Avoiding nonsexual intimacy - because it is too arousing - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 115 (permalink) Old 11-05-2016, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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Avoiding nonsexual intimacy - because it is too arousing

Looking back on my marriage, I think I often had a tendency to avoid a great deal of nonsexual intimacy because I knew it would get me aroused at times when my wife was NOT going to be sexually receptive. Much like me getting frustrated from denied sexual intimacy when I needed it, I think I was equally depriving my wife of nonsexual intimacy when she needed it.

The other day I caught myself doing this again but I was open about it. I mentioned to my wife that I had been aroused earlier in the day while we were taking a nap together in bed (one of those weekend, just after lunch naps). So later in the evening after the kids were in bed, I told her I was not aroused at that moment, but mentioned that I would like to try and pick up where we left off earlier in the day (as we were making out and it started to get hot, but we had guests arriving, so there was not time for things to get too hot). She indicated before bedtime that she was really tired, but that she would just want a back rub. I told her that I would likely get too aroused and we agreed that it might be better for her to go to bed while I just watch a movie or something in the living room. Otherwise it seemed like the perfect ingredients were coming together for both of us to get frustrated.

So I ended up in the living room watching youtube documentaries on the Mars rovers, but then I got to thinking that it would have been nice to go to bed with my wife and give her a back rub, and I imagine she really wanted that after she had a tough day with things in the house. Now we did communicate about this, and we BOTH agreed it was best just to not heat things up again. For the first time, I was frustrated with myself for getting aroused so easily with her. BUT too often I remember feeling and behaving this way in the past WITHOUT communicating about what was going on. Those times my wife would often complain about going to bed many times alone while I would stay up doing other things. I have to imagine that it was taking a toll on her and making her feel unloved.

So just as my wife tells me that I need to be careful and choose a good time to initiate sexual intimacy (for her it is mid-day), I guess the same goes for her trying to initiate nonsexual intimacy from me (I'm easily aroused just before bedtime).


Has anyone on TAM tried to address this in their relationships? My wife says that going out for a nice meal and having great conversation does NOT count as nonsexual intimacy. She only counts it when we hug and she gets a back rub without the pressure of me starting to grab and be sexually playful with her when she is tired.

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post #2 of 115 (permalink) Old 11-05-2016, 04:32 PM
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Re: Avoiding nonsexual intimacy - because it is too arousing

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Has anyone on TAM tried to address this in their relationships? My wife says that going out for a nice meal and having great conversation does NOT count as nonsexual intimacy. She only counts it when we hug and she gets a back rub without the pressure of me starting to grab and be sexually playful with her when she is tired.

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Haha! Yep, done this, still do it.

My wife doesn't quite understand it, though, so it really only serves to frustrate her. Kind of proves her point of guys always wanting sex (which is not true, I DO enjoy nonsexual intimacy with her!) But when she's clearly only after that, and I know it will stir other thoughts in my head, I find I weight the pros/cons at that exact moment. If it's been a while since she's came to me for nonsexual intimacy, then I just suck it up. If it's been a while since we've had sex, then I'm blunt about it. Usually she understands, but I know she's not happy about it. Her brain just doesn't function that way. Each need is mutually exclusive of each other for her. Rock and a hard place.

And on the odd occasion, it'll lead to both (though it's more a tit-for-tat thing, for her..) Which is how these things should be, IMO, and probably are for most 'normal' couples! One need being met leads to another need being met, and both people are happy doing both things, because both are needs of each person.
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post #3 of 115 (permalink) Old 11-05-2016, 04:42 PM
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Re: Avoiding nonsexual intimacy - because it is too arousing

This isnt something we discuss, but we have sort of an understanding.

if either of the 2 of us is aroused, we drop hints. We're both pretty tuned in on the hints, and very rarely do we turn the other down.

Actually, I dont think this is the ideal at all, but its working for us pretty well so far.

We also have a lot of non-sexual intimacy, so thats not a problem.
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post #4 of 115 (permalink) Old 11-05-2016, 07:50 PM
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Re: Avoiding nonsexual intimacy - because it is too arousing

I believe this is the story for most couples who have vastly different sex drives. The fear of getting aroused and rejected and the fear of arousing and having to do it or fight about is seems to be a constant struggle spoken of here. But I agree, we all miss out on so much when we fall into this rut. Thanks for sharing.

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post #5 of 115 (permalink) Old 11-05-2016, 09:04 PM
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Re: Avoiding nonsexual intimacy - because it is too arousing

Sounds so damn complicated.

I sort of view all intimacy in a relationship as part of a sexual connection as it is important (for me) to have that always present, under current of sexuality in the air. Of course it cannot be acted upon all the time and that is the point, that is part of the fun of being in a secret club of two. Personally I need a dividing line between love and sex, hard to explain but I am happy for all touches to be associated with sex but I need times where his love is shown without an association with sex. Eg sometimes he will just come up to me, hold my face, look into my eyes and give me a kiss that speaks pure love, there is nothing sexual about it (as opposed to the lets have sex type of kissing), it is just overwhelming love.

Honestly BS I think you go above and beyond in your relationship, you squash your desires and who you are in order to keep the peace with your wife. Why can't she give a little and be more open to there being a sense of sex in the air and use that to build up excitement for the time when actual sex is possible.

Far out, it is fun to get all hot and steamy knowing you have visitors arriving soon so will have to pick things back up after they have gone.
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post #6 of 115 (permalink) Old 11-05-2016, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Avoiding nonsexual intimacy - because it is too arousing

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Honestly BS I think you go above and beyond in your relationship, you squash your desires and who you are in order to keep the peace with your wife. Why can't she give a little and be more open to there being a sense of sex in the air and use that to build up excitement for the time when actual sex is possible.
I actually think that we are headed in this direction to be honest. I have started communicating much more about my various levels of desire, particularly if I feel things can easily get revved up too much while I still have myself under control. Sometimes she is OK with that possibility, and other times she is not feeling receptive to that. She also has been communicating to me when she just needs a hug and feels too emotionally exhausted for anything else. Because we have both been working on things she does make it more obvious to me when it is a good time to be more playful. I've also noticed her putting an effort into trying to be more receptive when she knows I have been refraining from pressuring her for at least a day or two.

We have both been coming to terms that I am very easily aroused, and that I tend to get the most revved up when I am under a great deal of stress or it has been a while. If it is a lazy day in the house, she knows she can enjoy toying with me a little and that I enjoy that regardless of the possibilities.

We are both working towards trying to make things more natural, but at the same time I think that also means having to avoid certain things when there is too much potential for conflict. This seems to be the first time that we are actively communicating about this in a respectful and fair way. I can now communicate while my desire is still under control and my feelings are going to be OK either way, but I only do this when I sense the potential for conflict. She is also starting to do the same.

This just happens to help me see for the first time how much nonsexual intimacy she needs/wants and the dynamics of times it has been problematic for me to give that to her. In the past she has also been reluctant to ask for nonsexual intimacy b/c she knew it would likely rev me up and that I would have to have it, which was really frustrating for her.

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post #7 of 115 (permalink) Old 11-05-2016, 10:35 PM
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Re: Avoiding nonsexual intimacy - because it is too arousing

Badsanta, you are a very understanding H, you will get there.
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post #8 of 115 (permalink) Old 11-06-2016, 03:47 AM
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Re: Avoiding nonsexual intimacy - because it is too arousing

I'm dealing with that as well -- Hubby wants to cuddle and snuggle far more often than he wants sex. I'm so easily aroused that this can be very uncomfortable for me. in the beginning of our relationship I would (subconsciously) guilt and manipulate him into sex. This was not usually a satisfactory solution because I knew he was doing it just to avoid conflict. I realized this just about 2 weeks ago and apologized to him. After being together 5 years and married for 2 years I finally understood that my attitude and behavior was actually responsible for our sex life being infrequent. Self fulfilling prophecy anyone?


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post #9 of 115 (permalink) Old 11-06-2016, 03:59 AM
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Re: Avoiding nonsexual intimacy - because it is too arousing

Reading this leaves me scratching my head because it has been so long since we denied each other and ourselves our sexual urges and arousal. But then I remember that we did have this issue in the past and now I given it some thought 'missing' each other sexually is probably what caused our problems at the beginning.

You may remember that we decided well over a year ago to be intimate with each other whenever one of us asks or initiates. So this may mean I am given orgasms where H has no erection. In the same way I am happy to do things for him when I am tired and not aroused, menstruating etc. Then there are times when we just sync (which is amazing but not the holy grail).

When we started this change, TAM generally considered it to be dysfunctional way of going about things. Firstly that we were using each other as sex toys and secondly it is just assisted masturbation and not true connection.

Well...I have to say this has been a game changer for us and is such a simplistic thing to do for each other it makes me wonder why we hadn't done it sooner. Why did we think that we both had to be aroused at the same time to have good sex and feel connected? Who wrote that rule? I can do something for my H and I do feel connected and bonded with him for sure. For him - sometimes bringing me manually to orgasm is enough to 'naturally' peak his interest and be aroused - not always but that is OK too. Definitely bonding, passionate, loving either way.

As Holland says - we sometimes make sex too complicated.
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post #10 of 115 (permalink) Old 11-06-2016, 06:09 AM
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Re: Avoiding nonsexual intimacy - because it is too arousing

We went through a period like this a couple of years ago. I had to have significant surgery and couldn't have sex for over 6 months. My husband isn't big on oral so that wasn't an adequate replacement for him. However he couldn't control that he was getting aroused when we snuggled/ kissed / spooned together in bed. We pretty much ended up not touching each other at all. We even stopped sharing a bed.

We have since resumed our physical relationship, but I am no longer capable of anal sex which he loves. We used to sleep naked and spoon a lot which often led to me waking up with him already inside me just as often in the back door as the front! We have since started wearing sweats to bed because it's a good deterrent to him just starting without me and maybe accidentally hurting me if he isn't fully awake himself yet.
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post #11 of 115 (permalink) Old 11-06-2016, 07:21 AM
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Re: Avoiding nonsexual intimacy - because it is too arousing

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My wife says that going out for a nice meal and having great conversation does NOT count as nonsexual intimacy. She only counts it when we hug and she gets a back rub without the pressure of me starting to grab and be sexually playful with her when she is tired.
This is the exact stuff I was talking about on another thread when I mentioned that some women have gotten to the point in their marriages where they don't even want to be affectionate anymore because their husbands see everything as a sexual gesture when all they wanted was a simple hug or in your case, a back rub.

I have to say that it's pretty sad that a grown man can't even do a NICE thing for his spouse and give her a back-rub after she had a hard day because he can't control his libido. Seriously, that's what this all comes down to. So she has to miss out on what would have been a nice few minutes to end her rough day all because GOD FORBID, you become aroused. Call in the National Guard - it's an emergency of epic proportions!!!

Has it ever occurred to you that you can become aroused and with just a little self control, you can actually live through it and be able to tell the tale to your grand kids? It's true. The world really won't come to an end and you really won't die if you become aroused and actually choose to ignore it.
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post #12 of 115 (permalink) Old 11-06-2016, 07:49 AM
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Re: Avoiding nonsexual intimacy - because it is too arousing

To be fair to BS, as he seems to be clued up on tease and DENIAL I think he knows he will quite happily live through moments of arousal. I think what he is saying is that there are times when his wife also becomes aroused and he is unable to satisfy her - they never seem to be in sync? If I have got this right he is concerned that he is missing opportunities to be intimate with his wife which may be leaving her feeling unloved.
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post #13 of 115 (permalink) Old 11-06-2016, 08:23 AM
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Re: Avoiding nonsexual intimacy - because it is too arousing

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This is the exact stuff I was talking about on another thread when I mentioned that some women have gotten to the point in their marriages where they don't even want to be affectionate anymore because their husbands see everything as a sexual gesture when all they wanted was a simple hug or in your case, a back rub.

I have to say that it's pretty sad that a grown man can't even do a NICE thing for his spouse and give her a back-rub after she had a hard day because he can't control his libido. Seriously, that's what this all comes down to. So she has to miss out on what would have been a nice few minutes to end her rough day all because GOD FORBID, you become aroused. Call in the National Guard - it's an emergency of epic proportions!!!

Has it ever occurred to you that you can become aroused and with just a little self control, you can actually live through it and be able to tell the tale to your grand kids? It's true. The world really won't come to an end and you really won't die if you become aroused and actually choose to ignore it.


This, I 'become aroused' a few to many times a day, wait 5 minutes and it goes away. Just make it clear to her that she is free to ignore it if she doesn't want it but expecting it not to happen is pure BS.
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post #14 of 115 (permalink) Old 11-06-2016, 08:26 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Avoiding nonsexual intimacy - because it is too arousing

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I have to say that it's pretty sad that a grown man can't even do a NICE thing for his spouse and give her a back-rub after she had a hard day because he can't control his libido. Seriously, that's what this all comes down to. So she has to miss out on what would have been a nice few minutes to end her rough day all because GOD FORBID, you become aroused. Call in the National Guard - it's an emergency of epic proportions!!!

Has it ever occurred to you that you can become aroused and with just a little self control, you can actually live through it and be able to tell the tale to your grand kids? It's true. The world really won't come to an end and you really won't die if you become aroused and actually choose to ignore it.
Well this is where the dynamics get much more complicated. YES, I would have in the past enjoyed this, and in the past year or two I am just starting to get to enjoy this. What used to happen in the past was that if I would get mildly aroused, my wife would reject that! To her that was NOT OK, and she would begin aggressively withdrawing from all forms of nonsexual and sexual intimacy. I guess this would be her self defense tactic. In the meantime that would be extremely hurtful to me just because I happened to get aroused because I enjoy holding my wife. She would just preemptively reject me before I got too aroused, and that HURT.

Now I communicate when I can get aroused and be OK without sex, and she also communicates when she is able to try for us to be sexually intimate. So what you described above is now starting to happen. BUT I am noticing that there are still times I have to step back because I know my libido is overly anxious to respond. As a guy I am noticing this, because everything starts to become much more sexual in context: I can'y help but to notice my wife's curves, I start actively thinking about the next opportunity, insignificant details about her become arousing. This does not always happen, so I am aware and communicate to her so she knows, "I'm not just playing around right now anymore!"

In the past I did not know how to communicate this, and she rejected me very often and preemptively so all the time. We argued about sex in the past, and she really struggled with feeling of inadequacy that she would never be able to please me. Our arguments were taking a toll. We don't argue about sex hardly any these days, as I use my libido as a way to tell her that she is uncontrollably attractive sometimes, and that I would not change that for anything in the world. She has become more accepting of my libido and she has slowly learned how and when to be a little more playful with me in ways that no one gets our feelings hurt in the event she can't get herself in the mood to enjoy sex with me. I now clearly appreciate her attempts to get better at this as something that means a lot to me. If I am getting too aroused, she might give me just the beginning of a HJ and tell me to just really enjoy myself thinking about her and how much I want her just afterwards. THAT I really do enjoy here and there nowadays instead of being frustrated or angry with her!

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post #15 of 115 (permalink) Old 11-06-2016, 08:34 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Avoiding nonsexual intimacy - because it is too arousing

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To be fair to BS, as he seems to be clued up on tease and DENIAL I think he knows he will quite happily live through moments of arousal. I think what he is saying is that there are times when his wife also becomes aroused and he is unable to satisfy her - they never seem to be in sync? If I have got this right he is concerned that he is missing opportunities to be intimate with his wife which may be leaving her feeling unloved.
We do enjoy trying to be "in sync" more often, and that is happening more often these days. Managing and cultivating sexual energy while not knowing when that moment will happen is still a source of frustration more often that not. I sometimes enjoy thinking about my wife a little too much on my own and then my libido calms down. Just afterwards I somehow always find myself in a moment where SHE is dragging me to the bedroom and I am like "oh sht!"
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