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Manyfaces

Manyfaces

Everyone here understands and 'gets it' and feels for you.

Thanks Telecaster68, your words are very important. I have felt alone for a very long time. This means so much!

I'm the husband of a functionally asexual wife (lots of details in previous posts... I'm guessing you might've read them already, but in brief - always grey-ish, it turns out, and a combination of lupus, menopause and situational depression killed off whatever libido she had. I thought I was being considerate by not initiating too persistently, she thought I was okay with no sex, until last year when I brought all up. Since then it's got a bit better - 10 minutes of luke warm missionary once a month at best - but she's never going to actually desire sex in a passionate way for herself). LIke your husband, she doesn't identify as asexual, but if it acts like a duck and quacks like a duck... Framing what she says in terms of asexuality has helped me, at least.

We had never heard of the term ASEXUAL before a few days ago. I just recently shared this with him and he is just warming to the idea that he may possibly have some tendencies of Ace...maybe demi or gray....(?)

You do have to talk with your husband, but expect any progress to be slow and painful for your both. It might be best to get him to read bits of AVEN - announcing yours, however lovingly it's done (and it's so hard to get past the hurt and resentment to be loving), could easily come across as more accusations which will just make him more defensive. If he is asexual, then it could as either a relief or a whole new set of problems - you don't say what his attitude to this is. You've probably read enough to know that for some asexuals, they're unaware there's any kind of problem, let alone how deep the feelings go for you. Others agonise and beat themselves up just as much sexual partners, and feel broken and inadequate. Finding out more about how your husband feels wil be part of what the Talks will be about. AVEN does tend to assume anyone who doesn't want to have sex with their partners is asexual, but it may not be the case - he could be masking ED, or have something else going on he's not sharing.

Well, we just opened this door. I told him all about AVEN and all the great info here and the helpful and nice peeps. I think it will be baby steps at best. I am trying to be open and let the past go at this point. He has been medically tested. There are no medical issues whatsoever of any kind, ( just to clear up those questions). He has refused to talk about it. Period. Made excuses like work, money, projects...general everyday life, living, normal things we all deal with on a day to day basis. I know he loves me. I know he feels bad. These things I do understand. So I think having the knowledge we can glean from AVEN and from good people like yourself and others here, will truly help. If not heal our relationship, then at least come to terms with what we are facing and move on.

And again if he's asexual, you're right - it's not an illness, there's no cure, so any change in his behaviour has to be because he wants to change, and that's completely up to him. It's pretty much impossible you'll ever feel that spark of desire for you from him, but some asexuals can enjoy sex for the closeness, and because they're doing something their partner enjoys, sometimes even physically. That can be something to build on, but it's beyond your influence. All you can do is try to create an environment in which he can do that if he wants to.

This is what scares me the more than anything. Perhaps there is hope though. I don't know. Time will tell. After our brief conversations last night, he indicated he wants to try. He felt some pressure lifted off his shoulders, having a "label" (for lack of a better term) for his condition. He did tell me he is not repulsed by the sexual act and that he does enjoy certain things, but did not indulge much past that. So all I can say is it is a start and I am willing to build on this.

Please I hope no one takes offense at the "label" part. I am still learning. He is still learning... We have so so so so so so very much to learn. I may be a lot of things but judgmental I am not. I try to treat others as I wish to be treated and love all living creatures. So please forgive my ignorance in advance.

The aromantic side is something I can't help so much with - my wife isn't aromantic, which at least means non-sexual physical affection has always been okay, though she doesn't seem to share my degree of instinctive need for it. I suspect in some ways aromanticism is even harder to deal with than asexuality in a partner.

It's okay - I am @ 100% clueless!

Feel free to PM me or ask anything you need to know. I can share what you're going through.

Thank you- you will have to PM me first as I'm not so good at this yet and again I appreciate your thoughts and time! <3

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Gedleykat

It has been a while since I last dropped into this area but knowing that I am feeling that my wife and I are facing another difficult time (my wife is asexual) I felt I needed to check if there was anything on here that could help me make sense of my feelings. Of course there is! even if the conclusion is that trying to deal with conflicting sexual needs is difficult and confusing and frustrating. It seems to me that there are so many dilemmas.

For a start if you love someone you should be faithful (or at least thats the way I was brought up) and I do love my wife very much. However there is this urge which I would describe as being physical which wants to overcome the way I think (I guess if I mentally decided not to drink anything eventually the physical need would take over). My wife is not ignorant of my feelings but has found a happier life with me than with any other man because I have recognised her feelings and so that is the way I would want it to be (even though every so often I wish she would have sex with me).

I have seen what lonely in love and mkt have posted and I believe I feel the same frustrations. However I am conscious of the fact that you do not truely know someone til you live with them and whilst I have considered whether ending the relationship is for the best I am convinced that on every other level other than the sexual one I could not find a better person. If nothing else how long would it take me to find someone you could talk to about these issues.

Anyway we got to the stage of recognising that my needs are just as legitimate as her needs and that meant we decided that I should try a prostitute (or female escort - not cheap and nasty) which my wife helped pick so she knew what I was doing. We decided our faithfulness is based in trust and I was not about to run behind her back.

The prostitute has the advantage of keeping the transaction strictly to sex and my wife knew that I was hardly likely to run off.

The deed was done and sure enough my wife still felt a little insecure and I felt completely weird telling my wife honestly what happened (in answer to her questions which is part of the trust thing). However it did confirm how attached we are to each other and my abstinence and her willingness to allow this is a sign of strength.

Unfortunately sex with a prostitute was just a process and was nowhere near as good as the intimacy my wife and I have enjoyed (whether that be sex or private physical closeness). So another dilemma which arises as a result of the love I feel for my wife - shopping elsewhere might still not be the answer.

For sexual people I think there is a tendency to assume (and forgive my directness on this ) that a good shag (British term not referring to the dance craze!) will sort everything out. Not necessarily...

I do not know where we go next although my wife and I are aware of a single close friend of hers (who she trusts) who is desperate to be close to a man and it may be that we go there but it has so many potential complications that I suspect we might not. The point being that we can even talk about that.

What I wanted to say is that the frustrations of being in a sexual - asexual relationship can lead to thinking sex (any sex!) is the answer and sometimes it isn't. I think we have to look at how much we feel for our partner and really ask whether we believe that as a whole person is there likely to be someone who is better to be with.

I have been very frank in the hope that my thoughts might help even though I know some people reading this might want to pass judgment. That is fine we are working together as a couple to reconcile two opposite urges and this is our way of trying to deal with it. I do not know where we will go next but we will always put trust at the core of all that we do.

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Gedleykat

It has been a while since I last dropped into this area but knowing that I am feeling that my wife and I are facing another difficult time (my wife is asexual) I felt I needed to check if there was anything on here that could help me make sense of my feelings. Of course there is! even if the conclusion is that trying to deal with conflicting sexual needs is difficult and confusing and frustrating. It seems to me that there are so many dilemmas.

For a start if you love someone you should be faithful (or at least thats the way I was brought up) and I do love my wife very much. However there is this urge which I would describe as being physical which wants to overcome the way I think (I guess if I mentally decided not to drink anything eventually the physical need would take over). My wife is not ignorant of my feelings but has found a happier life with me than with any other man because I have recognised her feelings and so that is the way I would want it to be (even though every so often I wish she would have sex with me).

I have seen what lonely in love and mkt have posted and I believe I feel the same frustrations. However I am conscious of the fact that you do not truely know someone til you live with them and whilst I have considered whether ending the relationship is for the best I am convinced that on every other level other than the sexual one I could not find a better person. If nothing else how long would it take me to find someone you could talk to about these issues.

Anyway we got to the stage of recognising that my needs are just as legitimate as her needs and that meant we decided that I should try a prostitute (or female escort - not cheap and nasty) which my wife helped pick so she knew what I was doing. We decided our faithfulness is based in trust and I was not about to run behind her back.

The prostitute has the advantage of keeping the transaction strictly to sex and my wife knew that I was hardly likely to run off.

The deed was done and sure enough my wife still felt a little insecure and I felt completely weird telling my wife honestly what happened (in answer to her questions which is part of the trust thing). However it did confirm how attached we are to each other and my abstinence and her willingness to allow this is a sign of strength.

Unfortunately sex with a prostitute was just a process and was nowhere near as good as the intimacy my wife and I have enjoyed (whether that be sex or private physical closeness). So another dilemma which arises as a result of the love I feel for my wife - shopping elsewhere might still not be the answer.

For sexual people I think there is a tendency to assume (and forgive my directness on this ) that a good shag (British term not referring to the dance craze!) will sort everything out. Not necessarily...

I do not know where we go next although my wife and I are aware of a single close friend of hers (who she trusts) who is desperate to be close to a man and it may be that we go there but it has so many potential complications that I suspect we might not. The point being that we can even talk about that.

What I wanted to say is that the frustrations of being in a sexual - asexual relationship can lead to thinking sex (any sex!) is the answer and sometimes it isn't. I think we have to look at how much we feel for our partner and really ask whether we believe that as a whole person is there likely to be someone who is better to be with.

I have been very frank in the hope that my thoughts might help even though I know some people reading this might want to pass judgment. That is fine we are working together as a couple to reconcile two opposite urges and this is our way of trying to deal with it. I do not know where we will go next but we will always put trust at the core of all that we do.

It has been a while since I last dropped into this area but knowing that I am feeling that my wife and I are facing another difficult time (my wife is asexual) I felt I needed to check if there was anything on here that could help me make sense of my feelings. Of course there is! even if the conclusion is that trying to deal with conflicting sexual needs is difficult and confusing and frustrating. It seems to me that there are so many dilemmas.

For a start if you love someone you should be faithful (or at least thats the way I was brought up) and I do love my wife very much. However there is this urge which I would describe as being physical which wants to overcome the way I think (I guess if I mentally decided not to drink anything eventually the physical need would take over). My wife is not ignorant of my feelings but has found a happier life with me than with any other man because I have recognised her feelings and so that is the way I would want it to be (even though every so often I wish she would have sex with me).

I have seen what lonely in love and mkt have posted and I believe I feel the same frustrations. However I am conscious of the fact that you do not truely know someone til you live with them and whilst I have considered whether ending the relationship is for the best I am convinced that on every other level other than the sexual one I could not find a better person. If nothing else how long would it take me to find someone you could talk to about these issues.

Anyway we got to the stage of recognising that my needs are just as legitimate as her needs and that meant we decided that I should try a prostitute (or female escort - not cheap and nasty) which my wife helped pick so she knew what I was doing. We decided our faithfulness is based in trust and I was not about to run behind her back.

The prostitute has the advantage of keeping the transaction strictly to sex and my wife knew that I was hardly likely to run off.

The deed was done and sure enough my wife still felt a little insecure and I felt completely weird telling my wife honestly what happened (in answer to her questions which is part of the trust thing). However it did confirm how attached we are to each other and my abstinence and her willingness to allow this is a sign of strength.

Unfortunately sex with a prostitute was just a process and was nowhere near as good as the intimacy my wife and I have enjoyed (whether that be sex or private physical closeness). So another dilemma which arises as a result of the love I feel for my wife - shopping elsewhere might still not be the answer.

For sexual people I think there is a tendency to assume (and forgive my directness on this ) that a good shag (British term not referring to the dance craze!) will sort everything out. Not necessarily...

I do not know where we go next although my wife and I are aware of a single close friend of hers (who she trusts) who is desperate to be close to a man and it may be that we go there but it has so many potential complications that I suspect we might not. The point being that we can even talk about that.

What I wanted to say is that the frustrations of being in a sexual - asexual relationship can lead to thinking sex (any sex!) is the answer and sometimes it isn't. I think we have to look at how much we feel for our partner and really ask whether we believe that as a whole person is there likely to be someone who is better to be with.

I have been very frank in the hope that my thoughts might help even though I know some people reading this might want to pass judgment. That is fine we are working together as a couple to reconcile two opposite urges and this is our way of trying to deal with it. I do not know where we will go next but we will always put trust at the core of all that we do.

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Gedleykat

Thank you for being you. I appreciate your frankness and find it supportive.

I'm at the beginning of coming to terms with my partners asexuality. As she is also. It's wonderful that people can be open and non judgemental on this subject. Thank you again.

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Gedleykat

As a sexual and a newbie I'm looking forward to learning. Especially due to the fact in in a mixed relationship. The posts I have read are very enlightening and hope to respond and share my perspective too at some point. Thanks for enabling me to participate in the forums and topics.

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Tarfeather

- oops wrong thread -

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MrDane

Im sexual, wife is not, but ok with occasional sex! I want her and i need her. She does the same about me, but not the same way, never sexually desire!

I feel an urge to say to those asexs, who talk about how the absence of sex, is making it possible to value other things in a relationship : please, dont tell me, that your love is on a higher level, just because you dont want the sex-bit! It is just love without wanting sex, thats it! Some aces might even feel love on a lesser level! It might be primitive to want/desire sex, but it doesnt make the sexual less human!

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MinervaRose

I'm sexual and have been with my asexual man for over two years. He 'came out' a little while ago after I asked him directly if he is asexual. He had heard the term before but was afraid of the consequences if he accepted it. From my point of view it was a relief when he said it; because then I knew there wasn't anything wrong with us, the reason we had challenges in the bedroom was because we didn't have all the information as to how we are different. NOW we know, so we could actually make a new start. There was also a sorrow that came over me, as I got scared that he had never really wanted to have a sexual relationship, and that I had in any way forced him. And my perspective on him changed, so much so that at first I felt as if the boyfriend I had been with was no more, there was another version of him sitting in front of me. I grieved my idea of who I had thought he had been, and that we would never share mutual love in a sexual way, he would never look at my body like I looked at his etc.

After that initial grief, what I firmly felt, and was important that he knew, is that I never felt any less love, I knew rationally that he was the same person. And with a little time where I cried a lot and he held me, we talked and talked and talked. I continued to also reassure him how proud I was of him and his openness. We talked about how we could best to this, because just as he is asexual person, I am a sexual person. And he is a romantic asexual, he loves cuddling and has no issues with nudity and closeness.

Most important is giving ourselves time, time to adjust emotionally, mentally and understand how this translates into our physical/practical life together.

He feels like he has lied to me, to which I say, I understand why he was afraid to accept this part of him. And no matter what, I always want us to be ourselves 100% and to take it from there. I don't want to go back to what we had, when we thought the challenges was due to his insecurities or inexperience, because we tried to make something happen that never would, and that's the worst feeling. We both feared that there was something wrong with us, and it's a relief to understand we're just different.

I said yesterday that it is important that he doesn't feel like he has to compensate, he is complete, he is loving and wonderful. This is not about power for me, it is about accepting, understanding and finding a way. And we are so far.

We've talked about me having a romantic relationship with him an potentially having a sexual relationship with another man. And we feel like that is something we are giving each other, allowing for me to explore that. It takes the potential pressure of my man, and it frees me up to express my sexual self. He doesn't feel threatened at all by this.

Communication is key for us. We are open to that we change, our opinions and feelings might change. But we are committed to each other, and love finds a way.

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Telecaster68

Minerva

How did you raise the idea of having a sexual relationship outside your relationship with him? I'm thinking about raising this with my wife but even bringing it up could be awkward, making her feel like she's failing, or just not wanting it through jealousy.

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MinervaRose

Minerva

How did you raise the idea of having a sexual relationship outside your relationship with him? I'm thinking about raising this with my wife but even bringing it up could be awkward, making her feel like she's failing, or just not wanting it through jealousy.

I had actually thought about it a while, just because it could be so stressfull for us both when it came to sex. And my initial take on it was phrased as "How would you feel if I had a sexual realtions with someone else? While being in a romantic relationship with you?" And he responded that he had read of other mixed relationships that had similar arrangements. And If I would want to explore that he would be fine with that. We talked about how it actually would free him from the pressure of "performing" and feeling that I wasn't satisified. We see it as a way for me to express my sexual self and at them same time him getting to be his asexsual self. It is not in any shape or form about commitment, because we are planning our life together. This is just an option for me to explore. And he wants me to be happy, just as I want him to be. We talked about every step of the way, from me getting an account on Tinder (it worked for me ;) ) and when I was meeting this other man, what him and me talked about. And afterwards when I came home, I felt free anf grateful that we get to have it all. And when I walked in the door I looked at my bf and said "It was good. I feel good." And he smiled and said "That's all I want."

Having said that, I don't know how much I'll act on this, but I'm thankful that I have the option. We both feel free to be ourselves now. Time will tell how this will unfold. There is always a risk in any relationship. And honestly I would have to take a long and hard look at myself if I had to be in a romantic relationship without any kind of sexual realtions. I don't think I could do that, it's not who I am. As much as he is asexual I am sexual.

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Telecaster68

Sounds like it went about as well as you could expect.

I've mentioned it to my (now) asexual wife in roughly the same kind of way, but making it very, very hypothetical, and she said she wouldn't like it as she'd feel she failed in the relationship, so I left it there at that point. I've gently suggested to her (at another time entirely) that she seemed like she could be asexual to me, and she just said 'hmmmm'. I'm not sure whether that was agreement, apathy, or ignorance. She's always been vaguely involved in the LGBT+ movement so she must've come across the term, but how much she knows, I have no idea.

I'm not at all sure she'd greet it with the equanimity your partner did, sadly.

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MinervaRose

Sounds like it went about as well as you could expect.

I've mentioned it to my (now) asexual wife in roughly the same kind of way, but making it very, very hypothetical, and she said she wouldn't like it as she'd feel she failed in the relationship, so I left it there at that point. I've gently suggested to her (at another time entirely) that she seemed like she could be asexual to me, and she just said 'hmmmm'. I'm not sure whether that was agreement, apathy, or ignorance. She's always been vaguely involved in the LGBT+ movement so she must've come across the term, but how much she knows, I have no idea.

I'm not at all sure she'd greet it with the equanimity your partner did, sadly.

Yes, I could actually ask him if you like, why he is ok with this. It baffled me a bit to be honest, the only thing that he has said is that he is afraid I might fall for another man, but we talked about how that is a risk no matter what. And we both have had to reasure each other. To my bf that I feel loved and love him and that we are open all the way. And for me that he actually IS ok with this. I'm not looking at this as a way out, or something that I wanted to to, but purly as a way to express my sexual side without needing to adjust or holding back. And after two years with by boyfriend I felt liberated being appreciated for my sexual and physical side. It means something to me to be validated in that aspect, feeling wanted and sexy. And afterwards I really looked forward to go home to be with my love. It has been a weird and wonderful time I can tell you that!

It is challenging no matter what. I think I got very lucky (how I see it) with how my partner handled this. I believe, as I'm sure asexuals will say for themselves (or correct me if I'm wrong), that it might be a process for some to get to the point where my bf is, if they get there at all or are even interested in discussing it.

As to how my bf 'came out'. I asked him directly. And he paused and than said 'Yes'. And everything shifted between us, and as painful as it has been, we are better as individuals and as a couple now, because we are who we are 100%.

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Telecaster68

I'm torn about how my wife would think about it. On the one hand, she doesn't set much store by being conventional in general, but I think she wants to have a self image as a 'good wife', and that would clash with me having sex with someone else. And she's never been of the 'don't even flirt with anyone else' persuasion and when friends have had, um, situations, she generally takes the 'if it was just a mistake and there are mitigating circumstances, get past it' line, and various of her gay friends have open(ish) relationships and specialist interests and she wouldn't dream of judging them.

But even so, once it's out there, it's out there and even asking the question could do irreparable damage, so it's a big decision.

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Tarfeather

It means something to me to be validated in that aspect, feeling wanted and sexy. And afterwards I really looked forward to go home to be with my love. It has been a weird and wonderful time I can tell you that!

Must be nice..

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MinervaRose

I'm torn about how my wife would think about it. On the one hand, she doesn't set much store by being conventional in general, but I think she wants to have a self image as a 'good wife', and that would clash with me having sex with someone else. And she's never been of the 'don't even flirt with anyone else' persuasion and when friends have had, um, situations, she generally takes the 'if it was just a mistake and there are mitigating circumstances, get past it' line, and various of her gay friends have open(ish) relationships and specialist interests and she wouldn't dream of judging them.

But even so, once it's out there, it's out there and even asking the question could do irreparable damage, so it's a big decision.

I agree. I trusted that it would be ok to bring it up as an option for us, we can be quite rational about things to a certain extent an discuss things openly without fear of judgement or being 'shut down'. I also asked my bf about why he is so ok with me having a sexual partner, and he says he just doesn't have the same connection to it at all, and it's just no big deal to him that I have sex with someone else. As I stated earlier, we have talked about his fear about me falling for someone else, but he also trusts me emotionally and my judgement. We have tried it now, I'll take my time and see how we'll move forward. I know for sure I'd rather have the relationship I have with my bf to risk us in any way shape or form that we were not both comfortable with. I hope you can find a way to work it out with your wife. I feel we should all be able to express our sexual or asexual nature.

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Telecaster68

Thanks. I guess one way to present it would be that she just can't be a 'good wife' in the sense of making me feel desired by desiring me herself, but she can be a 'good wife' by allowing me to feel desired by someone else.

I wonder how jealous she feels if I flirt with other women - I do sometimes but seldom in front of her, just out of manners really. She flirts incorrigibly and it really doesn't bother me. If she doesn't mind me flirting, and I don't think she would, how different would that seem to an asexual from actual sex? I have no idea.

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MinervaRose

Thanks. I guess one way to present it would be that she just can't be a 'good wife' in the sense of making me feel desired by desiring me herself, but she can be a 'good wife' by allowing me to feel desired by someone else.

I wonder how jealous she feels if I flirt with other women - I do sometimes but seldom in front of her, just out of manners really. She flirts incorrigibly and it really doesn't bother me. If she doesn't mind me flirting, and I don't think she would, how different would that seem to an asexual from actual sex? I have no idea.

I don't think there are universal 'right' or 'good' answers to this.

My bf doesn't get jealous in general, I've never given him reason to either. He is in general a very easy-going and care-free man but also slightly oblivious person to other people's flirting or sexual innuendos ;) If that is due to asexuality or not I don't know. For him it is this whole other world he just doesn't know. He found it quite facinating that the other man I had sexual relations with found it a turn on that I was 'another mans woman', that had never occurred to my bf ^_^

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Telecaster68

Yeah, everyone's different.

My wife was kinda sexual till menopause - she liked sex but only as a physical thing, no emotional component at all. Then when she lost that at menopause, she became effectively asexual (though there are plenty here who'd argue that point). She's also very good at acting so she fits in so she 'gets' sexuality more than a lot of lifelong asexuals.

It's also complicated by our partners knowing that while they may not have any emotional associations with sex, sexuals (mostly) do. So if we have other partners, it may not trigger that visceral sexual jealousy but they'll be anxious we'll form a bind with them, and they probably have a point.

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Sally

It's also complicated by our partners knowing that while they may not have any emotional associations with sex, sexuals (mostly) do. So if we have other partners, it may not trigger that visceral sexual jealousy but they'll be anxious we'll form a bind with them, and they probably have a point.

We definitely have a point. If sexual has a choice of being only with an asexual who can't offer full-hearted participation in physical/emotional sex, or starting an additional relationship with another sexual, that second relationship is definitely going to threaten the asexual.

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Telecaster68

I can see how it could be perceived that way but the bond could be more of a FWB arrangements which wouldn't necessarily be a real threat to, say, a long and otherwise happy marriage, shared property, raising kids. That kind of thing can happen in non 'mixed' relationships too.

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Sally

I can see how it could be perceived that way but the bond could be more of a FWB arrangements which wouldn't necessarily be a real threat to, say, a long and otherwise happy marriage, shared property, raising kids. That kind of thing can happen in non 'mixed' relationships too.

True. But you never know -- meaning neither partner will know what the second relationship will turn into, and the asexual (or original sexual partner) has to wait and worry. I've seen FWB arrangements turn into emotionally bonded relationships and end the original relationship. And if the asexual has their partner turn away from them due to a deepened secondary relationship, the asexual has more worry about finding another relationship due to their asexuality. After all, that's probably why the sexual partner started the secondary relationship to begin with: the asexuality factor.

When someone has a rational reason to worry about losing something, it doesn't do any good to reply to them that other people could lose something also. Why would that reassure them?

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Serran

Thanks. I guess one way to present it would be that she just can't be a 'good wife' in the sense of making me feel desired by desiring me herself, but she can be a 'good wife' by allowing me to feel desired by someone else.

I wonder how jealous she feels if I flirt with other women - I do sometimes but seldom in front of her, just out of manners really. She flirts incorrigibly and it really doesn't bother me. If she doesn't mind me flirting, and I don't think she would, how different would that seem to an asexual from actual sex? I have no idea.

Flirting to me is very different to sex. Flirting is just harmless fun, with none of the consequences that sex brings to the table. I don't have to worry about my partner getting another woman pregnant if he flirts, for example. I don't mind if people I am with flirt. My ex flirted with everything with two legs. Another ex flirted with some people, I didn't mind. The only time it did bother me is when one of them tried to hide the fact they were flirting from me... cause then they were lying to me and if they felt they had to hide it, I wanted to know why and what it meant to them that it was that big a deal they couldn't just tell me.

However, kissing, or sex with someone else would bother me in various ways. Especially if the partner expected me to do those things with them, as they would be things that would be in my "I don't really want to, if you're doing that with someone else... there is nothing special left about it for me".

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nanogretchen4

If you can make do with an occasional one night stand or vacation fling, that could conceivably work out all right. If you need to have an ongoing sexual relationship with a woman other than your wife, you should divorce your wife first, then reenter the dating pool afterwards. It's not fair to shop around for a second wife while keeping the first as a fallback option.

Right now it sounds like you're waffling about whether you might leave your wife for another woman. I don't advise proposing this plan to your wife in it's present form. Figure out whether you're going to stay with your wife or not. If you are definitely staying, then come up with a form of nonmonogamy limited enough not to threaten your marriage and run that plan by your wife.

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Telecaster68
neither partner will know what the second relationship will turn into, and the asexual (or original sexual partner) has to wait and worry

You're right, neither partner can tell what will happen, and that is going to create anxiety. However, a mixed relationship isn't going to be anxiety free to start with - the sexual partner will be dealing with their own anxieties from lack of being desired too. You could argue that what's happening with a FWB is that both partners are getting what they need regarding sex, plus anxiety. Without a FWB, the asexual is getting what they want about sex with a whole lot less anxiety, and the sexual partner isn't getting what they want about sex, and the anxiety/stress of rejection. The FWB version seems more equitable, and it sounds like Minerva's partner and quite a few other asexuals feel roughly that way too.

Flirting is just harmless fun, with none of the consequences that sex brings to the table.

Not necessarily. It could be the thinner end of the same wedge as sex when it comes damaging the primary relationship - after all it's still showing sexual interest in someone else. I think it's a difference of degree, not kind.

kissing, or sex with someone else would bother me in various ways. Especially if the partner expected me to do those things with them, as they would be things that would be in my "I don't really want to, if you're doing that with someone else... there is nothing special left about it for me".

But sex isn't a special, exclusive thing to asexuals, is it? I thought the deal was that where they do it for their partners' benefit, if at all. Saying it should be special within a particular relationship seems to indicate there's an innate feeling that it has some emotional significance for asexuals beyond acknowledging their partners needs.

And if their partner can say 'I love you every bit as much, and being desired is emotionally necessary for me. I'd rather you desired me, but if you don't, I can get that from someone else without it affecting us', why does that affect the specialness of the primary relationship for the asexual? Isn't that the flipside of the sexual not accepting the asexual saying 'I don't need sex for this relationship to be special'?

It's not fair to shop around for a second wife while keeping the first as a fallback option.

That's not what's happening. Neither I, nor Minerva (from what she's said), have any intention of leaving. Sure, there's a risk that might happen, but it's not the aim and in the relationships I've seen posted about on here, couples seem to set up ways to minimise that risk.

Right now it sounds like you're waffling about whether you might leave your wife for another woman.

That might be your reading. It's not what I'm saying. I'm saying if both partners can get their heads round doing one particular activity outside the relationship, how is that wrong? Sure, there's a risk of it threatening the relationship, but there are many things that can do that. For instance, for a long time, I played music with a female friend of mine. We spent a lot of time together practising alone together, we enjoy and value each other's company, music has a way of bringing people closer because of the amount of complicity that develops, and we share a lot of deeper concerns too. That adds up to every bit as much of a threat as sex - just look at the number of relationships that develop between musicians who work together. For me, music is almost as visceral a connection as sex.

But nobody would raise an eyebrow about that situation, including my wife. Jumping from 'we think we can manage this situation to our mutual benefit' to 'shopping for a second wife' is unwarranted.

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Sally

And if their partner can say 'I love you every bit as much, and being desired is emotionally necessary for me. I'd rather you desired me, but if you don't, I can get that from someone else without it affecting us'

There is no reason that anyone can say that definitively. When emotion is present in a relationship, it doesn't tend to stay in one discrete box.

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Telecaster68

And if their partner can say 'I love you every bit as much, and being desired is emotionally necessary for me. I'd rather you desired me, but if you don't, I can get that from someone else without it affecting us'

There is no reason that anyone can say that definitively. When emotion is present in a relationship, it doesn't tend to stay in one discrete box.

But they can't say it definitely won't happen - there's quite a few posts on AVEN from asexuals saying their sexual partners have sex with other people and it appears to be working okay. These things can be managed, often, it appears.

A mixed relationship has to include box-managing anyway. Sexuals have to keep the 'sex' and 'love' boxes separate if they want to stay in the relationship, which takes constant mental effort. I'm sure asexuals box-manage too, though it seems to me from all the labelling and defining that AVEN posters love, they tend towards boxing emotions into discrete elements more anyhow.

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nanogretchen4

So far you've shown little aptitude for keeping sex and love in separate boxes. If you try to maintain an ongoing relationship outside your marriage and either you or the other woman fails to keep those boxes separate, someone gets hurt. I don't think I like those odds. If you are going to try ethical nonmonogamy, why not start small and see if you and your wife can handle occasional one night stands? I think that's just sensible risk reduction for people who probably aren't poly in real life.

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Telecaster68
So far you've shown little aptitude for keeping sex and love in separate boxes.

I've been living it every day for years, Nano. It doesn't come naturally though - it doesn't for most sexuals - and understanding asexuality is one of the main reasons I'm able to do it at all.

If you are going to try ethical nonmonogamy, why not start small and see if you and your wife can handle occasional one night stands? I think that's just sensible risk reduction for people who probably aren't poly in real life.

I agree it could be a way in. But originally I was more talking about how to broach the entire subject in principle.

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nanogretchen4

I'm pretty sure that's not going to end up being a conversation about poly relationships in principle. It's going to be all about addressing her anxiety that you're about to leave her for another woman. That's the part I think you need to think through a bit more before you broach the subject.

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Telecaster68
That's the part I think you need to think through a bit more before you broach the subject.

Yes, that's where this conversation started.

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