My partner of 10 years has suddenly realised that she is Asexual and always has been, and can no longer face having sex, despite previously fairly active sex life. It's a bit of a shock and takes a bit of a leap of faith to grasp it. I'd never really known what asexuality was until I had to recently research it. Relationship is good and it's not going to break it. Communication is key - yes- I know all that. But has anyone else experienced this? It's not all about me, she needs support too, but I do matter too (the non asexual partner is rarely addressed on asexual forums, but there is plenty of support for the Asexual). I turn to you. No sex for several months now. She's fine with it. I'm accepting if it. I'm not looking for judgement. I feel judged already by wanting sex which I kind of have to politely surpress. Long term - What do you do on a practical level about sex? My drive has always been high. Masturbation alone doesn't have the same interaction, I adore caressing a woman and love making my partner orgasm (which she does (or did) ). I fear the complications of an "open relationship" and frankly would not want one. Tricky isn't it?
That's a really big change. Happy to hear it's not going to break your relationship. =) I agree with everything you write. Although I haven't been in the situation you are now, I have ace friends - so here are my 2 cents.
You do matter. But let's get one thing out of the way first: She might have felt pressured to have sex all these years, without you even noticing. In some cases, it can feel almost as bad as being raped - the person lets someone have sex with them even though they do not want to. If that is the case for your partner, besides open communication between the two of you, she might need to see a therapist. That wouldn't be a bad idea either way, given it's a therapist that works with non-cis people.
What do you mean by ''I feel judged already by wanting sex which I kind of have to politely surpress''? Who do you feel is judging you? Is it your partner or yourself? There absolutely nothing wrong with wanting sex. You should not be or feel judged for it.
When it comes to the practical stuff... Are there things that give you sexual pleasure that your partner would like to do? Also, why wouldn't you consider a non-monogamous relationship?
It sounds like a very difficult situation for you both to be in, and it must be hard to accept that the sex life that you had is now over. I think some sex therapy for you both as a couple is a good idea, as it will be difficult to go forward as a couple with such different needs/wants. Maybe with support you can explore your feelings in a safe place, and look at how you both can be happy. I think it’s great that you are considering living your life without a sexual relationship. However, I think in reality this will be difficult to sustain and resentment may build. Forever is a long time when you are not having sexual contact when you want it. I have got experience of being in a relationship where sex drives are miss matched, and sex has been withheld. Over time I found it erodes my confidence, and it had taken a long time for me to have a satisfying sex life with a new partner. The feelings of having to repress my sexual desires, and also of being rejected have taken a long time to subside. Good luck, and I hope that things work out well for you both.
Thanks for the replies. Bizarrely it was usually my partner who initiated sex. I am always receptive. Sex seemed to just naturally happen and she genuinely enjoyed it. Anyway, that is the past. As for an open relationship - I'd be concerned in case any of the parties (me included) got hurt or it created jealousy or ended the relationship. I would not be able to deal with my partner sleeping with someone else, and I can not think that anyone would genuinely be ok about that, so why should I put my partner through that? I'd think she'd be wracked with jealousy and sadness if I had a relationship with someone else. Being judged - maybe its in my head. But - the non Ace seems to be basically told to get on with it - the Ace can't change how they - they have bravely come out - so accept it. I agree with that. I do feel as though any expression of desire on my part (in forums or in real life) kind of feels petty. I don't know. That's just how it seems to me. I kind of feel apologetic for being who I am and wanting sex (ideally with my partner...! Arghhh!!!) although I do not even suggest it or attempt to seduce anymore - which is correct I hope. Hey who needs therapy when I can post on here!? How do Ace couples out there make this work...?
I think that the way you feel about wanting sex “being petty” is why you need to explore your feelings. As the partner who has sexual desire, of course you have to understand that your partner doesn’t want to engage in sexual activity with you. But that doesn’t mean that you have to accept a future without sexual contact. It’s interesting that’s your partner has previously initiated sex and enjoyed sex. Has she ruled out physical causes of her loss of interest in sex? Could her contraception, any other medication, menopause, depression etc be causing this? Also breastfeeding, childbirth injury etc can also cause problems. It may be worth her discussing this with her GP to see if a physical cause can be found.
Partner has had counselling on this and that determined that she is Asexual. We had already run through the list of physical or emotional possibilities to see if it could be those instead...but no.
I'm incredibly sad for you and admire your choice to respect your partner's situation. I'm not sure I could handle that - which probably reflects badly on me.