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uhtred

Understanding sexual frustration

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uhtred

Another post made me wonder: do most asexuals understand sexual frustration - by which I mean that for most sexuals the lead in to sex / foreplay is great fun, but becomes very frustrating  / overall pleasant if it doesn't lead to sex.   At least for me its like being hungry, sitting down to fine dinner, ordering the food and having it delivered - but then getting up and leaving without eating. (only worse). 

 

Some posts and some of my experience make me wonder if this is something most asexuals are aware of. 

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SusannaC

That’s an interesting and appropriate analogy I think, except for asexuals sex is not important or desirable.  Therefore it’s not necessary to sit at the “table” to begin with- so how can they understand, really, our sexual frustration?

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SusannaC

Uhtred, what do you view as foreplay?   If kissing and touching in a sexual way are frustrating for you, of course I understand your feelings- and I question why you do this with a partner you know wants nothing more.  If sitting at a lovely and expensive dinner or walking on the beach with your partner is frustrating then i have more difficulty understanding.  She would certainly nott be entering into those situations with the expectation of sex.

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nineGardens

... I'm not entirely sure, but I suspect that my lack of sexual frustration was something that confused/concerned my Ex.

"Did you get there?"

"Dunno, wasn't paying attention." *Hugs*

"Wait what?"

 

I think for me, I understand the idea of sexual frustration is a thing... and if someone was experiencing it, I wouldn't want to wind them up TOO much....

but knowing that it exists and "Getting it" I suspect are different things.

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Sally

As an asexual who had two long relationships with sexuals, I understand that they feel it.  I've observed them experience it, and they've told me they feel it.    

 

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ryn2

Aces with libidos can at least understand what it’s like to have to stop part of the way there because someone comes home... but if someone has no libido (and never had one, even as a teen) it’s a bit like asking someone to understand what addiction feels like if they’re not personally prone to it.

 

I’m *not* comparing sex to addiction - that was just the only thing you have to experience to “get” that came to mind.  I suppose being in a sports or artistic “zone” could be another?

 

As I said in the other thread, though, there’s also some variability in play.  The specific range of behaviors that might lead to sexual frustration vary from person to person, and may also vary for a given person from time to time.

 

For example, something you might be fine with the day after you most recently had sex - e.g., your partner patting your hip or squeezing your hand on the way by - could be way too much six months or six years later.  Or, a hug when you’re both (non-sexually) excited about good news could be fine but a hug when you’ve spent the day thinking about how much you wish your partner wanted sex like you do could be markedly less fine.

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uhtred
1 hour ago, SusannaC said:

Uhtred, what do you view as foreplay?   If kissing and touching in a sexual way are frustrating for you, of course I understand your feelings- and I question why you do this with a partner you know wants nothing more.  If sitting at a lovely and expensive dinner or walking on the beach with your partner is frustrating then i have more difficulty understanding.  She would certainly nott be entering into those situations with the expectation of sex.

I'm considering foreplay to be physical interaction that many people would find arousing.  Intimate kissing.  Long hugs with kissing on the neck. Lying together naked in bed. 

 

She *sometimes* wants more, but rarely.  The thing is that she really enjoys all the above activities - and feels unloved if I stop them. She has never understood that this sort of physical intimacy becomes unpleasant if it doesn't lead to sex . (I've started another thread on that issue)

 

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vega57
22 minutes ago, uhtred said:

I'm considering foreplay to be physical interaction that many people would find arousing.  Intimate kissingLong hugs with kissing on the neck. Lying together naked in bed. 

 

She *sometimes* wants more, but rarely.  The thing is that she really enjoys all the above activities - and feels unloved if I stop them. She has never understood that this sort of physical intimacy becomes unpleasant if it doesn't lead to sex . (I've started another thread on that issue)

 

I think part of the problem is that you see what's bolded as "sexual" or "arousing" for "most" people.  Yet, there are a number of sexual (women especially) who complain that their (often, male) partner sees those things as a precursor to sex.  

 

Intimate kissing (for example) can be seen as an activity unto itself.  It can be passionate and intimate for its own sake without it having to "lead" anywhere.  

 

I was with a man for many years who would find something I was doing (such as vacuuming) as arousing. 

 

Some people have more turn-on switches than a 747.  While this may be frustrating, is it really up to the partner to do something about it?  

 

ETA:  Also, it can be just as frustrating to an asexual to know that almost ALL forms of physical contact is going to cause their sexual partner to want sex.  Heck, it doesn't even have to be physical!  Like I mentioned above, vacuuming the floor....

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Philip027

I know that it exists, but I can't claim to understand it, as I don't experience it.

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SusannaC

Uhtred,   I too would find certain types of “intimate” kissing- (not just a closed lip peck on the cheek) and lying in bed naked with my partner frustrating if I knew this led Nowhere.  These are usually precursors to sex after all... unlike vacuuming😅  As a sexual person I dont think that is an unreasonable or inappropriate reaction for you to have.   Why put yourself in these situations then?  Why not have a boundary - not alllw yourself to do these things -if you know sex is a no with her?  You can certainly say tell her these behaviors make you uncomfortable because you ARE sexual after all.

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ryn2

As someone who TMI! always sleeps naked that one might trip me up but I’d expect people to find the other two examples sexual/stimulating.

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uhtred
1 hour ago, SusannaC said:

Uhtred,   I too would find certain types of “intimate” kissing- (not just a closed lip peck on the cheek) and lying in bed naked with my partner frustrating if I knew this led Nowhere.  These are usually precursors to sex after all... unlike vacuuming😅  As a sexual person I dont think that is an unreasonable or inappropriate reaction for you to have.   Why put yourself in these situations then?  Why not have a boundary - not alllw yourself to do these things -if you know sex is a no with her?  You can certainly say tell her these behaviors make you uncomfortable because you ARE sexual after all.

Its a surprisingly difficult conversation with someone who doesn't experience it.  "I thought you liked kissing me...."   She also wears lingerie around the house because I enjoy seeing her in it....

 

She has some difficulty really empathizing with how other people feel, and just sort of maps onto how she would feel in a similar situation.  In this case I don't think she has a comparison of something that is nice /  pleasant, but which becomes frustrating when not followed by other things. 

 

 

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ryn2
12 minutes ago, uhtred said:

Its a surprisingly difficult conversation with someone who doesn't experience it. 

 

12 minutes ago, uhtred said:

She has some difficulty really empathizing with how other people feel, and just sort of maps onto how she would feel in a similar situation.  In this case I don't think she has a comparison of something that is nice /  pleasant, but which becomes frustrating when not followed by other things. 

Does she masturbate, or does she have little to no drive for anything sexual at all (whether or not it involves other people)?

 

If she does masturbate, maybe she can at least relate to how unpleasant it is to get started and then be interrupted by something outside her control.

 

If she has no sex drive at all, for partnered or solo activities, and never has... that’s bound to make relating a lot harder.  You’d probably have to go with one of the above suggestions about making certain things completely off-limits... or at least requiring her to ask your consent each time for those activities, so you can first confirm (right beforehand, not for a theoretical future) whether or not it’s going to lead to sex and decide (right then, for that time) if you care.

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Serran
4 hours ago, uhtred said:

I'm considering foreplay to be physical interaction that many people would find arousing.  Intimate kissing.  Long hugs with kissing on the neck. Lying together naked in bed. 

 

She *sometimes* wants more, but rarely.  The thing is that she really enjoys all the above activities - and feels unloved if I stop them. She has never understood that this sort of physical intimacy becomes unpleasant if it doesn't lead to sex . (I've started another thread on that issue)

 

For aces the need for physical intimacy without sex is a real emotional need. And cant be met cause the sexual partner wants sex from what makes the ace feel loved / intimate but it leading to sex ruins all the bonding loving stuff from it. So, relate how you feel about lack of sex to how she feels about lack of intimacy. Same boat. 

 

Problem is though to meet your needs, she has to give up hers. To meet her needs, you have to give up yours. Thats the problem. 

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uhtred
15 minutes ago, Serran said:

For aces the need for physical intimacy without sex is a real emotional need. And cant be met cause the sexual partner wants sex from what makes the ace feel loved / intimate but it leading to sex ruins all the bonding loving stuff from it. So, relate how you feel about lack of sex to how she feels about lack of intimacy. Same boat. 

 

Problem is though to meet your needs, she has to give up hers. To meet her needs, you have to give up yours. Thats the problem. 

Yes.

Fortunately in our case she is not completely asexual, so we sometimes engage in sexual activity which she sometimes enjoys, but the gap is a huge strain. 

 

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uhtred
1 hour ago, ryn2 said:

 

Does she masturbate, or does she have little to no drive for anything sexual at all (whether or not it involves other people)?

 

If she does masturbate, maybe she can at least relate to how unpleasant it is to get started and then be interrupted by something outside her control.

 

If she has no sex drive at all, for partnered or solo activities, and never has... that’s bound to make relating a lot harder.  You’d probably have to go with one of the above suggestions about making certain things completely off-limits... or at least requiring her to ask your consent each time for those activities, so you can first confirm (right beforehand, not for a theoretical future) whether or not it’s going to lead to sex and decide (right then, for that time) if you care.

Its bizarre. She has said she doesn't masturbate, but the toys sometimes move so I assume she does.  She has mentioned frustration if we have sexual activity and she doesn't get off - but that is pretty rare since she is happy for me to use a vibrator on her. (which almost always works). She doesn't seem to connect that with arousal from less direct intimate activity.  I think for instance that she finds kissing pleasurable, but not arousing - and so doesn't see why I do. 

 

These days I've gotten so used to it that its not so bad anymore. 

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ryn2
16 minutes ago, uhtred said:

She has said she doesn't masturbate, but the toys sometimes move so I assume she does.

Maybe she’s dusting under them?

 

If what you’re assuming is true, though, it sounds like - for whatever reason - she isn’t comfortable having an open, honest conversation about sex with you... which means a lot of things will just remain a permanent mystery.

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ryn2
20 minutes ago, uhtred said:

She has mentioned frustration if we have sexual activity and she doesn't get off

You may be able to use this ^^

 

to help explain this vv

 

8 hours ago, uhtred said:

the lead in to sex / foreplay is great fun, but becomes very frustrating  / overall pleasant if it doesn't lead to sex. 

 

23 minutes ago, uhtred said:

I think for instance that she finds kissing pleasurable, but not arousing - and so doesn't see why I do.

Does she agree that people with fetishes find them arousing, even though people who don’t share those fetishes do not?  I mean, I don’t personally have a fetish for feet, or for adults wearing infant-style diapers, or a number of other things... so I don’t understand how/why they are arousing to people who do... but I get *that* fetish objects are arousing and can respect the fact they are.

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anisotrophic
4 hours ago, Serran said:

For aces the need for physical intimacy without sex is a real emotional need. And cant be met cause the sexual partner wants sex from what makes the ace feel loved / intimate but it leading to sex ruins all the bonding loving stuff from it.

idk I've got broad categories of physical intimacy that aren't sexual for me.

 

We sleep together nekkid & cuddle probably every night. I cuddle with my children too. During the day we might hug or hold hands -- again, things I can also share with my children. These are all physical intimacies that aren't sexual.

 

Kidding on the neck though?? omfg yes that would get my pulse racing and cloud my mind, that's very sexual to me & my impression is that's pretty standard too

 

My partner understands that some things will arouse me. If something arouses me that wasn't intended I'll ask for a bit of space. He has also deliberately aroused me when he feels like I need sexual intimacy (and is prepared to follow through) but I find this unsettling (I would rather I initiate than get into the "I'm not attracted to you but I'm initiating because I'm worried that you're sad and need sex" zone because omg that zone is confusing...)

 

So @uhtred I don't know. My partner is self-described as asexual so that makes this conversation much easier. I say "this is um" and he says "oops" and it stops. I think it's natural that some physical things are sexual, I don't buy the idea that you're misreading all physical intimacy as sexual, and I can only reflect that communication with your partner has sounded like there's a lack of clarity or awareness, I wouldn't say that's an ace thing but maybe it's a human thing that makes a mixed relationship harder?

 

@ryn2's ideas seem like constructive ideas if you want to try communicating....

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Sally
5 hours ago, Serran said:

Problem is though to meet your needs, she has to give up hers. To meet her needs, you have to give up yours. Thats the problem. 

It is indeed.  The need for many asexuals to always have their body to themselves is just as strong as that of sexuals to share their body with someone else in sex.  

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Serran

Different people have different interests in physical intimacy. You can cuddle naked, uhtred finds it sexual. You find neck kissing sexual, I can find it arousing but I love it for itself so not leading to sexual stuff is just fine for me. 

 

When I was with my exes who liked traditional sex, I was cut off from most forms of physical intimacy I liked. Kissing (long, romantic style kisses, kissing sessions, etc) were too arousing. Spooning put their penis too close to my vagina and apparently caused it to touch me so was too sexual. After several weeks of no sex even a long hug began to be too arousing cause my breasts pushed against them. Coming out of a shower had to be a clinical no contact affair cause kissing them before I was dry and dressed was sex and I just wanted a kiss while I walked by... 

 

Then there is my wife who likes to touch my chest and stuff without it being sexual. Last time we went into a no sex stuff on table period she came up and made a joke about me being like our dog, then followed it up with a "belly rub".. which the way my dog likes them is more a chest rub and she was really confused when I later mentioned she was still a tease cause she didnt even think of that could be arousing. I dont mind being teased, as long as she is still willing to cuddle and stuff but it honestly didnt even cross her mind cause her libido was gone so she wasn't thinking about sexual stuff and just enjoying the closeness we have in that she can touch me. 

 

So. Uhtred is saying the physical intimacy his wife feels loved by is too sexual for him. Doesn't really matter if its "normal" sexual lead ups or not. She needs this in a non-sexual way and he needs sex to provide it. Mismatch. 

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ryn2
28 minutes ago, Serran said:

She needs this in a non-sexual way and he needs sex to provide it.

I guess the one piece that’s not clear to me from what (I recall of what) uhtred’s described is this.  The way he describes her actions, it sounds more like she does them for him because she thinks they are things he likes (not for herself because she needs - nonsexual - physical affection).

 

If (I’m remembering wrong/misunderstanding, or) he’s misinterpreting her reasons for doing these things, and she actually does do them because she needs physical affection, that might explain why she continues to do them even though he has explained that the whole thing is hurtful.

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uhtred
15 hours ago, ryn2 said:

Maybe she’s dusting under them?

 

If what you’re assuming is true, though, it sounds like - for whatever reason - she isn’t comfortable having an open, honest conversation about sex with you... which means a lot of things will just remain a permanent mystery.

She is absolutely not comfortable talking about sex.   Sadly I have some difficulty with that as well because of how I was raised. 

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uhtred
4 hours ago, ryn2 said:

I guess the one piece that’s not clear to me from what (I recall of what) uhtred’s described is this.  The way he describes her actions, it sounds more like she does them for him because she thinks they are things he likes (not for herself because she needs - nonsexual - physical affection).

 

If (I’m remembering wrong/misunderstanding, or) he’s misinterpreting her reasons for doing these things, and she actually does do them because she needs physical affection, that might explain why she continues to do them even though he has explained that the whole thing is hurtful.

There are a few things going on and its all rather confusing.  She enjoys physical affection without sex.  I enjoy it as well - during times when our sex life is good. Not every kiss has to lead to sex.  OTOH when our sex life is minimal to absent, things that remind me of sex are not welcome.    She knows that I enjoy physical affection and sex, but doesn't really understand that things that are arousing to me are not pleasant if not followed by sex.  She clearly doesn't find casual physical affection to be arousing, so I think doesn't at some level really understand that it is for others. 

 

If this sounds a bit muddy - it is.  My tolerance for physical intimacy without sex varies over time as well. Some times its OK, sometimes is just frustrating and annoying. 

 

Some of what is going on is that she seems to have a very sharp dividing line between "sex" and "not sex".  For me there is a continuum activities that range smothly from completely non-sexual to having sex. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ryn2

I find it’s hard to talk about sex with someone the topic makes really uncomfortable, too.  I can usually talk most anything sexwise with most anyone... but it was just about impossible with my most recent ex because his extreme discomfort affected me.

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Traveler40

Masturbation is a huge part of my life and is the only sex my current room and mattress has ever seen.  I never really bothered to conceal or hide my activities until one night when my husband came into the room (not uncommon to walk through to the master bath) and decided to rip the covers off of me to embarrass and shame me.  I’ve never been the same around him again with regard to the subject.

 

He seems fine discussing sex, knows I engage in sexual activity and is overall open.  However, after that night, it all changed for me.  He had explained that the pressure, combined with feeling displaced and lacking, got the best of him.  However, his reaction killed off my desire to be open and candid about my needs.

 

I covertly masturbate around him now. He knows it must be happening, but the free flow, “no need to hide it from him” feeling has fled. Mainly, I try to take care of business when he’s not home which is not always possible. 

 

Anyhow, while not complicated to discuss, it’s definitely complicated!

 

Edit: That all made sense in my head in relation to the topic at hand - “does she / doesn’t she masturbate”, and “is it difficult to talk about”....In retrospect, it doesn’t read as connected as it felt to me while typing it 😬.  Yeah, some days the elevator doesn’t go all the way to the top! Just sayin’

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ryn2
28 minutes ago, Traveler40 said:

I covertly masturbate around him now. He knows it must be happening, but the free flow, “no need to hide it from him” feeling has fled. Mainly, I try to take care of business when he’s not home which is not always possible. 

I was punished and shamed for masturbating as a young child (not in the sense of it being sinful; more in the sense of it being a weird, embarrassing way to behave that made my parents look bad and should never, ever be done, which I took to mean it had to be hidden at all times) so it’s always been something I’ve kept just to myself.  I’m fine discussing it (and, oddly, one of my only me-involving fantasies used to involve doing it peep-show style in view of booths filled with invisible strangers) but I nevvvver did it where/when I could be caught.

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Serran

I've never wanted to masturbate before my current partner awakened my libido. I used to be rather masturbation repulsed when seeing others doing it (especially male) cause of past trauma ... so always preferred partners do it privately. Though, I lack that repulsion reaction with my spouse. Its weird. And I do it occasionally myself now.

 

But... also... toys can be moved for lots of reasons. Maybe she regularly washes them because they are used on her sometimes and doesn't want to risk bacteria building up and risking a UTI? Maybe she has other things in the space that she needed and they were in the way? 

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ryn2
18 minutes ago, Serran said:

toys can be moved for lots of reasons

*nods* mine are in a drawer with some clothing and they get knocked around all the time.

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SCPDX
On 3/26/2019 at 11:55 AM, Traveler40 said:

Masturbation is a huge part of my life and is the only sex my current room and mattress has ever seen.  I never really bothered to conceal or hide my activities until one night when my husband came into the room (not uncommon to walk through to the master bath) and decided to rip the covers off of me to embarrass and shame me.  I’ve never been the same around him again with regard to the subject.

Um, wow. Given the situation, I’d call that abusive. 

 

I get mad enough when my wife walks into the bathroom while I’m taking care of myself in the shower. Something like what you described there? That could well get me to a level of anger I’ve never experienced. I don’t know how I would react. 

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