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shadowblind

Ace Husband Gets Turned on by Other Women

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shadowblind
Posted (edited)

My husband and I have been together for 11 years. He came out as ace, specifically gray-sexual, about 4 years ago. It explained a lot of things and I did a lot of reading about what I could do to support him and that it had nothing to do with his attraction to me.

 

But no matter what I did/do, I still feel unfulfilled sexually. Sex was always very difficult for me as an abuse survivor as a teen, so now that I have a partner I really want to be with and trust, and I can’t.

 

Newness used to be a good way to rev him up, so I’d do new stuff with my hair, try new clothes to bed, bought new toys, stripteases, tongue exercises, choreographed dances, anything that would bring some different aspect. And that worked for a while. Until it didn’t.

 

I tried asking him to set up regular dates for us together at his convenience. He’d never set them. If I didn’t remind him that I am very sexual and that I’m really missing having sex with him, he wouldn’t even touch me intimately, like not even a deep hug or kiss. Sometimes not for months.

 

We talked about opening our relationship about half a year ago, but then he changed his mind. He said that he wouldn’t be able to handle watching me get ready for a date knowing what was going to happen later.

 

I masturbate regularly, but recently I either completely lose sensation or burst into tears, because I just want to be with my husband.

 

We started going to strip clubs occasionally together, maybe a few times a year, for the past 2 years. We always got our dances together, until our last one. He bought me a dance, disappeared, and got started with his when I didn’t know where he was. Once I found him, he and the dancer he paid invited me with them. And it was a great dance.

 

But I was done after like 2 songs, and he kept paying her to stay for Song after song. Then he invited her back to our home, without asking me if I was okay with it, leaving me feeling very awkward if I started to object. She didn’t show.

 

But he wouldn’t stop talking about her on the way home, about how gorgeous she was, and how he loved having her all over him, and touching him, and that he couldn’t wait to see what she would do to him when she came over.

 

I couldn’t really put my finger on why this made me upset. When I could finally kind of explain how I was feeling, he said that his attraction to me has always been on a weird wave and that other women are new and interesting, and he doesn’t know why he just doesn’t want to have sex with me with out some kind of stand in first. The only other time he wants me is when he’s drunk.

 

I feel guilty for questioning that he’s ace at all and that he feels like I’m pressuring if I ask him to pretty please have sex with me after not being touched for months. I feel disgusting, like there’s something so obviously unattractive about me, and he’s just too nice and in love with me to say it. I feel crazy, because I don’t know anyone else dealing with this. I feel angry because he acts like sex with me can be such a chore, and doesn’t want to have it with me, but also doesn’t want anyone else to have it with me either so that pressure on him is relieved. 

 

I don’t know what do. I really do not want to leave, I love him so much, and we have a kid. But this is unbearable, and I’m at my wits end. Doing this for a decade is taxing and I could really use some kind and thoughtful advice.

 

ETA: He asked the stripper to come back to our home for a private dance, not for sex.

Edited by shadowblind
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Serran

Wait... what? He invited a woman over to have sex with him without your consent, when you had no agreement on opening the relationship because he didn't want to do that? I... what?

 

Sorry, but he doesn't sound ace. He sounds like he just isn't into monogamy and thus a long-term monogamous relationship can't keep his interest, but he's too jealous to accept ethical non-monogamy cause you would be having sex with other people. An ace isn't going to get excited at the prospect of having a stripper come over and do things with him. 

 

And, honestly, if my spouse was getting that excited over the prospect of sex with another person and found sex with me a chore- and didn't even ask permission before propositioning another woman - , I'd be doing more than "feeling awkward" at objecting - especially after he denied you an open relationship - I'd be fuming. 

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shadowblind

No no no no, he invited her over for a private dance for the both of us. Sorry I wasn’t clear about that.

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Anthracite_Impreza
2 minutes ago, shadowblind said:

No no no no, he invited her over for a private dance for the both of us. Sorry I wasn’t clear about that.

Not being funny, but that still sounds a bit dodgy to me, unless you wanted it too?

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shadowblind
Posted (edited)

I probably would have, if he’d asked me first. Like her ass was literally in my face and he asked her if she does private in home dances.

Edited by shadowblind

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Anthracite_Impreza

Hmm, something's really not right about this situation. I mean for a start he isn't asking your permission for a stranger to enter your home and do erotic dances? 

And this:

23 minutes ago, shadowblind said:

But he wouldn’t stop talking about her on the way home, about how gorgeous she was, and how he loved having her all over him, and touching him, and that he couldn’t wait to see what she would do to him when she came over.

... is rubbing salt into an already sore wound. I'm sorry, but I really don't think this guy respects you at all, or is even ace.

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Feys&Florets

@shadowblind Do YOU enjoy the private dances? I couldn't tell from the initial post.

 

First, I want to extend some cake to help you get through all of this and figure it out: Image result for cake

 

I wish I could offer some meaningful advice on relationships and what to do, but my knowledge is very limited. But I do know relationships are a shared task, and there needs to be give and take. It sounds like you've given a lot for this relationship to work.

 

Maybe he doesn't realize how much this is hurting you, and needs to be told point-blank of how much it does. I'm so sorry this is so frustrating.

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shadowblind
1 minute ago, Feys&Florets said:

 Do YOU enjoy the private dances? I couldn't tell from the initial post.

Absolutely I do, when we have them together. And when he shifts his focus back to me after them. That didn’t happen this time. He spent hours gushing over this girl and his excitement about her possibly coming over.

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shadowblind

And thank you for the cake. :)

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shadowblind

I also told him point blank that this is really painful for me. He obviously felt bad, but also didn’t respond.

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ryn2
Just now, shadowblind said:

Absolutely I do, when we have them together. And when he shifts his focus back to me after them. That didn’t happen this time. He spent hours gushing over this girl and his excitement about her possibly coming over.

Was this perhaps different because there wasn’t any real “afterwards” yet (since he was thinking she would stop over and dance more/again)?  Or did it feel qualitatively different to you as compared to past experience?

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Kharina

From your post, it does sound like there's been a lot of talk and working around him and his needs and a lot less of accommodating your needs.  I do normally feel a person's label, if they want one, is their business to decide but it does seem a very strange way of using ace when he is clearly sexually interested in some people.

 

From my very very limited knowledge, I understand that many long-term relationships have points where one or both partners are less interested in sex with each other but still are attracted to other people, perhaps as they've become used to sex with their partner so don't experience it as exciting as they used to.  It sounds like this fits with what is happening here, but at the moment it sounds like your needs aren't being met and you are unhappy - I hope you and your husband are able to discuss this and he listens to you, and you are able to find a way forward that works for both of you.  It sounds like you really listened to and have tried hard to accommodate your husband when he came out to you, don't forget that you deserve the same. 

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shadowblind

@ryn2 There was an afterwards, and it didn’t feel any different physically. But I kept wondering if he even wanted me at all in the act itself.

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shadowblind
Posted (edited)

@Kharina Thank you, this was really helpful to read.

 

Ive told him this point blank too, that I think after being together so long I just don’t think he’s as attracted to me as he likes to think. I told him that if he wants to find someone else to go out and see if he really just needs another lover to spice things up or if we need to start talking about separating.

 

He says he’s not interested and hasn’t shown any signs of doing anything behind my back.

 

 It’s so fucking frustrating.

Edited by shadowblind
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ryn2
7 minutes ago, Kharina said:

it does seem a very strange way of using ace when he is clearly sexually interested in some people.

Lithosexuality would be a possibility.

 

It’s also possible he feeds off other people’s sexual energy to try to get aroused and fake being sexual himself (I do this, not even knowing it was unusual until recently)... and also had a sudden crush on this girl.

 

These are not the only options... everything mentioned already is also a possibility.

 

Whatever happened, it does sound like it warrants more discussion.

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Serran
14 minutes ago, shadowblind said:

No no no no, he invited her over for a private dance for the both of us. Sorry I wasn’t clear about that.

Mmm. Ok. Still, unless you two do that and it's a cleared consensual thing he knew you'd be OK with... not cool. Clubs are one thing, it's a controlled environment you agreed to, inviting it into the home is something that absolutely should be cleared first. Especially as he's expressing clear attraction to her on a sexual level. 

 

Which... sounds more like from what you and him are saying, he is attracted to people sexually, yes? And he just gets bored with the same person, so needs the newness of a new attraction to get turned on? Which, I've heard from other people who are non-monogamous naturally, without the newness of a new attraction they get bored and lose interest. But, that was from sexual non-monogamists, not aces. Which, you said he IDs as grey, which isn't strictly ace (ace = zero sexual attraction, grey = an unusually low sexual attraction) so he can find some people sexually attractive at times and still fit the definition. But, how often is he finding other women a turn on? Cause... if it's a common thing, that doesn't sound like an unusually low amount of sexual attraction, just loses the attraction to people after a while cause it gets old and boring, so needs the injection of a new attraction to enjoy sex. 

 

Which... I mean, it's totally understandable for you to be hurt if he's not attracted to you anymore, but is attracted to other people. I think a lot of people would feel very understandably hurt if the only way their husband could want them was to get turned on by someone else first, then use the excitement over them to perform sexually. Most people want to be able to spark that desire themselves, not always just be a surrogate for attraction to other people. 

 

But, it sounds like the attraction to other people is how you worked in compromise? He gets turned on by other women, he comes home to you and you two have sex? So, why was this different? Because he invited her home without including you in the decision? Or cause he talked about her, so the attraction was stronger (or maybe he just expressed it more this time than normal?) ? 

 

He may not be responding cause he might not understand why this was different than the other times you've gone together and he's used other women to get ready for sex with you? Have you explained to him why this time was over the line for you, compared to the other times? 

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ryn2
6 minutes ago, shadowblind said:

There was an afterwards

I didn’t word my post very well... I meant that, when he was babbling on about her,  it might not have been (in his view) actually “afterwards” yet because he thought there was a visit coming.  So his attention was still on the scene with her and not yet turned back to you.

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Kharina

It sounds very frustrating!! There may well be ways around it other than him finding someone else/opening the relationship or separating (the dances seem to help him feel a sense of more 'variety' but still with you, and it sounds as though this is something you're quite comfortable with and enjoy, IF he asks your permission first of course!), but it does seem like it will need open and frank discussion between the two of you to try and work things out.

 

It sounds like a very tricky and upsetting situation to be in.  I wish I could help more, but I have exactly zero experience of relationships so not the best to advise, but am happy to 'listen'.  However, I hope the AVEN tradition of virtual cake will be some help!

 

Image result for cake

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RoseGoesToYale

I'm so sorry you're going through this. I agree with the above, he does not sound ace at all. I see some major red flags here... he doesn't seem to be listening to your needs, nor willing to make compromises, has openly talked about his sexual attraction to another woman, and invited her over to your house without okaying it with you. It sounds like he wants to stay in the relationship but is unwilling or unable to communicate what's really going on with him, which isn't fair to you because you've been trying to make it work but still not getting your needs met.

 

Have you been to or considered marriage counseling? Sometimes a third party can help open up the lines of communication and figure out how to proceed.

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shadowblind
3 minutes ago, Serran said:

But, how often is he finding other women a turn on?

Usually when we go to clubs, or watch porn together. We’ve recently gone to clubs a few more times this year than last year. And he gets more excited about these other women every time. It’s not a daily thing but it’s more frequent.

 

6 minutes ago, Serran said:

So, why was this different? Because he invited her home without including you in the decision? Or cause he talked about her,

 

Yes to both. And yes I’ve explained to him why I’m justifiably upset, he claims he thought he had asked me. He apologized, but I’m still really upset and unfulfilled and don’t know how to deal.

 

 

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shadowblind

@ryn2

She eventually had to cancel, that why she didn’t show. He still kept talking about her, both before and after sex, when he knew she wasn’t coming.

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shadowblind

@Kharina We’ve been having the same conversation for nearly 8 years, and very little has changed. I don’t know how many different ways I can keep saying the same thing.

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shadowblind

@RoseGoesToYale Insurance won’t cover it, and it’s too expensive when we have a toddler in day care on top of my regular medical expenses. One of many things I hate about US health care.

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ryn2
4 minutes ago, shadowblind said:

@ryn2

She eventually had to cancel, that why she didn’t show. He still kept talking about her, both before and after sex, when he knew she wasn’t coming.

I wonder if it was because there wasn’t the usual closure... but it’s hard to know.

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ryn2
7 minutes ago, shadowblind said:

And he gets more excited about these other women every time. It’s not a daily thing but it’s more frequent.

Any past issues (on his part) with addictive/habituated behavior (not just with sex, with anything)?

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Kharina

@shadowblind 8 years?  That's a very long time to be feeling this way.  I hope you are able to find a way forward soon :( 

 

I'm going to have to go to sleep now (half midnight here!)- will check in on this thread tomorrow though.  Hope you are able to find the support you need from the community here.

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shadowblind

@ryn2 Not that I’m aware of. He drinks a little bit, but I’ve never had to worry about an addiction.

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Serran

Ok. Well. Personally, I would not feel like my partner was being honest about the ace label if that were the case. So, I wouldn't feel bad about questioning that - even aces who enjoy porn don't tend to gush over how attractive the women in it are. AVEN pushes self-labeling, not questioning a label, etc so if he were here we would have to just accept the label of ace, no matter what. But, personally, I feel like if it doesn't communicate in a useful way, it's a poor label. And, his experiences sound very... sexually interested in other people. Which, "I am not attracted to anyone" doesn't fit as a reason to not be into you in any useful way for making you feel better, if it's not the case. 

 

5 minutes ago, shadowblind said:

Yes to both. And yes I’ve explained to him why I’m justifiably upset, he claims he thought he had asked me. He apologized, but I’m still really upset and unfulfilled and don’t know how to deal.

Do you think it's just getting to the point you can't handle him needing excitement over other women to be sexual with you, rather than him really changing that much towards the other women? Or, maybe as you do it more, he's just getting more comfortable with it and thus expressing what he has always felt and so to him it's not any different, so he's not getting why it's a big deal for you now? I can imagine it is kind of emotionally draining wanting to be wanted by your husband, but he wants other people instead and can't be with you that way without them. I understand some people are into non-monogamy, but usually they are still attracted to their partners, whereas he's lost his to you and still has it for others. So, it could be you're a lot more sensitive to it than you used to be? 

 

Just now, shadowblind said:

@RoseGoesToYale Insurance won’t cover it, and it’s too expensive when we have a toddler in day care on top of my regular medical expenses. One of many things I hate about US health care.

There are online therapists that offer sliding scale income based therapy, you could try one of those. They are fairly cheap compared to traditional therapy. Due to my finances, mine was $100 a month, as many sessions as I wanted, no hourly rate and they do phone / skype sessions if you need. 

 

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shadowblind

@Kharina Thank you, I really appreciate that.

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Sally

I'm going to be rather blunt:  it sounds like he's just not sexually attracted to you anymore.  Because you are still monogamous, he needs to become attracted to other women to have sex with you.   Since he wants to do this more often now, it's entirely possible -- and maybe likely -- that he will want to actually have sex with other women instead of just "dancing" with them.  This sounds like a very unhealthy atmosphere for you, especially with a young child to take care of, and that certainly won't get any easier.  

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