For my partner, it’s probably just foreplay, but for me, I genuinely enjoy it and would probably miss it if it were gone from my life.

Hello @butterflydreams

As a sexual person I must admit that it’s very hard for us to believe that there isn’t anything sexual we can do to make our partner as happy as they make us. However, if there is something you really like (even if it’s not directly sexual and more sensual), you can focus on that. Your partner might want to at least make you as happy as they can in that one thing and develop their “skill” in that, so to speak. They might need to be reminded that this is all you want for yourself and that it can in fact make you happy.

The bottom line is I don’t think pretending to enjoy something you don’t is a good idea – it makes us feel lied to and hurts deeply.

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butterflydreams
2 hours ago, Lara Black said:

The bottom line is I don’t think pretending to enjoy something you don’t is a good idea – it makes us feel lied to and hurts deeply

This is precisely what I don't want to happen.

 

2 hours ago, Lara Black said:

As a sexual person I must admit that it’s very hard for us to believe that there isn’t anything sexual we can do to make our partner as happy as they make us.

I know. I mean, I like the thing we do that I do enjoy, it's just, my partner wants me to tell them more things that I like. They want me to feel as good as they do from sex, and I don't know that that's possible. But I guess I'm hopeful that maybe things could improve because of dysphoria getting better, or because I become less nervous about sex generally. Apparently I frequently get this scared look on my face when we're together. I can't help it. I have a lot of reservations and fears about sex.

 

I just hope I can convince my partner that what I like is enough for me, and we don't need to do anything more. They're always saying they want to bring out the freak girl inside me, but I don't think she's there.

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Skywise
7 hours ago, Lara Black said:

As a sexual person I must admit that it’s very hard for us to believe that there isn’t anything sexual we can do to make our partner as happy as they make us. 

This is so true, unfortunately.  I have been in a very long term relationship with a recently out asexual and I am still working to "reset" my mind and heart to really internalize her orientation.

 

7 hours ago, Lara Black said:

The bottom line is I don’t think pretending to enjoy something you don’t is a good idea – it makes us feel lied to and hurts deeply.

This 100%.  I struggle deeply with how long I have been expecting/coercing my spouse into doing what I want and how hard that has been for her.  She has been telegraphing to me on many levels her lack of interest and general discomfort and I just kept trying new things to see what would work.  I would highly recommend not going down that road.

 

4 hours ago, butterflydreams said:

Apparently I frequently get this scared look on my face when we're together. I can't help it. I have a lot of reservations and fears about sex.

 I know that look all to well.  I wish I had realized it was not shy anticipation and actual discomfort a long time ago.  Please be honest with your partner.

 

4 hours ago, butterflydreams said:

I just hope I can convince my partner that what I like is enough for me, and we don't need to do anything more. They're always saying they want to bring out the freak girl inside me, but I don't think she's there.

This statement really concerns me for you.  You switch from seeking to conviince your current partner of your comfort level and then generally speak of other partners.  Please be gentle with yourself and let you be you without trying to define how you should be for others.

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Serran

I dont want sexual stuff much until it comes up, then I tend to want it. But it sounds more like you dont want but can enjoy. Which can become more difficult to upkeep. You do need to discuss stuff with your partner. 

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Philip027

Honestly, found all of this a bit concerning, like you're being disregarded and not really listened to.  Maybe it is just coming across as worse than things actually are, though.

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anamikanon

It is sounding less like you are asexual and more like you and your partner simply aren't compatible - at least right now. I consider myself as fairly sexually interested and active, but if what makes me feel good during sex doesn't happen, I am not aroused. It is perfectly normal for sexuals as well.

 

I'd say go with what you know. That you need a lot of erotic contact before the actual stimulation of sexual parts with an intent to get orgasm. You will need a partner who enjoys that (whether inherently or learned). It is fine to go through the act without pleasure because you see that your partner is horny and wants sex NOW and can't wait to rev you up right and you just participate to give him pleasure. We've all been there, done that on occasion. But if this is a repeating pattern, you may want to consider that much as he'd like to have given you sexual pleasure, he doesn't appear interested in the slog of actually doing it.

 

This may not be easy for him. Sexual urgency can make him want to move fast because he's feeling too much. So it may not necessarily be an issue of selfishness as many factors. Many men, for example are rather worried about the "performance" aspect of things. Use the erection while you have it kind of thing. They need the sexual contact to escalate no slower than a specific tempo, or they can lose their erection and have a hard time getting it up again. It doesn't even have to happen all the time for the anxiety to do it while in the mood to hit, just experiencing it once can make them wary about reducing stimulation when they are aroused.

 

So he may want to take things slower for you, but may not feel able.

 

Some ideas:

  1. Get his orgasm out of the way. He's horny, get straight to the sex, let him orgasm and circle around for a second with a focus on you. He will need time to "recharge" which allows him to not worry about his own machinery and use that time to make you feel good.
  2. Initiate sex. You initiate sex when you feel ready and he isn't. Perhaps this may mean taking some time to play with yourself before he arrives, so you are there partway when you seduce him. Initiating sex gives you control on how aroused you are when you begin, plus it isn't at a time when he's desperate for orgasm, so he's less likely to race for the finish line (no guarantees on that one, I've known men who want to be in and thrusting after the slightest suggestion that sex may happen)
  3. Make a big thing about erotic interactions. Let him realize that you want to be aroused over time and that makes you horny. He may not have a script. Plan how you will do it. It may help to start the early steps in public or among other people or otherwise unable to have sex immediately. Like eye contact, holding hands, stroking skin over a dinner at a restaurant. More intimate touches in the car or cab back, snuggling, cuddling, talking about the day while undressing - maybe with a drink or TV show, intimate massages.... all that gives you time to pace out erotic contact and escalate it before his brain starts screaming "SEX NOW". Teach him how he could seduce you over the day or an evening so that you reach a point where you WANT him in you right now.
  4. Masturbate. Masturbating regularly helps teach your body how to achieve orgasm efficiently. So you are less at the whims of some contact proving useful and you understand your own body and its rhythm enough to make suggestions that work. When you masturbate, you shouldn't give yourself too much foreplay and practice the actual mechanics of stimulating to orgasm. It is like practicing one move a hundred times so that when you actually do it under pressure of performance, it happens easily.

Also be prepared that if none of that works, it doesn't work. Sex isn't all there is to a relationship, so you may want to figure out how you want to handle a partner who continuously wants sexual things that don't work out for you. Whether you are ace or not, the real issue here is that what he wants sexually isn't doing anything for you. You need to figure out how to make that happen - whether by teaching him to do it right for you or by teaching yourself to simply get through the situation how you can (bad idea).

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butterflydreams
9 hours ago, Skywise said:

This statement really concerns me for you.  You switch from seeking to conviince your current partner of your comfort level and then generally speak of other partners.  Please be gentle with yourself and let you be you without trying to define how you should be for others.

Whoops, sorry it wasn’t clear. I was only referring to my partner. The only partner I’ve ever had. They use “they/them” pronouns.

 

9 hours ago, Serran said:

I dont want sexual stuff much until it comes up, then I tend to want it. But it sounds more like you dont want but can enjoy. Which can become more difficult to upkeep. You do need to discuss stuff with your partner. 

I don’t understand where my desire comes from usually. Sometimes we’re together and I just get into it. It happened last night. I initially said no after they were satisfied then we were cuddling...kissing a bit...and I don’t know, a switch flipped or something and I was suddenly into it and wanting it a bit. My partner thinks that I think they only like me because of the sex (I don’t think that at all, but they’re worried that I do). To that end, they’ve declared that they aren’t going to have sex with me for a whole week, just to prove it. It’s all unnecessary, but I’m happy to support that goal if it’ll help them feel better.

 

9 hours ago, Philip027 said:

Honestly, found all of this a bit concerning, like you're being disregarded and not really listened to.  Maybe it is just coming across as worse than things actually are, though.

My partner won’t try to have sex with me if I say no. 1000% they are respectful of that. If I say no, it means no and there’s no pressure or pushing or anything. So that’s good. It sounds bad because I’m a people pleaser and I love my partner. I want them to feel good and one of the things that really makes them feel good is sex, so I do it because I love them. I guess if anything I wish they would understand that maybe there isn’t some freaky girl deep inside me, and I just am how I already am. Sometimes I don’t feel listened to on that stuff.

 

4 hours ago, anamikanon said:

I'd say go with what you know. That you need a lot of erotic contact before the actual stimulation of sexual parts with an intent to get orgasm. You will need a partner who enjoys that (whether inherently or learned). It is fine to go through the act without pleasure because you see that your partner is horny and wants sex NOW and can't wait to rev you up right and you just participate to give him pleasure. We've all been there, done that on occasion. But if this is a repeating pattern, you may want to consider that much as he'd like to have given you sexual pleasure, he doesn't appear interested in the slog of actually doing it.

My partner is definitely interested in giving me sexual pleasure, and putting in the work to do it, including all the foreplay required. But I’m sometimes just not really into it. And god help me if something triggers my dysphoria and then you can just kiss any of it goodbye. Simply because I get distracted by the gross feelings inside. 

 

4 hours ago, anamikanon said:

Get his orgasm out of the way. He's horny, get straight to the sex, let him orgasm and circle around for a second with a focus on you. He will need time to "recharge" which allows him to not worry about his own machinery and use that time to make you feel good.

I usually try to do this. But in the pattern of how we usually do things, it’s usually me who loses momentum. I’ve likened my sex response to a jet engine. It’s a complicated piece of machinery and kind of a pain in the ass to get it started, but once you do, it can usually run on its own if you just keep feeding it fuel and air. The problem we have is that they can get me started and then the focus switches to them, which cuts off my fuel and air supply, so my engine stalls out. By the time we get back to me, I feel like there’s less focus on getting the engine started again before trying to use it.

 

4 hours ago, anamikanon said:

Initiate sex. You initiate sex when you feel ready and he isn't. Perhaps this may mean taking some time to play with yourself before he arrives, so you are there partway when you seduce him. Initiating sex gives you control on how aroused you are when you begin, plus it isn't at a time when he's desperate for orgasm, so he's less likely to race for the finish line (no guarantees on that one, I've known men who want to be in and thrusting after the slightest suggestion that sex may happen

Heh, this is why I think I’m more asexual than not. I wouldn’t ever want to initiate sex. At least not the overwhelming majority of the time. The things I might initiate would be kissing, cuddling, that sort of thing. Things I genuinely enjoy and miss if we’ve been separated for too long.

 

4 hours ago, anamikanon said:

Make a big thing about erotic interactions. Let him realize that you want to be aroused over time and that makes you horny. He may not have a script. Plan how you will do it. It may help to start the early steps in public or among other people or otherwise unable to have sex immediately. Like eye contact, holding hands, stroking skin over a dinner at a restaurant. More intimate touches in the car or cab back, snuggling, cuddling, talking about the day while undressing - maybe with a drink or TV show, intimate massages.... all that gives you time to pace out erotic contact and escalate it before his brain starts screaming "SEX NOW". Teach him how he could seduce you over the day or an evening so that you reach a point where you WANT him in you right now.

I kinda wish my partner would make the focus just on getting me aroused every now and then. Not for the purposes of getting themselves aroused, but just because they wanted to make me feel good, you know? I wonder how I could communicate that to them...

 

4 hours ago, anamikanon said:

Masturbate. Masturbating regularly helps teach your body how to achieve orgasm efficiently. So you are less at the whims of some contact proving useful and you understand your own body and its rhythm enough to make suggestions that work. When you masturbate, you shouldn't give yourself too much foreplay and practice the actual mechanics of stimulating to orgasm. It is like practicing one move a hundred times so that when you actually do it under pressure of performance, it happens easily.

I know. I don’t know why, but I always have much better orgasms when I masturbate. I feel bad saying that. My partner tries really hard, but it just doesn’t feel the same. I’m sure they’d want me to have those better orgasms with them, but the way we do it, I almost never do.

 

 

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Philip027
1 minute ago, butterflydreams said:

My partner won’t try to have sex with me if I say no. 1000% they are respectful of that. If I say no, it means no and there’s no pressure or pushing or anything.

I was referring more to the whole "well, you can't be asexual, we have sex all the time" thing, when it sounds like if anything it was this person that's been pursuing sex and not you.

 

5 minutes ago, butterflydreams said:

My partner thinks that I think they only like me because of the sex (I don’t think that at all, but they’re worried that I do). To that end, they’ve declared that they aren’t going to have sex with me for a whole week, just to prove it. 

This is also concerning, for that matter, for a similar sort of reason.  I'm sure you told this person that this isn't the case, so it also comes off as them not taking you seriously.

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anamikanon
4 minutes ago, butterflydreams said:

I kinda wish my partner would make the focus just on getting me aroused every now and then. Not for the purposes of getting themselves aroused, but just because they wanted to make me feel good, you know? I wonder how I could communicate that to them...

Tell him. Straight up. That you want one sexual encounter that is totally about you. You want your jet to take off and fly all the way to the destination with no detours and stop overs. You want him to focus on you right till the end. Tell him that you want to experience this.

 

If that works out - and he'll be massively thrilled if it does, you could try working it into a routine.  Or you could have something like you focusing on him one time, him on you another time to keep it all democratic and mutually interesting. Maybe you could even work in specific requests on what you'd like each other to do to you.

 

This isn't something he can guess. You'll have to tell him flat out.

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Telecaster68

Yep, tell him.

 

I'm always a bit shocked when people don't make it all about their partners, at least sometimes. Personally I find it intoxicating.

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ryn2
9 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

I'm always a bit shocked when people don't make it all about their partners, at least sometimes. Personally I find it intoxicating.

I’d have to guess it’s a combo of where/how they learned what to do and what they personally like.  Some people are more focused on (themselves, or) emulating what they think sex should be than they are on what’s going on with their partners, and others don’t like to or can’t connect with their partners in an emotionally intense way without it interfering with sex for them.

 

...all of which is probably part of why many sexual/sexual relationships are mismatched as well.  It’s not just about whether or not you’re having sex.

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butterflydreams
33 minutes ago, Philip027 said:

I was referring more to the whole "well, you can't be asexual, we have sex all the time" thing, when it sounds like if anything it was this person that's been pursuing sex and not you.

I mean, being asexual or not isn’t a huge concern for me. I don’t look at it as identity invalidation or anything like that. I genuinely think they probably have had little to no experience dealing with someone who is asexual. They probably just don’t know much about it and assume that if I’m having sex with them, I can’t be asexual.

 

35 minutes ago, Philip027 said:

This is also concerning, for that matter, for a similar sort of reason.  I'm sure you told this person that this isn't the case, so it also comes off as them not taking you seriously.

They said it was really for themselves and something they felt they needed to do. I’m happy to support that. They do acknowledge that I don’t feel it’s all about sex with us. I actually look at it as them loving me so much, they’re trying to meet me on my level a little bit. I think that’s pretty sweet actually.

 

34 minutes ago, anamikanon said:

Tell him. Straight up. That you want one sexual encounter that is totally about you. You want your jet to take off and fly all the way to the destination with no detours and stop overs. You want him to focus on you right till the end. Tell him that you want to experience this.

 

If that works out - and he'll be massively thrilled if it does, you could try working it into a routine.  Or you could have something like you focusing on him one time, him on you another time to keep it all democratic and mutually interesting. Maybe you could even work in specific requests on what you'd like each other to do to you.

 

This isn't something he can guess. You'll have to tell him flat out.

Yeah, that actually does sound kind of nice. I think I have my own personal hang ups about an encounter that’s just all about me. I’m really bad at receiving without giving reciprocally. Even when they’re trying to pleasure me, I’m always asking, “is this good for you? Do you enjoy/like doing this?” Nowhere in my thought process is how I feel about it, nor realizing that they wouldn’t do it if they didn’t like it. It’s something I need to work on.

 

27 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Yep, tell him.

 

I'm always a bit shocked when people don't make it all about their partners, at least sometimes. Personally I find it intoxicating.

Intoxicating as the giver in that situation? I wonder if my partner would like that and find value in it. Letting it be so I don’t have to worry about them, and just let them focus entirely on me once in a while.

 

15 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

I’d have to guess it’s a combo of where/how they learned what to do and what they personally like.  Some people are more focused on (themselves, or) emulating what they think sex should be than they are on what’s going on with their partners, and others don’t like to or can’t connect with their partners in an emotionally intense way without it interfering with sex for them.

 

...all of which is probably part of why many sexual/sexual relationships are mismatched as well.  It’s not just about whether or not you’re having sex.

They’d say they like just about everything, which makes us weirdly mismatched sexually. As I don’t like much at all. In fact, just as a couple we’re weirdly mismatched on all kinds of things. We even acknowledge this. But it somehow just works...really darn well. I love them and miss their presence after even just a short time apart. We just really seem to enjoy each other’s company. Neither one of us can explain how it works, but it does.

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anamikanon
14 minutes ago, butterflydreams said:

I think I have my own personal hang ups about an encounter that’s just all about me. I’m really bad at receiving without giving reciprocally. Even when they’re trying to pleasure me, I’m always asking, “is this good for you? Do you enjoy/like doing this?” Nowhere in my thought process is how I feel about it, nor realizing that they wouldn’t do it if they didn’t like it. It’s something I need to work on.

It is part of being sexually uninhibited. Emotionally naked with your partner. I like this, I want this. This feels good. MORE! It is safe to focus on how they feel, because then we don't have to reveal our actual state and desires, but.... it is less fun. Worth it to work up the courage to make it about us and ask for exactly what we need in that moment.

 

14 minutes ago, butterflydreams said:

Intoxicating as the giver in that situation? I wonder if my partner would like that and find value in it. Letting it be so I don’t have to worry about them, and just let them focus entirely on me once in a while.

Of course it can be very rewarding to the giver. Why do you think you want your partner to enjoy themselves and ask how they feel, whether they like, etc? Because YOU will feel good if they are enjoying themselves with you. Similarly, if you have a mind-blowing orgasm and lie wasted in his arms, he'll be walking on air for a while because he did that to you. Wouldn't you? ;) 

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ryn2
19 minutes ago, anamikanon said:

Emotionally naked with your partner. 

The other thing that can really interfere here is body dysphoria (gender or otherwise).  If you’re lying/sitting/whatever there and feeling totally gross about being “on display” it’s impossible to get into the moment.

 

Not disagreeing about emotional nakedness; just noting there can be other significant barriers - anything that makes being the center of attention personally distasteful - to overcome before even getting there.

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ryn2
22 minutes ago, anamikanon said:

Similarly, if you have a mind-blowing orgasm and lie wasted in his arms, he'll be walking on air for a while because he did that to you. Wouldn't you? ;)

This may be an ace/grey v. sexual thing (or just a personality thing?).  To me it feels more like making someone a meal they really like or helping them out with something... I feel happy because I helped them feel happy, not because I did that.

 

It actually wasn’t until the last year or so - reading it in a fanfic, of all things - that I realized other people sometimes do feel that way.

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Telecaster68
1 hour ago, butterflydreams said:

Intoxicating as the giver in that situation?

Absolutely, and the 'I did that' feeling too. It's definitely about ego, but I don't think there's any harm in it since essentially you're using your powers for good. It's probably one of the reasons sexuals take asexuals' lack of pleasure in partnered sex so hard; if you're fairly used to being able to do that with your partners, not being able to is disconcerting. The high of reducing your smart, self possessed, partner to an endorphined-out puddle laying there feeling so wonderful they can barely put a couple of words together because of what you've just done to them is intense. And when partners are well matched, it's reciprocal, and knowing you can both do that for each other (and maybe have, simultaneously) is one of the ways sex creates a bond.

 

It's also really hard for sexuals to believe that people who don't have that experience aren't missing out on something amazing.

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butterflydreams
33 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Absolutely, and the 'I did that' feeling too. It's definitely about ego, but I don't think there's any harm in it since essentially you're using your powers for good. It's probably one of the reasons sexuals take asexuals' lack of pleasure in partnered sex so hard; if you're fairly used to being able to do that with your partners, not being able to is disconcerting. The high of reducing your smart, self possessed, partner to an endorphined-out puddle laying there feeling so wonderful they can barely put a couple of words together because of what you've just done to them is intense. And when partners are well matched, it's reciprocal, and knowing you can both do that for each other (and maybe have, simultaneously) is one of the ways sex creates a bond.

 

It's also really hard for sexuals to believe that people who don't have that experience aren't missing out on something amazing.

Interesting. I wouldn’t have really thought that actually. I bet this is something my partner would enjoy doing with me (or to me, as it were). I feel like they’re always saying they want me to get the same amount of pleasure that they do, but so far I’m not very good at articulating what my needs are. Or as @anamikanon put it, being sexually uninhibited. I’m very inhibited sexually. One of the things I’m always saying to my partner is that I’m embarassed. Embarassed just from sharing my sexuality with them I guess. I’m not really sure.

 

My partner already knows one thing they can do that’ll keep me from stringing words together. I certainly enjoy it, and I think they do too. Mostly because like you said, there’s something intense about being able to do that. I know I can do the same for them, at least I think I do. 

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Serran

If you want to do some about them and some about you, tell them. Sexual encounters dont always have to be about both at all times. My partner and I switch off, mostly. It is all about them, then, if I want something later I can get it. But most the time it is about them. And some days it is just about me, but I have the lower libido so lots of times we just skip me. I enjoy giving so its not compromise, but I dont have to deal with pressure to perform if I am not feeling it at the minute. 

 

So I would just talk to them and let them know you want to not always have to be getting off if you are not feeling it, sometimes you just want to do them. And sometimes it would be nice if the focus could be you til you at least finish, without switching up. 

 

You can ask for what you want and work out what works for both of you. It is about both of you, after all. Just be open with them about your needs. They are coming at it from a typical sexual relationship viewpoint, but you want something a little different, is all. 

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Telecaster68

Maybe one way past the inhibitions is to write it down and give them what you've written? 

 

And on the one-sided thing: many, many people get almost as much pleasure giving oral as receiving (some really don't, on the other hand). And honestly - reciprocation is a Thing and pretty much vital in all aspects of a relationship. If you're happy to make it all about them, it's only fair they make it all about you sometimes.

 

 

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