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Relationships and Dating Ask here for advice on dates, break-ups and other relationship concerns.

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How do I approach this conversation with her? - March 13th 2018, 07:30 PM

This thread has been labeled as non-PG13 by the original poster or by a Moderator. The contents of this thread might therefore not be suitable for younger users. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

I've been dating a girl for several months now, M. I posted recently about how I hated her friends. She and I had a nice talk several weeks ago about a lot of the anger I was feeling and we ironed some things out. Things have been much happier since then. The only thing I wish was different is we don't get to spend as much time together as I would like to, but we're working on remedying that. I no longer harbor any anger towards her (or her friends, for that matter).

However, there is something else I need to talk to her about. It has to do with the physical nature of our relationship( if a mod doesn't feel this belongs here please feel free to move it). At the moment we're in a BDSM dynamic where I'm the top and she's the bottom. We're both switches but after we played when we first met she told me she felt submissive towards me, so that's how things just fell into place. I was happy with it at first; topping gives me a natural high that I enjoy. However, topping also comes with a lot of responsibility. Bottoming does, too, but an added aspect of topping is that the top has to make all the decisions, and frankly I don't want to be in that position. I also don't feel like being responsible for someone else's safety other than my own, so between those two things I'm really turned off of topping, at least not topping all the time.

Then there's the sexual aspect of the relationship. M is a trans woman who hasn't had bottom surgery and it causes a lot of issues sexually speaking. She has a LOT of dysphoria, like a level I'm not used from trans partners. It makes her reluctant to have penetrative sex, which is fine; we can find other ways to be sexual. The problem is those "other ways" become all about pleasing her and never fulfilling my sexual needs. When I asked her why she said it's because my anatomy reminds her of what she doesn't have so she's reluctant to touch me. That's fine; I understand it (although it hurt to hear), but it meant my libido with her dropped to zero because between the pressure to always be sexual towards her and getting nothing in return made me not want to bother with it because it was too stressful.

I don't want to break up with her, but essentially I want our relationship to become a vanilla, asexual relationship and I don't know how she'll take it. I don't even know how to approach the conversation. So how do I bring this up? How should I lay it out in a way that's straightforward and open but not hurtful? I don't want her to feel like she's done anything wrong because she hasn't really; this is my feelings and my experiences. Any thoughts?


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Re: How do I approach this conversation with her? - March 14th 2018, 05:21 AM

My first thought is this: vanilla, asexual relationship? Then why make it a relationship at all? If it's vanilla and asexual, what exactly are you trying to get out of the relationship that can't be achieved through friendship? You don't want to break up with her because she's a good kisser? Good cuddler? I'm really curious about your logic on this because it makes absolutely no sense to me. So if you could, please elaborate more on this.

My second thought is her situation. She's dating you, so we must assume 1 or 2 things:

1. She agrees with your polyamory philosophy
2. She has multiple partners

If she agrees with your philosophy, she understands that one person can't satisfy all your needs. She'll understand that she can't satisfy your needs, and you will need to look for yet another partner to satisfy those needs, or fulfill those needs with at least one of your current partners. Automatically, it's assumed that she agrees with your lifestyle choice, so being honest would probably be the best route regardless. Communication plays a big part in your lifestyle, anyways, and there's really no other way for you to tell someone to pretty much put up or put out. Bottom line is that you're not sexually satisfied because she can't handle the fact that she's got a one-eyed snake, and you've got a yum yum. She's letting her personal issues affect the sex, it's turning you off. You're assuming she's not going to fix her personal issues, or accommodate your desires, so you're giving up sex completely with this person, only to rely more heavily on another partner, or add another person to the list of people you're in a relationship with so they can provide you what trans person can't. Bottom line is that she's getting the shitty end of the stick, UNLESS she's turned off by your lack of desire to fulfill her needs, and feels the same way.

The only thing you CAN do is be honest and offer as much explanation as you can. If sex was a big part of the relationship and she can't rightfully deal with the fact that her partner doesn't want to have sex with her, then breaking up is an option, and staying friends would be the most preferred choice because that's pretty much what a vanilla asexual relationship is, anyways! In the end, it's a win-win!
   
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Re: How do I approach this conversation with her? - March 14th 2018, 07:26 PM

I think you might be misunderstanding some of the things I'm saying. First of all, I expected to get the vanilla, asexual question. By your logic you're invalidating the relationships every single asexual individual has, calling them friendships. Sexuality and romance between to two different spectrums, which is why there are romantic asexuals. Yes, I know I'm not asexual, but the same idea applies: I have romantic feelings for her. As a result, I want to stay with her in a romantic capacity. I also want to do things physically with her that you wouldn't do with a friend, such as kissing, biting, stuff above the waist. Maybe I don't have the right kind of friendships but that doesn't sound like the kind of things you do with friends. So yes, I have every right to want to keep our relationship a relationship because it's A) okay to be vanilla and B) okay to be asexual. One of the people in my family is asexual with both her partners (as in they are asexual with her...she isn't naturally asexual, just like I'm not). Why? She loves them, and they're all happy with it. So it's possible.

Second, I have tried to explain this to you many times: poly isn't always about someone not fulfilling every one of your needs. Sure, I get different things from different partners, but I'm not checking off a box as to whether they fill this way or another. I will admit right now I am missing a sexual need and I'm on the lookout, but nothing is wrong with that. I'm not asking M to "put up or put out," as you put it; I've known from the beginning she's not into any kind of sex using that part of her anatomy and that was okay. She did, however, lead me to believe she was into other kinds of sexual activity, like fingering, oral, etc. Those are things I enjoy, and I kept waiting for them to happen, but every time we were together she expected me to do things to her whilst not offering to reciprocate at all. I eventually became frustrated with this; I began to think it was because she wasn't actually attracted to me or something like that. I ended up bringing it up multiple times and she always said she'd get around to it but she never did. THEN we had the conversation about how she was hesitant because I have a "yum yum" as you put it. Genitalia has never been, and never will be, and issue for me; I don't care what's in a person's pants. To hear it was an issue for her was a surprise and I wish she'd been honest from the beginning instead of leading me to believe she was interested in me sexually when she wasn't.

So yes, I am looking for someone else to have sex with, because my primary has a low libido right now and that's not looking like that will change any time soon, and because M is scared of sex. That doesn't put "more pressure" on someone else; I'm not going to drain them of sexual energy. I just want someone I can see once a week or so for sexy fun times, and that's not putting pressure on any of my relationships.

I am happy with S, my primary. I am happy with M save for the issues I mentioned. The only difference I want is a partner I can have sex with more often so I can fulfill that aspect of my desires.

By the way, based on what you said you're assuming all trans people can't fulfill me. That's not true. I've had many successful sexual and romantic relationships with trans individuals. Please don't generalize.

But yes, thank you for your advice. I will be open and honest about it with her, but how do I address it without sounding callous?


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Re: How do I approach this conversation with her? - March 15th 2018, 03:45 AM

Hey,

I haven't responded because there were some things I was struggling to understand as well but I didn't know how to ask. Now that I understand what you mean by the vanilla asexual relationship I get it a ton more. I don't know a ton about asexuality though so I didn't want to respond and make assumptions and I realize I could have asked what you meant about vanilla asexual relationships as it seems like there would be things the two of you would do that would be satisfying for both but you would need a bit more? I know asexuality is complex which is why I was confused and I didn't want to say something rude so was trying to figure out how to get clarification without coming off as so.

I am not really certain how to explain this to her without seeming callous. I mean, she isn't comfortable with doing certain things because of dysphoria and the fact that you want to continue a relationship but change the dynamic, in my opinion, shows that you are trying to respect her while also getting your needs met. In any relationship, we need to get our needs met in some way and if we aren't we have to discuss that. It is common for people to struggle to express their wants and desires in a relationship but it doesn't sound like your feelings are callous.

One thing I have been thinking is maybe you could discuss this with S. Maybe she could help you come up with the best approach to the situation? I don't know if the both of you help each other with things like that but she might have some advice to offer that could help you figure out the best way to have the conversation?

Your needs matter too though so if you need to change the relationship dynamics that doesn't make you callous in my opinion.

I know this probably isn't the greatest response so I apologize for that.


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Re: How do I approach this conversation with her? - March 16th 2018, 03:58 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanceCommander View Post
I think you might be misunderstanding some of the things I'm saying. First of all, I expected to get the vanilla, asexual question. By your logic you're invalidating the relationships every single asexual individual has, calling them friendships.
Absolutely not. I'm defining asexuality in the context of your life. And your life is far from asexual! In fact, there's asexual, and then there's Jordansexual. You've probably done more sexually with more people than I will probably do in my entire lifetime. Not that it's a bad thing, of course, but when you toss around the word "asexual," it confuses the hell out of me. Being sexually unattracted to someone doesn't make you asexual; that's like me taking it up the butt behind a Wal-Mart by Pierce Brosnan and identifying myself as a heterosexual. No, that's not how it works, at all.

You're not an asexual. I think we can probably agree on that one. I'm a firm believer in calling something for what it is, and what you feel towards your partner is not asexuality; it's straight up lack of sexual desire.

I think we've established that you can't help being gay, and you can't help being Jordansexual. Therefore, you will always have a desire, whether it's sexual or not. If you had just said "I have a romantic connection with Trans person. I'm in love with this person, I want her to be a part of my life until she gets pushed out of the circle by a more compatible mate" then I would understand that. However, you didn't. So I had to rewind a little bit and touch on that subject and see if we can get on the same page.

But food for thought...you have this great partner, right? If you and this person are meant to be together romantically, wouldn't it make sense for her to hear your pleads of sexual dissatisfaction and say "you know what, Jordan...you're right. My personal issues are negatively affecting our sex life, and I need to work on that." That's what partners do. They make compromises because they love each other. However, if she's making no effort into that and it's resulting in you having zero sexual desire for her, then how great can this woman really be? I don't know, Jordan. That leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

I know you go into small length about not being naturally asexual, but I reiterate what I said because it's not accurate to slap a name on something and assume it accurately describes your lifestyle choices and whatnot. If there's anything I've learned about myself, it's that what I feel and how I feel can't be summarized in fridge magnets. And asexuality is just like bisexuality, heterosexuality. It can't be just individualized based on how you feel about particular people.



Quote:
Originally Posted by DanceCommander View Post
By the way, based on what you said you're assuming all trans people can't fulfill me. That's not true. I've had many successful sexual and romantic relationships with trans individuals. Please don't generalize.
Can you provide a quote where I say that trans people can't fulfill you? I'm having trouble finding anything remotely close to it. If you're assuming that I..assume that trans people can't fulfill you because your trans-person has maybe some identity issues and whatnot, absolutely not. What I say is this:

Quote:
Bottom line is that you're not sexually satisfied because she can't handle the fact that she's got a one-eyed snake, and you've got a yum yum. She's letting her personal issues affect the sex, it's turning you off. You're assuming she's not going to fix her personal issues, or accommodate your desires, so you're giving up sex completely with this person, only to rely more heavily on another partner, or add another person to the list of people you're in a relationship with so they can provide you what trans person can't.
For the record, I called your partner "trans person" because I don't know their name. I get where you assumed I was generalizing, but if I had said "trans PEOPLE," THEN I would've been generalizing. No, no. If anyone could fulfill me, I KNOW a transperson could, because they've been on both sides of the playing field, if you know what I mean!
   
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Re: How do I approach this conversation with her? - March 16th 2018, 07:00 PM

I hate to break it to you, but it is an asexual relationship. Yes, I know I am not asexual. I have sex with other people, like my nesting partner, S (right now she's the only one but I'm open to having sex with people other than her, too). However, there's a difference between BEING asexual and having an asexual relationship. My relationship with M is void of sex. That makes it asexual. As for another example, S and my meta, A, have been romantically involved for over seven years now. They don't have sex because S no longer fills sexual desire for A, as you put it. Yes, the issue is the lack of sexual desire, but that makes the relationship asexual because of the fact they don't have sex. A also doesn't have sex with E because E DOES identify as asexual. A is not asexual. However, that makes their relationship asexual, because they don't have sex. Do you see where I'm going with this?

But I didn't make this post to argue the nuances of asexuality with you, or, for that matter, the nuances of poly. You haven't even answered the questions I posed in my thread except to tell me to "be honest and offer as much explanation as I can." Of course I'm going to do that. That's how I carry out every conversation with my partners; it's called being an adult. You didn't give any advice as to how to BRING UP the conversation, which is what I asked about. So if you have some insight as to that, great, I really appreciate it. But if you just want to continue to tell me what it is I want, then please stop posting, as it isn't helpful to me.


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Re: How do I approach this conversation with her? - March 17th 2018, 06:43 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanceCommander View Post
I hate to break it to you, but it is an asexual relationship. Yes, I know I am not asexual. I have sex with other people, like my nesting partner, S (right now she's the only one but I'm open to having sex with people other than her, too). However, there's a difference between BEING asexual and having an asexual relationship. My relationship with M is void of sex. That makes it asexual. As for another example, S and my meta, A, have been romantically involved for over seven years now. They don't have sex because S no longer fills sexual desire for A, as you put it. Yes, the issue is the lack of sexual desire, but that makes the relationship asexual because of the fact they don't have sex. A also doesn't have sex with E because E DOES identify as asexual. A is not asexual. However, that makes their relationship asexual, because they don't have sex. Do you see where I'm going with this?
I always got where you were coming from, but I guess the ultimate question I'm asking you is why? See, I'm not poly like you are. I don't understand the decisions you make. How can someone accurately give you advice towards something without fully understanding your situation? This is why I'm challenging you. I'm sure you might use a different word here, but I'm asking questions and pointing out potential issues with your logic to try to further understand your logic, so I can figure out a way for you to compromise with your partner so that everybody wins. See, I'm monogamous. In my perspective, the above circumstance, my impression of that whole thing is that A is settling for E. Being asexual is perfectly fine and dandy, but as someone who is monogamous, I have a lot of questions because how can someone who is NOT asexual be involved with someone who IS asexual? See, you're not constrained. You ultimately have unlimited freedom to do what you please as long as it doesn't negatively impact anyone. And based on what you've said about other people, I see a lot of people settling for other people, and the only reason why they can do that is because they're poly. See, in my lifestyle, I can't settle like that. If my girlfriend and I aren't sexually compatible, it affects the relationship. I can't just communicate that I don't find her sexually attractive, and she'll settle with not having sex while I develop a sexual relationship with someone else. In my world, it's heartbreaking. So I can't help but ask the question...why?

As previously asked, which I haven't gotten a response for yet is why is M not willing to work on her personal issues to help you become interested in sex with her again? To me, that's not what couples do. If you so claim to be in a romantic relationship with M, which we aren't here to argue about what that means, are there simply no compromises or sacrifices for the ones you love when living a poly lifestyle? Or is it basically individuals readjusting their connections with people based on circumstances that negatively impact them? For instance...the whole deal with M. M can't provide what you're looking for sexually, so now it's a burden on you to go back into the market and look for someone who CAN provide you those needs, while still maintaining a relationship with M for the other reasons you're staying in a relationship for? In my eyes, your lifestyle seems about adaptation. And if THAT is the case, then the people you interact with should fully understand that things can change, and they can't expect to always satisfy every need. But to me, if you alter anything about a relationship, I feel like a person deserves an answer. There needs to be clear understanding on both sides. In my mind, and maybe it's just the mono mind talking, but what I don't understand is why can't M work on her personal issues to satisfy you? If M downright refuses to do anything about it, then at that point...I would understand the altering. If there's an issue with it, at least she understands why the change into you making the decision to not have sex. But the REAL issue that I see here and, again...maybe it's the mono talking, but how can you rightfully be with someone knowing that their personal issues are negatively impacting the relationship, and they are refusing to do something about it? I mean...that's how you build relationships, regardless of what lifestyle you choose to believe in! You solve problems...together. In my mind, you should have a conversation...but not about telling her you wanna stop having sex. As a partner, you want to help them grow. Encourage them to be the best that they can be. However, if their personal issues are holding themselves back, as a partner, it should be your responsibility to shine the light on that subject, and make it an opportunity to build that relationship solving those problems. The problem isn't you wanting to stop having sex...again, it is WHY that I'm most curious about.

I really do want to get to the bottom of this, and I know that you're expecting a simple answer. But some problems aren't solved by simple solutions. I've known you for a good while. I realize my advice has become a bit more cold hearted than it used to be, that I'm more of an asshole, and I do need to watch that. However, I don't challenge your beliefs to make you look like a fool. I challenge your beliefs because, in my mind, I see something that you may not see, and I'm shining the light on it. Yeah, you might get mad and all that, but getting mad isn't necessarily a bad thing. There were a lot of things that my dad said to me that made me mad. Now that he's passed away, I look back at those things he said to me, and for the most part, he was right. Deep down, I was mad at him because I knew he was right, and I just didn't want to admit it. I'm not saying that's the case with you, but I like to open people up a little bit and consider things in an open perspective. Yeah, it's uncomfortable. But it's supposed to be.
   
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Re: How do I approach this conversation with her? - March 17th 2018, 07:51 AM

I'm sorry this thread hasn't made much progression towards answering your question. I don't know a ton about transgenderism and gender dysphoria but I'm going to try my best to offer some help here.

I don't think that being transgender or experiencing gender dysphoria should eternally bar a person from working through personal issues and relationship obstacles. Yes, being sexual with you may make her dysphoric, and obviously she can't help that. But she can make efforts to work through it, can't she? You don't just know you have a problem and then give up and accept that your life is just forever going to be impacted negatively because of it. You work to fix the problem.

Those other ways of having sex should not need to become all about her. I'm sure you have probably thought of this already, so sorry if this isn't helpful, but I do think you could have a deeper talk with her about things she'd be willing to try experimenting with, just to see. It's definitely important that you explain to her how you're feeling and that it's unfair for you to not get anything out of the sexual aspect of your relationship. Some suggestions might be to incorporate sex toys, so that she could start by approaching that aspect of your anatomy without necessarily having to interact with it herself. Or maybe incorporating another person into your sex life who could please both of you?


That being said, if a vanilla, asexual relationship is the answer to this issue all you can do is come out and tell her so. I think the best way to start off that conversation would be by saying what you said here: That it's really not her fault at all and she hasn't done anything wrong. It's just that it isn't working out for you in that way, but you do still want to be with her.
I don't think there's really an easy way to put it, it's obviously going to be a tough conversation to have no matter how you say it.

As for topping, that seems like it could be fixed with a conversation too. For any dom/sub relationship I think the nature of the relationship can be very flexible. Just because you're the top in the relationship doesn't mean you have to make all the decisions. Maybe part of being the top could be allowing her to have some say in things too - but only with your permission. That way you could still keep the BDSM aspect of the relationship without making you feel stressful with all the responsibility.

Again, sorry if none of this is helpful. We obviously have very different outlooks on relationships so if I said something that's just flat out wrong or doesn't apply then I'm sorry.


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Re: How do I approach this conversation with her? - March 17th 2018, 08:48 PM

Thank you everyone for your advice. I had the talk with her and it was surprisingly easy. She wasn't surprised at all by what I had to say and she was okay with it. She told me she understood how it's hard to force yourself to be something you're not and that I shouldn't have to do that, that she cares about me no matter what and wants to stay with me for ME, not because I top her or engage in sexual activity with her. So it went really well, and we're still together, and there's a lot less stress. Thank y'all!

A mod can close this now.


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Re: How do I approach this conversation with her? - March 17th 2018, 11:12 PM

Glad you were able to work through this.

I will go ahead and close it. Feel free to message me if you'd like it re-opened.


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