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Fellow Sexuals

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Telecaster68
1 minute ago, Skullery Maid said:

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? 

I don't think there's a simple answer to that. Or even any kind of answer, beyond misery.

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ryn2
4 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

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.

...and I’m saying the ace partner really can’t get the core thing they want either, because - just like a sexual’s relationship isn’t all about sex - the core thing they want is a happy, sustainable relationship.

 

That’s the root of the problem.  For most people there isn’t going to be a solution, because “just sex” isn’t enough for many sexual people and “just no sex” isn’t enough for many romantic aces.  If it was, the sexuals would be happy and fulfilled with just hookups and the aces would be happy and fulfilled alone.

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ryn2
8 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

It's a lot closer.

And you know that how?

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ryn2
4 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

I don't think there's a simple answer to that. Or even any kind of answer, beyond misery.

...which was exactly my point.

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Telecaster68
3 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

And you know that how?

And you know it isn't how?

 

5 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

m saying the ace partner really can’t get the core thing they want either, because - just like a sexual’s relationship isn’t all about sex - the core thing they want is a happy, sustainable relationship.

But the sexual partner isn't getting that happy relationship either, as I said. There is the extra thing that they're not getting and they want, and they have no control over. The asexual has that extra thing too - no sex - but they're getting it, and they have control over it (for instance if they decided to tolerate maintenance sex).

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ryn2
3 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

And you know it isn't how?

Exactly.  All either (any) of us has to go on is what others claim.

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Telecaster68
Just now, ryn2 said:

Exactly.  All either (any) of us has to go on is what others claim.

Except for the objective, observable parts, like not having sex vs having sex.

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ryn2
4 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

But the sexual partner isn't getting that happy relationship either, as I said.

Right, I said that as well.

 

5 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

There is the extra thing that they're not getting and they want, and they have no control over. The asexual has that extra thing too - no sex - but they're getting it, and they have control over it (for instance if they decided to tolerate maintenance sex).

It’s a bit like... I want no meat - just cheese - on my sandwich.  You want meat and cheese.

 

We get cheese sandwiches with massively moldy bread.

 

Okay, sure, I got no meat so I got closer to what I wanted than you did... but the sandwiches are essentially inedible so it’s just degrees of misery.

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ryn2
5 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Except for the objective, observable parts, like not having sex vs having sex.

Well, yes, we can observe that, but we can’t know what it does or doesn’t outweigh and to what relative degree.

 

The people who probably come closest to being able to reasonably speculate are sexuals who have been in relationships where they were/became repulsed by sex with a partner...

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Telecaster68
2 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

Well, yes, we can observe that, but we can’t know what it does or doesn’t outweigh and to what relative degree.

 

The people who probably come closest to being able to reasonably speculate are sexuals who have been in relationships where they were/became repulsed by sex with a partner...

Really? You don't think that when there's an issue which is causing so much misery because two people have mutually exclusive needs over it, the partner who gets the result they want, even in that one area, will be less miserable than the one who doesn't because they have one less thing to be miserable about? I really don't understand how you can reach that conclusion.

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alibali
31 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

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.

The sexual does have say though. It doesn't have to be rape, but as well as a loving "giving" I have been on the receiving end of guilt tripping, manipulation, emotional blackmail (if you loved me enough) etc etc etc. I would assume that most asexuals don't issue a blanket refusal although I don't doubt that some do.

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ryn2
4 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Really? You don't think that when there's an issue which is causing so much misery because two people have mutually exclusive needs over it, the partner who gets the result they want, even in that one area, will be less miserable than the one who doesn't because they have one less thing to be miserable about? I really don't understand how you can reach that conclusion.

See my post above about the moldy bread.  Most people don’t want to be in a relationship that sucks, is failing, or is scraping along now but won’t for long.  The fact it sucks a little less for one person than the other doesn’t change that.  And even if it seems to suck markedly less early on there seem to be few examples of that lasting.

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Telecaster68
2 minutes ago, alibali said:

I would assume that most asexuals don't issue a blanket refusal although I don't doubt that some do.

More than a few. Actually blanket refusals are easier to handle than ongoing ad hoc excuses, especially when the asexual can't/won't see the pattern.

 

3 minutes ago, alibali said:

It doesn't have to be rape, but as well as a loving "giving" I have been on the receiving end of guilt tripping, manipulation, emotional blackmail (if you loved me enough) etc etc etc.

But they still rely on the asexual saying yes, which the sexual doesn't control. The asexual says 'no' and that's the end of it.

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ryn2
3 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

The asexual says 'no' and that's the end of it.

It’s not, though, because each “no” erodes the relationship a little (as does each “yes” for the ace).

 

Whether that particular event ends in grudging (if well-hidden grudging) sex or grudging (again, potentially well-hidden grudging) no sex, the relationship is more damaged afterwards than it was before.

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Telecaster68
Just now, ryn2 said:

The fact it sucks a little less for one person than the other doesn’t change that.

You know it's 'a little' how?

 

I'm basing my presumption on the fact that you keep minimising the effects of the lack of control over one's own sex life. It leads me to think you don't understand how deepseated  the issue is for sexuals, which would mean your experience of the presence/absence of sex isn't deepseated, therefore not so painful for you.

 

A series of inductive reasoning, I know, but it's based on something at least.

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Telecaster68
Just now, ryn2 said:

It’s not, though, because each “no” erodes the relationship a little (as does each “yes” for the ace).

It stops sex though doesn't it? That's my entire point.

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ryn2
1 minute ago, Telecaster68 said:

It stops sex though doesn't it? That's my entire point.

It does, but I elaborated further while you were typing.

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ryn2
2 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

You know it's 'a little' how?

The same way you don’t.  Ultimately none of us have any way of knowing how much others suffer relative to ourselves.

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Telecaster68
Just now, ryn2 said:

It does, but I elaborated further while you were typing.

The relationship is more damaged, but as individuals - the sexual hasn't experienced the intimacy that comes with sex; the asexual hasn't experienced the distress that comes with them having sex.

 

Which one - individually - is better off than if they'd had sex?

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ryn2
3 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

I'm basing my presumption on the fact that you keep minimising the effects of the lack of control over one's own sex life. It leads me to think you don't understand how deepseated  the issue is for sexuals, which would mean your experience of the presence/absence of sex isn't deepseated, therefore not so painful for you.

I’m basing mine on the fact that you keep inferring that aces are happy as long as they are having less sex, which often isn’t true in the overall context of a relationship.

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Telecaster68
1 minute ago, ryn2 said:

The same way you don’t.  Ultimately none of us have any way of knowing how much others suffer relative to ourselves.

We can guess though. Someone having a knife stuck in their ribs is very likely suffering more than someone who hasn't. You can't just wave your hands and make everything completely unknowable because you can't know in detail in every case. You can make informed estimates about most things.

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Telecaster68
Just now, ryn2 said:

I’m basing mine on the fact that you keep inferring that aces are happy as long as they are having less sex, which often isn’t true in the overall context of a relationship.

I'm assumng they're happier than if they were, yes, because that's pretty much the defining characteristic of being asexual.

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ryn2
25 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Which one - individually - is better off than if they'd had sex?

If they value the relationship, neither.  It’s not like the ace outran someone bent on assault and can think “whew, all better now.”

 

If they have sex, the ace is worse off *right then* and *specific to sex* but whoever values the relationship most is worse off in the long run.  Conversely, if they don’t have sex, the sexual is worse off *right then* and *specific to sex*!but the person who values the relationship most is worst off in the long run.

 

I say “specific to sex” because in either case if the sex (or lack thereof) ruins the evening whoever is more bothered by that is worst off right then.

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LeChat

I think what @ryn2's trying to get at is that, for romantic asexuals, there's also a romantic component to their relationship with their partner, that just because an asexual might not want or desire sex with their partner, that doesn't necessarily mean that they might not feel guilty about denying sex for their partner or personally bothered by that there's a difference between themselves and their partner because there might be a risk of them losing the familiar relationship they've built or grown used to.

 

So, an asexual can feel emotionally hurt and worry about losing their partner, too.

 

Even relationships between sexuals can have that struggle with not having sex, too, if, say, one partner has been abused; so, therapists in couples counseling also recommend the partner who hasn't been abused to take it easy on the partner who has, to not rush their partner too quickly in urging them to have sex, because then it might re-trigger their PTSD symptoms, flashbacks, etc.

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ryn2
19 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

We can guess though. Someone having a knife stuck in their ribs is very likely suffering more than someone who hasn't. You can't just wave your hands and make everything completely unknowable because you can't know in detail in every case. You can make informed estimates about most things.

We have been through this before.  Most people have enough comparable experience to extrapolate to what being stabbed could feel like.  It’s a lot harder to know whether being denied sex you do want feels worse than having sex you don’t want... 

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ryn2
27 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

I'm assumng they're happier than if they were, yes, because that's pretty much the defining characteristic of being asexual.

In a vacuum, if the relationship - and the individuals in it - was unharmed by not having (so much, or even any) sex, sure.  But there isn’t a vacuum.

 

Just like, in a vacuum, a sexual who has more sex is happier than one who has less or none.  It seems most don’t want to have sex that erodes their relationships, though, or with partners who doen’t enjoy it, and so on.  There isn’t a vacuum there either.

 

E.g., the poster (I think it was uhtred?) who reports being briefly happier right after sex but in the bigger picture wishes it didn’t happen because overall things are a little worse each time.

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ryn2
7 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

It’s a lot harder to know whether being denied sex you do want feels worse than having sex you don’t want... 

Or, for that matter, which - one round of sex missed out on, or one round of sex capitulated to -feels closer to as bad as a breakup.

 

Cumulatively, lots of incidences of no - or of unwanted - sex do tend to lead to “relationship decay” that feels worse than breaking up... but which gets there faster?  Depends on the individuals.

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Telecaster68
20 minutes ago, InquisitivePhilosopher said:

I think what @ryn2's trying to get at is that, for romantic asexuals, there's also a romantic component to their relationship with their partner, that just because an asexual might not want or desire sex with their partner, that doesn't necessarily mean that they might not feel guilty about denying sex for their partner or personally bothered by that there's a difference between themselves and their partner because there might be a risk of them losing the familiar relationship they've built or grown used to.

 

So, an asexual can feel emotionally hurt and worry about losing their partner, too.

 

Even relationships between sexuals can have that struggle with not having sex, too, if, say, one partner has been abused; so, therapists in couples counseling also recommend the partner who hasn't been abused to take it easy on the partner who has, to not rush their partner too quickly in urging them to have sex, because then it might re-trigger their PTSD symptoms, flashbacks, etc.

Similar things to all those (or their flipside) apply to sexuals too.

 

And then there's the lack of sex.

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Telecaster68
20 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

We have been through this before.  

We have. We're both always going to seem like we're being obtuse, to the other, I suspect.

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alibali

It's very difficult to walk in someone else's shoes.

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