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Sexual Compromise & Support

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InquisitivePhilosopher
19 minutes ago, Neshama said:

Thanks, I took your advice and had the conversation! It was still kinda uncomfortable for him, but we got through it! Also, he is making me a LIST! 😍💗

 

So, just to make sure I'm understanding correctly, is this a list of things your partner is making about things he'd be comfortable with doing with you in the relationship or a list that both of you have come up with, together, about your agreed compromises? 

 

If it's a list your partner is making that is about letting you know his comfort level, that sounds as though it'd be useful for you to know.

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Telecaster68
5 minutes ago, Neshama said:

Why?

Because, if it's a list of things he's happy to do, it may not overlap much with your list. This is a thing that happens...

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Neshama

@Telecaster68And that's fine, I just want to know he cares enough to try and the things in categories three and four might overlap. It's also good to know the specifics of what he dislikes about penetrative sex (body fluids or nudity or physical contact or viewing genitals?)

@InquisitivePhilosopher

  1. Things that I absolutely love and need in a relationship
  2. Things that I have tried and liked, but can live without
  3. Things that I haven't tried, but would be willing to try
  4. Things that I have tried and I'm not a particular fan of but I am comfortable with
  5. Things that I absolutely hate and will never do for anyone
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InquisitivePhilosopher

Oh! That looks like a good, comprehensive list of categories!

 

Are you making one, too, so that your partner will know what you're comfortable/aren't comfortable with, as well?

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Neshama

I already have a living document list

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ryn2
29 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Depending on the list....

 

26 minutes ago, Neshama said:

Why?

We’ve had some past threads where the partners did want/will/won’t lists and had zero overlap, or overlap only on things the sexual partner found gravely insufficient.

 

It could still spark good discussion, though, and kink has a lot more options (i.e., if both partners enjoy certain scenes/play, it can still be okay that only one finds those scenes sexually gratifying).

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ryn2

Whoops, sorry, didn’t see we had a new page!

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xstatic ☆゚°˖* ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ

I'm just happy that they're at least talking about it.  Even if it's uncomfortable.  They'll at least start getting some answers.

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Fallen Unicorn
On 4/17/2019 at 10:02 AM, Neshama said:

why the cake?

Why not? 😆

 

On 4/16/2019 at 1:35 PM, Neshama said:

I'm new to aven and I'm mostly here because my partner is asexual and I'm very much not, and I don't really know what to do. He doesn't want to have sex at all and anytime the compromise conversation comes up he says that he feels that I'm being unaccepting of his sexuality and trying to coerce/guilt trip him into sex. At first, we thought I could just get sex elsewhere and he would be okay as long as I didn't emotionally cheat, but as soon as I went through with it he had an emotional reaction and said he didn't want to share me. So now I'm just celibate... can anyone with more experience than me give me some advice? I'm sorry if I'm bothering anyone.

Ah, if you've seen my previous posts, I think I could be a really good help. I've been going through almost exactly the same thing. Although, to be a debbie downer, things went south and she's ignoring me, and her family has blocked me after the breakup.

 

We never did a list per se, but I did ask her questions about what she was comfortable with, and she wouldn't compromise on anything. My mother and my friends are telling me that a lot of her actions were manipulative and controlling, so perhaps it was for the best.

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anisotrophic

Ehhh my partner's list is pretty big but I find I'm not that excited to pursue it these days. I love him, it's fine not to do stuff, feels embarrassing for me.

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uhtred
On 4/16/2019 at 1:35 PM, Neshama said:

I'm new to aven and I'm mostly here because my partner is asexual and I'm very much not, and I don't really know what to do. He doesn't want to have sex at all and anytime the compromise conversation comes up he says that he feels that I'm being unaccepting of his sexuality and trying to coerce/guilt trip him into sex. At first, we thought I could just get sex elsewhere and he would be okay as long as I didn't emotionally cheat, but as soon as I went through with it he had an emotional reaction and said he didn't want to share me. So now I'm just celibate... can anyone with more experience than me give me some advice? I'm sorry if I'm bothering anyone.

Hello Neshama

Its a really difficult situation. Long ago I described the options as:

leave, cheat, live like a nun/ monk.

 

that is a little rough, but not so far from the truth. Open marriages work in some cases, but more often than not don't work.  

 

Its a miserably situation for you to be in but I think its a question only you can answer: can you live a happy life without sex?  Some people can, but many cannot. You need to  be honest about this at least to yourself. 

 

If you  can't  be happy without sex, then you are setting both of you up for misery as you are unhappy and he feels guilty for that unhappiness.  You will be sorely tempted to cheat - and hate yourself for feeling that way. 

 

My only really advice after 30 years of this is don't expect it to EVER get better.  Your desire for sex will not go away, and he will never be the sexual partner you want. Don't "hope" , that way lies misery. 

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NickJ
2 hours ago, Neshama said:

Thanks, I took your advice and had the conversation! It was still kinda uncomfortable for him, but we got through it! Also, he is making me a LIST! 😍💗

 

Fantastic! I’m glad you were both able to talk and hope things move forward in a positive way. :)

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Febinochi

It is a little late so i am a bit tired to make the post i want to.. but I am taking a baby step to figure this out.

 

My SO has not enjoyed sex. Based on conversatoin i have had with my SO feels they are asexual. I have done a bit of research, they have not done much - mostly relayed through me.

 

I am looking for resources to:

  1. Stay with my SO
  2. Not presure my SO
  3. Understand and meet my sexual needs

 

Thanks

Mods- sorry if this should be in its own thread or moved

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xstatic ☆゚°˖* ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ

@Febinochi There's a lot of good advice on the forum from both sides. I advise you look around and read some experiences from both sexuals and asexuals. It really helps understand both the dynamic it takes to make that sort of relationship work, and give insight as to how each person might be feeling dealing with incompatible sexualities. For you, you have to make decisions about what is important to you, what you're willing to work with, what you're willing to give up, and will you be happy in the end. Your partner really needs to make decisions like this as well. Communication is very important. Learning what you can here and then taking it into your relationship as points for discussion is very helpful.  Good luck!

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uhtred
On 4/23/2019 at 8:49 PM, Febinochi said:

It is a little late so i am a bit tired to make the post i want to.. but I am taking a baby step to figure this out.

 

My SO has not enjoyed sex. Based on conversatoin i have had with my SO feels they are asexual. I have done a bit of research, they have not done much - mostly relayed through me.

 

I am looking for resources to:

  1. Stay with my SO
  2. Not presure my SO
  3. Understand and meet my sexual needs

 

Thanks

Mods- sorry if this should be in its own thread or moved

Hello / welcome.

 

There are lots of different situations, so no one-size-fits-all for what to do in a long term relationship with a sexual mismatch   Lots of people here with experience in that (including me). 

 

My feeling is that its important to first be honest with yourself about what you want / need.

 

1) What level of sexual activity and what level of being sexually *desired* do you need to be happy.   There is no right / wrong answer, its completely individual. 

 

2) if you are able to talk to your SO, then find out what level of sexual activity they can be happy with.  Depending on the person they may be completely happy to engage in sexual activity because they like making you happy, or they may find sex repulsive. 

 

Then see if there is an overlap where both of you can be happy. If so, great, if not, then don't cause one or the other of you to suffer for the sake of the relationship - no relationship where one person is suffering is worth it 

 

If you can't talk to them, its more difficult.  (the unfortunately is often the case). In that case I think you should work on the assumption that the current level of sexual interaction is what it will always be. Are you happy?

 

Relationships should not be an alter on which to sacrifice ones happiness.  That is exactly the opposite of the point of  a relationship. 

 

FWIW - in general I think people stay in mismatched relationships too often for too long. After a long time it becomes impossible to leave.   (been in one for 35 years now - I love her, but it has been a cloud hanging over us for our entire lives). 

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arani86

My partner and I are struggling. 

They are highly sexual. I am grey ace. 

When we first started dating a couple years ago, we found we had a lot of compatibility in the Kink world. I wasn't that into the sex portion of our scenes, but I was into the rest so it didn't seem like a big compromise then to have a scene, then have sex afterwards. After a several weeks I realized that I couldn't keep up with their sexual needs long term. They wanted sex nearly everyday, I either don't want it at all, or I'm apathetic. 
 

I was completely open with them from day one that I identify as asexual. I told them that I go through phases where I'm more comfortable with sex, and phases where I'm not into it but willing to compromise, and sometimes even phases where I'm sex averse, but that's more rare and short lived usually. They told me they thought they'd have a hard time with that, but we talked about how since we are both poly, and our relationship was poly, that we would try to cultivate other relationships where we could get other needs met. Whenever they had another romantic or sexual partner, I was thrilled for them. I mostly just cultivated intense friendships, (I don't really differentiate between platonic and romantic), but they were always super supportive.

Anyway, a couple months into our relationship I told them I thought I'd probably be moving into a more intensely asexual space soon, but that I would be able to compromise and still offer physical intimacy and occasional sexual encounters. I said I wasn't entirely in that space yet, but I just wanted us to be able to talk about it and prepare. They responded by wanting to have a week long sex fest, to feel fully secure in our relationship before a dry spell. I asked for reassurance that if we tried daily for a week, but if I wasn't into it would be okay for us to stop and try again the next day. They basically told me that if we weren't going to commit to daily then it wasn't worth it. Which shocked me, because it felt manipulative and almost like a violation of consent. We talked a lot about our needs, our wants, and our boundaries, we lived in a world of safe words and post scene discussions. It didn't make any sense to me that they'd suddenly be so intense and uncompromising. It also made me feel unsafe, and the following week we only had sex a couple times. That's still a lot for me - any is a lot for me. But they started being really weird about stuff, saying we hadn't had sex at all in weeks, even though we'd literally had sex the previous day, stuff like that. It was a huge turn off for me, and since my switch is always off...it was kind like lightning hit my breaker box and whole damn thing wound up fried. 

 

Sex became once a week, then a couple times a month, then once a month or so. I kicked out a housemate and moved into my own bedroom. We went months between sexual encounters with each other. They took other lovers. I thought maybe that would take the pressure off. But they started being kind of mean to me. Passive aggressive stuff mostly. Whenever I'd bring it up they'd tell me it was their mental health, and that their anxiety and depression get way worse if they don't get enough sex. Which of course left me feeling like it was supposed to be my fault they were being snarky, bossy, rude, and hyper critical suddenly because I wasn't giving them sex. Which of course, I felt like was bull shit. 20 year old me might have believed that, but 30 year old me wasn't falling for that crap. Plus, we weren't exclusive, I never agreed to be their sex provider, even if I was for a couple months at the beginning. They could treat everyone else just fine, why not me?

 

We had some long talks, things got better. They apologized for getting so intense and overbearing, I apologized for emotionally withdrawing instead of calling them out right away, we agreed to compromise. We planned dates, planned scenes once a week. But that felt like it was too often for me, so sometimes we would just cuddle and watch a movie instead. They were growing increasingly unhappy, it was never enough for them. We moved out of Atlanta, and without their friends and support network things got way worse. They would still be short with me all the time, even saying things that would be innocent or simple, would come out weirdly harsh. They got upset with me for not initiating enough, for not offering enough intimacy, for emotionally withdrawing. 

 

I'm like...if you're not being kind to me all day long, I'm not going to hop in bed and think "I should initiate sexual contact." Partly because I'm freaking ace and I'm NEVER thinking about sexual contact in the first place. Bed is where I read and sleep and watch cat videos. 
They say I'm punishing them for their mental health by withholding intimacy - emotional, physical, and sexual. To me it just feels like cause and effect. They're being unkind, I don't feel safe, I close myself off. We cycle though this whole thing over and over again. We talk about it for hours, or days. We feel we understand each other better. We try something new. Things are good, at first. But I still don't want offer sex, I need more time with no pressure to feel safe again. They get impatient and snarky. I get quiet. Lather, rinse, repeat. 

We decided to try to work on our friendship, our emotional connection and set aside the sex stuff AND the romance (I'm also grey-aro). But we sorta share a bedroom again now, even though I sleep in my son's room most nights. Today I walked in to grab something, debit card for a food order, and they were totally watching porn and masturbating. I sorta apologized and laughed and blushed and was super awkward while I tried to find the debit card. It's been two years, it is far from the first time this has happened, in fact, it's nearly a daily occurrence, but for some reason I was reacting like it was. It was a mix of affection, embarrassment, discomfort, humor, and more than a little relief at the newfound lack of pressure since we had agreed not to focus so much on sex.

Then they invited me to join in and lend them a "hand". I laughed at the pun, and I thought, "I could. I could offer them this, I don't feel averse right now." But I was starving, I've been sick recently and it was the first time I felt like eating in days, I was exhausted and still feeling wonky from meds. I also didn't want to confuse things, since we'd just reached this new agreement. So I awkwardly declined, I thought I wouldn't be much good anyway, and I didn't want to disappoint. They started pressuring me, but like, playfully. I laughed and reaffirmed that I wasn't into it, but the pressuring continued. I left the room. They followed me and kept it up. I stuck to my guns because at that point I just felt really weird. It was out of character for them, and when I looked at them, it was like I was looking at a complete stranger. Even they way they were talking was different, their tone of voice...again, it was like listen to a stranger speak. Freaked me out. 

 

They know how hard it is for me to say no, after a life time of "no" not being a safe word for me. They know how much I hate being pressured. We had already talked about not focusing on sex and romance, and even though we hadn't explicitly made a rule against it, I thought we were on the same page. I've felt like they were emotionally manipulating me before, and my response to that is to call them on it or else just no respond at all. I never give in and reinforce that type of behavior. It actually makes me less likely to be open to physical or sexual intimacy. It's probably why I never switched back into a higher comfort level with sex. But they've never outright tried to pressure me into sex in the moment before. Negotiating in advance - sure, but this kind of intense pressure...I haven't felt that in years. 

We own property together, we co-parent a child, we want to make this work if we can. But I feel increasingly unheard. I don't feel like they've made an effort to understand my sexual and romantic orientations. I don't feel like they are ever happy with any compromise we've tried, and we've tried so much!

It's just not responsibility to make them happy! I never agreed to be responsible for their sexual needs! And every time we talk about it they want to act like they are a victim here, like this is something I'm doing to them. They could literally go out and have sex with ANYONE they want. In the past two years, they've had like, three or four sexual partners besides me. It freaks me out that they are so sexually fixated on me, and they've known the whole time that I'm ace! Every time I say no to sex they get super disappointed and sad about it. I totally understand feeling those things, but paired with everything else, it feels manipulative. I'm also tired of being a constant source of disappointment. 

I don't know. Has anyone else reached a point like this and actually had the relationship pan out in a positive way? I am at a loss at this point. I'll hear any advice, leave, stay, try something new, I'm open to anything. 

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Fallen Unicorn

@arani86 I'm really sorry that you're going through this, my heart goes out to you and your family. I've been in a much less complicated, but similar situation. However, it was my asexual ex that was manipulative (she actually didn't tell me her sexuality until we were already deep into the relationship, I had lost my virginity to her).

 

Regardless of whether a relationship is poly or not, I would personally never date someone knowing they were asexual. Perhaps I'd have a friends-with-benefits type of deal with them, but not a serious relationship. 

 

21 minutes ago, arani86 said:

They started pressuring me, but like, playfully. I laughed and reaffirmed that I wasn't into it, but the pressuring continued. I left the room. They followed me and kept it up.

This is not cool. I remember my very first sexual encounter being like this, with this "playful" pressuring and me eventually giving in. I didn't realize it was sexual abuse until three years after the fact. I'm not a professional, but I really hope you contact one and address this. This does not sound like healthy behavior at all.

 

24 minutes ago, arani86 said:

They know how hard it is for me to say no, after a life time of "no" not being a safe word for me.

Again, similar struggle here. I only notice really bad things happen to me whenever I don't say no and stand up for myself. I hate being pressured as well, whether it be to engage in sexual activity, or to get rid of sex to make someone else happy. Trying to do either of those things has caused great psychological harm to me.

 

26 minutes ago, arani86 said:

We own property together, we co-parent a child, we want to make this work if we can. But I feel increasingly unheard. I don't feel like they've made an effort to understand my sexual and romantic orientations. I don't feel like they are ever happy with any compromise we've tried, and we've tried so much!

If there wasn't a child involved, I wouldn't hesitate to tell you to break up with this person. But children do change things, they are very important after all. As I stated before, I'd strongly advice you to bring these issues up to a professional counselor, or seek couples' counseling.

 

28 minutes ago, arani86 said:

I don't feel like they are ever happy with any compromise we've tried, and we've tried so much!

Hmm, the reason why I broke up with my ex was because she wouldn't compromise on anything. And it seems like you are willing to try, which despite how unfair your partner has been, I can completely respect.

 

31 minutes ago, arani86 said:

They could literally go out and have sex with ANYONE they want. In the past two years, they've had like, three or four sexual partners besides me. It freaks me out that they are so sexually fixated on me, and they've known the whole time that I'm ace!

I'm not in anyway justifying them pressuring you, but I can understand why they might want you specifically. With them being in love with you (I'm assuming) and highly sexual, sex is likely their love language. That's how they want to express their love to you. Well, that's how I felt when I wanted sexual intimacy with my ex.

 

Gifts were her love language, and even though I didn't care for them, I accepted them anyway cause I loved her. Sex was my love language, and she didn't do the same for me. See where a relationship could easily go wrong there?

 

35 minutes ago, arani86 said:

I don't know. Has anyone else reached a point like this and actually had the relationship pan out in a positive way?

I personally haven't, but that's because my asexual ex was manipulative. Sexual or not, if the other person is manipulative in the relationship, I don't want anything to do with them. Again, no matter what happens, the child's well-being matters most. Which means this must be resolved for your sake and the child's sake.

 

I don't mean to be a debbie downer, but I don't think an asexual person is ever going to be enough to a sexual person (in the romantic/sexual sense). People tell me that there's exceptions, but all I see is miserable marriages and regret. But please, feel free to keep talking to me, I can tell you really need to talk to someone right now ❤️

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Fallen Unicorn

@arani86 Also, there was this thing my Mom told me when I was considering breaking up with my ex: "You shouldn't be in a relationship that sucks the life out of you."

 

Remember that.

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arani86

@Fallen Unicorn

Thanks. I needed to hear a lot of those things. I do have a lot of compassion for the emotional space my partner is in. I may not fully get it, but I accept that this is super hard for them. I know that they are trying. I just don't know if that's enough. I find myself constantly making excuses for their behavior towards me. 

 

I don't know. I'd love to see a couples counselor, so would they. We've talked about that for almost a year. Finances make that pretty tricky. Also neither of us are fluent in Spanish yet and we're currently living in Mexico. We'll be back in the States for a bit this summer, maybe we could start something then. It's hard to find a couples counselor who understands poly issues (we're not in an open relationship, we're completely non-hierarchical, so either or both of us could find other partners who are equally important to us), and that makes it even trickier.

 

Also we're both Black American and neither of us trust white medical professionals - nothing against them personally, it's just a lot of work explaining to them and teaching them how and why race intersects with ALL of our issues - work we ain't getting paid to do. When I'm paying someone 200 bucks an hour I shouldn't be teaching them.  Also white medical professional do a lot of harm to our community to this day...so it's safer to steer clear. 

 

So finding a PoC, poly/queer friendly therapist who understandings asexuality and who we can afford to pay out of pocket...if I find that person I will NEVER let them go. 

It does feel good to hear someone else say that this pressuring my partner is doing isn't okay. I knew that in theory, and if a stranger tried it with me I'd probably respond MMA style, but from a loved one it's shocking and confusing. My instinct is to make excuses. To soften it by saying that it was okay since I didn't give in. But yeah, no excuse, it's still not okay. 

What you said about love languages is totally true for us. I'm into gifting, acts of service, and quality time. They appreciate and enjoy these things, but don't feel it unless it's accompanied by touch - particularly sexual touch. 

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ryn2
10 minutes ago, arani86 said:

So finding a PoC, poly/queer friendly therapist who understandings asexuality and who we can afford to pay out of pocket...if I find that person I will NEVER let them go

This might be something you can tackle via skype if you won’t be summering in a big, diverse city.  If you have any kinky, poly friends online who live in places a therapist who fits your requirements would be more common, they could potentially recommend someone.

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Fallen Unicorn
17 minutes ago, arani86 said:

So finding a PoC, poly/queer friendly therapist who understandings asexuality and who we can afford to pay out of pocket...if I find that person I will NEVER let them go. 

Heh, I could imagine! That does sound like an obscure choice of therapist though, so it might not be easy.

 

18 minutes ago, arani86 said:

Also we're both Black American and neither of us trust white medical professionals - nothing against them personally, it's just a lot of work explaining to them and teaching them how and why race intersects with ALL of our issues - work we ain't getting paid to do.

As a biracial woman, I never quite understood why race intersects with things like romantic or sexual life for other people. I suppose being black is very different, but I never thought someone couldn't understand me because of their race. We are all different though 🖤

 

28 minutes ago, arani86 said:

I may not fully get it, but I accept that this is super hard for them.

Well, one of the professors at my Psi Beta club said "Relationships are supposed to take work, but they aren't supposed to be hard."

 

So there's that. I was with my ex at the time, wish I would've listened to her then instead of tuning it out 😣

 

20 minutes ago, arani86 said:

When I'm paying someone 200 bucks an hour I shouldn't be teaching them.

I definitely get this to an extent, it can feel like a weird dynamic when I'm educating my therapist. No hard feelings against her, but I'm considering looking for a new therapist. One that can give me assignments or sources to reach out for.

 

25 minutes ago, arani86 said:

(we're not in an open relationship, we're completely non-hierarchical, so either or both of us could find other partners who are equally important to us)

What does non-hierarchical mean? I thought poly meant open relationship?

 

I'm glad that I've been a great help. Even to this day, I feel guilty about breaking up with my ex. So helping other asexual people on this site helps me a lot 😊

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ConcernedandConfused
Posted (edited)

This is my first time trying anything on here, i’m sorry if i mess up the rules or something. I’m just looking for some help. I’m keeping genders anonymous here because, I guess want to keep any assumptions out of the equation. 

 

I have been with my partner for almost a year now, they are pan and monogamous. And I love them to death. They’ve always been there for me, they’ve always supported me, and in general they’ve been a ray of sunshine during some pretty difficult times in my life. But about 3 months ago, they confessed to me that they’ve never felt or understood sexual attraction before and they didn’t want to tell me at first because they were afraid i was going to leave them. We’re both virgins and even before then she told me they wanted to “take it slow”. 

 

I want to establish that our relationship has been wonderful so far without us sleeping together. I love them in so many way beyond physical attraction and as far intimacy goes we’ve never had any problems. As far as every definition of the standard happy relationship goes we are a happy couple. Yet, now that i know their actual feelings regarding sex, things have predictably changed.

 

I am a sexual individual, I would even go so far as to say that I am a very very physically intimate person. And though I was comfortable “taking it slow” and being where we were in the relationship, I guess i was operating under the assumption that things were building up to sex. I don’t want to sound awful, but I definitely expected it at some point. Not out of obligation or anything I just, thought it was coming eventually. I had no reason to think it wasn’t. And now that I know it’s not, I definitely feel different about the relationship. 

 

Sometimes I feel like I’m losing my mind. Because I can’t, turn off how i see them or how I feel about them. When they’re wearing something hot, or doing sexy things, or running they’re hand over my face, it just drives me crazy. I know it isn’t sexual and I know they don’t see it as sexual but I can’t just, not feel it. I guess they just, don’t know what they’re doing. But is it crazy to say I don’t want them to stop? Because as far as I know we’re never going to go any further then we are intimately. And I guess I just, want to get it when I can? And worst of all, somewhere in my head all I can think is “maybe this is just a phase? Maybe they’ll change their mind?” Or “Maybe I’ll be the exception!” And I think I’m just hurting myself. 

 

My partner is very anxious and self conscious. And if I try to bring up how unhappy I feel from time to time they immediately panic and go on about how awful they are and how unfair they’re being to me and how they wish they weren’t like the way that they are, and I end up comforting them and telling them it’s not a big deal and we return to square one. I just, feel like I have no way to really express myself. 

 

Don’t get me wrong there is still happiness. Weeks can go by before it comes up again. But. It’s something that sits heavy on my shoulders. I am not a very happy person in general. I’ve got problems separate from this topic that affect me all the time independent of anything else going on. The only time I really feel calm and happy is when my partner is holding me, or touching me, and even just making eye contact with me and smiling. Physical is the only way I really know how to express and receive love. Sex for me is the ultimate emotional and physical thing you can do for someone, I see it as something beyond simply seeking out my own comfort and enjoyment. Something that’s just us. All that poetic jazz. And it’s really, troubling, that I can’t have that and probably never will with them. I can’t just get it out of my system on my own. Sure, I “get it out of my system” no problem, but I don’t have the intimacy I’m craving. I don’t think I even care about my own release anymore I just want to feel it with them.  

 

Sure we could compromise. But if we did I don’t think I’d be able to go through with it knowing they weren’t enjoy it. And regardless. they themselves haven’t necessarily figured out their own feeling about the subject completely, they don’t know if they’re repulsed, or just apathetic, and something they keep saying is “maybe it’ll change in a few years” but I feel like the hope is strangling me. I love them. I want to stay with them for reasons beyond straight up sexual attraction. But I don’t know what to do with my brain. If it’s going to change why wait? If it never will why not just give me a sign now so I don’t hold out in a dismal hope that some day I’ll finally be able to just, be with them like that. 

 

I’m not lying when i say I love them even though they don’t want to sleep with me. There is happiness that doesn’t come from sexual gratification. I love them and I don’t want to be alone or to confirm their fears that a lack of sex would ruin our relationship. But I don’t know how much more I can take. 

 

They’re butt is so cute. 

And it’s making me lose my mind. 

Edited by ConcernedandConfused
Slip of the fingers regarding the gender of my partner. I’m not even sure why i’m keeping it anonymous but i think i’ll just feel better this way.

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arani86
2 hours ago, Fallen Unicorn said:

As a biracial woman, I never quite understood why race intersects with things like romantic or sexual life for other people. I suppose being black is very different, but I never thought someone couldn't understand me because of their race. We are all different though 🖤

 

This comes into play in my background and my partners background differently. I'm lighter skinned, but still obviously Black, and I spend most of my adult life around mostly white people, in a community that although very queer...was very elitist. I was treated as less than human for a long time, people assumed in a community household setting that I would handle housework, that I would make room for their feelings over my safety, white women would assume that I was a highly sexual object simply because I was black. Black people are oversexualized in the media and if you remove our sexuality it dehumanizes us even more in the eyes of white society. I'm used to white women expecting me to preform sexually for them and not understanding that I'm an actual human, not just a walking sex toy. Because of this I have a hard time making my voice heard, because I'm used to be told that I'm too loud if I so much as whisper out of turn. I've had several different white women go on dates with me, get me alone, then refuse to take no for an answer and pressure me or even physically force me into sex, only to turn around and tell people that I am the predator. Which is literally the oldest story in the Black American sexual history book. So I'm more likely to go along with things I'm not comfortable with, because I feel instinctively that it's safer than saying no or resisting. 

My partner on the other hand, is a dark skinned black woman, and has been silenced and discriminated against sexually in an entirely different way. They hit puberty at 9 years old, boobs, hips, the whole deal. They were hyper-sexualized by everyone - family, schoolmates, teachers - but also shamed by their very religious family just for existing in their own body before they were even a sexual being. Black children area already hyper-sexualized, and it was a million times worse for them much earlier. Once they discovered their sexuality and began actually being sexual, they were always being told they were too much just for wanting their own needs to be considered and  met in a relationship - pushed into a sexual service role by people of all races and genders. Too black, too big, too loud, too demanding...being told they are too much just for being who they are. 

So I was cultured to suck it up and give in, and they were cultured to push and fight for what they wanted, our blackness absolutely intersects with those issues for both of us.

Add all that for both of us, into the mix of a Black community that often views us as other just for being queer - as if white people invented queerness or something. Like, we're already other just for being black, add queer and genderqueer and asexual or aromantic or any other qualifiers on top and it's kind of a lot. Most days it's enough just to survive walking to the grocery store and back, trying to be out and proud about our sexual and romantic personas is a lot heavier on top of that. 

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arani86
3 hours ago, Fallen Unicorn said:

What does non-hierarchical mean? I thought poly meant open relationship?

We aren't a couple. We're a duo currently. We have a relationship with each other, but it doesn't mean it means more than or is the primary relationship in our lives. Many poly people have a primary partner, then they have secondary or tertiary partners. Or they are romantically exclusive, but sexually open. That's not how we roll. Us loving each other does not invalidate the QPR's I have with my two other very special people, and it doesn't lessen future relationships we might have with others. We might find an third equal partner to join us and be part of a trio, or another duo, and then our polycule will have four members. We don't call it an "open" relationship, because it often implies a hierarchy of some sort, or that we could be "closed". I don't want my partners girlfriends or boyfriends or SO's to feel like they take a lower priority just because my partner and I started our relationship first. Just like I don't want my partner (the one in question) to feel less important just because I have QPRs with two other people who are very important to me. We fully support each other in all of our other relationships - whatever form they might take. The one thing we all have to agree on is none of us are monogamous, and everything is out on the table. No dishonesty or secrets needed.  

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Fallen Unicorn
14 minutes ago, arani86 said:

Add all that for both of us, into the mix of a Black community that often views us as other just for being queer - as if white people invented queerness or something. Like, we're already other just for being black, add queer and genderqueer and asexual or aromantic or any other qualifiers on top and it's kind of a lot.

Hmm, it must be very difficult to find other people to relate to. The idea of white people "inventing queerness" is very laughable 😆 But being very different doesn't mean we need to find people similar to us for support. It can definitely be helpful, but I like to think that people from all sorts of different backgrounds can be willing to help and understand each other 😊

 

13 minutes ago, arani86 said:

that I would make room for their feelings over my safety,

Oof, that's what my ex did all the time.

 

13 minutes ago, arani86 said:

I was a highly sexual object simply because I was black.

Huh, I've never heard that one before. Black children being hyper-sexualized? I must do my research on that, thanks for enlightening me!

 

19 minutes ago, arani86 said:

They were hyper-sexualized by everyone - family, schoolmates, teachers

What kind of teacher sexualizes a child? 😨

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, ConcernedandConfused said:

This is my first time trying anything on here, i’m sorry if i mess up the rules or something. I’m just looking for some help. I’m keeping genders anonymous here because, I guess want to keep any assumptions out of the equation. 

 

I have been with my partner for almost a year now, they are pan and monogamous. And I love them to death. They’ve always been there for me, they’ve always supported me, and in general they’ve been a ray of sunshine during some pretty difficult times in my life. But about 3 months ago, they confessed to me that they’ve never felt or understood sexual attraction before and they didn’t want to tell me at first because they were afraid i was going to leave them. We’re both virgins and even before then she told me they wanted to “take it slow”. 

 

I want to establish that our relationship has been wonderful so far without us sleeping together. I love them in so many way beyond physical attraction and as far intimacy goes we’ve never had any problems. As far as every definition of the standard happy relationship goes we are a happy couple. Yet, now that i know their actual feelings regarding sex, things have predictably changed.

 

I am a sexual individual, I would even go so far as to say that I am a very very physically intimate person. And though I was comfortable “taking it slow” and being where we were in the relationship, I guess i was operating under the assumption that things were building up to sex. I don’t want to sound awful, but I definitely expected it at some point. Not out of obligation or anything I just, thought it was coming eventually. I had no reason to think it wasn’t. And now that I know it’s not, I definitely feel different about the relationship. 

 

Sometimes I feel like I’m losing my mind. Because I can’t, turn off how i see them or how I feel about them. When they’re wearing something hot, or doing sexy things, or running they’re hand over my face, it just drives me crazy. I know it isn’t sexual and I know they don’t see it as sexual but I can’t just, not feel it. I guess they just, don’t know what they’re doing. But is it crazy to say I don’t want them to stop? Because as far as I know we’re never going to go any further then we are intimately. And I guess I just, want to get it when I can? And worst of all, somewhere in my head all I can think is “maybe this is just a phase? Maybe they’ll change their mind?” Or “Maybe I’ll be the exception!” And I think I’m just hurting myself. 

 

My partner is very anxious and self conscious. And if I try to bring up how unhappy I feel from time to time they immediately panic and go on about how awful they are and how unfair they’re being to me and how they wish they weren’t like the way that they are, and I end up comforting them and telling them it’s not a big deal and we return to square one. I just, feel like I have no way to really express myself. 

 

Don’t get me wrong there is still happiness. Weeks can go by before it comes up again. But. It’s something that sits heavy on my shoulders. I am not a very happy person in general. I’ve got problems separate from this topic that affect me all the time independent of anything else going on. The only time I really feel calm and happy is when my partner is holding me, or touching me, and even just making eye contact with me and smiling. Physical is the only way I really know how to express and receive love. Sex for me is the ultimate emotional and physical thing you can do for someone, I see it as something beyond simply seeking out my own comfort and enjoyment. Something that’s just us. All that poetic jazz. And it’s really, troubling, that I can’t have that and probably never will with them. I can’t just get it out of my system on my own. Sure, I “get it out of my system” no problem, but I don’t have the intimacy I’m craving. I don’t think I even care about my own release anymore I just want to feel it with them.  

 

Sure we could compromise. But if we did I don’t think I’d be able to go through with it knowing they weren’t enjoy it. And regardless. they themselves haven’t necessarily figured out their own feeling about the subject completely, they don’t know if they’re repulsed, or just apathetic, and something they keep saying is “maybe it’ll change in a few years” but I feel like the hope is strangling me. I love them. I want to stay with them for reasons beyond straight up sexual attraction. But I don’t know what to do with my brain. If it’s going to change why wait? If it never will why not just give me a sign now so I don’t hold out in a dismal hope that some day I’ll finally be able to just, be with them like that. 

 

I’m not lying when i say I love them even though they don’t want to sleep with me. There is happiness that doesn’t come from sexual gratification. I love them and I don’t want to be alone or to confirm their fears that a lack of sex would ruin our relationship. But I don’t know how much more I can take. 

 

They’re butt is so cute. 

And it’s making me lose my mind. 

This reminds me a little of the main character in Perfect Rhythm by Jae. In that book the main character is allosexual like you, and develops feelings for a woman who is asexual. The feelings are mutual. The difference lays in that the asexual character knows and understands themselves and what they can and can't offer. It's possible for asexual people to engage in sex and be "into it" even if it's not in the same way you are. It can even feel good or be fascinating for us to be desired in such a way. We can greatly enjoy giving to our partners, and when we know ourselves, we can let our partners know what we can be comfortable with receiving. Touch doesn't have to be off the table at all! 
It sounds like your partner needs to figure out what they want and don't want, what their sexuality means to them. Maybe find some resources for them that could help them learn more about their asexuality. Help them explore what it means to them. Ask them what kind of touch they know for sure they enjoy on a sensual (not sexual) level. Like hugs, hand holding, kissing, massage, cuddling, etc. 
If your partner is repulsed by sex, that brings up different issues, issues that might be insurmountable, but maybe not. 
I'm ace, and for me, I want my partners to SHOW me they understand my asexuality, not just tell me. You being here and reaching out is a great first step. 
Butts are awesome. ;) maybe find out what your partner thinks is cute about you. Many of us can find a lot of pleasure in things we think of as aesthetically pleasing even if we aren't sexually aroused by it. 

Edited by arani86
grammar

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arani86
7 minutes ago, Fallen Unicorn said:

Hmm, it must be very difficult to find other people to relate to. The idea of white people "inventing queerness" is very laughable 😆 But being very different doesn't mean we need to find people similar to us for support. It can definitely be helpful, but I like to think that people from all sorts of different backgrounds can be willing to help and understand each other 😊

 

Oof, that's what my ex did all the time.

 

Huh, I've never heard that one before. Black children being hyper-sexualized? I must do my research on that, thanks for enlightening me!

 

What kind of teacher sexualizes a child? 😨

The sexualization of black children is ridiculously common. It doesn't necessarily mean people are sexually drawn to them, it just means that people project sexuality onto us where it doesn't belong. Like a black child dancing is often perceived as sexual, where a white child could do the same dance and be called cute. Or a pair of skinny jeans and a tank top on a black girl could be considered too revealing or too sexy, but a white girl could wear that and no-one would even think about it. Or it's assumed that boy/girl friendships between black children are bound to be sexual much younger - like elementary school, where as white kids get away with that until middle school or later. We are also more likely to be targeted by sex offenders - though that may be because the police are less likely to investigate when the victim is Black. 

I agree that help and understanding should be able to come from all sorts of people with all backgrounds in friendships, but when doctors, cops, or government officials are involved I don't trust that to be the case. We've been screwed over too much. I've personally experienced too much discrimination at the hands of authority figures or medical staff to trust any of them implicitly, and when they are white I find it's even worse. Not every white cop or doctor is out to get me, but enough of them exist that don't care if I live or die that I don't want to risk it. If a doctor is black, or at least PoC, I feel like they're more likely to view me as a human being. Because they know what it's like to be dehumanized in the eyes of society. 

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arani86
6 hours ago, ryn2 said:

This might be something you can tackle via skype if you won’t be summering in a big, diverse city.  If you have any kinky, poly friends online who live in places a therapist who fits your requirements would be more common, they could potentially recommend someone.

Good idea! I'll look into this more. I looked into it for a personal therapist but never for a couples therapist. I know some folks in Atlanta and San Fran so that might work out well. 

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bookwormprincesskat

 I’m a married asexual and my husband is sexual. I have a very meh attitude towards having sex. I’m not opposed to having it but I’m absolutely okay not having it. My husband on the other hand does enjoy and desire sex much more often. We have worked out a really good system that works for the most part. So we aren’t on a set schedule where I tell him I’m ok having sex x amount of times per week or month instead he basically asks in the moment if I would like to have sex. My most usual response is sure if you can get me ready. But if I say no he’s cool with that too. More often then not I’m fine with it. Luckily he doesn’t have a super high sex drive and it can be a week or two in between times. In those in between times we do a lot of cuddling. We had this settled long before we even knew of the word asexual because I really just don’t care about sex. This summer we will have been together 5 years and beyond that first month we were together this has been our system. I got extremely lucky that he’s been so supportive and accepting. 

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ZiggyC

Hi All!

 

i joined this forum because I believe my wife is asexual. We have been together for 9 years, and the first 2 years we had a good sex life (1-2 times a week). Beyond the lack of sex our relationship is wonderful. She is my best friend and we cuddle and have tons of fun together. Then my wife’s Dad got very sick and passed away, we went travelling for 4 months, came home she went to cooking school. At first I thought we weren’t having sex because she was mourning and then we were travelling, then school. In reality, I think we both thought life was just really busy. But by year 3 we very rarely had sex anymore.

Deep down I knew, I really knew on our wedding night, when she didn’t want to have sex. 

In the last 4 years I have made love to her 2 times and she has not made love to me. (We are lesbians) I have spoken to her a bunch of times, she feels bad and like something is wrong with her, but doesn’t want sex.

I want to support her and never pressure her. A few days ago I made a little flirty pass and she pulled away, and she felt bad. I comforted her and for the first time told her I thought she could be asexual. That I knew that her lack of sex drive had nothing to do with me, so not to feel guilty there.

However, I am heartbroken. It hit me today that I may never be intimate again. I have not had sex in 4 years and I feel so cheated, I know my wife didn’t know she was asexual, but I married her thinking we would have some intimacy. I would be thrilled to make love once a year, to feel connected and desired. 

I so love her and I know she loves me, I don’t want to sleep with anyone else, but I have given up hope  that she will want to be with me sexually.

I want to support her and make her feel loved and safe, but what about my needs? We go on dates and cuddle so there is romance and connection there, but I so so miss the connection you experience during sex. 

Any advice would be so appreciated. Thank you!

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