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Pamcakes

Is anybody out there?

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Pamcakes

CONTENT ADVISORY

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We had sex last night! And not awkward, painful, stilted, disappointing sex, either; gentle, passionate, mutualistic, easy sex.

It was fantastic.

Perhaps because the pressure is off, now?

I'm not going to revise my plan just on the basis of one experience, of course (especially as, since the heart of my plan is "get a good job", I'd be doing myself an unnecessary disservice), but it was tender and beautiful and I just wanted to share my happiness with you all. :wub:

P.

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Blerdivor

Yay Hooray!

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Sally

One of the joys of AVEN is that asexuals can wholeheartedly applaud a sexual member's good sexual experience! What a good group we are! :lol:

:cake: to Pam and all AVENites!

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daveb
I'm not going to revise my plan just on the basis of one experience, of course (especially as, since the heart of my plan is "get a good job", I'd be doing myself an unnecessary disservice), but it was tender and beautiful and I just wanted to share my happiness with you all. :wub:

P.

That's very cool! :)

I agree that you should still pursue your plan to "get a good job". I think that's always a good plan. :) It expands your options whether things get better or not.

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Teagan KGB

yay. :cake: I hope things continue going well between you two.

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Galen

Congratulations!

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pyewacket

Dear Pamcakes,

When I read your story it was like listening to myself speak, I am experiencing all the things you describe. My husband and I have been married only 4 years and haven't had sex for the last 2 of them, rarely before that.

My self esteem has taken such a knock, I feel a freak of nature and my unhappy situation is always on my mind.

However, when I tentatively mentioned seeking sex outside the marriage with somebody else, my husband said "if you must".

This isn't really an option though, it isn't really what I want but I don't know what to do.

Personally I think your husband is being unfair and quite cruel. It sounds like he wants to have his cake and eat it!!

I couldn't even begin to offer you advice but at least take comfort from the fact that you are not alone, there are quite a few of us out here in this sort of situation, also...please realise, it is not your fault, there is nothing wrong with you. I hope things improve for you ....and for me too. Juli

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Pamcakes
Dear Pamcakes,

When I read your story it was like listening to myself speak, I am experiencing all the things you describe. My husband and I have been married only 4 years and haven't had sex for the last 2 of them, rarely before that.

My self esteem has taken such a knock, I feel a freak of nature and my unhappy situation is always on my mind.

However, when I tentatively mentioned seeking sex outside the marriage with somebody else, my husband said "if you must".

This isn't really an option though, it isn't really what I want but I don't know what to do.

Personally I think your husband is being unfair and quite cruel. It sounds like he wants to have his cake and eat it!!

I couldn't even begin to offer you advice but at least take comfort from the fact that you are not alone, there are quite a few of us out here in this sort of situation, also...please realise, it is not your fault, there is nothing wrong with you. I hope things improve for you ....and for me too. Juli

Semper fidelis, Juli.

*hugs*

P.

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Pamcakes

So, I have now been on Aven for over a year.

A lot has happened in that time.

When I first found this site, I was in the midst of a last-ditch effort to save a sexless relationship where I had no power. I claimed, loudly and with great conviction, to anyone who'd listen about what a fantastic partner I had, and that the only problem was the sex thing. Even as I started to really break down, as the year drew towards its end, still I insisted that my partner was loving and kind. I left him in December, and moved away. It took me literally months to be able to reassess the situation with the objectivity of an outsider, but when I did, I was utterly shocked by what I realised. My partner had not been fantastic. He had not even been okay. He had, in fact, been manipulative and cruel. The relationship had been emotionally and mentally abusive. Not because it was sexless, but because he used that sexlessness to keep me in a subserviant position; he always got to have everything, in every area of our life, his own way, because Heaven forbid he should feel any pressure or stress because if everything was absolutely perfect for just long enough, then maybe we might have sex. Maybe. Maybe, but probably not. He would actively physically wind me up so that I was extremely turned on...and then wander off and do something else, just leaving me like that; not because he was uncomfortable, or because he couldn't read me, but because he thought it was funny. When something triggered my phobia (clowns) badly enough to leave me shaking for ten hours - ten hours - he laughed at me. When I begged him to help me fix our problems, he shrugged and was cold. I stopped coming to bed because I became insomniac, and instead sat up all night crying, and he didn't care. He would badger and taunt me until I lost my temper, but because he never seemed to get upset, I looked crazy and unreasonable. He made me feel like every request was an unfair demand, and when I came too close to breaking free - such as the time I started seeking work in another City because I couldn't find any in ours, with the promise to fly back to see him for the weekends - he threatened to end our relationship. He held my sexual frustration and my financial depedence on him over my head, and used them as leverage to keep me constantly submissive to him, so that everything happened only on his conditions and on his timetable. He made us deliberately late for important events by dragging his heels getting ready, blatantly on purpose, just to remind me who was in control. But I didn't tell you any of this, Aven, because I was so obsessed with the picture I had of him in my head, and so driven to make the relationship work, that I couldn't see it. I had myself brainwashed into downplaying every one of these nasty little power plays and only seeing his good acts - which were mostly memories from the past, that happened more and more rarely. And when I did have occasional flashes of lucidity, where the true abusiveness of the situation threatened to become clear to me, I deluded myself that I was just being crazy, and got angry at myself for trying to lay my own failings at his feet.

God.

I got out. Not because I recognised what was really happening - that took me better than half a year after leaving to finally accept - but because, at a friend's wedding, I suddenly had the flash of realisation that I didn't want to marry him. That I didn't want to live like this, anymore, not for another week, let alone forever. That I was too unhappy to keep shouldering it and that, no matter how much I loved him, I had to love myself enough to get out. But even then, I kept telling people it was an amicable breakup, and that he was a great guy. Not lying, just deluded. Heaven forbid anyone should know why I left, or how miserable things had been. I didn't want to embarass or shame him, so I kept my reasons to myself. That was the least I owed him, I figured. And I kept telling people it was an amicable breakup, and that he was a great guy. While he told people that I'd been spoilt, demanding, controlling and using him for his money (little enough of which I ever saw that my living situation is much more comfortable on the dole). And even when these things found their way back to me - when friends turned away and ostracised me, and rumours abounded that I had left him for my new housemate, or even that I had been cheating on him with said housemate - I just kept smiling, and mouthing the words, "amicable" "great guy" "nothing but respect" and "will always have a special place in my heart". Eventually, as luck would have it, I did fall in love with the new housemate, but there was no emotional overlap in the lead-up, and it happened well after the breakup.

As for that, we've been together a while, now, and we are extremely happy. The relationship is better and easier than it ever was with him, even in the beginning, which I guess might be a sign that we didn't just go wrong, somewhere along the line, but that we were never really good together, and it just got worse as time went on. My new boyfriend is safe, and caring, and kind, and our relationship is one of equality, and it's not always up to me to go after him or to pacify or appease him - if I'm upset, he'll come after me. He asks what I want to do when we're making plans, and at least half the time, that's what we end up doing. He respects my fears, and goes out of his way to try to shield me from them - he closes all the doors to the rooms that have mirrors in them before we sleep (or, if we're away somewhere and there's a mirror in the bedroom, he finds a way to cover it), and he researches any movies or shows we want to see online first, to make sure they don't involve clowns - and, if I'm scared or upset for whatever reason, he takes care of me until I'm feeling better. He's an amazing lover; the best I've ever had. He's kind to my friends, and respects my right to do things that don't include him. He's not a perfect person, but he's a perfect partner for me. Every day he makes me smile just be being near him, and I seem to do the same for him.

The thing about being in a bad relationship for years is that, after a while, you forget how things are supposed to be. So that, after you get out, the next time you have a relationship that's actually healthy, everything seems new and perfect and magical, like it's too good to be true, by contrast. But that's not actually a rare thing, a healthy relationship with someone who makes you happy most of the time - that's the way it's supposed to be. That's something millions of people enjoy every day, because it's normal.

Thanks for being part of my journey, Aven. It's been a tumultuous one, but I feel that I'm in a good place, now. I had to recognise I'd been in a bad place, first, though.

P.

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daveb

a healthy relationship with someone who makes you happy most of the time - that's the way it's supposed to be. That's something millions of people enjoy every day, because it's normal.

Thanks for being part of my journey, Aven. It's been a tumultuous one, but I feel that I'm in a good place, now. I had to recognise I'd been in a bad place, first, though.

P.

I agree! A good relationship involves mutual love, caring, respect, sharing, communication, and a real desire and joy for the well-being and happiness of the other person. I am ever hopeful that some day I'll find such a relationship. I am so glad that you did; you really deserve it. And thank you for allowing us to share a bit in the journey (as rough as it was for you)! :D

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Olivier

:cake: for you. Pamcakes!

I'm really, really glad you've got to a point where you can look back on all that, see it for what it was, and have moved on. That you've moved on to something much better makes me happier still.

And selfishly, I'm glad you've had such a good old vent about it all here, for my own reasons. I think it's pretty natural to wonder (as someone not getting the sex one wants) whether that dynamic is going on in your relationship. And as you found, it's easy to make excuses for why your relationship isn't that manipulative, even when it is. Posts like this force me to really take as objective a look at my own relationship as I can, to make sure I'm not where you were a year ago. And it cheers me no end to see none of the specifics that caused you such pain reflected in my own relationship: I'm trusted to do things with my friends without my wife; my wife doesn't wind me up sexually and then enjoy leaving me hanging; and while we don't have sex that often, I don't feel like I have to jump through hoops to get sex - my wife doesn't make saying "yes" or "no" about anything I may or may not have done.

And that's a fine thing :)

(did I say that I'm really really glad you saw the light and found something better? :P)

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Nameless123

So, I have now been on Aven for over a year.

I understand the bitterness in one of your posts on a thread I started much better now. I'm glad you've moved on and are happy, though :)

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Y Lime

It's sad that you were in a bad relationship (especially without realizing it), but I'm very glad that you got out and found something better. :cake: for you.

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Pamcakes

Olivier, I'm glad my bad experience can do some good, in that it gives someone as lovely as you a checklist to hold their own relationship up to to check its health. From here, it really does look like you and your wife have something great, but it takes a wise person to keep their eyes open and never get complacent, so if I can help you stay secure in the knowledge your relationship hasn't slid from healthy status, then I'm really, really pleased.

To everyone, I'm glad we can all still be here for each other. Thank you for your kind words.

ElectricSheepDreams, I can't recall the post in question. Care to quote it, so I can address it for you?

P.

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Nameless123

ElectricSheepDreams, I can't recall the post in question. Care to quote it, so I can address it for you?

http://www.asexuality.org/en/index.php?/topic/52683-sexrelationship-no-sexfriendship/page__p__1592607__hl__friendship__fromsearch__1#entry1592607

Post 27

Never mind, I really appreciated your input. But as I said, you seemed somewhat more bitter than other sexuals here who have problems with their asexual partners.

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Pamcakes

ElectricSheepDreams, I can't recall the post in question. Care to quote it, so I can address it for you?

http://www.asexuality.org/en/index.php?/topic/52683-sexrelationship-no-sexfriendship/page__p__1592607__hl__friendship__fromsearch__1#entry1592607

Post 27

Never mind, I really appreciated your input. But as I said, you seemed somewhat more bitter than other sexuals here who have problems with their asexual partners.

Oh, that. That was only the other day.

No bad feeling there from my relationship, and I stand by every word I said as being the truth as I see it. No, my only bitterness there was a certain weariness that comes from having explained the same thing over and over again on this site, and having to defend myself again from the same superior attitude. I know you personally dodn't mean to be offensive in any way, but a lot of the people spouting that stuff off don't particularly care to have their minds broadened and are awfully attached to their prejudices, so I guess I carry around a little cynicism from dealing with those people.

P.

P.S. For what it's worth, I have not allowed my experiences with my ex to inform any of my thoughts about asexual people, because the problem with him wasn't his libido or lack thereof, it was the fact that he was a passive aggressively cruel, manipulative, controlling bully of a human being. I'm honestly not even convinced he was ace, at all; I suspect he just withheld sex as a method of control.

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Nameless123

For what it's worth, I have not allowed my experiences with my ex to inform any of my thoughts about asexual people, because the problem with him wasn't his libido or lack thereof, it was the fact that he was a passive aggressively cruel, manipulative, controlling bully of a human being. I'm honestly not even convinced he was ace, at all; I suspect he just withheld sex as a method of control.

It's worth a lot, believe me :) As to being cynical, I know that it's sometimes damn hard to stay fair to either side. But as I've said in other posts, I really appreciate the sexual people on this site and hope they won't get scared away by us asexuals sometimes being unfair. I don't know how unfairness towards sexual people as a whole is supposed to make the unfairness asexual people experience often enough in a sexual world any better. It just hardens the "fronts" unnecessarily.

I don't know whether you plan to come back here, now that asexuality is not such a big problem for you anymore, but I'd be glad to see you around :)

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Pamcakes

It may not be a problem for me, but it's still an issue for others, so I have no intention of leaving. :-)

P.

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Sally

P.S. For what it's worth, I have not allowed my experiences with my ex to inform any of my thoughts about asexual people, because the problem with him wasn't his libido or lack thereof, it was the fact that he was a passive aggressively cruel, manipulative, controlling bully of a human being. I'm honestly not even convinced he was ace, at all; I suspect he just withheld sex as a method of control.

I've noticed that control factor in a number of descriptions sexual partners have written on AVEN. As much as I disliked my partner's accusations of betraying him/lying to him when I first told him of my discovery of asexuality, I considered that wounded ego and ignorance on his part. But when asexual partners blame not wanting sex on their sexual partners' physical lacks or all the other reasons they use, that's really awful. It's one thing to say "I just don't want sex"; it's another to say "I won't have sex unless you do this/be that." Jerks are jerks, asexual or sexual.

I'm glad you're staying, Pam. You're one of the stars of AVEN as far as I'm concerned.

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Pamcakes

Thank you, Sally. That means an awful lot to me. :-)

P.

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daveb

I'm glad you're staying, Pam. You're one of the stars of AVEN as far as I'm concerned.

I heartily second that! :)

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Flyin'Solo

WOW!!!! I have been off aven for a long time (few years) and just came back on in the past week. I read this whole entire thread in one shot this evening. This story is amazing and I'm really glad you have shared it with us, Pamcakes.

I have to say that most of the while I was reading your posts you sounded like you felt guilty and were very self-blaming for your situation-- Thats to say, you would list all of your extremely loving and unreciprocated actions and still talk about how you were not doing enough and speak as though you were possibly being too harsh and too expecting of the man. I am soooooooooo happy that you broke out of that pattern of thinking and that you were able to find the healthy loving relationship that you completely 100% deserve. Reading this was like reading a book with a really awesome and empowering ending.

Thank you for your compassion and openness towards people of our persuasion. It's ironic that it happened all here on a message board for asexuals, but its also really cool. Manipulative and abusive relationships can happen to people of any orientation, and people of any orientation can totally get STUCK in them. Your story has been a real inspiration!

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hmnut

I agree. WOW!!! What an inspiring story Pamcakes.

As a fellow sexual with a (non-admitting) asexual, I can relate on so many levels. There are parts of your story that made me want to cry I relate so much. The only difference is I'm at the start of a relationship even though we have been friends for years.

Reading about your relationship makes me see my relatioship for what it truly is not just what I want to pretend it is. In someways better and in someways worst. We kind of talk about our problems last weekend but we only talked about the sex problem (or lack there of), I realize (after reading your story) that sex isn't the real problem or main problem.

We have other problems that have nothing to do with sex that we need to work out before we can even think about moving on with a relationship. I don't know if I would have realized this with out your story or this board.

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Pamcakes

You're all very kind. I hardly feel deserving of your praise, but thank you very much. :wub:

As for self-blaming; well, yeah. I'm aware that's a problem for me, and it's due to my upbringing. My Mum was a huge proponent of personal responsibility and believed that refusing to acknowledge one's part in one's own misfortunes and blaming others was one of the worst flaws a person could have. She used to have a favourite saying, "Everywhere you are today is because of a choice you made."

Interestingly, my mother had one of the biggest persecution complexes of anyone I've ever met, but that's neither here not there.

As a result, though, whenever I'm unhappy with my situation, I tend to turn inward for the cause and solution. It's made me very independent, but unfortunately I do have a tendency to beat up on myself for other people screwing me over, even when I recognise that that's what they're doing - example (self-talk): "How could you let that person screw you over? You should be smarter than that! You should know better! You should be warier! You should have dealt with them more smartly! Now you're in the mud, and it's your own fault. No-one to blame but yourself."

It's definitely a fault that I'm aware of, but a lifetime of conditioning can be hard to escape.

P.

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BiGrAce

Don't know what to say but good luck!

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