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Lost out here

Girlfriend is asexual: what do I do?

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Lost out here

I am kind of freaking out here.

I am 23 and have recently moved in with my girlfriend of 3 years after we both graduated. I was her first real boyfriend so we took things very slow in the beginning (I was very inexperienced too), but eventually rounded the bases to home. She always seemed to really enjoy the sexual side of our relationship (if not a bit shy and nervous at first, but so was I) and we often got very physical several times a week. After we moved in together I expected the physical side of our relationship to change since we would be with each other almost all the time, but I was looking forward to having our own home to explore our sexuality. However, it became clear almost immediately that, while I expected about the same or more sex, she assumed it would be considerably less. When I asked her about it she said that simply being with each other sates her needs for intimacy and assumed it did for me too. She also said the stress of moving and starting a new job made it difficult for her to make sex a priority. I just assumed when life got less hectic her passion would reignite (though it has not yet).

Recently, she told me that she believes she is asexual. She said that while she does love me and enjoys it when we are physical it is also very stressful for her to have sex and she simply never feels the need to "get off," as she put it. When I asked her what she was comfortable with she said she would probably be ok with having sex about once a week at the most, but is stressed out at the idea of spontaneous sex or trying new things. She says I am the only person she has remotely felt physical desire for and doesn't love me any less.

I do not believe that sex should be the foundation of a relationship and it is certainly not the foundation of ours. We share many common interests and personality traits and are each other's best friends in addition to being each other's significant partners. At the same time though, I find if difficult to imagine a romantic relationship without mutual sexual attraction. She is also the only person with which I have ever felt comfortable enough to have an intimate physical relationship and doing so makes me feel very emotionally close to her (I also find her more attractive and beautiful than anyone I have ever met).

When we are sexually together now I feel so uncertain if what I am doing is good and as a result I am unable to enjoy sex as much as I did before. I also feel a sudden loss of passion in our relationship knowing she doesn't feel the urges I do. Sometimes I feel guilty for wanting to have sex with her and at times even angry that I didn't know sooner. I do not want to break up with her, but I am afraid we can't have a romantic relationship that is fulfilling for both of us.

I would love to hear advice or anything from both asexual and sexual people. I am very shaken and am worried I might lose both the woman I love and my best friend.

(P.S. sorry for the essay. Once I started writing words happened)

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twentysix26

I'm not more qualified to give advice any more than anyone else on this site but here goes my best.

The only advice I can really think of is to be patient, understanding and compromise. The fact that she is asexual and willing to have sex means a lot, it means that, despite her sexual orientation she is willing to do what it takes to make you happy. This can be stressful for her since she is, in fact, ignoring her orientation to make you happy by performing acts that may normally be outside her comfort zone. This is where compromise comes in, she knows you want to have sex, you know that she doesn't, so what you need to do is compromise with her, even if that means reducing the amount of sex you have to once a week at the most like she suggested. it may sound like she's getting what she wants and you're not, but you need to keep in mind that she most likely doesn't want to have sex at all, so having sex even once in a while is a compromise for her, she is already giving in to what you want because it will make you happy. I can't tell you exactly how often the two of you should do it because that is definitely something for the two of you to discuss, but just keep what I said in mind when you two decide that.

Secondly, the lack of passion you mentioned may not necessarily be a lack of passion, it very well may be your relationship shifting from a very sexual one to a more passive one. This doesn't mean anyone's feelings have changed, it just means that the circumstances of your relationship are changing and you aren't sure what that means. The only advice I can really give for that is to talk to her about it without making it seem like you're asking for more than she wants to give and try to ride it out together until you become comfortable with this new stage in your relationship.

That's my two cents on the issue, it may not be as good as some other advice you may recieve but I hope it helps you some.

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eched

I just want to point out a few things.

You don't have to worry about doing good with sex and stressing yourself out over that. If she hated having sex with you period she wouldn't be up for sex at all. She's clearly not 100% against sex. It more sounds like she feels stressed since she doesn't feel sexual attraction so she doesn't get brought into the mood for it as you yourself do. As such she's trying to schedule it for once a week. Is this a good idea though? That's really of course for you two to sort out.

Also, don't be mad for not knowing sooner. You don't own a time machine. I do, but no, you may not have it. The point is, you can't change that kind of stuff. Don't be upset about that.

Also please don't be mad about wanting to have sex. As long as you aren't pressuring her for sex you are doing nothing wrong.

I just wanted to point out that your issues are pretty tough, but you have no reason to make them worse by being so hard on yourself. Talk things out some more and hopefully things will work out.

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knout

Hello,

First of all I think it's great that you're trying to understand by posting about it.

I think this element of guilt can occur quite often in sexual - asexual relationship because one side think they have to impose on the other. It also puts a lot of thoughts at the back of your head when something actually happens. My first advice would be that none of you feels guilty, it's quite a rotten feeling and no one should be guilty of who they are.

The most important is to keep talking and not make ultimatums or specific rules about when and how many times you should have physical intimacy. The sexual partner should make the asexual partner feel ok with having less sex, that sometimes it's how it is and that they care more about the asexual person than the intimacy. The asexual partner should not make the sexual partner feel guilty for wanting sex and they should compromise if both are ok with it, especially if it had been something you both enjoyed before.

I know that if you both talk about your feelings on the topic and remain quite understanding of the other, a desire for intimacy can arise just by feeling understood and cared for.

I don't believe there's a miracle recipe. It's a matter of accepting the other person the way they are and also wanting to compromise because you care about the other person. Sex should simply not be used as a threat or a deal breaker. If both can talk openly about how they feel on the topic, to say when they feel comfortable, to say when they have a desire... then I think it can only head in a good direction.

I might sound very confusing but those were just my 2 cents, hoping it can bring you some peace of mind. :)

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deman

Hi,

I totally understand your feelings. I'm 22 years old and my GF is asexual. we are not as long together as you are but your story is almost exactly my story. I can't give you an advice which would fix this problem, but I thought I have to answer so you now there people who are in the same situation as you. I understand your fear of braking up with this girl, because she is everything for you. I feel the same. For me the part of not enjoying sex anymore with my GF is one of the hardest things. We also have sex once a week, but it always the same position, and the initiative is always from my side. The fact she does have sex for me, and not for herself makes me feel sad. sex is something you do together with someone you most love, but in my situation it doesn't feel like that.

I think it's very important to let her now your feelings. Tell her you appreciate that she wants to have sex for you, but tell her also that you are not enjoying it like it was. Be totally honest. When you doesn't you get more and more frustrated, which will end in a brake up. When your open with your girlfriend and tell her what you feel, and she tells you what she feels, I think there is a possibility to compromise. you can only decide if you want to compromise if you both are very honest to each other and tell them everything you think.

I'm not figured out if I can stay at my GF in this situation because I miss the excitement in our sexlife. We are trying to find a solution together. Next month we have an appointed at the hospital for a sexologist. My GF does have pain when we are having sex so maybe he could fix thiswhich would it make a lot easier for the both of us.

Sorry for my English, I hope you can do something with this. You can always text me in private if you want to.

Greetz,

deman

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BlackRose

Now that you know, the big question is whether or not to stay in the relationship. It's a tough decision because this kind of sexual incompatibility can be very difficult to handle for both people. On one hand, you have the time and love you've built together; on the other hand, you could build that with someone who is sexually compatible with you.

Just don't try to change her... She is how she is and this likely won't change. If you don't think you can handle it, there is no shame in ending things amicably. You deserve a good relationship where you feel happy, loved, and valued - if you don't think the two of you can give that to each other, I'd advise you to strongly consider ending things and just being friends.

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RoL34

Remember, sex is only one way to express love. She loves you just as much as you do, she just doesn't express that through sex. And if she does indeed enjoy sex, I would take her word for it. There are plenty of sex-positive aces who enjoy the act of sex but have no desire to initiate, so it's not like you have to go celibate for her. Communication is key here.

Also, perhaps you should show her this site if she isn't on here already. There are plenty of couples in your boat that get on fine. Also it's a great way for her to explore her asexuality and to be more comfortable with herself.

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Down in Texas

Unlike most of the others I too will advise you to look deeply into your heart and evaluate just how important sex is to YOU.

Before I go any further I would like to make it clear that we do not have the right to tell you what to do nor should we expect you to make a decision one way or another. We have all made decisions in our own lives that have lead us to the points and places that we are in today. We have no right nor do we know either one of you well enough to suggest you make a decision based on what we have experienced with our partner and project our feeling onto you and your partner. That said I would like you to look deeply and read some more of the post made on AVEN’s “For Sexual Partners, Friends and Allies”. There are a lot of post that can be very helpful in giving you some insight into what MAY be ahead of you in a MIXED relationship.

I unfortunately am one of those on here that had wished I knew in advance what you know. I would have made a much different choice before marrying my partner. Unlike you when I was growing up living together was not acceptable nor was premarital sex. My sex drive is very high and even though we have no other problem the disparity in our sex lives has caused ME a lot of pain and heartache.

You must know that the degrees of desire for both sexuals and asexuals vary greatly from person to person. My needs for sex are very high and I NEED the emotional connection with my partner to make the sexual union complete along with all the other intimacies that go along with marriage. I feel as if I have been cheated out of some of the best parts of what I expected in a marriage. My Gray asexual husband seems like a sponge that soaks up all the attention I give him yet has no way of knowing how to give any back and when he does it is very stiff and awkward not only for me but for him. There are times that I do not even recognize the man that I married he is so different than the person I dated, before we married. It is as if they are two completely different people.

Please know that thinks will MOST likely not get much better sexually. YES, the key is communication. And YES she can compromise in the amount of sex she offers you or allows you to have. AND YES she LOVES you as BEST as she can and as MUCH as she knows how to. The thing is I have learned that my asexual’s scale never comes close to mine physically or emotionally. The need to feel that I am “the one” for my partner has only rarely been seen in our 40+ years of marriage. The SPECIAL MOMENTS that I looked forward to for a sign of emotional closeness came and went as one awkward moment after another. Things that I felt important like sharing the joy at the birth of our children or the depth of feelings at the death of a loved one. These are just a couple.

I ask that you look deeply into your heart and soul, know what your desires, dreams and expectations of a relationship truly are. Then and only then look at what you have with your asexual partner. If you can see your life the way it is now with possibly less rather than more physical and emotional closeness, (as the years go by the comfort zone seems to bring less rather than more affection) then go forward with your current relationship. If what you see and feel leaves you questioning things, then now is the time to face those questions and see if you can get them answered. YOU and YOU alone can make this decision; this does not mean you do not talk to or conceder your partner’s feelings. What it does mean is that ONLY YOU know just how you REALLY feel deep down.

Please do not make the mistake I made thinking things will change and that others will think bad about me if I call this off with no one knowing the whole picture and everyone telling me that ALL MEN LOVE SEX things will get better once we are married that he is just being respectful. Just know that in MY experience after years and years of having to deny my needs and after years of a lack of deep intimacy I find myself feeling quite alone (even though my husband is still here and beside me). MY asexual husband is perfectly content in our relationship (yes I know he feels bad when sex comes up and he is not able to do what he used to be able to do) yet all of HIS needs are met, I feel like his sister instead of his wife. He is very happy knowing I am here beside him and he touches me while lying in bed as his sign of LOVE (I know he loves me I do not question that) but his touch makes me long for what has never been there and never will be now. His touch makes me want him yet I know that if I were to pursue my desires that he is NOW unable to respond in the way I had hoped years would have made better not worse. I am not speaking only of sex here but of closeness. There is a closeness that as a sexual can only be found through intimacy and the sharing of deep feelings. Things MY asexual has never been able to allow himself to feel or share.

Please know before you commit to this relationship legally or before going much longer, for the longer you go the harder it becomes to break away.

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starstheylevitate

Can I just make something clear? She said you are the only person she has remotely felt any physical attraction to. This makes you really special, lol. Think about it. Sexual people feel physical attraction to many people right? Even if they don't always act on it. When an asexual (or gray-a, which seems to be her case) feels any attraction to someone, that is a huge once in a blue moon thing. Don't make a mistake and let her go; she is trying to put effort into te relationship. Is it really worth it to lose someone special because of sex? : /

A lot of times, sexual people feel guilty or like something is wrong with them and that's why their bf or gf isn't turned on or wanting them. But that's not the case, it's not your fault. And it's not hers either. She just generally cannot experience sexual 'want' at the same level you do. She did say she likes it and enjoys it at times, right? You both just need to be willing to compromise. You need to get more comfortable with the idea, even if its difficult. It's part of who she is, and remember she loves and desires you intensely in other ways. She, I'm sure enjoys making you happy and bringing closeness to the relationship. I assure you, she is perfectly content in the relationship. Her being asexual doesn't mean she isn't. Her mindset is just different. There are two parts of your relationship-the romantic and the sexual. Work on both, be honest and open.

I'm an asexual girl who was once in a serious relationship with a sexual guy. We were eachother's first love. It didn't work out, and to this day I still wish he had been more understanding and patient. I really loved him and as messed up as it is I still do. I'm happy to see both you and your girl are putting effort in the relationship; I hope both of you are able to compromise. Good luck <3

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BlackRose

Don't make a mistake and let her go; she is trying to put effort into te relationship. Is it really worth it to lose someone special because of sex? : /

Yes, in my opinion, and for a lot of sexuals. Though he doesn't have to "lose" her; they could still be good friends.

It's a decision for each person to make, but for sexuals, sex is often what distinguishes a relationship from a friendship, so sexual compatibility is one of the most important parts of the relationship.

She just generally cannot experience sexual 'want' at the same level you do. She did say she likes it and enjoys it at times, right? You both just need to be willing to compromise. You need to get more comfortable with the idea, even if its difficult. It's part of who she is, and remember she loves and desires you intensely in other ways. She, I'm sure enjoys making you happy and bringing closeness to the relationship. I assure you, she is perfectly content in the relationship.

But maybe he isn't perfectly content. Maybe he wants or needs someone who can experience sexual attraction the same way. He doesn't "need" to be willing to compromise or get more comfortable with the idea, if it's not something he wants.

I'm an asexual girl who was once in a serious relationship with a sexual guy. We were eachother's first love. It didn't work out, and to this day I still wish he had been more understanding and patient. I really loved him and as messed up as it is I still do. I'm happy to see both you and your girl are putting effort in the relationship; I hope both of you are able to compromise. Good luck <3

All the understanding and patience in the world can't erase sexual incompatibility. It's not a bad thing to end a relationship that's not where you want it to be sexually. If the OP is unhappy in this situation, I think it may be better to end things rather than to be understanding and patient.

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Sally

I generally agree more with the sexuals posting above, and for a reason that's probably "asexual" ( :lol: ): Nothing will work out OK if the partners go into the talking about compromise with the idea that the asexual will get more used to sex, or that a sexologist will somehow teach the asexual how to enjoy sex more (if they don't already), or that more time together (as in years) will make the situation better. That isn't likely, and certainly not a given, any more than the sexual will learn how to not want sex, and be happy not wanting sex.

If the asexual doesn't feel passion and really want to have sex, the sexual partner will feel that as a lack. The sexual will feel guilty because they want the asexual to do something they don't really want to do. The asexual will feel guilty because they know they're depriving their partner of something that they really want: a full passionate sexual relationship with their loved one.

Guilt all too easily turns to resentment, and depression.

Think about it really clearly, and talk to each other really clearly, before you decide that this particular relationship has to be the sexually intimate one for you. There's nothing wrong with loving friendship, with no guilt involved.

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Serran

Agree with some of the others - figure out how important sex is to you. If you cannot be content without mutual passion on the level you feel, then break it off. She isn't going to magically change and become very sexual. You either have to be content with who she is, or find someone more compatible. Compromises can be worked out, but would compromise sex make you happy? That is the decision. She can enjoy it she says, so it's a good thing. It makes compromise easier. But, will it make you happy? You can love someone to the moon and back, but if you aren't compatible, you aren't compatible. And building up 10-20-30 years of resentment before you decide enough is enough is not healthy. If sex is very important, there is no shame in it. My partner has told me how important sex is to him and when/if I cannot provide it anymore, we have an agreement that it's over. I harbor no ill will to him for it. It's just how he is. Sometimes things that seem small are very, very important and that is all there is to it. Needing sex is no more shameful than needing someone who shares parenting values, or religion.

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