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henryd

Is it fair for an asexual person married to a sexual person to insist on a monogamous relationship?

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Lady Girl

I go back and forth from feeling intense anger to a deep, aching sadness... with lots of crap to fill in-between the swings of the pendulum.

What really sucks is how alone I feel. I don't discuss our sex life with friends or relatives because I know that my Love would consider this a great breech of privacy. I'm also deeply embarrassed by it.

Henyd said that he wants and needs a sexual connection with another person. My definition of sexual passion is a sexual feeding off each other that you only get when you're having sex with a person who genuinely wants you sexually.

Can sexuals in an otherwise happily committed marriage with an asexual compartmentalize sex with another sexual? I only know what rattles around in my brain constantly for the past 10 years.

I used to feel a fair amount of anger, now I have the deep aching sadness about once a month or so, and not very many ill feelings aside from that. I can understand your frustration, I felt that way for years on end. I have a question...does he identify as asexual and do you discuss the situation with him? I apologize if I missed this somewhere in the thread, or your posts.

I sometimes feel alone as well since I also don't discuss this with anyone outside of AVEN. I realize people consider online friends not to be friends in real life, well, I have a friend from AVEN I would definitely call a real life friend. I also talk to my husband about some of the lonely feelings and that helps too.

Surprisingly, I don't have the issues with passion like I used to. I know he doesn't want me sexually, but I do know he wants me. When we do have relations I feel a certain something from him...I'm aware of his effort to make me happy.

As to your last question, I think some people can. I couldn't do it. We sort of tried that option and it just didn't work for us. It tore my heart in two.

Vamp is right about the jealousy being too blanket, I would add to that the insecure part. My husband is not at all jealous (I actually am...for no good reason, obviously!). At any rate, not being jealous doesn't mean he doesn't want a monogomous relationship...he very much wants that.

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SSRIs Fail

Yes, it is fair. It would obviously hurt her if you had a sexual relationship with someone else even if she's not interested in it. If you find yourself resenting for it, maybe divorce is the best route to prevent you from cheating and ruining any chance for friendship. If you love her so much, then you should figure out a way to deal with it. Maybe find a way to be intimate with her that doesn't involve sexual intercourse.

I agree with this. How is it more "fair" for a sexual person to want exclusivity than it is for an asexual person to want that? It leads to the unfortunate implication that a sexual almost "deserves" an exclusively committed partner, but an asexual does not. For me, that attitude can be triggering as I have a history of sexual trauma which cemented the idea that sex is how you "earn" love (which is often not too far from the truth). The real unfairness in this situation comes from the fact that you seem to need sex, and she seems to need not to have sex. Trying to force her to be okay with polyamory is not really any better than trying to force you to be okay with celibacy. The two of you have to work out whether or not you are romantically compatible with asexuality as the issue here.

Is your wife open and communicative about her lack of sexual interest? I find that is often the biggest issue is a lack of communication. It's not just that one person isn't having sex, it's that the relationship doesn't have the proper communication and emotional intimacy. You have stated that sex isn't just a physical thing for you, and you want intimacy from it. If that's what your after, it is clear that an extramarital affair would not be 100% friends with benefits. You'd want the closeness and connection, and you'd be getting it from someone other than your wife. Would it be fair to that woman to always come second to the woman you've married? Would it be fair to your wife to have to be seen essentially as an "incomplete" partner ie: she can give you emotional support, but your new partner can give you emotional support AND sexual support.

If want you want is intimacy through sex, you can't simultaneously say that sex with another woman would be "just sex." It seems to me like the choice is yours - if your wife will not go for polyamory, what can you do? If she would go for polyamory, are you prepared for her to have other partners as well?

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Iceboxplums

Lady Girl, Thanks for your reply. :) I can't tell you how much I appreciate the time you took to respond to me. Yay for friends in real life or otherwise!

I'm very new to exploring the diversity of human (a)sexuality. Sex has always been such a natural act for me, and to not have it seemed quite unnatural. Fortunately for us, I have always had a very open and relaxed attitude towards sexuality and sex. I also care more for this human being than any other thing on this planet. I told my Love perhaps he should explore asexuality, and fortunately for us he's currently looking at it with an open heart and mind. I can't speak for him but I think we've hit on an offshoot of asexuality that he can identify with. I guess I always knew instinctively that he was not like me. And like a sexual, when he told me he was coming to the conclusion that this might be the missing piece to our puzzle, the thoughts in my brain went something like this: "Demisexuality? That sounds kind of hot. Dare I say kinky? LET'S DO THIS!!1" Please don't read that as I'm going to take it as a personal challenge to try to turn him on with my hotness. I've tried that- crashed and burned like nobody's business. Haha! Poor guy. And poor me.

Ideally, I would like to start a new thread with our experiences thus far. I think we could have a lot to contribute here. I am finally feeling like I can have some peace and understanding- which is really what all of us want.

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Lady Girl

Lady Girl, Thanks for your reply. :) I can't tell you how much I appreciate the time you took to respond to me. Yay for friends in real life or otherwise!

Sex has always been such a natural act for me, and to not have it seemed quite unnatural. I guess I always knew instinctively that he was not like me.

Ideally, I would like to start a new thread with our experiences thus far. I think we could have a lot to contribute here. I am finally feeling like I can have some peace and understanding- which is really what all of us want.

You're welcome. And very much yay for friends! :)

Sex didn't start out natural for me...but once I caught on it seemed very unnatural for him to want to forego it, I agree. I always knew we were different too.

You should see if he will become a member of AVEN. I think posting about your experience is a good idea. I also think you can have some peace and understanding, I know I do. But like I mentioned, I still feel bad at times...it's so much better than feeling bad all the time, but it still pops up. I just remember thinking it was all going to be better after I found AVEN. A lot can change, but some things never will, and you'll figure out what those things are as you go.

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Kitty Spoon Train

I feel like screaming, "I JUST WANT TO FUCK! Yes, yes I love you and all that good stuff, I'm committed and here and your little kisses and pats are nice, but could you just BEND ME OVER AND FUCK ME, FUCK ME REALLY REALLY HARD!!!" Damn.

A bit of a tangent but....

This is exactly what I'm afraid of when it comes to dating a total ace. I'm demisexual, and although I'm all cuddles and kissies and puppies and unicorns and cutesy affection upfront (pretty much a romantic ace as a default setting) - eventually when my feelings for someone get sexualised - yeeeeeeah, it can get pretty intense. :twisted:

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Wigeon

Is there a way, a test of some sort, that someone can use to determine if they are asexual or if they are suffering from psychological or medical issues that prevent them from enjoying or wanting sex?

Talk to her first. If shes ever been sexually assaulted she might have ptsd or even a physical condition as a result that would keep her from enjoying sex. A gynecologist would be a good place to start.

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Frigid Pink

And remember, ... you can enjoy sex as an asexual.

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Xiphias Gladius

My question is really a philosophical one. Is it fair for an asexual person married to a sexual person to insist on a monogamous relationship with that person?

My perspective is that of a polyamorous person, who DOES have a sexual relationship with someone other than my asexual wife.

And my answer would be that of COURSE it's unfair -- and that "unfair" is not a useful metric in a relationship.

It's not fair that I have bipolar to an extent that makes it hard for me to hold down a job. It's not fair that my wife isn't sexual. It's not fair that I want kids and my wife doesn't. It's not fair that I have a tendency to put on weight and don't like exercising. It's not fair that cats only live up to twenty years, so your pets die every once in a while.

It's not fair that your wife isn't comfortable with you having an external sexual relationship. It's not fair that you are sexual, and/or it's not fair that your wife is asexual.

It's TOTALLY not fair. It's not good, it's not pleasant, it's not happy, it's not fair.

But that's the fact that exists. That which cannot be changed must be endured.

One or the other of you will have to endure an uncomfortable situation, for your entire life. That's how it goes. Either you will have to endure not having a sexual relationship, or your wife will have to endure you having an external relationship.

Which situation will cause more damage and hurt?

I see three options: having your wife reluctantly agree to you having a separate relatiosnhip, you remaining celibate to your existing level, and cheating.

The MOST damaging is "cheating". Maintaining secrets and lies in a life-relationship is the most destructive thing you can do. So don't do that.

Whether celebacy or suffering jealousy is the more damaging course is for you and your wife to determine. Both forms of suffering can be channeled into spiritual growth; neither is pleasant. There is more information out there on channeling celebacy into spiritual growth, since that's actually something that's fairly common in several societies.

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ElusiveAppellation

I've worried about this a lot, in the past, and still do, sometimes. I'm not currently in a relationship, but since I can and do experience romantic attraction, it's something relevant for me.

To me, it feels like the only thing that's fair to any girl I'd be in a committed, monogamous relationship with is to allow her to have sexual partners, if I don't feel I can have compromise sex with her. But, as others have mentioned, I feel like if I let a girl do this, she'd inevitably leave me for someone who was sexual. A relationship with between two sexual people wouldn't feel like it was lacking in anything at the end of the day, after all.

I suppose I just worry that, whatever I may have to offer, it will never be enough for a sexual partner.

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princess of doom

Where'd you go, HenryD? Are you still around?

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Lady Girl

My question is really a philosophical one. Is it fair for an asexual person married to a sexual person to insist on a monogamous relationship with that person?

One or the other of you will have to endure an uncomfortable situation, for your entire life. That's how it goes. Either you will have to endure not having a sexual relationship, or your wife will have to endure you having an external relationship.

Which situation will cause more damage and hurt?

I see three options: having your wife reluctantly agree to you having a separate relatiosnhip, you remaining celibate to your existing level, and cheating.

You can also find a comfortable middle ground and avoid that bolded bit for the most part. From a nonpolyamorous perspective a very viable option is compromising, there is no other agreed upon partner, celibacy, or cheating.

I've worried about this a lot, in the past, and still do, sometimes. I'm not currently in a relationship, but since I can and do experience romantic attraction, it's something relevant for me.

To me, it feels like the only thing that's fair to any girl I'd be in a committed, monogamous relationship with is to allow her to have sexual partners, if I don't feel I can have compromise sex with her. But, as others have mentioned, I feel like if I let a girl do this, she'd inevitably leave me for someone who was sexual. A relationship with between two sexual people wouldn't feel like it was lacking in anything at the end of the day, after all.

I suppose I just worry that, whatever I may have to offer, it will never be enough for a sexual partner.

You might be surprised at what can be enough for the sexual partner.

Where'd you go, HenryD? Are you still around?

He hasn't been on since late April. :mellow:

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Snuffs

I'm on your wife's side here; I am just like her. I'm asexual and I find it very difficult to have sex with my (sexual) husband (And we have 3.5 year old twins as well). I don't think I could ever let him be with someone else because of the things you mentioned - it's not "just sex", it's the whole shabang. I can't know he wouldn't fall for whoever that is.

I feel bad about it. I want my husband to be happy and have his needs fulfilled and all that, but I just don't see myself allowing that sort of thing. I feel bad that I'm making a 22 year old man avoid sex while obviously that's what he wants and needs, but what can I do? I'm scared.

Sorry, if this sounds really ignorant. I'm new to this, but if you are ok with a non-sexual relationship with him, why should his falling for someone else necessarily threaten that? What if he said that anyone I date will learn about you upfront and would have to accept that. Wouldn't that type of arrangement be better than losing him altogether?

I don't know much about asexuality, but I know that if I was single, I would be ok dating someone who had a gay ex-husband that she was extremely close with, even roomed with. Because he is gay, I wouldn't feel threatened by him and I imagine he would be ok with me. It seems that asexuality is very similar in some ways ???

I don't think the two situations are comparable at all. Your wife is not gay - she is asexual. Your wife is not your ex-wife - she is your wife. The two of you have a relationship. She's attracted to you romantically, just not sexually. You act as if asexuals can only develop close friendships. If that were the case, then I don't see why she would have a problem with you being with other people. Problem is, that is not the case here.

I think it's very important for you to understand that romantic asexuals experience every component of a relationship sans the sexual ones. Your wife doesn't see you as a close friend the way someone with a gay former spouse would. Assuming you two have an otherwise healthy relationship, your wife sees you as her partner and loves you the same way you love her. The only difference is that she does not experience sexual attraction.

Is it fair of her to ask for monogamy? Yes. She has every right to set the parameters of what she wants in a relationship.

Is it fair of you to require mutually satisfying sex? Yes. You have every right to set the parameters of what you want in a relationship.

You can talk to your wife and attempt a compromise, or you can leave. If you want to leave, that's okay, and it may be for the best. But, I would not recommend cheating.

(Edit: I didn't know this thread was as old as it is. My advice probably isn't viable anymore. Oops. Sorry, all!)

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Astraea

Dear Henryd,

of all the things you wrote this seems to me the root of the problem:

"Because of her asexuality, we are like the closest of friends, but not lovers"

I would like you to try and understand that this is so ONLY TO YOU.

we're used to categorize and label our relationships based on the outward characteristics: what we do together, where we go, how we present eachother to our friends and family... So, to you, as a sexual, a close relationship without sex equals "friends, but not lovers".

To me, as an asexual, "lovers" has nothing to do with sex.

it has to do with priorities: my lover is my very first loyalty. they will come before any other "close friend" or family member. always, whenever they are in the right or in the wrong.

it has to do with accepting them for who they are, and being certain that my loyalty and attachment will not wither whatever act they committed.

it has to do with knowing them very well, to a level of almost an absolute clarity.

it has to do with wanting them to share my life to the fullest: to see all i see, hear all i hear, and to be able to do it through the prism of my perception.

it has to do with total honesty, with not having to ever be ashamed or to apologize for what and who i am.

Now, that's my ideal. maybe you don't have any of that with your wife. But if you do, i would assume she doesn't think of the two of you as "just friends".

you've also asked what does finding out that one is asex give him, to what conclusions should it bring.

well, i dare not speak for all of us here, but to me it meant that i am allowed to stop torturing myself attempting to "fix" my "mental disability" of wanting sex. that i am not to blame for not trying hard enough to please those i love trying to become better suited for them. that i'm not alone. that i don't have to apologize for being what i am.

it also made me realize there is a great gap of perception that i might never be able to bridge as to how sexuals and asexuals perceive their relationships and the very definition of love.

Look, you're in a tough position there. I assume your wife tried, at the beginning, to wait it out, hoping something would "awake" in her, or that the appetite will come along the meal. I assume she felt, as we all do when we first discover ourselves to be asex, that she's somehow "broken", or maybe only a late bloomer. I wouldn't judge her harshly for the lie at the beginning of your relationship.

but it made you two to agree to a pact that you now find broken. you agreed to marry a different person from who she really is.

it would be fair of you to ask to break the pact.

it won't be fair of you to pressure her into doing things she doesn't want to do while threatening to leave her.

there is a great difference between the two.

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Mysticus Insanus

Any arrangement all participants give honest, free, and informed consent to, and hold on to without clandestinely breaking it, is fair for them.

Personally, I wouldn't ever be ok with a mono arrangement because it violates my needs and inhibits my capability for love, and I would never consider someone a potential partner who wanted to "go mono" - but that's just me.

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Kitty Spoon Train

it has to do with priorities: my lover is my very first loyalty. they will come before any other "close friend" or family member. always, whenever they are in the right or in the wrong.

it has to do with accepting them for who they are, and being certain that my loyalty and attachment will not wither whatever act they committed.

So, if they decided to start smoking crack, you'd enable their habit? If they wanted to eat themselves so big that they can't fit through the bedroom door, you'd still bring them food?

Sorry, I'm just playing Devil's Advocate with extreme co-dependency here. :lol:

But seriously, this kind of definition of absolute loyalty in love relationships makes my skin crawl. There are two problems with that mentality:

1) We are all only human. We all sometimes make mistakes and need a good smackdown. Blind loyalty which ignores this fact is not a good thing.

2) Impermanence - it's a fact of life. Healthy "loyalty" should be a fluid thing that respects impermanence. Just because a person is one person today, doesn't mean that they are the same person tomorrow. Healthy relationships evolve, they don't get stuck on literalist black and white boundaries. This is exactly what neurotic co-dependence, and even outright abusive relationships are made of.

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Astraea

Guzica, I agree completely. that's why i wrote it's my IDEAL. I think people rarely (if ever) live up to their ideals...

I do believe in the freedom of choice. if a person decides he wishes to smoke or eat themselves to death - or kill themselves otherwise - after doing my best to make sure they are thinking rationally and are aware of the consequences, i'll let them make their own choice. And I would expect the same from a person who'd claim to love me, in return.

Forcing a person to live (at all, or) according to your perceptions of right and wrong is an act of possession, not of love, towards that person. that's in my view.

as to impermanence... a very pailful subject for me. notice that i didn't write the terrible "forever" word anywhere there. exactly for this reason. we don't exist forever, and our personality does at time change afore the body dies.

but if the person has changed so much over the years that he's no longer himself, and instead i have this almost-monster-like being in front of me, speaking with his voice, wearing his bod, but no longer him... if it is no longer him, then i'm no longer bound by loyalty to "it".

at least - that's the way i felt before.

btw: it doesn't have to be a CO-dependency. or a dependency at all.

it's not that, losing such a love, one could not survive and go on with his life.

and a part of loving a person unconditionally, whenever wrongs they commit, is also knowing that person very well - and knowing what they are capable of committing.

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Astraea

PS - very cute kitties.

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Sher N

But I do desperately want to have a sexual relationship with another sexual person. It's not just the physical gratification, it's also the stuff that comes with a sexual relationship -- intimacy, the connection, and feeling desirable.

A great relationship has all of these things. A great asexual relationship has all of these things, just without the sex. If you feel that you need to have a sexual relationship with someone else to get these things, then I don't think it's the sex you're missing. There may be emotional components missing (or just not as overt as you would like them to be) from your existing relationship as well. One of the easiest ways for sexual people to regain these components is to engage in a new sexual relationship with the intention that the "intimacy, connection, and feeling desirable" would come along with the package. Do you think this could be the case?

This is basically why I don't really buy into the idea that it's possible to completely separate sex from any kind of emotional/intimacy baggage...

Being extremely demisexual probably makes me sound very biased in saying this, but I think this passage betrays what I'm saying:

But I do desperately want to have a sexual relationship with another sexual person. It's not just the physical gratification, it's also the stuff that comes with a sexual relationship -- intimacy, the connection, and feeling desirable.

It seems to me like a lot of sexuals think they can totally separate sex from emotion, but in reality things have a way of being/getting more complicated. This is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. OP even states explicitly that "sex isn't 'just' sex" - that it has other, more abstract and emotionally charged components for him.

My thinking is basically this: if mainstream sexuals really could so easily separate sex from love, then open marriages where casual sex in allowed on the side would be a normal and condoned mainstream practice. ie If we're virtually certain that we can keep it simple and that nothing emotionally complicated would happen, then why not do it? Obviously, the answer is that we're aware that for most humans it's far more than just a totally separate physical act by itself. Or even if we can enjoy it as a totally meaningless physical act under certain circumstances, there are no guarantees that things will stay so simple.

As for specific advice for OP, I don't really have any. :(

I am hypersexual married to an asexual. I don't think I could do it. It would be cheating and the guilt after having sex with someone outside my marriage would be unbearable. Ha. that why I'm here trying to figure some things out.

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Perspektiv
My question is really a philosophical one. Is it fair for an asexual person married to a sexual person to insist on a monogamous relationship with that person?

I think compromise is fair. Asking your partner to sacrifice, and not try to meet them halfway, is completely unfair and selfish. It will lead to resent, and eventually the death of your relationship, through them being utterly miserable.

I think cheating however, is wrong, and doing so shows a lack of respect for your partner.

You need to ask yourself how much are you willing to sacrifice for this person. There is a healthy amount of sacrifice, and one where it is highly unhealthy, as you're pretty much putting it all out there, without getting anything back, which will lead to resent down the road. If she genuinely loves you, she will try to compromise, and be fair and the same should be said for you.

I'm going through a divorce myself, and while it has nothing to do with sexuality, boiled down to me feeling like I was sacrificing everything in my life for her, while she kept asking for more. I was miserable for years, and to rub it in, she also stabbed me in the back. For me, the end, was when I tried to get both of us going to see a counselor, and she outright rejected it. Staying put, would've meant I was sacrificing far too much, for someone who saw me as an afterthought. I have no regrets, as I tried everything in my power, to make things work. Unfortunately, it's harder to find someone who's willing to meet you halfway.

Both of you have differing needs, and there is some middle ground where both could be satisfied (you must be willing to give up things as much as she is, or you're being unfair, too).

If she's not willing to budge, it'll be onto you to decide if you're okay with continuing to remain in the relationship, now knowing where she will stand in it. You can't have your cake and eat it, too.

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fallingdowntherabbithole

I think I am in the same boat. I literally just found this site and this note and feel that THIS is the thing. We have been together for 15 years of relationship and...I have ...I don't even know why I am writing or what to say. HenryD,....it is just so shocking to read what I have been struggling with. I am relieved not to be alone but I am crushed that this is real and forever. Recently, I have been mourning the real death of sex and intimacy of me and in my life. I always was the one who initiated and sometimes my husband would be willing but over time I realized he never initiated and I kept thinking it was because he was Catholic or repressed or ? or cheating or I was gross or horrible or he was gay. None of those guesses never made sense. He loves me. We have four children and I don't know if I can or if I am willing to be asexual for the rest of my life and I don't want to divorce my lovely husband over sex. I am stuck in the middle, like you and I don't know what the 'right' answer is for me and for my children. I have felt so rejected for so long. I am really trying to let the sex go and just love what we do have together but I worry about what our children are observing, not the anger but the, for me, lack of sexual intimacy. The hugs and kisses that are more come hither...we don't have those and for me it has felt like a little less love. I love you...but only to here not so much that I desire you. I want my girls to expect to be desired. I did.

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Lady Girl

This thread hasn't been active for a long time and is now being locked. If anyone would like to discuss this topic further, feel free to start a new thread.

Lady Girl, Moderator

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