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Pappeh

Playing devil's advocate

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Telecaster68
37 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

I don’t hear it as “all aces are poor, damaged angels.”

I honestly don't see much criticism of aces on here from other aces, and when sexuals raise the idea that maybe this ace is being a tad selfish, the hypothetically-possible-but-never-seen-in-real-life combinations of reasons get wheeled out all round.

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ryn2

I can’t speak for “all aces”; only for my non-ace self.  I also don’t frequent some of the subforums as I’m not ace so I may miss some of the discussion.

 

I’d have to imagine “dead bedroom”-focused forums are more sympathetic to the sexuals’ plight and less so to the aces’, no?

 

Every behavior that puts oneself before others is by definition “selfish.”  What I see debated here more often is whether a particular scenario is “good selfish” (healthy, self-protective) or “bad selfish” (unjustifiably hurtful to a partner).

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Telecaster68
2 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

What I see debated here more often is whether a particular scenario is “good selfish” (healthy, self-protective) or “bad selfish” (unjustifiably hurtful to a partner).

Yeah, I think the needle veers to one particular side on most of those debates too.

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ryn2

Like I said, anywhere you are not in the majority you’re going to feel like the other side is getting the lion’s share of the sympathy.

 

Is that not true in reverse in dead-bedroom-centric discussions?  I’d have to guess the ace/low-libido perspective is treated less sympathetically there.

 

I say “have to guess” because I just can’t do Reddit in general.  It stresses me out too much.

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Telecaster68
2 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

Like I said, anywhere you are not in the majority you’re going to feel like the other side is getting the lion’s share of the sympathy.

 

Is that not true in reverse in dead-bedroom-centric discussions?  I’d have to guess the ace/low-libido perspective is treated less sympathetically there.

 

I say “have to guess” because I just can’t do Reddit in general.  It stresses me out too much.

It's more sympathetic than you'd expect, but there is a fair amount of weight attached to how much of a fuck the lower libido person clearly gives. 

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ryn2

Ironically, one could say I’m more empathetic towards people who let their issues interfere with their (and, consequently, the people around them’s) lives than you are.

 

~

 

For me personally, some of it is probably the opposite of what you’d expect.  If my ex came back to me and, instead of blaming me/others/the universe for the dissolution of our relationship, said “my substance abuse and inability to get my depression under control left me unable to be part of a relationship,” I would not feel better.  I would not feel vindicated.  I would not feel like I’d won somehow or gotten what I wanted.  I would feel no less bad about the outcome, and potentially worse about myself for cornering him into “facing the truth.”

 

So perhaps I’m missing what other people gain out of hearing “you’re right, I just really don’t want to have sex with you” out of partners whose behavior has already made that pretty darned clear.

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Serran

I dont discuss relationships on most social media (even places aimed at relationship discussion / advice ) because if you aren't normative... the advice tends to be you suck and are a bad partner. No matter your reasons. Same with your partner if you say something about them. Its like..  I want useful advice, not just insults, but insight into how they could be seeing things, how to address it, suggestions, reasons people do X or Y beyond malice. So I have deleted posts and left every other forum I have tried because of it. I tried to seek advice on my partner from several big ones, got nothing useful, just a mix of me being insulted or my spouse being insulted. Therapist advice was also insulted. It kind of felt like going to YouTube comments. I didn't get the point. 

 

Of course on AVEN you will get advice beyond your partner sucks and you should deal with it or leave. Or demand they change and if they dont they suck so leave. You will get a million possibilities based on aces personal reasons for similar behavior, explaining a very tiny minority and their reasonings that dont fit the norm and are outliers. 

 

And... I dont see how its useful to really go oh, partner wont have sex with you and is being avoidant ? They are just a jerk then. Giving why they may be avoidant, how they could be feeling and what you maybe can do to open them up is useful advice. If you just want them condemned, google relationship forums and go to any on the first page and you will get that. 

 

If you want to discuss a sensitive topic with an avoidant person..  yeah you need to be extremely patient and swallow your own feelings a bit. And if it is an incompatibility beyond what can be repaired, you may have to bite the bullet and call it quits cause they wont. And if you want to be angry with the person for being avoidant, OK, your choice. Why does all of AVEN need to condemn either side though? Why is constructive advice of what could help open up the avoidant partner seen as bad ? 

 

Humans arent typically in relationships going man I wish i could hurt my partner. Just sometimes that is a side effect of being unable to deal with something. 

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anisotrophic

@ryn2 suggests that some situations are "might get better with therapy" but often it seems someone refuses to try therapy/counseling. (eg couples therapy to figure out how to communicate more productively.) If a partner won't even do that, won't try to work with the other to make things better, it seems pretty broken to me.

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ryn2
3 minutes ago, anisotropic said:

@ryn2 suggests that some situations are "might get better with therapy" but often it seems someone refuses to try therapy/counseling. (eg couples therapy to figure out how to communicate more productively.) If a partner won't even do that, won't try to work with the other to make things better, it seems pretty broken to me.

Agreed, if someone’s “stuff” is posing an obstacle to discussion and they aren’t willing/aren’t able/believe they aren’t able to tackle that “stuff” the other partner is back to “live with it” or “leave.”

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☆゚°˖* ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ
22 hours ago, anisotropic said:

If you tie him up, you will have no choice but to lead... 😈

Oh shit!  Valentine's day was crazy!  Someone took the day to not only romance me with a gift (whaaaat?) But also initialize intimacy???  Good god, holy shit, okay.  

 

Man, having no expectations really paid off.  😂

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MrDane
On 2/13/2019 at 10:49 AM, Pappeh said:

Hi everyone! There are a number of questions that have come up in my mind as I try to comprehend asexuality from my perspective as someone very much sexual and I was hoping to have the community play devil's advocate to some statements. Feel free to respond to all, none, or some. I am in no means trying to suggest these statements are truths. They may be entirely false. I can even come up with my own counterarguments. But I want to hear from those of you who actually experience this. 

 

1. In a marriage between someone sexual who desires sex and someone asexual who is sex averse, there is a middle ground between them that is 'some sex under mutually agreeable circumstances'

 

2. One-sided sex in a relationship is worth the time and emotional investment for the asexual sex averse member to be able to perform out of love for the sexual member of that relationship, if they can compromise on boundaries that are acceptable.

 

3. Someone who identifies as asexual and sex-averse can be sexually intimate in a mixed sexuality marriage over time and derive fulfillment from maintaining the marriage through that intimacy, without developing resentment.

My initial thougth is that as the ‘sex averse’ is against having sex and not just bored about it or not benefitting enough or would rather do something else, the whole argument is a bit off. It reminds me of coping with torture or forcefeeding someone with gross stuff, just because it is culturally acceptable. 

 

1. No. Not with someone “sex averse”, but perhaps if they are “sex neutral”. I dont think ‘mutually agreeable’ is a possibility with a sex aversion. Perhaps there could be circumstances, where the acer would actually sway more towards the neutral position. For instance by removing “the sex”, but can it then still be called ‘some sex’, if it is actually masturbating while getting a foot rub? Idk?

 

2. I think, it would be too mentally hard. No sex could result in no relationship and thereby losing your partner. ‘Have sex’ could result in losing yourself. (For the sex averted)

 

3. Only if they are actually ‘sex neutral’ when the stars are aligned and all the circumstances are rigth. And they never feel pushed while being in their ‘aversion’. The result could be a heavy sway to a more permanently aversion, perhaps even an anxiety.

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Nowhere Girl

@MrDane - almost ironically, one of the best and most sensitive responses in this topic comes from a non-ace...

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anamikanon
On 2/13/2019 at 3:19 PM, Pappeh said:

1. In a marriage between someone sexual who desires sex and someone asexual who is sex averse, there is a middle ground between them that is 'some sex under mutually agreeable circumstances'

Will vary from couple to couple, but yes, it is possible. Several couples achieve this here (my partner and I included) and possibly many couples achieve this without knowing the term asexual. My guess is that it may be harder for an asexual man trying to compromise with PIV sex in terms of practical problems maintaining a hard on, while a woman can probably lie back and tune out, so to say.

 

That said, the nature of sex with an asexual will always be somewhat altered in the sense of instinctive behaviors and arousal and interest and initiative and curiosity and so on, even when mutually agreeable, so this is something the sexual will have to learn to accept.

 

On 2/13/2019 at 3:19 PM, Pappeh said:

2. One-sided sex in a relationship is worth the time and emotional investment for the asexual sex averse member to be able to perform out of love for the sexual member of that relationship, if they can compromise on boundaries that are acceptable.

Will depend on the couple. If they are really deeply in love and well matched otherwise, the whole of the relationship is a powerful motivator to want a partner's sexual contentment. If it is a relatively new relationship or less serious or one or both partners are more self-centered, they may not want to bother.

 

On 2/13/2019 at 3:19 PM, Pappeh said:

3. Someone who identifies as asexual and sex-averse can be sexually intimate in a mixed sexuality marriage over time and derive fulfillment from maintaining the marriage through that intimacy, without developing resentment.

Personally, I don't think sex averse and sex are a good mix. I don't see how it can be sustained longterm. Many asexuals are sex neutral, or as my ace describes himself - sex indifferent. He doesn't care about sex enough to be averse either and doesn't mind having sex and can even enjoy an orgasm for the momentary pleasure/release/whatever he feels. For him, sex is not something he'd choose, but not a huge deal if he has to have it either. If he doesn't have the energy, he can fall asleep in the middle of it without even being bothered to say "ok stop, I'm sleepy" - he'll just go on on autopilot till he drifts off. For someone like that, sex doesn't cause resentment or trauma and such, so it doesn't build up over time as a negative impact on him. He could do it indefinitely.

 

Personally, I think sex averse people should stay away from sex unless they have things they are not averse to that they can do. And any sane sexual partner who loves their partner will not be interested in or aroused by sex that is an unpleasant experience for their partner.

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anamikanon

Above post may seem a bit contradictory on the sex averse front.

 

To some extent, I think all aces are sex averse. Even my sex indifferent ace would probably have a panic attack if I went at him with my once normal frequency. Also what each one likes and dislikes can be different.

 

My general idea is that if someone ends up doing something they find unpleasant, they will not be able to sustain it longterm without resentment. As someone madly in love with my ace, the idea of him doing something he finds unpleasant for my pleasure is horrifying and negative on the sexy scale. I'd qualify as sex repulsed and thus not wanting sex at all if faced with a partner who finds the experience unpleasant.

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anamikanon
On 2/15/2019 at 5:07 AM, ☆゚°˖* ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ said:

Now I've got a guy who will 100% not lead or initiate and I'm like oh god damn it.  I'm so bad at this. 😭  But I'm taking it as a means to build up my confidence?  

I can relate with this. I've always been an active participant in sex. Taking the lead easily. Till... my ace. Initially I did take the lead in our relationship too, and that is probably why we are in a sexually enjoyable space. He had no preference on sex whatsoever and zero instinct - I assumed it was inexperience/shyness, but in hindsight, this should have been a RED FLAG. There was a lot of sensitive handholding, helping us both discover what worked for him, etc. But with time, as my awareness of his lack of enthusiasm grew, I started wanting to take the lead less and less to the point that about a year before we discovered he was asexual, all my favorite sex was where he decided what happened. I have things I like or prefer, but more than all that, I prefer him comfortable and involved.

 

Another dynamic was my absolute horror of coerced sex and damned if I wanted to be a villain in that scene, so the more aware I was of his lack of enthusiasm, the more I held back to ensure his willingness. To the point where I don't expect any sex from him at all. We aren't platonic, but the sex is rare and initiated by him when he is comfortable with no expectations that he has to ever  do it. Any sex that happens is an individual event and no pattern is assumed.

 

I am not frustrated, because I basically see myself as single and him as a companion. In the sense that if I am frustrated on occasion, it may be because I feel a need for a sexual relationship (not him).

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☆゚°˖* ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ

That does sound a lot like my relationship.  Only he doesn't ever initiate.  It has to be me, always.  We've come to the conclusion that if I want anything I need to ask for it.  It's really hard for me.  And also I just want to be desired but that's not happening so I need to adjust my wants and compromise.

 

His benevolence is tenfold, but I still feel like I'm missing a piece of him... which is stupid and really frustrating for me.

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ryn2
1 hour ago, ☆゚°˖* ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ said:

I still feel like I'm missing a piece of him... which is stupid and really frustrating for me.

It’s not stupid - it’s human nature for most sexual people.  You are missing a piece of him in a sense.  You can’t help missing it any more than he can help not having it.

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anamikanon
On 3/9/2019 at 8:41 PM, ☆゚°˖* ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ said:

That does sound a lot like my relationship.  Only he doesn't ever initiate.  It has to be me, always.  We've come to the conclusion that if I want anything I need to ask for it.  It's really hard for me.  And also I just want to be desired but that's not happening so I need to adjust my wants and compromise.

 

His benevolence is tenfold, but I still feel like I'm missing a piece of him... which is stupid and really frustrating for me.

It is hard. Also, we sense the sexual piece missing. Except it isn't missing in our relationship, it isn't there at all in the person. It is like learning a new way to relate. At least for me, it totally upended my idea of love. It is still hard to define what we have, though we are happy enough together. 

 

For us, it is a whole package deal. A certain kind of involvement, a certain intimate zone not shared with another, etc. Take the sex out, and at least for me, the whole thing was up for second guessing. I still have times when I simply tune him out - indifference - he's no longer on my radar. I care about him, but the sort of awareness with a partner, when you always have a sense of them as a sort of ... background music to life... it isn't there. Perhaps it is a sexual thing? Some primitive instinct to keep track of a mate that sort of just vanishes if you aren't having sex?

 

And when I say this, I don't at all mean that I love him less, or that we are having trouble. We are actually in a fantastic relationship overall. It is just.... different. Not what clicks in my mind as an intimate one. Which is strange, because we also know each other pretty deeply, connect superbly on emotional and intellectual levels, are in perfect sync, are very comfortable with each others bodies, even occasionally have sex... but brain registers it as some variation of best friends. If I feel sexually frustrated and long for a relationship, it is me longing for a relationship with a new partner. Not him!

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ryn2
1 hour ago, anamikanon said:

the sort of awareness with a partner, when you always have a sense of them as a sort of ... background music to life... 

This is a big part of what I tried (and failed!) to explain to tele a while back about what distinguishes a romantic (even if non-sexual) partner from a friend!  

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Telecaster68
2 hours ago, anamikanon said:

I care about him, but the sort of awareness with a partner, when you always have a sense of them as a sort of ... background music to life... it isn't there. Perhaps it is a sexual thing? Some primitive instinct to keep track of a mate that sort of just vanishes if you aren't having sex?

This resonates with me, to continue the aural metaphor.

 

The background music factor is part of the bonding from sex, I think, the 'nothing else is like sex'. Humans give far more importance to events that are associated with physical arousal (not just sex, but fear, stress, excitement etc. There's much peer reviewed literature on this), and if our relationship is associated with the physical arousal of the intensity of mild trauma, which I think good sex can be, but, positive rather than negative, that association will extend to our partners (again, much literature on how we associate arbitrary things based on repetition and proximity). So take it away, and that visceral level of association will eventually fade. Hence - more like a friendship.  

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ryn2
42 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

So take it away, and that visceral level of association will eventually fade.

Does anyone know if it fades in ace/ace relationships?  It’s definitely a good way to describe how I have about my partners (versus my friends) despite not having a sexual bond with them.

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Telecaster68
2 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

Does anyone know if it fades in ace/ace relationships?

Based on my hypothesis, I'd predict it's never there, but since it's subjective, we'll probably never know.

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ryn2

There’s definitely something there that is markedly different than friendship.

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ryn2

(I’m back to leaning towards “maybe I *am* ace” because the more I talk to people - here and otherwise - about what they really mean by “desiring partnered sex” the less I can relate to it at all and the more I think I actually wanted things partnered sex got me)

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SCPDX
On 2/15/2019 at 10:41 AM, Telecaster68 said:

It's more sympathetic than you'd expect, but there is a fair amount of weight attached to how much of a fuck the lower libido person clearly gives. 

Late  to this party, but whatever. 

 

I think you’re spot on about deadbedrooms. Ultimately I had to leave, though. Too many people in the “anger” stage of grief. Which is great when you’re there too, not so great when you want to move on. 

 

Also, here there’s a *lot* more sympathy for those of us trying to stick it out in the marriage. In deadbedrooms, there’s very little acknowledgement that leaving a long relationship with kids and a home and a shared philosophy of life (except for the sex thing) and all that is hard. 

 

Granted, I get a lot more: “You should consider leaving” than most long-term married people here in the SPF&A group, so it also might be me. 

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SCPDX
43 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

There’s definitely something there that is markedly different than friendship.

Depends on what you call friendship. I consider my wife more of a “work wife”. We support each other in managing this family, we eat together and go to happy hour together, and we are fully platonic. 

 

I’ve had plenty of work wives in my outside the home career. I’m still close with a lot of them even though I don’t work with them anymore.  And I truly can’t see the difference between this and my relationship with them.

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ryn2
7 minutes ago, SCPDX said:

Depends on what you call friendship. I consider my wife more of a “work wife”. We support each other in managing this family, we eat together and go to happy hour together, and we are fully platonic. 

 

I’ve had plenty of work wives in my outside the home career. I’m still close with a lot of them even though I don’t work with them anymore.  And I truly can’t see the difference between this and my relationship with them.

Which makes sense for a sexual person based on what tele is saying/on the idea that (at least most) sexual people do not experience romantic love in the absence of sexual attraction... but romantic aces do report feeling something very different towards their romantic partners than they do towards friends.

 

My relationship with my most recent ex was always problematic from a sex standpoint and had been wholly sexless for years by the end.  For him that also heralded the end of loving me in any way distinguishable from friendship... but for me it did not.

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Sally
8 hours ago, ryn2 said:

Does anyone know if it fades in ace/ace relationships?  It’s definitely a good way to describe how I have about my partners (versus my friends) despite not having a sexual bond with them.

No, it doesn't fade in the same way, because neither ace feels like anything's missing.  The sexual does.  

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☆゚°˖* ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ
15 hours ago, ryn2 said:

Which makes sense for a sexual person based on what tele is saying/on the idea that (at least most) sexual people do not experience romantic love in the absence of sexual attraction... but romantic aces do report feeling something very different towards their romantic partners than they do towards friends.

I mean, that makes sense.  Sexuals can definitely experience sexual attraction minus romantic attraction, so why wouldn't the inverse also be possible?

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ryn2
36 minutes ago, ☆゚°˖* ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ said:

Sexuals can definitely experience sexual attraction minus romantic attraction, so why wouldn't the inverse also be possible?

It made sense to me but I was not able to offer up any example or description that successfully distinguished nonsexual romance from friendship.

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