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true_love

"See, that was nice wasn't it Honey?"

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Asexydragon
I had gotten through the "act" OK and was just wanting to be left alone to sleep, but my partner would have to kind of debrief, ask me how it went, and go on about how wonderful it was for him and what a bonding experience he felt it was, and how excited he got, etc.etc.etc.

Oh God, there's debriefing after sex now? Explaining what I liked and didn't like? :blink: Can't I just cuddle and be silent, thankful that I got through it?

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Sammie

My asexual point of view on this: Humans are programmed to like orgasms. So sure, an orgasm is nice. But you have to do a hell of a lot of jucky stuff to get there. The short moment of 'this feels nice' just isn't worth all the stuff around it at all.

I had gotten through the "act" OK and was just wanting to be left alone to sleep, but my partner would have to kind of debrief, ask me how it went, and go on about how wonderful it was for him and what a bonding experience he felt it was, and how excited he got, etc.etc.etc.

Oh God, there's debriefing after sex now? Explaining what I liked and didn't like? :blink: Can't I just cuddle and be silent, thankful that I got through it?

I've never actually had sex but I can relate. After doing anything sexual I'd just want to be left ALONE. I'd feel miserable enough without having to lie to my partner to not hurt his feelings. (Ok, you're probably thinking I don't have to lie to a partner. But I just can't answer 'How did you like it?' with 'What a nightmare.'.)

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Placebo

Um, speaking as an asexual in a relationship with a fairly sexual male, I kind of know what you're talking about from the other side. He'd rather that I enjoyed it more. . .and means wants me to enjoy it the same way he does--orgasm and all that. The truth is I do enjoy sex, but I don't enjoy it the same way he does. And that's OK with me. I can have sex and be pretty much unaroused and to me it feels sort of like a massage and I enjoy watching him enjoy himself and it's all good. He CAN get me aroused to the point where I have an orgasm. . . but I guess, it seems like a lot of effort for a short feeling of pleasure. I mean, it feels good, sure. . . .but really, is it worth it? I appreciate that he does that for me, but it's really not necessary.

And for me it's sort of stressful getting to that point. .. . it's like, yeah, I love the view from the tops of mountains, it's great and all. . .but most of the time I won't hike clear to the top of a mountain just to enjoy the view. Maybe on special occasions, sure, but every day? Whew. Exhausting. And I can see nice views from other places, so it's not necessary. If someone's with me that really wants to go hiking, then sure I'll go and enjoy the day with them, but I won't just spontaneously go hiking up several thousand feet.

Now, truthfully, for us we went into this relationship knowing "about me" so I don't feel used or bad when we're done, I don't feel like I need to hide things from him, and he doesn't seem to hide things from me. And that's good, because then when he asks how it was I'll tell him and then smile and cuddle against him and try to make it very clear that I enjoyed it even if it didn't "work" for me. So, no worries.

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KSpaz

I can really relate to Placebo, here. I'm in the same boat - asexy girl in a relationship with a sexual guy.

I think there are plenty of awkward things that come from sex between an asexual and a sexual person. "Wasn't that nice?" or "How was that?" can seem like completely normal things to ask from a sexual perspective...and from that perspective, the answer should generally by "that was very nice". However, for asexuals...we have to make a moral decision. Do we lie, or do we hurt our partners feelings with the truth?

By constantly lying, your sexual partner gets the wrong idea. They start thinking that they really ARE getting you to enjoy sex, the same way they enjoy it. Now, I can sometimes enjoy sex with my partner, due to knowing that HE is enjoying it. However, I know that he gets pleasure out of knowing I am enjoying it, too, so I do lie. I'll fake enjoyment to help him enjoy things. And I'm fine with doing that most of the time. However, like I said, by constantly lying, he sometimes gets the wrong idea and starts encouraging sex more often and things like that, thinking I'm finally getting into it.

So, once in a while, I have to hurt him. I have to be honest. To let him know that this ISN'T the amazing thrill ride he thinks he is giving me. And that is very hard to do, but is absolutely critical. A relationship without honesty is no relationship at all.

So, my recommendation would be to make sure your asexual partner has a way of letting you know when things are getting to be "too much". Their responses during sex should never be what you base your ideas off of for how much they are enjoying it. Even if their responses seem pretty definite, such as an orgasm. Give them a chance to be honest with you. Don't back them into a trap all the time of having to lie.

It all comes down to communication. Discuss compromises. Don't be afraid to be honest (and please, BE honest). But also, know that lying once in a while isn't always a bad thing. Sometimes, an asexual partner would like to hear "No, dear, we don't have to have sex tonight, I'm really just in the mood for snuggling", just as much as you want to hear "Wow, that was fantastic!" after sex. Whatever it takes to keep you both comfortable and on even levels of satisfaction.

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Cheerio_Koroke

If I ever had sex...(very, VERY large "if" there) and someone said "wasn't that nice?" I would probably get really, really annoyed. It sounds almost condescending...like, "see, you can be normal too!"....it sounds like...

As a child, when you get a shot, and they cover it up with a bright, cartoon bandage. They give you a lollipop of your favorite flavor and ask "see, that wasn't so bad, was it?"

And of course the kid is supposed to say "no" because they have a cool bandage and they're too busy sucking on their lollipop to answer anyway.

I'd flash back to that, immediately, and think I was being treated as a child or inferior or disordered or misunderstood or somehting. A nice "thank you," as was said, would be all I would want to hear, and probably much later, like, the next day, just a little "hey, btw, last night...thanks. I know it was hard for you and I really appreciated that you compromised for me." and then move on with the day. If I want to talk about it after that, I'd like to be left to bring it up myself.

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true_love

Whew ... I'm amazed, intrigued and fascinated by where this conversation has gone. Thanks so much to everyone for these insights.

As a small word of defence for myself, at the time I said such things to my hubbie, I had never heard of asexuality and I had a deep assumption that EVERYONE liked sex....

:)

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Enkai
But, from a sexual's perspective, it wasn't meant as pressure, just consideration. My motivation was purely that I'd picked up something during sex that alerted me to the fact that things weren't as good for my wife as they were for me (we didn't know about asexuality then). And so I wanted to improve things, and asking - after doing X, Y, and Z - "Did you like X?", Or "Y seemed good, should we do more of that next time?" or "If you didn't like Z, tell me, ok?" were just attempts (as I said assuming my wife's sexuality to be hetero) to make sex better for her.

You sound like my husband. We haven't been married for that long (a little over 8 weeks now), and sex is a new thing for both of us, but the fact that I'm asexual does make things interesting at times. I don't mind sex, in fact I'm quite willing to share it, but minus the closeness with my husband, I really don't get anything out of it. Nonetheless, my husband does a lot of that questioning afterwards, trying to make it as good for me as he can. It's sweet, really.

I think the difference between "did you like X" and "that was good wasn't it?" is the tone. For me, the former seems much more genuine, like you're actually concerned, whereas the latter is rather condescending and assuming something was good when perhaps it wasn't.

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UltraViolet
As a small word of defence for myself, at the time I said such things to my hubbie, I had never heard of asexuality and I had a deep assumption that EVERYONE liked sex....

That's only because the "established" world view in general (established by sexuals) and the media in particular (run by sexuals) have SHOVED this assumption down everyone's throats. If only the general consensus had the guts to admit that not everyone likes/wants sex then many, MANY relationships could have been spared grief and agony on BOTH sides. I believe/speculate they are afraid that if people KNEW it was ok to not want sex then too many people would "jump ship" and the amount of sexual partners might be diminished (not in huge amounts by any means, but seemingly enough to make them nervous - otherwise why not tell the truth?). Whenever I view the SexlessMarriage board all I can think of is that ALL of those posters have either an asexual or a "functionally asexual" mate - that's a LOT of people who simply aren't having or simply do not want any sex! Had I known that there actually were men that did NOT want sex but still wanted a relationship I would have stopped dating sexuals years ago and spared myself the misery of "putting up with sex". It is just as horrible to be the asexual in a mixed relationship as it is to be the sexual. All we ever get is the "attitude", the whining, the anger, the accusations (you're gay, you're getting it elsewhere, etc...) - yeech! Very, very few couples can compromise succesfully and even when they do the reality is that neither one is REALLY getting everything they want.

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happylife
Very, very few couples can compromise succesfully and even when they do the reality is that neither one is REALLY getting everything they want.

hit home..

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