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Red Right Hand Panda

Unexpected moment of ace bitterness

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Red Right Hand Panda

I met up with a group of my LGBTQ+ friends in the park the other day for a socially distanced hang-out. It was really nice to see people in flesh and just do the kind of social stuff that Covid has made difficult over the last few months. As is often the case the subject of sex came up, this isn't something that usually bothers me and I have no problem with very sexually explicit conversations but ended up feeling bitter and depressed, at least with that part of the conversation (not with the whole day).

 

I get that sex can be an important thing for other people and as an abstract idea I do see the appeal, it's just not something that works well for me and not something that I have an innate desire for. Two of my friends were very much into the idea of having sexual hookups but 'not looking for a relationship' and this just really upset me. It's not a moral issue for me or anything, I just felt jealous that they could basically go out and have this thing where you connect intimately with another person. I'm asexual but I do crave some sort of physical interaction with another person, I've not kissed anyone in years and when I did have a sexual relationship years ago it was very much just sex and completely lacked any of the things that I really want. 

 

Part of me can't help think I'm missing out on something and although discovering my asexuality has been a hugely positive experience and I feel far more comfortable identifying as ace than I did as identifying as bisexual, I can't help feel it's not going to help my chances of ever having a romantic relationship, which is always going to be hard because of my AvPD. I don't for a minute think my friends are at fault but it just seems so easy for them to be able connect with other people and I'm very envious even though it's not actually the kind of conection I even want.

 

 

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SmaugtheDragon

I totally know what you mean, I also feel the same way every now and then. I just feel like I'm totally missing out on something about life, even if it isn't something that I want lol. I definitely feel jealous of my friends that hookup and enjoy sexual relationships, because it is something I will never understand.

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fragglesinthedark

I've thought about this, being demi. I think there's something exciting about the idea of connecting intimately with someone you don't know in that way, even though I have no desire to do it when opportunity arises.

 

For one thing, I've seen some large surveys done on hookup culture and it sounds like most people don't get that much out of it. Maybe kind of nice, have some sexual satisfaction, but there's frequently awkwardness and some sense of regret, and very commonly a sense that it was "something they were supposed to do". More from women but guys too. I think the current culture highlights this potential to connect passionately with people quickly, but even for people of average sexuality this doesn't seem to happen much in practice.

 

That said yeah some people have a great time with it. I realized though that doesn't mean I want to do it. There are lots of things I like doing that others don't, and visa versa. For example I don't enjoy horror movies. It would be silly of me to go watch horror movies because other people enjoy them, or to feel that I'm missing out because I didn't go see a movie I won't enjoy. I see casual sex as the same kind of thing, just not something I want, and I've got better things to do than worry about achieving things I don't even want.

 

A person might wonder, well what if casual hookups actually provide more happiness than my life has right now? Again, for most people they don't seem to, but for some people, it's possible (there are a lot of people in the world and there's only 1 person who's the absolute happiest person: everyone else has someone who's happier than them). But at that point sex has nothing to do with it! If you're going to be jealous of other people being happy, well that might not be a great idea of a thing to focus on (not saying you're trying), but you might as well be jealous of people who get a huge amount of enjoyment out of arranging flowers, or painting small figures for wargames, or any other activity. Sex has nothing to do with that concern. It's just society that so much highlights it as a path to happiness, but as a source of happiness it's just one of many with nothing special about it.

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Red Right Hand Panda
38 minutes ago, fragglesinthedark said:

If you're going to be jealous of other people being happy, well that might not be a great idea of a thing to focus on (not saying you're trying), but you might as well be jealous of people who get a huge amount of enjoyment out of arranging flowers, or painting small figures for wargames, or any other activity. Sex has nothing to do with that concern. It's just society that so much highlights it as a path to happiness, but as a source of happiness it's just one of many with nothing special about it.

I totally get what you're saying and I recognise my feelings as being irrational. I'm certainly not 100%  immune from the the views of the society in which I live, where sex is often presented as some sort of ultimate good that we should be aiming for. I think I focus more on sex as a source of happiness rather than say flower arranging because of the intimacy aspect of it, the physical closeness of sex at least has some paralles the kind of thing I want, I long to feels someone else's body next to mine, not in the exact same way as having sex but it seems closer to sex in some way than many other things.

 

I've at least considered trying to hook up with another person just so I could experience some form of physical closeness even if it's not of the kind I really want. I don't honestly believe that this would actually make me happy and I'd probably hate the experience which is one of the many reasons I wouldn't do it.

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fragglesinthedark
28 minutes ago, Red Right Hand Panda said:

I've at least considered trying to hook up with another person just so I could experience some form of physical closeness even if it's not of the kind I really want. I don't honestly believe that this would actually make me happy and I'd probably hate the experience which is one of the many reasons I wouldn't do it.

From what I hear this is a common reason that people of regular sexuality engage in hookups, and yeah it doesn't seem like doing it for that reason makes them happy either.

29 minutes ago, Red Right Hand Panda said:

I think I focus more on sex as a source of happiness rather than say flower arranging because of the intimacy aspect of it, the physical closeness of sex at least has some paralles the kind of thing I want, I long to feels someone else's body next to mine, not in the exact same way as having sex but it seems closer to sex in some way than many other things.

I've known some people who would have cuddle parties. Hard to find a meetup for that of course, would probably get too many creepsters, so seems like it has to be among friends. It's not my cup of tea so I haven't looked into it, but it's an existing concept and I expect there's some writing on how to suggest the idea to people and how to run them. 

 

Oh and I guess I've heard that some people allow sexual elements but it also seems common to have rules against sexual behavior. A lot of them seem like pretty ace-y experiences.

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Red Right Hand Panda
17 minutes ago, fragglesinthedark said:

I've known some people who would have cuddle parties. Hard to find a meetup for that of course, would probably get too many creepsters, so seems like it has to be among friends. It's not my cup of tea so I haven't looked into it, but it's an existing concept and I expect there's some writing on how to suggest the idea to people and how to run them. 

I remember when I first heard about them my automatic reaction was pretty much 'NO' but that probably has more to do with my anxiety than anything else. I think I'd probably be more suited to maybe a cuddle buddy than a full on party. I did start to semi-look into this a few weeks ago but being in the middle of a pandemic means if it is something I think I'd like to explore it is going to have to wait for a while.

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LivO
Spoiler

I totally get what you’re saying. It’s hard and frustrating to feel alone!! It’s hard for me because I’m happy as I am, I’m happy to be ace and to identify that way, but sometimes I wish it was easier for me to develop romantic type relationships with people. It just takes such a long time. Have you seen Greta Gerwig’s Little Women? There’s a scene with Jo and Marmee that really resonated with me and I think it’s similar to what you’re saying. Basically, Jo is talking to her mom about how she’s willing to be in a relationship where she doesn’t feel the “right” type of attraction because she’s so lonely. The exact line that I related to was “Women, they have minds, and they have souls, as well as just hearts. And they’ve got ambition, and they’ve got talent, as well as just beauty. I’m so sick of people saying that love is all a woman is fit for. But Marmee, I’m so lonely.” 

 

Edited by LivO
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FJO8
On 10/12/2020 at 12:46 AM, SmaugtheDragon said:

I totally know what you mean, I also feel the same way every now and then. I just feel like I'm totally missing out on something about life, even if it isn't something that I want lol. I definitely feel jealous of my friends that hookup and enjoy sexual relationships, because it is something I will never understand.

Same, though I do not envy them for the sexual relationship, but for their relationship in genreal, like: they have each other, so that's nice. But what about me? I tend to wonder, if I am missing out on the sexual part of a relationship, but it is more the connection I crave, which is how most people on here feel I think.

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FJO8
On 10/12/2020 at 2:23 AM, fragglesinthedark said:

From what I hear this is a common reason that people of regular sexuality engage in hookups, and yeah it doesn't seem like doing it for that reason makes them happy either.

Actually, I know several people harming themselves and their partners through this kind of behaviour, because they threw each other into depression. They so desperately did not want a relationship but the feelings of one that they forced each other to break up which just ended up in pain. Of course sex may have provided a short high, but it is like a drug, they keep chasing that high, that good feeling (they have doing so, not everybody has that) and end up having multiple partners at once and hurting more people and themselves even more; a devils cycle. I have not ever heard of anyone being happy in an F+ or some similar kind of intercourse and find just the idea repelling

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Homer

I don't understand the concept of "I'm jealous of X even though I don't want it" to begin with.

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PanFicto.
On 10/12/2020 at 11:19 AM, Red Right Hand Panda said:

I just felt jealous that they could basically go out and have this thing where you connect intimately with another person.

I get the same jealousy but I'm not ace. My jealousy though is towards people who are easily able to enjoy sexual intimacy and experience pleasure from it. My body isn't wired that way and it hurts me deeply that even with someone I fell in love with and desired sex deeply with, I couldn't derive the same pleasure from it nor desire it the same way some other people are able to enjoy it with their partner or maybe even some random they met at the pub (and even some people who ID as ace claim to be able to get aroused and derive pleasure from it easily)...

 

It just hurts that I don't seem to be wired properly physically to be able to enjoy something I do desire on some level, and that makes me envious sometimes. :c

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Red Right Hand Panda
2 hours ago, PanFicto. said:

It just hurts that I don't seem to be wired properly physically to be able to enjoy something I do desire on some level, and that makes me envious sometimes. :c

That must be very hard. I don't know what else to say other than I feel for you  💜

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Red Right Hand Panda
13 hours ago, Homer said:

I don't understand the concept of "I'm jealous of X even though I don't want it" to begin with.

It doesn't make much sense to me either.

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Red Right Hand Panda

I've been giving this a bit of thought and I think it is at least partially down to society's conflicting views about sex. Although casual sex is far more acceptable than it was in the past there is still a lingering opinion that sex without romance is in someway morally suspect or at least not the ideal. There are obviously plenty of people who are open and honest about wanting no-strings sex and on one level I don't think that negative moral judgements should be made about that. However there is part of me that seems to buy into the idea that my desire for a romantic relationship is in someway better because it is disconnected from wanting sex and thus I should be seen as desirable because my feelings are in some way more pure.

 

I realise that this is all complete judgemental nonsense and I'm not proud of the fact this idea occupies part of my mind but on an emotional level if I'm being honest I do subconciously have those kind of thoughts even though I believe them to be wrong. So basically part of my bitterness is down to a kind of 'it's not fair, I should be rewarded for wanting love and not sex' form of thinking. Again I want to be emphatic about how wrong I believe my thinking is on this and it's an idea that I should challenge.

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SassyRose

I get this.

 

I was sitting with three of my friends, and as they alIl described various feelings/emotions tied with their relationships, I felt left out because I've never felt the things they were describing. I see the appeal, but I've never felt the way they do.

 

It is very much a 'FOMO' kind of feeling, but it is a fear of missing out on something that I don't actually care much about.  

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