Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Pandante

Becoming sex-addicted while in a mixed relationship

Recommended Posts

skullery

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.

It's getting late which means at this point I've had like 25 cups of coffee, so any attempt at eloquence will fail. For now I'm just going to say that something can be very important to you and you can be ok doing without. They aren't mutually exclusive. Off the cuff I can think of a million examples, like hunger strikes.

Also, I'm not in a sexless relationship. I think that's been assumed but that's not the case. We've had sex like 4-5 times this year (depending on your definition of sex).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BlackRose

Not quite sure I get it -- I'd think of a hunger strike as the equivalent of being 0% compatible, but the cause you're striking for is more important than compatibility -- but I'm glad you're ok. :)

I guess I should have said 'necessary' or 'essential' instead of important... like for me sex is necessary and essential in a relationship and I'd be 0% compatible with an almost-sexless relationship.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
skullery

Not quite sure I get it -- I'd think of a hunger strike as the equivalent of being 0% compatible, but the cause you're striking for is more important than compatibility

My point is, forget the numbers, because its making you think in zero sum terms. I said we're 90% compatible, which was of course simply a metaphor for "extremely compatible", but then for some reason you decided that meant that sex was only 10% important to me. But compatibility, and strength of sexual desire, and strength of love and commitment... these things don't have assigned values that must all equal out to zero.

It's a fallacy of human thought that when good goes up, bad goes down. You assume that the more important sex is to you, the more unhappy you'd be without sex. It sounds logical, even.

It's still a fallacy, though. The decrease of one element doesn't necessarily require the increase of another.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BlackRose

Maybe "important" is not the right word... for me, sex takes up a large part of my time and attention, so much so that it's not possible for me to be extremely compatible without lots of good sex. No matter how much other good stuff you add in. It sounds like it's not the same way for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
skullery

Maybe "important" is not the right word... for me, sex takes up a large part of my time and attention, so much so that it's not possible for me to be extremely compatible without lots of good sex. No matter how much other good stuff you add in. It sounds like it's not the same way for you.

No, it doesn't sound that way. that's the way you've decided it is, but you have no reason to have decided that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
skullery

Rose, what's your story? You're sexual, you've been a member on AVEN for 4 years, but you'be never been in a mixed relationship... what's your deal? It seems weirdly important to you to assert and affirm that sex isn't important to me, but sex is extremely important to me. I think a lot of the time, the sexuals who end up here have higher libidos and place a higher personal importance on sex than your average person. I just don't think that how important sex is to us is our defining trait. Ever think its possible that while you and I have the same sex drive, I have higher levels of empathy, which make it impossible for me to want to do something my partner doesn't want to do? Are you aware that when I came to AVEN, my then-gf and I were having sex twice a week, and that was so infrequent that I sought out help? Sure, since discovering asexuality our sexual frequency has dropped to once every 2-3 months, but it wasn't always like that. And maybe it's not just empathy. Maybe sex is actually more important to me than to you, but maybe love also is. Maybe I feel all my feelings stronger than you feel any of your feelings.

The point is, we don't know. Ideally you'd take me at my word that sex is very important. I masturbate at least once a day, I watch porn several times a week, I have friends that I hang out with who are also highly sexual... I watch a lot of shows about sex (BTW, the show Masters of Sex is great!).

You can put a piece of chocolate cake in front of two people, and watch as one of them eats it and the other doesn't. Based on your reasoning, you would claim that the person who ate the cake is also the person who likes chocolate cake more. However, that's not true. You have no idea how much each of them actually likes cake. All you know is that, at that moment, one person had more reasons to eat the cake than not eat the cake, and one person had more reasons not to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BlackRose

Sorry. I wasn't trying to speak for you or make any claims about what's important to you and I didn't mean to offend you. I clearly misunderstood you when you said you were 90% compatible and sex was the main area of incompatibility. I take you at your word that sex is important to you, and obviously I have no way of comparing my feelings and yours, other than to note that you are happy in a situation I believe I would not be happy in, for whatever reason.

Something about the way I'm asking you or trying to understand or clarify what you're saying seems to be bothering you, and I really didn't mean to make assumptions, so let me just ask you straight up, if you'd be willing, to tell me about your relationship, what's important to you and what's not, what your reasons are for staying, and what it feels like to be very compatible with someone whom you are sexually incompatible with even when sex is important to you. I'm curious and I'm not quite sure I understand.

I've seen ads for Masters of Sex but it looked kinda hokey and fake... I need to check it out!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
joesantus

Maybe "important" is not the right word... for me, sex takes up a large part of my time and attention, so much so that it's not possible for me to be extremely compatible without lots of good sex. No matter how much other good stuff you add in. It sounds like it's not the same way for you.

...and that, in a well-expressed self-revealed nutshell, is what seems to be The difference between what you define as a good relationship and what others here whom you disagree with define as good relationships.

I've been actively, deliberately observing and considering relationships and all-things-related for about the last 30 of my 57 years. Whether they're aware of them or not, people seem to hold one or more what I call "non-negotiables" by which they determine if a relationship is possible and/or worthwhile.

For examples... for one, a non-negotiable is a certain quantity and quality of sex; for another, non-negotiables are honesty, trust, communication, and respect; for yet another it's shared goals.

People also seem to have "negotiables". Their "negotiables" are not necessarily trivial relative to their non-negotiables; for example, the one for whom shared goals is non-negotiable may in fact have a strong need for frequent sex, and may wish for a relationship in which both their negotiable and their non-negotiable is satisfied. But, if their "negotiable" -- sex in this case -- isn't satisfied by a relationship in which their "non-negotiable" is, then, while they may experience frustration and disappointment, they're willing to tolerate the lack in order to have their more-important "non-negotiable".

As I mentioned, people are often unaware they even have "non-negotiables", nor know all of what theirs are. Sometimes it requires experience for them to understand theirs. So, when Sexuals encounter a sexual disparity issue such as Asexuality involves, they may not know right away whether sex is a negotiable or non-negotiable for them.

From what I've observed so far during my short time on AVEN, some Sexuals expressing frustration here definitely hold sex as a "non-negotiable" in the way you hold it; some hold sex as a "negotiable"; and some are, whether consciously or not, still deciding whether sex is a "negotiable" or "non-negotiable" for their relationships. Consequently, I try not to presume a poster's motive behind any expression of frustration -- assumptions can lead to erroneously insisting that what's helpful advice for one frustrated Sexual is equally helpful to another whose "non-negotiables" are different..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mysticus Insanus

@joesantus... that was the kind of post I wish I could "Like" multiple times. Spot on. :cake:

The only thing I'd add for clarification is that this "negotiables vs. non-negotiables" dynamic, and whether or not you're even consciously aware of them yourself, is pretty much exactly the same for asexuals, too. The specifics may be different, but the underlying principle is something all of us have in common, if we're looking for relationships at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
skullery

@joesantus... that was the kind of post I wish I could "Like" multiple times. Spot on. :cake:

The only thing I'd add for clarification is that this "negotiables vs. non-negotiables" dynamic, and whether or not you're even consciously aware of them yourself, is pretty much exactly the same for asexuals, too. The specifics may be different, but the underlying principle is something all of us have in common, if we're looking for relationships at all.

Eh, I disagree about non-negotiables. It's something we throw around a lot, but anyone with enough life experience will tell you that you have no idea how you'll actually feel if you find yourself in one. I'm sure many sexuals, including myself, said sex is non-negotiable... but then once you're in it, you realize that relationships are not so simple and straightforward as all that. However Rose conceives of a relationship with little sex is likely inaccurate, because all relationships are different. So, sure, whatever Rose is picturing in their head as a sexless relationship may look like a dealbreaker, but were Rose to find themselves in one, I wouldn't be at all surprised if it was actually quite different than they imagined.

I have very little tolerance for people telling me exactly how they'll feel in situations they've never found themselves. It's all meaningless, self-serving affirmations of how we like to see ourselves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pandante

Sex is certainly a negotiable for me, otherwise I wouldn't have married :). I have accepted a sexless life before getting married. I knew it was going to be tough - i'd been handling it reasonably well for three years before that. A non-negotiable for me is kindness, and caring. And hugging! A non-negotiable may, as Skullery Maid says, turn out not be non-negotiable until you're actually in that situation. Conversely, a person may also overestimate their capacity for negotiating on a negotiable. That's life, i guess, one learns about oneself.

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.

We're doing fairly well with the hugging! :) Although my wife doesn't like scheduling intimacy, she herself suddenly said, ok, let's do at least one hug a day. And i've been getting hugs regularly. My wife doesn't like to be touched, partly because she is quite aromantic, and partly because she has atopic eczema. But we're slooowly increasing the amount of touch! :cake:

To return to the reason for the original post in this thread is that I've been finding myself with an increasingly strengthening and uncontrollable mental desire for sex, which felt like an addiction. Thanks to responses so far, i've realised that it's more mental than physical. This is also consistent with the fact that I don't often get aroused while thinking of sex. It feels like I just want to have sex for the sake of having sex. That's why I don't feel motivated to masturbate, until my body catches up with my mind over the course of two or three days and I relieve my urge. So the rate of masturbation is not what i'm worried about, but my mental obsession with sex. And as mentioned, the mental desire for sex for the sake of sex comes, I think, from not having any, and may also fuelled by the (false) impression of easy-to-get sex that porn gives.

Maybe this is just temporary - I hope so. But i was wondering if anyone else had experienced this kind of obsession or fear of obsession.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Serran

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.

We're doing fairly well with the hugging! :) Although my wife doesn't like scheduling intimacy, she herself suddenly said, ok, let's do at least one hug a day. And i've been getting hugs regularly. My wife doesn't like to be touched, partly because she is quite aromantic, and partly because she has atopic eczema. But we're slooowly increasing the amount of touch! :cake:

I am glad she is able to do that. Perhaps over time, she may feel comfortable adding in some things a little more intimate than hugs (not sex, but maybe some other forms of physical intimacy) :) My cousin's touch aversion is based partly on a medical condition as well - it ended up in a temporary separation between them, but then he started doing what your wife is doing and they found a workable compromise over time. It's pretty awesome she can remember to do the hugs, I know for me, something I don't care about is often something I have to mentally wrestle with doing because it just totally slips my mind to do. It takes a lot more effort than one would think to keep that sort of thing in your head when you don't really like the activity you're doing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Heart

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.

I just wanted to pipe up a little here... I've been having a lot of troubles in my own relationship lately. Three years into it, and it's starting to fall apart. But that's beside the point.

One of the most painful things in my relationship, and perhaps a large part that is hard to overcome and making it fall apart, is the idea that "if only we did ____ more often, maybe it would be better?" And then, if we do, it only makes it worse.

I'm sex repulsed, I can't help it. And I just can't have sex as often as my partner needs it. We're technically in an open relationship, and he has my permission to sleep with others (under VERY strict rules, half of which he made up himself, so that we both still feel safe and comfortable about it). However, he simply has not done so. He just doesn't feel attraction to others when in a relationship with me. So I just wanted to throw that into the discussion about whether relationships can be opened or not; sometimes it's not just the asexual who is saying no. Some people simply ARE monogamous. While I do not understand it (any more than I understand sexuality as a whole, no matter how hard I try) I do understand that this is the case, and I do my best to not get frustrated at him when he is obviously frustrated and it feels like he is trapping me because he is incapable of looking elsewhere for that need to be met. I love him dearly, and it pains me to no end to see our relationship slowly fall apart and to not know what to do about it. This past month has been the most difficult month of my life. But I work hard to respect it.

Back to the doing more of ____... In my experience, and keep in mind that this is an ace talking and I hope never to pretend to be an authority on sexuals, it doesn't work as planned. This is purely observational, as I do not experience a libido or attraction myself so I cannot comment on the actual reasons or inner workings of it. But it always seems to be "Could we just kiss more often?" Kissing is something I can do and enjoy. But then he inevitably gets aroused. Kissing wasn't enough, it wasn't what he really wanted more of. It is obvious that this is what he thought when he asked it, I would never accuse him of lying, but somehow the truth changed. It was going to be enough, but something changed and then it wasn't.

I read that the hugging is slowly working out for you guys, and I'm SO HAPPY that it is. I really hope it keeps working out. I mean in no way to say that my experience is the only way it can possibly turn out. My real point is this: if you do find that hugging is not enough any more, I don't want you to fall into the trap of blaming yourself for that. It's natural. That doesn't mean you were manipulative, it just means you didn't know. No one knows how something will work out before it happens. My (ex?)boyfriend had a large problem with self-blame in instances like that. So if you ever find yourself blaming yourself for ANYTHING, please just make sure you come here and check it out before believing it. Sometimes, yes, maybe you are at fault a little and we'll remind you gently how you might proceed. But most likely, judging by your kind and accepting words, you are probably blaming yourself for something you can't control (thoughts of sex, for one) and that you are still an amazing person for it. Don't ever judge yourself for stuff like that. It's just you; it's neither goo nor bad, just you. It's how you deal with it that is more relevant, and you are dealing with it exceptionally well.

I'm sorry. This isn't as composed as my usual posts. Usually I try hard to compose my thoughts and clearly illustrate them, but as I said, this isn't the easiest time of my life, so you will have to forgive me. I guess there were two main points to this post: 1) the asexual partner isn't always the one for whom polyamory doesn't work, and polyamory doesn't always work for the asexual one and 2) be aware that while sometimes statements of "I feel like it would be better if only we did more of ____" can change easily to want more, even if you never had any intention of it or whatever. That doesn't mean it's a bad option.

I hope my half-awake ramblings help, even in the slightest.

:cake::cake::cake:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pandante

I am glad she is able to do that. Perhaps over time, she may feel comfortable adding in some things a little more intimate than hugs (not sex, but maybe some other forms of physical intimacy) :) My cousin's touch aversion is based partly on a medical condition as well - it ended up in a temporary separation between them, but then he started doing what your wife is doing and they found a workable compromise over time. It's pretty awesome she can remember to do the hugs, I know for me, something I don't care about is often something I have to mentally wrestle with doing because it just totally slips my mind to do. It takes a lot more effort than one would think to keep that sort of thing in your head when you don't really like the activity you're doing.

I can imagine it is quite tricky remembering all the time, even if it's just once a day. So yes, my wife often forgets, and I can't always find the right timing either to initiate a hug. The timing is important, because, if she's in any way irritated, a hug will make her more irritable. And I forget things she asks me to do on a daily basis, like making the bed. We just have to keep gently reminding each other, and then it becomes a habit, and a more pleasant one.

My big aim is to get to cuddling in bed or on the sofa, since it is essentially just indefinitely extended hugging.

Back to the doing more of ____... In my experience, and keep in mind that this is an ace talking and I hope never to pretend to be an authority on sexuals, it doesn't work as planned. This is purely observational, as I do not experience a libido or attraction myself so I cannot comment on the actual reasons or inner workings of it. But it always seems to be "Could we just kiss more often?" Kissing is something I can do and enjoy. But then he inevitably gets aroused. Kissing wasn't enough, it wasn't what he really wanted more of. It is obvious that this is what he thought when he asked it, I would never accuse him of lying, but somehow the truth changed. It was going to be enough, but something changed and then it wasn't.

Yes, more of ____ leading one to want more than ____. With kissing, I can imagine me falling into that trap. With hugging, i'm quite content after a long, warm, loving hug. Although, in the previous post, I just said that I wanted to extend that to cuddling. But cuddling, I think, would really do it for me!

I read that the hugging is slowly working out for you guys, and I'm SO HAPPY that it is. I really hope it keeps working out. I mean in no way to say that my experience is the only way it can possibly turn out. My real point is this: if you do find that hugging is not enough any more, I don't want you to fall into the trap of blaming yourself for that. It's natural. That doesn't mean you were manipulative, it just means you didn't know. No one knows how something will work out before it happens. My (ex?)boyfriend had a large problem with self-blame in instances like that. So if you ever find yourself blaming yourself for ANYTHING, please just make sure you come here and check it out before believing it. Sometimes, yes, maybe you are at fault a little and we'll remind you gently how you might proceed. But most likely, judging by your kind and accepting words, you are probably blaming yourself for something you can't control (thoughts of sex, for one) and that you are still an amazing person for it. Don't ever judge yourself for stuff like that. It's just you; it's neither goo nor bad, just you. It's how you deal with it that is more relevant, and you are dealing with it exceptionally well.

Thank you for your very kind words and for the very important advice contained. I am indeed of the type that too quickly blames himself for everything (I am also prone to self-harm). I will remember that wanting more than I initially thought i needed is probably natural, and that I shouldn't blame myself for it. And knowing this makes dealing with it easier! So I am even more grateful to you for making me aware of this! :cake:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lucinda
Pandante, let me ask you, what is your view of having sex for the sake of having sex? When you have these relentless thoughts, what do you do with these thoughts?


Lucinda

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
trapped.within.limbo

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.

Cool, that is much clearer to me.

I also have an addictive personality - smoker, drinker, ex-(soft)druggie.

The porn question is a tough one. I'd say, now, I'm addicted. But I can also say that addiction is often, but not always, a displacement activity. Drugs for me was an addiction through displacement, which I could quit, when enough other stuff in my life changed. The addiction was plenty real whilst it was in place, but Ive had plenty of people tell me how it wasn't real.

Addiction is very personal. It is not definitive and it is not everlasting.

Porn to me, now, is compelling and rules some of my decisions. I am comfortable admitting I'm addicted. However, I still don't believe that it is a bad thing - it is just something that my current situation allows me to be/do. Just as drug taking helped me to cope with a very tough period of my life, porn is helping me cope with another. I will begin to worry about it the day that I can't separate the need/want. You are in big trouble if you need something like drugs, drink, porn etc. If you want it and are self aware enough to recognise that you are doing because you want it, that is very different indeed.

Addiction is 100% real, but it can take many different forms and many different strengths.

My strongest piece of advice is to take some alone time. Really sit down and think about yourself. Ask and answer questions of yourself. Make sure you both know why and WHY you are doing things.

To give you an example, I watch porn and masturbate a lot. My partner is grey-a. This prevents both of us from getting into a situation we don't want. Maybe that will change, maybe it won't. Nothing is for definite. I want to respond to change, to be aware of change and work with it not against it. Ultimately, my partner is more important to me than anything else - despite the fact that sometimes her lack of sexual affection to me can make me feel ugly, frustrated, angry, cold, desperate, slighted, unwanted, rejected, a fool, alone... I still don't want to be anyone who isn't her.

Everyone has their own limits and feelings, working out what YOU need is the most important thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pandante

Pandante, let me ask you, what is your view of having sex for the sake of having sex? When you have these relentless thoughts, what do you do with these thoughts?

This is a really good question, and it made me think quite a bit. And having thought about it longer, i think when I wrote "sex for the sake of sex", that was not accurate. When I have these relentless thoughts about sex, it's that I long for a mutual enjoyment of the sexual act. Not even the act of sex itself, but just the common understanding with someone that we both like it and enjoy it. Almost like finding an enthusiastic tennis partner. Or someone who enjoys the same movies like you.

I try to banish the thoughts but lately, i'm failing as if I don't have enough energy to do so. So I just lamely let my thoughts play out until i'm distracted by something else.

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.

Cool, that is much clearer to me.

I also have an addictive personality - smoker, drinker, ex-(soft)druggie.

The porn question is a tough one. I'd say, now, I'm addicted. But I can also say that addiction is often, but not always, a displacement activity. Drugs for me was an addiction through displacement, which I could quit, when enough other stuff in my life changed. The addiction was plenty real whilst it was in place, but Ive had plenty of people tell me how it wasn't real.

Addiction is very personal. It is not definitive and it is not everlasting.

Porn to me, now, is compelling and rules some of my decisions. I am comfortable admitting I'm addicted. However, I still don't believe that it is a bad thing - it is just something that my current situation allows me to be/do. Just as drug taking helped me to cope with a very tough period of my life, porn is helping me cope with another. I will begin to worry about it the day that I can't separate the need/want. You are in big trouble if you need something like drugs, drink, porn etc. If you want it and are self aware enough to recognise that you are doing because you want it, that is very different indeed.

Addiction is 100% real, but it can take many different forms and many different strengths.

My strongest piece of advice is to take some alone time. Really sit down and think about yourself. Ask and answer questions of yourself. Make sure you both know why and WHY you are doing things.

To give you an example, I watch porn and masturbate a lot. My partner is grey-a. This prevents both of us from getting into a situation we don't want. Maybe that will change, maybe it won't. Nothing is for definite. I want to respond to change, to be aware of change and work with it not against it. Ultimately, my partner is more important to me than anything else - despite the fact that sometimes her lack of sexual affection to me can make me feel ugly, frustrated, angry, cold, desperate, slighted, unwanted, rejected, a fool, alone... I still don't want to be anyone who isn't her.

Everyone has their own limits and feelings, working out what YOU need is the most important thing.

Wow, this is incredibly helpful. Thanks for sharing! It's good to get this insight from someone with experience of addiction.

I think you are right when you say "Addiction is very personal. It is not definitive and it is not everlasting." At least, as you say, whilst one can still separate "need" and "want". This is comforting, because I am pretty sure i'm still in the "want" regime. I am quite obsessed with sexual thoughts, but the porn, i think it is still "want" rather than "need".

The advice to take time alone and really think about myself, and make 100% sure I understand the motivations and "psycho-mechanics" of my actions is really really good, I think. I shall do that. It will hopefully confirm that I am still in control of my senses and actions.

Yes, the reasons for watching porn and masturbating a lot are justified and valid and do not cross moral bounds agreed upon with your partner. I also respect my wife and don't want her to be someone she isn't. I don't want to make her feel uncomfortable. So it's just a method of currently dealing with the situation. And I don't feel guilty about the porn and about frequent masturbation.

Sometimes, especially recently, I fear that it is affecting the way I see sex, and the way I react to seeing sexually attractive people. It is fuelling a desire in me to connect sexually with someone, anyone... to experience that one thing that is blatantly missing in masturbation and porn: mutual joy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
skullery

Do you think an increase in romanticism in your wife would decrease your sexual desire, or rather make it easier to deal with?

I go back and forth on that in my relationship... sometimes I find myself getting really cranky about the romantic love stuff, because I feel deep down in me that if she really wanted to show me affection, she knows how i'd like it shown. I used the words "I feel that" instead of "think that" because my brain knows that's stupid, but its a feeling that does bubble up.

Overall though, I think it would be harder with an aromantic (or a romantic-lite). Do you ever question her love? (In your own head I mean, I don't expect that you question her about her love). How do you resolve those feelings?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pandante

These questions are really helping me sort my thoughts and feelings, they really help!

I am pretty sure, i'd find things easier to handle the more romantic she were, although there might be a threshold where too much romanticism but no sex might prove to be more frustrating. Two years ago we really hit a low regarding romanticism, and I almost put off marrying my partner. We had some serious but good talks and my partner gradually made more effort to be kinder and more affectionate to me. At first, we concentrated just on use of words, then we started holding hands more often, and now we're working on hugging. Like Lady Girl said (somewhere), baby steps.

Throughout the last two years things have gotten quite a fair bit easier for me to handle, because my wife's attitude has improved so much. I just don't feel neglected anymore and am reminded that she loves me a lot. I appreciate her efforts a lot - I know it requires a lot of effort on the part of the aromantic, just even to remember to show affection. But yes, i get that cranky feeling sometimes too!

In the beginning, I questioned her love a lot in my head, but always convinced myself that she had a holistic kind of love and respect for me, and that she was just not able to express it. The fact that she remained in a long distance relationship with me for a long time, and never dismissed our relationship as such was sufficient to convince me of her holistic love, but, of course, it wasn't enough to avoid frustration, even depression. Now it's much easier because I can easily remind myself of the last few times she has shown affection to me, and I feel better in times where she is unable to show any.

And just having regular confirmation that she loves me and wants me to be near her helps to offset sexual frustration when we are together. I'm actually struggling more with my sexual frustration and thoughts when i'm not at home, e.g., at work, or commuting (by train), etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
skullery

Well, I agree with you about the effect of porn. I notice the same thing you described, that I start objectifying people much more quickly and easily than I did when I wasn't watching porn. No idea if it actually increases my sex drive or strength of desire, or if it's just more noticeable because porn facilitates us directing that energy outward (like, through fantasies about strangers, etc).

Do you ever wonder if you made a mistake? I asked a friend of mine that question... she and her partner separated 6 months prior but were still working on it... and she got really offended by the question. I explained that its something I actually think about frequently, but that I always conclude "no". Or, at least, the vast majority of the time that's the conclusion I reach. :D

Interestingly, that same friend texted me yesterday to see if i'd meet to start divorce paperwork for her. So, I don't think questioning one's decisions is automatically a bad thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lady Girl

I also had a similar experience with porn. It rather freaked me out and was part of the reason I so readily gave it up entirely. I was sitting somewhere with a lot of people milling around and all I could think of was the porn images. It was like the films just kept playing. I looked around but had other mental images and it seemed strange to be in public and picturing people having sex at the same time. I found it too intrusive for my everyday life. I think I overdosed on it or something.

I have also asked for more physical signs of affection in lieu of sexual activity and it's just not his way...he gives me wonderful hugs and small kisses (pecks), but anything else I suggest falls nearly immediately by the wayside unless I remind him (which I tend not to do...I rationalize and think to myself, if he loved me he would touch me more). On my part, I have a bad way of making him feel guilty when I do say something, which is an area I have been trying to improve. He doesn't want to discuss it and I discuss it wrong. As you mentioned in another thread Pandante, this is a thorny and emotional subject to discuss. Just the fact that we think we shouldn't have to, makes it all the more delicate and difficult.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
trapped.within.limbo

My tablet is misbehaving, so I can't quote properly.

Post #80 from Skullery Maid.

"Do you ever wonder if you made a mistake?"

I wonder this a lot. Sometimes I think 'yes', sometimes I think 'no'.

I have found, through listening to my friends in standard issue sexual relationships,that they go through the same thoughts fairly regularly too. I certainly did before I met my partner too.

So long as the yes outnumbers the no, it's worth pushing on.

Pedante, you appear to have a sanguine nature and and open mind - using those two strengths will serve you well.

A quote from my grandfather: "Perfection is always around the next corner. Just make sure that you are walking on good street and you'll be fine."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pandante

Well, I agree with you about the effect of porn. I notice the same thing you described, that I start objectifying people much more quickly and easily than I did when I wasn't watching porn. No idea if it actually increases my sex drive or strength of desire, or if it's just more noticeable because porn facilitates us directing that energy outward (like, through fantasies about strangers, etc).

I also had a similar experience with porn. It rather freaked me out and was part of the reason I so readily gave it up entirely. I was sitting somewhere with a lot of people milling around and all I could think of was the porn images. It was like the films just kept playing. I looked around but had other mental images and it seemed strange to be in public and picturing people having sex at the same time. I found it too intrusive for my everyday life. I think I overdosed on it or something.

Yes, this is exactly it. The objectification of people and the constant flow of sexual images in my head whilst in public are very annoying. I disgust myself. I may have overdosed too. I think i'll have to try going without for a while (without necessarily reducing masturbation). It's true, though, there is a distinction between the mental addiction and the sex drive, and porn may not have increased my actual sex drive much (yet). It's hard to tell.

Do you ever wonder if you made a mistake? I asked a friend of mine that question... she and her partner separated 6 months prior but were still working on it... and she got really offended by the question. I explained that its something I actually think about frequently, but that I always conclude "no". Or, at least, the vast majority of the time that's the conclusion I reach. :D

I don't find that question offending, since I know exactly what you mean; i often repeat that thought sequence of wondering if i had done a mistake, thinking about the relationship as a whole, what we've been through, and what the real signs of our love are, and 95% of the time (pretty much 100%, recently) I conclude "no, i've not done a mistake" or, more significantly, "I'm happy I am with her, and I look forward spending the rest of my life with her". The winning argument is usually the significance of all the highly compatible aspects of our relationship versus the sexual incompatibility.

I have also asked for more physical signs of affection in lieu of sexual activity and it's just not his way...he gives me wonderful hugs and small kisses (pecks), but anything else I suggest falls nearly immediately by the wayside unless I remind him (which I tend not to do...I rationalize and think to myself, if he loved me he would touch me more). On my part, I have a bad way of making him feel guilty when I do say something, which is an area I have been trying to improve. He doesn't want to discuss it and I discuss it wrong. As you mentioned in another thread Pandante, this is a thorny and emotional subject to discuss. Just the fact that we think we shouldn't have to, makes it all the more delicate and difficult.

It seems we're at a similar place regarding physical intimacy. Yes, it is extraordinarily difficult starting a conversation on a topic that one partner has no interest in, and that the other thinks shouldn't have to be a topic in the first place. It always requires a delicate preface summarizing the current situation and the need for readjustment. I'm still not sure about the frequency of such talks, but I try to touch on topics of intimacy at least about once a month. It helps to pick a time when the partner is in a particularly good mood, so that they don't get irritated about feelings of guilt.

Pedante, you appear to have a sanguine nature and and open mind - using those two strengths will serve you well.

A quote from my grandfather: "Perfection is always around the next corner. Just make sure that you are walking on good street and you'll be fine."

Thank you you are very kind. I like that quote :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
trapped.within.limbo

I've been wondering whether to start a new post, or post in here, but this seems more appropriate.

I've kept being drawn back to this thread by the 'sex for the sake of sex' thing that the OP mentioned. The OP went on to explain that they used it as a throwaway phrase, but I've been drawn back to the phrase itself.

Upon reflection, I have always had sex for the sake of sex. Having sex with a partner, or a random, means the same thing to me - nothing. Its fun and satisfying, and gives a great self esteem boost, but nothing deeper than that.

EDIT: I wonder if this is why I haven't been overly interested in using my open relationship. As my self esteem has dropped, Ive felt less able to seek sex (or perhaps felt less able to deal with the potential for rejection). As its not connected to closeness for me, I'm as close to my partner as ever, we just barely have sex.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pandante

I'm still wondering what I meant exactly when I wrote that. Of course, sex is a powerful and sensual way to communicate and consolidate your love for your partner, and it is an act of mutual trust. But sex is also about having a good time together and enjoying the sex itself, and its "anatomy". Maybe a bit like art for the sake of art.

So, after all, I do think that I also want to have sex for the sake of sex. And that is perhaps the first instinct that is awakened when I am sexually frustrated.

Maybe another comparison might be playing a sport, say tennis, with a partner. It's a way of having a good time together, but one also does it to appreciate the mechanics of the sport itself. And not just the mechanics of your own movements, but also the reactions of the partner to different shots you decide to play. (OK, this comparison is getting awkward.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lady Girl

I think when I read that, I thought you meant just because sex feels good...the physical aspect (arousal, plus all the things you just mentioned). Sex is so often tied up with the expression of love in a relationship as well as other emotions (bonding, connection, etc.), that to me sex for the sake of sex implies for the physical aspects.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WhenSummersGone

This is how I found something was off for me. I could never enjoy having sex just because it was sex. I thought I wanted it but it left me bored and unsatisfied. I at least need to be dating someone in order to enjoy any part of it. Like never going to a restaurant because no one you know will go with you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ocikitty

Hey, I am the asexual partner of an individual with an abnormally high sex drive. They are the type to read a lack of sex as a lack of love. It's no fault of theirs, it's just how they relationship. For us, polyamory is PERFECT. Their other partners help fulfill some of their sex drive and I am free to fulfill my emotional needs and my touch needs with others too. I have to caution that poly is NOT one-size-fits-all and MUST BE DONE ETHICALLY AND CONSENSUALLY

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...