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Pandante

Becoming sex-addicted while in a mixed relationship

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WhenSummersGone

It sounds like you and your wife are not sexually compatible at all. Have you thought about finding another sex partner? Another girlfriend or friend with benefits? Since she's asexual she probably wouldn't object.

Just want to chime in here along with some others, that sort of thing would also not be ok with me.

Care to explain why?

I'm imagining the following conversation:

Sexual Partner: Hey, so sex is really really important to me. It's so important that the lack of it is causing serious problems in our relationship and affecting my mental health. I'm miserable and I need some help.

Asexual Partner: I'm sex-repulsed, so I can't help you there.

Sexual Partner: I understand that, so what I was planning on doing was finding another partner. Since it's so important to me, and it's not something that you can help me with, that seems like the best solution here.

Asexual Partner: Sorry, even though I'm not interested in sex, and even though I know it's really important to you and you're suffering, I'm not ok with that.

That just does not seem reasonable or fair to me. The sexual partner clearly has the "moral high ground here." You don't get to control someone else's sexuality. If you're not comfortable having sex or doing anything else with a partner, that's your right, but you then can't reasonably request that they shut that part of themselves out. I would consider that controlling and abusive.

I agree with this as well, controlling and abusive. Although it may be hard to understand the difference between us and our partners it's more important to think about the feelings involved.

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Lady Girl

I can't agree with giving her a "veto" on his ability to have sex with others. She does not need to agree to it, since it really isn't any of her business. It's like if your marriage partner wanted to veto you hanging out with your platonic friend... that's just not within the scope of being respectful. Letting her have that kind of veto would not be respecting his sexuality; it's letting her control it.

In a marriage setting, I believe the partners do have a veto right when it comes to sexual behavior outside the relationship. Objecting to a friendship is a little different in my mind. I think for many married couples, sexual infidelity is grounds for divorce.

I don't feel controlled by my husband because he doesn't wish for me to have sex outside our relationship, in spite of the fact that we aren't having sex at this time.

Many people write their own vows, but I took the traditional vows and I promised to be faithful. We didn't make promises regarding our sexual frequency. I didn't honor my vows earlier in our relationship. I wish to do so now.

Basically, regarding faithfulness in a relationship, it doesn't matter so much what we think but more what the people in the relationship agree to.

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BlackRose

I can't agree with giving her a "veto" on his ability to have sex with others. She does not need to agree to it, since it really isn't any of her business. It's like if your marriage partner wanted to veto you hanging out with your platonic friend... that's just not within the scope of being respectful. Letting her have that kind of veto would not be respecting his sexuality; it's letting her control it.

In a marriage setting, I believe the partners do have a veto right when it comes to sexual behavior outside the relationship. Objecting to a friendship is a little different in my mind. I think for many married couples, sexual infidelity is grounds for divorce.

I don't feel controlled by my husband because he doesn't wish for me to have sex outside our relationship, in spite of the fact that we aren't having sex at this time.

Many people write their own vows, but I took the traditional vows and I promised to be faithful. We didn't make promises regarding our sexual frequency. I didn't honor my vows earlier in our relationship. I wish to do so now.

Basically, regarding faithfulness in a relationship, it doesn't matter so much what we think but more what the people in the relationship agree to.

For most married couples, not having sex would also be grounds for divorce.

I don't agree with the stance "I promised to be faithful but he didn't promise sexual frequency." It just doesn't work like that... part of the promise of fidelity, and the promise to take care of each other, includes the promise to make efforts to take care of your partner's sexuality. Put another way, declining sex regularly can be just as hurtful and just as much of a violation as cheating can. Fidelity restricts your behavior and thus puts obligations on your partner as well.

You're right, of course, that these things are for the people in the relationship to decide. However, I'm concerned about abuse and control here. A lot of people have shame regarding their sexuality and feel like there's something wrong with them for having a high sex drive and needing sex from their partner. That shame can be used to control a relationship in an abusive way, based on one partner refusing to stand up for his/her needs, thinking "sex shouldn't be so important," "people shouldn't have sexual obligations to others," and so forth.

The difference has to do with feeling powerless and trapped, like Pandante seems to, and feeling like you are voluntarily and freely choosing to give up your sexuality, and this is a choice you could change at any time, the way you seem to. One is not healthy, whereas the other might be.

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Skullery Maid

Asexuality and monogamy aren't related in any way, and therefore aren't contigent on each other. As I said in another thread, we all have a right to the relationship structure of our choosing. For some people that's heterosexual monogamy, for others it is master/slave, for others it is bisexual open marriage...

But whatever structure you want, you have a right to seek out. If your partner wants sex outside the previously agreed upon monogamous marriage, then the options are to stay married and open it up, stay married and stay monogamous, or get a divorce. But no one has a right to permanently and unilaterally change the structure of a relationship.

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BlackRose

Asexuality and monogamy are strongly related, because monogamy means that your sexual needs can only be satisfied by your partner. Thus, if there are limitations on the way you are willing to express sexuality, those affect your partner as well in a monogamous relationship.

Agreed that people have a right to the relationship structure of their choosing. But we are talking about a situation where the partners did not choose to give up sex for their whole lives. As such, it's the person who says "sorry no sex" who is the one who is "permanently and unilaterally changing the structure of the relationship."

If two people get married, and then one of them stops having sex, the relationship structure has already been changed. If that person then refuses to accommodate or allow their partner to have sex with others... well, I don't see how you can fairly blame the other person for going outside the relationship. Seems kind of silly to say *that* is what's changing the structure of the relationship. We're talking about a situation where the structure has already been harmed. (It's like he materially breached the contract and then blamed you for no longer upholding it.)

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Skullery Maid

Ok, true enough, they are changing the structure first. You're totally correct about that. Still, if you're sexual, your asexual partner doesn't want sex and won't "allow" you to go outside the marriage, and that's the one thing you want to do, it makes the most sense to divorce. Otherwise you're lying to keep a shitty relationship.

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Lady Girl

If two people get married, and then one of them stops having sex, the relationship structure has already been changed. If that person then refuses to accommodate or allow their partner to have sex with others... well, I don't see how you can fairly blame the other person for going outside the relationship. Seems kind of silly to say *that* is what's changing the structure of the relationship. We're talking about a situation where the structure has already been harmed. (It's like he materially breached the contract and then blamed you for no longer upholding it.)

I don't feel powerless or controlled, I really don't think Pandante does either. I also don't feel abused by a long shot. I just want to mention that if an asexual person marries someone who is sexual...there usually isn't a sudden change, there's an ever present issue that was there from the start. If asexuality is an unknown at the start, then the people reevalute and make a decision from the point of discovery more often than not.

I hate to do it, but I will for the purposes of this discussion. If one person loses their ability to have sex due to an accident...the fidelity of the partners is either still honored or not, but either way, it's not wrong for the injured person to want their partner to adjust and remain faithful (anymore than it would be for them to say go ahead and seek sexual solace elsewhere).

I don't feel shame in my sexuality...I don't feel like my husband broke his vows because he is asexual and we don't have sex. This is just different than how you view a possible relationship dynamic I think.

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Lucinda
But if we are talking about a situation, are you sure you even know Pandante's situational choices before getting married, BlackRose?


Lucinda


P.S. Pandante, still amused? :unsure:

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Philip027
Care to explain why?

I just would not care to be involved with someone in that way if they were not interested in the entire "package" I have to offer, my sexuality (or lack thereof) included. The mere fact that they're looking outside the relationship for something like that is an indication to me that they are dissatisfied with the arrangement we have, and it just would not sit well with me.

I know not everyone is like me, but I think it's folly to assume that someone "wouldn't care" about something like this just because they're asexual.

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Pandante

It was absolutely miserable.

It did get easier after the first four months or so, at least on the day-to-day basis. And, trying to evaluate myself objectively, I suspect my "success" (in a warped sense of that word!) was largely due to me apparently being born with a higher-than-average capacity for exercising self-control and self-discipline across all areas of my life.

I think we're quite similar! :) I also have a fairly high capacity for exercising self-control, and that is why I am highly disappointed in myself for not being able to control my sexual thoughts for most of the day.

As others have said, masturbating once or twice a week is low. I'm more of a once or twice a day kind of person.

For me, orgasm through sex vs. Through masturbation is sufficiently different that I can quite happily have sex 3 times in a week, without masturbating on additional days. No sex leads to the once or twice a day situation.

My sex drive is just as natural as her lack of it, so personally I don't believe in turning myself off. I'm curious as to why you feel porn and masturbation is a bad thing?

I feel like masturbating every day, but I can't find the privacy to do so on most days, which is why it ends up being just once or twice a week. What is frustrating me, though, is that i am relentlessly fantasizing with people i see around me, or just making people and situations up in my head, and i'm getting tired of it, especially since it's affecting my daily life and work. I can feel it being fuelled by the desire for physical intimacy inside me. Maybe, masturbating more often will ease my uncontrollable mind a bit.

Maybe it wouldn't be this bad if we at least kissed or hugged. We sometimes hug, but it's rare, and it's not of a very romantic type. In fact, I should have said, my wife is fairly aromantic, or gray-romantic, perhaps.

No, I don't think porn and masturbation are a bad thing. What i'm worried about is the possibly addictive nature of it, and that I am becoming more and more desirous yet at the same time desensitized to sex. My compulsive mental state worries me, even if I don't physically relieve my compulsions every time yet.

I know you were totally joking about the monastery bit, but there are meditation and mental focus exercises used by monks and other people who choose celibacy that some people find helpful in dealing with prolonged periods of no sex. Doesn't require being religious to use the exercises.

Why an ace woman was looking up male ejaculation? AVEN conversations get you researching in the most unusual places (a previous conversation about semen retention made me interested enough to do some digging). :lol:

I was only half joking with the monastery :) I think I should look into meditation again. I also came across these tantric methods, but i couldn't get to the the bottom of it, and left it. It's good to research stuff, though, all the way back to the original studies, which are often not as rigorous as claimed. Conventional wisdom is commonly false or inaccurate.

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Serran

I don't want to contribute to throwing this thread off topic, since Pan needs advice, not us to argue. So I will just say this and leave it be. But, beyond the fact that asexuals are certainly allowed to be monogamous - it doesn't mean the sexual has to agree - but I would hope their partner would at least inform them if they were going to take a sexual partner so their asexual partner could then decide if that is something they wanted to remain in the the relationship with. Otherwise, you are not only lying to your partner, but also putting their health at risk. Many diseases can be had from sex and it's only fair to let someone know if they are being exposed to that risk.

For example: My partner refuses to use condoms and finds them painful. Under no circumstances would he use a condom. So, if he were to have sex outside our relationship, he would be at high risk for HIV, herpes, etc. I handle his blood casually, so even without sex, I could contract something from him. Add to that what if the asexual partner decides to have sex because they think it's been too long and they know their partner wants it, but their partner has already gotten herpes or something? Now the ace has an incurable disease. Everyone is in control of their own sexuality, life, happiness and health - but no one has a right to make decisions on them for someone else. If the sexual isn't happy, they can leave the relationship. If the asexual isn't happy, they can leave the relationship. But, the least someone can do is inform their partner when they decide to change the agreement for the relationship so everyone can make an informed decision on to stay or leave, even if they don't want to ask permission to change something.


I know you were totally joking about the monastery bit, but there are meditation and mental focus exercises used by monks and other people who choose celibacy that some people find helpful in dealing with prolonged periods of no sex. Doesn't require being religious to use the exercises.

Why an ace woman was looking up male ejaculation? AVEN conversations get you researching in the most unusual places (a previous conversation about semen retention made me interested enough to do some digging). :lol:

I was only half joking with the monastery :) I think I should look into meditation again. I also came across these tantric methods, but i couldn't get to the the bottom of it, and left it. It's good to research stuff, though, all the way back to the original studies, which are often not as rigorous as claimed. Conventional wisdom is commonly false or inaccurate.

*nods* I didn't research the origins of the ideas, just the currently practiced theories. I wasn't THAT interested in it from the conversation I saw. But, I know people have used such methods to handle celibacy before, so figured I would mention it as a possible option. :) I'm not much help sadly on handling a libido, since I don't have one. So, I will leave any other advice to Skull/LG/joe.

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joesantus

Ok, true enough, they are changing the structure first. You're totally correct about that. Still, if you're sexual, your asexual partner doesn't want sex and won't "allow" you to go outside the marriage, and that's the one thing you want to do, it makes the most sense to divorce. Otherwise you're lying to keep a shitty relationship.

Agreed.

Only other slim possibility might be for the Sexual partner, after the other partner has disapproved extra-relational sexual partners, to take a risk and openly declare an intention to pursue extra-relational sex anyway, as in, " We agree our relationship is otherwise what we both want. I realize you want me to remain faithful despite our sexlessness; nonetheless, I am going to go to other people to try and satisfy my sexual needs," and see what happens to the relationship.

In my experiences and observations, the "threat" is sometimes far worse than the actual "event" -- reality doesn't turn out to be anywhere near as "awful" as imagined or expected. The non-sexual partner may (MAY) discover that it's not so bad after all when the Sexual partner has extra-relational sex-mates, and decide that the relationship can in fact manage quite well with it.

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BlackRose

Ok, true enough, they are changing the structure first. You're totally correct about that. Still, if you're sexual, your asexual partner doesn't want sex and won't "allow" you to go outside the marriage, and that's the one thing you want to do, it makes the most sense to divorce. Otherwise you're lying to keep a shitty relationship.

I agree that it makes the most sense to divorce in that situation. In a lot of these stories where the sexual partner is repeatedly posting about how painful it is and how their partner doesn't understand or emphathize or compromise and how they're suffering "but it's otherwise the perfect relationship", sometimes I just want to forcibly divorce them ;)

To be clear, I wasn't advocating lying. If people are going to have sex outside of the marriage, they should tell their partner. Like joesantos said. That way you're not being dishonest or doing anything ethically wrong. I don't believe it's unethical to "cheat" if your partner doesn't have sex with you, especially if you tell them about it.

But if we are talking about a situation, are you sure you even know Pandante's situational choices before getting married, BlackRose?
Lucinda
P.S. Pandante, still amused? :unsure:

I don't know Pandante at all, but it sounds like you might know something I don't. What do you mean about Pandante's "situational choices"? Was this a shotgun wedding or something?

Care to explain why?

I just would not care to be involved with someone in that way if they were not interested in the entire "package" I have to offer, my sexuality (or lack thereof) included. The mere fact that they're looking outside the relationship for something like that is an indication to me that they are dissatisfied with the arrangement we have, and it just would not sit well with me.

I know not everyone is like me, but I think it's folly to assume that someone "wouldn't care" about something like this just because they're asexual.

But you'd be ok with them having other friends, right? If they liked to play poker and you didn't, would it bother you if they looked outside the relationship to find poker buddies?

If you were in that situation, wouldn't it seem unfair to you that your partner would need sex and couldn't get it anywhere?

Clearly, in the situations we're talking about, they *are* dissatisfied with the relationship. So would you just get a divorce in that situation? Say you got married to a sexual and only later realized the problem?

I would hope their partner would at least inform them if they were going to take a sexual partner so their asexual partner could then decide if that is something they wanted to remain in the the relationship with. Otherwise, you are not only lying to your partner, but also putting their health at risk. Many diseases can be had from sex and it's only fair to let someone know if they are being exposed to that risk.

For example: My partner refuses to use condoms and finds them painful. Under no circumstances would he use a condom. So, if he were to have sex outside our relationship, he would be at high risk for HIV, herpes, etc. I handle his blood casually, so even without sex, I could contract something from him. Add to that what if the asexual partner decides to have sex because they think it's been too long and they know their partner wants it, but their partner has already gotten herpes or something? Now the ace has an incurable disease. Everyone is in control of their own sexuality, life, happiness and health - but no one has a right to make decisions on them for someone else. If the sexual isn't happy, they can leave the relationship. If the asexual isn't happy, they can leave the relationship. But, the least someone can do is inform their partner when they decide to change the agreement for the relationship so everyone can make an informed decision on to stay or leave, even if they don't want to ask permission to change something.

Agreed, but most people don't handle their partner's blood, and if we're talking about someone very sex-repulsed, they probably would never decide to have sex because it's been too long. So in that case, I don't really think there's any disease risk to speak of. But yes, better to be honest about what you're doing and allow whoever isn't happy to leave.

Really, I don't understand why more people don't leave these relationships where they are clearly miserable and not getting their needs met.

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Mysticus Insanus

Really, I don't understand why more people don't leave these relationships where they are clearly miserable and not getting their needs met.

I'd put my bet on the (toxic) romantic myth that any relationship that doesn't last "till death doth ye part" is an embarrassing personal failure, and "true love" MUST be forever.

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Pandante

I'm imagining the following conversation:

Sexual Partner: Hey, so sex is really really important to me. It's so important that the lack of it is causing serious problems in our relationship and affecting my mental health. I'm miserable and I need some help.

Asexual Partner: I'm sex-repulsed, so I can't help you there.

Sexual Partner: I understand that, so what I was planning on doing was finding another partner. Since it's so important to me, and it's not something that you can help me with, that seems like the best solution here.

Asexual Partner: Sorry, even though I'm not interested in sex, and even though I know it's really important to you and you're suffering, I'm not ok with that.

That just does not seem reasonable or fair to me. The sexual partner clearly has the "moral high ground here." You don't get to control someone else's sexuality. If you're not comfortable having sex or doing anything else with a partner, that's your right, but you then can't reasonably request that they shut that part of themselves out. I would consider that controlling and abusive.

I understand your logic, but I think the conversation is incomplete. The Asexual Partner would continue reasoning as to why it's not ok for them: "I would feel jealous and worried that you might like the other person more than me. I'd feel neglected that you wouldn't spend time with me. It would remind me of how uncomplete i am for you." In short, the Partner would feel hurt, and I don't want to hurt my wife.

It may not be fair or reasonable, and that thought-process runs through my mind sometimes. But fairness is a subjective scale, and in the end, the deciding factor is that I don't want to hurt my partner any more than she wants to hurt me.

I also understand the worry about controlling and abusive. I wouldn't go that far, but I do feel quite powerless, of course. Like someone put it on another thread, "I have no bargaining chips". The level of compromise is ultimately set by the asexual partner, and the default is often no sex. But I don't feel controlled or abused. And my wife is not intent on abusing or controlling me. I know this because she does sympathize with my situation. I also knew what I was getting into as I married her knowing that she was asexual.

A couple points. First, the whole idea of "sex addiction" is not really legitimate. It's not an accepted or recognized addiction or disorder. And second, having a high drive for sex wouldn't make you an "addict." There is nothing wrong with having a high sex drive, or a low sex drive.

I think there is no consensus on whether to treat hypersexual behaviour as an addiction, but studies seem to be indicating that it is similar. (The publication list of an expert in the field, and an article in the Independent). But you're right, just having a high sex-drive doesn't make you an addict, and there's nothing wrong with that.

But my feeling that i'm veering towards addicition comes from the incessant thinking of sex, and wanting to experience sexual intimacy with everyone I see, and fantasizing all day long. I don't want it to be the first thing I think of every time I see a women. I usually have strong self-control, but I don't seem to be able to cope with this at all, because the mental images are being fuelled by corporal desire.

There is no craigslist in Japan,

http://geo.craigslist.org/iso/jp

Thanks!! There's even a Casual Encounters section! :)

But if we are talking about a situation, are you sure you even know Pandante's situational choices before getting married, BlackRose?
Lucinda
P.S. Pandante, still amused? :unsure:

Yup, so i got married knowing my wife was asexual. I believed I can handle myself, and I still believe I can. With the help of you all!

No worries, still amused :)

I hate to do it, but I will for the purposes of this discussion. If one person loses their ability to have sex due to an accident...the fidelity of the partners is either still honored or not, but either way, it's not wrong for the injured person to want their partner to adjust and remain faithful (anymore than it would be for them to say go ahead and seek sexual solace elsewhere).

I don't like using this comparison either, but it's very effective in viewing the problem from (what I believe to be) the right prespective.

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Notte stellata

In a lot of these stories where the sexual partner is repeatedly posting about how painful it is and how their partner doesn't understand or emphathize or compromise and how they're suffering "but it's otherwise the perfect relationship", sometimes I just want to forcibly divorce them ;)

OMG I feel the same. Especially in the cases where the asexual partner not only can't compromise, but also refuses to talk about the sex issue, ignores the sexual disparity, and fails to see the sexual partner's suffering. The "but it's otherwise the perfect relationship" line somehow just doesn't compute for me. If their asexual partner is as loving and caring as they said, how can they (the asexual partner) be totally blind or nonchalant to one of their partner's most important needs?

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Pandante

In my experiences and observations, the "threat" is sometimes far worse than the actual "event" -- reality doesn't turn out to be anywhere near as "awful" as imagined or expected. The non-sexual partner may (MAY) discover that it's not so bad after all when the Sexual partner has extra-relational sex-mates, and decide that the relationship can in fact manage quite well with it.

So often, it's the people outside the box who end up knowing more about the box than the majority do who are in it!

You are really full of philosophical wisdom! Impressive!

I agree that it makes the most sense to divorce in that situation. In a lot of these stories where the sexual partner is repeatedly posting about how painful it is and how their partner doesn't understand or emphathize or compromise and how they're suffering "but it's otherwise the perfect relationship", sometimes I just want to forcibly divorce them ;)

To be clear, I wasn't advocating lying. If people are going to have sex outside of the marriage, they should tell their partner. Like joesantos said. That way you're not being dishonest or doing anything ethically wrong. I don't believe it's unethical to "cheat" if your partner doesn't have sex with you, especially if you tell them about it.

Yes, your statement is that asexuals shouldn't really have an issue with their sexual partners seeking sex elsewhere. At least, there is no logical reason why they should. And the way you put it, I guess there isn't, except that feelings aren't altogether logical, and i want to respect my wife's feelings. My compulsive thinking about sex isn't logical either. I just want to get rid of it.

The reason I don't want to divorce is because, rationally, I don't think my high sex drive is reason enough to divorce, at least no yet. If it keeps getting stronger and the feeling of addiction becomes unbearable over, say, the next two years, then I will consider divorce. But for the moment, I would like to seek alternative solutions, especially any that can keep my mental desire for sex in check. I don't wan't to give up just yet.

Really, I don't understand why more people don't leave these relationships where they are clearly miserable and not getting their needs met.

I'd put my bet on the (toxic) romantic myth that any relationship that doesn't last "till death doth ye part" is an embarrassing personal failure, and "true love" MUST be forever.

I admit, there is that :)

OMG I feel the same. Especially in the cases where the asexual partner not only can't compromise, but also refuses to talk about the sex issue, ignores the sexual disparity, and fails to see the sexual partner's suffering. The "but it's otherwise the perfect relationship" line somehow just doesn't compute for me. If their asexual partner is as loving and caring as they said, how can they (the asexual partner) be totally blind or nonchalant to one of their partner's most important needs?

I agree, in this case it makes no sense. But in my case, my wife does acknowledge the sexual incompatibility and the struggle i'm going through, and she's not blind to my needs. There's just very little she can do about it. We have our conversations on our sexual incompatibility, and we reach the conclusion that there's not much we can do about it. I usually finish with, "i'll be fine, i can handle it", and life goes on. So it's quite easy for her to forget about this issue, because her body is not reminding her about it, whereas mine is reminding me all the time --;

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Philip027
But you'd be ok with them having other friends, right? If they liked to play poker and you didn't, would it bother you if they looked outside the relationship to find poker buddies?

Wouldn't bother me, nope

If you were in that situation, wouldn't it seem unfair to you that your partner would need sex and couldn't get it anywhere?

Clearly, in the situations we're talking about, they *are* dissatisfied with the relationship. So would you just get a divorce in that situation? Say you got married to a sexual and only later realized the problem?

I don't really view poker in the same way as sex, so I can't really see them similarly in this sense either.

I don't at all equate mismatching interests in poker with dissatisfaction with a relationship. Sex, though? You bet it can be.

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BlackRose

I understand your logic, but I think the conversation is incomplete. The Asexual Partner would continue reasoning as to why it's not ok for them: "I would feel jealous and worried that you might like the other person more than me. I'd feel neglected that you wouldn't spend time with me. It would remind me of how uncomplete i am for you." In short, the Partner would feel hurt, and I don't want to hurt my wife.

I also understand the worry about controlling and abusive. I wouldn't go that far, but I do feel quite powerless, of course. Like someone put it on another thread, "I have no bargaining chips". The level of compromise is ultimately set by the asexual partner, and the default is often no sex. But I don't feel controlled or abused. And my wife is not intent on abusing or controlling me. I know this because she does sympathize with my situation. I also knew what I was getting into as I married her knowing that she was asexual.

I hate to do it, but I will for the purposes of this discussion. If one person loses their ability to have sex due to an accident...the fidelity of the partners is either still honored or not, but either way, it's not wrong for the injured person to want their partner to adjust and remain faithful (anymore than it would be for them to say go ahead and seek sexual solace elsewhere).

I don't like using this comparison either, but it's very effective in viewing the problem from (what I believe to be) the right prespective.

Ok, a few points: in response to the "jealous/neglected/incomplete" response, I would reply:

"Yes, I understand that you might feel jealous or neglected. And I don't want you to feel that way, so I will make sure to spend special time with you and reassure you that you are important to me. But we can't ignore the issue here. The truth is that you aren't able to satisfy me in an important way. That's a fact that we can't change. And without sex, I'm not sure the relationship can continue. So although it may be painful for you, this is something I need to do, for me and for the relationship, and I will do what I can to help with your pain, but remember I'm in a lot of pain without sex as well."

Regarding what you said about compromise: it is fundamentally unfair for the asexual partner to set the level. It needs to be a compromise. It's just not fair for you to feel powerless or have no bargaining chips.

Can I ask: did you realize the full extent of what you were getting into when you got married? Did you realize how hard it would be and how painful? Why did you decide to marry someone if you knew you wouldn't have a satisfying sex life?

This may be controversial... but if a partner gets injured and can't have sex, I *do* think it would be wrong for them to want their partner to remain faithful. I don't think that's fair to their partner at all.

In a lot of these stories where the sexual partner is repeatedly posting about how painful it is and how their partner doesn't understand or emphathize or compromise and how they're suffering "but it's otherwise the perfect relationship", sometimes I just want to forcibly divorce them ;)

OMG I feel the same. Especially in the cases where the asexual partner not only can't compromise, but also refuses to talk about the sex issue, ignores the sexual disparity, and fails to see the sexual partner's suffering. The "but it's otherwise the perfect relationship" line somehow just doesn't compute for me. If their asexual partner is as loving and caring as they said, how can they (the asexual partner) be totally blind or nonchalant to one of their partner's most important needs?

I'm glad someone else feels like that! It really reminds me of an abusive relationship, where someone's partner continues to hit them or something and they just stay and say it's otherwise good.

Yes, your statement is that asexuals shouldn't really have an issue with their sexual partners seeking sex elsewhere. At least, there is no logical reason why they should. And the way you put it, I guess there isn't, except that feelings aren't altogether logical, and i want to respect my wife's feelings. My compulsive thinking about sex isn't logical either. I just want to get rid of it.

The reason I don't want to divorce is because, rationally, I don't think my high sex drive is reason enough to divorce, at least no yet. If it keeps getting stronger and the feeling of addiction becomes unbearable over, say, the next two years, then I will consider divorce. But for the moment, I would like to seek alternative solutions, especially any that can keep my mental desire for sex in check. I don't wan't to give up just yet.

Speaking of philosophical wisdom, there's a quote from Hume I like: "Reason should serve the passions."

In other words, logic can't be used to determine what you want. Logic can help you get what you want, but what you want and feel and care about isn't for you to choose and it isn't something that can be logically computed. You have to start with the brute fact that you are an animal with certain needs and desires, and then from there use reason. Same goes with her jealousy: while there are techniques for reducing jealousy, the fact is that it's there and has to be dealt with on its own terms. But that does not mean you have to go along with it: in other words, her jealousy shouldn't be allowed to veto your choices. Otherwise, you're just encouraging it.

I'm glad you will consider divorce in a couple years. I am willing to bet that your relationship won't last, considering the suffering you're in, and you haven't left yourself any alternative.

Why isn't your high sex drive reason for divorce? You're unhappy.

If you really want to reduce your sex drive, take SSRIs, don't exercise, don't masturbate, and don't think about sex. Sex is a "use it or lose it" thing... the more you encourage it, the stronger your sex drive gets.

OMG I feel the same. Especially in the cases where the asexual partner not only can't compromise, but also refuses to talk about the sex issue, ignores the sexual disparity, and fails to see the sexual partner's suffering. The "but it's otherwise the perfect relationship" line somehow just doesn't compute for me. If their asexual partner is as loving and caring as they said, how can they (the asexual partner) be totally blind or nonchalant to one of their partner's most important needs?

I agree, in this case it makes no sense. But in my case, my wife does acknowledge the sexual incompatibility and the struggle i'm going through, and she's not blind to my needs. There's just very little she can do about it. We have our conversations on our sexual incompatibility, and we reach the conclusion that there's not much we can do about it. I usually finish with, "i'll be fine, i can handle it", and life goes on. So it's quite easy for her to forget about this issue, because her body is not reminding her about it, whereas mine is reminding me all the time --;

Yeah, that's why I think it's imbalanced and unfair.

There is something that you can do about it... explore the possibility of you seeing other people.

Also, can you look at her naked and masturbate or something? Is there any form of sexual activity that works?

But you'd be ok with them having other friends, right? If they liked to play poker and you didn't, would it bother you if they looked outside the relationship to find poker buddies?

Wouldn't bother me, nope

If you were in that situation, wouldn't it seem unfair to you that your partner would need sex and couldn't get it anywhere?

Clearly, in the situations we're talking about, they *are* dissatisfied with the relationship. So would you just get a divorce in that situation? Say you got married to a sexual and only later realized the problem?

I don't really view poker in the same way as sex, so I can't really see them similarly in this sense either.

I don't at all equate mismatching interests in poker with dissatisfaction with a relationship. Sex, though? You bet it can be.

How do you view sex?

Wouldn't the dissatisfaction be there whether or not your partner had sex with other people? Your partner would still be dissatisfied, it would just be easier to ignore for you (but not for your partner!) That doesn't seem fair.

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Lady Girl

The funny thing is, life isn't fair.

I had a therapist tell me 23 years ago that she thought I would eventually divorce. I told my husband a couple years later that I was going to be seeing someone else for my sexual needs. I knew it wasn't what he wanted and I did it anyway. I wasn't remotely satisfied. Five years later, we separated and lived apart for two years (but only separated by dwelling). I felt more free that time to see someone else and did. Again, I was not remotely satisfied...it lasted three months and I was back in my husband's arms. We gave the living apart thing more time anyway, as I said.

I agree with Sally and Mysticus...my sexual needs are on me. Obviously, I've had no qualms about leaving and seeking sex elsewhere. Ultimately, he's the one I want to be with. I still feel bad sometimes, for sure. Does he have empathy? Yes, he does and at his age he's not even remotely oblivious to sexual people's feelings.

Now we are at 27 years married. I agree that complaining endlessly is pointless, but I also think there is a deep feeling missing in some of the above statements.

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Serran

Blackrose - Aha! If you mean for a person to say something like "I need sex, I understand you cannot give it and I will respect that. But, I can't handle going without, so I am going to find someone else. I still love you, I want to still be with you, but this is something I need to do for me." Yes I agree that is fine. By saying "it's none of the asexual partners business" it sounded more like it's not something we should even be included in or need to know.

As for not handling other peoples blood, most people I know will help their partners or loved ones out with things - bandaging a cut, medication, etc. My cousin gives his wife B12 shots since they have to go into her lower back area and she can't reach it. My mom and Aunt help my grandmother with her diabetes shots. Both cases needles are in the garbage, so if someone takes out the trash and a cap hasn't been pushed back on properly, you can be pricked with the needles. All of which, if someone is HIV positive or anything else that can be spread like that, is a risk. Also, there are other things you can get which can be spread via kissing and such, which a lot of aces like to kiss. So, the risks are there in a lot of common situations.

As for why people stay when they are obviously very unhappy, are even in therapy for depression in some cases ... I have no idea either. I always tell sexual people on here that they shouldn't feel guilty if they feel they have to break up to be happy. But, I am not them to know why they feel the relationship is good enough to stay with it even if it is hurting their health that badly. Maybe most days they feel fine and just come here when they are at their lowest so it looks worse to us than it is ?

For logic - I guess logically there is no reason why a person into BDSM shouldn't be allowed to seek a BDSM sex partner out if their wife didn't want to do BDSM in their sex lives either. But, monogamous people still don't want their husbands going off and finding a dominatrix type woman to live out those sexual fantasies (yes, I know BDSM doesn't have to be sexual, but I am using the sexual kind in this hypothetical). There are a lot sexual mismatches in sexual-sexual relationships as well as asexual-sexual, but monogamous people simply are monogamous. No matter how compatible they are with their partners.

For me, I wouldn't want my partner seeking sex elsewhere because 1) The health risks 2) Pregnancy risks 3) I cannot develop feelings for more than one person, so I would be bored/lonely with just one partner if he had 2-3 (my friend circles are very small and I like it that way, but with how high his sex drive is he'd be spending a TON of time away from home for that then add in work and time with other people for hobbies, leaves little time for me). 4) If my partner develops interest in someone else, I begin to be a little repulsed by sensual/sexual activities with them. I am not entirely sure why, but it just makes my skin crawl to think of having sex with someone who has been with another person recently (and he sees no point in a sexless romantic relationship, so I would need to have sex sometimes with him anyways). When I add all that up against what I get from a relationship, I would rather be single than be in a poly relationship. If I were capable of having multiple partners myself, I might feel differently, but so far my feelings disappear for one person when they develop for another. It's just how I am wired, I guess.

My partner and I have a compromise in place currently. Mondays he gets oral twice, Tuesdays I get free, Wednesdays he gets oral twice, Thursdays I get free, Fridays he gets sex/oral, Sat/Sun I get free. When/if that becomes too much for me, there is an agreement that the relationship will basically dissolve. I am not upset with him over it. It's like my ex and I broke up because I didn't like going to clubs and he had to date someone who did. Gotta go with whoever makes you happy.

And.... I know I said I would leave it. I am so bad at not responding to things though. Bad me.

Pan - Watching my boyfriend when he goes even two days without sex, I can't even imagine how tough it is for you. So, even if you are unable to find a solution, you are a strong person for even trying. :) And you must love her very much.

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Pandante

Regarding what you said about compromise: it is fundamentally unfair for the asexual partner to set the level. It needs to be a compromise. It's just not fair for you to feel powerless or have no bargaining chips.

Yup, I don't think it's fair, but, as Lady Girl says life is not fair, and the degree of fairness always depends on the breadth of all factors that you choose to average over. The compromise may not involve sex, but can involve other pleasures in life. And my wife and I are spending a lot of pleasant time together, it just doesn't involve touch.

Can I ask: did you realize the full extent of what you were getting into when you got married? Did you realize how hard it would be and how painful? Why did you decide to marry someone if you knew you wouldn't have a satisfying sex life?

It's not always possible to realise the full extent of what one is getting oneself into, but I was pretty much aware, because we had been going out for almost seven years of which the last two were completely sex-less and the three years before that were almost sex-less. I married her because, even after so long together, we deeply love each other.

I'm glad you will consider divorce in a couple years. I am willing to bet that your relationship won't last, considering the suffering you're in, and you haven't left yourself any alternative.

Why isn't your high sex drive reason for divorce? You're unhappy.

Maybe... but i'm hoping life is unpredictable! :)

No, on the whole i'm happy. I just have this terribly distracting itch, to put it mildly. And i'm hoping to be able to manage it with good advice like:

If you really want to reduce your sex drive, take SSRIs, don't exercise, don't masturbate, and don't think about sex. Sex is a "use it or lose it" thing... the more you encourage it, the stronger your sex drive gets.

Also, can you look at her naked and masturbate or something? Is there any form of sexual activity that works?

There is, unfortunately, no form of sexual activity that works. We're working on increasing the frequency of hugs, at the moment. So, yeah, nowhere near anything sexual --;

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Skullery Maid

Really, I don't understand why more people don't leave these relationships where they are clearly miserable and not getting their needs met.

I'd put my bet on the (toxic) romantic myth that any relationship that doesn't last "till death doth ye part" is an embarrassing personal failure, and "true love" MUST be forever.

Yes, but that's not the only piece of the puzzle.

There's the concern that we'd be less compatible with new people.

I think my partner and I have an amazing relationship. When my friends ask me why I stay, I always say that in terms of compatibility, we're at like 90%, and that's amazing. When people find out about the sex issue, they are usually shocked because we "seem like the perfect couple."

So, it sucks that our major area of incompatibility is sex, but ya know, if it were finances, I'd be on a support board saying "it sucks that our major incompatibility is financial."

It's going to be something, because there is no perfect compatibility, and I feel OK about accepting this.

If I'm being totally honest, there are sexuals on here that I... I feel like, dude, if you're miserable, leave!! Don't stay because some of us other sexuals are staying, because there's a big difference... I'm not miserable! I'm quite happy in my relationship. I just booked a vacation for our anniversary, I have my eye on an electric tea kettle she wants... I'm happy and that's why I don't leave.

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Pandante

As for why people stay when they are obviously very unhappy, are even in therapy for depression in some cases ... I have no idea either. I always tell sexual people on here that they shouldn't feel guilty if they feel they have to break up to be happy. But, I am not them to know why they feel the relationship is good enough to stay with it even if it is hurting their health that badly. Maybe most days they feel fine and just come here when they are at their lowest so it looks worse to us than it is ?

Yes, i'm in quite a low state at the moment >< I've had better months. I should be on AVEN more regularly, that might help too.

Pan - Watching my boyfriend when he goes even two days without sex, I can't even imagine how tough it is for you. So, even if you are unable to find a solution, you are a strong person for even trying. :) And you must love her very much.

Thank you, you're very kind. I do love her a lot. And i won't give up easily.

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Philip027
How do you view sex?

Wouldn't the dissatisfaction be there whether or not your partner had sex with other people? Your partner would still be dissatisfied, it would just be easier to ignore for you (but not for your partner!) That doesn't seem fair.

Something that's a lot more personal than more casual pasttime preferences like poker, that's for sure...

And you're right, it wouldn't be fair. That's kinda why I have no intention of becoming involved with someone who would expect sex.

Still though, the only point I really came here to argue against is the implication that asexuals wouldn't care about something like this.

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Serran

If you really want to reduce your sex drive, take SSRIs, don't exercise, don't masturbate, and don't think about sex. Sex is a "use it or lose it" thing... the more you encourage it, the stronger your sex drive gets.

Also, can you look at her naked and masturbate or something? Is there any form of sexual activity that works?

There is, unfortunately, no form of sexual activity that works. We're working on increasing the frequency of hugs, at the moment. So, yeah, nowhere near anything sexual --;

How is she doing with the increase in hugs? My cousin had to start there as well, even though he is sexual, since he is touch averse. Starting slow worked really well for him and saved a 10 year marriage.

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BlackRose

For logic - I guess logically there is no reason why a person into BDSM shouldn't be allowed to seek a BDSM sex partner out if their wife didn't want to do BDSM in their sex lives either. But, monogamous people still don't want their husbands going off and finding a dominatrix type woman to live out those sexual fantasies (yes, I know BDSM doesn't have to be sexual, but I am using the sexual kind in this hypothetical). There are a lot sexual mismatches in sexual-sexual relationships as well as asexual-sexual, but monogamous people simply are monogamous. No matter how compatible they are with their partners.

For me, I wouldn't want my partner seeking sex elsewhere because 1) The health risks 2) Pregnancy risks 3) I cannot develop feelings for more than one person, so I would be bored/lonely with just one partner if he had 2-3 (my friend circles are very small and I like it that way, but with how high his sex drive is he'd be spending a TON of time away from home for that then add in work and time with other people for hobbies, leaves little time for me). 4) If my partner develops interest in someone else, I begin to be a little repulsed by sensual/sexual activities with them. I am not entirely sure why, but it just makes my skin crawl to think of having sex with someone who has been with another person recently (and he sees no point in a sexless romantic relationship, so I would need to have sex sometimes with him anyways). When I add all that up against what I get from a relationship, I would rather be single than be in a poly relationship. If I were capable of having multiple partners myself, I might feel differently, but so far my feelings disappear for one person when they develop for another. It's just how I am wired, I guess.

My partner and I have a compromise in place currently. Mondays he gets oral twice, Tuesdays I get free, Wednesdays he gets oral twice, Thursdays I get free, Fridays he gets sex/oral, Sat/Sun I get free. When/if that becomes too much for me, there is an agreement that the relationship will basically dissolve. I am not upset with him over it. It's like my ex and I broke up because I didn't like going to clubs and he had to date someone who did. Gotta go with whoever makes you happy.

Yeah, I feel the same way about other types of sexual incompatibility, like with kink. It's one of the big problems with monogamy, and one of the reasons it doesn't make sense to me.

I understand that's just how you're wired. Your situation is different from a lot of the ones I see, because 1) you have a reasonable compromise that involves some sex so no one is too miserable 2) you understand that things might end due to incompatibility and that's ok with you 3) you're capable of talking about it and being reasonable. A lot of the time it's like "no sex, no compromise, no talking, no divorce."

There's the concern that we'd be less compatible with new people.

I think my partner and I have an amazing relationship. When my friends ask me why I stay, I always say that in terms of compatibility, we're at like 90%, and that's amazing. When people find out about the sex issue, they are usually shocked because we "seem like the perfect couple."

So, it sucks that our major area of incompatibility is sex, but ya know, if it were finances, I'd be on a support board saying "it sucks that our major incompatibility is financial."

Wow... for me, sex is so important that I couldn't be 90% compatible with someone without regular sex. Sex is a lot more than 10% for me.

So I guess one key to a good mixed relationship is sex not being very important to the sexual partner.

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Skullery Maid

If you say so. I feel like you just made a whole heap of assumptions about me, but whatevs.

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BlackRose

I assumed that if you're 90% compatible with someone when there's no sex, then sex isn't a huge part of compatibility for you... is that not right?

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Notte stellata

A lot of the time it's like "no sex, no compromise, no talking, no divorce."

Yeah, that's the kind of relationships I can't understand. I'm not sexual, but from some posts by sexual partners here, it seems that it would be a big comfort even if the asexual partner just sympathizes with the sexual's pain and talks about the sex problem. But when there's even no communication, I fail to see how it can be a healthy relationship.

So I guess one key to a good mixed relationship is sex not being very important to the sexual partner.

Yeah, that's one possibility. Or the asexual partner is fine with regular sex. Or both are okay with an open/poly relationship. Some mixed relationships work even if none of these conditions is met, but I think having at least one of them does make a mixed relationship easier.

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