Life can bring surprises

SpMd

New member
Hello everyone.

I'm currently in a wonderful marriage and very much in love with my wife. However, while we had a lot of sex in the beginning, there were signs she might not be into it as much as I was, which I took then as just the dynamic typical of sex drive differences between men and women. Over time, however, it's clear she's not interested in the activity of sex itself. It's just not something she has a craving for. I've gone very long stretches without pressing for it in the hopes she would eventually build up desire of her own, but over time it's clear that it just isn't there. I had only learned the term "asexual" recently, but she's conceded that's probably an accurate description.

We've tried many different ways to reconcile this difference between us. For example, she's perfectly fine with scheduling it on a regular basis. But her not getting into it just makes me feel less and less comfortable about it happening. I don't want her to feel it's her duty as a wife.

More recently, I've been able to open up and talk to her more about this. I've been suggesting the possibility of my just finding "functional sex" outside our marriage. I don't need an emotional connection, or anything replacing the wonderful relationship I have with my wife. I just want to have sex with someone who likewise enjoys it as well. I fantasize about just knowing someone else who is in a sexless marriage but available for encounters that aren't much more than that.

Her concern -- understandably -- is that even if she trusts I could keep it detached and physical-only, it doesn't mean the would-be partner would. So where things were left off is that I'm taking the time to do my research (like coming to this forum) and getting a sense of what is realistic and what isn't.

Anyway, I hope I can figure out some answers. I've mostly kept this struggle to myself for many years now because I've secretly hoped I could just adapt better given how many other things in our life are so wonderful. But I'll concede this part is getting more and more difficult lately.
 
She's right.

The chances of you sustaining a long term sex only relationship with an individual are slim. At the end of the day, you'll be sharing intimacy with that person that is lacking in your existing relationship and trying to source that from someone else.

Maybe its time to accept that this is a fundamental incompatibility before you use someone else to keep your marriage afloat.

Realistic options are using sex workers to have sex, admitting your marriage is no longer viable or having a poly marriage where you can both have intimacy outside of your marriage. She might not want sex but intimacy isn't only about sex. Especially not just about PIV.
 
Unless you establish rules such as:

1. Only have sex with another person once,
2. No kissing,
3. No eye gazing,
4. No vanilla activities, no sharing of food or going on walks or other outside the bedroom dates,
5. Very little talking about your lives,
6. Only texting to set up a sex date,

You run the very extreme risk of catching feelings for your sex partner. That is how human bodies are made. The hormones released during sex are bonding hormones. You get some good sex, you want to spend more time having it. You start to trust the other person. You share a meal. You joke, you flirt, you learn about their day, their friends and family, their job, their life. Boom. You've got a girlfriend.

In polyamory, this is exactly what we want. Sex and companionship, support, laughter, adventures, etc. A relationship.

You might be a rare person who can have regular sex with the same person and keep yourself free of feeling any emotion at all other than lust and release-- wham bam, thank you, ma'am. Cum, immediately get up, get dressed and leave. If this sounds fine to you and not cold and weird, go for it.
 
Greetings SpMd,
Welcome to our forum. Please feel free to lurk, browse, etc.

It isn't easy to have sex with someone without falling in love with them. Polyamory acknowledges this difficulty and embraces it. Having feelings for someone new doesn't mean that your wife means any less to you. Different people bring different things to the table. This doesn't mean you have to be polyamorous, it's just one thing to consider. And maybe your wife could start seeing someone as well (presumably without sex). Just a thought.

Sincerely,
Kevin T., "official greeter" :)

Notes:

There's a *lot* of good info in Golden Nuggets. Have a look!

Please read through the guidelines if you haven't already.

Note: You needn't read every reply to your posts, especially if someone posts in a disagreeable way. Given the size and scope of the site it's hard not to run into the occasional disagreeable person. Please contact the mods if you do (or if you see any spam), and you can block the person if you want.

If you have any questions about the board itself, please private-message a mod and they'll do their best to help.

Welcome aboard!
 
Thank you all for the feedback.

I'll concede this is a very new experience sharing this online, even if behind an anonymous account. I'm used to using forums for technical queries or surface social purposes. I'm surprised at how difficult it's been coming to terms with this being an issue and that I can't really ignore it indefinitely.

I think a big part of this challenge is that I really do love so much about our life together along with who she is as a person. In a sense, I think that's a big part of why this has taken so long to face. There's just so many things in the "pro" column, compared to the shorter "con", even if that one key item is up at the top.

Anyway, I thought I was adapting for a long time and that eventually my libido would get close enough to hers that I could just stick with taking care of myself in that department. I don't know why this is bothering me more and more lately, but it is. It's depressing, but I'm trying to work on figuring out something that can work for both of us.
 
I can understand that this is a very difficult process for you, this figuring out what to do about the mismatch in your libidos. Some people try swinging, that can be one thing that can work. It all depends on if you want to hold emotional bonding in reserve for just you and your wife.
 
Hi @SpMd, you are not alone. AVEN SPFA
I've been reading some of their posts on polyamory and really they need to be sending people this way.

Have you seen the number of threads there are recommending that peope just open their relationship for sex only relationships with other people? They speak as if this is a straightforward problem free solution.

Magdyln will be horrified to know many think this is polyamory.
 
The set up that you are envisioning of having a "functional sex" person while maintaining your relationship with an asexual spounse sounds very much like my arrangement with MrClean and MrS. Mags, however, is correct - most people seem to need a lot of rules and parameters to make this sort of set-up work, and many seem to still end up "catching the feels" 'cuz...biology.:sneaky:

So, I would say it IS possible but... How much experience do you have with NSA (No Strings Attached) or FWB (Friends with Benefits) sex? I would say the first barrier is - is this even something that YOU YOURSELF are capable of? This has always been my default way of approaching sex anyway, but even I am not immune to the biochemical factors. The bigger hurdle, then, for me was observing that most other people I was interested in would SAY they were up for NSA/FWB but then would get all weird and emotional. Grrr. Which was why I operated under the "Rule of Three" - I wouldn't sleep with someone more than 3 times. (Feel free to read relevant parts of my Journey blog for more on this).

Whether FWB actually falls under the poly umbrella, swinging umbrella, or something else is a matter of debate - but some of us have different relationships, sexual partners, etc. that fall in more than one category - for instance, I consider myself to be "poly" (in that I can love, and am comfortable with my partners loving, more than one person) but my relationships are also "open" (a broader type of ENM that includes sex-only relationships/encounters).

JaneQ
 
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need to be sending people this way.
I try, but that happens mostly in DMs when people really become interested in doing the work.

recommending that peope just open their relationship
It's but 1 of the 4 choices people can make. What opening means is for them to work out. It's actually a rarely taken path but it is one. I often cite @Magdlyn's suggested read "Opening Up" as a good starting point.
 
I try, but that happens mostly in DMs when people really become interested in doing the work.


It's but 1 of the 4 choices people can make. What opening means is for them to work out. It's actually a rarely taken path but it is one. I often cite @Magdlyn's suggested read "Opening Up" as a good starting point.

I think " don't add new relationships to an already troubled situation" is pretty much the first rule of opening your relationship. I'm surprised at any ENM poly people supporting it but poly people especially.

To me their sexless marriage is their problem to figure out together so they have 3 options: have sex, don't have sex, or split. I don't think one party being asexual means that arrangements that are frankly dehumanizing are any less that way. It seems like a way of copping out of addressing the elephant in the room by way of someone else's genitals.

Nobody's marriage is that important in my opinion.
 
I think " don't add new relationships to an already troubled situation" is pretty much the first rule of opening your relationship. I'm surprised at any ENM poly people supporting it but poly people especially.

The way I recall it: "Relationship broken, add more people." = recipe for disaster

Is not having sex with an asexual spouse necessarily an "already troubled situation"? There have been times in my life when it was a problem - such as when I was trying to conceive. There were times when my insecurity made it a problem - "am I just not desireable?" And then there were the times when it wasn't a problem at all - MrS and I shared intimacy intimacy in other ways. Sometimes I had outside partners and other times I did not.

To me their sexless marriage is their problem to figure out together so they have 3 options: have sex, don't have sex, or split. I don't think one party being asexual means that arrangements that are frankly dehumanizing are any less that way. It seems like a way of copping out of addressing the elephant in the room by way of someone else's genitals.

So if you go with option B - "don't have sex" - there are then suboptions. i.) don't have sex at all or ii.) don't have sex with each other

Is seeking out arrangements that include sex that suits the people in the arrangement "dehumanizing" just because they want sex?

What if I were looking for a girlfriend to go golfing with because my husband doesn't like golf? How about if I don't want to watch movies with Golf GF, but I would rather watch movies with just my husband (even if my girlfriend likes watching movies) because he knows how particular I am about my movie watching and everyone else just annoys the piss out of me?

I'm not entirely sober - so, in case I missed my target:
Golf=Sex
Movie=Romance

Nobody's marriage is that important in my opinion.

hmmm? SEX is not that important in my opinion?
Are we talking marriage as in "relationship" or Marriage as in "The Institution of..."?
 
" don't add new relationships to an already troubled situation"
Ah, the 4 options listed in SPFA aren't suggestions to fix the relationship, they're the only paths forward for the sexual person seeking respite from the unfulfilling situation they discover they're in.

Celibacy
Some kind of compromise
An open relationship
Break up

I don't suggest or condone the idea of using people to plug holes in one's relationships. If a sexual person in one of these mixed relationships wishes to pursue opening, they are coached in how to do the work and how to do it in an ethical manner, including warnings of PUD and pointing out that partners are human beings.

We aren't morons. Some of us successfully transition to ethical open relationships.

I think " don't add new relationships to an already troubled situation" is pretty much the first rule of opening your relationship
Agreed, so the first action item is to prepare and stabilize the relationship to be open. It has to exist on it's own merit such that it is no longer a troubled situation.

More people from that group show up here than you know.
Nobody is suggesting "Relationship broken, add more people."
 
Hi SpMd,

I suggest doing more work on your relationship with your wife before seeking outside sex. Your wife, also, has to do more work on the relationship (and on herself).

Your wife wasn't aware that she herself was asexual before marrying you. That's kind of a big thing to be unaware of (or unable to define) about oneself before entering into a lifelong monogamous sexual commitment. Even now, she "has conceded that it's probably an accurate description" but that doesn't sound like a very open or forthcoming statement about herself or her feelings about sex.

She needs to figure it out and be able to talk to you more openly about. Asexuality (like most things) is a spectrum. Where does she fall on that spectrum?

Is she sex-averse or just indifferent? Does she experience sexual attraction at all, to anyone? Does she have no libido at all, or just a a very low/occasional one (some people call that "gray-asexual)? Does she experience arousal? Does she have orgasms (by herself or with anyone)? Is there any type of sexual contact or act she enjoys (giving or receiving or whatever)? Does she enjoy giving you orgasms/being some way involved in your orgasms? Does she like the emotional intimacy that comes with sex? Does she like the physical contact of sex even if she doesn't get aroused? Does she like other forms of physical contact (hugging, massages, etc)? What about kissing/making out? What about the emotional intimacy of being naked together? Etc.

The answers to these questions may help you figure out ways to intimate with your wife. Unless she is completely sex-averse, there could be a wider range sexual activities that you could do together that still work with her asexuality. (Some asexual people enjoy sex, but don't experience orgasms, for example).

You tried specifically scheduling sex, but that didn't work well because you couldn't get into it knowing she wasn't into it. Maybe take intercourse off the table. Are there ANY sexual activities that she likes doing? Mutual masturbation? Making out with you while you masturbate? Giving you a blow job while you watch porn? Etc. Draw from the wide range of sexual things that people can do.

For example, my partner Eli has a much higher sex drive than me (which is funny because I have a fairly high sex drive, but that's another story lol). But anyway, sometimes he is horny and I know I won't be able to get super aroused or have an orgasm, but I am happy to help him out. We struggled with this at first because he would be disappointed if I wasn't getting super into it...like, intercourse didn't work well in that situation because he was uncomfortable with the idea that I was just "playing along." And he would have trouble with masturbating while I sort of awkwardly tried to "assist"...but finally we figure out that he REALLY enjoys masturbating while I sit on his face. I've never been able to orgasm in that position, but it's certainly not unpleasant ;) so it's a fun way for him to get off when I'm not in the mood for intercourse.

In a previous relationship, I was with a guy who had some sexual issues and had trouble having orgasms while being touched. But we figured out that he could sometimes get off by masturbating while watching me masturbate.

So, I mean, people figure stuff out to accommodate each other.

If you and your wife value monogamy and want to stay together, I suggest finding a marriage therapist who is knowledgeable about asexuality. Your wife should also probably see a therapist on her own if she needs help defining or figuring out her own sexuality/asexuality.
 
Is seeking out arrangements that include sex that suits the people in the arrangement "dehumanizing" just because they want sex?
The threads I saw were along the lines of "open the relationship with strict rules about keeping it sex only". I did a general Google search of the site for the term "polyamory" and read a good few of the threads it produced.

If the only reason you want to open your relationship is because you're not having sex with your partner, the chance of you objectifying the people with whom you meet that need are significantly increased.
hmmm? SEX is not that important in my opinion?
Are we talking marriage as in "relationship" or Marriage as in "The Institution of..."?

Nobody's marriage is worth dehumanizing other people to ensure it continues.

Overall I think proposing ENM (particularly polyamory) as a solution for a mismatch in sexual desire for each other is likely to encourage the kind of mindset that unicorn hunters have.
 
Again, thanks for all the feedback.

The last 72 hours have been a whirlwind. I've been very head down in learning about asexual-allosexual relationships. It's been especially cathartic to read many stories that sound exactly like mine in both the blogs and forums.

Sometimes they are worked out with an acceptance by one or both parties that ultimately remain monogamous. Sometimes they work out structure that allows for ENM. And sometimes nothing can be worked out and they split up.

So far, I've had about three short but meaningful conversations with my wife on various aspects I've been learning, and I'm now pretty sure this is the dynamic we're in. But I think this is really just the beginning. The most important part of this first step is that we're able to talk about it at all, which is sometimes the biggest breakdown for many of these kinds of relationships.
 
We've tried many different ways to reconcile this difference between us. For example, she's perfectly fine with scheduling it on a regular basis. But her not getting into it just makes me feel less and less comfortable about it happening. I don't want her to feel it's her duty as a wife.
i completely get not wanting to have sex with someone not wanting to have sex with you but if you’re required to have “ just sex “ to get off …..what the fuck is the difference. Paying a sex work or having you wife perform her duties isn’t it the same on a theoretical emotional level ? Neither one are in it for you.

More recently, I've been able to open up and talk to her more about this. I've been suggesting the possibility of my just finding "functional sex" outside our marriage. I don't need an emotional connection, or anything replacing the wonderful relationship I have with my wife. I just want to have sex with someone who likewise enjoys it as well. I fantasize about just knowing someone else who is in a sexless marriage but available for encounters that aren't much more than that.
I think all the other posters covered this.

Her concern -- understandably -- is that even if she trusts I could keep it detached and physical-only, it doesn't mean the would-be partner would. So where things were left off is that I'm taking the time to do my research (like coming to this forum) and getting a sense of what is realistic and what isn't.
has she done any research on sexless marriages and or a sexuality. How many yrs were you married and was this a question or issue from day one .

has she been able to identify a specific marker in time when she started feeling less sexual ?

Anyway, I hope I can figure out some answers. I've mostly kept this struggle to myself for many years now because I've secretly hoped I could just adapt better given how many other things in our life are so wonderful. But I'll concede this part is getting more and more difficult lately.
I don’t think you did yourself any favors by doing that because she took it to mean you were ok with that slide. It wasn’t an issue if concern or pressing problem that needed to be solved. This is her / team problem that can’t be solved by unilaterally by one person. All those neurochemical that make those bonding experiences are altered …the map is changed.

I think they say men have sex to bond and women have sex as a result of a bond. If you both look at this from the opposite maybe you can find a healthy path forward.
 
I'm also curious about how long you've known your wife, when she stopped wanting sex, and why, and how many years it's been since you two have stopped having sex regularly, or at all.

What were the red flags you mentioned in your first post, that indicated she might not be that interested in sex from the beginning, even when you two were having it a lot?

Sometimes having kids will knock out a woman's sex drive. Kids are exhausting and moms almost always do more of the parenting work than dads do, let's face it.

Sometimes women's hormones will cause her sex drive to be low, except maybe for a day or two around ovulation time. And on those days, she doesn't want to get pregnant so she may also avoid intercourse then!

In my case, my cycles really affected my drive. My sex drive was much higher around ovulation time. And then when I was on the pill, my body usually thought I was pregnant and didn't need sex. My sex drive increased greatly at age 42 when I became perimenopausal, and it's still high 20+ years later. On the other hand, my sister's sex drive decreased when she became perimenopausal, and never recovered. Her vagina even atrophied.

I'm so glad you and wife are talking about this! Lean into it. Don't just avoid it and feel lonely and unfulfilled. Maybe things will improve if you figure out your dynamics.
 
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Ah, the 4 options listed in SPFA aren't suggestions to fix the relationship, they're the only paths forward for the sexual person seeking respite from the unfulfilling situation they discover they're in.

Celibacy
Some kind of compromise
An open relationship
Break up

I don't suggest or condone the idea of using people to plug holes in one's relationships. If a sexual person in one of these mixed relationships wishes to pursue opening, they are coached in how to do the work and how to do it in an ethical manner, including warnings of PUD and pointing out that partners are human beings.

We aren't morons. Some of us successfully transition to ethical open relationships.


Agreed, so the first action item is to prepare and stabilize the relationship to be open. It has to exist on it's own merit such that it is no longer a troubled situation.

More people from that group show up here than you know.
Nobody is suggesting "Relationship broken, add more people."
Pardon my ignorance, what is PUD?
 
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