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Whatnext

Why hurt sexuals?

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Whatnext

I started a topic earlier about my problem with my asexual partner. I am sexual. He basically would not admit his asexuality, refuses to discuss it and I have been more than accommodating respecting his guidelines and rules. I went as far as educating myself about asexuality and handled him exceptionally delicately despite my frustrations. I made millions of compromises over 8 months and never cheated on him. He was teh one to pursue me and after 8 months, he stormed out without explanation. My questions to all the decent asexuals out there that I respect and understand are:

1- If you don't want to come out, isn't it only fair to alert your partner about this and see how he/she would deal with it?

2- If your sexual partner has built more frustrations than you can imagine and is willing to make compromises without hurting you inlcuding not looking for sex outside a committed relationship - why can't you see that frustration and compromise within reason to keep that partner?

3- If bad feelings about sex with your partner develop; isn't it only human not to pursue another sexual partner? Why would some go through short-lived relationships of 3-weeks each and end up hurtiung yourself and your sexual partner? Isn't it more human and honourable to stop pursuing relationships with sexual partners without considering questions 1 & 2 above?

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MadRat

I´m very sceptic about sexual + asexual relationships. Even in "normal" relationships a lot of compromises is needed, so A+S relationships seem to me...it must be just hell for both of them. I know that here in AVEN are some people who are trying to live in this kind of relationship, so they will not agree with me, but I think sexuals should have relationship with sexuals, and asexuals with asexuals.

Another think is that one can´t chose who to be in love with. Love has nothing to do with rational thinking. And many people are not sure about their a/sexuality, they are influnced by society, by all those things which are expected from them etc. They have listened for all their lives this cliche like "when you meet the right person, you will want to have sex with him/her" or "asexuality doesn´t exist, you´re only repressed/late bloomer".

Maybe your partner wasn´t sure if he is asexual or not. Maybe he thought he will be able to have sex.

But he should talk about it with you. It´s necessary to find some compromises, but both of you must work on it...or break up.

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Lucinda

I started a topic earlier about my problem with my asexual partner. I am sexual. He basically would not admit his asexuality, refuses to discuss it and I have been more than accommodating respecting his guidelines and rules. I went as far as educating myself about asexuality and handled him exceptionally delicately despite my frustrations. I made millions of compromises over 8 months and never cheated on him. He was teh one to pursue me and after 8 months, he stormed out without explanation.

Didn't you tell him you wanted to give him space shortly before he apparently took you up on that offer? You stated he had been sarcastic and rude, yet you don't sound absolutely delighted that a sarcastic and rude person walked out of your life. Why are you having such a hard time moving on?

My questions to all the decent asexuals out there that I respect and understand are:

1- If you don't want to come out, isn't it only fair to alert your partner about this and see how he/she would deal with it?

From what you say, he told you his guidelines and rules. And you were certainly able to observe his behavior. It is up to you as to how you deal with it. It may be flattering to have someone pursue you for a relationship, but you are under no obligation to engage that person especially if there are rules you would not choose for yourself.

2- If your sexual partner has built more frustrations than you can imagine and is willing to make compromises without hurting you inlcuding not looking for sex outside a committed relationship - why can't you see that frustration and compromise within reason to keep that partner?

It's possible not to see that frustration if the frustrations are more than one can imagine. Similarly, it may be impossible to know how hard it is for another to see without their glasses if one doesn't wear glasses themselves. And you may have made millions of compromises to keep that partner, but others may simply rather not in order to be free to be themselves. Don't you feel freer now that you are not dealing with all the frustrations and compromises you had to deal with during that relationship? Perhaps he did you a big favor by walking out the door?

3- If bad feelings about sex with your partner develop; isn't it only human not to pursue another sexual partner? Why would some go through short-lived relationships of 3-weeks each and end up hurtiung yourself and your sexual partner? Isn't it more human and honourable to stop pursuing relationships with sexual partners without considering questions 1 & 2 above?

Just like some people keep dwelling on the same issue over and over and over again, others keep riding the same old merry-go-round even if it means they keep hurting themselves. All we can hope for is that people will eventually learn from their experiences and forge a different path. Don't you agree?

Lucinda

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FrozenCherry

My sexual ex boyfriend knew that I do not sex but he still wanted to try... Not actually my responsibility if he did not believed.

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Larien

In response to your questions from my own point of view,

1. A lot of people who “fit the bill” of asexuality may have no idea that such a thing actually exists. Like MadRat said, in society people are constantly told things like, “You just haven’t met the right person yet,” or, “If you try it you’ll like it.” Without knowing that the concept of asexuality exists, it’s hard to define yourself that way.

I’ll use myself as an example of what I’m trying to say. I literally had no idea that asexuality existed until I happened to stumble across AVEN. I fall in love with people romantically, and it never occurred to me to make the distinction between “romantic love” and “sexual attraction” without having AVEN as a trigger. I’m not repulsed by sex myself – I’m more or less indifferent to it, and it’s something I’ve done to make my partner happy – but every ace is different in that regard. Until I found AVEN I bought into the idea that “once I find the ‘right person’ everything’ll be different.” I can’t speak for your partner, but that’s definitely something to consider.

2. Like I said earlier, I’m not repulsed by sex, so I’m going to leave this question for someone else to answer. I do agree that compromises need to happen for asexual-sexual relationships, but that leaves a lot of grey area that needs to be discussed between each specific pair of partners.

3. Like MadRat mentioned, we can’t control who we fall in love with. It’s probably also fair to point out that asexuals are few and far between – it probably would be easier for aces to be with other aces, but from what I understand asexuals only really started to connect with one another and realize, "Hey, we're not alone!" once the internet became popular. Plus a lot of people, many aces included, enjoy companionship and avoid being alone. I definitely agree with you that issues 1 and 2 above need to be considered, but unfortunately human nature (as well as knowledge of one's asexuality) isn’t as black-and-white as that.

I'm in class right now so my attention is kind of scattered, so I'm sorry if any of my phrasing doesn't make sense, and if I think of more later on I'll come back.

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nleseul

3- If bad feelings about sex with your partner develop; isn't it only human not to pursue another sexual partner? Why would some go through short-lived relationships of 3-weeks each and end up hurtiung yourself and your sexual partner? Isn't it more human and honourable to stop pursuing relationships with sexual partners without considering questions 1 & 2 above?

For many people who don't actively identify as asexual, sexual partners are the only kind of partners they even know to look for.

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Deremna

I was honest from the get go with my boyfriend about it, even though I didn't know I was asexual at the time. I told him flat out that after about 6 months, once all the happy hormones of a brand new relationship wear off, I will become frigid and quite possibly angry with him if he tries anything. He would (obviously) become frustrated after a few months of no sex. He also is weird about masturbation so that didn't help the situation as he was literally not getting any release at all. I am trying to help him in that department right now as it might ease some of the strain for both of us. But he's stuck it out for 5 years without resorting to cheating on me so I believe his love to be stronger than his need to have sex constantly.

I am in agreeance with what is being said about not knowing about asexuality so I believed once I settled with the right person, my whole put off by sex thing would disappeared. But I became super depressed when I found my other half but I still couldn't feel any desire. After finding this site, I now feel much better. I do try to make things work and I do try to put out occasionally when I am feeling less grossed out than normal.

As mentioned, compromises have to be made in any romantic relationship and ace/sexual relationships are no different, we just have to try a bit harder, I think. I was watching a show last night where a girl said "humans are sexual creatures by nature" so we have to deal with this assumption and try to make our partners understand that is not the case. If it doesn't work out, then it doesn't work out and we have to move on and try to find someone else who will love us for who we are even if they don't completely understand.

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Not-You

I kinda believe that a/sexual relationships are doomed from the start--these are two people who are a) never going to be able to really understand each other and b) never going to be completely satisfied with the relationship. I'm not sure how to make that work.

As far as "the compromise" goes, the thing we sexual folks need to realize is that, while going without sex for longer than we'd like is fucking horrible for us, the asexual partner is being asked to submit to pseudo-rape. Being forced to be celibate is awful, but being forced to give your body to somebody (even if it is somebody you love) is even worse.

I just don't think a/sexual relationships are a good idea unless they involve some pretty unique people.

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PiF

I don't think declarations of everything are particular to asexuals

many sexual couples I know hide secrets even years in

But I agree if there is something that could have a major direction on the relationship then really that should be disclosed after about 4 or 5 dates

if however you discover the reason behind something in the midst of a relationship..then whilst I understand the fear of consequences..you should be honest

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Asexy Existentialist

As far as "the compromise" goes, the thing we sexual folks need to realize is that, while going without sex for longer than we'd like is fucking horrible for us, the asexual partner is being asked to submit to pseudo-rape. Being forced to be celibate is awful, but being forced to give your body to somebody (even if it is somebody you love) is even worse.

I'm glad you understand this. :)

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virescence

I understand you're asking these questions out of frustration and hurt, but... um, it sounds to me that you think most asexuals act like your boyfriend did. Though I don't know all the details of the situation or how your boyfriend would describe events, from what you have said in this thread and your previous one, your boyfriend is an asshole. Most asexuals are not assholes. And it sounds like the problem here doesn't stem from the fact that your boyfriend is asexual (if he actually is), but from the fact that your boyfriend is an asshole.

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Sally

.

As far as "the compromise" goes, the thing we sexual folks need to realize is that, while going without sex for longer than we'd like is fucking horrible for us, the asexual partner is being asked to submit to pseudo-rape. Being forced to be celibate is awful, but being forced to give your body to somebody (even if it is somebody you love) is even worse.

Absolutely awesome job of understanding, Not-Trapped. Not all asexuals feel that way but some of us do, and I didn't really thinnk a sexual could understand. But I was wrong. I'm so glad you decided to stay on AVEN and contribute. :cake:

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Not-You

.

As far as "the compromise" goes, the thing we sexual folks need to realize is that, while going without sex for longer than we'd like is fucking horrible for us, the asexual partner is being asked to submit to pseudo-rape. Being forced to be celibate is awful, but being forced to give your body to somebody (even if it is somebody you love) is even worse.

Absolutely awesome job of understanding, Not-Trapped. Not all asexuals feel that way but some of us do, and I didn't really thinnk a sexual could understand. But I was wrong. I'm so glad you decided to stay on AVEN and contribute. :cake:

That's the crux of the problem in a/sexual relationships. The two parties are diametrically opposite, and the only way to meet in the middle is for one or both of them to suffer. And, as I said above, being forced to engage in sexual activity when one would rather not is magnitudes worse than being forced to be celibate (a situation that is unacceptable to most sexual people) I'm being hyperbolic of course, because there are some asexuals who can behave sexually with little or no actual discomfort and there are some sexuals who can behave asexually with the same result. But not many.

The choice is: if we are to remain in a relationship, which one of us should suffer? And that's a pretty shitty decision to have to make.

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nleseul

The choice is: if we are to remain in a relationship, which one of us should suffer? And that's a pretty shitty decision to have to make.

The awesome thing about non-monogamy is that no one actually has to suffer in that situation. ;)

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theo_tatertot

I would just like to add my two cents. This is opinion, not some kind of fact I expect everyone (or anyone) to subscribe to.

I get the feeling from some comments on this thread and various other places that sexual compatibility is seen as the most fundamental aspect of a relationship. I wonder if sexual compatibility is so fundamental that when both partner's sexualities don't mesh up very well, the relationship is automatically doomed. I have seen evidence to the contrary from stories like Olivier's. Also, as PIF said, sexual people can hide things from each other (and to add my own generalization, they can have serious differences in other things like emotional and intellectual connection.) I am not convinced that a relationship that works very well except for the sexual compatibility facet is impossible to maintain happily. I think it is hard, but I don't think it's a completely different thing than compromising in different areas. Of course, this depends on the sexualities of both people (e.g. how repulsed the asexual is.) To be fair, I think level of overlap or disconnect regarding other needs/interests is also key.

All I'm saying is that I think it's not impossible for an "asexual" and a "sexual" to be able to work out a compromise both are fine with when it comes to sex. This is assuming that sexuality/asexuality is a spectrum, as opposed to two completely distinct things, when it comes to putting sexuality into practice (in a relationship.) Maybe I'm just hopeful and naive, but it seemed that I worked out things fine with my ex despite our sexual differences. The reason(s) we broke up had nothing to do with that. OK - I'll take off the rose-colored glasses now and get back to reality :P

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theo_tatertot

The choice is: if we are to remain in a relationship, which one of us should suffer? And that's a pretty shitty decision to have to make.

The awesome thing about non-monogamy is that no one actually has to suffer in that situation. ;)

^^THIS. and by "this," I don't mean just non-monogamous structures, but thinking outside the box in general when it comes to relationships. There are so many different kinds to have (that could all fit under the umbrella of "romantic," if you wish) and so many ways to make them work. I'm not giving up on certain types of people just yet, provided they don't give up on me :)

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Not-You

The choice is: if we are to remain in a relationship, which one of us should suffer? And that's a pretty shitty decision to have to make.

non-monogamy

If only

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Not-You

I would just like to add my two cents. This is opinion, not some kind of fact I expect everyone (or anyone) to subscribe to.

I get the feeling from some comments on this thread and various other places that sexual compatibility is seen as the most fundamental aspect of a relationship. I wonder if sexual compatibility is so fundamental that when both partner's sexualities don't mesh up very well, the relationship is automatically doomed. I have seen evidence to the contrary from stories like Olivier's. Also, as PIF said, sexual people can hide things from each other (and to add my own generalization, they can have serious differences in other things like emotional and intellectual connection.) I am not convinced that a relationship that works very well except for the sexual compatibility facet is impossible to maintain happily. I think it is hard, but I don't think it's a completely different thing than compromising in different areas. Of course, this depends on the sexualities of both people (e.g. how repulsed the asexual is.) To be fair, I think level of overlap or disconnect regarding other needs/interests is also key.

All I'm saying is that I think it's not impossible for an "asexual" and a "sexual" to be able to work out a compromise both are fine with when it comes to sex. This is assuming that sexuality/asexuality is a spectrum, as opposed to two completely distinct things, when it comes to putting sexuality into practice (in a relationship.) Maybe I'm just hopeful and naive, but it seemed that I worked out things fine with my ex despite our sexual differences. The reason(s) we broke up had nothing to do with that. OK - I'll take off the rose-colored glasses now and get back to reality :P

For me at least, "sexual compatibility" is not the most fundamental aspect of the relationship. However, it's pretty danged important. Let's say...top 5. It can be overcome. But I'll say what I said up there^^. It takes two unique people to make it work.

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longhaul

I agree with vir - it sounds as though your boyfriend was a real jerk. They exist. It's nothing to do with his orientation, it's to do with him.

As far as sex is concerned, not all sexuals behave the same, not all asexuals behave the same. So difficulties with one relationship don't mean another one won't work.

For instance, some asexuals are okay with sexual partners being non-monogamous. Others won't accept it, even if they're aware they're asexual and actually don't want sex themselves. Presumably part of the reason they feel comfortable about this is that monogamy is socially expected, and another part of the reason is that they can't fathom why the sexual person wants sex in the first place. It probably looks about as sensible as an insistence on eating junk food. It is very hard to understand something that you have never had any experience of at all.

As a sexual person, I struggle to put myself in my asexual partner's shoes as well. The closest I can come to it is remembering when I was in my early teens, and was happy about masturbation, but definitely not interested in sex with boys nor willing to do it. We all went through a period of being asexual - not sexually attracted to anyone at all - but for most of us it was a long time ago, and hard to remember.

All this doesn't mean asex / sex partnerships are doomed. But as observed, they are remarkably tricky to make work. Having said that, I've been married a long time and I'm not planning on getting divorced, nor is my husband.

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Sally

For instance, some asexuals are okay with sexual partners being non-monogamous. Others won't accept it, even if they're aware they're asexual and actually don't want sex themselves. Presumably part of the reason they feel comfortable about this is that monogamy is socially expected, and another part of the reason is that they can't fathom why the sexual person wants sex in the first place.

A big part of the reason many asexuals can't accept the idea of the sexual partner going outside the relationship/marriage is the fear that the sexual will develop an emotional relationship with the third party. Then the sexual will have a "complete" relationship with the third party (sex and emotion) and only an incomplete one (emotion) with the asexual. That's very worrisome to the asexual, because why then would the sexual stay with the asexual?

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BlackRose

For instance, some asexuals are okay with sexual partners being non-monogamous. Others won't accept it, even if they're aware they're asexual and actually don't want sex themselves. Presumably part of the reason they feel comfortable about this is that monogamy is socially expected, and another part of the reason is that they can't fathom why the sexual person wants sex in the first place.

A big part of the reason many asexuals can't accept the idea of the sexual partner going outside the relationship/marriage is the fear that the sexual will develop an emotional relationship with the third party. Then the sexual will have a "complete" relationship with the third party (sex and emotion) and only an incomplete one (emotion) with the asexual. That's very worrisome to the asexual, because why then would the sexual stay with the asexual?

This just seems exactly backwards to me. The sexual would stay with the asexual because he/she loves him/her. The real question is: if the sexual isn't getting any sex from the asexual, and is forbidden from getting it anywhere else, why then would the sexual stay with the asexual?

Why isn't the asexual worried about the sexual leaving because of lack of sex, regardless of anyone else's involvement? Or why wouldn't the asexual want the sexual to find someone to have sex with so the sexual doesn't feel the need to leave the asexual?

(Side note: we need pronouns for 'sexual' and 'asexual' :) )

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Lucinda

If a relationship without sex is considered incomplete, then people are in all sorts of incomplete relationships with a variety of people every day. :) And folks have given and received emotional support without sex entering into the picture for a good part of their lives. Why is it that some people can hold others' interests without having sex with them while others fear that they will lose that person? Perhaps it depends on the nature of the relationship and the confidence levels of the people involved?

And we can look at the flip side also. There have been people who have admitted that they were financially dependent on another person and sex was the currency they brought to the relationship. If the other person wasn't interested in an active sex life, then there could be a fear in the back of their mind that they might eventually find no other reason to continue to financially and emotionally support them?

Going outside the marriage for sex can be tricky, but not always. Like everything else, it depends. I talked with an older gentleman who claimed he had "dalliances" throughout his marriage on a don't ask don't tell basis. He had absolutely no intention of breaking up his marriage or family and disrupting his social standing. And he made that quite clear to all involved. He also theorized that the emotion one feels for their sexual partner is more along the lines of gratitude as opposed to love. Sometimes the feelings of attention and gratitude can seem stronger than love, but one must recognize it all in context. Again, this is his perspective.

Others don't have such an easy time of it. Does anyone remember the poster who came on the board on Father's Day after sending his wife and kids out for the day? He didn't want to spend time with them, but instead wanted to become what he said was the most hated poster on AVEN. His friends admired him for being married and having a lover on the side, but he didn't seem too happy about it all. If he didn't have kids, he kept saying, he wouldn't be married. Father's Day.

And even others who are given the green light to pursue sex with others can still feel anxious. Just like they can't have sex when they want to at home, they may not be able to have sex when they want to outside the home. There are still issues of competition, rejection, and rearranging your life to fit around someone else's schedule. One man told me he would sometimes spend up to $1000.00/month on extramarital activities ... even though his wife liked sex just as much as he did.

Lucinda

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Sally

For instance, some asexuals are okay with sexual partners being non-monogamous. Others won't accept it, even if they're aware they're asexual and actually don't want sex themselves. Presumably part of the reason they feel comfortable about this is that monogamy is socially expected, and another part of the reason is that they can't fathom why the sexual person wants sex in the first place.

A big part of the reason many asexuals can't accept the idea of the sexual partner going outside the relationship/marriage is the fear that the sexual will develop an emotional relationship with the third party. Then the sexual will have a "complete" relationship with the third party (sex and emotion) and only an incomplete one (emotion) with the asexual. That's very worrisome to the asexual, because why then would the sexual stay with the asexual?

This just seems exactly backwards to me. The sexual would stay with the asexual because he/she loves him/her. The real question is: if the sexual isn't getting any sex from the asexual, and is forbidden from getting it anywhere else, why then would the sexual stay with the asexual?

Why isn't the asexual worried about the sexual leaving because of lack of sex, regardless of anyone else's involvement? Or why wouldn't the asexual want the sexual to find someone to have sex with so the sexual doesn't feel the need to leave the asexual?

(Side note: we need pronouns for 'sexual' and 'asexual' :) )

I used the word "fear". That's a strong emotion, it isn't exactly rational. The asexual's not forbidding the sexual from having sex with someone else. No one's forbidding anyone else from doing something; they're both free individuals who can stay or leave. However, saying that the asexual should stay with a sexual who's having sex outside their relationship isn't any more fair than saying the sexual should stay in the relationship without sex. It isn't a matter of saying "Well, if you're not going to do this, I'm going to do that. That way we'll be able to stay together." If they can't achieve some solution that's good for BOTH of them, the relationship's not going to work.

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InfiniteConciousness

Hi whatnext

I suspect its hard knowing you're partner could be asexual. If they are then its up to them to decide when they want to come out about it. All private information is only divulged by a person at a time when the person feels ready and only to those they are comfortable telling. This includes any sort of information and not just information regarding ones sexuality

I know this because I have a calm and freindly demeanor that people like. Not trying to sound big headed or anything. I openly admit to anyone that they can tell me anything they wan't and I'm open to anything and will not judge and will keep it to myself in the same way any proffesional would. I am happy to be a shoulder to cry on and have had it happen many times. However I am just as happy if people would rather not use me. We have to understand its thier life and their choices and free will must be respected.

On the other side of the same coin I have had to have a shoulder to cry on (as we all have) but I will only talk to someone who has the right demeanour and attitude and will not go and tell anyone else.

So I can totally see it from both sides

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Ged of Earthsea

I kinda believe that a/sexual relationships are doomed from the start--these are two people who are a) never going to be able to really understand each other and b) never going to be completely satisfied with the relationship. I'm not sure how to make that work.

As far as "the compromise" goes, the thing we sexual folks need to realize is that, while going without sex for longer than we'd like is fucking horrible for us, the asexual partner is being asked to submit to pseudo-rape. Being forced to be celibate is awful, but being forced to give your body to somebody (even if it is somebody you love) is even worse.

I just don't think a/sexual relationships are a good idea unless they involve some pretty unique people.

I don't have my mind made up about these things. Lots of relationships are far from perfect. Wouldn't similar arguments apply to heterosexual relationships? Two people with very different pshcyes, internal constituency, emotional responses, etc. Sure, a lot of time it does not work, but a lot of time it does.

I like your second paragraph. The word I would use is 'violated'. I was in a situation once where I felt completely stuck and went along with the physical thing. I just felt violated. It took a while for the sense of self-betrayal to leave too. I don't know if being celibate is similar, but I would believe that different people, independent of orientation have 'violation points'. Things one doesn't want to talk about, experiences one may not want to have, anything. Concrete examples don't come to mind, but I can imagine they exist.

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Olivier

On topic, I agree with the sentiment that the problems in the OP's relationship are/were deeper than issues inherent to a/s relationships, and the question of "why hurt your partner?" is a fair one. Why indeed, unless you're a douche.

I would just like to add my two cents. This is opinion, not some kind of fact I expect everyone (or anyone) to subscribe to.

I get the feeling from some comments on this thread and various other places that sexual compatibility is seen as the most fundamental aspect of a relationship. I wonder if sexual compatibility is so fundamental that when both partner's sexualities don't mesh up very well, the relationship is automatically doomed. I have seen evidence to the contrary from stories like Olivier's. Also, as PIF said, sexual people can hide things from each other (and to add my own generalization, they can have serious differences in other things like emotional and intellectual connection.) I am not convinced that a relationship that works very well except for the sexual compatibility facet is impossible to maintain happily. I think it is hard, but I don't think it's a completely different thing than compromising in different areas. Of course, this depends on the sexualities of both people (e.g. how repulsed the asexual is.) To be fair, I think level of overlap or disconnect regarding other needs/interests is also key.

All I'm saying is that I think it's not impossible for an "asexual" and a "sexual" to be able to work out a compromise both are fine with when it comes to sex. This is assuming that sexuality/asexuality is a spectrum, as opposed to two completely distinct things, when it comes to putting sexuality into practice (in a relationship.) Maybe I'm just hopeful and naive, but it seemed that I worked out things fine with my ex despite our sexual differences. The reason(s) we broke up had nothing to do with that. OK - I'll take off the rose-colored glasses now and get back to reality :P

Indeed, I don't feel like my a/s relationship is doomed - in fact it's pretty sickeningly :wub: all round.

But I don't think that what we have together is necessarily a silver bullet for other a/s couples, because, simply, they're not us. We have a lot going for us: the rest of our relationship is really very, very strong - we're a very good fit for each other; we both are blessed with strongly functioning senses of perspective; and each of us is by our nature good at compensating for the faults of the other (my wife has a way of making me more reliable than I would be by myself, and I have ways of making her more confident that she would be by herself, for example). Our relationship is clearly, to us, very good for the both of us, and we delight in each other's company.

But even then, I can see that others could have all that, and not make it work. We have more sex than many a/s couples who are really struggling, from what I gather, and the commitment to acceptance and compromise is strong on both sides. And on the rare occasions when, through sex, we've hurt each other emotionally, that's been a two-way street, too, which stops us feeling like one of us is the uniquely hard-done-by party.

Really, we're just lucky in that we've each made an attempt to offer as much as we can in compromise, and came to a middle ground that's acceptable, and enjoyable, for both of us. It took some finding, but that middle ground is comfortable for both of us, and not a cause of constant angst on either side. But we accept that it's just luck that in our case, it's there at all, and others' acceptable grounds may simply not overlap.

I kinda believe that a/sexual relationships are doomed from the start--these are two people who are a) never going to be able to really understand each other and b) never going to be completely satisfied with the relationship. I'm not sure how to make that work.

As far as "the compromise" goes, the thing we sexual folks need to realize is that, while going without sex for longer than we'd like is fucking horrible for us, the asexual partner is being asked to submit to pseudo-rape. Being forced to be celibate is awful, but being forced to give your body to somebody (even if it is somebody you love) is even worse.

I just don't think a/sexual relationships are a good idea unless they involve some pretty unique people.

I don't have my mind made up about these things. Lots of relationships are far from perfect. Wouldn't similar arguments apply to heterosexual relationships? Two people with very different pshcyes, internal constituency, emotional responses, etc. Sure, a lot of time it does not work, but a lot of time it does.

I like your second paragraph. The word I would use is 'violated'. I was in a situation once where I felt completely stuck and went along with the physical thing. I just felt violated. It took a while for the sense of self-betrayal to leave too. I don't know if being celibate is similar, but I would believe that different people, independent of orientation have 'violation points'. Things one doesn't want to talk about, experiences one may not want to have, anything. Concrete examples don't come to mind, but I can imagine they exist.

Ged, you've mentioned that part I underlined once before, I'm sure, and I meant to reply to it then but was too busy to: that's a place we've been to, too. It was actually the long break we took from sex as a result that got me looking for things that might heal those hurts, but instead led us to discovering asexuality as an explanation for years of relationship dynamics that had always defied adequate explanation through libido-mismatch theories, etc, and led me here.

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I started a topic earlier about my problem with my asexual partner. I am sexual. He basically would not admit his asexuality, refuses to discuss it and I have been more than accommodating respecting his guidelines and rules. I went as far as educating myself about asexuality and handled him exceptionally delicately despite my frustrations. I made millions of compromises over 8 months and never cheated on him. He was teh one to pursue me and after 8 months, he stormed out without explanation.

Didn't you tell him you wanted to give him space shortly before he apparently took you up on that offer? You stated he had been sarcastic and rude, yet you don't sound absolutely delighted that a sarcastic and rude person walked out of your life. Why are you having such a hard time moving on?

My questions to all the decent asexuals out there that I respect and understand are:

1- If you don't want to come out, isn't it only fair to alert your partner about this and see how he/she would deal with it?

From what you say, he told you his guidelines and rules. And you were certainly able to observe his behavior. It is up to you as to how you deal with it. It may be flattering to have someone pursue you for a relationship, but you are under no obligation to engage that person especially if there are rules you would not choose for yourself.

2- If your sexual partner has built more frustrations than you can imagine and is willing to make compromises without hurting you inlcuding not looking for sex outside a committed relationship - why can't you see that frustration and compromise within reason to keep that partner?

It's possible not to see that frustration if the frustrations are more than one can imagine. Similarly, it may be impossible to know how hard it is for another to see without their glasses if one doesn't wear glasses themselves. And you may have made millions of compromises to keep that partner, but others may simply rather not in order to be free to be themselves. Don't you feel freer now that you are not dealing with all the frustrations and compromises you had to deal with during that relationship? Perhaps he did you a big favor by walking out the door?

3- If bad feelings about sex with your partner develop; isn't it only human not to pursue another sexual partner? Why would some go through short-lived relationships of 3-weeks each and end up hurtiung yourself and your sexual partner? Isn't it more human and honourable to stop pursuing relationships with sexual partners without considering questions 1 & 2 above?

Just like some people keep dwelling on the same issue over and over and over again, others keep riding the same old merry-go-round even if it means they keep hurting themselves. All we can hope for is that people will eventually learn from their experiences and forge a different path. Don't you agree?

Lucinda

Thanks adn you are right about what you wrote. Perhaps I am having difficulty m,oving on because I still have feelings for him and I never considered sex as the most essential part. Irrespective of the physical part, he has considered me the "perfect partner" in how I dealt with him, treated him, loved him, etc. If asexuals find it difficult to find such an arrangemnet becasue of teh sexual world out there - how come he did not appreciate it and did something about it? More importantly, merry-go-round or otherwise, why go and "pretend" to have sex with someone else knowiong that it would lead to the same conclusion? You are right he is not wearing glasses to see these issues and he doesn't seem to want to wear them either.

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In response to your questions from my own point of view,

1. A lot of people who “fit the bill” of asexuality may have no idea that such a thing actually exists. Like MadRat said, in society people are constantly told things like, “You just haven’t met the right person yet,” or, “If you try it you’ll like it.” Without knowing that the concept of asexuality exists, it’s hard to define yourself that way.

I’ll use myself as an example of what I’m trying to say. I literally had no idea that asexuality existed until I happened to stumble across AVEN. I fall in love with people romantically, and it never occurred to me to make the distinction between “romantic love” and “sexual attraction” without having AVEN as a trigger. I’m not repulsed by sex myself – I’m more or less indifferent to it, and it’s something I’ve done to make my partner happy – but every ace is different in that regard. Until I found AVEN I bought into the idea that “once I find the ‘right person’ everything’ll be different.” I can’t speak for your partner, but that’s definitely something to consider.

2. Like I said earlier, I’m not repulsed by sex, so I’m going to leave this question for someone else to answer. I do agree that compromises need to happen for asexual-sexual relationships, but that leaves a lot of grey area that needs to be discussed between each specific pair of partners.

3. Like MadRat mentioned, we can’t control who we fall in love with. It’s probably also fair to point out that asexuals are few and far between – it probably would be easier for aces to be with other aces, but from what I understand asexuals only really started to connect with one another and realize, "Hey, we're not alone!" once the internet became popular. Plus a lot of people, many aces included, enjoy companionship and avoid being alone. I definitely agree with you that issues 1 and 2 above need to be considered, but unfortunately human nature (as well as knowledge of one's asexuality) isn’t as black-and-white as that.

I'm in class right now so my attention is kind of scattered, so I'm sorry if any of my phrasing doesn't make sense, and if I think of more later on I'll come back.

Thanks but to point (3) in specific - becasue asexuals are few and far between and one cannot control whom we fall in love with - why wouldn't asexuals hang on to someone who makes these compromises and accepts the limitations as a demonstration of love and commitmnet. I am struggling to understand whether asexuals are non-committal and aromantic as a result or is there anything I can't understand?

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I agree with vir - it sounds as though your boyfriend was a real jerk. They exist. It's nothing to do with his orientation, it's to do with him.

As far as sex is concerned, not all sexuals behave the same, not all asexuals behave the same. So difficulties with one relationship don't mean another one won't work.

For instance, some asexuals are okay with sexual partners being non-monogamous. Others won't accept it, even if they're aware they're asexual and actually don't want sex themselves. Presumably part of the reason they feel comfortable about this is that monogamy is socially expected, and another part of the reason is that they can't fathom why the sexual person wants sex in the first place. It probably looks about as sensible as an insistence on eating junk food. It is very hard to understand something that you have never had any experience of at all.

As a sexual person, I struggle to put myself in my asexual partner's shoes as well. The closest I can come to it is remembering when I was in my early teens, and was happy about masturbation, but definitely not interested in sex with boys nor willing to do it. We all went through a period of being asexual - not sexually attracted to anyone at all - but for most of us it was a long time ago, and hard to remember.

All this doesn't mean asex / sex partnerships are doomed. But as observed, they are remarkably tricky to make work. Having said that, I've been married a long time and I'm not planning on getting divorced, nor is my husband.

You are absolutely right. He is a jerk particularly when he pushes teh issue under the rug, refuses to communicate or talk about it. Suffice to say that I only believe in monggamy and despite my situation with him I never cheated or thought of it. He always made it clear that infidelity is a big deal for him and that is why I wonder if asexuals go and seek sex elsewhere should they develop bad feelings about sex with a partner in the hope that something would change? Or could some asexuals not comprehend the concept of monogamy and they only understand polyamory per se that they can go and have sex outside?

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For instance, some asexuals are okay with sexual partners being non-monogamous. Others won't accept it, even if they're aware they're asexual and actually don't want sex themselves. Presumably part of the reason they feel comfortable about this is that monogamy is socially expected, and another part of the reason is that they can't fathom why the sexual person wants sex in the first place.

A big part of the reason many asexuals can't accept the idea of the sexual partner going outside the relationship/marriage is the fear that the sexual will develop an emotional relationship with the third party. Then the sexual will have a "complete" relationship with the third party (sex and emotion) and only an incomplete one (emotion) with the asexual. That's very worrisome to the asexual, because why then would the sexual stay with the asexual?

And you are absolutely right - I have had several conversations with him about teh same topic and that was a constant fear. As a matter of fact one of the reason he suggested that i am Mr. Perfect is teh fact that I have never cheated on him and he never doubted me in any way - he often said that "he trusts me blindly and never felt more secure with anyone before" - which makes me even more baffled at his behaviour!

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