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anamikanon

Advice needed on intimacy

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anamikanon
11 hours ago, greynonomous said:

Also, I thought he was open to sex though? If he is affectionate and likes receiving affection back, and is open to sex (perhaps during previously agreed on Windows of time) then I have a bit of trouble seeing the issue without clarification. Is it that he's a dead fish, or you have to initiate all the time or what? What is the frustration here? Yes he may be acting, but flip this to the fact that a lot of people act during sex. Get into the performance, don't focus so much on second guessing what's real or not. If he's a bad actor, let him know what didn't work so he can get better.

He isn't averse to sex and while speaking at least, wants us to have a sexual relationship, but unless I initiate, nothing will happen. If I initiate, his agreement can depend on mood - he has to feel mentally not stressed with other things, etc (fair enough) and after that too, his agreement is momentary and he can simply lose interest at any point. Distracted, falls asleep, whatever, doing actions so absently while mind on other things that they are reduced to little more than mechanical friction and soreness... He may begin with the best of intentions, get one stray "ooo shiny" thought and is off on a mental vacation or simply drift off to sleep if physically tired.

 

They aren't actions he can help, but to me they come across as DISINTEREST and well.... that isn't hot. And I've developed some disinterest over the whole thing myself. Not just is this not sex, it feels like a perversion of intimacy. Even a mild aversion unless I see him mentally present and engaged, so to say. But these occasions are extremely rare - he can even enjoy sex at those times, even if mildly and limited. The rest of my behavior outside the sex has also started reflecting this indifference. I no longer act like I want to grab this person, etc unless I am reciprocating to his interest - it is making him feel unloved. Like I ignore him unless he seeks attention.

 

There is unresolved resentment, I admit. As a sexual, I don't think I fully understand his disinterest and while respecting disinterest is one thing, the unilateral exiting of sexual situations he agreed to (sleep, distraction...) is something I am not able to come to terms with in any way other than indifference - "whatever - does not matter".

 

Edit: The resentment is that it does not appear important enough for him to make an effort. Or perhaps he is not able, but I am not able to understand that. Regardless, this sort of a thing is repulsive. To be horny and hear a snore with your partner physically inside your body. Or to be horny and suddenly he follows some mental train of thought he was on and blurts something completely irrelevant to sex, intimacy or even us... in the middle of sex...

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anisotrophic
4 hours ago, anamikanon said:

Edit: The resentment is that it does not appear important enough for him to make an effort. Or perhaps he is not able, but I am not able to understand that. Regardless, this sort of a thing is repulsive. To be horny and hear a snore with your partner physically inside your body. Or to be horny and suddenly he follows some mental train of thought he was on and blurts something completely irrelevant to sex, intimacy or even us... in the middle of sex...

Have you talked to him about this?

 

The sleeping thing sounded surprising and unusual to me, for someone to go from arousal to that physically (!)... but I'm not sure if you said at some point it was post-orgasm for him, which seemed much more normal.

 

Voicing distracted thoughts seems like bad sex etiquette.

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greynonomous

... Does he have ADD? This is definitely a sex etiquette fail. One thing I do think an Ace partner should do if they are ok with sex is focus on the act. Not focusing on it breaks the experience and ends up being worse.

 

However it DID take me making some of these same mistakes and reflecting on what I, the ace person, wanted to get out of having sex. For me it was showing my partner I care, help them with something important to them and have them feel satisfied so they don't become sexually frustrated. Realizing that my partner didn't just need to get to completion, but rather needed the scenario to FEEL like I was as active and in the moment as they were, was like a switch in my mind.

 

I don't know why but my brain connected it to like being a Disney princess, you never are suppose to break character during the act. After (I like to wait a couple days so it isn't at the forefront of their mind) you both can talk about it like a coaching session of what worked/didn't/etc. It's a bit of a performance, but as long as I don't rub my partners face in that fact, it really helped them actually start to feel more satisfied about our sex life.

 

Maybe have him not allowed to talk during it till he masters not blurting random stuff out?

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ryn2
37 minutes ago, greynonomous said:

One thing I do think an Ace partner should do if they are ok with sex is focus on the act. 

Unfortunately, for some ace partners, this is what pushes them over the line from indifferent to repulsed (i.e., they can only participate on an ongoing basis by focusing elsewhere during sex).

 

That said, blurting out random thoughts (rather than just having them) is definitely bad sex etiquette.  The only exception I can see making (assuming it bugs the sexual partner and isn’t just something they see as a cute/funny characteristic of their mate) is for someone who is prone to doing this all the time, during many different (non-sexual) activities and scenarios.  In that case I would be more likely to believe they weren’t self-aware (or whatever) enough to catch themselves.

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anamikanon

I have no idea whether he has ADD. It is possible. He's always been rather.... indifferent to sex. He likes it on occasion if his mind is in the game or he can simply tend to... wander off. He agrees it is bad etiquette and he does not wander off on the rare occasion he initiates sex - when he feels mentally there, so to day, but this is too rare to even register as a sexual relationship for me. If I ask him for sex, he isn't averse, so he may agree but... he may not mentally be there fully.

 

I suspect it may also have to do with low testosterone. He can overall get really exhausted and drop off by the end of the day and the mind wandering off could also be related to simply being tired and tuning out. I've asked him to get it checked on and off, and he says he will, but so far he hasn't. He also has some other symptoms that could be related to low testosterone. Or it could all be a coincidence. I suspect his resistance to getting testosterone checked may be if he thinks I'm trying to "fix" his asexuality. I am not. Even with low testosterone, he could be asexual as well. Or it could be ADD as you suggest.

 

Overall, he has a lot of issues of dissociation and this could be part of that. Problem with being aware of what he's feeling, etc.

 

Also, I get the sense that a lot of aces tend to think of other things during sex, because sex doesn't really interest them. And the talking of what's on his mind probably happens spontaneously because we pretty much talk about anything that's on our mind and he's probably forgotten that he's in the middle of sex or something.

 

I have brought this up of course. Many times. He does get what the problem is, but his efforts to act differently don't usually succeed beyond a brief time. Either he simply loses interest in remembering to make the effort or he is unable to sustain it. His spontaneous way of avoiding the problem has been to avoid having sex altogether rather than offend me by drifting off during.

 

Regardless of the cause, it makes it really hard for me to be excited about him, when it could simply blow away on the breeze.

 

I am frankly fine with not having sex with someone I am not sexually excited about, but that also makes me lose interest in him overall. I don't feel a need to be sort of constantly aware of him and .... I don't know just attuned and wanting to get my hands on him kind of thing and it goes straight to "whatever". That in turn means I'm not very interested and aware of the ways he likes love being expressed - small daily actions, etc. It is like I don't notice him till he does something that brings him into focus. And making an effort to keep him in focus... I can do, but I end up feeling very frustrated and bitter about his disinterest, because then I become aware of that also constantly.

 

These days experimenting with small "dates" with limited purpose which can be affectionate and don't have a sexual context. Our evening walks together work. Having lunch together, doing specific things together that he enjoys... it is working to some extent but I still get the occasional bouts of resentment that I have to do all this so he can feel loved how he understands love, but I am not feeling loved how I need...

 

Not very logical, because he shows his love in a hundred other ways. It is hardly invisible. I guess it is a matter of getting used to this limited style of relationship.

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anamikanon
40 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

That said, blurting out random thoughts (rather than just having them) is definitely bad sex etiquette.

He doesn't do it often, but it doesn't take often to be jarring when it happens. Falling asleep happens more often. He crams his day with everything he can, and by the time it is time to go to bed, he's very ready to fall asleep already. He can stay up till dawn if we talk of something interesting, or he can drift off rather abruptly - even without sex. Pauses during sex can be enough.

 

To the best of my knowledge he isn't even aware of sex enough to be averse. Out of sight, out of mind and sometimes out of mind even when in sight.... sigh.

 

What hurts more than this is that he does not see this as enough of a problem to do anything serious about fixing it. He will accept suggestions and act on them briefly and then drop them regardless of whether they work or not. And I'm at a point where I've become indifferent to what he is up to on the relationship front.

 

The bizarre part is that our home life, mutual respect, very comfortable sharing of space, trust, responsibilities, taking decisions jointly, etc are all still phenomenally good. It is just the intimacy front that is absent. We can and totally do still count on each other to have our backs, to care... I've never been in a relationship like this. Working so well it could serve as an example to the world on some fronts and so dead as to be nonexistent on others. Like two completely different relationships spliced into one.

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anamikanon

He has called enjoying having sex with me or stimulating me sexually "whenever I wish" to be "like cuddling" or "giving me a back rub". He has said this often to reassure me that he is not at all averse to sex. Sadly, there seems to be more truth to it than I'd guess or prefer. Thoughts drifting off while cuddling or falling asleep isn't all that surprising, right?

 

I guess I am just frustrated. Part of it is that I want to make him feel loved, but seem to be unable to do it without opening myself to frustration. So it is easier to focus on the unfairness of it.

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greynonomous
55 minutes ago, anamikanon said:

Our evening walks together work. Having lunch together, doing specific things together that he enjoys... it is working to some extent but I still get the occasional bouts of resentment that I have to do all this so he can feel loved how he understands love, but I am not feeling loved how I need.

Ok, so do you not enjoy these outing gs? It isn't (shouldn't be) just so 'he can feel loved', it's an activity you can both feel loved.

 

Also, another thing that helped us on sex front for me was them u deratandi g that doing g it at the end of the day is exhausting for me. Noon or mid morning I tend to be much much more open to a spontaneous ask for sex vs after work and the kids are down during the week.

 

It does sound like he may have so etching there as I have never fallen asleep with someone touching or playing with my junk. Maybe sleep apnea, insomnia, there's a lot of reason but it sounds likechronic exhaustion.

 

This does present ADD like symptoms, decreased attention, and rambling etc. There are other possibilities more likely than low T though, so I would probably focus on the symptoms than try to diagnose him. Let the doctor do that part.

 

 

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ryn2

Is there a pattern to the things during which he falls asleep?  I had a partner who was (conflict-averse, and) guaranteed to nod off at the first break for breath (his - I could even be yelling at the time) in a late-day argument.

 

He also experienced it as being tired, and I’m sure he was, but he didn’t drift off in the middle of pleasant discussions.

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anamikanon

@ryn2He is conflict averse, but generally have not seen him fall asleep during an argument, say.

 

@greynonomousnot diagnosing so much as wondering. As for doctor, he isn't seeing one. He doesn't see this as a problem. Just how he always is. Readily falls asleep, not interested in sex beyond our initial period, and that too was in very limited spurts (we were LDR). He had tried to not tire himself out so much but like most efforts to fix this gap, works well when he does it, then he loses interest.

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anamikanon
1 hour ago, greynonomous said:

Ok, so do you not enjoy these outing gs? It isn't (shouldn't be) just so 'he can feel loved', it's an activity you can both feel loved.

I enjoy them, but they aren't exactly an expression of love that can replace actual intimacy. I can enjoy them while still feeling unloved. It works for him, but for me, while enjoyable, I need private, intimate time, free of distractions, focused on each other, etc.

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Telecaster68

Falling asleep is one of the ways people on the autistic spectrum may switch off when they feel overwhelmed.

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ryn2
11 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Falling asleep is one of the ways people on the autistic spectrum may switch off when they feel overwhelmed.

This was pretty clearly what was happening to my then-partner - his system was basically protecting him from something he could not handle, in this case arguing at bedtime - although afaik he was not on the autism spectrum.

 

I get it looking back but at the time it was very frustrating because trying (and failing) to reach a point where I could sleep was causing him to.  It took me quite a while to realize he wasn’t doing it on purpose and that it wasn’t an indication that he didn’t care about resolving things/whether I lay awake most of the night crying/etc.

 

In the end the solution was to bring things up earlier in the day.

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Serran

The blurting out random thoughts is something my partner does during sexy times. I find it funny. But, it certainly is a turn off when it happens. Though, my partner is into sexy times with me and initiates it and stuff too, just has issues not thinking of a million other times. She says she avoids blurting it out most the time, but sometimes... :lol: 

 

Actual sexy time scenario:

Kissing and stuff, clothes get removed, ask her to do something for me, she agrees... then randomly says "I wonder why no one tried going backwards in Ready Player One" and I just look at her and start laughing and ask "THAT is what you're thinking about right now?" 
 

 

I think it's more a personality thing than an avoidance or disinterest thing. If you aren't doing something that hyper focuses you and you're the kind of person that needs that to not wander, then, the mind is gonna wander. 

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anisotrophic

May as well check health stuff? My partner did, it was like... we didn't expect anything, but might as well? It reassured me that we'd checked.

 

I guess to some extent it's him that has to take action. 🤷‍♂️

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Philip027
13 hours ago, greynonomous said:

... Does he have ADD? This is definitely a sex etiquette fail. One thing I do think an Ace partner should do if they are ok with sex is focus on the act. Not focusing on it breaks the experience and ends up being worse. 

I'm not quite sure you have a firm grasp on what it is that causes many aces to suspect that they're possibly asexual in the first place...

 

Have you ever tried "focusing" on something you weren't really into?  How well did that work out for you?

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greynonomous
50 minutes ago, Philip027 said:

I'm not quite sure you have a firm grasp on what it is that causes many aces to suspect that they're possibly asexual in the first place...

 

Have you ever tried "focusing" on something you weren't really into?  How well did that work out for you?

Yes, most times I have sex as I have ADD and am Ace. I'm not saying it's something that is innate, but focusing on doing something is basic. If I'm cooking i need to focus from start to finish, or I will ruin the food.

 

Also, I learned that NOT focusing on the job at hand means my partner will not feel satisfied and either will be (a) hurt, and/or (b) their sexual needs won't be satisfied as their instincts it doesn't count and still be sexually frustrated. From even a cold calculation, it just makes more sense to focus and perform, and by upping the 'quality' then my partner actually feels less need for 'quantity'.

 

It's self defeating as an Ace to be willing to have sex and fumble it so your partner gets MORE annoyed.

 

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Philip027
Quote

If I'm cooking i need to focus from start to finish, or I will ruin the food.

And that's why some of us just don't even bother trying to cook.

 

Anyway, it's clear you don't sympathize at all, so nevermind.

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anamikanon
5 hours ago, greynonomous said:

Yes, most times I have sex as I have ADD and am Ace. I'm not saying it's something that is innate, but focusing on doing something is basic. If I'm cooking i need to focus from start to finish, or I will ruin the food.

It's self defeating as an Ace to be willing to have sex and fumble it so your partner gets MORE annoyed.

This.

 

12 hours ago, Serran said:

Actual sexy time scenario:

Kissing and stuff, clothes get removed, ask her to do something for me, she agrees... then randomly says "I wonder why no one tried going backwards in Ready Player One" and I just look at her and start laughing and ask "THAT is what you're thinking about right now?" 
 

Hahaha. Exactly this.

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ryn2
5 hours ago, greynonomous said:

I have ADD and am Ace.

At least based on my experiences with a past partner with ADD, willful focus is probably something you are much better at than many people.  Those without ADD, who don’t struggle as much to focus in general, often have never had to learn how to do it “on purpose.”

 

5 hours ago, greynonomous said:

I learned that NOT focusing on the job at hand means my partner will not feel satisfied and either will be (a) hurt, and/or (b) their sexual needs won't be satisfied as their instincts it doesn't count and still be sexually frustrated. From even a cold calculation, it just makes more sense to focus and perform, and by upping the 'quality' then my partner actually feels less need for 'quantity'.

This makes sense but for some aces it’s going to be really challenging (or impossible) because concentrating on being really present during sex raises (lowers?) it from something tolerable to something repellant.  It’s kind of like eating a food you mildly dislike... if you just swallow it down you’re fine.  It may even taste pretty good.  If you take your time, though - roll it around in your mouth, really pay attention to the full taste and the texture - and then try to swallow it, it’s gag city.

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ryn2

(I’m guessing some people will think “a person who reacts that way has no business describing themselves as indifferent to sex” but it’s an automatic thing and as long as they’re able to have sex “their way” they may not even realize it’s a problem.  E.g., if someone says to me “do you like slip-skin grapes?” I will say “yes,” as I do like the “swallow it fast” initial taste of most of them.  Ask me to eat each one slowly and I most definitely *do not* like them - they’re slimy and bitter when chewed and the seeds both feel and taste horrible to me - but I do my very best to never do that so “I like them” is what comes first to mind.)

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Telecaster68

I've noticed this kind of (what I'd call) ambivalence towards sex described as positivity before on AVEN. Does that then mean that what I'd call negativity would only be ambivalence for some people, as though there was slippage between the two scales?

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ryn2

“Sex positivity” is a (sociopolitical) mindset about sex in general; “sex-favorable” would be an ace (or other) person who personally enjoys or is on the good side of neutral towards actually engaging in sex themselves.

 

When you get down to individual details, though, you’re right in thinking there’s a range.  A fair number of people here consider “I am willing and able to have sex at least most of the time if my partner wants to” to be “sex-indifferent/neutral” or even “sex-favorable,” because to them “sex-repulsed” means the person is so put off by sex that engaging in it is basically not possible.

 

To someone who actually enjoys sex and actively seeks it, though, a good amount of “willing and able” - the kind that comes with “as long as I can go to my happy place and stay there,” “as long as it’s over with quickly,” “as long as the lights are off so my partner can’t see me gritting my teeth,” etc., tacked silently onto the end - is probably something they’d describe as an active dislike of sex.

 

Depending on how the question’s posed, the ace person might agree that they dislike sex... but it’s a thing that has to get done, so they make the best of it (to themselves and others).

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ryn2
28 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Does that then mean that what I'd call negativity would only be ambivalence for some people, as though there was slippage between the two scales?

Long answer above.  Short answer:  yep.

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Telecaster68

Actually I've seen people describe their experience of 'enjoying' sex in terms that I would say made it 'meh'at best, regardless of sexuality. 

 

Like your grape example... I'd never say I enjoyed a fruit I had to swallow quickly to stop it tasting bitter. Similarly, I've seen people say they 'enjoy' sex as long as they can tune out of the whole experience and think about MLP or something. That doesn't sound like they're enjoying it to me, as in both cases they're avoiding focusing or prolonging the experience because they find it unpleasant.

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ryn2

Agreed (with your observation).

 

I suspect for some people (me included in a lot of cases) the question “do you like...” coming from someone - a friend, a partner - who probably wants to do the thing reads as “would you do...” rather than “all other consideration aside, do you genuinely enjoy...”

 

Like:

A:  “hey, do you like box lacrosse?”

B:  (who doesn’t really have strong feelings either way, but could definitely come up with better ways to spend an evening) *shrugs* “yeah, sure.”

A:  “my sister gave me tickets for saturday.  wanna go?”

 

Once is probably fine.  Novel and fun, even.  But season tickets and two games a week, following the team on social media, going to fan events, getting a jersey, and traveling to away games?  B is probably going to be spending a lot of time with their smartphone or secretly planning their work (or gardening, etc.) projects in their head.

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Telecaster68
35 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

Agreed (with your observation).

 

I suspect for some people (me included in a lot of cases) the question “do you like...” coming from someone - a friend, a partner - who probably wants to do the thing reads as “would you do...” rather than “all other consideration aside, do you genuinely enjoy...”

 

Like:

A:  “hey, do you like box lacrosse?”

B:  (who doesn’t really have strong feelings either way, but could definitely come up with better ways to spend an evening) *shrugs* “yeah, sure.”

A:  “my sister gave me tickets for saturday.  wanna go?”

 

Once is probably fine.  Novel and fun, even.  But season tickets and two games a week, following the team on social media, going to fan events, getting a jersey, and traveling to away games?  B is probably going to be spending a lot of time with their smartphone or secretly planning their work (or gardening, etc.) projects in their head.

A rare case of someone else taking something less literally than I do, then...

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ryn2
29 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

A rare case of someone else taking something less literally than I do, then...

:)

 

It’s more of a social convention, at least here?  Like, when someone asks “how’s it going?” they don’t usually expect or want a detailed answer.

 

But some of it is also context and not wanting to disappoint someone.  In the box lacrosse example (which wasn’t about me, but could be as we do have a team here), I’m fine with box lacrosse.  I go there regularly for other things so I know how to get there, where to park, how to navigate the arena, etc.  Would I ever go to a game on my own?  Nope.  But if a friend I enjoy seeing wants to go, I’ll agree because I do want to see the person.  If I say no without a reason, they may feel like I don’t want to spend time with them (rather than that I just couldn’t care less about box lacrosse).  If I regularly turn down their invites they may stop asking/move on to other friends.

 

If they looooove box lacrosse, though, they may mistake my excitement at spending time with them as (shared) excitement about the game.

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Telecaster68

It was more that if someone said 'do you like lacrosse' I'd assume they were asking whether I liked lacrosse, with the potential follow up that if I said I did, they had a spare ticket, not that they were actually asking if I wanted a spare ticket.

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ryn2
9 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

It was more that if someone said 'do you like lacrosse' I'd assume they were asking whether I liked lacrosse, with the potential follow up that if I said I did, they had a spare ticket, not that they were actually asking if I wanted a spare ticket.

Ah, okay.  I would assume they were asking because they were interested in going (or potentially in giving away their own tickets... in that case I would beg off), unless it was part of a general discussion about favorite sports.

 

Is that geography-specific?  Here, “do you like...?” is a very common lead-in to an invite.  It’s typically “hey, do you want to go to... with me?” with a little more face-saving space built in.

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