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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Identity » Stranger asked me for asexuality advice.

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Author Topic: Stranger asked me for asexuality advice.
mizchastain
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Hi, it's been a while. I'm still having some problems with intrusive worries, but I'm now on a medication designed specifically to treat that, which my previous antidepressants weren't, and am seeking out a counsellor with expertise in treating autistic people. I'm not getting into fights anymore, and I'm generally trying hard to get along better with people. I'm doing okay, but recently someone asked me for advice and I'm not sure what the appropriate response was.

In more detail; I brought up my asexuality on a different board. Someone I'd never spoken to PMed me and asked for advice on dealing with their own. I discussed it briefly with them. This person mentioned in the course of our few exchanges that they are significantly older than me and married, and said that they "hate" sex (their word) but endure it for the sake of their marriage. They didn't say whether their spouse knows that. I told them I wasn't sure I could offer advice on that topic and directed them to the AVEN website, they thanked me, and we didn't speak again, but I wonder if I should have said anything more. My thought was to ask them if they were sure they were okay with their situation because the word "hate" made me think they may not be, but on the other hand I don't know them and I don't think I should advise a stranger on a topic I have no experience with. I did tell them I'd be willing to talk privately about asexuality, so it wasn't entirely inappropriate of them to tell me.

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Robin Lee
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Hey mizchastain,

It's absolutely appropriate to send someone to a Web site where they can learn more about something and find people to connect with on a concern.

As you said, you have no experience with the specific issue they brought up, and you're certainly not obligated to go past your own comfort level and type of experience in talking with someone, particularly someone you don't know. It's also not usually helpful to offer someone advice or helps with something when you aren't comfortable doing so or don't have the knowledge or experience to help you do so well.


Does this answer help?

[ 04-29-2013, 06:49 PM: Message edited by: Robin Lee ]

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Robin

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mizchastain
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Yeah, that all makes sense. I just didn't really want to leave someone in a bad situation, if the situation really was as bad as it sounded. I would be totally miserable if it was me, but it's possible they know perfectly well what they're doing and they're fine. I'm not sure if I should ask.
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Robin Lee
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Usually when people are in bad situations, they're the ones who have to figure that out for themselves. Plus, as you said, sometimes a situation that we know would feel really bad for us is something that another person is able to make work for themselves. [Smile]

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Robin

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mizchastain
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Bad news. I decided to ease my own worries by asking if they were okay, expecting they would be, and they're not. They say the spouse knows they hate it and blackmails them into it anyway, with the threat that if they don't do it the spouse will tell the authorities they're emotionally abusive to their child and get the child taken away. The asexuality strikes me as irrelevant at this point, since that would be abusive behaviour whoever it was aimed at, and I think the child would be better off away from a parent who behaves like that. I know I don't have the knowledge or authority to coach them through this, but are there any good links I could direct them to where they could get help?
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Robin Lee
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Domestic violence resources would probably be the best to suggest. A simple google search should yield such resources in their area, or, if they're in the US, there is a national domestic violence hotline.


Remember that you can't help this person. they have to decide what they need; maybe talking on the Internet is all they need right now.

You mentioned above that you're looking for a counselor for yourself. How is that going? As they say on airplanes, always put your own oxygen mask on first. [Smile]

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Robin

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mizchastain
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I'm not entirely sure an unmarried childfree virgin stranger with a communication disorder is the best source of advice for a domestic abuse sufferer and I'm not too comfortable getting into the details with them, but at the same time I think if there is any help I can offer I should try, and having been in a similar position for different reasons I can see why they first went to a faceless person online for help (less threatening). You're right, directing them to somewhere where they can get actual help is my best option. I don't know their exact location, so I think the national hotline is the best bet. I'm a little concerned for their child as well; I'm not an expert and I may be wrong but my immediate thought was that someone who is abusive to their spouse is more likely than a nonabusive person to also mistreat their child in future.

My own search is going okay, I had a screening and I'm waiting for them to get back to me with the reference. (I'm trying to come to terms with stuff I got involved in a while back; I said and did stupid and offensive things but I genuinely didn't know the problem, and it kind of escalated. I understand what I did wrong now and won't do it again, but my obsessive worrying tendencies mean I can't clear it away without help.)

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Robin Lee
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It's understandable to be concerned. There also just isn't a whole lot you can do for this person for all the reasons you stated.

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Robin

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mizchastain
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I know. Not a good situation [Frown] Still, I'm not going to let it bother me too much, I know I'm not obliged or reasonably able to do more than I've done.
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