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ravi_the_traveler

Sorting it out after many years of marriage...

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Serran

Think the more conservative the area the more its divided. Like if I sit with women here, its clothes, makeup, kids, shopping, how men are this or that stereotype, how now im married I need to learn to cook and keep house every day. They even excuse cheating behaviors as mens nature. So most the time I kind of zone out as they talk. I one time got ushered into the kitchen to "let the men do their thing", which made me feel like I had gone into the 1920s. Not to mention pressure to dress up sexy and wear tons of makeup for my spouse ... which, no. My spouse likes me natural, thanks!

 

I sit with the men and its video games, movies, fun stuff they did, comic books, or just general life stuff. 

 

Of course, if men start blabbing about sports or cars i get bored and leave. And im sure when women arent about they stereotype us as bad as the women do them... but...

 

And yes if you were a woman you probably would still wear mens pants and t-shirts... since ours have baby pockets you cant even fit a phone in (I need my phone at work in a pocket !) and sleeves that sit in your armpit instead of further down the arm which makes me put a jacket on over it even when warm *grumblegrumble* Not to mention sweaters that are warm are hard to find, as are ones that are long enough to cover the abdomen and not stop just at the hips to show them off..  

 

And the above is why I shop in the mens department. I want functional clothing and spend 3 hours hunting for it in womens departments, whereas mens have it all over. Not to mention mens pants (trousers) are in inches and ours are in sizes that are numbers and the numbers dont matter (im a size 7-8-9-10-12 depending on cut and brand, so unless im buying the exact same style and brand I have to try everything on). 

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ryn2
31 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

I think there might be something in a wider cultural sense going on here. I get the impression US and some other countries are far more bothered about differentiating male and female behaviour than in Europe.

That’s likely true.  A fair amount of male fashion and mannerisms that are apparently not seen that way in at least parts of Europe read as effeminate/likely gay in the US.

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CBC
27 minutes ago, Serran said:

I honestly never understood feeling female or male... 

 

I also cant relate to women much. Get along better with guys. Do more male centric stuff. Cannot enjoy a "girls night". Generally prefer mens clothes and would love to get rid of my feminine body parts (boobs, uterus, vagina). 

 

But, end of the day, I dont feel male or female. I just am me. So... when people say they feel either I cant understand what it means. 

 

I try to respect gender issues cause I know its important to people. But it has to come from a just accept whatever is said, dont understand at all. 

All of this, exactly. I've no concept of what it would be like to feel a particular gender. I'm a woman, some of the aspects of being one annoy me, but it's whatever. I don't feel feminine, I don't feel masculine, I just feel like a person. I find having boobs kind of annoying and I find all the bullshit associated with having a reproductive system that will never produce children to be a pain in the ass (pregnancy seriously grosses me out, and I spent nine weeks pregnant -- veryyyyy unintended -- prior to having an abortion in my mid-20s, and I know I couldn't tolerate the whole process). So being a woman means very little to me in any significant way, however I have no reason to not identify as female and consider myself cisgendered. But yeah, when other women say they feel feminine, I just kinda draw a blank.

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anamikanon
33 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

I think there might be something in a wider cultural sense going on here. I get the impression US and some other countries are far more bothered about differentiating male and female behaviour than in Europe.

Interesting. This thought had crossed my mind as well. That my indifference was possibly because I hadn't grown up with very strong stereotypes to begin with. As in, there are things men do and things women do, but at least in my upbringing I hadn't come across anything being a big deal because girls don't do it kind of thing. And I've done some pretty radical things that would give men a doublethink too.

 

In the sense that I am often scandalous and outrageous and going above and beyond to achieve something specific, but it has usually been by any standards. Not just gender. And there are things I've conformed on, that many meek women would object to - simply because I didn't care one way or the other and conforming seemed fastest to end the matter.

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ryn2
4 minutes ago, anamikanon said:

I hadn't grown up with very strong stereotypes to begin with.

I grew up with parents who considered themselves as having bucked the stereotypes (and in some, but definitely not all, ways they had), but in a setting where nearly everyone else was still conforming and where my parents’ refusal to conform just got me (more) bullied...

 

...but the way I indentified with story characters predates realizing any of that and was not something I shared with my parents anyway.

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Telecaster68
10 minutes ago, Serran said:

Think the more conservative the area the more its divided. Like if I sit with women here, its clothes, makeup, kids, shopping, how men are this or that stereotype, how now im married I need to learn to cook and keep house every day. They even excuse cheating behaviors as mens nature. So most the time I kind of zone out as they talk. I one time got ushered into the kitchen to "let the men do their thing", which made me feel like I had gone into the 1920s. Not to mention pressure to dress up sexy and wear tons of makeup for my spouse ... which, no. My spouse likes me natural, thanks!

 

I sit with the men and its video games, movies, fun stuff they did, comic books, or just general life stuff. 

 

Of course, if men start blabbing about sports or cars i get bored and leave. And im sure when women arent about they stereotype us as bad as the women do them... but...

 

And yes if you were a woman you probably would still wear mens pants and t-shirts... since ours have baby pockets you cant even fit a phone in (I need my phone at work in a pocket !) and sleeves that sit in your armpit instead of further down the arm which makes me put a jacket on over it even when warm *grumblegrumble* Not to mention sweaters that are warm are hard to find, as are ones that are long enough to cover the abdomen and not stop just at the hips to show them off..  

 

And the above is why I shop in the mens department. I want functional clothing and spend 3 hours hunting for it in womens departments, whereas mens have it all over. Not to mention mens pants (trousers) are in inches and ours are in sizes that are numbers and the numbers dont matter (im a size 7-8-9-10-12 depending on cut and brand, so unless im buying the exact same style and brand I have to try everything on). 

My ex-wife's family was far more traditional than mine. In part, this was a class thing; they were working class 'made good'. My family have been firmly middle class for generations, and in the UK, working class norms are either very traditional conservative, or leftwing radical out of the christian socialist tradition. Middle class cultural norms are far more relaxed and liberal (in the European sense). The upshot was that my inlaws would split off into the women in the kitchen, men in the living room, and I'd feel constrained by manners to stay with the men, while preferring to be with the women in the kitchen, and cooking. My father in law (an engineer who made it from welding apprentice to head of R and D in a big company) was a nice bloke, but I'm fairly sure he saw me as somewhat effete compared to my brother in law, who was a car salesman. Father in law was also a bit snotty about his younger brother, who was an academic.

 

I didn't know that stuff about women's clothes, although I'd heard the no pockets grumble. The trouser sizes thing doesn't quite work though; I'm at least two different waist sizes depending on cut, and the smaller size can easily be looser than the bigger size.

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@Serran At least half of what I own comes from the men's department, yeah. Or the boys' hahaha, since I'm a person of rather small stature. Way more comfortable, and I'm not much into girly clothing anyway. I went for some of that in my mid/late teens, skirts and more closely-fitted items, but a lot of them are a pain in the arse, and honestly as a depressed 30-something with chronic health issues and a very uneventful social life, I much prefer bumming around my house in relatively plain, neutral-toned sweatpants and hoodies. The last time I wore a dress was my gran's funeral in May of 2017, and prior to that... perhaps 2012? A lot of stuff that I buy in the men's clothing section is more unisex-looking anyway, so it doesn't mean a whole lot that it comes from there. I might be gay, sure, but I'm not into the whole butch lesbian thing... I'm just into the "I'm getting old and anything other than comfort isn't worth the fuss" thing. :lol: 

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ryn2

I shopped a lot in the men’s section as a tween and young teen (tall, skinny) but once I hit puberty the fit was all wrong.  That was a factor in my eating disorder too.

 

My family was working class made (barely!) good but even the longstanding wealthy in this area do the whole men/women rigid division thing.  Wealthier families are less judgmental of white-collar jobs not being “manly,” as compared to poorer ones, but that’s probably more because of the money factor.

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Jamie91

Wow, I identify with this so much. Like you, I can't stomach "compromise sex," even though it seems to work for others. I feel like a rapist. I've also asked my husband not to kiss me when my feelings are not in check. It's torture to us both. I hope you find answers. I hope we can make our marriages work.

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anisotrophic
7 hours ago, Jamie91 said:

Wow, I identify with this so much. Like you, I can't stomach "compromise sex," even though it seems to work for others. I feel like a rapist. I've also asked my husband not to kiss me when my feelings are not in check. It's torture to us both. I hope you find answers. I hope we can make our marriages work.

I think it depends a lot on whether someone is indifferent-to-positive vs. averse. My husband has compared it to a minor chore like doing laundry. Other aces find it more unpleasant.

 

That doesn't (and shouldn't imho) make me feel like a rapist, although it's still very disappointing. I don't think charity sex is something to feel guilty about accepting, but I understand that it's not for everyone.

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Serran
31 minutes ago, anisotropic said:

I think it depends a lot on whether someone is indifferent-to-positive vs. averse. My husband has compared it to a minor chore like doing laundry. Other aces find it more unpleasant.

 

That doesn't (and shouldn't imho) make me feel like a rapist, although it's still very disappointing. I don't think charity sex is something to feel guilty about accepting, but I understand that it's not for everyone.

I think it depends as much on the person who is accepting as the one offering. I couldn't handle compromise sex, personally. I made it clear to my wife I only want what we both mutually desire, she is to never give if shes not 100000% into it. 

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My issue back in the day (bit of a different overall scenario in the end, but still) was not one of guilt since my husband was willing and not repulsed, but I have a problem with "charity sex" because ultimately I just find it boring and mindfuck-y. Someone can go through all the motions, even successfully and pleasantly, but if you're not being wanted, if there's no actual connection based on sexual desire... that's a thing that you feel. It's empty. So it's a no on compromise sex for me. I'm pretty sure it would ultimately be the breakdown of the relationship. I just can't fathom... still feeling anything romantic eventually.

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Serran
2 minutes ago, CBC said:

My issue back in the day (bit of a different overall scenario in the end, but still) was not one of guilt since my husband was willing and not repulsed, but I have a problem with "charity sex" because ultimately I just find it boring and mindfuck-y. Someone can go through all the motions, even successfully and pleasantly, but if you're not being wanted, if there's no actual connection based on sexual desire... that's a thing that you feel. It's empty. So it's a no on compromise sex for me. I'm pretty sure it would ultimately be the breakdown of the relationship. I just can't fathom... still feeling anything romantic eventually.

I would just feel ... gross and unwanted during. And like I was forcing something they didn't even want. Not at all romantic or sexy for me. I'm fine if my wife says I don't want sex anymore. But, I'm not fine if my wife says I don't want sex, but I will keep doing it. Just... no thanks, not interested. 

 

Not that it's anything wrong if people find that works for them. I just know I personally could not have a sexual relationship that way. 

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Yeah it's uncomfortable to feel unwanted in that sense. I remember going through a mindfuck of coming to the conclusion that I was just being slutty. 😐

 

God this was so long ago and irrelevant to my life now haha, but I'm the sort of person who does too much thinking about everything and I've come to a lot of recent conclusions about my marriage and they piss me off if I think about them too much. But, it's life I guess... learn through experience and all.

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anisotrophic

It's probably a bit different when navigating it after many years of being intimate with someone.

I did push myself to get past being very upset of being unwanted, it's definitely unnatural... but my choices aren't the ideal ones, I can only choose within the context I have. We're already entangled, with love and kids. Maybe it'll fade over time, but I think something gradual will be better than the abrupt upset I had last year when this started.

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6 hours ago, anisotropic said:

It's probably a bit different when navigating it after many years of being intimate with someone.

Absolutely, yeah. Which is why I'm a very strong advocate of those who know that they're asexual stating it from the get-go. I understand people learn along the way in life -- hell, I've been there in some major ways -- and that can lead to frustrating and heartbreaking situations. But if someone knows, there's no excuse.

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anamikanon
9 hours ago, anisotropic said:

I think it depends a lot on whether someone is indifferent-to-positive vs. averse. My husband has compared it to a minor chore like doing laundry. Other aces find it more unpleasant.

Mine has said similar. When he's well rested and in a good mood and feeling romantic, he can even enjoy sex for the closeness, touch, making me feel good, etc. He finds an orgasm "pleasant". Works great, which is how when we were LDR, the sex was reasonably good. Particularly on short visits. After a while he lost interest even on longer visits, but that wasn't a big issue, since it followed initial day or two of good sex. I thought he was just low libido, which wasn't a big deal for me, and he thought that was all there was to sex. He didn't get what the big deal with wanting it was, but didn't mind if this was what was supposed to happen in a relationship. More in the sense of a milestone to achieve with a partner than any frequency attached to it. lol

 

Living with me, sex became a chore - not a huge problem, but definitely an unpleasant prospect to do indefinitely and regularly. That was when he freaked out. Not so much that he can't handle sex, but the prospect of being expected to do it regularly long term, when he definitely wouldn't have opted for that naturally.

 

Laundry is a good example. I can do laundry, including washing clothes by hand, but damned if I like doing it. It may even be satisfying on occasion, to handwash something that matters to me carefully, but a daily pile of clothes is absolutely not attractive, even when doing it causes no harm. I think he got panicked about the time and effort to spent on sex that could be spent on things that matter more than any actual problem with sex. Like signing up for wasting time.

 

This is different from descriptions I've read here - dislike, aversion, pain, feeling stressed about the whole thing... Not sure how that can be overcome unless there is perhaps a skilled lover who can help find niches that are genuinely enjoyed. Not even sure that overcoming aversion to offer sex can result in sex that is any good - a sensitive lover will sense the aversion and feel icky. Heck, even without an actual aversion, the prospect of aversion made me feel icky enough to completely leave him alone sexually.

 

Now that he is no longer expected to have sex, he's back to having no problem with it, initiating it and even enjoying it for peripheral reasons - extended touch, closeness, giving me an intimate and pleasurable experience, not busy with something else or WANTING to be with me.... ALL the sex we have currently is when he initiates it. And he does. And it is good, because he does it when he is in a mental space to enjoy that closeness. It is more common now that I am not in a mental space for sex, because I no longer expect it to happen, so when it does, it can be a bit of an ambush with my mind completely elsewhere. What to say, I am a stoic sexual. I adapt 😁

 

Funnily, though he does find orgasms pleasant, it is never a motive for sex. As in, not even peripheral. Makes no sense to my sexual brain, so obviously I've asked him often and in fifty ways. How can you not want something you are calling pleasurable? The closest he's explained it is that it happens when it does and it is nice, but not nice enough to drop what is doing that holds his interest, or sleep or even during what is obviously pleasurable for me - as in he gets more pleasure from my reactions than the orgasm - which is actually on his list of motives. *shaking head in disbelief*

 

I think for a sexual relationship to work for me, the partner enjoying himself is important. Not necessarily sexual pleasure, but he has to want it, and like what goes on. Not sure this is possible with an averse person. But the puzzle also is how sexuals in relationships with averse people don't notice way early into the relationship. Asexuals may not understand sex, but sexuals do. Surely aversion is a big red flag and out of place during sex? Or maybe they do wonder, get some explanations or think it will resolve with time and just get used to seeing it as normal?

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ryn2
2 hours ago, anamikanon said:

Surely aversion is a big red flag and out of place during sex?

I think for some people NRE, perhaps “reaching a milestone” as you mentioned with your partner, etc., come into play early on.  Then, as it becomes something they have to do over and over after the novelty of being close has faded, sex gradually becomes more and more distasteful.

 

2 hours ago, anamikanon said:

think it will resolve with time

This happens as well.  I don’t see it as much for AMAB people but it’s pretty common to come across advice for AFAB people talking about how the first time is never very good, sex is often not good with a novice lover, x position may be more comfortable than y, etc.  It can take time and a few partners to realize that no amount of experimentation is making a positive difference.

 

2 hours ago, anamikanon said:

though he does find orgasms pleasant, it is never a motive for sex.

Does he (or, ar least, did he/would he when you weren’t a couple) masturbate?  I’m someone for whom orgasms from partnered activity are not “better” than orgasms from solo activity, and that can easily translate into “wow, that’s a lot of time and energy spent on something I could have gotten done so much faster and more effectively.”  To go with the laundry analogy, it would be like hand-washing, line-drying, and then ironing clothes that can go in the washer and dryer (and come out unwrinkled).

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Telecaster68
2 hours ago, anamikanon said:

he gets more pleasure from my reactions than the orgasm - which is actually on his list of motives. *shaking head in disbelief*

Not to the extent of not being bothered at all, but I it's pretty common amongst sexuals that their partner's pleasure is in the same general ballpark as their own. It's not altruism, particularly, but my experience is that sex isn't two separate sets of pleasure, one each. It's intertwined, and my partner's pleasure is very, very definitely on my list of motives for wanting sex.

 

2 hours ago, anamikanon said:

the puzzle also is how sexuals in relationships with averse people don't notice way early into the relationship

Many asexuals say they weren't averse to start with; NRE and hope made them actively enjoy sex or at least on the positive end of neutral. Combine this with the sexual noticing something that seems just a bit odd, but filing it under 'sex stuff that hasn't quite slotted into place - yet' and only several years later turns out to be the first signs of their partner not really liking sex in the same way they do, and it's more that neither partner quite understands that whatever disconnect is there isn't teething problems, but the tip of the iceberg (to mix metaphors).

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ryn2
2 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Combine this with the sexual noticing something that seems just a bit odd,

This is more likely when the sexual has a good bit of prior experience with enthusiastic sexual partners, too.  If the sexual is not very experienced there’s nothing to contrast to, especially if it’s not a same-sex relationship (and even if it is, it’s not uncommon for partners to prefer different activities).

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Telecaster68

Basically, it's the optimism bias at work.

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ryn2

That, and I think it really can get more and more unpleasant over time once the OMG I want to spend every second as close to you as I can be wears off and it turns out to be one of the forever things instead of one of the infatuation things.

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ryn2

...and in fairness all those things - it’s in part learned, so it’s not necessarily great at first; not everyone is a natural; people like different things - are true so it’s not overly optimistic to wait them out in most cases.  That’s especially true with partners who are relatively young.

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Telecaster68
1 hour ago, ryn2 said:

...and in fairness all those things - it’s in part learned, so it’s not necessarily great at first; not everyone is a natural; people like different things - are true so it’s not overly optimistic to wait them out in most cases.  That’s especially true with partners who are relatively young.

Completely agree. Patience is definitely warranted sometimes; the question becomes what to do when it runs out...

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ryn2
53 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Completely agree. Patience is definitely warranted sometimes; the question becomes what to do when it runs out...

Probably the first question is “what’s the outer limit on patience?”... or maybe “what are typical signs that patience isn’t helping?”

 

It seems like one big difference in relationships where people are comparable (I don’t want to say “well-matched” because they could have similar needs and yet not meet them for/with one another) sexually is that both parties will notice that something is awry.  If the partner being patient’s patience hasn’t yet run out, the other partner may still opt to end things because “this just isn’t working out” or “I don’t feel that way about you anymore.”

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ravi_the_traveler

I want to thank everyone for their input on this thread. It has helped. 

 

I am still flooded with with emotions I am still having a hard time processing. We both agreed that a separation is the right thing for now, and we go from there. Given we were both so young , we both find ourselves scared and nervous that things are changing because our entire adult lives have been with each other. However, we both recognize the tension in the current relationship.

 

we’ll see what the future holds, but it’s forward movement for us both. I can only hope both of us will be happier on the other side. 

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ryn2
23 minutes ago, ravi_the_traveler said:

I can only hope both of us will be happier on the other side. 

Same, whatever this ends up turning out to mean!

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