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Asexual/ Sexual Relationship Advice

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OpenAlex

My question - How do other asexual/ sexual relationships similar to mine make it work?

 

I have decided to throw up a post in the hope that people may have some constructive advise for the relationship i am now in. I have been reading up alot on these forums in order to understand what it is to be an asexual, to educate myself if you will so that i can help my relationship and understand things from both points of view. 

 

I am sexual, my partner is asexual. We have been together for over 5 years now, recently bought an apartment together and have 3 beautiful kids together. My partner hasn't been them self for a while now and when the topic was approached this was put down to being depressed. We have been talking alot lately about what might be the cause/ reason for this and the topic came up about them possibly being asexual. This almost certainly the case and while she is happy we have found where she fits she still feels miserable and upset as though something is missing from her life and that she will always be like this. 

 

I have always had a fairly high sex drive however i have found myself wanting sex less lately due to circumstances mentioned above and it becoming less frequent.  I thought my partner was the same because at the start of relationship we would regularly have sex (daily). My partner isn't sex repulsed, she can enjoy it but very rarely and it doesn't make her feel great afterwards. She hates most forms of physical contact and it makes her feel uncomfortable to be touched by anyone, not just myself. We have talked about possible ways to stimulate her, things that she is interested so the same feeling i get might be reciprocated so she could enjoy it but i am not sure thats what she wants either? 

 

I want to make things work, i love her to bits and i always thought from the start "she is the one". Things seem to be really difficult at the minute which is why i am looking for some advice in the hope there might be something we have missed that would make us both happy. It kind of feels at the minute like either me or her can be happy and not both which i find unfair for both of us. She has suggested the idea of an open relationship and is willing to let me satisfy my sexual needs elsewhere (poly) however after a short period i feel like the idea of this in general isn't widely accepted / frowned upon and at the same time this is making me feel guilty/ bad for trying to pursue  it and feels like i am cheating/ going behind her back. I fee like the idea of sex/ intamacy once a week is the best compromise for me personally but how can this be a compromise to someone who doesn't get anything from it apart from the satisfaction of knowing i am satisfied? 

 

I know some people on here are against the idea of sexual/ asexual relationships and apologies if i offend anyone, this is something that has become apparent recently after being together for 5 years so i am looking for constructive solutions please, even if you would rather pm me, i just need advice :( 

 

 

 

 

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Dreamsexual

I'm really, really sorry to hear about your situation.  I know all too well how painful a mixed asexual/sexual relationship can be, and you have my sympathies.  Some sexual people here who have similar stories might be able to offer you advice.

 

Welcome to AVEN, I sincerely hope you find what you need during your stay with us.  Good luck! :)

 

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Grimalkin

So I'm the asexual in a relationship like that. Let me tell you, nothing makes me enjoy sex LESS than when my partner is trying to focus on my pleasure/get me to enjoy it. It sounds counter-intuitive, but it's true.

 

Sex is such a great and amazing thing for you that you desperately want her to feel the same way about it, but she's incapable of doing so. And I can't speak for her, but for me personally, I feel terrible when my partner keeps trying and trying because I just can't. I feel like I'm letting him down. Like I'm ruining everything. I get so mad at myself that I just can't make myself feel the way he does.

 

Trust me. Don't put that pressure on her. I know it hurts, but honestly, having sex "for the sake of" my partner is such an act of love for me. I adore seeing him lost in pleasure and happy. It can be mentally and physically taxing for me, so I can't do it every day, but that once a week thing you've got going sounds like it'll work just fine, if you let it.

 

Here's an idea I would pitch to her: To remove that feeling of imbalance, have your weekly session, and then draw her a really nice bath afterwards. Candles, suds, bath bombs, whatever. Then you leave her alone, and you go watch the kids or whatever. I suggest this because often after sex I am feeling kinda gross and overstimulated, and being given time to clean up and unwind is such a blessing. 

 

Think of it as an exchange of pleasure. Maybe not the same pleasure, but as equal as you can manage.

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Lizzy341

A open or poly relationship wouldn't be cheating or going behind her back, especially considering she was the one who suggested it!

however I can understand that feeling of disloyalty you have at the idea since we are kind of brainwashed into thinking monogamy is the only "right" way to go about a relationship, people in open or poly relationships are usually shown by media to be either A) cheating liars by not telling their partners, or B) people who only care about sex 24/7. But in real life open/poly relationship isn't like that at all, as long as you are honest with each other about what you are okay with each other doing in the open/poly relationship it's fine, definitely not cheating or disloyal.


I also agree with Grimalkin, it might be hard to understand but it sounds like she just doesn't enjoy it as much as you do, trying to find a way for her to enjoy it probably won't happen because as you've said she "doesn't feel great afterwards", the thing causing this feeling isn't necessarily how you are doing it, it's that you are having sex at all, you just have to accept that most likely there won't be any way of having sex together that wont have the same affect on her afterwards. Maybe if you figure out what part of sex is the problem you could try work around it a little but for the most part there's not much you can do to make her like it.
Now I'm not saying stop having sex altogether, if she's okay with having sex occasionally then that's entirely up to her, and yes try find a way you can both enjoy it but just be prepared to accept there probably wont be a solution to make her enjoy sex
In general I think you need to ask yourself whether the problem is that you can't have sex as often as you'd like, or that you can't have sex with HER as often as you'd like because those are different issues.

If the problem is that you can't have sex as often as you'd like then having a open or poly relationship would give both of you what you want and would be the best option.
If the problem is that you can't have sex with HER as often as you'd like there's not much you can do besides compromise on how often you do it.
Maybe if it's just the idea of doing something with her that you like, you could do something that's not as involved as having sex, maybe just do the foreplay together but skip the sex and masturbate, then you've still got the intimacy of being with her but she doesn't really have to follow through with(what I'm assuming is) the part that makes her feel bad, then having the weekly "sex" won't be so bad for her.
Maybe you could talk to her about if there's a certain part of sex that's particularly bad, skipping that might make sex easier for her... you did say that being touched makes her uncomfortable, you could try doing things without touch and put more emphasis on looking at each other's bodies rather than touching her body, I've really not got much experience in the sex department so I can't think of any examples you could do but surely there'd be something.

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OpenAlex

Hi @Grimalkin Thanks for sharing your advice, this somewhat helps and i will suggest the bath idea, we might have to change our routine slightly but i am fine with this. 

 

I would love for her to be able to feel the way i am feeling and partly the reason i offer / make such efforts is simply because she feels broken because its not their. I do keep telling her that there is nothing wrong with her its just a different preference of attraction like gay, bi etc. 

 

she does like to be left alone and not touched afterwards, if i just walked out and left her to it would that not make here feel worse/ used? I guess she is being used in a means to an end to please myself but the word "used" in this context sounds horrible. 

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OpenAlex
19 minutes ago, Lizzy341 said:

A open or poly relationship wouldn't be cheating or going behind her back, especially considering she was the one who suggested it!

however I can understand that feeling of disloyalty you have at the idea since we are kind of brainwashed into thinking monogamy is the only "right" way to go about a relationship, people in open or poly relationships are usually shown by media to be either A) cheating liars by not telling their partners, or B) people who only care about sex 24/7. But in real life open/poly relationship isn't like that at all, as long as you are honest with each other about what you are okay with each other doing in the open/poly relationship it's fine, definitely not cheating or disloyal.

It really is/ does @Lizzy341 . I have explored the idea a little, i tried looking on Fetlife and got overwhelmed with the do's and dont's being in a poly that i A) Didn't know how or where to start and B) felt like i got looked on using other sites as being some sleeze just after a hookup. 

 

If anyone has any experience of being in a poly in an identical relationship to myself i would love to hear from you.

 

19 minutes ago, Lizzy341 said:

If the problem is that you can't have sex as often as you'd like then having a open or poly relationship would give both of you what you want and would be the best option.
If the problem is that you can't have sex with HER as often as you'd like there's not much you can do besides compromise on how often you do it.
Maybe if it's just the idea of doing something with her that you like, you could do something that's not as involved as having sex, maybe just do the foreplay together but skip the sex and masturbate, then you've still got the intimacy of being with her but she doesn't really have to follow through with(what I'm assuming is) the part that makes her feel bad, then having the weekly "sex" won't be so bad for her.

I think its more the latter than the former at the moment, nothing pleases me know in knowing that i have given someone the same pleasure i experience during any forms of intimacy that yes it does hurt when i dont see her as into it as me and before i know about aces i used to blame myself and thought i was doing something wrong. I could try and follow through on the poly, try it out and see if my opinion of it changes, i guess i need to find like minded people local to me so i can do that. 

 

19 minutes ago, Lizzy341 said:

Maybe you could talk to her about if there's a certain part of sex that's particularly bad, skipping that might make sex easier for her... you did say that being touched makes her uncomfortable, you could try doing things without touch and put more emphasis on looking at each other's bodies rather than touching her body, I've really not got much experience in the sex department so I can't think of any examples you could do but surely there'd be something.

See this, we have been working on which is good. She has her kinks and i really need to encourage her to try some of them with me and see if any of those work. I feel like i would totally be ok without the sex part, its just a case of channelling that passion in a different manner, i feel i am quite open to trying new things and we are trying to establish some common ground.

 

I just hope some of the above goes some way to making her happy again, even just a little bit. 

Edited by OpenAlex

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ryn2
1 hour ago, OpenAlex said:

she does like to be left alone and not touched afterwards, if i just walked out and left her to it would that not make here feel worse/ used? I guess she is being used in a means to an end to please myself but the word "used" in this context sounds horrible. 

If you talk with her and agree on a solution similar to @Grimalkin‘s (something that gives her time to relax and recharge; could be a bath, if she likes baths, but it could also just be time alone to read or play a game or whatever) then, no, it would feel like you’re giving her the agreed-upon “recovery space.”

 

That shows you’ve heard her and that you recognize sex is hard work she does for you.  Insisting on solutions that don’t work for her - seeking ways to make her want sex more, focusing on her pleasure when that’s not what she’s asked for, cuddling afterwards when she wants to be alone - will just leave her feeling more and more misunderstood.

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ryn2
1 hour ago, OpenAlex said:

She has her kinks and i really need to encourage her to try some of them with me and see if any of those work.

Be sure and talk with her about this as well.  If she’s ace, sharing her kinks with a partner may be worse than vanilla sex (even if she really likes them on her own or in a non-sexual setting).

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OpenAlex
5 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

Be sure and talk with her about this as well.  If she’s ace, sharing her kinks with a partner may be worse than vanilla sex (even if she really likes them on her own or in a non-sexual setting).

Hey ryn2, i am curious, how will it make things worse? We have established some things which wouldn't work and others which don't involve sex that would. I am just keen to establish some sort of connection with her and willing to try new things that also may broaden my horizons as well as giving her some form of release.

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ryn2
18 minutes ago, OpenAlex said:

Hey ryn2, i am curious, how will it make things worse? We have established some things which wouldn't work and others which don't involve sex that would. I am just keen to establish some sort of connection with her and willing to try new things that also may broaden my horizons as well as giving her some form of release.

I can’t speak for her, but taking something she intrinsically enjoys (her kinks) and trying to combine it with something she at best extrinsically enjoys (sex) could just feel that much more like being pressured to be someone/something she isn’t.  It could also ruin the kinks for her, by associating them with something unpleasant or by implying that she should share them rather than engaging in them alone.

 

Sometimes people also use the term “kink” loosely - to mean something they greatly enjoy, but not necessarily in a sexual sense.  E.g., my ace bestie is very into BDSM but not sexually.  If she could play without sex she would infinitely prefer that.

 

In short, trying to find ways to help an asexual person want and enjoy sex sometimes - even when it comes from a good place, with the best intentions - just comes across as “I didn’t really hear/understand you when you told me you were ace.”

 

There is a small but critical difference between trying to make something as pleasant (or as minimally unpleasant) as possible and trying to get someone to enjoy something more.

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Grimalkin

@ryn2's got some good advice about the kinks, there. This can extend as far as kissing and cuddling for me: I can be wary to do it with a partner, because I'm afraid that it'll "lead" to sex. What I see as a sort of soothing, intimate connection, they may see as a sexual build-up. There's nothing wrong with either, but it makes me stressed that doing one thing will always lead to doing something I don't want at the time. 

 

Also, as for the after-sex bath, definitely brainstorm with her. It'll be fun. Figure out what sort of thing she holds on the same level of sex (if she enjoyed sex), and do that. For me, I loooove massages that don't lead to anything sexual, so my boyfriend will often give me one after sex, but I noted that you said she's not big on touch so that might not be the go-to.

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anisotrophic
11 hours ago, OpenAlex said:

how can this be a compromise to someone who doesn't get anything from it apart from the satisfaction of knowing i am satisfied?

It depends on the person. But I think it's a lot like any other reason to do something to make someone you love happy. Sex seems to have a huge impact on my mood, making me happy, my partner loves me and likes to see me happy.

 

Expressing gratitude helps make it pleasant and rewarding without trying to make someone want something they don't intrinsically want. Learning not to approach the topic in a way that creates stress or ruins other things (like cuddles)

 

Yeah, I get upset because I wish I could return the favor. Still struggling with this. How to return it depends on the couple, it sounds like you have ideas.

 

And I don't frown on poly! but personally I would say it's ideal to pursue a happier situation within the relationship and not "solve the problem with poly"

 

Good luck! Communication is key 🤞

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OpenAlex

Thanks for all your comment's, i feel like i have learned and taken in alot especially when it comes to how best to deal with the situation. It's difficult for myself as well coming to terms with the dynamic of the relationship now. I still get upset by seeing her unhappy and her thinking something is missing (i am guessing i always will) but like you all said communication does seem key and so important here. 

 

You are all awesome! :) 

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