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Fellow Sexuals

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Telecaster68
44 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

The hard part is that - in a lot of situations - talking feels like “doomed now” (which makes sense because it sometime is exactly that) whereas not talking feels like “maybe not doomed later.”  It’s easy to hope something will forestall doom before later comes.

For the sexual partner, they're already doomed now. They're taking the brunt of the pain already, and the asexual is just kicking the can down the road because it means they stay in less pain.

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ryn2
1 hour ago, Telecaster68 said:

For the sexual partner, they're already doomed now. They're taking the brunt of the pain already, and the asexual is just kicking the can down the road because it means they stay in less pain.

Which is all the more reason to talk, no?

 

I’m not advocating putting off talking; I’m just saying I understand why - given the option - someone might.

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Telecaster68
20 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

Which is all the more reason to talk, no?

 

I’m not advocating putting off talking; I’m just saying I understand why - given the option - someone might.

It takes two to talk though. That's the point Apostle was making.

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ryn2
40 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

It takes two to talk though. That's the point Apostle was making.

...which is sometimes a relevant point, but wasn’t really in context back on 2/18.

 

Also, going to couples counseling alone or with a non-talking partner in tow can still be helpful.

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alibali
3 hours ago, Telecaster68 said:

True, and I know you were the one trying to establish communication in your own case, but my perception is that more often, it's the sexual partner who wants to talk, and the asexual who doesn't. It makes sense: the sexual partner wants something to change (the lack of sex/desire), so needs to initiate dialogue. The asexual partner doesn't need to talk beyond 'no', because that will sustain a situation they're less unhappy with than actually having sex.

 

In those circumstances, it may be that the asexual has a good reason for not wanting to talk, and not wanting to take part in counselling, particularly if they see it as an effort to get them 'healed'.

Asexuals often are made to feel like they have a disorder that could or should be "healed". The reality is that it isn't a disorder. The fact is that it's the relationship that has a "disorder" because the individuals are mismatched at a sexual level if nothing else. Couple therapy which doesn't focus on individual blame but enables a resolution that both can live with is probably for the best whether that means splitting up or working together could be useful. Either partner may be resistant to the fact that the relationship is likely to change, including the sexual partner.

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Telecaster68
20 minutes ago, alibali said:

Either partner may be resistant to the fact that the relationship is likely to change, including the sexual partner.

The sexual partner is generally the one who wants change, because they've had change forced on them already without their consent, and they don't like it.

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alibali

I can only speak from my experience.  My ex (sexual) was extremely resistant to change.  He wanted the status quo. I dont think we can make assumptions. 

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Telecaster68
4 minutes ago, alibali said:

I can only speak from my experience.  My ex (sexual) was extremely resistant to change.  He wanted the status quo. I dont think we can make assumptions. 

The status quo that involved not having sex?

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ryn2
10 hours ago, Telecaster68 said:

The sexual partner is generally the one who wants change, because they've had change forced on them already without their consent, and they don't like it.

Well, yes, that’s what being resistant to change means.

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Telecaster68
10 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

Well, yes, that’s what being resistant to change means.

It can also be someone refusing to talk about a change the other one wants, before that change is actually made.

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alibali

Presumably. That was the status quo. I know he wanted improvements in the relationship. 

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Telecaster68

I'm confused ali. He wanted to stick with not having sex and you wanted to change?

 

What I'm driving at here is that there was one situation at first (presumably) - as a couple you had sex. That changed, and presumably you changed it. He wasn't happy with this, but presumably you were unwilling to change from the new status quo. So while you were both resistant to changing from different status quos, in fact, you got the change you wanted, and he didn't. 

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ryn2
48 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

It can also be someone refusing to talk about a change the other one wants, before that change is actually made.

I would consider that fear of the unknown but, yes, both are part of change resistance.

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ryn2
28 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

in fact, you got the change you wanted

Typically that’s not true because it ends up being less sex and more overall strain rather than everything equally happy (but with less sex).  Just like (I’m presuming) most sexuals in mixed relationships also want (more sex, but) everything to stay happy.

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Telecaster68
37 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

Typically that’s not true because it ends up being less sex and more overall strain rather than everything equally happy (but with less sex).  Just like (I’m presuming) most sexuals in mixed relationships also want (more sex, but) everything to stay happy.

The change you (and other asexuals want) was less sex, and you got it.

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ryn2
33 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

The change you (and other asexuals want) was less sex, and you got it.

No, the change most aces want is to continue a happy, healthy, loving relationship with less sex.  If they just wanted less sex and didn’t care about the overall relationship they would break it off.

 

The whole thing becomes a problem when the ace can no longer be happy having “enough” sex and yet the sexual person can’t be happy having “not enough” sex.  

 

Presumably at some prior point (during the NRE/infatuation timeframe, and maybe even beyond that) the amount of sex wasn’t straining either partner enough to drown out the good things and markedly interfere with the relationship as a whole... but once it starts to there is no going back.

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Apostle
On 3/18/2019 at 3:03 PM, ryn2 said:

 

x

 

 

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Telecaster68
2 hours ago, ryn2 said:

, the change most aces want is to continue a happy, healthy, loving relationship with less sex.  If they just wanted less sex and didn’t care about the overall relationship they would break it off

That's the change they want. The change they made is - generally - to stop having sex at some point.

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Apostle
On 3/19/2019 at 12:21 PM, ryn2 said:

 

x

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ryn2
1 hour ago, Apostle said:

Tell me how you are going to get someone into therapy if they don't want to go? Tell me how they are going to accept that they are ace when they believe they are just like everyone else on this planet? Why would they talk to a therapist when they can't even talk to their partner?

You have to accept that aces and sexuals do not and will not ever reach a satisfactory and mutual understanding about their relationship when it boils down to the sexuality differences of both partners. Sexual therapists are there to make money, not mend an impossible union.

I’m not trying to say couples therapy is a magic panacea for sexual orientation incompatibility (or any other relationship issue).  What it *can* do is help with other factors - communication styles and techniques, ways of fighting, “baggage” from childhood or past relationships - that make reaching a solution more difficult.

 

The solution may be a compromise.  It may be an open relationship.  It may be “sucking up and dealing.”  It may be splitting up, immediately or at some future point after a goal is met.  Sure, some people can arrive at their best solutions on their own, but when they’re struggling with communication couples therapy can help them get there faster and less messily.

 

It’s not essential that both people go.

 

The problem to tackle is the comminication (or the baggage), not the sexual mismatch.

 

Obviously if both partners feel therapy is a farce or a money grab it’s not going to be effective, but not everyone feels that way.  I was suggesting it to someone else in the thread, not to you personally.

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ryn2
1 hour ago, Telecaster68 said:

That's the change they want. The change they made is - generally - to stop having sex at some point.

Which isn’t “getting what they wanted.”

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ryn2
1 hour ago, Apostle said:

Less sex or no sex? An ace would prefer no sex, one assumes. Puts an enormous strain on the sexual doesn't it, not knowing one way or another?

From what other sexual and ace posters have said, some aces are fine with an amount of sex that is more than none and others are not.

 

Either way, I wasn’t talking ideals.   In general, both sides want a happy, connected relationship.  A miserable relationship with less (or no) sex isn’t what the ace wants; a miserable relationship with more (or tons of) sex isn’t what the sexual wants.

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Telecaster68
2 hours ago, ryn2 said:

Which isn’t “getting what they wanted.”

It's part of what they want, as opposed to the sexual, who is getting none of what they want.

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ryn2
5 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

It's part of what they want, as opposed to the sexual, who is getting none of what they want.

Agreed that’s nominally closer to what the ace wants, but in reality not many people genuinely want s**ty, unsustainable situations regardless of how much/little sex they are having.

 

Basically, in a mixed relationship there is a cost* (often quite high) to the overall relationship associated with both having and not having sex.

 

* “drain on” might be more accurate than cost to...

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Telecaster68
9 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

Agreed that’s nominally closer to what the ace wants, but in reality not many people genuinely want s**ty, unsustainable situations regardless of how much/little sex they are having.

 

Basically, in a mixed relationship there is a cost* (often quite high) to the overall relationship associated with both having and not having sex.

 

* “drain on” might be more accurate than cost to...

So they don't want it? And if it's not such a big deal compared to the rest of the misery, why is it such a sticking point?

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Skullery Maid
3 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

So they don't want it? And if it's not such a big deal compared to the rest of the misery, why is it such a sticking point?

Because it doesn't work like that. At some point, psychology just needs to be accepted even if to you it sounds counterintuitive. 

 

All I can say is that sometimes you just can't. At first it's easy enough to have sex with someone you don't want to have sex with... For it to just be an activity... but that fades. I cannot explain it but I've had enough sexual relationships with men to understand on a gut level how it feels. Fun until it starts to erode your sense of safety and self. 

 

All I can say is that you just can't. Even if you know it'll make things easier. Even if you know it should be easy. You just can't. 

 

If that wasn't true, orientation would be meaningless. 

 

I think that you either need to put yourself in a situation where you have to force yourself to have sex even though it causes significant distress, or you need to accept that it is not a choice in any way. It sounds dumb but it's just not. It's no more a choice to get up and run out of the bedroom as it is for the sexual to cry when that rejection hits. It just is. You can try your best to moderate behavior but after awhile that moderation starts feeling like self abuse. 

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ryn2
12 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

So they don't want it? And if it's not such a big deal compared to the rest of the misery, why is it such a sticking point?

What I meant was that a lower-sex, miserable relationship is slightly closer to what the ace wants than it is to what the sexual wants... but that ultimately neither wants a miserable relationship.

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Telecaster68

I'm not saying it's a choice and asexuals should just man/woman up. I'm saying that in the core conflict of a 'mixed relationship', asexuals can get the outcome they want - no sex - independent of their partner (assuming they're not a rapist, and obviously is the case with nearly all sexuals). Distress about sex, and the emotional impact of having or not having it, will be there in some form for both partners, whatever happens about sex, because it's a mixed relationship.

 

But in that core issue, the sexual has no say, and removing agency is a big problem for anyone.

 

I'm clearly no longer whining on my own behalf here, it just frustrates me that in such a simple matter of clear logic, almost no asexual poster on AVEN has ever conceded this to be true until backed into a rhetorical corner. They point out there's more to a relationship woes than sex, and I agree. I just don't understand why the very clear, objective fact that the person who doesn't want sex can unilaterally get to have no sex is disputed.

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Telecaster68
2 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

a lower-sex, miserable relationship is slightly closer to what the ace wants than it is to what the sexual wants

It's a lot closer.

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Skullery Maid
Just now, Telecaster68 said:

But in that core issue, the sexual has no say, and removing agency is a big problem for anyone.

 

OH absolutely agree. I also think that if you know you're making someone miserable by withholding, you should leave. I get why people don't, but that doesn't make it right. I'm more than willing to concede a pervasive selfishness in even trying to negotiate a no sex life.

 

But what happens when the sexual partner is like "please don't leave, I can do no sex"? Because I think that happens a lot, or that both people think they can handle shit they cannot handle, but the not being able to handle it comes so far down the road that you feel stuck? 

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