Snowdome

Pursuing a Relationship with an Ace

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Snowdome

Hi all, I just came to this forum in the past 24 hours, so apologies if I'm not yet fully versed in terminology, or how to approach things here.  I mean 0 disrespect and am happy to correct anything I may get wrong.  Typically I'll lurk for months before getting the courage to post on a forum, but in this case I really wanted to act sooner rather than later.  

 

For a few months now I've been in pursuit of a wonderful lady.  Somehow I've been lucky enough to convince her to go on a few dates, which have all been absolutely great.  When I asked about her interest level in moving toward an "official" relationship status, she explained her ace orientation and suggested I come here for more information, to see if it would be a deal-breaker.  All of the perspectives and insights here have been incredibly helpful, and so I wanted to ask some questions of my own.  I am very interested in this person, and believe I could very happy with them even with the challenges of a mixed orientation.  

 

I enjoy sex very much, but I feel much more driven by the sensual aspects of relationships - cuddling and little kisses on the top of the head are my favorite things.  I do believe my libido may be lower than that of many other allo males, as well.  I have been in a relationship in the past where sexuality was not a big component for a few years, and didn't feel particularly bothered by it, but I can imagine it becomes different as it turns into decades and longer.  I have also not been having regular sex for many years, as a bi-product of having very few relationships (or even opportunities or time to find opportunities for them) as I get older / am more entrenched in my career etc.  I am 32 now, for reference.  I don't mean to naively say "I'm totally fine without sex", but I do think there's a higher chance of that being true for me than for many.

 

What sorts of things should I be on the lookout for, if I do push for entering into a relationship?  Any warning signs re: frustration within myself to be cognizant of?  Things I can do to help it work without sex, and to put my partner's mind at ease?  I'm planning on developing a clear description of what I'm seeking, which I feel is weighted more heavily toward the romantic and the sensual.  Communication, closeness, fun, humor, excitement, trust - those are the elements that drive me to seek relationships.

 

Especially interested to hear of others who have gone into a relationship knowing the mixed orientation ahead of time - is it different than when it's discovered later?  Thanks if you've made it through this wall of text!

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murp12

So dating an asexual person won't change much. There are a couple of types of asexualities. There are the sex repulsed ones and the ones that are just not interested. If I were you, I would go on as normal, just don't push sex as much, and be aware of which type they are.

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MrDane

Well, great if you like the company and vice versa. I would recommend, that you didnt sell your sexuality short, just because it isnt a blazing fire of lust. See, if it is possible to find activities that you both will enjoy, while at the same time being sexual activities (at least for you). I would fear for how a surpressed need can one day explode and perhaps totally take her by surprise.

 

 

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Snowdome
10 minutes ago, murp12 said:

There are the sex repulsed ones and the ones that are just not interested. If I were you, I would go on as normal, just don't push sex as much, and be aware of which type they are.

 

Yeah, I should've mentioned - I think neither of us is sure which she is as of yet.  Good advice.

 

7 minutes ago, MrDane said:

I would recommend, that you didnt sell your sexuality short, just because it isnt a blazing fire of lust.  I would fear for how a surpressed need can one day explode and perhaps totally take her by surprise.

 

 

Totally agree, that's something I'm concerned about and will be monitoring as well as I can.  Thanks!

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Lara Black

Hello, @Snowdome

I’m a sexual person in a wonderful relationship with my ace partner. And, like you, I entered this relationship knowingly.

At the beginning of our relationship I was sure that I could handle the absence of sex – no biggie – since there is self-gratification, and no one can prohibit that. But, as time went on, I realized that I wouldn’t have been able to be happy without some intimacy. Luckily for us, my partner doesn’t mind (and even likes) giving me sexual pleasure, as long he isn’t having sex.

So, honestly, mixed-sexuality relationships are hard in some aspects… But all relationships are hard in one way or another… Some people can be very happy and compatible, but it’s quite rare.

If you want to know more about our story and experience, feel free to PM me.

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Telecaster68

Do you think in five years' time, you'll be looking forward happily to never having sex again?

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Snowdome
51 minutes ago, Lara Black said:

Hello, @Snowdome

I’m a sexual person in a wonderful relationship with my ace partner. And, like you, I entered this relationship knowingly.

At the beginning of our relationship I was sure that I could handle the absence of sex – no biggie – since there is self-gratification, and no one can prohibit that. But, as time went on, I realized that I wouldn’t have been able to be happy without some intimacy. Luckily for us, my partner doesn’t mind (and even likes) giving me sexual pleasure, as long he isn’t having sex.

So, honestly, mixed-sexuality relationships are hard in some aspects… But all relationships are hard in one way or another… Some people can be very happy and compatible, but it’s quite rare.

If you want to know more about our story and experience, feel free to PM me.

@Lara Black Thank you for the insight!  It's exactly as you said, ALL relationships are hard in one way or another, so I've been trying to think of it that way.  In a same-sexuality relationship there would just as easily be other issues, and no one can really qualify which are "harder to overcome".  I may take you up on your kind offer :)

 

19 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Do you think in five years' time, you'll be looking forward happily to never having sex again?

No, I can't imagine saying I would happily be looking forward to never having sex again, at any point in time.  What I can see as a possibility though is looking forward happily to a great relationship despite never having sex again.  I think that's what I'm hoping to get at - I recognize that not having sex is an issue, and maybe even an insurmountable one for some.  I don't believe that it's inherently a deal-breaker for all though.  I don't have enough experience to know where I truly fall on that yet, so it's been great to hear from others here!  If nothing else, I'd like to be better equipped to understand and at least try to see if I can navigate the waters.

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Telecaster68
1 minute ago, Snowdome said:

What I can see as a possibility though is looking forward happily to a great relationship despite never having sex again.

One recurring pattern is that either the sexual or asexual partner think they can put up with having sex/not having sex (respectively) for the long term, and it turns out they can't. But this only comes to light once a mortgage, kids, etc. are on the scene.

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Snowdome
8 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

One recurring pattern is that either the sexual or asexual partner think they can put up with having sex/not having sex (respectively) for the long term, and it turns out they can't. But this only comes to light once a mortgage, kids, etc. are on the scene.

For sure, I know that occurs often unfortunately.  Thanks for the insight!

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SusannaC

I think if your sex drive isn’t particularly high in your 30s- a lack of sex over the coming years may not be such a problem.   If you confirm your partner is happy and interactive with sensual activities, then you may find satisfaction over the years....as other bonding activities and your friendship strengthens and matures.  Some sexual people however, just need a consistent sexual connection over the years and the absence leaves a void that just can’t be filled and ignored.   Only you can know this about yourself, and if that’s the case, use caution going forward.  At least this lady is being forthright with you from the start, setting her boundaries and preparing you for her needs and expectations if the relationship continues.

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James121

My strongest advice is to ask yourself honestly. Am I happy never to have sex with my partner and to be the proverbial pantomime villain if I cheat? 

To be clear, you will either never have sex again or you will have sex with someone who really didn’t want to (and that will be rare). 

 

I just wouldnt bother if i were you. It will be like buying a car that looks really nice but can’t get out of first gear.

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nanogretchen4

Mixed orientation relationships are very rarely a good idea. If you are determined to do this, my advice is to decline any offers of compromise sex and remain in the relationship only as long as you can tolerate total abstinence. Compromise sex is sex that the asexual doesn't want. Are you sure you want sex that your partner doesn't want? Compromise sex will only confuse you about what the relationship will be like for you long term, since it usually disappears once you have committed to the relationship. If you are currently abstaining from sex because you are single, in the short term having a relationship and having occasional bad sex may seem like a step up, and by the time the sex goes away and it's not fun anymore, it will be harder to leave.  And your partner may continue to have sex with you a few times a year, so that you keep hoping and hoping that today will be the day and get stuck in that cycle. 

 

So, say no to compromise sex, both to keep your mind clear and because sex with someone who doesn't want it is gross. 

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Skullery Maid
7 hours ago, nanogretchen4 said:

Mixed orientation relationships are very rarely a good idea. If you are determined to do this, my advice is to decline any offers of compromise sex and remain in the relationship only as long as you can tolerate total abstinence. Compromise sex is sex that the asexual doesn't want. Are you sure you want sex that your partner doesn't want? Compromise sex will only confuse you about what the relationship will be like for you long term, since it usually disappears once you have committed to the relationship. 

This. 

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Neutral Charge
On 12/2/2018 at 9:54 PM, Telecaster68 said:

One recurring pattern is that either the sexual or asexual partner think they can put up with having sex/not having sex (respectively) for the long term, and it turns out they can't. But this only comes to light once a mortgage, kids, etc. are on the scene.

i figured out i am asexual after being in a long term relation, so we both decided to try a compromise, my biggest fear is  that exactly  what you said will come true eventually so i have problems committing cause of this fear of failure in a few years, its difficult, and im never sure how its gonna end up... EDIT: not that you can ever be sure anyway 😁

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CBC

@James121 The OP hasn't been around in over a month, two days after his join date. Probably not much reason to have revived this thread...

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James121
2 minutes ago, Ceebs. said:

@James121 The OP hasn't been around in over a month, two days after his join date. Probably not much reason to have revived this thread...

Maybe some threads are good to revive as they help others who might read them. I just felt compelled to give my opinion that’s all.

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Chimeric

I'm in a mixed relationship with an ace man, and I entered the relationship knowingly. Like you, I also tend to lean more on the side of sensual and romantic gratification than sex.

 

It's the best, most fulfilling relationship that I have ever been in.

 

One of the biggest things that I have learned has been mentioned here, already. First - there is no such thing as good "compromise" sex with a partner who does not want sex, period. It takes what is supposed to be an expression of love and it taints the whole thing; for the ace partner, because they feel used, and for the sexual partner, because they feel like a user. There is potential for significant mental and emotional harm on both sides of that fence. Second - just because your partner does not want sex does not mean she doesn't want you. She speaks a different "love language" (to use a totally cheesy phrase), and learning how to listen to my partner in all the ways that he tells me he loves me has been both a challenge and an adventure; I hope that you find this to be true, as well.

 

Since it seems that you are aware of all of this, and willing to keep asking questions and figuring things out, I don't think there's any reason not to pursue the relationship. If it doesn't work out, it doesn't work out - but if it does, that would be a great thing.

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anisotrophic
Quote

there is no such thing as good "compromise" sex with a partner who does not want sex, period. It takes what is supposed to be an expression of love and it taints the whole thing; for the ace partner, because they feel used, and for the sexual partner, because they feel like a user. There is potential for significant mental and emotional harm on both sides of that fence

I think... at some point I have to accept the word of my partner. I mean, I asked again, referring to this passage. I'm good at finding reasons to feel guilty, feeling like I've been a monster.

He said something like, "Why is sex different? Marriage is compromise, we do things for each other, we are 'used' for other things. Sex is one of those. I don't care about sex. I'm not interested in it. It takes effort, but I'm not upset by it."

But it's clearly more than a mere chore for many others, and many people (of all types) are hesitant to admit something is hurting them, so I understand why a message like this is a good default for curious sexual folks, especially ones we might guess are cishet male (where there's unfortunate tendencies in that demographic to engage in sexual entitlement/pressure/etc).

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greynonomous
43 minutes ago, anisotropic said:

I think... at some point I have to accept the word of my partner. I mean, I asked again, referring to this passage. I'm good at finding reasons to feel guilty, feeling like I've been a monster.

He said something like, "Why is sex different? Marriage is compromise, we do things for each other, we are 'used' for other things. Sex is one of those. I don't care about sex. I'm not interested in it. It takes effort, but I'm not upset by it."

But it's clearly more than a a mere chore for many others, and many people (of all types) are hesitant to admit something is hurting them, so I understand why a message like this is a good default for curious sexual folks, especially ones we might guess are cishet male (where there's unfortunate tendencies in that demographic to engage in sexual entitlement/pressure/etc).

 

The important caveat here is the definition around “want” of sex.

 

No, I don’t pursue or desire it, but when I decide to do the deed with my partner it isn’t them forcing me. I’ve decided to do something that will make them happy, and I want to do it, even if I won’t feel what they will from it.

 

More like cooking a treat they like or buying a present for them. I may not eat it but it makes them happy, which makes me happy.

 

Also @Chimeric great use of “love language”.  Read the book (or just google them) and start thinking of what kinds of actions you and your partner perform or see as signs of affection.

 

ironically, my partner is more receptive to acts of service (ie move furniture) while my ace self prefers physical touch (which sends all sorts of confusing signals).

 

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Chimeric
1 hour ago, anisotropic said:

He said something like, "Why is sex different? Marriage is compromise, we do things for each other, we are 'used' for other things. Sex is one of those. I don't care about sex. I'm not interested in it. It takes effort, but I'm not upset by it."

I liked the analogy he made (in this thread or another, I can't recall) about doing laundry, and I agree with you completely. What I was trying to emphasize was compromise sex with a partner who truly doesn't want it, but feels obligated to provide it.

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nanogretchen4

Anisotropic and their ace partner are married with kids and the partner's disinclination to have sex appears to be at minor chore level. That is their specific situation. Let's don't try to extend their case to hypothetical mixed relationships that haven't even started yet. Starting a mixed orientation relationship with the expectation that the asexual is going to provide compromise sex is a terrible plan.

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anisotrophic

@Chimeric @greynonomous

 

Ah, yeah, that's what's going on: it's the reading of "doesn't want" on whether it's a dislike vs. an absence of interest. He's like @greynonomous I think! I noticed he's become careful with the word "want" since it's confusing, and instead says "willing".

 

@Chimeric I'm glad you liked his laundry comparison! On love languages, I've realized that much of what I sought was to feel "wanted" -- but -- it didn't need to be sexual.

 

@nanogretchen4 nah yeah I agree it's generally a bad idea. I was just doing my introspective guilt thing again.

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Chimeric
13 minutes ago, nanogretchen4 said:

Anisotropic and their ace partner are married with kids and the partner's disinclination to have sex appears to be at minor chore level. That is their specific situation. Let's don't try to extend their case to hypothetical mixed relationships that haven't even started yet. Starting a mixed orientation relationship with the expectation that the asexual is going to provide compromise sex is a terrible plan.

Aye, and I said as much in my first post, I just was clarifying what I meant by "compromise" sex. 😃

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☆゚°˖* ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ

I'm still relatively new to this.  My s/o and I have been dating now for almost 6 months.  Though I've been friends with him for almost 8 years.  Before I persued a relationship with him he had come out as demi to me and to our circle of friends.  He has never actually been in a relationship before, and had only had sex once before.  (A mutual hook-up) So he really wasn't sure of much about himself.  Though, he had at this point in his life come to terms with himself and figured if he was alone forever, that was okay.  But if something did happen some day, that was fine too.  

 

There was a moment in time, probably 4 or 5 years ago where we went out one night and we were having a conversation about his relationship woes, or lack thereof.  I took his hand and told him that he was absolutely amazing.  That he deserved love.  That he was 100% worthy of someone's love.  And that althoug fully committed to my current relationship, if for whatever reason, that relationship came to an end, I would absolutely be interested in us trying a relationship together. 

 

That moment came.  My husband left me.  It devistated me.  I had been a stay at home mom for the past 12 years and was scared shitless that I wouldn't be able to find a decent enough job to take care of myself independently.  I attempted suicide.  I wound up in the psych ward.  It was a very dark and low point in my life.

 

Knowing all of that, but trusting in my ability to learn, he offered me a really great job.  Doing something that I had actually gone to school for.  Something I actually have a passion for.  I took the job and started going to therapy to better myself.  I have thrived in my job and every day I go to work I am excited to be there.  When I would have to go deal with divorce issues, he always told me that I could go deal with them, and to not worry about it.  He has seriously been the most supportive person I have ever met in my life.

 

Easy to see why I would want to persue a relationship with him.  I finally did it one night.  Took that leap.  Offered my heart.  It was in that first week of us just fumbling around with all of these feelings that he came out as ace.  We had sex a couple of nights in a row and I could see the distress on his face afterwards.  That's when he had come to realize what he was.  I took his hand and told him that it was okay.  That I was okay with it.  

 

He wasn't.  He decided that we shouldn't persue the relationship.  He didn't think it was fair to me or to my needs.  So even though I told him it was okay, we called it quits.  It was a very long weekend.  I went to work on Monday and we did our respective jobs as usual.  Same with Tuesday.  On Wednesday he came in to work and I could see he was distressed.  I asked him how he was doing, and he told me that he was really sad.  That he felt awful about his decision.  I was like, well God damn it, I feel terrible too.  Why are we doing this to ourselves??  Let's try again!

 

And so it has been.  I have been here for him in every way possible.  I fully support him as we explore what all of this means together.  I ask question.  We figure out answers together.  He gets nervous, I reassure him.  I get a little sex crazy, he lets me down gently.  There are some very interesting elements to this relationship that are very new to me, but it's all very new to him as well.  We can navigate it together.  I spend a lot of time here reading stories and becoming more aware of all of the interesting dimensions of sexuality that I never really considered before.  Sexuality is an extremely complex and interesting topic.  But so are so many things in life.  To learn, to make informed decisions, to communicate, to help those you love to learn and grow in all of the ways you can...if you can do that...if you can keep a very open mind, you can do anything.

 

That's what I believe anyways.  ❤️

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