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anisotrophic

Sexual experimentation - is charity sex better than celibacy?

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anisotrophic
1 hour ago, ryn2 said:

That makes me curious...  @anisotrophic are you testing abstinence from partnered sex and abstinence from all sex (i.e., no masturbation) separately?

Hah, yes, interesting question.

I am abstaining from partnered sex with my partner. I mean: not seeking it out... avoid thinking about it, planning for it, expressing interest, that sort of thing. It's mostly about my own mindset and behaviors, not his. I'd rather he not initiate because I'd rather avoid feeling sexual attraction to him -- but I don't anticipate him having any desires to do so, either. The few events resembling initiation in the past have been a response to me expressing arousal, which I don't plan to do.

I'm not abstaining from solo stuff. I think I'd rather not do too much of that? But it's fine, it's not banned, all things in moderation.

I'm also technically not abstaining from partnered sex with others, but that's not happened in a very long time and I don't plan to seek it out, so I don't anticipate it happening.

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anisotrophic

Apparently when I commit to not initiating or flirting at all, and finding happiness in that... and after we've gone several weeks without sex... then he initiates.

Not intentionally, not consciously, it only happens after he's aroused. But we were being physically and emotionally affectionate, and in bed together, and with that emotional context and physical contact his body responded. ("But it will ruin your experiment," he said. "My experiment is mostly about *my* behavior, not you," I reasoned.)

We've lost count of weeks; as I became more interested in celibacy, I wasn't really keeping score. He doesn't do solo stuff. It makes sense that his body will eventually respond, in a trusting and relaxed situation.

I'm going to continue not expecting or seeking sex, and keep recording data. If another outcome is that he comes to understand his own sexuality better within the space created by this, that's good too. I used to feel hurt that he would only express interest within a very narrow situation (i.e.: been a while + full body physical contact + emotional closeness -> arousal -> interest) but I feel more relaxed about it now, very accepting that he can't desire me outside that magic combination. (It still feels easier to assume we aren't having sex. It helps to know I could date someone else, someday.)

Sometimes I'm not sure what asexuality is, beyond a bucket into which many different things seem to fall. "If you have any sexuality," I said, "It's very, very muted." He readily agreed.

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James121
On 4/21/2019 at 11:17 PM, anisotrophic said:

The title is partly a joke, but only partly. 😄

 

I'm currently unsure whether I'm better off (a) pursuing charity sex or (b) chilling out with celibacy.

 

I got into celibacy lately and I feel like I could be doing either -- which is to say, I'm not sure if charity sex is better for me, it could actually be worse. (And while I could pursue sex with others, I really don't have time for it.) So: it's an open question, which is better?

 

I get moody sometimes trying to decide which I should be doing. There isn't any universal "right answer", but which one is right for me? So...

 

I'm thinking I'll do an ongoing experiment on myself: switch between the two options (according to some algorithm) and track outcomes.

 

(At the very least, this promises to take away the ongoing "should I?" worries that are bothering me.)

 

I wonder what outcomes to track.

 

Mood? Relationship satisfaction?

Neither is better. They both suck. My advice is this. You don’t have time to pursue sex elsewhere.....make time!

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anisotrophic
2 hours ago, James121 said:

Neither is better. They both suck. My advice is this. You don’t have time to pursue sex elsewhere.....make time!

Well I've got young kids, I think it'll be good for them to get a bit older.

 

In the meantime I'm glad to have good memories of adventures in the past? I'm sad that those ended, but I think it'd be harder without ever having had those -- I didn't entirely miss out on such stuff.

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ryn2

I feel like if/when the timing is ultimately right for you to add another partner/whatever, you will make time for it...

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)

I thought you meant charity like you giving people sex out of pity for free 😧 ..Don't you have a young baby or am I thinking of the wrong person? Lol I know a lot of women who really don't want sex at all for like 4 months at least after giving birth!! Celibacy all the way as far as I'm concerned :P

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anisotrophic
56 minutes ago, Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?) said:

Lol I know a lot of women who really don't want sex at all for like 4 months at least after giving birth!! Celibacy all the way as far as I'm concerned :P

Hah, oh well, another reason I'm not very good at being female.

 

I do want sex, but maybe mainly with someone that desires me, and I think it'll be a bit like "I want to do [amazing thing I don't have time/budget for]" -- a someday dream.

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xstatic ☆゚°˖* ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ

I have a friend who has three small children, has a husband, and a boyfriend, helps run a business and is going back to school.  I don't know how she does it all.  Even typing it all out was exhausting for me.  😂

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Serran
On 5/5/2019 at 12:10 PM, ☆゚°˖* ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ said:

I have a friend who has three small children, has a husband, and a boyfriend, helps run a business and is going back to school.  I don't know how she does it all.  Even typing it all out was exhausting for me.  😂

I work and go to school and have a wife. I can barely manage. So I have no idea how people do it either. :lol: Kids alone are a full time job  

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anisotrophic

I'm only three for five on that list, but I don't think I'd count my spouse as a source of labor! Hard to imagine doing the other things without him.

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anisotrophic

So... it's been three weeks. I decided I'll just alternate, not do coin tosses every three weeks.

Retrospective on "me not initiating / seeking it out": when I do this, I get sad. I feel unloved. I refuse to ask for sex, and then he decides to do it & tells me to please accept it as a gift. And then I accepted it because I decided it wasn't me initiating, I wasn't seeking it, so it wasn't breaking the experimental plan. (Convenient of me, huh.) But I tried to avoid it, and it drove me to be very sad... So, his initiating happened twice during this three week interval.

I guess the next three weeks are about me initiating. Allowing myself to feel/express desire, respectfully, and initiate. I'm traveling at the moment. I feel a bit nervous about the switch when I'm back.

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ryn2

I hope it’s a helpful learning experience.

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MrDane

I am not for celibacy. I fear it comes with a harder depressionlike state of mind than charity sex. I dont like the idea of charity as it implies a difference in levels or hierarchy.

“Let me give you a hand, my poor minion!” ( pun intended)

i like better

”You are important to me and as sex is important to you, then I will, out of love, make it important for me to give you some. I just need a lot of ground rules.”

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anisotrophic

Thanks @MrDane... it seems that my attempt failed to be celibacy, since eventually he offered when I was so unhappy while avoiding experiencing/expressing desire for him. I appreciate that the "charity" hierarchy has issues. I tried to consider it a gift made out of love.

 

Now I'm trying letting myself feel and express desire. So far not feeling great about it, but just started.

 

Pick my poison... test my poisons, I guess. Sometimes life is choosing between mediocre options.

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anisotrophic

So I've been continuing this, and I think I'll call an end to it. I think it's ended well, and it's not where I expected. (So I learned something.)

I learned that intimacy eventually happens regardless, even when I think "no sex" and become very accepting of that.

Rarely, in a quiet moment... his body responds, and his actions follow, and we have intimacy... and I'm thankful. It feels like if I keep sexuality dialed back to zero -- but lots of physical affection, no shortage of this! ... then, eventually, after weeks, it feels like there's a moment where some faint spark within him has a chance to glow.

Maybe that's an illusion on my part, that spark, merely his physiology catching up with the need to release and a desire to make me feel loved. But it's a moment that feels filled with love. It makes me happier than pursuit: accepting that it might never happen, learning to feel loved in many other ways, and then occasionally being pleasantly surprised.

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ryn2

I’m glad it landed somewhere you enjoy!

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degenerate

@anisotrophic your experiment was really cool

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xstatic ☆゚°˖* ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ

That's awesome!  I'm so happy for the both of you!

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oof001

@anisotrophic

Thanks for doing this experiment! I think my gf can relate to your husband in a sense that there’s a process to her feeling the want for sex.  “(i.e.: been a while + full body physical contact + emotional closeness -> arousal -> interest)”. 

 

Do you think in the long term  showing physical affection with zero expectations for sex, and allowing for a spark to grow over time will be enough to keep you happy? 

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anisotrophic
1 hour ago, oof001 said:

Do you think in the long term  showing physical affection with zero expectations for sex, and allowing for a spark to grow over time will be enough to keep you happy?

I think so. I've learned that a lot of what mattered to me was "feeling loved" and the physical affection in that.

 

Also, I think this is happy for me because I'm allowed to look elsewhere, to have sex with others, but I don't bother. (And I think this allowance is genuine; we had an open relationship when we dated long distance around 15 years ago.)

 

That makes it easier for me to more genuinely treat sex as something that might never happen again with my partner, and being OK with that. Not having sex is just due to my own lack of energy/effort to find some other partner, not something I've sacrificed.

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anisotrophic

I learned last night he thought I didn't want him to initiate. That I found sex with him an unhappy experience.

 

It's true that I feel really vulnerable and he needs to be kind, and it's true that I'm completely serious that he should feel like it's ok if we never do it again, but...

 

I think sex -- when it does happen -- becomes something precious. Like some faint music only heard when every other sound is removed, like stars you can only see when the sun and moon have left the sky, and the night is as dark as you can make it.

 

Sorry if that was stupidly sappy. But the dial is as close to zero as I can bring it, and I appreciate rare moments, if he wants to give them to me. I'm very vulnerable and hesitant with the asymmetry, he has to reassure me, but he says he's ok with that (maybe it makes him feel special to be trusted with the vulnerability).

 

I think maybe it's happened once since my last post? Brief. I don't keep track, since it's ok if the score is zero.

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xstatic ☆゚°˖* ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ

Yeah I don't think my boyfriend and I have had sex for like a month now.  We've been so busy though, I wouldn't expect it.  Most nights when we were together, we weren't getting back to his place until 10pm and then we would have to be back to work at 8am.  

 

Then we had our first vacation together last weekend, but I knew that he needed to unwind and him stressing about sex was the opposite of unwinding for him so I didn't even press interest.  Now I'm sick, next weekend we have a weekend class to teach... 

 

I don't see sex happening anytime soon.  If he initiated in the middle of all of this I would be very surprised.  I don't feel the same sentiment that you are feeling right now, but I think that sort of sentiment comes and goes for me.  I'm pretty sure that the reason is because I don't have enough spoons to be that vulnerable right now.  When other aspects of my life calm down, I'll probably open myself up that way again.  I definitely find your sentiment very sweet.

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neverlove
On 8/8/2019 at 4:10 AM, anisotrophic said:

 

I think sex -- when it does happen -- becomes something precious. Like some faint music only heard when every other sound is removed, like stars you can only see when the sun and moon have left the sky, and the night is as dark as you can make it.

This is lovely. What you’ve said makes think that you don’t just want sex, you want sex with him. You’ve been changing your approach and that seems good. It sounds like you took a step away from a physical emphasis on sex and began focusing on more emotional aspects? 

 

I think you’re husband does like having sex with you, not because it’s sex, but because it’s you. I also think he probably stores up these moments too. I was just on a thread with someone on the other side of this and I’ll repeat what I said to him with some amendments. Your husband’s reasons for initiating sex are just as important and valid as your own. Just because he doesn't want it for the same reasons you do, that doesn’t mean he has no desire for it at all. Initiating sex from a place of love, is equally as important as from a place of desire, if not more so.

You are not incurring some massive karmic debt just because you are the motivation for your husband to have sex. I think the main thing here is changing how you view sex together. Try asking him what some of the good things are about having sex with you. I know there are some. Ask why does he like having sex with you, and he does, because he continues to do so. I think the important thing for you is to know how and why sex is a positive experience for both of you. 

 

(Disclaimer: I’m sorry if I’ve made any incorrect assumptions. I really felt compelled to write something because this thread made me want to jump through the screen and give you a massive hug and I really think you should ask your husband how sex is a positive experience) 

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MrDane

I would never choose celibacy. Circumstances could force it upon me. Not having sex all the time, or regularly, is not celibacy. 

 

If she said: “sex between us is forever off the table”. My reaction would be something on the line of: “...but sex is not off my table and I would like us to still be us!”

 

but I would surely prefer making plain occasional love to my loved one, rather than having a lot of wild sex with someone else.

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anisotrophic

Six weeks into T and we've had sex a couple times but I don't know why I'm doing it. It's like trying to pantomime something I used to feel. I can't tell if I have any sexuality left.

 

Feels like I've trying to recapture... an illusion, the sense that I'm desired, something I never had in the first place. Feels pointless, and embarrassing to go through the motions. Can't remember what it was like to be desired, and maybe my subconscious has finally given up on wanting it. It doesn't hurt so much anymore. Everything about sexuality feels numb.

 

I guess this all confirms the previous conclusion: that I'll probably be happier if I'm not trying to have sex. And yet I do, I feel stupid and sad for that.

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neverlove

You don’t sound happier. You don’t sound relieved. 

 

It sounds like you are trying to cut off a part of yourself to keep from feeling the pain. I think you need to talk to your husband about what you are feeling, or a therapist if you have one. This does not sound sustainable. You are cornering yourself emotionally and I am worried for you. Please speak to someone in your life. I think you need more help than the internet can offer. 

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SusannaC

@anisotrophic- sounds like you’re going through a tough spot.  Perhaps it’s the transitioning effects on your body?  I am struck by your statement that you’ve never been desired.  Makes me sad, that such a strong and thoughtful person feels that way.  Perhaps in reality you just never met the right person or was in the right place.....and perhaps NOW sex is more than your spirit can handle at this time in life too.  I went through that phase too- as a mother, with challenging kids and a busy exhausting career.  After all - in an asexual/sexual relationship, sex is work too.  Doesn’t always come naturally for sure.  
Hugs to you 

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Traveler40

The sadness is tough, and I feel for you from afar. I must say that your words feel fleeting which is a good thing. Remember that this is but a moment in your journey, and it too shall pass.  
 

You are well intentioned and always thoughtful. You did not start this journey on a whim and likely the T may manipulate emotion as well. No, it has nothing to do with mixed orientations, but it may have an impact on how you feel about it.  Ups and downs - this down is a moment I hope you pass through quickly.

 

Lastly, could any of it be postpartum?  I had my daughter roughly around the same time of year as your last one, and my darker feelings hit around month 9.  Just a thought.

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anisotrophic

@neverlove oh this is nothing compared to bad times, just numb. We talk. He is worried, that's why we went ahead with the effort. One can't force these things.

 

@SusannaC I guess I was probably desired 15 or 20 years ago, but I can't really remember, I think maybe I was just convenient. I used to wonder what it would feel like, but I've gotten good at shutting that line of thinking down.

 

@Traveler40 the T is definitely messing with things. Emotions are generally more muted, learning to deal with bottled-up negative emotion (probably exercise), family tensions related to transition. It's commonly reported to affect sexuality but I think "increased libido" is not universal a bit simplistic (and maybe a stereotype of masculinity); in other cases transmen report changes in orientation – and @Pygmalion speculated in another thread that T may have made him low libido or ace. I think I can see how that can happen – losing the high, the euphoria – sex seems more purposeless.

 

Probably not related to the pregnancy directly, but maybe general stress, being tired. Thanks for observing it feels fleeting! You're right that there's a lot changing. I should focus on resting and dealing with other challenges.

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Silent1

@anisotrophic This is my first day here, I haven't even registered yet, and only researching if my wife is asexual and if that explains some of the problems we now have after 11 years marriage (seems so since the few threads I've read so far really hit home!) but I felt the need to comment for totally unrelated reasons. 

 

Anyway, beyond finding much value in your experiment and appreciating your sharing/reporting I really wanted to point out that you have an incredibly beautiful way with words. I mean the topic at hand might hinder some of the potential but even then your words, phrasing, descriptions and all made it impossible for me to not continue reading. Even the "mundane" reporting parts were interesting to read. 

 

If you're are not a professional writer/novelist, the may be missing out a little bit. 

 

 

This, here, is absolute poetry!

--" think sex -- when it does happen -- becomes something precious. Like some faint music only heard when every other sound is removed, like stars you can only see when the sun and moon have left the sky, and the night is as dark as you can make it."--

 

 

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