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Did ever seek sex outside the relationship ever work?


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Kabuterimon

Hello. I could not find anything specific om the search funtion, so a general question that boggles my mind. 

 

Unsurprisingly, I share the frustration of unmatched sex drive with my  ace partner. Even though I do not plan, and really don't want to, breakup on our conversations my partner mentioned to make our relationship open, to fulfill my desire. My reaction was to shutdown that topic, but lately its starting to boggle my mind. 

 

To go further on that conversation I'd like to know for people who actually tried such approach. Does it work? Or in the end is just a breakup with extra steps? I can't shake the feeling that such proposal would be a make or break situation. 

 

 

Its hard to find anything that specific. I know it one type of compromise but not much more than that. 

 

I know ultimately depends on the person if it ever works, but please share your experience with me. 

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Mountain House

Let's define work to mean expanding the original relationship and eventually coming to a point where that relationship becomes/stays stable in its new form.

 

There are two ways I know of this can happen:

  1. Sexual partner has an affair and asexual partner is unaware. This can be stable as long as the affair remains hidden. Getting caught can disrupt the original relationship, often times ending it, but not always. This approach is better tolerated by sociocultural norms than the next choice.
  2. Sexual partner and asexual partner open up a dialog and pursue/research ENM relationship shapes and find a shape that will work for them. This is pretty hard because sociocultural norms look down on alternative relationship styles and most all of us have been indoctrinated in the "escalator relationship" mono-normative way of having relationships. We really don't grow up with these kinds of model relationships to see how they function. The partners will have to get past the monogamy hangover and do some pretty deep emotional work. But once all that happens, yeah, it can work.

Stepping Off the Relationship Escalator by Amy Gahran

Designer Relationships by Mark Michaels

 

Yes, there are members here for which this works.

 

Oh, and Welcome!

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EmeraldIce

I only personally know one asexual person (apart from myself) who is in a relationship. They do not seem sex-repulsed based on some of the posts they've shared on social media, and I don't know them well enough to know whether they're in an open relationship...

 

This being said, I have known a few people in non-monogamous relationships and it's sort of a toss-up. My ex's best friend was in an open relationship and it ended with her cheating on her husband. Her husband proposed the open relationship first, but she was the only one who managed to find someone. Eventually the husband decided he wasn't comfortable with seeing her in another relationship and wanted to end the open relationship, but she had already gotten involved with someone and wasn't ready to stop seeing them. So she saw the side guy behind her husband's back until the infatuation/honeymoon period wore off and as far as I know, she went back to being exclusive with her husband after that. I don't think the husband ever found out.

 

My husband also has a friend/coworker who was in a throuple for a while. He had a wife and a girlfriend who were also girlfriends with each other. They even lived together for a number of months. It ended when the wife and the girlfriend had a falling out, so they broke up with the girlfriend. Nowadays whenever he wants to see the girl he drags my husband along so that his wife doesn't worry. 😂

 

I guess the takeaway from the story is, a non-monogamous relationship can work, but you need to communicate beforehand and know your priorities. You need to be willing to drop the side person as soon as your partner expresses any sort of discomfort. People don't always know what they're comfortable with until they're actually in that situation, so you need to be prepared to end it with the other person at any moment.

 

If it were me in that situation, an open relationship is theoretically okay, but I would be worried that my husband would find himself liking someone more than me. I have few life skills and have anxiety that manifests itself as impatience and selfishness at times. I don't have the confidence to think that I would beat out any other girl if he were actually looking. That's basically my consideration. If we were to pursue an open relationship, I'd rather he have hookups and one-night stands than to have a side chick. Of course, he would never actually want an open relationship. To him, that's never an option. He's been cheated on in the past, and therefore strongly averse the idea of being non-monogamous. It's almost like a trigger for past trauma.

 

Personally, I just find pursuing a new person to be sooooo muuuuuch woooork....

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Lysandre, the Star-Crossed

So in my case I was in a mutually monogamous relationship with an asexual, but we opened up very successfully and now I couldn't fathom closing it. Closing it would mean her leaving me, I don't think I could ever be monogamous again no matter who it was for.

 

I think of the comparison people make between opening up to save a relationship and having a baby for the same purpose. I think it's a bad comparison. If, and only if, you've got nothing left to lose... I'd say you should go for it. If your relationship is not going to survive anyway in a monogamous state then you're not going to be losing anything if opening up doesn't work. That's where my relationship was at, so if anything it was just going to speed up the inevitable... except it actually worked, saved my relationship, and made it happier than it was back when it was happy early on.

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Lysandre, the Star-Crossed
12 minutes ago, EmeraldIce said:

I guess the takeaway from the story is, a non-monogamous relationship can work, but you need to communicate beforehand and know your priorities. You need to be willing to drop the side person as soon as your partner expresses any sort of discomfort. People don't always know what they're comfortable with until they're actually in that situation, so you need to be prepared to end it with the other person at any moment.

Just a bit of perspective here, @Kabuterimon.

If you are going to open up and keep your current partner as a main relationship that takes precedence other relationships, at least make sure the people involved know that. Some of us have a primary partner and give them veto power or will break up just because they don't like it, others do not. As with anything, communication and consent with all parties is important.

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EmeraldIce
54 minutes ago, Lysandre, the Star-Crossed said:

Some of us have a primary partner and give them veto power or will break up just because they don't like it, others do not.

I think this sentence could be misread or read in two different ways. It could be read as not everyone has a primary partner. It could also be read as not everyone gives their primary partner veto power. The first is true, while the second is cheating. I think you meant it the first way since you're emphasizing communication, but I just wanted to clarify so that readers don't confuse it. Because if you do have a primary partner, you need to respect their wishes if they want to draw the line.

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Mountain House
1 hour ago, EmeraldIce said:

You need to be willing to drop the side person as soon as your partner expresses any sort of discomfort. People don't always know what they're comfortable with until they're actually in that situation, so you need to be prepared to end it with the other person at any moment.

If you believe this then you aren't ready. People aren't toys you get to experiment with. And it isn't a side person, it's a full on relationship.

 

1 hour ago, EmeraldIce said:

I would be worried that my husband would find himself liking someone more than me.

A marriage license does not prevent this.

 

1 hour ago, EmeraldIce said:

sooooo muuuuuch woooork....

very true. 👊

 

52 minutes ago, Lysandre, the Star-Crossed said:

Some of us have a primary partner

Yes, and this is fine. There will be hierarchy.

 

53 minutes ago, Lysandre, the Star-Crossed said:

and give them veto power

I won't get in a relationship if a meta has veto power. I find it dehumanizing to give control of my relationship to someone not in my relationship.

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Lysandre, the Star-Crossed
2 minutes ago, EmeraldIce said:

I think this sentence could be misread or read in two different ways. It could be read as not everyone has a primary partner. It could also be read as not everyone gives their primary partner veto power. The first is true, while the second is cheating. I think you meant it the first way since you're emphasizing communication, but I just wanted to clarify so that readers don't confuse it. Because if you do have a primary partner, you need to respect their wishes if they want to draw the line.

Depends on the agreement. Some people give primary partner's veto power and other special privileges, other people just give primary partners more of their time and energy or perhaps share a home with them. There's a lot of people who explicitly oppose giving nominal veto power, me included. Every person in any relationship has de facto veto power, it's called breaking up.

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Mountain House
1 hour ago, EmeraldIce said:

you need to respect their wishes if they want to draw the line.

No, you don't. Relationships don't work that way and who's to say whose rights take precedent? Besides, veto, which is meant to protect the primary relationship, will most likely inject resent into that relationship that will eventually cause the relationship to implode.

 

If you are going to open, you need to be okay with all parties having autonomy and stay out of relationships that aren't yours.

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EmeraldIce
9 minutes ago, Mountain House said:

If you believe this then you aren't ready. People aren't toys you get to experiment with. And it isn't a side person, it's a full on relationship.

A lot of people have primary partners that they're in a relationship with, and other people they're in a non-serious relationship or purely sexual relationship with. It's an understanding from all parties who the primary partners are. The people they pursue are not always looking for a relationship or a serious relationship anyway, so they could even be happy to find someone who has commitments elsewhere. By default, when people say open relationship, I assume they have a primary partner they're in a "relationship" with and they're simply not exclusive. If they have multiple people in their lives of the same status and importance, I would call it polygamy. But people have different words and different interpretations of words, so it doesn't really matter.

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Lysandre, the Star-Crossed
5 minutes ago, Mountain House said:

I won't get in a relationship if a meta has veto power. I find it dehumanizing to give control of my relationship to someone not in my relationship.

Absolutely agree with you here. I practice RA rather than more traditional poly, so I don't like the implications of veto power to begin with

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Mountain House
2 minutes ago, Lysandre, the Star-Crossed said:

There's a lot of people who explicitly oppose giving nominal veto power

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Mountain House
2 minutes ago, EmeraldIce said:

A lot of people have primary partners that they're in a relationship with, and other people they're in a non-serious relationship or purely sexual relationship with

Yes, I know. I have a wife that is my primary partner. She has privileges that my other partners do not. This is fleshed out in how the relationships are designed and the agreements made.

 

For example, if you wanted to comingle finances with me I would decline. I do that with my wife.

 

After we (pretend we are starting a relationship) come to the understanding what our relationship is, I will hold it to that. My wife has no say.

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Mountain House
6 minutes ago, Lysandre, the Star-Crossed said:

I practice RA rather than more traditional poly

Same, such that I'm not sure I can identify what "traditional poly" is.

 

Oh, and RA has bastardized versions too. Some believe you aren't supposed to care about your partners. 

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EmeraldIce
12 minutes ago, Mountain House said:

I won't get in a relationship if a meta has veto power. I find it dehumanizing to give control of my relationship to someone not in my relationship.

I find it dehumanizing that you assume that once someone has given you consent to try something they're not sure of, it means continued and indefinite consent.

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Mountain House
10 minutes ago, EmeraldIce said:

I find it dehumanizing that you assume that once someone has given you consent to try something they're not sure of, it means continued and indefinite consent.

I had consent to open. Once opened we are open. At this point if she wants to close she has to get consent from me to close. It isn't continued and indefinite because the action has been taken.

 

This happened in real life for me. There were parts of my relationship with my GF that my wife was uncomfortable with. After my GF and I broke up, my wife let me know and asked if we could take some time to work on this a bit and I consented to the change.

 

Oh, and she was "sure of" but theory doesn't necessarily work the same in real life.

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7 hours ago, EmeraldIce said:

the second is cheating

Only if you lie about or hide it.  If you are honest about how your primary partner does not have veto power, that’s not cheating.  It may not be an arrangement every primary partner is comfortable with, but it’s still not  cheating if the primary partner has been made aware.

 

Pretending the primary partner has veto power and then, when they exercise it and veto someone, continuing to see the veto’d person in secret while claiming you aren’t?  That’s cheating.

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