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The V-Spot: Will Our Mixed Desire Dating Last?

 

Hi, Yana!

I recently started dating somebody who ticks (nearly) all the right boxes for me. This is the first time since breaking up with my sweetheart of over two years that I’ve felt this way, and it’s really exciting. There’s only one hiccup: he seems to be grey-a and I’m about as allosexual as it gets. He prefers to cuddle; I’d have sex twice a day if I could.

We talked about this shortly after we started seeing each other, and it seems like things are workable, at least for now — he says he’s game for non-monogamy and I have other partners who are excited to have the kind of sex that excites me. He’s my only local partner, though, and I can’t help but wonder if this sort of arrangement is sustainable. I’m really wary of implicitly pressuring him into being more sexual than he’d like, but I also can’t help the fact that I’m super horny basically always.

How common are successful allosexual/asexual relationships? What can we do to make sure that both of our needs are getting met? What can we do to make sure that we don’t hurt each other if/when our sexual desires don’t match up?

-Dating, But Not Mating

Dear Not Mating,

In any romantic and/or sexual dynamic with another person, it’s impossible that our desire will perfectly mirror our partner’s and many couples have extreme desire discrepancies. This particular dynamic with your Grade A, grey-a bae just has a slightly more disparate desire difference to negotiate.

First, let’s nail some terms, courtesy of my former intern Emmett DuPont who wrote a great blog post for my website about just this:

  1. Allosexual: You & the majority of people. Allosexuals experience sexual attraction and desire at a level that is considered normative in our society. For people who are allosexual, sexual intimacy is usually a necessary part of partner relationships.
  2. Grey asexuality. Grey-ace. Grey-A: Your boo. Emmett says: Grey-A is a term that people might use if they fall on the spectrum of asexuality, somewhere between completely asexual, and completely allosexual. For example, experiencing sexual attraction only after intimate friendships, or only occasionally”.
  3. Asexual: Emmett says: “Some asexual folks experience absolutely no sexual desire or attraction. Some asexual folks are sex repulsed, wanting nothing to do with any sexual experience, while other aces might find that they are perfectly happy to do certain, consensual sexual acts to meet the needs of a partner”.

So, how do you deal with such a desire discrepancy (besides consensual non-monogamy which, you’re already doing)?

In a 2014 interview with EverydayFeminism.com, David Jay, founder of Asexuality.org reminds allosexual partners that “It’s important to give asexual people a place to celebrate and talk about all their important relationships, not just sexual ones. Sexual people need to treat those kinds of intimacy as if they are as interesting and exciting as romantic/sexual intimacy because they are!”.

Which is to say, Not Mating, any implicit pressure for your partner to sexually perform at your allosexual level will likely come from inside of you. If you’ve made genuine peace with all that comes with enthusiastically consenting to dating a greysexual person in all of their glory, you will be less likely to inadvertently turn up the heat for more than they have to offer you.

Be clear about what you are truly okay with, too. In a mutually respectful relationship, there is no space for pity or charity. In fact, it may even disempower your partner’s already marginalized sexuality identity even further if you continue to date him because you want to prove to him or yourself that you can do without a certain level of sexual interaction. Especially if you can’t! Each of you are entitled to have, express, and be honored for your unique desire levels and identities.

Finally, avoiding hurt is something we all want in our relationships but may not be able to fulfill, especially in a relationship with inherently conflicting desires built into it. Though I can’t give you a percentage of success here, I can tell you this relationship will take some honest boundary setting, exploring, and work, as all desire discrepancies do!

 

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How Do We Get The Mood Back?

Hi Yana,

My boyfriend and I have been together for a long time. We moved in together six months ago into our new home in New Mexico. But, I’m really not feeling our sex life lately. I feel bad because my boyfriend is amazing, but I’m never ever in the mood to have sex.

Lately, we have sex once a month and it’s only because I feel bad so I just pretend. Is there anything I can do? We’re a rather conservative couple, but how do I get the mood back? We’ve just been together so long and work is so tiring that we kinda just don’t really think about it anymore. But it weighs on us. And I want a little excitement between us again. Any advice?

— Feeling Dry in the Desert

Long-term couples make a common mistake: waiting for The Mood to strike spontaneously. More-so, they both wait for The Mood to strike each of them, at the same and right time. The timing gets more particular still as we wait for the cosmic alignment of The Mood, our work schedules, menstrual cycles, etc. If we all waited for this divine intersection, we’d never have sex. You gotta manage that mood! Intentionally manage The Mood? *GASP!* “But what about sexiness?

Mainstream depictions of sex show that sex is only sexy when it’s void of outright communication. Therefore, we think that if we intentionally manage The Mood, we can’t possibly also be sexy. But this simply isn’t true and is also in fact detrimental to your sex life. So, what do you do?

1.) Ditch the idea of The Mood as all-ruling and spontaneous. Bye, Mood!

2.) Verbally acknowledge to your boyfriend that The Mood as you’ve known it has fallen by the wayside (normal!) and that you’d like to respark your sexual connection.

3.) Schedule sex. Sure, if one of you gets food poisoning that night, you won’t be having the sex. It’s not a contract. But, carving out space for sex at least gives it a chance.

4.) Redefine sex. You don’t have to do the all-out, two-hour long, multi-orgasmic marathon sex date to have it be successful. Maybe you’ll make out hot and heavy for an hour and then call it quits. If you give yourselves permission to do these smaller sexual activities, it’ll likely lead to more. But, knowing that it doesn’t have to makes the whole thing less daunting…continue reading…

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Why Don’t I Want Sex With My BF?

I’ve been with my boyfriend for six years and he was my first and only sexual partner. Sexually we struggle. Well, I struggle. The thought of having sex is like a chore. I try really hard to do it even when I don’t want to because I know he needs that and it’s a necessary part of our relationship. He isn’t forceful or anything; I just feel bad. Once I can get myself past the initiation of it, it can be enjoyable. I’m career-oriented and my focus isn’t on the relationship. The sexual aspect of it just isn’t important to me and I don’t want to do it.

However, I think about sleeping with other people all the time and I even told him that. He told me if I wanted to have a one night stand I could if I never saw that person again.

This idea is appealing because I sometimes think I might be taking my boyfriend for granted, but I just don’t have much to compare him to. I don’t know that I could actually go through with it though. It’s basically an okay to cheat! He also says I couldn’t be mad if he does it as well. I might be fine with this because I know I don’t fulfill his needs as a man.

We love each other and talk about long term. So, why don’t I want to have sex with my boyfriend? Does sleeping with someone else put me in an open relationship or is that just a hall pass? Will it work or ruin everything?

This is A LOT! So here’s some quick-and-dirty advice:

1.) Open relationships can be great! But I don’t think it’s a viable option for you two at this time as there’s other work that needs doing here.

2.) Stop having this chore-sex that you outright say you don’t want to be having. Sex doesn’t need to be forceful in order to be nonconsensual, BotC. Being together for six years does not negate the need for consent — meaning, you and your boyfriend both saying an enthusiastic “Yes!” to the sex you’re both enjoying together and actively negotiating until you can get there.

3.) No one has ever died of blue balls and your boyfriend’s penis doesn’t need you. This antiquated, sexist, bullshit reasoning that women need to submit to men because men need to get off is a social set-up. In many ways it works against both men and women and certainly against consensual, loving, good sex and it’s a set-up that your boyfriend is (subconsciously or consciously) using to his benefit…continue reading…

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Getting Selfish in the Sack

We’re socialized to not ask for what we want. This applies to promotions, the best looking cookie in the cafe’s pastry case and, of course, sex. When we pointedly ask for what we want, we’re seen as selfish, greedy, finicky and maybe even a little mean. When women ask for what they want in bed they’re stamped with ye olde “slut” badge. When men ask, they’re viewed as non-masculinely picky: you have a penis for fuck’s sake how difficult can it really be to please? No wonder we’re not asking for what we want in the sack.

The assumption that we’re only good at The Sex if we know exactly what our partners want just by getting naked with them is totally absurd. Yet media everywhere (myself included) cash in on giving you tips to “give her what she wants” and “how to blow his mind”.

Well, here’s the simple answer to all of these supposed sexual mysteries: Ask.

This is the truth: if you ask for what you want and need, you are more likely to get it than if you don’t. Continued…