Thoughts on this - Page 127 - Talk About Marriage
Sex in Marriage Sexual problems are common in many relationships. This section is for discussions about sexuality. Please limit discussions to those asking for help with a problem and those offering advice. Any other threads may be deleted.

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post #1891 of 1926 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 09:12 AM
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Thoughts on this

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I'm not sure how any of this helps Alex in the long run. Isn't the issue: his wife has decided that she's not going to participate in any kind of sexual intimacy, even flirting, except for her predetermined window of times once a week? And that it's creating a problem for him because their ENTIRE sexual relationship is on her terms only?
I didn't get the impression it was that extreme. But I also am aware of not trying to sugar coat the issue.

I also didn't get the impression that 'she refuses to flirt with him'. She may not do it as much as he'd like her to or he may not notice when she is doing it or she may not be doing it at all (for example because she is just not a flirtatious type of personality. My wife for example doesn't think of herself as flirtatious at all).

All this is quite different from saying that 'she is refusing or decided not to flirt'. The latter implies some malicious intent. Alexm was quite clear that he doesn't believe she is doing (or not doing) any of those things on purpose.

Sorry if I am mis representing it. What do you feel will help him?

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post #1892 of 1926 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Livvie View Post
I'm not sure how any of this helps Alex in the long run. Isn't the issue: his wife has decided that she's not going to participate in any kind of sexual intimacy, even flirting, except for her predetermined window of times once a week? And that it's creating a problem for him because their ENTIRE sexual relationship is on her terms only?
I didn't get the impression it was that extreme. But I also am aware of not trying to sugar coat the issue.

I also didn't get the impression that 'she refuses to flirt with him'. She may not do it as much as he'd like her to or he may not notice when she is doing it or she may not be doing it at all (for example because she is just not a flirtatious type of personality. My wife for example doesn't think of herself as flirtatious at all).

All this is quite different from saying that 'she is refusing or decided not to flirt'. The latter implies some malicious intent. Alexm was quite clear that he doesn't believe she is doing (or not doing) any of those things on purpose.

Sorry if I am mis representing it. What do you feel will help him?
I'm pretty sure she shut down anything remotely sexual except for the window, and that they are basically like roommates aside from the allotted time. Maybe he will reply and let us know if I'm recalling that accurately, apologies if I'm not.

I don't know what will help. Aside from having a heart to heart with her that living like this forever isn't meeting his needs... and hoping she cares about that statement.
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post #1893 of 1926 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 10:25 AM
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Re: Thoughts on this

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Listen, I don't not want to believe my wife is asexual. It's not that I don't believe her, it's that I genuinely don't see it. It is also not something I've said to her - I've never said I don't believe her (nor would I).

All I can say about this subject is that she once read a brief article about it, said "hey, that sounds like me!" and it's never been addressed again (nor researched by her, or anything).

What she labels herself as is not for me to contest or argue. I would never do that.
Oh, okay. The way you said it upthread, it sounded a whole lot more definitive than all of that.

Still, it strikes me as instructive. There really aren't all that many people who would read about asexuality and immediately think that it sounded exactly like them.

And her lack of interest in researching the issue rather drives that point home, don't you think?
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post #1894 of 1926 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 10:27 AM
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Re: Thoughts on this

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The other thing is that there are women (on this forum and outside) who say categorically that they would NOT be able to have sex with a partner if they weren't sexually attracted to them which blurs the waters even more.


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This is what I mean about pigeon-holing. It really doesn't matter what other women say categorically. It matters what the individual woman in question thinks. And a lot of women can easily have sex without sexual attraction.
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post #1895 of 1926 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 10:35 AM
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Re: Thoughts on this

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Any woman who is currently not in a relationship with anyone (and therefore not attracted to anyone) could by some definition be asexual. Any woman who is not as attracted to their partner as much as their husband to them, could by some definition be classified as asexual.
And finally: any woman who claims to be asexual, is asexual. Whether she is asexual or not
You cannot 'diagnose' anyone as an asexual nor scientifically show that one is asexual (according to the articles I have read), therefore the conversation is kind of futile and probably me even typing this is intolerant and ignorant of asexuals....



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Not sure why you think any woman not currently in a relationship is "therefore" not attracted to anyone. All the single women I know have plenty of attractions all over the place, as did I when I was in that position.

I also can't fathom why you would think merely having a lower drive makes one asexual. That would mean in most every couple there is at least one asexual person -- which makes no sense at all to me.

Personally, I've no interest in diagnosing anyone as asexual ... but if that is how they identify, then I think we should believe them. And honestly, while there are definitely quite a few people who do identify this way (only some of them women, btw), it is actually quite a small proportion of the population.

We're talking at most 10%, probably less, including both men and women. Certainly not 95% of women.
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post #1896 of 1926 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 10:43 AM
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Re: Thoughts on this

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This is what I mean about pigeon-holing. It really doesn't matter what other women say categorically. It matters what the individual woman in question thinks. And a lot of women can easily have sex without sexual attraction.
Yes, but by bringing up the example I am not saying that it applies to all women. I am saying that there are women where the definitions to establish whether they are sexual or asexual (according to the 'common' understanding of asexuality) are impossible to reconcile. In other words, what I am saying is that using a blanket assertion that someone is asexual, is in fact pigeon holing in itself by trying to squeeze in everyone into that category who has some perceived 'abnormality'. There seem to be a myriad of exceptions and variations on the theme of asexuality. I am trying to avoid pigeon-holing by starting with the assumption that his wife is not in fact an asexual first.

Last edited by inmyprime; 05-11-2017 at 04:59 PM. Reason: made a mess of the post
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post #1897 of 1926 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 10:56 AM
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Re: Thoughts on this

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Not sure why you think any woman not currently in a relationship is "therefore" not attracted to anyone. All the single women I know have plenty of attractions all over the place, as did I when I was in that position.

I also can't fathom why you would think merely having a lower drive makes one asexual. That would mean in most every couple there is at least one asexual person -- which makes no sense at all to me.

Personally, I've no interest in diagnosing anyone as asexual ... but if that is how they identify, then I think we should believe them. And honestly, while there are definitely quite a few people who do identify this way (only some of them women, btw), it is actually quite a small proportion of the population.

We're talking at most 10%, probably less, including both men and women. Certainly not 95% of women.
Sorry, I am not sure I made it clear why I posted the above in the first place: because most of it made no sense to me either, for precisely the reasons you outlined. I just passed on the information from the websites. I have no particular opinion on asexuality or how it is identified precisely.

If you do some further reading on asexuality, you may find the same (or you may not. Maybe it's just me).

The point is: asexuality can only be self-identified.

The other point is: you still seem to think his wife is asexual whereas her behaviour seems to clearly indicate that it is not within the 'guidelines' of an asexual.

The other other point is: I don't for a minute doubt there aren't any 'true' asexuals. She just doesn't fit the profile (based on the definitions from the website). However if the criteria is self-identification and if it is enough to be classed as asexual, then she is asexual.

See the loop there?
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post #1898 of 1926 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 11:08 AM
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Re: Thoughts on this

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Oh, okay. The way you said it upthread, it sounded a whole lot more definitive than all of that.

Still, it strikes me as instructive. There really aren't all that many people who would read about asexuality and immediately think that it sounded exactly like them.
I thought it could apply to me too, easily. I had a girlfriend and I was unable to feel any sexual attraction or to make myself feel attracted towards her. I felt asexual.

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And her lack of interest in researching the issue rather drives that point home, don't you think?
With me it's the opposite: if I feel something is ringing a bell, I tend to research more about it. Not dismiss/ignore it or move to something else to never think about it again...
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post #1899 of 1926 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 11:39 AM
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Re: Thoughts on this

Just last thought about the whole being 'asexual' saga:
it is supposed to be a sexual orientation (so far so good), however, if you think about it:
- if you are homosexual: you feel sexual attraction to the same sex and it can be easily identified by yourself and others when, for example, a man has sex with a man
- if you are heterosexual: you feel sexual attraction to the opposite sex and it can be easily identified...blah blah
- bisexual: both sexes etc

However if you are of the asexual variety:
- it's about the absence of attraction (a negative). It has to be self-identified and cannot really be verified independently, made more complicated that you can still feel sexual arousal (which is not the same as attraction), it just isn't necessarily aimed at your partner...Plus logic would dictate that it could at least be identified by the absence of sex. But this is again a no-no assumption, when it comes to understanding asexuality...

(I wonder if one can still be an asexual homosexual for example?)

Ok so in what way is this relevant: basically even if we all agree that Alexm's wife is asexual, it doesn't really make anything any clearer IMV (what kind of asexual is she? What compromises can they reach or is it reasonable to expect them to reach? and so on). Although it might possibly stop the thread from getting longer

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post #1900 of 1926 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 11:57 AM
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Re: Thoughts on this

This whole a-sexual thing is a red herring. If you are 18 or 22 or 25 in a relatively new relationship with someone you have a romantic interest in, and don't want to have sex - you may be a-sexual.

If you were plenty sexual in the past and are less sexual now, even hardly / if ever want sex, you haven't magically turned into an a-sexual. You have no libido, might be a reason for it, might be the mostly normal female drive overtime curve or maybe it just is.

Seems to me it is like the main sequence of star development. The average female has an innate desire to have kids. She wants to get married, that involves a hunt for a mate, she's biologically driven to get in the game which involves sex. Mate captured, less sex. Time to have kids - gotta ****. Want to have another kid? Gotta keep his interest. Last child conceived? Less sex. If you had trouble getting on that main sequence from the beginning maybe you are a-sexual. If you were on it happily and the slope of your line is just steeper than 'normal' you weren't a-sexual, find another excuse or reason. My husband was an inconsiderate ******* is a reason. I am a-sexual is an excuse .

It's just a convenient excuse I'm sure any number of LD partners will grab on to if presented with the definition to explain to you what you find un-explainable. Just like I bet it is extremely common to be labeled a 'sex fiend' or something similar when the inevitable conflict comes up in the desire mismatched relationship over the universal SLA of once a month if you are lucky.
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post #1901 of 1926 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 12:03 PM
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Re: Thoughts on this

@inmyprime

I guess I don't quite understand your emphasis on verification. If a friend of yours tells you he is gay, or that she is attracted to men, you would just believe them, no? When you tell me that you didn't feel attraction for that particular gf, I believed you, and really don't need you to prove your absence of attraction. I accept that you are quite capable of determining and reporting whether you are attracted to someone or not. I don't need to verify it.

Now, true, some people lack do self-awareness and/or hide from their true selves. So you do hear stories of, for example, people who are homosexual, but lie to themselves and the world about it because they don't want to be that way, or at least don't want to admit it. So maybe there are times when the self-report simply isn't true. But mostly, we assume that people actually just know who they are attracted to and who they are not.

And typically, those who do hide the truth are those who are outside the norm because they fear being judged, excluded, or put down. If someone is openly admitting to falling outside the typical, it seems to me to be all the more likely that there is truth to it.

How does this help alexm? Well it gives him a baseline from which to explore further. It also might help him to understand why she is the way she is about sex.
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post #1902 of 1926 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 12:15 PM
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Re: Thoughts on this

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@inmyprime

I guess I don't quite understand your emphasis on verification. If a friend of yours tells you he is gay, or that she is attracted to men, you would just believe them, no? When you tell me that you didn't feel attraction for that particular gf, I believed you, and really don't need you to prove your absence of attraction. I accept that you are quite capable of determining and reporting whether you are attracted to someone or not. I don't need to verify it.

Now, true, some people lack do self-awareness and/or hide from their true selves. So you do hear stories of, for example, people who are homosexual, but lie to themselves and the world about it because they don't want to be that way, or at least don't want to admit it. So maybe there are times when the self-report simply isn't true. But mostly, we assume that people actually just know who they are attracted to and who they are not.

And typically, those who do hide the truth are those who are outside the norm because they fear being judged, excluded, or put down. If someone is openly admitting to falling outside the typical, it seems to me to be all the more likely that there is truth to it.

How does this help alexm? Well it gives him a baseline from which to explore further. It also might help him to understand why she is the way she is about sex.
It's not about believing/not believing. It's about understanding what it is they are talking about. And making sure they understand what it is they are talking about. Plus the people who come up with these terms understand what they are talking about and which group of people it exactly encompasses.

If a friend tells me he or she is gay of course I don't need to go and verify myself. :-) Asexuality as a sexual orientation is a new thing (which doesn't mean it invalidates it just that it is clearly open to misinterpretation). Homosexuality has been around for ages. Plus it is observed in animals too. Can my cat be asexual? I can only know if she tells me.
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post #1903 of 1926 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 12:46 PM
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Re: Thoughts on this

I guess that all in all, I just think it's probably more helpful to accept people at face value, at least somewhat, and go from there. More helpful than, say, insisting that they aren't or can't be that way, in order to feed your own resentment and frustration at them for not behaving the way you want them to.
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post #1904 of 1926 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 01:05 PM
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Re: Thoughts on this

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I guess that all in all, I just think it's probably more helpful to accept people at face value, at least somewhat, and go from there. More helpful than, say, insisting that they aren't or can't be that way, in order to feed your own resentment and frustration at them for not behaving the way you want them to.


I completely agree. We just seem to arrive at this conclusion from slightly different places.


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post #1905 of 1926 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 01:22 PM
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Re: Thoughts on this

Wow. For all sorts of reasons, I've found this to be one of the most helpful and fruitful discussions that I have run across at TAM.

I saw a lot of myself in here, and am taking away a more healthy perspective on my LDW.
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