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Author Topic: Phimosis and papules; respect and revulsion
toomanywords
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I started posting that before you'd replied, got caught by the spam-filter, and posted it by refreshing [Smile]
We are indeed both in the UK - he is in the South-West, kinda close to Wales, I am in the South-East. I can give you city names by email?

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Heather
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Yep! Just use the "contact us" link below, and I'll get it and get back to you.

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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

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toomanywords
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I did so just before running off - hope it got through!
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toomanywords
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Your post on transitionality and impermanence is very wise. That might be something to raise with him, actually - he's quite into philosophical/spiritual ideas of that nature.

I guess what I'm saying is that that's something else that sounds like his work to do. You know -- and jeez, is it clear from how much energy you're investing in all of this -- that's now what you did or are doing. If your actions and care here don't let him know that too, there's nothing you can do about it.

That is exceptionally helpful to hear. Thank you.

I'm thinking I might wait and call him tomorrow, now - I'm getting sleepy because of all the late nights recently, and I'd like to be totally lucid and with-it when I call him. OTOH, I think there will be lots of home improvements going on right next to my room here tomorrow, so maybe I won't be able to without being overheard by decoraters. :/ Hmm.

Am going to take another break from the computer screen now, I think - will check back here in roughly half an hour.

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toomanywords
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Am here again now. Any luck?
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Heather
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Sorry, got the info, but my clock ran out per work today. But I'll have you some kind of list in the (my) morning!

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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

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toomanywords
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That's fair, I can wait. I won't be calling him tonight. Your morning is... what, 4pm my time? I'll probably wait on it.
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Heather
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Sent some resources back to your email a little bit ago. [Smile]

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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

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toomanywords
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Ooh, thank you! It's not my usual email address so I didn't see that. [Smile]
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Heather
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NP. [Smile]

--------------------
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

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toomanywords
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So - we've just had a talk on the phone. Here is an account of what was said.

He accepted the idea to stop sexual contact with good grace, saying that "if you think this is something good and healthy for us, then we'll do it". I expressed worry about his acceptance meaning there was a power-imbalance in my favour and he was putting up with something he didn't want: he said that it was not a use of 'power' to say no to sex, just a right within any relationship, even if this is a longer time-frame than a 'no' would usually take.

That aside, his first response was to check in about our last sexual contact, and if I was okay and if he'd done anything wrong. I said that I was okay and he hadn't done anything wrong, but that I was finding it hard to distentangle 'I want' from 'I should want'.

I then went on to explain that I felt like we were triggering each other a lot - my reaction to his body (specifically his penis) and his reaction to my reaction creating an unpleasant feedback loop that made sex an emotionally high-risk activity. He said that he understood what I meant, but that he'd thought things had been getting better for us in that respect and that because of the kinky nature of a lot of the stuff we do, it was perfectly possible to us have sexual contact without actually involving genitals. I said that while I agreed with this, I still felt pressure (not from him, but from somewhere) to involve his penis, and lots of guilt about not wanting to do that. Also that I was kind of creeped out by the idea of us 'getting better' in that way since it seems (in my head, anyway) to be associated with ideas of 'desensitisation' and 'exposure' to his penis (as though we're doing cognitive behavioural therapy!) rather than feeling attraction/desire towards it.

He also said that he thinks his body image issues have been getting better, and he was surprised to hear me bring them up. I still suggested that he see someone about it, since even though he is over the worst of his experiences he would still benefit from having somewhere to unpack all this. He said he was very very uncomfortable with the idea of getting any sort of professional help, and although he would try not to dismiss it out of hand, he couldn't promise anything. He agreed to discuss this with me again in the future.

I told him that I would also be taking a step back from my sexual engagements with Mark, but not stopping them entirely. I said very plainly that although I am just more comfortable with Mark's body than his, I'm doing a lot of thinking about my body and self and sexuality generally, and that means stepping back from Mark too, especially regarding Mark's penis. I also reassured him that this wouldn't make Mark my primary partner. Cal asked if any changes to our open/poly structure were on the cards: I said no, and that I was going to carry on with the women I'm seeing as normal, and that he was similarly free to pursue other people, with the caveat that I still think he and I really need to do some thinking about body stuff.

He said he needed some time to process all this and would contact me again soon. He said he felt angry, disappointed, frustrated, and sad - but none of those emotions were directed at me, just at the situation. We reaffirmed several times during the conversation that we love each other. He said he'd still like to spend more time with me and go on a date soon, and I said I'd like that very much, and that I still wanted to cuddle him very much. I also said I hadn't stopped being sexually attracted to him full-stop, it's just that I thought sex was a bad plan right now.

I was honest about the possibility of this being a permanent end to our sexual relationship, and possibly heralding the end of our romantic relationship too. He accepted this (and the general impermanence of all things), but said he still didn't consider this to be the end for us, although he acknowledged it's such a big change that maybe his judgement was off.

He sent me an e-cuddle on IM as soon as I came online to type this up, and said that while he still needed that time to process, he just wanted to do that. [Smile]

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Heather
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Well, this all sounds excellent to me. How are you feeling about it?

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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

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toomanywords
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I feel pretty good, I guess.
Not sure if he will go to counselling or not - he didnt want the details of the places. Also, NHS waiting lists can be prohibitively long...
Earlier there was one thing I think I'd forgotten to discuss with him, but now I can't remember it. Again.
Do you have any thoughts about where to go from here? I sort of wonder what I should be disclosing to Mark in terms of how things have changed with Cal.

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Heather
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Well, whether or not he seeks out help is in his hands. You've done the best anyone supportive can do: you've passed along some resources and given your encouragement and support. The rest is up to him and outside your control.

In terms of where to go from here, how about for the next few days, you just use the space you just made to take a breather before you think more about all of this? It was a LOT to sort through, plus you're managing multiple relationships, which always takes a lot of energy, so I'm guessing you could use a breather!

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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

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toomanywords
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Phew. Okay. Thanks, I feel like you've legitimised my need for a break. I have a lot of other responsibilities and between this and other things this weekend I've not really been attending to them fully.

I'll check in again in a few days, if not sooner.

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Heather
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Good news. [Smile]

Hope you get a lot of self-care in there, too.

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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

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toomanywords
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Kay - he just called me. Two main relevant points: he feels sad that after all the time ad effort he's invested in trying to help me feel okay re his dick (including keeping it hidden and ignored, letting me examine it, and letting me exert power of it), he has still 'failed' because I've withdrawn entirely from engaging with it. He made it clear he wasn't blaming me. And he asked me not to write a ghost story starring it as the monster. He admitted that the latter was probably entirely irrational but I think that illustrates some of the issues we have...

Right yes self-care. I need to get better at that. Nngh.

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toomanywords
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Also for lots of today, before and after the initial phone call, my brain has been throwing up images of vaginal penetration. Generally involving me being completely immobile and lying on my front and definitely being 'stretched'. I think there is part of my brain shouting "just have PIV with him and EVERYTHING WILL BE FIXED!" which is so many levels of wrong (he thinks PIV is repulsive!!), but... Still confused/unsure. Also reaction is confusing, not sure if panic or arousal or both, very hard to disentangle the two.

This may be relevant. I'm not sure. Anyway. Going to try to get offline and calm down a bit, or something.

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Heather
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He needs to get help dealing with his own stuff.

PERIOD.

I'm wording that strongly because even him calling back with all of this, to me, is him trying to have you.....well, in some ways do it for him or help deflect his choice NOT to get help with his own stuff.

He needs to get help dealing with his own stuff.

And I'd say if he just nixes that out of hand, even when you so freshly suggested it, you need to do your own work and get better at setting limits with him.

Seriously.
He needs to get help dealing with his own stuff. And I feel pretty certain that until he does, especially if you don't set firm limits around this stuff, he's just going to keep sucking you into his own lack of dealing with his own stuff.

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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

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toomanywords
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Okay. I am not sure how I can set a limit. We've always been there for each other - saying that he can't come to me with his feelings or problems is like shutting him out. I will keep talking to him about getting professional help, and try to unpack why he feels unable to do so, but if he decides not to I don't see how I can shut him out from talking to me about this stuff. I offer emotional support to friends and acquaintances all the time, how can I deny it to my partner?

Sorry, you probably feel like you're banging your head against a brick wall with me. :/ I hear what you're saying, I honestly do. I just don't know how I can do this.

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Robin Lee
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Setting limits doesn't ever have to be an absolute all-or-nothing thing. Setting limits with your partner might mean that you both agree that you can't be the sole support, or even the number one support, for each other's stuff 100% of the time. Alternate support doesn't necessarily have to be professional help right away if there is resistance to that.

None of us can be our partners' "all".

As well as establishing other support and coping systems, setting limits can mean sharing with each other, but in a more measured, less let-it-all-hang-out sort of way. This might look like, for example, not dropping everything if your partner has a problem or has something he wants to talk about but acknowledging that he has something he wants to talk about and setting a time for the two of you to discuss it. This of course can go both ways in your relationship.


I could go on, but since I just popped in for a moment before bed, I fear that I might not be too coherent.

What do you think of this, though?

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Robin

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Heather
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I agree with what Robin said.

As well, you've discussed what a hot mess the dynamics around this very specific subject are, and how the way you two interact around them doesn't help either of you.

So "being there" for him in this: how do you think that actually serves him? How about the impact it has on you, and on you two as people in a close relationship?

We can put a kibbosh or limit on certain topics or areas with partners when we need to and when we know that's best. Again, it's not like we're leaving them in the lurch unless they have made us their very only person to talk to in that area, which, when it comes to the really hard stuff, is something that needs to change, not be enabled, because that's just not healthy for anyone.

Maybe for right now, you try a "Hey, for the next week, while I sort my feelings out about this specific thing and you do too, can we please not discuss it? I understand you feeling like you need to if it's hard for you, but because I'm trying to make this healthier, I need cooperation, and that includes you finding at least one other person who can be your support in this besides me."

And it might help to mention that an extra benefit of that is that he could talk to that person about his feelings with you without having to worry about hurting yours. That's no small deal.

--------------------
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

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toomanywords
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I probably should be sleeping soon (I am REALLY bad at sane times of day, sorry), but just to catch you guys up:

I've been trying to take some 'time out' from this: what this actually entailed is alternating between working like a whirlwind on activism/art committments and slumping in front of the internet doing very little. (I also had an idyllic evening with Mark - more on that later.) My sleep cycle, which was briefly fixed, is back to dreadful. ... Whoops? I've talked to a few friends about having some challenges in my relationship with Cal, and indeed mentioned that our sexual relationship has been renegotiated to less or no sex. AFAICR, I haven't told anyone the details except on here.

Cal's been talking about this to a close friend of his, Laurie. I'd sorta forgotten about her because due to Problems she hasn't been as much as a confidante for Cal recently. She asked him if he is sure our new/current no-sex arrangement is "worth it"; he says it is. Other than that, I don't know the details of what they've been talking about, but he's given me the impression that it's been cathartic and useful for him. (Laurie and Cal have some amount of emotional/sexual history and probably would be seeing each other if she didn't have a lot of emotional baggage re: poly due to a terrible guy who used 'poly' as an retroactive excuse for cheating (and with whom she is now ill-advisedly back together). This may be relevant.)

One very significant thing: I had PIV with Mark. I shocked myself a lot by doing this, as it's been years since I last did, and I have very few positive associations with the act. My plan was definitely to back away from sexual contact with him as well - but it just plain felt right. There was an awful lot of consent-checking and ultimately I felt safe and loved and like I wanted to do this, and all the angst over not-doing-it because I was worried I would freak out was actually perhaps worse than the potential fallout. I don't know. I've mostly been surprisingly fine; I'm still doing some thinking about whether I want to do it again (Mark's made it very clear he doesn't expect that).

I saw Cal for a few days recently and we've been talking about this again. Stuff that's come from that:

He's beginning to recognise that he should probably seek therapy to clear up his body issues. He maintains, however, that his ED was in the past, and his nightmare about cutting off his penis was well over a year ago. He sees his ED as very seperate from his relationship with his penis, which he says is mostly a reaction to my reaction. I said that even if his ED wasn't directly related, it would have been contributing to him having an adversarial relationship with his body; as for the penis thing, that's precisely why we need to stop having sexual contact, because we keep triggering each other and that's not okay. He says that he would rather have sexual contact that sometimes ends badly than no sexual contact at all, because he feels like the current state isn't so much removing us from situations where I have strong negative reactions, as one very big and long-lasting strong negative reactions. He says that even if he felt totally secure in his body, he would still feel hurt by my repulsion re: his penis.

He says he totally understands and respects all of my decisions on an intellectual level, but on an emotional level he feels like he is being punished for a physical issue over which he has no control, and he feels like he's been lied to because I did the opposite of toning things down with Mark (he knows intellectually that I am not punishing him or lying to him). He's happy for me that I seem to have overcome some issues but wishes I were able to feel that comfortable with his body, even though he is still grossed out by the prospect of actual PIV. I told Cal about Mark three days after it happened: this was because on the first day Cal was busy most of the time and we only spoke on the phone for about 20 minutes at a time of night when we were both totally wiped out; on the second, I was busy all day and couldn't talk; on the third, we met in person and I thought it was most appropriate to have waited to talk in person anyway. He wasn't very happy because he remembers asking to know ASAP if anything changed between me and Mark: I don't quite remember this, and still feel my judgment in how/when to discuss this with him was a sound one, because this is not something I feel would have been good to do over the phone with one or both of us exhausted. I do feel bad that I didn't manage to respect his wishes but I don't know how I could have done so in a way that would have been sound for either of us.

Cal says that he feels like this enforced lack of sexual contact might end up being something he can't deal with, and he's sorry for that and he's going to try, but it might be too much for him. We've had a lot of talk now about how ceasing to be in a sexual/romantic relationship should be seen as a change rather than a failure, and not-working-out now isn't a foreclosure on working-out in the future, but we still want to be a couple if we can. I feel good that we've established that we want to remain close friends no matter what.

I am worried that I have not communicated effectively in the above. In the past few days I have managed to be very awkward at communicating with people and say things I don't quite mean and seriously put my foot in it and come off (I think) like a dreadful person. I'm worried in general that you guys think I'm a total douche, actually - may as well admit that while I'm feeling brave enough. Were this a book, I would have UNRELIABLE NARRATOR written all over me. I am sort-of tempted to show Cal this thread and maybe let you hear things from his point of view in case I'm failing to communicate his feelings clearly, but I worry that that might be a kind of destructive thing to go (and also maybe contravene anonymity/safety stuff on here, I'm not sure?).

Anyway. Once again I have wordvommed at you. Thanks for reading it.

[ 06-24-2012, 08:45 PM: Message edited by: toomanywords ]

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toomanywords
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Okay, actually, something else which is probably useful:

When he was with me the other night, he said he didn't feel comfortable kissing me too much or getting too close because then he felt turned on and then he felt guilty. I felt sad because I wanted to carry on feeling able to be close and affectionate with him - up until the point he said that, we had quite cuddly and happy, maybe even more so than usual. I think it was when I suggested being on a bed together that he said this.

After I told him about what had happened with Mark, he was pretty upset (for reasons detailed above - feeling like Mark was more trusted, feeling like he'd been lied to). I... urgh. In the course of our discussion about this I became overwhelmed with some really nasty negative feelings: I felt like I was awful and deserved pain and violation, and that I could somehow make things okay if I let him slap me and strip me and **** me however he liked. I very much recognised that this was the brand of masochism that comes from a very unhealthy place (my 'healthy' masochism is more along the lines of 'yay, sensations! and submission/mind-games are fun!') but I was still turned on by that thought, although it was tempered with fear and unease because it was also a genuinely scary idea. I told him that I was feeling like this (in the context of "so I am having some super-unhealthy things going on in my brain right now, and I feel you should know", rather than trying to instigate the above scenario), and he freaked out. He said that while he found the described scenario hot out-of-context (reminder: our relationship has many BDSM elements), in this context being even slightly aroused at the thought made him then feel disgusted by himself and like he was in some way a rapist. I felt even worse for making him feel bad and we got into a negative spiral, and then checked ourselves (because it's a pattern we are familiar with, and try consciously to intervene with) and he went and took some time out.

When he came back, we did end up cuddling while lying on the bed, and then kissing, and we ended up feeling kind of turned on. Having already changed my mind about things once with Mark, it was in my head that Cal and I might end up having sexual contact after all, but I did feel very strongly that it was a bad idea. While I was lying next to him and stroking his hair and face I felt nothing but attracted to him. We both admitted being turned on and he said he was going to leave so we didn't do anything we regretted: when he stood up, the sight of his massive erection through his trousers made me feel distaste (and maybe fear?) again - strong negative reactions were back.

That is possibly useful as, iunno, a detailed account of my headspace re: sexual contact with Cal, or something. I also think it shows that we really are trying to work on things.

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Robin Lee
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HI TooManyWords,

There's no judgement here. Guaranteed. [Smile]

We don't do couples therapy here--not individual therapy either--so there would be nothing gained by having Cal talk to us in this venue. We see Scarleteen as a safe place for our users to talk about what they need to talk about outside of their everyday lives. We also don't need a litmus test of whether you're being truthful; our conversations here have been about how you see and experience things. Make sense?

It's clear that you care a lot about Cal, that you want this relationship to continue. It also sounds to me like the two of you have different needs and wants for the relationship.

Were you not in a poly relationship I would certainly say that it sounds like for you, right now, Mark is a safer fit for you relationship wise. It sounds as if you feel much safer, and much less conflicted, with him. Of course, what we know about poly is that it can allow room for a variety of different types of relationships so please don't think that I'm saying this to say that you should "ditch the poly thing". < [Smile]

I hear a lot of struggle and challenge here and am wondering what, given your own needs and not anyone else's, would make you happiest right now?

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Robin

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Heather
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Hey there: I'm at the end of my day, but I'd also add in just a couple brief thoughts:

1) I really, very strongly feel, at this point, based on everything you have posted here, that you and cal having a sexual relationship of any kind is a poor choice for both of you and just isn't likely to be positive moving forward.

It's clear that's not entirely what you want or what he wants, but like I've said before, and continue to think, I just don't see how, at this juncture, for that kind of relationship between you to be anything but detrimental for one or both of you, as well as something I suspect is also holding him back from really dealing with his own stuff, rather than having a pretty convenient person to project a lot of it on. After all, this really isn't about, at its core, you rejecting his penis, etc. It's about him not having resiliency to deal with sexual rejection or rejection of his body as something you want to be sexually engaged with in certain ways. If the latter were present, I don't think he'd be reacting the way he is: I think instead, even if he felt upset by that, he'd be more like, "Well, I guess I need to find a lover who feels differently, even if I'm bummed it's not you."

(I also think discussing your sexual relationship with other partners at this point with him is not sound or likely to be healthy. Clearly, he is not feeling able to process the feelings some of that is giving him.)

2) I think if cal had had some ED treatment, he might be able to connect more dots with his ED and his feelings about his genitals and body and appeal. If he's still unwilling to go see about getting help, at the very least, perhaps he'd do some research into body dysmorphia as a whole, and maybe at least perhaps connect a couple dots himself?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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toomanywords
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Robin - honestly, when you asked me what I wanted? My first thought was "to get my academic work done in good time". I have a massive project to do this summer which is crucial for my final grade, and I'm behind where I feel I should be because I've been so distracted by other committments (including all this). I don't know what this says about my priorities.

Okay. What do I want? Completely selfishly, what might actually make me happiest is to spend more time with the two women I'm seeing: they're both medium-distance (as opposed to the same city (Mark) or half a day's travel away (Cal))and on a much more casual basis, or at least a less angst-inducing one. Being sexually involved with people with the same basic physiology as me is much less of a minefield regarding my gender dysphoria and chance of having a freakout. Other than that... I really want both Cal and Mark to be happy. But, uh, you wanted me to look at my needs. So - better physical health, consistent academic work, ability to generally keep myself on more of an even keel. I suppose that all this is contrubuting quite a lot to my poor sleep patterns and tiredness - I do a lot of travelling (as you've seen from my previous posts) and much of it is related to seeing Cal, although I've also just got a lot of life committments... and at the same time, making sure I have time for Mark often means staying up really late with him, because he keeps quite silly hours. Hmm. Maybe what I really need to do is take more time away from everyone, and look after myself more. (On the other hand, I can imagine how this one goes, based on what happened when I said I was stepping back from sexuality - tell both of them I'm trying to take time out, then find self unable to resist Mark and end up spending lots of time with him, upsetting Cal in the process. Although actually, maybe not, as Mark is going to be very far away for a lot of this summer, so.)

Thanks for the reassurance y'all aren't judging me. And, yes, the poly thing is pretty much what's keeping this afloat at the moment. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing or a neutral thing. I'm just thinking that if I had a dyadic choice here, I would not be staying with Cal to the exclusion of all others. (Though I guess that's true of everyone I'm seeing, since monogamy is not something I ever want to be involved with again: I spent far too much of my previous monogamous relationship feeling trapped and unhappy.)

What I am beginning to think/wonder about is whether this is just the slide into non-relationship. We had another phone call just now - he says he's running on hope more than anything, and he's terrified that he'll lose me. I guess all the reassuring words about relationships changing rather than 'ending' just aren't ringing true for him today. I dunno. We were both dog-tired and the conversation was very slow and stilted. I'm going to spend a few days with him soon and I'm hoping we can have some more productive conversations then, but it seems like both of us are very strongly considering the possibility that we are going to realise/decide that we just aren't currently compatible as partners (sexual or non-sexual). I'm almost wondering if that would be better for us at this point - not being 'in a relationship' might remove the weirdness/feeling-of-rejection that comes with us not having sexual contact? On the other hand, being officially Not Having Sex just felt like a magnification of my revulsion re: his body, so maybe this would just feel like an even bigger version than that, and still be hurtful? I also feel like I have been using the strategy of removing official-seeming restrictions/terminology as a salve for our relationship a LOT, and maybe that's not the best idea. (A few months back, when I was feeling a LOT of pressure from not being able to visit him as regularly as I used to, coupled with my lack of enthusiasm for sexual contact when we WERE together, I asked that we stop considering ourselves In A Relationship and just people in love who spent time together sometimes. It sort of worked, a psychological placebo effect maybe, but perhaps I'm over-using it as a false panacea. I can't remember if I have already mentioned this.)

... taking a break from writing this because very very sleepy.

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toomanywords
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Sorry, got distracted by life.

Am round Cal's house now. Keep feeling like I want to have sexual contact with him. Awkward. :/

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Heather
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Well, we certainly can have sexual feelings for someone that, for any number of reasons, we decide not to pursue. Just like we might have a craving for certain foods that we choose not to eat because we know eating them isn't a sound choice for us.

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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

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toomanywords
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Yeah, I'm not great at either of those examples. :/ But obviously you make a sensible point.

I'm spending today and tomorrow just with him. I'd like to talk through this stuff with him and hopefully help him to feel better and able to do constructive things. Any suggestions?

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toomanywords
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This is really. really. really. difficult.

I don't want to lose him, I enjoy his company, I'm still attracted to him, and I'm struggling to feel like we shouldn't just get it on (in a penis-free way, like we used to back in the early days). Aaaaargh.

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