My fiancee and I have been together for a bit over a year now.
We both identify somewhere along the asexual spectrum...she identifies as pretty much strictly asexual, while I consider myself to be gray-ace, though more heavily on the asexual bit than the gray bit. She has no real desire for sex and doesn't enjoy it, while I have never really had a desire for sex, but do masturbate and enjoy myself. It's just that it's more of "Hmm, I'm bored, I don't really have much to do." or "I'm taking a bath, this is relaxing and helps with period cramps".
We do both find each other attractive. She has struggled with this, due to a combination of internalized homophobia (not supposed to find girl attractive), her identifying as asexual (not supposed to find anyone attractive), and feeling that finding me attractive or fantasizing about me is an invasion of my privacy and is wrong. I haven't struggled with it quite as much, growing up in less-conservative areas.
We both have no problem with activities varying from spooning, fondling breasts, we've bathed together when we both have time and she is comfortable with it due to having sensory issues about being surrounded by water (we actually ended up getting children's bath paints and bath crayons and spent a time or two drawing flowers and hearts and I Love Yous on each other, which is great fun). Neither of us has any particular issue about being nude around each other, and random hugs and kisses are completely normal and okay.
Recently, within the past month, we were cuddling and we did attempt genital fondling...playing with each other, through underthings. We found that she does not like this, but she did bring me to orgasm. A night or two ago, while cuddling, she did so again...with my full consent, I'll add, because it was quite nice. We talked a great deal afterwards...she asked, double-checking, that I actively do enjoy her touching me, that she isn't invading my privacy or doing something I don't want and I'm not just saying that to make her feel better. I made sure that she wasn't doing this just because she felt I enjoyed it (to which the answer was basically of course not, she's worried that I'm just letting her because she enjoys it).
So, the situation we're currently at, she's discovered that despite her lack of interest in sex, her attraction to me apparently overrides that to some extent. She doesn't desire sex, but she does want to and actively enjoys giving me pleasure. And I actively enjoy receiving that.
Is it okay for a sexual relationship like this, where it's essentially one-sided? I can understand that she enjoys doing something that makes me happy, but I still feel somewhat guilty that I'm not doing the same...even though, at the same time, I know perfectly well that she doesn't actually want that, and would not enjoy it.
Posts: 183 | From: USA | Registered: Sep 2010
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Volunteer Assistant Director
Member # 90293
Any sexual interaction where the people involved are both feeling good about it is absolutely okay!
A sexual relationship--indeed a relationship of any kind--can take all different forms. Reciprocity doesn't have to mean, and often doesn't mean, that people do exactly the same things to each other.
We actually have an article all about this which I think you might find it reassuring to read: Reciprocity, Reloaded
I can understand this feeling a little scary and foreign to both you and your fiancée, as you explore your likes, wants, and boundaries. So long as the two of you continue talking openly, this exploration can, I think, be a positive thing for both of you.
Does any of this help allay your concerns?
-------------------- Robin Posts: 6066 | From: Washington DC suburbs | Registered: Dec 2011
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That article Robin linked for you should make this very clear, but in case it doesn't, I think this may be one of these situations where there only appears to be a conflict due to a broken framework, or a problematic way of thinking about sex.
In other words, sex is not only sex when genitals are involved, or when people are each doing genital things to each other, or the same things. Sex can be anything and everything people do to experience pleasure together and express their sexuality or sexual feelings. And pleasure also is not only genital. We not only have about as many sensory nerve endings in our fingers, for instance, so touching someone or something all by itself be pleasurable, but we can also experience pleasure emotionally that way, including because a partner is also enjoying themselves. Just because someone is not having their own genitals touched does not mean sex or pleasure is one-sided. It can just mean that the kind of sex people are engaging in us a kind where only one person's genitals are involved at a given time.
And just because what she is doing is pleasurable for you does not mean it is not for her. It sounds like she is clearly enjoying herself here too, no?
-------------------- Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen About Me • Get our book! Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead Posts: 67932 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000
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