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Fellow Sexuals

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2 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

I wonder, too, if part of the impact of poor verbal communication on relationships is that other forms of communication (including sex) take on more importance because they need to fill that gap.

 

8 minutes ago, uhtred said:

For many sexuals, if their sex life decreases, so does their feelings of romance and love.   It can cause a relationship to become a sort of dry roommate arrangement,  rather than a passionate loving one.   Some asexuals don't understand this and wonder "what is wrong - why does he / she seem so distant?"  

I see what the two of you are saying.  As my partner has only recently found this out I haven't noticed any lack in feelings of love for her but I certainley hope that it doesn't go that route.  @ryn2 that's an interesting question.  What you said does seem to make sense but I'm not quite sure that sex fills a 'gap' as you said.  A lack of sex might be a gap if it was previously in a relationship but it might not be that way if it was never introduced.  But I'm not sure, either way I will definetley keep what you two have sadi in mind and thank you both for your insight.

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ryn2
47 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

To the extent that we all lean on some forms of communication more than others, yes. You could say verbal communication is taking up the slack of poor sexual communication. 

...and potentially, conversely, that sexual communication could play a bigger role in relationships where verbal communication is consistently lacking.

 

I don’t mean that people who communicate excellently verbally would then not need sex; just wondering if this is part of why some mixed couples weather the whole thing better than others.  E.g., if you rely more heavily on sexual communication for reassurance that you’re valued and loved (because you don’t get that reassurance verbally), or you’re someone who communicates valuing and love better/more naturally sexually than verbally, is that a bigger hurdle to jump?

 

It’s kind of like the love languages premise... except with love languages the author presumes everyone can learn to cheerfully do the various things even if they don’t personally value them.

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Telecaster68
47 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

with love languages the author presumes everyone can learn to cheerfully do the various things even if they don’t personally value them.

Yep, that's always been the flaw with the love languages thing. It's always going to be a strain to use your second 'language', but sex/touch must be the hardest.

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ryn2
21 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Yep, that's always been the flaw with the love languages thing. It's always going to be a strain to use your second 'language', but sex/touch must be the hardest.

Yeah, it seems like there’s a significant difference - in both effort required and success likelihood - between things like remembering to get small, meaningful gifts (even if you’re someone who could care less about receiving gifts) more often and communicating via sex (whether you’re ace, or sexual but not someone who experiences or utilizes sex that way).  That’s not even considering repulsion.

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Telecaster68
1 minute ago, ryn2 said:

Yeah, it seems like there’s a significant difference - in both effort required and success likelihood - between things like remembering to get small, meaningful gifts (even if you’re not someone who could care less about receiving gifts) more often and communicating via sex (whether you’re ace, or sexual but not someone who experiences or utilizes sex that way).  That’s not even considering repulsion.

Which, for the likes of me brings up the question of the depth and passion of emotion behind the acts. If someone can only summon the energy to buy small gifts as a way of showing love - which as you say requires substantially less effort than sex regardless of sexual orientation - could it indicate the depth of the underlying emotion is less than someone who will put themselves out more.

 

I know this is veering close to the 'if you loved me, you would' argument, but I find it hard not to wonder.

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ryn2

I don’t think so?  I think it’s more that different things are important to different people - and thereby require differing levels and types of energy.

 

For example, some people really love finding perfect gifts.  While it certainly takes time and energy, and I don’t mean to belittle that, it’s time and energy spent happily doing something they adore.  Going out gift-shopping after a long workday is a treat for them, not drudgery, and they’ll likely feel uplifted by doing it.

 

It’s not just that they like seeing their recipients happy, although that’s part of it.  They also just plain love gifting.

 

Now, sometimes people who love to give gifts couldn’t care less about receiving them.  Others, though, also find celebrating personal milestones very important.  They are crushed if a partner forgets an anniversary, or a friend forgets a birthday.

 

Those forgetters may love their partners wholeheartedly, but - for them - gifting is not enjoyable and remembering occasions isn’t  deeply meaningful.  They don’t view the process as pleasant or rewarding.

 

It’s not indicative (to me) of a difference in depth of feelings or emotional investment, although in my experience the forgotten are likely to view it as one.  I don’t know if it’s just personality differences, attachment style/issues, or what, but I think it’s more at that level,

 

It certainly can be a virtually unbridgeable divide, though.  The issue isn’t so much that people don’t care enough; it’s that they’re somehow unable to show that care in a way the other person can recognize/receive it (or, from the other side, the partner isn’t able to find what s/he needs in the relationship).

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ryn2
25 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

could it indicate the depth of the underlying emotion is less than someone who will put themselves out more.

To be a little more succinct, I think 1) even something smaller like finding a meaningful gift requires both different amounts of effort and a different pleasure level depending on how naturally you express yourself that way and 2) you can’t accurately judge the depth of someone’s emotions by how they act.  You can only compare to what it would mean if you acted the same way, and that’s going to be less and less valid the less similar the two of you are.

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Telecaster68
Just now, ryn2 said:

It’s not just that they like seeing their recipients happy, although that’s part of it.  They also just plain love gifting.

Doesn't that mean it's not an effort - so it's not actually done for their partner's benefit, that's just a happy coincidence. It's a bit like my wife's attitude to sex; I was a masturbatory tool and my enjoyment was just a happy coincidence.

 

The fact that they'll only do something that isn't an effort is the point.

 

 

Quote

 

The issue isn’t so much that people don’t care enough; it’s that they’re somehow unable to show that care in a way the other person can recognize/receive it (or, from the other side, the partner isn’t able to find what s/he needs in the relationship).

 


 

Actually, short of visceral sexual repulsion, they can show they care in a way their partner can recognise. They just choose not to.
 
Switch it round: I'm not bothered about giving or receiving gifts, but if my wife had said it was one of the principle ways she deeply felt loved, and without gifts, she felt rejected and distanced, and I just said 'sorry, I don't do gifts', most people would see that simply as me not being bothered. 
 
Clearly, having sex is more effort but it short of absolute repulsion, there simply is an element of not being bothered to make the effort. Clearly every has the right to choose not to make the effort, but let's accept that's what's going on.
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Telecaster68
3 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

2) you can’t accurately judge the depth of someone’s emotions by how they act.

I think you can, roughly, particularly if they know how their actions will be interpreted.

 

But we generally reach this point in discussions. You're prepared to accept that someone says and means it, even though their actions are B , which tends to contradict A. I'm not.

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ryn2
9 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Doesn't that mean it's not an effort - so it's not actually done for their partner's benefit, that's just a happy coincidence.

There’s some happy coincidence but I don’t think it’s not an effort; it’s just pleasant work rather than unpleasant work.

 

Is the gift more meaningful because the person thought finding it for you sucked?

 

9 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

I'm not bothered about giving or receiving gifts, but if my wife had said it was one of the principle ways she deeply felt loved, and without gifts, she felt rejected and distanced, and I just said 'sorry, I don't do gifts', most people would see that simply as me not being bothered. 

I went through this for a very long time with a former friend and it’s not that simple.  I didn’t just tell her “I don’t do gifts,” I made the effort to get them, but it was much more stressful for me than she understood and it was not really (from what she said) wholly satisfying for her either.  In the end we were both putting a lot more effort into the whole remembering/gifting/receiving cycle than would people who were better matched and yet the outcome was second-rate for both of us.

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Telecaster68
7 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

Is the gift more meaningful because the person thought finding it for you sucked?

Kind of, yes. Not that I want them to do sucky things, but they thought doing something sucked but did it because I'd like the result. That has to be a clearer demonstration of love than doing something you enjoy anyway.

 

8 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

 In the end we were both putting a lot more effort into the whole remembering/gifting/receiving cycle than would people who were better matched and yet the outcome was second-rate for both of us.

Matched love-languages is  A Thing, obviously. The point is that you bothered. If you'd just said 'tough', wouldn't you expect that to come across as less caring than saying 'I'll try'?

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ryn2
26 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

I think you can, roughly, particularly if they know how their actions will be interpreted.

 

But we generally reach this point in discussions. You're prepared to accept that someone says [a] and means it, even though their actions are , which tends to contradict [a]. I'm not.

To me this is (slightly?) different.

 

I don’t think you can reverse-engineer someone’s thought processes or underlying feelings from their behavior solely on basis of comparing it to your own.

 

That’s not the same as observing the same person over time and noting that their own actions bely (belie?) their stated beliefs.

 

Real-life example:  In non-winter weather I like to walk in the shade.  If I turn the corner and am suddenly in the sun I will cross the street as soon as possible to get back in the shade.

 

I did this once while walking with my long-ago ex, in NYC.  Apparently there was someone of a different race walking towards us at the time.  My ex, with whom I often fought about (his) bigotry, insisted my crossing the street was proof that I was secretly bigoted as well and just unwilling to admit it.

 

He was trying to infer my thought process from my actions using his own.  Fail.

 

On the other hand, if he observed over time that - despite my insisting it was about shade and not about who else was using the sidewalk - I actually only crossed the street (regardless of the sun) when someone of a specific race was coming towards me, OR that I crossed into the sun when someone of a specific race was coming at me but never otherwise, then I would agree with your thinking that my actions disproved my words.

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ryn2
4 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Kind of, yes. Not that I want them to do sucky things, but they thought doing something sucked but did it because I'd like the result. That has to be a clearer demonstration of love than doing something you enjoy anyway.

Despite being a hardcore martyr, I’m not sure degree of sacrifice is  really a good way to judge intensjty of feelings.

 

6 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

The point is that you bothered. If you'd just said 'tough', wouldn't you expect that to come across as less caring than saying 'I'll try'?

This does go back to the above point about observed results.  I was actually trying hella hard and yet to her - because she had to do more reminding than she would have required - it looked too much to her like I was saying “tough.”

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Telecaster68
11 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

I don’t think you can reverse-engineer someone’s thought processes or underlying feelings from their behavior solely on basis of comparing it to your own.

That's not what I'm saying though - I'm saying if the other person knows that you interpret action A as them doing something they wanted to do anyway, and action B as them making an effort to do something purely for your sake, and they continue to do just action A and never action B, it's fair to interpret this as them not wanting to do something purely for your sake, just things they want to do anyway, and respond to that as being their state of mind.

 

We're getting into very clear cut actions and interpretations, but in real life, neither are that clear cut.

 

10 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

 I was actually trying hella hard and yet to her - because she had to do more reminding than she would have required - it looked too much to her like I was saying “tough.

I think credit should be given for effort, as long as it's clear some is being made. How much, and how much success is necessary is another of the grey areas.

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ryn2
1 minute ago, Telecaster68 said:

I'm saying if the other person knows that you interpret action A as them doing something they wanted to do anyway, and action B as them making an effort to do something purely for your sake, and they continue to do just action A and never action B, it's fair to interpret this as them not wanting to do something purely for your sake, just things they want to do anyway, and respond to that as being their state of mind.

...and I’m saying that’s not what I meant when I made my post.

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ryn2
2 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

I think credit should be given for effort, as long as it's clear some is being made. How much, and how much success is necessary is another of the grey areas.

...but that requires that effort be observed *and correctly interpreted as effort* on the recipient’s part.

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Telecaster68

I'm confused about which post now :)

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Telecaster68
Just now, ryn2 said:

...but that requires that effort be observed *and correctly interpreted as effort* on the recipient’s part.

Yep.

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ryn2
2 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

I'm confused about which post now :)

This one:

 

47 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

To be a little more succinct, I think 1) even something smaller like finding a meaningful gift requires both different amounts of effort and a different pleasure level depending on how naturally you express yourself that way and 2) you can’t accurately judge the depth of someone’s emotions by how they act.  You can only compare to what it would mean if you acted the same way, and that’s going to be less and less valid the less similar the two of you are.

 

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James121
1 hour ago, Telecaster68 said:

I know this is veering close to the 'if you loved me, you would' argument, but I find it hard not to wonder.

I’m about to make myself an easy target but here goes (it’s what I think).

Part of me believes in the “if you loved me you would want to make me happy” type of scenario because quite frankly, it’s true.

That may not be true for a sex repulsed asexual but if it’s just the case that you have no innate desire for partnered sex (not that you aren’t capable of sex and capable of some physical enjoyment like some asexuals are) then why can’t you expect someone to want to do something that will make you happy. Why is that so terrible. Sex is such a soft target and so easily demonised.

 

 

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ryn2
1 minute ago, Telecaster68 said:

Yep.

Which goes back around... only accepting the “right kind of thing” as effort, based on what you observe and what it would mean if you did the same thing, is not giving credit for effort.

 

Suppose person A is bad at remembering birthdays.  They have to remember to put them in the calendar (so, a reminder to remember to remember), and then they have to actually act on each reminder and finally go get a card or whatever.

 

They put in the reminder to

add birthdays.  At the start of the year they add person B’s birthday.  They get the reminder and add “card for B” to the shopping list.  They get the card.

 

They forget to mail it.

 

Lots of effort on A’s end, looks like none to B.

 

Now, if A always remembers to

send a card to C and just forgets B, that’s a bit different.

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Telecaster68
6 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

you can’t accurately judge the depth of someone’s emotions by how they act.  You can only compare to what it would mean if you acted the same way,

I disagree. If you know someone hates heights, but they agree to go up the Eiffel Tower with you because you want to (and obviously don't hate heights), then clearly you can make a judgement on it.

 

This 'we can't know how other people feel' trope is common on AVEN, and it's way less true than people claim.

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Skullery Maid

Maybe they love you just as much as you love them. Maybe they don't want to live a life where they're always uncomfortable, anxious and, eventually, feeling sexually violated, just because they love you. 

 

Compatibility matters. You don't have to live in misery forever just to prove you love someone. 

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Telecaster68
1 minute ago, ryn2 said:

based on what you observe and what it would mean if you did the same thing

But I'm explicitly not saying 'based on what it would mean if I did the same thing'.

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Telecaster68
Just now, Skullery Maid said:

Compatibility matters. You don't have to live in misery forever just to prove you love someone. 

Ultimately, yes, and if the degree of incompatibility is too great, then the relationship should end. But I think it behoves both people to make an effort to go outside their comfort zone and see what happens. 

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ryn2
5 minutes ago, James121 said:

why can’t you expect someone to want to do something that will make you happy.

I think the issue that makes sex a bit unique is that, for a lot of the sexuals who post here, just doing it to make the sexual partner happy isn’t enough/what the sexual partner is looking for. For sexual partners who want a mutually-desired, connected experience, there’s no way the ace can meet that by “doing it to make someone happy.”

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Skullery Maid
Just now, Telecaster68 said:

Ultimately, yes, and if the degree of incompatibility is too great, then the relationship should end. But I think it behoves both people to make an effort to go outside their comfort zone and see what happens. 

This is where the disagreement lies, though. You seem to think you have insight into everyone's degree of discomfort and you don't. Maybe one person is ten times as uncomfortable even though they've only made one tenth the compromises. 

 

 

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James121
3 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

I think the issue that makes sex a bit unique is that, for a lot of the sexuals who post here, just doing it to make the sexual partner happy isn’t enough/what the sexual partner is looking for. For sexual partners who want a mutually-desired, connected experience, there’s no way the ace can meet that by “doing it to make someone happy.”

True, fair point. 

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ryn2
15 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

I disagree. If you know someone hates heights, but they agree to go up the Eiffel Tower with you because you want to (and obviously don't hate heights), then clearly you can make a judgement on it.

 

This 'we can't know how other people feel' trope is common on AVEN, and it's way less true than people claim.

Again, that gets to the end of what I said in my sidewalk example.  If someone does things which are visibly inconsistent with their stated beliefs, that’s different.  If someone says “I’m lactose intolerant” but eats dairy all the time, under no duress, and is never sick from it despite taking no medication, that at least gives you reason to think they don’t know what the term means (and could mean they are lying if they tell you they can’t eat your cooking because it contains dairy).

 

However, if you cook cheese ravioli and they pick around it, and you assume that means they hate your cooking (because that’s what it means when you push your food around on the plate), you’re “mindreading.”

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Telecaster68
6 minutes ago, Skullery Maid said:

You seem to think you have insight into everyone's degree of discomfort and you don't. Maybe one person is ten times as uncomfortable even though they've only made one tenth the compromises. 

If they've said they don't have any particular discomfort and still just... don't.... do anything palpable, I don't see the logic of interpreting them doing something they were going to do instead, as showing equal effort.

 

And if they're not willing to make an effort, yep, I will read something into how they feel about me into that. 

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