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How do YOU compromise in a mixed relationship?

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Sinking_In

 

This is an open question to all who have been in mixed relationships, on either side of it.

I can imagine there are COUNTLESS levels and shades of gray, given the person, the partner, the situation, etc. It seems the asexual partner would, and should, have the final say on sex, but has anyone experienced that sexual compromise is fluid due to situational factors? Do they stay within a given range, are they mostly static, or can they venture beyond previous limits? Has anyone seen the path of compromise narrow down from a road to a tightrope, and back, again? So how do YOU compromise in YOUR mixed relationship? Or do you? And how does/ did it work out for you?

 

 

 

 

 

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Sithgroundhog

Yes, our compromise shifts due to circumstances. We've had a medium-distance relationship since the beginning, so I was only able to see him maybe once a week, so after we were able to have sex we decided on about once every couple weeks (it didn't always work, and that was a problem). It felt to me his libido went down or he stopped pointing things out to me because I'm an asshole who forgets the frequency of things like sex. So not sure about how true we've been to our once a fortnight agreement. (Err on the side of me being a bitch and making him horny for a long time, because, again, I'm an unintentional asshole). 

 

We do intend to make it more frequent when we're back together (now we're really long-distance since we're an ocean apart) and living together, but we'll see how that turns out. 

 

As for whether our compromise has been a road or a tightrope, that's been us figuring things out. I was a virgin when we met and had only experienced kissing in pecks, so he's been my first for essentially everything, and with me being very sex-repulsed in the beginning (I was also curious, so I pushed myself to get over my revulsion) it was baby steps figuring out what I liked, disliked, could handle, couldn't handle, etc. So things like anal are off the table for both of us, I became less against giving oral so do sometimes, kissing isn't as bad for me as it used to be (still gross, I just like it more), etc. 

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uhtred

Its a constant struggle for us with me the sexual and my wife near asexual.  We both have fuzzy boundaries but things constantly shift.  The basic pattern is that that she will gradually decrease sexual activity (both frequency and variety) over several months to a year.  I'll get less happy.  MInor / gentle comments will have no effect.  Eventually either she will recognize how miserable I am, or I will say something much more specific.  Our frequency and variety will pick way up again, then the decline begins again. 

 

As far as I can tell,there is no end to the decline, frequency just keeps dropping toward zero. 

 

Funny thing is that she always claims to like sex, just never "now". 

 

In reality it doesn't work. I spend a lot of my time unhappy. She may as well. 

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Sinking_In

@SithGirl

Thank you for sharing! Don't be so hard on yourself, and don't let him be, either. My wife is Japanese, actually, but I'm sure it's not related. Ours started out a lot like yours, though she isn't sex-repulsed, so much as seemingly sex....indifferent. A kid who gets socks for Christmas gets more joy and excitement out of that than my wife does from sex. Now that I know what I know, I'm struggling with the idea of whether compromise does more harm than good, in the long run, for either partner? Others' stories might help me prepare for the worst, but may offer a glimmer of hope, too. I'm buckled up for a bumpy ride, either way ;)

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Sinking_In

@uhtred

I can totally relate. Been married 12 years now, and I've seen the exact same thing over the years. Her body reacts like a sexual, but her mind is definitely gray-ACE, which led to a lot of hurt and confusion. Sex started off weekly, sometimes multiple times a week, when we were BF/GF, then when trying to have kids, it was almost daily (I should have died happy right then), but after the kids, after she checked all of the boxes that sex served a purpose for, it went from once a week to only on a specific day, which she started to fill up with other things to do. For 5+ years I'd categorize our marriage as a "dead bedroom" (10x or less a year). For a high libido sexual, it's been rough. Thankfully this site helped me opened a constructive dialogue between us. Today was hopefully the first day of compromise of many, but as your story confirms my own fears, it may be short lived. I'm already cautiously optimistic. I definitely appreciate you sharing, and the dose of reality you brought to the table.

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Sithgroundhog

I'm now more sex-indifferent to sex repulsed, thankfully. So I can be at the point where compromise is possible. 

 

54 minutes ago, Sinking_In said:

Now that I know what I know, I'm struggling with the idea of whether compromise does more harm than good, in the long run, for either partner?

I think that concerning compromise, it's important for the relationship to last. If it's a doomed relationship, obviously compromise would hurt only because it would extend the time the couple spent together, but my boyfriend and I have been together for almost six years (holy shit...) and if compromise had been off the table, we would not be together at all. It took him a long, miserable 2 years of fighting with me to get to this point, but we're both where we consider ourselves happier together than not and are planning for marriage. 

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Sinking_In

@SithGirl

Congrats and best of luck! I'm glad your BF/ fiancé is aware of this going into the marriage, and you're figuring it out beforehand.

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Sithgroundhog
42 minutes ago, Sinking_In said:

@SithGirl

Congrats and best of luck! I'm glad your BF/ fiancé is aware of this going into the marriage, and you're figuring it out beforehand.

Lol technically he hasn't "proposed" yet. Just asked me if I'd say yes if he asked me, asked my parents if they were okay with it (twice) and had my sis try on rings. 

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Nowhere Girl
4 hours ago, SithGirl said:

and with me being very sex-repulsed in the beginning (I was also curious, so I pushed myself to get over my revulsion)

I'm proud to accept my own terror of having sex as a part of me instead of torturing myself with trying to "get over it".

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Sithgroundhog
1 hour ago, Nowhere Girl said:

I'm proud to accept my own terror of having sex as a part of me instead of torturing myself with trying to "get over it".

You and I are always going to disagree about this. Suffice it to say, I believe some people can push themselves to get over things, and some can't. For some, it's a bigger problem and they don't need to "get over it". 

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ponz

I'm sex neutral if I'm in a relationship, so I'm not opposed to sex.  My partner is allosexual (but much more sensual than sexual, which helps).

 

Rather than simply trying to compromise or please my partner, I try to make sexy times fun for myself.  I like to cosplay at conventions (non-sexual characters), so I'd enjoy dressing up in things that my partner would like.  I also get excited about trying new toys, and tend to giggle like an idiot when first using them.  XD  I'm interested in trying more kinky things in the future, and might even want to experiment with some light roleplay.  I don't personally experience any of these things as sexual, but I do find them to be new, interesting, intimate and fun, so incorporating them makes me more excited to have sexy times.  I look forward to the new experiences my partner and I can have together.

 

I still need to work on certain things though.  I tend to be too blunt when transitioning from foreplay to sex (literally "ok, let's have sex now"), which kind of stifles the mood.  And I'm generally less involved once the actual sex starts, which I could improve.  There's no need to rush though.  We can enjoy the journey together.  ^-^

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Nowhere Girl
15 hours ago, SithGirl said:

You and I are always going to disagree about this. Suffice it to say, I believe some people can push themselves to get over things, and some can't. For some, it's a bigger problem and they don't need to "get over it". 

And in this case I, in fact, largely agree. I simply believe that "sexual compromise" shouldn't be portrayed as default. Mixed relationships just happen - two people may fall in love and try to make it work despite the differences. But not everyone can bring themself to have sex, and some people could only do it at the price of inflicting serious harm on themselves. People who just couldn't have sex, or find the idea frightening enough to reject making any pratical attempts, shouldn't be made to feel ashamed.

This is more than just an effort within our community - our culture in general needs a different approach to sex. If sex positivity is to have any merit, it should become more conditional. Instead of just, sure, exempting nonconsensual sex from the general "sex is good" idea, it should be more proactive in looking at the negative side and reminding that "unwanted sex is bad and shouldn't happen". Instead of "Sex is a universal human need" (which obviously alienates asexuals), the general message should, in my honest opinion, be a more negative one: "Unwanted sex can be a source of serious trauma and because of this, people should only have sex if they are sure about it". With the too-prosexual shift in our culture, sexual pressure and therefore unwanted sex has become much more of a problem than people not having a chance to satisfy their needs.

This kind of certainty is more than just consent. It also includes the basic question "Do I feel comfortable with the prospect of doing this or that?". And everyone should ask themselves such questions if making choices about sex would become a real necessity in their life - at least those who don't have obvious, spontaneous, impatient desire (and people who lack such clear desire may be a group much bigger than just "asexuals" - even if we assume, which I consider very likely, that the real number of asexuals is a few times higher than 1%). For some people, such as myself or the fully sex-repulsed, the answer will be an obvious "No!". But for some people it is harder and they need more reassurance - that "not feeling ready for sex" is nothing to be embarassed about, that not everyone desires sex, that there's also nothing wrong with never having sex... Sex should simply, despite all its meaning, finally be perceived as what it really is: an entirely optional part of life.

Edited by Nowhere Girl
corrected typo
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ponz

@Nowhere Girl

I really don't support the negative message, but I do think sex positivity should be about "figuring out what's positive for you" instead of "sex is generally a good thing."  If you find that not having sex is what's positive for you, that's great.  If you find that having sex in a relationship is positive for you, that's also great.  If you find that having casual sex is positive for you, that's also, also great.  Learning your own boundaries and what makes you happy and comfortable is what's important, loving/having sex is not.

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Sinking_In

@ponz

I'd say my own wife is sex-neutral, for the most part, but only once she's decided sex is going to happen. Other than those times it would be viewed as an annoying distraction. You seem to put a lot more into trying to enjoy what you can from the experience, which in turn likely makes the experience more enjoyable for both you and your partner, which in my opinion is what sex is really supposed to be about, a shared positive experience. I also get that many do not enjoy it, but do so anyway. I'm looking for all experiences here, and thank you for sharing yours!

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Sinking_In

@Nowhere Girl

I think I side with you in that the asexual shouldn't compromise themselves in a sexual relationship, not without FULL DISCLOSURE. An unwillingness to compromise is actually virtuous in its own right, but along with that virtue comes responsibility and consequences, not just for oneself, but also for a partner. I would just encourage anyone (not directed at you, specifically) that knows they are asexual to make sure any possible allosexual partner is completely aware of it, making sure they know what that means, that sex is not going to happen, will happen infrequently, or may be denied indefinitely at any given moment, regardless of how positive the rest of the relationship is. If someone who is asexual wants to experiment with sex and push boundaries, for their own reasons, they should and must disclose this to their partner, just as they also should not feel pressured to have sex.

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Nowhere Girl
4 minutes ago, Sinking_In said:

@Nowhere Girl

I think I side with you in that the asexual shouldn't compromise themselves in a sexual relationship, not without FULL DISCLOSURE. An unwillingness to compromise is actually virtuous in its own right, but along with that virtue comes responsibility and consequences, not just for oneself, but also for a partner. I would just encourage anyone (not directed at you, specifically) that knows they are asexual to make sure any possible allosexual partner is completely aware of it, making sure they know what that means, that sex is not going to happen, will happen infrequently, or may be denied indefinitely at any given moment, regardless of how positive the rest of the relationship is. If someone who is asexual wants to experiment with sex and push boundaries, for their own reasons, they should and must disclose this to their partner, just as they also should not feel pressured to have sex.

I never advocate(d) not telling a partner that one is asexual (or suspects that they might be). In fact, I support openness in general - I'm not in any relationship, but I choose to be out as an effectively asexual person because it's an important part of who I am.

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Sinking_In

 

3 minutes ago, Nowhere Girl said:

I never advocate(d) not telling a partner that one is asexual (or suspects that they might be). In fact, I support openness in general - I'm not in any relationship, but I choose to be out as an effectively asexual person because it's an important part of who I am.

I didn't think that you were, I just put it in there as a reminder for us all. It wasn't directed at you. I think we all agree open communication is paramount for everyone. Your directness is appreciated!

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Sithgroundhog

I should point out that an unwillingness to compromise likely means a mixed relationship is impossible or doomed. The sexuals I've talked to irl have all said a "no sex" condition would be the end of their relationship, even the ones I've spoken to that are virgins or believe sex is only between a husband and wife. While this is admittedly a small and biased sample size, I think it's important to point out. 

 

While it should be up to the more unwilling partner where to draw the line, the sexual should also have the right to say "Sorry, I'm out." The asexual is in their right to never want sex, but they're probably not going to end up in mixed relationships. 

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Sinking_In

@SithGirl

37 minutes ago, SithGirl said:

I should point out that an unwillingness to compromise likely means a mixed relationship is impossible or doomed.

Generally speaking, you're probably right, and I'd agree. Of course, no one should compromise themselves to appease another, unless they willingly do so. Everyone has the right to say "no", and anyone in any relationship has the right to end it. Sadly, some people feel "trapped", for whatever reasons, and ending the relationship doesn't seem to be an option to them. I could never fault an asexual or an allosexual for leaving a mixed relationship that wasn't fulfilling to either party. I was just curious as to others' experiences, something new from the existing posts on the same subject. Up until about a week ago, I was ready to end the marriage, myself. I'm still prepared to, which I know won't be easy, but I've chosen to stay, because we've chosen to compromise and communicate. Trust me, without compromise it would be best for both of us to end the relationship, because we'd make each other miserable, again. If it gets the point where even the compromise is making one of us miserable, and a new arrangement couldn't be made, I'll end it. I'm not that cold and uncaring, I've just had to become realistic in the past few years. I just want us BOTH to be happy, because life is too short to live in misery, if it can be avoided.

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Nowhere Girl

But it should also be reminded that "compromise" doesn't always work. Some allosexual people don't just need sex to feel happy, they need to feel desired - and an asexual partner usually can't fake it. They would probably never be fine with sex which they know to only satisfy their needs, with a partner who is doing it only for them and doesn't desire it or perhaps even enjoy it - in short words, someone for whom sex is a chore.

And besides, really, what decent person could enjoy sex with someone who doesn't want it? All right - "not wanting" has its grades and an asexual person who feels comfortable enough with sex can genuinely want to do it without feeling an active desire. (I have nothing against such people, I only have much against the idea that it should be the asexual default - against assuming that I, or anyone else, "should" want to achieve such a state. For me sex aversion and nudity aversion are also protective - and I actively prefer to remain sex-averse all my life.) Probably. But if someone has to actively fight their discomfort, really, who could desire sex under such circumstances? It feels to me like the only fair thing to say on the allosexual partner's part in such a situation is rather "I don't want you to torture yourself for me".

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Lara Black

Hi, @Sinking_In

I’m the sexual in our relationship, and we’ve been together for three happy years. My partner told me from the start that sex was off the table. To be specific, we mean traditional PtoV sex. So our compromise is about his getting better and better at giving me sexual pleasure through alternative means and my getting better at giving him sensual pleasure that he is comfortable with. So our borders haven’t changed, but we’re learning to enjoy this middle-ground to the fullest. And we’ve become very good at it by now.

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Sinking_In

@Nowhere Girl

I get what you mean, and I bear it all in mind. When it seems like a chore, a nuisance, I've called it off, but she is....what...."light" gray?  She occasionally asks for sex, but now I know it's more to make a romantic connection than for the physical pleasure it brings, which isn't all that far off from "feeling desired", really. I accept it is different, though, because I could give her that without actual sex. Then to your point, I shouldn't include sex, but then I'd be denying my sexual self, and she'd also know I was being denied. So sex becomes a give and take for us both, compromise within the sex, not just an agreement to act or not act on it. I suppose we all go along with what we're comfortable with going along with, until we can't. I'm not rushing, and I'm not pushing.

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Sinking_In

@Lara Black

Thank you! It seems you have worked out a fair compromise that works for you both. That's really nice to hear! I really like how you both took the challenge, and ran with it :)

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brbdogsonfire

We compromise and it works for us. We try and be flexible with it and it can be frustrating to both of us but we both seem to take steps to help the other. I am the sexual in the relationship and she has done a lot to make sure I'm not left feeling neglected sexually. I have tried to limit things that frustrate her such as to limit kissing, and to limit sexual contact to only when we are having sex.

 

Although our agreement was initially once a month it has changed to typically twice a month which with my low sex drive is enough for me. Some months it's more some months it is less, and having a flexible schedule has been much better for me than a rigid schedule.

 

We are big on communication about it which is funny because we are both very awkward about it. We both suck with non verbal cues so verbal discussion about both our needs has been vital.

 

With all that said it is not ideal, but everything else about the relationship is so we both are willing to give a little as we both get a lot back :)

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Tunhope

I'm the asexual in a long term sexual/ asexual relationship. I'm not sure how to comment, but I'd like to follow the thread if you wouldn't mind. (Hence I had to post something even if it's not a helpful post)

 

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xstatic ☆゚°˖* ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ

My boyfriend is sex indifferent.  Though most of the time he would rather not.  He just isn't up to it a lot.  Occasionally he will be up for it.  I really leave the choice up to him.  I toss out signals and gage his response.  I give up a lot.  I'm extremely sexual.  But I'm okay with that arrangement because I love and respect him so much.  I'm very happy when he decides that he's up to doing things.  Sometimes it's a little frustrating, but I'm sure the same can be said by him when he notices my advances and is not in a place to cater to them.  The compromise is always cuddling up close when we go to bed.  Often times we hold hands when we fall asleep.  The love we both share of sensual touch is really the bond that holds everything together.

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Sinking_In

@brbdogsonfire

I'm glad a flex arrangement works for you. For me, I've tried the flexible approach, which left me hanging for months on end, so I've leaned toward a specific day, so no one is surprised, no one is let down, but I've tried that before, too. Something always "just came up", and I'm left hanging for months, again. Of course, that was before I've found this site and talked with her. I'm cautiously optimistic.

 

@Tunhope

You're totally welcome to hang around :) If anything comes up, feel free to share!

 

@xstatic ☆゚°˖* ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ

Yours sounds like my situation, more or less. We've come back to cuddling. We did for years, but as the sex diminished (and before finding this site's answers), and taking the rejection personally, I had resorted to sleeping separately, which of course made it worse. Now that I know what I know, the PDA is in full effect, and she is happier. Truthfully, I missed the PDA, myself. Even the kids like seeing us kiss and hold hands, again.

 

Thank you all for sharing!

 

 

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Nowhere Girl

A little advice to @Sinking_In: instead of copying the username, type "@" and then start typing the username. A list of names beginning with the string of characters already typed should appear, then choose the correct username from the list. You'll get a username with a purple background, like above, and the user will receive a notification. The way you are doing it, they don't receive it.

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Sinking_In

@Nowhere Girl I was wondering how you all were replying directly like that! LOL! Thank you!!

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Nowhere Girl
31 minutes ago, Sinking_In said:

@Nowhere Girl I was wondering how you all were replying directly like that! LOL! Thank you!!

Don't worry, I too needed to have it explained.

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